I've been studying the Cryptic Degrees in York Rite lately. To set the stage for those who are unfamiliar: Blue Lodge features the story of the loss of the "Ancient Masters Word," while the Royal Arch tells the story of its rediscovery. The Cryptic Degrees, on the other hand, go back to the time before the tragedy of the Master Mason Degree to explain how the WORD was preserved so that it could be later obtained during the events of the Royal Arch Degree.
In the Select Master degree, we witness the deposit of the Word for safekeeping. This takes place in an underground Crypt, hence the name "Cryptic." I had an interesting thought pop into my head while studying this degree. What if we are the WORD, and the deposit of it represents our own deposit, at our death, back into the earth for safekeeping so that we can one day be rediscovered?
To be exalted means to be raised up, or elevated. We are said to be "exalted" to the degree of Royal Arch. Could this be referring to the lifting up of the WORD from the Crypt back to the surface?
This is a line of symbolic interpretation that I have not explored before. I admit it is a little odd, but it might provide powerful fruit if studied out to its completion in the full context of these degrees.
Steps to the Endowment.
3 years ago