Way of the Hermit

27th Degree: Knight Commander of the Temple

November 27, 2022 Dr. David Brown & Gene Lawson Season 1 Episode 28
Way of the Hermit
27th Degree: Knight Commander of the Temple
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, we discuss the 27th Degree - “Knight Commander of the Temple” as we continue our exploration of "Morals & Dogma: The Annotated Edition". It is highly recommended that you read the chapter in order to fully follow our discussion.

"Morals and Dogma" is available from these sites:



  • Introduction (01:14)
  • Ritual Context (03:20)
  • Degree Ritual (03:46)
  • Purpose of the Degree (12:47)
  • Morals and Dogma (14:08)
  • Truth (15:32)
  • Religious-Military Orders (18:27)
  • The Knight of Light Rises (21:07)
  • Degree Apron (22:58)
  • Conclusions (27:23)


Introduction (01:14)

Gene: Hello Dave.

David: Hello Gene. How are you today?

Gene: I’m good Brother. How are you?

David: I’m good, too. As always, before we get started, I want to remind everyone that Show Notes, Chapter Markers and a Transcript of this, and all episodes, are available on our website - WayOfTheHermit.com. The first thing I want to mention about this Degree is that it’s part of another quote-unquote correction of Pike.

Gene: That’s right. In “Morals and Dogma”, “Knight Commander of the Temple” is the 27th Degree, but in the “Ritual Monitor & Guide” it’s the 28th, so basically, in the revision of Pike, the 27th and the 28th degrees are swapped.

David: What was the reason given for the change?

Gene: “A Bridge to Light” says that “It should be noted from the outset that this degree is conferred as the Twenty-eighth Degree in many jurisdictions, as it was previously in the Southern Jurisdiction prior to the adoption of the Revised Standard Pike Ritual. The reversal in order was made to give a greater coherence to the system as a whole by allowing the chivalric degrees to be conferred in a more logical and natural order. This slight alteration helps candidates appreciate the lessons in a progressive manner.”

David: Hmm… does it? Pike says that although this is really the first Chivalric Degree “It occupies this place… between the 26th and the last of the Philosophical Degrees, in order, by breaking the continuity of these, to relieve what might otherwise become wearisome; and also to remind you that, while engaged with the speculations and abstractions of philosophy and creeds, the Mason is also to continue engaged in the active duties of the great warfare of life.”

Gene: Yeah, I’m going to have to go with Pike there. The last two chapters were long and the next one is really long. I could use a little break before that one.

David: Me, too. But that just points out the difference between how Pike intended people to go through the Degrees as opposed to how they’re actually conferred today. But anyway, since our primary text is “Morals & Dogma”, we’re sticking with Pike’s sequence. So what’s the setting of the “Degree Ritual”?

Ritual Context (03:20)

Gene: Here a quote from the Ritual - “The degree of Knight Commander of the Temple is sometimes called Teutonic Knight of the House of St. Mary of Jerusalem. The Order originated at the siege of St. Jean d’Acre… and while they fought… Saladin by day, and nursed the sick and wounded soldiers by night, the Knights engaged themselves to guard the city of Jerusalem… to protect Christendom… and to defend the innocent.”

Degree Ritual (03:46)

David: What is the Ritual like this time?

Gene: The Degree Ritual is an actual Knighting ceremony. But before you can undergo the ceremony, which takes place in the main hall, you are told that you have to prepare for the great honor that is about to be bestowed upon you and you are led into a darkened small apartment, lit only by a single candle.

David: How are you supposed to prepare?

Gene: First you’re given a small meal of bread, salt and water. And told that your “breaking of bread” will be taken as a symbol of your faith and loyalty, and to signify your intent to answer the questions put to you truly and with honor.

David: That sounds like some heavy questions are about to be asked.

Gene: Well, you’re half right - it is heavy, but it’s only one question.

David: Uh oh.

Gene: Yeah. The heaviest… “Who have you wronged in your life?”

David: That’s heavy.

Gene: And then you have to provide a confession of what you did in writing to anyone that you’ve “wronged or injured” and also promise “to make amends at the earliest opportunity.”

David: That’s part of the “12 Step Program”.

Gene: It is… and also the plot of “My Name is Earl”.

David: Yeah.

Gene: But anyway, there’s another caveat, if you’ve wronged or have an unresolved argument with a Brother involved in the Ritual, you have to make amends before you’re even allowed to continue.

