On this Friday the 13th let us remember...
The Knights Templar - Protectors of the travelers upon the road.
The Knights Templar were truly men for all seasons, fine warriors, defenders of truth, wise statesmen, cutting edge financiers, students of art and literature, healers, cartographers, navigators, survivalists, and (not JUST) religious men.
I submit to you that there is a condition far beyond religiosity, no matter it's stripe, a condition of wisdom and knowledge of "the ancient mysteries." The work of attaining which takes years of study and practice. In the vein of Platonic Philosopher Kings, in the mold of King Solomon, in the spirit of Jesus, trained in a manner of the Alexandrian tradition.
There is knowledge, wisdom, that makes a man much more than a man, and it was this knowledge that set them apart and made them excellent in all their other endeavors.
As financiers, the Knights Templar invented paper money, or coin vented it. They had castles in all lands, and when one king sought to borrow from another king, gold would flow into the castle in the lenders realm, then a rider would emerge on horseback with a note, ride to the castle in the borrowers realm, and out came gold. Paper money.
They achieved great mastery of the mysteries, and it was to this fact they attributed their special nature.
But the little men of lesser minds saw only their gold, and learned not of that which made the Templar wealthy. So it has been, many times and will be many times again, that on Friday the13th in 1307 the Templar leader was arrested by King Philip of France on trumped up charges. Under the allowance of the pope, a pope who feared the men who were priests unto themselves, the Templar leader Jacque De Molay and many others were rounded up.
The charges? Foremost among them were that the Templar were Johanists who put John the Baptist on par with Jesus. (And why would that be? Hummmmm.) The Templar, it was said, had John the Baptists head...on a silver platter. And from that comes the saying.
Jacque De Molay and the Templar were tortured to confess, and what happened? They were tortured to death. King Phillip lacked the skills and knowledge that were the root of Templar success, and so it was difficult for him to materialize worldly things, gold foremost among them. King Phillip wanted gold, and believed it was gold that he got, and so it was, but what he put to death? What he put to death was the wisdom that would have lead him to need not to take from others to prosper. That secret, hidden wisdom that fully includes religion, but is so much more.
And 469 years later, a nation was born out of these ideals, it was born to those who could only be found to poor to uphold them. It was born in a new land, it was born...of 13 parts.
And it has stood since then, it has become the greatest nation known to men.
And so, my friends, suppose you sought in this age a place in your community where you might find men of similar mind and intention as these great Templar. Where would you look to find them?
When you figure it out, find them, and ask one to be one.
To my great fraternal forebearers, I give you my salute.
Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction