One Day Classes

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Blake Bowden, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. js4253

    js4253 Premium Member Premium Member

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    I agree. The Brothers who have the desire, whether they spent one day or seven years to become a Master Mason, will stick with the learning process and excel.
     
  2. nick1368

    nick1368 Registered User

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    Not a big fan either
     
  3. Robert Marshall

    Robert Marshall Secretary, Waco 92 Premium Member

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    This is more than acceptable. Several have mentioned that the one day thing should be permissible to those with special circumstances. A soldier should certainly be allowed to, with the intent of learning the work when he can. I fully back this, but I don't like the idea of someone "all the way, in one day" just because they didn't want to do the memory work. It's such a meaningful part of Masonry. On this, we rear our future moral and masonic edifice.
     
  4. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Does that mean I'm not a legit SR or YR Mason? Most of my SR experience was like a blur as everything happened so fast and many of the degrees were communicated via power point.

    Do we learn more from our initiation and proficiencies, or the light that we receive once we become active Masons?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  5. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    you took the proficiency, didn't you?
     
  6. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Nah, I skipped all of it :8:
     
  7. Smokey613

    Smokey613 Registered User

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    Same here. I really enjoyed the Scottish Rite degrees I experienced but to be honest, my travels through all the degrees and orders in the York Rite were more memorable. It took me almost a year to complete them all.
     
  8. js4253

    js4253 Premium Member Premium Member

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    Sorry Blake!
     
  9. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    For those who don't know, the Austin Valley is trying to exemplify one degree every month. Which means in two years, anyone who attends regularly will have seen all the degrees.

    Tonight is the 11th degree.

    Also, going through the Master Craftsman program has helped significantly in retention because you go through the details of each degree. I haven't been able to find the same level of introspection on the blue degrees, except in independent readings.
     
  10. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

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    I am going to play devil's advocate, first those that think that men who have gone through one day classes are less of a Mason, or not really one at all is false. Bro Chris Hodapp Masonic author and founding member of the Masonic Journal is a product of one day classes, that happened because the lodge he joined was dying and was only able to properly perform the EA, they couldn't get anyone to come out an help for the other two degrees so he went to a one day class to get the FC and MM.

    Also, history has shown that Masonry has done one day classes, Joseph Smith founder of the Church of Ladder Day Saints was made a "Mason at sight" and was given all three degrees in 48 hours, so the concept of one day classes isn't by any means a "new" idea.

    I see them as being a tool to potentially help lodges that can't support themselves in the work, I know we have "degree teams" but those are usually centered around urban areas, and not so much in the rural towns. They also could help for men that are deploying, as of right now you can only surpass the EA question and answers, but not FC or MM. The Grand Master usually won't wave that as being a member of a lodge with a high number of military men, we usually have to deal with this situation once or twice a year.

    That being said I do think that one day classes do cheapen the experience for the candidate as opposed to going through the degrees, and that they are a quick way for the Shrine to get men into their organization (which is a completely different subject). If they are offered once a year and are for only special circumstances, than I don't see them as beginning of the end of Freemasonry.

    -Bro Vick
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Registered User

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    I disagree with one-day classes for everyone, and honestly, I do think that includes SR and YR. I think the question is what is a man supposed to get out of Freemasonry. What does it give him? The two sides of the coin, IMHO, are inculcation in him of a particular system of ethics and guidance in living his life by them, and fellowship with men who follow the same path as he.

    The first purpose is bound up in the ritual. As is so often quoted, Masonry is a system of ethics taught through symbols veiled in allegory (or something like that). We inculcate in ourselves the morals of Masonry when we receive the degrees, when we confer the degrees, and when we learn and teach the memory work. The second is bound up within the time spent with the Brothers, usually over pre-meeting meals.

    It is often said that the symbolism and allegory of Masonry is so rich and deep that a man could spend a lifetime searching it and never exhaust it possibilities or its teaching potential. If that is so, how could we ever expect a man to absorb all there is to absorb in just the outer coat of the three degrees when he has all three of them thrust upon him in one day? As someone pointed out, Scottish Rite presents even more information in one day, and York Rite even more. No, it doesn't make you not legitimately a Master Mason, a 32 degree Mason, or Sir Knight, but it takes half the purpose of each of those bodies, the inculcation of certain moral lessons, and attempts to fulfill it in 24 hours. Anyone here fancy taking a full calculus course in a week?