David: And the Ritual says that with this preparation “The Chapter seeks to determine whether the candidate is a true Mason and as such (is) willing to atone for a wrong done anyone and not too proud to offer reconciliation to a brother.”

Gene: Yeah. And ultimately, it’s about your sense of Truth and justice.

David: So, after your preparation, you’re led to the main hall. How is it decorated?

Gene: There are red and black wall hangings and black columns arranged to form a semi-circle. On each of the columns is an arm or branch holding a light. There’s a throne and a canopy which are both red “sprinkled with black tears”. In the East is a candelabra with three circles of lights, one above the other. It contains twelve lights in the lowest circle, nine in the middle and six in the top one.

David: That sounds like an interesting light. The number of lights there add to 27 which is three-cubed.

Gene: Yeah, there are lots of number games you can play with that light. But also, in the center of the room is a round table with five lamps arranged in a “Calvary Cross”. Also on the table are a crucifix, a copy of the Torah in Hebrew, a crown or garland of laurel, a sword crossed with a key, an apron, a pair of gloves, and also… it says - “all the working tools of the Symbolic Lodge in no particular order.”

David: Wow. There’s a lot on the table there.

Gene: There sure is. And one more thing. The Ritual says that the officers sit around the table and that in the West there’s a banner that says - “In many words thou shalt not avoid sin. Life and Death are dispensed by the tongue.”

David: That’s an interesting turn of phrase there. Life is Truth.

Gene: Yeah.

David: So, that’s the decorations. What is the “Degree Ritual” like?

Gene: As you said, you’re led into the main hall and play the part of “Constans”. And that name comes from a Latin root meaning “constant or steadfast”. Basically, the Ritual up to the point of the “Knighting Ceremony”, is a re-enactment of the classic story of testing a Knight for proof of moral virtue.

David: Like the story of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”?

Gene: Exactly.

David: So what are the trials that you’re put through?

Gene: They set a really somber tone from the get-go by chanting a dirge with a refrain of “We all must die! We all must die!” which the Ritual says is “a somber reminder of the fate of all men and a symbol of his resurrection in virtue. As the Teutonic Knights took vows of chastity, obedience and poverty, the candidate vows to never betray female innocence, (to) comply with the reasonable commands of his superiors in Masonry and not neglect the obligations of charity within his means.”

David: Some women may hear that part about “female innocence” as patronizing.

Gene: Well, it’s a part of the code of Chivalry that this Degree is about. It’s part of what Knights actually vowed to do. In my mind, it really means to hold innocence in general as sacred and to use your abilities to protect the innocent from those who would exploit or corrupt their innocence… if that need arises.

David: That’s a good reading of that part of the “Chivalric Code”. So then, you’re tested?

Gene: Yes. You’re told that you must keep a vigil at the altar until dawn and if you leave for any reason, that demonstrates you are unworthy of the honor of being Knighted. Then you’re presented with three, or really four “temptations” or trials. And they mirror your vows - chastity, poverty and obedience.

David: What are the trials?

Gene: The first is that you get word that your fiance plans to meet an old flame at a feast if you don’t leave and join her to prove your love to her. And of course, in the Ritual anyway, you don’t.

David: Of course!

Gene: You respond by saying that you’ll “do her bidding in all that does not affect (your) honor.”

David: So, this test is chastity or whether you’d abandon your principles for love… or lust.

Gene: Right. Or to put another way “I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that!”

David: OK, Meatloaf. What’s the second trial?

Gene: The second trial is that you receive word that an enemy is attacking your castle and if you don’t leave and defend it, that you will lose your estate and all your possessions.

David: This is the test of poverty or the relative value between your Knighthood and your worldly possessions.

Gene: And again, in the Ritual anyway, you choose to keep your vigil.

David: I want to point out something here. If you stop and think about what sticking around this long already entails… it means you’re committing your whole life here in this ceremony. I mean love, sex, relationships, property, status, everything. It’s all being sacrificed on the altar of honor and truth.

Gene: It is a big deal. It’s a commitment to fight for a cause bigger than yourself. And even to sacrifice your life if needed. I mean, that’s what real Knights did… and I don’t take this Ritual to be just “play acting”.

David: No, I don’t either. What’s the third trial?

Gene: A monk comes into the hall and says that because you’ve shown your ability to withstand the temptations of the flesh and of earthly possessions, you are worthy to become a monk. He says that your soul is assured salvation if you just leave the deceptions of the world behind completely and live a life of self-mortification in the desert.

David: That one’s about obedience. But, it’s the easy out. Just take care of yourself and let the world go up in flames. It’s harder to stand up for what you believe in and help those that need your help.

