Simply, what has transpired so far for this Master Mason is of less importance than the great step he now seeks to take. The preparation, symbolism, ceremony, and indeed the power of this ritual encompasses a whole life-changing experience. The neophyte stands on the threshold of knowledge and a great depth of understanding, as Pike states:
That this knowledge is to be used in the service of all with whom the vows are contracted, needs to be stated. The expectation is not only that Secret
'Woe betide anyone who is striving for a rank and is not worthy of it.' Bearing in mind the secrets, oaths and responsibilities they incur, this warns the candidate that he had better be certain that he possesses the integrity and strength of character to live of up the role of Secret Master. The 'woe betide' may possibly be extended to the penalties, symbolic or otherwise. An individual may aspire to this level as a natural progression, and the Masonic ethos is to assist him in reaching his greatest potential. The final analysis of this warning is 'Do not try to be what you are not, nor to have ideas above your station.' The person considering himself worthy of this position must be of strong character, know his own mind, believe in his abilities and will meet the demands asked of him in the 4th Degree. Pike points out that if the individual has any other goals than to seek the truth and to serve others, then this is the time to stand back. The Threat is an opportunity to take stock.
In the wider sense, outside the Lodge, a person of such ...