The 4th through 14th degrees are called Ineffable Degrees because their principal purpose is the investigation and contemplation of the ineffable name of Deity. The degrees amplify the legend of the Master Mason degree, and stories of the biblical era, leading up to the building of King Solomon’s Temple. These degrees are designed to impress more forcefully the teachings of the first three degrees. Each of our degrees takes it theme from one of the many names of God, “God is Love”, “God is Merciful”, “God is Just”. The Lodge of Perfection encourages contemplative Masons to continue the path for Light and the awakening of one’s personal spirituality.
The symbol of the Lodge of Perfection (4º-14º) is gold colored and depicts a compasses, open to sixty degrees, resting upon a graduated segment which bears the Roman numerals III, V, VII, IX. Suspended from the hinge is a radiant five pointed star, and on the summit of the compasses is a crown. The compasses remind us that science, united to honor and virtue, made the architects of the temple the companions of kings; and that the men of intellect and learning, the great kings of thought in all ages, should be, as Plato taught, the rulers of the world.
The Degrees of the Lodge of Perfection
4° – Secret Master
This degree investigates the concept of duty. To a Mason, duty embraces an obligation to take an interest in the problems of his environment, learn the social problems of his community, country, and even the World; and try to contribute solutions to these problems.
5° – Perfect Master
The moral teaching of this degree is that we live in peace with our own conscience and are honored by good people when we perform our duties honestly and diligently. When honesty, diligence, justice, and brotherhood do not exist, freedom and independence are meaningless. Masonry values man as a person.
6° – Confidential Secretary
The principle lesson of this degree is that decisions should not be made only on appearances. To be curious is a good quality when directed toward the examination of social miseries, their reasons, and how they can be eliminated. A Mason should not remain detached from the world around him; he should not be an indifferent person. To keep and restore peace, he must be involved in the events of his world. It is the duty of a Mason to provide that men live in peace and harmony.
7° – Provost and Judge
A law voluntarily accepted by a community should be a kind of lifestyle for the individuals comprising that community, and justice must always be observed. For a law to be considered as being accepted voluntarily, it should have been freely examined, discussed and voted by the people. A man who is not free cannot be considered as being just, and the unjust cannot be considered as being free. Masonry teaches man to avoid evil behavior and to not do injustice to others.
8° – Intendant of the Building
This degree investigates the necessity of acting on what we learn; and that we should freely transmit our knowledge to others. The strength of the Temple depends on both hard work and ownership. When a man attains a title or position based on his own earning of it, he becomes both knowing and free; he is not indebted to anyone, his reward is attained by his own qualities and diligence. Masonry believes that balance and Brotherhood is established and maintained between the two principles of work and charity.
9° – Elu of the Nine
Fear and ignorance are the two major enemies which enslave men. It is important that we do not become slaves of certain ideas; that we have the power to fight against ignorance and intolerance for the sake of civilization and our own intellectual freedom. It is our duty to morally raise our own conscience, to enlighten our souls and minds so that we may actively participate in instructing and enlightening others.
10° – Elu of the Fifteen
Masons will always be opposed to ignorance, fanaticism, and tyranny. While it is our duty to continuously fight against these oppressive forces, we must ourselves be educated, tolerant, and open to freedom of thought. The war against fanaticism and terrorism is won with education and enlightenment.
11° – Elu of the Twelve
This degree emphasizes that life is a school for moral and spiritual training; that the entire lesson is a course in virtue, happiness, and a future existence. As Masons, we are to view ourselves and the entire human race as one great family. We are a champion of the people. Our work is never done, and our examples in life must be such that no man will have cause to repent because he has relied on our resolve, our profession, or our word.
12° – Master Architect
This degree forces the Mason to consider the problems of his social life; that the life we have and the world we live in are what we make them by our own social character, by our ability to adapt to our fellows, our relationships, and our circumstances. It is important that we gain wisdom so that we may add dignity to the human race.
13° – Royal Arch of Solomon
Men must find the truth within the caverns of their own conscience. There is one great arch, or bridge, which makes the passage achievable, and allows us to master our own vices and passions. That bridge is the will of God. By seeking knowledge and moral character and being guided by faith and reason, the Mason will know how to combine science and religion, philosophy and theology; and recognize that these notions do not contradict each other, but form a harmonious whole.
14° – Perfect Elu
This degree is considered the Degree of Perfection and is the most mysterious of all. In it, the Mason finds the meaning of the concept of Deity in his own conscience, and thus opens for himself the gate to true knowledge. Knowledge has two sources. One is human and is obtained by intelligence and labor. The other is divine and revealed only to those who have prepared themselves well. Until these two sources are united, one cannot be perfect. But to the Mason who truly becomes a Perfect Elu, he will recognize no frontiers in this life.