Gene: And that is the fourth and last trial. You hear the sound of battle outside and when you look outside you see the city under attack by brutal enemies who intend to enslave your people.

David: So… what happens?

Gene: You, as Constans, can’t bear this one. You leave and join the battle and turn the tide and save the city… but you do it in disguise hoping you can get back before anyone notices that you’re gone.

David: Do they notice?

Gene: Oh yeah. And they tell you that because you abandoned your vigil, you are not worthy of Knighthood… but of course, they find out you saved the city, apologize to you and reverse their decision saying that “Although Constans left his vigil, he did so unselfishly for the cause of justice and humanity and will receive his desired title.”

David: So then you’re made a “Knight Commander of the Temple”?

Gene: You are, and then you’re given a garland of laurel, the apron, gloves, collar and jewel of the Order, a set of spurs, and a red mantle embroidered with a Teutonic Cross, which is the emblem of the Order. And then you’re told that the five candles on the table in the form of a cross correspond to the qualities of a Knight, which are humility, temperance, chastity, generosity and honor and “of these qualities, honor is the life of a knight.”

David: Anything else about the Degree Ritual?

Gene: Just one more thing. The Knights draw their swords and unite them at a central point, which signifies “the common purpose of Masonry. And they renew their vows to be of one mind, one heart and one soul, devoting their swords to the cause of freedom, their hearts to the glory of God, their intellects to the enlightenment of (all) and their hands to works of charity.”

Purpose of the Degree (12:47)

David: That’s beautiful. So what would you say about the purpose of this Degree?

Gene: It’s to make you a Knight. “You realize fully that you have no time to waste, as death draws nearer upon you with every breath.” And the Ritual says that your duties as a Knight are “to… assist the feeble and oppressed… to defend the innocent”... to “take up arms against injustice, falsehood and oppression… You vow to guard the honor of women, (and) not neglect the sick and suffering, (and) live to serve your fellow man… (and) never to avoid danger when duty and manhood require (you) to remain, even though death is possible.”

David: That sounds like what a Knight would do?

Gene: WWKD? “What would a Knight do?”

David: That’s good. I had one more quote I wanted to add here that says “To be admitted to this Degree one must possess all the Degrees of Masonry, and thoroughly understand its principles, its bases, and its morality… A firm and steadfast willpower is needed on the part of every initiate, so that (they do) not deviate from the path, no matter how strong the temptation. When one sacrifices personal desires for nobler and higher ends, or for the benefit of humanity at large, then one is worthy of the highest rewards.”

Gene: I like that quote, too. That’s cool. So, are you ready to dig into the Lecture?

David: I am.

Morals and Dogma (14:08)

Gene: What’s the first thing you have?

David: The first quote I have is about how things were in Pike’s time. It says “Truth, in act, profession, and opinion, is rarer now than in the days of chivalry. Falsehood has become a current coin… At the bar, in the pulpit, and in the halls of legislation, men argue against their own convictions, and, with what they term logic, prove to the satisfaction of others that which they do not themselves believe.”

Gene: Here we go.

David: Right. And just a little bit more and I’ll quit.

Gene: OK.

David: “The Press is the great sower of falsehood. To slander a political antagonist, to misrepresent all that he says, and, if that be impossible, to invent for him what he does not say; to put in circulation whatever baseless calumnies against him are necessary to defeat him, these are habits so common as to have ceased to excite notice or comment, much less surprise or disgust.”

Gene: Aren’t you glad we were born in the modern age and have evolved past all of that!

David: Yeah.

Gene:  It’s funny. That was the late 1800’s he’s talking about… and my first quote says what we already know - “Times change, and circumstances; but Virtue and Duty remain the same. The Evils to be warred against but take another shape… purity and innocence still need protectors.”

Truth (15:32)

David: And those protectors are envisioned here in this Degree as “Modern Day Knights”. The Lecture says that “There was a time when a Knight would die rather than utter a lie, or break his Knightly word. The Knight Commander of the Temple revives the old Knightly spirit; and devotes himself to the old Knightly worship of Truth.”

Gene: That quote reminds me of the clip from “Excalibur” that we played in the 4th Degree about Truth. There’s something else about that clip that’s tickling the back of my mind. Can you play it again?

David: Sure. Here’s a clip from the 1981 movie “Excalibur”.

Arthur (Excalibur): Which is the greatest quality of knighthood? Courage? Passion? Loyalty? Humility? What do you say Merlin?

