One Day Masonic Class/Journey

Discussion in 'Becoming a Freemason' started by Jasko Hodzic, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. phulseapple

    phulseapple Premium Member

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    I offer this up for contemplation. As speculative masons, we use allegory to symbolically use the working tools of the operative stone mason. An operative stone mason was required to spend a certain amount of time as an apprentice and then as a fellow craft working under the direction of a master stone mason. Applying logic, one of the 7 liberal arts and sciences we learn about in the FC lecture, it would make sense that we as speculative masons should also spend a certain amount of time as an apprentice and as a fellow craft. During these time periods, we practice our "trade" under the guidance of a trusted mentor or master and learn the use of the working tools of the corresponding degree. If I recall correctly, the amount of time one spent as an operative apprentice was 7 years and 3 years as a fellow craft. For us as speculative masons, the use of memorization is merely symbolic of the time spent by our ancient operative brethren working side by side with their teacher to learn the proper use of the operative tools of the trade. When done properly, working with our mentors on the memorization of a few lines is the same thing. It teaches us how to appropriately use the operative tools in a speculative manner. 100% perfect rote memorization is immaterial as long as the understanding is there. If a new EA can't recite the entire Q and A word for word it doesn't matter. I would rather he be able to tell me the significance of the common gavel or why he was prepared in the manner he was for his initiation and the significance of the different objects in the lodge room during the initiation. Over time he will naturally commit the mere words of the ritual to memory as he attends the degrees and other meetings. The basic understanding comes from the mentor and the apprentice applies his lessons to I remember working with my mentor, we would go through the piece maybe once in the 2 hours we met each week, the rest of the time was spent discussing the actual material and what it all meant.
     
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  2. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Excellent points. One of the things that I like best about this forum is all of the interacting between brothers with these different points of view.
     
  3. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    I am less concerned about memorization and men being "good ritualists" and more about them laboring in the quarries properly. I think barring a better method, the memory catechisms are a way to symbolically or literally demonstrate that they have performed their labors. I would actually prefer perhaps a tad less catechism and a little more learn the meanings and relate them in your own words kinda thing. By making the initiates internalize the lessons and relate them back colored by their own experiences, I think that does a better job towards our goal than entirely rote memorization. But that's me.
     
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  4. phulseapple

    phulseapple Premium Member

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    My lodge is starting just that. We are requiring all candidates to prepare a short paper on some part of each of the degrees to show they have that understanding. We are becoming an Observant lodge and this is one of the criteria.
     
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  5. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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  6. phulseapple

    phulseapple Premium Member

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    Agreed they are mentioned, but a full understanding of them is not. For example, why is it called a common gavel? Or, what is the significance of the mosaic pavement or the ark and anchor, the beehive, pencil or Skirrit. Memorizing the words is good, memorizing the full meaning and the reasons behind those words and how they can be used and applied to your daily life, that is more important.
     
  7. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    And to add to this, much of the symbolism is multi-layered and has more than just the monitorial meaning that must be sought after.
     
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  8. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Agreed!
     
  9. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    This issue with confronting ODCers is that they are by all intents and purposes, a Master Mason on the level. You have no high ground to belittle them.

    the issue with ODC masons is that they struggle with ritual work. The work that we all go through to memorize between each degree. You hear it repeated over and over as you progress through the fraternity and it becomes a part of you. That is what the ODCer misses.

    So you spend at a minimum of 84 days to MM from initiation.

    A 30 year mason with 84 days of going through the degrees vs a 30 mason with a one day class is negligible. Look at the ratio of time of 1 day vs 84 days as time moves forward.

    A well read ODCer will be just as good as a Well Read MM who went through the degrees.

    The only difference will be the experience. That is the trade off though and something not worth trading in.
     
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  10. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    I approach the question from the perspective that my degrees were MY degrees and I got to experience the lesson first hand as opposed to watching while someone experienced it for me. I will always remember the "feel" of the degrees as I experienced each section. I cherish those memories and I can't imagine how I would feel about the "story" and the lessons if I had observed as an exemplar took my degrees. I'm not saying ODCs are wrong, sometimes situations drive the form. I'm just sharing my personal thoughts and those may not apply to every brother or prospective brother.
     
