It is the mission of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, NMJ, to improve its members and enhance the communities in which they live by teaching and emulating the principles of Brotherly Love, Tolerance, Charity, and Truth while actively embracing high social, moral, and spiritual values including fellowship, compassion, and dedication to God, family and country.
What is Scottish Rite Masonry?
The local Scottish Rite organization, called a “Valley”, confers the 4th through 32nd degrees in degree-conferring meetings. The Scottish Rite is sometimes called the “University of Freemasonry” because it uses extensive allegory and drama in its Degrees to explore the philosophy, history, religions, ethics and ultimate truths that guide Freemasons’ lives.
The Scottish Rite shares the belief of all Masonic organizations that there is no higher degree than that of Master Mason. The degrees are in addition to, and in no way “higher” than, those of Blue or Craft Lodge Masonry. Scottish Rite Degrees simply amplify and elaborate on the lessons of the craft, providing further knowledge of Masonry, the building of the Temple and ancient religions with memorable lessons ranging from the days of chivalry to modern times.
The degrees of the Scottish Rite are one-act plays, often staged with costume, scenery, special effects and the full rigging of any production. Their purpose is to examine different philosophies, ancient religions and systems of ethics. Through all of these, people have tried to answer certain universal questions. The degrees of the Rite do not tell a person what he should think about these questions. Instead, they tell him about what great thinkers and civilizations of the past have thought and they try to create a situation in which the candidate or Brother can gain insight. Agreeing with Socrates that the un-examined life is not worth living, the Rite helps with this self-examination by providing reference points.