Merlin (Excalibur): Hmm? Ah… ah… ah… the greatest… um… Well, they blend, like the metals we mix to make a good sword.

Arthur (Excalibur): No poetry. Just a straight answer. Which is it?

Merlin (Excalibur): All right then, Truth. That’s it! Yes! It must be Truth. Above all. When a man lies he murders some part of the world. You should know that!

Gene: Wow. OK. “Life and Death are dispensed by the tongue.” That was on a banner in the West in this Ritual.

David: And Merlin says “when a man lies he murders some part of the world.” Wow.

Gene: I thought there was something else in there.

David: You were right.

Gene: And another quote from the Lecture says that to retain our honor as Knights, we must be truthful. It says we must not profess any opinion that is not our own “for expediency's sake or profit, Or through a fear of the world's disfavor; no slander of even an enemy; no coloring or perversion of the sayings or acts of (others)… ; no insincere speech and argument for any purpose, or under any pretext… (we) must speak the Truth, and all the Truth, no more… no less; or else not speak at all.”

David: And in the last Degree we were told “Behold the Palladium of this Order… It is no image or idol to be worshiped… It is but an emblem of purity and truth, which here we venerate, and of which you are now the servant.”

Gene: That was the statue of Pallas Athena, the Truth that you said we’ve been developing in the Degrees and it’s also what I called in the early Degrees - “Truth with a capital T.”

David: And because we live in a world that deals mostly in falsehood, the Lecture points out the need for us to live that Truth. It says - “In no age of the world has man had better opportunity than now to display those lofty virtues and that noble heroism that so distinguished the three great military and religious Orders, in their youth, before they became corrupt.”

Religious-Military Orders (18:27)

Gene: And the three quote-unquote religious military orders he’s talking about there are (1) the “Knights Templar” aka the “Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon”, (2) the “Knights Hospitallers” which is short for the “Order of Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem”, and (3) the “Teutonic Knights” aka the “Teutonic Knights of the House of St. Mary of Jerusalem”.

David: Teutonic means “Germanic” and the “Teutonic Knights” are also called the “Deutscher Orden” or “German Order”. They were commissioned at the Siege of Acre in 1191 to run the “Hospital of St. Mary in Jerusalem”.

Gene: Yes. And that’s where their names come from. The “Teutonic Knights of the House of St. Mary of Jerusalem”, that’s the German Knights running the St. Mary Hospital.

David: OK. And the “Order of Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem” are the Knights Hospitallers who ran a hospital near the Church of St. John the Baptist.

Gene: Right.

David: The Knights Templars were also called the “Order of the Temple of Solomon”. They were created to protect people on pilgrimages to the “Holy Land”, or to the “Temple Mount” in Jerusalem, the supposed location of the Temple of Solomon.

Gene: And the combination of helping those in need and protecting them by force if necessary are what makes a Knight. Here’s a quote I love about that - “To purity and innocence everywhere, the Knight Commander owes protection, as of old; against (the) bold violence, or those… who by art and treachery seek to slay the soul; and against (those) that drive too many to sell their honor and innocence for food.”

David: That sounds like the beginning of a superhero comic.

Gene: It does… but it gets better. “When a fearful epidemic ravages a city, and death is inhaled with the air men breathe; when the living scarcely suffice to bury the dead, most men flee in abject terror… But the old Knightly spirit… still lives, and is not extinct in the human heart.”

David: That’s great. I’ve got one to continue that idea - “Everywhere a few are found to stand firmly and unflinchingly at their posts, to front and defy the danger, not for money, or to be honored for it, or to protect their own household; but from mere humanity, and to obey the unerring dictates of duty. They nurse the sick… they soften the pains of the dying… they perform the last sad offices to the dead; and they seek no other reward than the approval of their own consciences.”

The Knight of Light Rises (21:07)

Gene: So, should we call this section “The Knight of Light Rises”... you know, as opposed to the “Dark Knight”?

David: That’s a good name for it. My last quote from the Lecture, in a way, describes what that new order of Knights actually is. It says - “These are the true Knights of the present age:... the captain who remains at his post on board his shattered ship until the last boat… has parted from her side... the pilot who stands at the wheel while the swift flames eddy round him and scorch away his life: - the fireman who ascends the blazing walls, and plunges amid the flames to save the property or lives of those who have upon him no claim by tie of blood, or friendship, or even of ordinary acquaintance: - these, and others like these:.. who, set at the post of duty, stand there manfully; to die, if need be, but not to desert their post: for these (have) sworn not to recede before the enemy.”

