Mankind has progressed or retrogressed to our current and critical problems. These involve the things with which the Scottish Rite deals—human behavior. For example, how can we contain our population explosion, end the threats of war and nuclear holocausts, forfend against world famine, control the misery of physical disease and environment, improve the lot of our poor in home and purse?
There is also the problem of whether civilization, even with knowledge, will act to save itself. Walter lippmann wrote perceptively that not only is ‘the supreme question before mankind how our culture can save itself from catastrophe, but also that we must do more than find the answers.’ We must also discover how men can ‘make themselves willing to save themselves.’
Truly, ways must be found to motivate men to be not only able, but willing. We must activate the knowledge. Even if there are at hand the physical, biological and behavioral technologies adequate for the purpose, people still must be persuaded to use them. In other words, how do we induce members of our culture to work for survival?”
“The earnest and perceptive Scottish Rite seeker of truth can learn from our degrees, for example, the futility of dependence either upon persons or things, or upon approval or disapproval. Independence leads to self-reliance. The truly self-reliant is not subject to adverse manipulation or undue influence. He is in control of himself and enjoys freedom and dignity. This induces, in turn, more effective moral and modern behavior.”