As we have seen, the ground plan of K.S.T. presented three rectangular figures, all  of the same width and arranged continuously, so as to form altogether one single rectangle, the dimensions of which were: 70 cubits long by 20 cubits wide. Taking, then, K.S.T. as the prototype of the Freemason's Lodge, this may teach us that while we advance through various Degrees, although these are kept "separate and distinct," they are by no means water - tight compartments, but successive stages of development within the same Temple, or Fraternity.
There are peculiar secrets restricted to each Degree, and these Degrees are conferred on Candidates according to merit and abilities, but the Candidates are the self- same individuals. And so, too, however we may regard the bystanders, as the Lodge closes and opens at each successive Degree our mystic Mansion remains one and the same; there is indexed a change of scenery, but the scheme of initiation is one, the foundation is one, and it does not alter.
The essential unity of the Lodge is obvious from the fact that one Degree leads to the other, the higher supplementing the lower; and if there is confusion of ideas in this, it can only be because the simplest elements in Masonry are overlooked.
 We should observe, however, that the present practice in the Lodge does not always agree with the Masonic tradition. According to the questionnaire used by the W.M. when opening the Lodge, the Principal Officers are at the E., S., and W., and whatever Degree we work in, none of them changes his position; their seats are stationary. But in the traditional history rehearsed in the F.C. Lodge, the J.W. is conceived as standing at the foot of the Winding Staircase; while the S.W. has his appointed station "at the summit," or what the F.C. considers "the summit," of that Staircase.
The effect of this description is that the Lodge becomes a high building with at least two floors, rather than a long gallery, as in the case of K.S.T. But this metaphor is intended to give us a different aspect of the Lodge, supplementary to the former conception. Note how curiously paradoxic is the language used in this connection; we say that "By . . . level steps . . . we hope to ascend to those immortal mansions, etc." Why, it cannot be done; for if we walk on the level, we shall never rise. And what can "square conduct" do to assist our rising? We know it, but it cannot be put into words.
 Again, in the traditions of Third Degree, the Officers are represented as neither on level ground, nor on the Staircase, but in the G., whither they have descended in order to enact a most remarkable drama. They personate, first, the three historic "F.C.'s of that superior degree appointed to preside over the rest," who turned traitors; and subsequently, the "three trusty" ones of whom it is recorded that they performed the task allotted to them by K.S. with the utmost fidelity."
We see, then, that while everything is symbolic, everything, too, is relative, the symbols being mere counters which change cooler, so to speak, and have to be interpreted variously according to the occasion; that is to say, in each successive Degree these symbols are modified and made to stand for something very different from what they signified a little while before.
We say that a Brother is an E.A., a F.C., or a M.M., but these titles serve only to indicate the particular stage that the Mason is in for the time being. The Three Degrees are so many stages of development, three separate but consecutive chapters of a story which embraces the three-fold Mystery of Life, Death, and  Resurrection; and gradually, as the Mason moves forward, things are invested with new significance, until at last the supreme lesson is inculcated with dramatic effect.
The E.A.'s have to deal with the J.W., who subjects them to a certain ordeal before he can allow them to pass; the F.C.'s have to deal with the S.W., who enacts a further trial before he lets them penetrate into the Middle Chamber.
The M.M., however is regarded as a sovereign ruler, priest, and king, responsible only to the Most High, and for this reason the W.M. will now take him in hand.
The E.A. takes his stand by the Pillar B. with his face turned towards the E., and he obtains a view of the N.E. aspect, where he surveys the great panorama of nature illuminated by the physical Sun. Then, when "passed," he identifies himself with the pillar J., where he gets a view of the S.E. part of the Lodge; but now, having not only changed his position but mounted "five steps " of the mystic Ladder, he gets a more comprehensive view of the surrounding landscape, catching a glimpse of the Sacred Symbol within the precincts of the Middle Chamber, for which he has to look up.
 When indoors, in the Lodge, the F.C. does not see either B. or J., but now he finds their counterparts at the N.E. and the S.E. corners, where the Candidates of the first two Degrees are made to stand, that is to say, the material objects yield place to the "two grand parallels" at the extreme points N. and S., which indicate the width of the Lodge, and are supposed to be the diameter of our mystic circle. This circle has a center where, in the M.M.'s Lodge, we shall one day find a G., although the F.C. can as yet see nothing there but the P., and the V. of the S.L., in the upper part of it. It is only as M.M.'s that we reach that center; and when we come to it we find that it gives us a full view of the whole area. The M.M. will now have the right to explore every part of that circle.
It is expected that the Candidate will combine his experiences in his progress through the various Degrees, and therefore, even as a F.C., he is taught to "conjoin" the names of the two Pillars. Indeed, in order to learn the meaning of our Ritual he will have to conjoin many other things.
Accordingly, the perambulations that the Candidates go through are graduated; first,  it is a single one, then two, then three. The first one goes ideally around the Border which belongs to the Initiate; then, around the Pavement, which is a large square; lastly, encompassing the four sides of a rectangle, which is the Abode of Death, in the center of that Pavement. And these three geometric figures are concentric.
The continuity of our Degrees can be shown
by the points indicated in the three Ceremonies. They produce
on the floor of the Lodge the two interlaced triangles known as
the Seal of Solomon. The first of the triangles is formed by B.
and J. at the facade (where the E.A. and the F.C. are supposed
to stand at the first), with the apex at the P., in the E. And
the second is an inverted one, based on the N.E. and the S.E.
parts of the Lodge (where the "two grand parallels"
are said to be), with its extremity in the W., where the S.W.
sits. When at length the newly raised M.M. has been invested,
he goes to the center of this mystic emblem, where our great Luminary
sheds its rays on him. It is there that the Hebrew characters
connected with that sacred symbol should be; he has therefore
come to the Ultimate Reality.
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