Is there an alternative to the memorization?

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by Hasaf, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

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    Sure. Why not. Freemasonry is becoming more progressive every day with one day classes and active recruitment. Why not throw proficiency out the window as well. As long as you "feel" Masonic, that should be fine.

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  2. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    Oh okay- let me answer correctly then.

    No, there isn’t an alternative.
    K, bye.

    I offered encouragement of my own back as while yes many people do struggle with memorisation it is what has to be done.
    It reflects better on the Fraternity to have people offering encouragement in the face of a significant challenge as opposed this nonsense.

    I’ll be sure to ask my boss for a little encouragement today at work though as apparently that’s something people go around asking for.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  3. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

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    Its not about "feeling" masonic and if you had read the post I answerd to you know you are putting words in my mouth wich is rather annoying.

    Im against one day classes to set the record straight.
    In my juristiction a candidate wait between 6-12 months between degrees in the begining

    To me, just memorizing words for the sake of tradition is of lesser worth then a mason being able to explain in his own words what the ritual and symbols mean. With this approach you would also prolong the time between degrees.

    ///Swede who works a diffrent system but still has opinions.
     
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  4. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I agree with this. Although there may be very rare exceptions proficiency can not be simply ignored and done away with.
    I agree with this also. Just parroting back words with no idea of their meaning is useless.
     
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  5. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    Please, stop playing the martyr card, if doesn’t look good on you.
    Telling the OP the truth and then encouraging him would have been better than ignoring his question completely.
     
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  6. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    As was previously stated, your answer is obviously wrong and done in a dismissive manner that is unkind.
    As has been previously pointed out, your encouragement is dismissive of the poster's request and is malpractice. Any prescription without proper diagnosis is malpractice.
    Not the point.
    Yep!
    Yep!
     
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  7. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

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    My answer was more flippant than it should have been. I apologize for the tone, but not the content. Our tradition mandates memorization for a reason that is often overlooked when this discussion comes up. Allowing new members to express the meaning in their own words means we are intentionally injecting errors in the work. If every Brother is required to learn the same words to the point that they are indelibly inscribed in their memory then they have the correct words to hand as they unlock the meaning through study. But too many jurisdictions have adopted lax (or no) proficiency requirement so that our new initiates are playing the Masonic version of the children's game, Telephone, where the intent of the ritual will soon become unrecognizable in a shockingly short period.

    While I absolutely agree with your assertion that rote memorization for the sake of tradition is less than useless, the purpose of memorizing our teachings is meant to become the foundation of a lifetime of study, learning, and growth in Freemasonry. But it seems we have forgotten even why we commit our lessons to memory.
     
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  8. Mark Petro

    Mark Petro Registered User

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    Memorizing the rituals is "brain training". I hope to hold offices in the future, and to do so I will have to memorize ritual and know them from memory. The first section of the E/A was very difficult, the second section was a little easier, and the F/C easier still. Like anything, practice!
     
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  9. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

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    Actully it would depend on how much time you spend on education and how much study material is made avalible and how much time you take between degrees and if he has to actully visit his own degree before he is even considerd for advancing to the next degree.
     
  10. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    I recall our lodge secretary telling me that when he joined and had to memorize ritual he realized that his "brain was mush". He had to work quite hard to get his mind to work properly.

    There is a further benefit that ritual expressions, having been memorized, may re-emerge in the consciousness when we are in a position to understand them.
     
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  11. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Good point Brother!
     
  12. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    100% agree.
     
  13. Hasaf

    Hasaf Registered User

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    I hate to say it, but no. This is even though I say the Lord's prayer every week. If you asked me to recite it without prompts, no I am not able to do that. As I wrote this I tried to go through the Pledge of Allegiance, and no, even though I say it every day, I can not get through it without the prompts.

    As people say these things they are constantly listening and speaking at the same time. The result is that the sections that people miss are typically not the same for each person. This allows the "collective" memory to fill in the gaps, producing, what sounds like, a seamless recitation.

    Short story; I worked in China for several years. A friend of mine was at my apartment studying for her politics class (I had AC, which made my apartment a better place to study). I asked what the section she was poring over was about. She replied, in a quite frustrated manner, "I don't have to know what it is about. I just have to memorize it."

    Certainly, for most people, it is possible to do both. However, I was always impressed by her ability to memorize.

    I want to thank all for the comments and insight. My memorization came up in Lodge at our last meeting. The decision has been made that prompts will be provided in my recitation. With that, we will be holding a special lodge on Saturday (tomorrow) for my promotion to Fellowcraft.
     
  14. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Please keep us informed of your progress Brother.
     
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  15. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
     
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  16. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I’m late to the game here, so if you’re bored, just ignore me. I’m married. I’m use to it.

    I didn’t see it mentioned, but some jurisdictions do have an alternate proficiency.

    Our brother notes techniques used to master knowledge of other areas. Without diminishing the impact of the impairment and recognizing thus wasn’t the question asked, I would make two points in this regard. When you learn the content, the message, it becomes easier to use that as a guide to recall to memory the specific language. Many rituals have patterns: concepts are grouped in three; the number of syllables of words increase and decrease in sequence; the first letters of words may follow a pattern. There are, of course, the usual memorization techniques. I didn’t clearly understand if these had been helpful.

    On the more general topic of memorization of ritual, I have conferred all the symbolic degrees in a mouth to ear jurisdiction, and have also done so in a jurisdiction for which the ritual is written, and proficiency is typically about 11 questions with a deacon in your ear to help you. I’ve seen no difference in memorization impacting on the quality of a mason. Indeed, one of the finest ritualists I have never known is a suspended Mason for having violated his obligation.

    And yes, I have seen proficiency rejected.

    Now, I need to get back to memorizing the installation ritual for Midlands Royal Arch.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
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