    Now let me ask a heretical question: What is so special about being a Mason? The practice of our Craft, the way it is currently done, is really quite boring. Don't get me wrong, becoming a Mason was one of the best things I ever did, and the day I was raised will forever be a highlight of my life. But the stated meetings, the business, the administration of our lodges and charities...it's not exactly a barrel of monkeys. The reason that we do it, though, the reason that it's so important to be involved in how the lodge is run, is that keeping the lodge open means that the degrees in Masonry will continue to be available to good men in your community. IMHO, the administration of the lodge is subservient to the degrees.

    In regards to a soldier being a Mason, what does he even get out of it? A Masonic funeral if killed in action? What is so special about *being* a Master Mason that a man should prefer it over the profound and life-changing process of *becoming* a Master Mason? I see no reason that being a Mason is so critical a life-goal that a soldier should be allowed to dispense with the regular workings of the Craft to ensure that when he deploys to a hostile environment he is a Mason upon arrival. Freemasonry neither gives you protection in battle, a stronger camaraderie with your fellow soldiers (what bond could surpass that shared amongst men who have faced death together?), nor promise of a better afterlife should you die in war. The only advantage I could see is the ability to attend lodge if there are travelling lodges active in the armed forces. However, if that is the case, I see no reason to deny those lodges the honor of raising their brother-in-arms themselves, and certainly that means that he will have brothers available to him to teach him his memory work, though I can't imagine you really have time for that during an active duty deployment.

    If all a man is looking for is the opportunity to fellowship with good men and give to charity, there are many places and organizations for him. But Masonry, unlike all of those other organizations has another part to it, and that's the reason it has survived all these long years when other fraternities have withered with the passing of the age of fraternalism and the coming of the age of television and the Wii. That part is only found in the conferral of the three degrees in Masonry and the learning of the memory work.

    As for the appendant bodies, I recently petitioned my local York rite bodies. I chose the York Rite specifically because I did not want any "festival" degrees. In fact, I spoke with someone and made certain that I would be able to receive the York Rite degrees in the traditional manner if my petition was approved.

    My not-nearly-as-humble-as-it-probably-ought-to-be, stuck-in-my-ways-traditionalist-at-23-years-old opinion...
     
  12. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

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    <i>In regards to a soldier being a Mason, what does he even get out of it?</i>

    I don't know if your intent was, but I don’t appreciate your tone. I am assuming from what you wrote here that you have never served, but the reason that men who are going through the progression of the degrees sometime have to be accelerated due to deployment is because they may die in harms way. The brother would like to experience the rights, lights and privileges before he deploys to enable him the same enlightment that you had. While chances are good that the brother would return, the looming fact of death hangs over his head. This makes the Master Masons degree much more powerful to him when he experiences it. It has nothing to do with the afterlife, protection in battle or the other "reasons" you mentioned. If you are raised in a Texas A.F. & A.M. lodge chances are very slim that you would ever sit in lodge in a deployed environment because charters aren't being issued at this time by grand jurisdictions recognized by the GLoTX, if you are raised in Prince Hall, then chances are you will have that opportunity.

    I know this response seems "short" but your glib attitude about men in deployed situations seems that you really didn't think your response through, or understand their mindset or sacrifices they endure. I would encourage you to discuss this with brothers who have deployed to better educate yourself on the matter.

    -Bro Vick
     
  13. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I have not posted in some time on here but I have been hanging back and reading. Brother Christopher, we as a lodge felt that the Brother that is serving his country and his fellow man has learned much of what is taught. Yes there are the exceptions to the rule. You call yourself a traditionalist and at one time I felt the same way about EVERYONE must know the memory work but now being a Mason for over 2 years and probably have dealt with 10 years of issues in my Lodge I feel my thoughts on this have changed just as yours may one day.

    The memory work is fairly recent. Back in the 1920's none of that was mandatory and in foreign jurisdictions, even outside of Texas, they have gotten out of the habit of mandatory memory work. If a Lodge mandates itself to bring in ONLY those worthy then what does it matter how well he can remember. I have members that have tried until they were blue in the face to remember the work but just could not retain it. However they have a place in my lodge because we have placed them in a position that is their strong point. I don't think they will ever be in a chair but not every swinging Richard should.

    I guess my question is how far of a traditionalist are you? If you want to get to the meat and potatoes of Masonry who better deserving of being raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason that a man that is putting his life on the line for TOTAL strangers? I know I have never done any act of Brotherly Love that could even compare to this. Remember also, it is not a given that dispensation will be granted. The Lodge must first request it. Remember we all choose a path in this fraternity and someone else’s may not be the same but that doesn't make it the wrong path, it makes it our path.

