The square „teaches us to regulate our lives and actions by the masonic rule and line, and so to correct and harmonize our conduct as to render us acceptable to the Divine Being, from Whom all goodness emanates…“ The compasses „remind us of the Divine Being’s unerring and impartial justice…“
The Masonic method, using that form of knowledge and perception called “Intuitive Knowledge”, should teach not to have constraints and to avoid using only the rational mind in order to pursue a knowledge of things which is an end in itself. In fact, we know that if our mind is conditioned in seeking the Truth, if it is not completely free, it can only increase the information regarding one’s state, in a process of mere accumulation of data that will ultimately strengthen our own conditioning and prejudices. Thus, only a totally free mind has the potential to embark on a journey of initiation.
But let us see when and how the Intuitive Knowledge appears in our ritual, within the exposed progressive initiation teaching. In this short review we will try to show how from the outer physical fact the focus will shift gradually to the inner immortal oneself located behind the mind. The Masonic Ritual is “esoterically” conceived, and for this reason it is veiled by symbols and allegories, and the same images, because of their holism, represent the immediacy of perceptual knowledge and reflect the need of pure, naked, not-crushed-in-words thought.
In the First Degree we are told (in the Exhortation after the Initiation) that the basis of Freemasonry is the practice of every moral and social virtue. So the Degree of Apprentice, characterized by the „Principles of Moral Truth,“ could be defined as the degree of Ethics. The VSL is the infallible guide to truth and justice and regulator of our actions. We are exhorted to behave in an exemplary way in fulfilling civic duties. It is recommended Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude and may Justice guide our actions. (The Cardinal Virtues). We are also invited to Discretion, Loyalty and Obedience (we abstain from discussions on politics and religion).
In the Tracing Board that refers to the Degree in question, we are reminded, symbolically, that Jacob’s Ladder is made of steps or rungs indicating as many moral virtues, and especially the three main ones: Faith, Hope and Charity.
The “Intuitive Knowledge” does not appear in this Degree, in fact it is not even necessary because the intent is to form a good individual either personally and morally or in the social interaction.