  11. Morris

    Morris Premium Member

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    Quoting myself here but now I'm back to awaiting a time with patience. I just finished Bro Porter's book on TO lodges and believe I have gained a lot of perspective. Not in a long lost way of doing it sense but from the making each moment that much more special for the candidate sense.
     
  12. Morris

    Morris Premium Member

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    Nm. Apparently I don't know how to edit. J/k
     
  13. Speedbird13

    Speedbird13 Registered User

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    This has been an interesting read. Im from Australia and we do it differently down here. We don't have 1 day courses.
    We are initiated and can't be raised to the third until a minimum of 12 months from the initiation. The lodge can apply for a dispensation from Grand Lodge to raise a candidate earlier but obviously depending on the circumstances.

    Reading this whole thread, and not meeting anyone who has done a 1 day course, it seems absolutely crazy that anyone can go through all 3 degrees and walk out at the end of the day with any proper understanding.

    It seems that afterwards, it will be up to the candidate to learn everything himself which as I have read in here, a lot do not.

    One thing I can see happening is that a new generation of Freemasons are being brought into our fraternity with no understanding, and in the future, we will be conducting rituals which we don't understand. When that happens, the heart of Freemasonry is lost.

    They should make study mandantory after the 1 day course as well as testing to insure that the heart of Freemasonry survives.

    Just my opinion from another country where we do things differently.
     
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  14. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I doubt if anyone does have a "proper understanding" after completing an accelerated class. I doubt anyone has a proper understanding the morning after a degree no matter what the time between degrees. Further, I've not seen that simply waiting between degrees changes the knowledge that is imparted. It is also worthwhile to remember that this is the manner in which the two degrees were originally conferred in Scotland and, yet, the fraternity survived for the next four hundred years. During WWII in some US jurisdictions it was common to waive the time between degrees yet, again, the fraternity did fine. My degrees were a month apart. Was that long enough? Perhaps not, as two decades on and after having served in a majority of the Craft offices I still don't have a complete understanding of the degrees.
     
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  15. Speedbird13

    Speedbird13 Registered User

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    In the ceremony of Raising, I believe one of the charges states "(in regard to the badge of a MM).. It calls upon you to afford assistance and instruction to your bretheren in the inferior degrees."

    A MM who has been in the Craft for a day, can not offer assistance to an EA FC who has been in the Craft for a couple of months, thus they should not be wearing a MM apron for they really ARN'T a MASTER Mason. They technically are an Apprentice as they are new and learning....
    That is the reason why we have Entered Apprentices. They are new and need to learn.

    I just want to finish this off by say I mean NO dispect to any of my Brothers who have gone through the one day course, but I am just giving my thoughts on it as it really has taken me by surprise
     
  16. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I agree: an MM who has been such for only a day cannot offer assistance to an FC. That is because he has only been an MM for a day. The underlying assumption in your view is that the MM didn't learn anything and the FC has. I have not seen that to be the case. Simply going to one or two additional meetings surely adds but a minimum of knowledge. It is not my experience that simply putting in the time is consonant with obtaining knowledge. One of the most knowledgeable Masons regarding the highest degrees whom I know went through the accelerated degrees. He is now a senior officer in an appendant body, a 33 Honorary, and a member of Red Cross of Constantine.

    There is also the issue of what we wish to be communicating: Masonic knowledge or Masonic character. One of the greatest ritualists I've known, a PGM of his jurisdiction and a PGM of DeMolay, is a suspended Mason for violating his ob. Simply putting in the time does not a Mason make.
     
  17. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    And I respect that position. OTOH, I didn't get that much wandering around, unable to see what was being done, disoriented. I have obtained more from the degrees I have observed, and even more from those I conferred.
     
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  18. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Ahh, but not all jurisdictions require this memorization.
     
  19. MasterBulldawg

    MasterBulldawg Registered User

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    No matter if you went through ODC or the more traditional way.... it is about the time and effort you put in to it after being raised. ..I have seen 1 dayers like myself who jump in and are eager to learn and work then I have seen ones take the traditional way and once they are raised you see nothing more of them ...they just become names added to the Lodge rolls.
     
  20. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Good point!
     

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