Considering that most Masons do not join the Scottish Rite and the Scottish Rite has no jurisdiction over the Blue Lodge what is the relevance of the 33rd Degree?
We do not use that tracing board in my jurisdiction (in actuality, we do not use any tracing boards). The skull and bones is not an emblem in any of our degrees.
Feel free to look that up or contact a lodge near you.
Oh, and we don't eat babies either.
Your question and answer "answers" it. It presupposes that only a few seek it out and, more importantly, use it. An elite of the few.
Again, in your answer you admit that there are some jurisdictions that use them.
What prevents anyone from joining a lodge that uses those symbols?
I also want to say that I don't see any one freemason as evil. I just don't like the idea of anybody tapping into esoteric sources of power and using it for evil. I also want to say that I don't mind the occult. I'm a strong believer and adherent of what could be considered the occult. I just don't like the idea of it being used in a black arts sort of way.
I really do not think you can use it for either good or evil. They are symbols and symbols only have weight or meaning if the individual choses to give them such.
That's actually my point. I believe that the symbols used are powerful and that a select few use them as evil when they could conversely be used as good as you are implying (as no doubt other intelligent conspiracy "theorists" would say).
I believe that the individual can (depending on his or her ability) make them powerful symbols. That's why I misread your statement -- because of that inherent bias.
Do you have specific examples of how they have been used for either? Additionally, what symbols would be used for what purposes?
What ability would this be? Please be specific, this all seems rather vague to me.
I may be asking a very ignorant question but, what are the rituals for?
Another ignorant question. What is the purpose of being a mason? Is it not to be a better person?
If it is to be a better person then that itself can be applied very broadly. It can be to be either a better Darth Vader or a better Ghandi. Would you not admit that a person could use the techniques to be a more disciplined person, throw out the being civic minded, and be a powerful, albeit evil, person?
There have been many Jehovah's Witnesses who use their techniques to become better salesmen.
No. The word 'better' is not meant to be interchanged with the word 'enhanced', it is better as in better to ones self and those around them in the generally applied societal norm for the definition of the word. Darth Vader would not have even gotten a petition, let alone through the degrees and even if he did, the lessons would not be ones that either appealed to him or would have been of any spiritual value.
No offence, but when I think of good salespeople Witnesses are not exactly the first people that come to mind.
The only one that pops out at me is Silvio Burlusconi.
The most evil one I would say is Aleister Crowley; an admitted Satanist. That might be the real one you need to explain.
However, you seem to have made your case. Where do I sign? Here, or there?
Neither, go down to your local lodge and talk to a few people in person and take it from there.
Call me paranoid..maybe I am,but you know I'm right.