In the Lodge of Perfection (4th-14th degrees), the Mason consecrates himself to the Masonic endeavor – character building. These are commonly referred to as the Ineffable Degrees. In the eleven lessons, the candidate will observe many references, scenes and characters which recall and amplify the three symbolic degrees. He is taught to venerate the virtues of the dead and emulate those of the living; to respect the rights of others, to strive to render service to his fellow man, to refrain from assuming prerogatives and powers that are not his, to be not overzealous in a good cause, to reverence Diety, avoiding disrespect, and to control his tongue by maintaining in his mind purity of thought. He is taught Perfection is but one of the fundamentals of character. The other two are Self-respect and Integrity. These lessons learned and applied to life are absolutely essential to a complete character structure.
The Council of Princess of Jerusalem confers the 15° and 16°. The lessons in the 15th and 16th degrees are from these elements of the historical drama which transpired during the reigns of the Great Kings, Cyrus and Darius. The 15th degree, Knight of the East and the 16th degree, Prince of Jerusalem are often referred to as historical degrees in Scottish Rite Freemasonry and constitute an allegorical narrative presenting the story of a captive people who “wept beside the rivers of Babylon” when liberated they were consecrated to the task of building the second Temple or rather rebuilding the Temple of Solomon. The entire pageantry and symbolism of Freemasonry revolves around the construction of the four Temples of Yahweh, by a brotherhood dedicated to the erection of a perfect edifice at Jerusalem and later building a Temple in the hearts of men. Contrasted the hauteur of imperious monarchs, is the humility of the little group of those born to bondage pleading for the redress of an ancient wrong.
The Chapter of Rose Croix confers the 17° and the 18°, and is the spiritual heart of the Scottish Rite. These degrees teach that the only lasting Temple is in the soul of man. The 17th degree, Knight of the East and West and the 18th degree Knight of Rose Croix of H.R.D.M., known as the Philosophical and Doctoral Degrees of the Scottish Rite are conferred in a Chapter of Rose Croix. They open a new development of Masonic teaching and are a distinct departure and advance from the symbolism of the Symbolic Lodge and of the preceding Scottish Rite degrees. These deal with the teaching of Jesus; as Teacher, Prophet and Martyr. Whatever your religious faith, you are encouraged to ponder the philosophy and teachings of the Nazarene, especially the doctrine of fraternal love and service toward all mankind. You will learn how the three cardinal virtues of Freemasonry, Faith, Hope and Charity were so beautifully illustrated in the life of Christ. These lessons give spiritual underpinning to the central Masonic concept of “The Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God.” The Rose Croix Degrees are the spiritual center and among the most important in the whole body of Freemasonry