    I hope this helps give you insight as to why I asked for dispensation for the Brother in Iraq.
     
  14. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    Josh,
    Thanks for the explanation of why, I've been mulling it over for a while and it's good to see a masonic reason attached.

    Bro Vick,
    I think Christopher's question was a fair one. Outside of masonry, what other things do people do before being deployed? Other memberships? The way its talked about is almost like a baptism. And yes, for those who have never deployed with a group of men, we don't know. Likewise, I imagine soldiers who don't have family or friends who were freemasons might care less.

    Most of the reasons I've heard have to do with prior family being masons, and "always meaning to do it." Which is fine for them, but there should be internal masonic reasons for admitting men as well. I come from a multigenerational military family and I don't know a single one who would want to be made a mason before deploying - and believe most would avoid it.

    I think for those who aren't soldiers, a lot needs to be explained and verbalized in various situations. And probably vice versa.

    "If you are raised in a Texas A.F. & A.M. lodge chances are very slim that you would ever sit in lodge in a deployed environment because charters aren't being issued at this time by grand jurisdictions recognized by the GLoTX, if you are raised in Prince Hall, then chances are you will have that opportunity."

    Another reason for visitation ;-} We've had men deployed again and again from Texas for almost a decade now in these recent wars. Men in 41 (?) other states can sit in lodge together over there.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Registered User

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    Brother Vick, my father is a former Marine who served in Vietnam; my grandfather was in the Navy and served in World War II. Almost all of my close friends are prior service, including combat in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I have no illusions about deployed life. Our difference of opinion isn't because I don't think men die in war. I wasn't trying to be either rude, offensive, glib, or minimizing, and I'm sorry if it came across that way. I'd appreciate the benefit of the doubt from a Brother.

    Brother Josh, thank you for your response. One of the reasons for my post is so many people talk about special dispensations for deploying soldiers like it's a complete given, part of the way the world works. I've never heard anyone give a reason why they requested it. I see your point about the memory work not being "ancient", but at the same time, the time between the degrees was greater, I believe. Current GLoTX law states that 14 days is the minimum time between degrees, if I'm not mistaken. In many jurisdictions in the world, however, I think 6 months to a year is customary. If we go back even further, an operative mason was expected to be a Fellowcraft most of his life. Even with proficiency in the memory work being requisite for advancement to the degree of Master Mason, I don't think I'm far off to say that men now spend less time as Fellowcrafts than as any other degree. So the point isn't really about the memory work, so much as it's about allowing men sufficient time to savor the lessons of one degree before giving them the lessons of the next one. Obviously the world's not ideal, and I understand some understand some people wanting special dispensations. Maybe this is just my bias towards what I love most in Masonry. I don't have any problem with other Brothers not seeing it my way, and maybe I will feel differently in 10 years. But I still think my opinion's valid.

    As for a deploying soldier already showing the virtues of a Master Mason, I see your point. But I would ask, if our job is to take good men and make them great men (paraphrasing the usual slogan), what do we expect to teach a great man?
     
  16. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    I honestly keep thinking of the first working tool in this regard.
     
  17. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    My question is and has been when this has come up in my lodges... why havent they petitioned before if Masonry is that important to them? Especially if they are older than say 23. Its not an automatic exclusion just a question that goes to WHY they want to be a Mason now. Bro Rich brought up an excellent point. There is no lodge overseas recognized by the GLoTX they can attend. Ive seen 6 of these type initiations in the last few years but have yet to see someone that got the one day come back and do their work...

    and before someone asks, yes I was in the military, for 21 years.
     
  18. Raven

    Raven Registered User

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    I do not agree with 1 day clases for making a master mason.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
  19. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    This is a quote from a guy that in RIGHT now in Iraq about 6 hours north of Baghdad. This is SSG_Morrison on this website. He is able to communicate with us every single day. Yeah there may not be a Lodge in Iraq but there are MANY Brothers and this Brother is now surrounded by family. So, you now see why we are not so quick to rule out a Brother serving. If we did not give him this oppurtunity his uncle may have never been given the the chance to do what he did. Guys we can't get caught up in the logistics of Masonry but the lessons that are important and that isn't decided by a text on a dues card.
     
  20. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    I don't think the questions was of ruling out soldiers. It was more of the question of special exceptions (at least for those not deployed around the same time they come of age).
     

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