Gene: We’re talking here about real superheroes. Not make believe.

David: Exactly.

Gene: And my take is that if we really want to take this Degree, not just in title but in Truth, we have to become one, too. My last quote from the Lecture says - “To the performance of duties and of acts of heroism like these, you have devoted yourself, my Brother, by becoming a Knight Commander of the Temple. Soldier of the Truth and of Loyalty! Protector of Purity and Innocence! Defier of Plague and Pestilence! Nurser of the Sick and Burier of the Dead! A Knight, preferring Death to abandonment of the Post of Duty! Welcome to the bosom of this Order!”

David: And I think that’s a good place to end our discussion of the Lecture. Let’s talk a bit about the symbols of the Degree.

Degree Apron (22:58)

Gene: Do you want to start with the Apron?

David: Sure.

Gene: The apron is red bordered and lined in black. In the middle is a black key inside a green garland of laurel. The flap is interesting and I want to just read the quote first, but it takes some explanation.

David: OK.

Gene: The flap is white and on it is a potent black cross, charged with a double-potent gold cross, “surcharged with an escutcheon of the Empire. The principal cross (is) surmounted by a chief azure semé of France.

David: What does all of that mean?

Gene: Those are all “heraldry terms”. “Charged” means overlaid on top of. “Escutcheon” means “shield” or “coat of arms”. “Chief” is a horizontal field on top. And “semé” is a scattered field.

David: What does “potent” and “double-potent” mean?

Gene: Oh yeah. It’s like a crutch or a T-shape. So, a potent cross would have a T-shape on each end and a double-potent would have a second one on each end.

David: Alright.

Gene: So, here’s my translation - A black Teutonic cross with a gold double-ended cross on top of it. At the center of that cross is a white shield with a black double-headed eagle. Over the main black cross is a horizontal band of blue clouds.

David: Hmm. I can actually understand that. But, you know, I think that Pike’s use of that technical jargon wasn’t accidental, or him just showing off his knowledge.

Gene: No… it wasn’t. The origins of heraldry date back to the Crusades and it’s a language in itself.

David: It is.

Gene: So, what is that emblem saying to you?

David: Umm. The blue clouds above the cross me think of the heavens. And then you have three things - the black cross, the gold cross and the shield - one inside the other.

Gene: Like the “Triple Triangle” from the last Degree.

David: Yes… and I’d say with the same or a similar meaning. The black cross is the body or material world, the gold cross is the mental or intellectual and the white, as always, is the soul.

Gene: I like that because on the white shield is a black double-headed eagle. The contrasting colors and the double-headed eagle are both symbols of the union of light and darkness, showing the soul as complete and undivided.

David: That’s a nice interpretation. The colors of the Degree this time are black, white and red.

Gene: And there was a strange statement in the Degree Ritual that said black is an “emblem of sorrow and mourning”, and that “for whom it is worn, you will know at a proper time.”

David: Hmm. That sounds foreboding.

Gene: It does. But it’s always some part of you or some aspect of you.

David: That’s right. So that was the flap of the Degree apron. In the middle of apron, which is red, is a black key inside a green laurel. Again, you could interpret that in the language of heraldry. What does it say to you?

Gene: Well, you get that laurel “and hearty handshake” when you win, so it’s a symbol of victory. And maybe the prize is that black key… and keys open locks. So, something locked that needs opening.

David: Maybe the black cross on the flap?

Gene: What are you thinking?

David: You said that black represented the death of someone or something. Maybe the key unlocks the inner world symbolized by the charged gold cross and its supercharged shield.

Gene: So what do you think the key means?

David: Truth. In the last Degree, we talked about Pallas Athene. She was born from the forehead of Zeus. She’s an idea.

Gene: In this Degree, we’re told to embody that Truth… and if we are able to do that, then we actually deserve the title of “Knight Commander of the Temple”.

David: And I think that’s a great place to end our discussion of the symbols of the Degree. Do you have anything else before we conclude?

Gene: Just one more thing. In the Ritual, there’s a table with five lights in the shape of a cross. They were said to correspond to the five qualities of a true Knight -  humility, temperance, chastity, generosity, and honor. And that “It is only by the constant practice of the (first four), and by a jealous care of your own honor, that of the Chapter, and that of the Order, that you can deserve to wear the sword and spurs of a Knight.”

Conclusions (27:23)

David: Nice. So, this was a very interesting Degree.

