The Five Steps
From The Grand Lodge Of Texas
During the Fellow Craft Degree, the candidate ascends the
winding stairs on his symbolic journey to the Middle Chamber of King Solomon's
Temple. In climbing the five steps, he is introduced to the five orders of
architecture and the five human senses. In these symbols, the Mason is reminded
of his pursuit of knowledge, as he is encouraged to develop his moral and
The five orders of architecture are the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and
Composite. The monitorial explanation of these orders provides information
relative to the origin, proportions, and details for each order. In addition,
the Mason learns the Greeks developed the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders
and thus these are called the ancient orders of architecture. The Romans added
the Tuscan and Composite by combining characteristics of the three Greek orders
While this information is of interest, one must consider the purpose of
including this information within the Fellow Craft degree. There must be more to
these symbols than the art of architecture. In this regard, the orders of
architecture can only allude to the fact that buildings are created stone by
stone following some plan. The Mason must develop a plan to enhance his
intellectual and spiritual self, requiring that he enhance his knowledge fact by
fact, his spirituality virtue by virtue. The multiple orders of architecture
imply that there are many ways a Mason may develop his spirituality; yet an
organized plan for self development must be followed, else he will build
aimlessly and not achieve the proper balance in his life symbolized by the
proportions of the various orders of architecture.
The five human senses, hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling, and tasting are
introduced as they relate to our acquisition of knowledge. It is through these
senses that the mind receives its perception of things exterior to ourselves and
thus becomes the storehouse of ideas. Of these five senses, Masonry reveres
hearing, seeing, and feeling, as they are particularly important to our
intellectual development. Hearing allows man to enjoy the pleasures of society
and communicate our thoughts, knowledge and desires to others. Seeing allows us
to explore the universe and perceive the dispositions of others. Feeling
provides man the ability to distinguish different qualities and alludes to the
fact that we learn through experience.
Within the Fellow Craft degree, education and pursuit of knowledge is stressed.
These senses when coupled with our memory, imagination, reasoning, and moral
perception allow the Mason to pursue his intellectual and spiritual development.
Through them the Mason seeks education. With these senses, our mind and spirit,
the Mason acquires knowledge and incorporates that knowledge within his plan for
building his intellectual and spiritual self.
back to top