Although there is no higher degree than that of a Master Mason, the 29 degrees of the Scottish Rite serve to enrich the philosophy of the Symbolic Lodge. A Mason who chooses to further his Masonic experience by becoming a 32° Scottish Rite Mason will be expanding upon the fundamental principles of Freemasonry. The purpose of the Scottish Rite Degrees is to examine different philosophies, ancient religions, and systems of ethics.
“Today is the child of yesterday, and no one can understand the significance of the epochal events that are shaking the world unless he sees them from the vantage point of history. ” – Unknown
Thus the Scottish Rite Degrees review historical values and standards from Ancient Israel, Ancient Egypt, Medieval Europe and even the formation of the United States of America.
The Degrees of the Rite provide insight and teach what great thinkers and civilizations of the past have thought when they have tried to answer certain universal questions.
The Rite provides reference points for self-examination which form the beginnings of a lifelong pattern of study and thought. As Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
The moral truths that prevailed in Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome are just as valid and just as imperative in the 21st century. Here is found the basis of optimism, of faith in the free institutions, and of confidence in a civilization resting on ethical principles.
Scottish Freemasonry is the foe of intolerance, fanaticism, and superstition. It battles every form of racial and sectarian prejudice and bigotry. It is a mighty exponent of freedom in thought, religion, and government. Thus, the Scottish Rite is a rite of instruction. It interprets the symbols and allegories of Masonry in the light of history and philosophy using the words of the supreme prophets of humanity, ceremonies of the great religions of the world, and significant episodes from history to point the moral and adorn the tale.
The individual Mason is taught to put into practice in his personal life and thought the lessons learned in the Blue Lodge.
Socially, the Scottish Rite is Freemasonry Militant, not in the sense of propaganda and agitation, nor by endorsing specific causes or sponsoring particular political movements, but by showing through illustrations from history and human evolution how the Mason may make his influence felt for the principles of free thought, free government, free education, and free religion. The Scottish Rite Mason is the foe of intolerance, bigotry, and ignorance in all their forms.
If this sounds like something for you, you can contact the Valley Secretary who will be happy to put a Scottish Rite Mason in touch with you to provide you with more information and a petition.
*Above material was compiled from several Valley website