Gene: It really was. One of the big things it got me to thinking about was about the purpose and effectiveness of Ritual… I mean, of Ritual in general.

David: What are you thinking there?

Gene: About how, when you participate in a ritual, you keep a separation of reality going. I mean, you know you’re playing a part, but you want it to be real. In this case, you really want the candidate to feel that they’re being made a Knight, because… they are. Right? 

David: Right.

Gene: Otherwise, all of this is just glorified cosplay!

David: So, the more real it seems, the more effective it is at conveying the true meaning of the ritual.

Gene: Exactly. If the people putting on the ritual are ill prepared or not staying in character, it lessens the impact. Even if the Candidate doesn’t see or hear these missteps, they feel it. I mean, it lessens its value to them. And here, I’m speaking from my own personal experience. The more crisp, precise and on-point everything is… and that’s in terms of all five senses, what you see and hear, etc… the more it means to you.

David: Why were you thinking about the Ritual in that way?

Gene: Because there’s some kind of threshold of effectiveness that you have to reach to make something really click… I mean to make it work. If Ritual is done right, something magical can happen. And bringing all that back down to earth, I mean like a baptism that “works” because it actually helps someone make a fundamental change in their life or communion “working” to make you feel fused, or at least infused with divinity.

David: That is magic.

Gene: Your turn brother. What did the Degree make you think about?

David: Well, the main thing for me… and this has been pretty much from the beginning… is to see the Scottish Rite degrees as like the “Grail Quest”. And in this Degree, we finally are supposed to become a Knight.

Gene: What does that mean to you?

David: Well, there were three degrees of Knighthood. At age seven you could become a Page where you get your basic schooling. You learn to fight, ride a horse, and how a future Knight should behave. At around age 15 you could become a Squire and that was basically an assistant to a specific Knight. That’s where you get to see, up close, the life you’re preparing for. 

Gene: And then, if you’re found worthy, you’re made a Knight.

David: Right. With pomp and ceremony, that, as you said, is supposed to have weight.. and it’s supposed to bind you to a “Code of Chivalry”.
Gene: Which brings us back to this Ritual ceremony… and the need to make it magical… so that enables you to transform into a real “Knight of Light”, so to speak.

David: Exactly.

Gene: Anything else for you?

David: One more thing. We noted earlier that the structure of the Ritual was like the story of “Gawain and the Green Knight”.

Gene: Yes. And like the temptations of Buddha… before his enlightenment.

David: Yeah, that’s where I was going with that. The story of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, before his ministry began.

Gene: What are all these stories supposed to tell us?

David: They’re all variations on a story of how a “superman” overcomes the ordinary bonds of the material world and ascends into the sky, metaphorically… sometimes.

Gene: I like your analogy and to go a little “Old Testament” on you for a second… 

David: OK.

Gene: We talked about how Solomon got kryptonized by lust and pride. 

David: Yeah. That’s true.

Gene: And the same for David. His kryptonite was Bethsheba. And it keeps going. Adam and Eve. 

David: There was a quote from the last Degree that we didn’t get to last time. It says - “Adam, whose soul was of the Divine Light.. and his body of matter, so that he belonged to both Empires, that of Light and that of Darkness. To prevent the light from escaping at once, the Demons forbade Adam to eat the fruit of "knowledge of good and evil,"... an Angel of Light induced him to transgress, and gave him the means of victory; but the Demons created Eve, who seduced him into an act of Sensualism, that enfeebled him, and bound him anew in the bonds of matter. This is repeated in the case of every man that lives.”

Gene: Ouch. I’m glad you read that and not me. My wife listens to this podcast.

David: Yeah… come on, stay with me here.

Gene: OK. We all know, we’re just talking about symbols. Adam there symbolizes the Intellect, which you might say reaches up and Eve the body, or the material generally. She's the pull to manifest physically in the here and now.

David: And to bring all that back around, what’s the story of the downfall of King Arthur?

Gene: Lancelot and Geneviere. 

David: It’s all about choosing what you want versus what you’ve promised to do. Honor versus personal desire. And this Degree is about finally coming to terms with that. To make amends where you haven’t lived up to that ideal in the past and to commit to live in the light of a new Truth based on honor.

Gene: That’s a very tall order. 

David: Superhuman even.

Gene: Indeed.

David: So Gene, what are we doing next time?

Gene: In the next episode, we discuss the 28th Degree - Knight of the Sun.

Ritual Context
Degree Ritual
Purpose of the Degree
Morals and Dogma
Religious-Military Orders
The Knight of Light Rises
Degree Apron