Three Excellencies of Character
Researched Author Sir Godfrey Gregg OHPM, ROMC
The reference, of course, is to that portion of the Charge by the Vice Grand Commanding Officer in the Entered Commanding Officer Degree dealing with these specific excellencies.
It is not my intention to provide the full content of that Charge, rather I would suggest that, for those unfamiliar with what I am referring to, that they log on to http://www.mysticalcourt.com and read it for themselves.
In doing so, please read slowly and attempt to relate the admonitions to the organization in which they were written. I do believe you will realize that those were very different times where these qualities were incredibly necessary in order to simply survive.
SECRECY FIDELITY OBEDIENCE
Secrecy: The objection which has been urged against The Mystical Court on the ground of its secret character is scarcely worthy of serious refutation.
It has become threadbare, and always will be the objection only of envious and illiberal minds.
Indeed, its force is immediately destroyed, when we reflect that to no worthy man need our mysteries be, for one moment, covered with the veil of concealment, for to all the deserving are our portals open.
But the traditions and esoteric doctrines of our order are too valuable and too sacred to be permitted to become the topic of conversation for every idler who may desire to occupy his moments of leisure in speculations upon subjects which require much study and preparation to qualify the critic for a ripe and equitable judgment.
Hence will they be preserved, like the rich jewel in the casket, in the secret recesses of our Court, to be brought forth only when the ceremonies with which their exhibition is accompanied, have inspired that solemnity of feeling with which alone they should be approached.
Secrecy and Silence (in part)
These virtues constitute the very essence of all Mystical Court character, they are the safeguard of this Institution, giving to it all its security and perpetuity, and are enforced by frequent admonitions in all the degrees and elevation, from the lowest to the highest.
The Entered Commanding Officer begins his Mystical career by learning the duty of secrecy and silence.
Hence it is appropriate that in that Degree which is the consummation of Initiation, in which the whole cycle of Mystical science is completed the “abstruse” (hard to understand) machinery of symbolism should be employed to impress the same important virtues on the candidate.
The same principles of secrecy and silence existed in all the ancient mysteries and systems of worship.
When Aristotle was asked what thing appeared to him to be the most difficult of performance, he replied,
“To be secret and silent”
“If we turn our eyes back to antiquity” says Dr. Granville, “we shall find that the old Egyptians had so great a regard for silence and secrecy in the mysteries of their religion that they set up the God Harpocrates ( the god of silence, secrets and confidentiality), to whom they paid particular honour and veneration, and who was represented with the right hand placed near the heart, and the left hand down by his side and covered by a skin full of eyes.”
Among the Egyptians, the sign of silence was made by pressing the index finger of the right hand on the lips.
In today’s society, where there appears to be no limit to what can be revealed or exposed, I feel, we as Mystical Court members are finding ourselves very much in the circle of public opinion, which, I believe, offers the opportunity for each of us to represent “ A great and glorious example” of what The Mystical Court means to each of us as individuals, parents and members of the organization.
This, again in my opinion, can all be done, very effectively, within the framework of our Ship, and without violating our Integrity.
We are all very capable of that challenge.