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posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 07:39 PM
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reply to post by 123143
 


Pro-mason? LOL? Have you READ some of these threads? We've been accused of everything from controlling the world, to gay orgies, to sacrificing goats on altars...and back.




posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 08:43 PM
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reply to post by Masonic Light
 


Don't you feel that it's a pretty shoddy practice to pass anyone along in degrees so quickly instead of spending the time and effort to get the meaning of each degree.

If I ever join i wouldn't want to get passed along so quickly. How do they justify that. I have seen the script for the riruals and they are pretty lengthy. I realy can't see how anybody gets the value of them that way.



posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 09:12 PM
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reply to post by lazy1981
 


That is a very good point, I do feel that some of the degree work is not 'paced' enough so to speak. It is a sad product of our times and indicative of the society in which we live, not many have the time or ability to devote as they once did.

I would like to add that I often give the three Masonic lectures in lodge and I feel it really is more for the benefit of the brethern then the candidates as the act of participating in the degrees can be overwhelming in and of itself. We encourage all candidates to discuss the lecture that was bestowed upon them and to seek more 'light' from it. Even though I can repeat it in my sleep I always seem to take something different from it every time I hear someone else deliver it. I fell all Masons who aspire to reach some sort of true understanding of the ritual will approach it with a mentality that it is a constantly evolving monolouge. Just as we age and become more wise (hopefully) so should the lecture continue to impart more knowledge as we further our contemplation of it.



posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 09:17 PM
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Originally posted by 123143
So, the latest Mason thread disappeared, which means there is a bias here. ATS is pro-Mason, at the least. It's a shame because anything really should be fair game in this forum. It is labelled Secret Societies. What the Masons do behind closed doors is secret and it's a society.

What's up with the dead thread?


Which thread are you talking about? Sometimes threads die just because they go so far off topic (Which Masonic threads almost always do) that the mods will trash it if it gets way out of control.

ATS is kind to Masons in that they let us speak.. being a Conspiracy site it is a place to post some of the more outlandish ideas that are out there.. however it could only be fair to allow people from the organization to defend it. To say it more straightforward ATS holds all posters to the highest standards on the net, you can post a theory you have but we the members demand the upmost credibility and research. Not just a place for teens to come and throw ideas out there and allow the site to degenerate to the rest of the online forums.

Masons defend their organization and those who despise us try theory after theory. Some very interesting, some plain stupid, some incite useful and insightful conversation, others nothing more then a slugfest.

This is seen on more then just this forum of the site, if you go into the 9/11 forums you will see the same thing, a place for theories but ALSO a place for truth, same for the alien threads and so forth. If only one side was represented, well that would be a horrible thing, would it not? So no, ATS does not favor Masons, nor do they promote Masonry. Masons are held to the same standards as everyone else.

lazy1981



Don't you feel that it's a pretty shoddy practice to pass anyone along in degrees so quickly instead of spending the time and effort to get the meaning of each degree.


Congrats Lazy you touched one of the hottest topics among Masons. "one dayers" or "ring Masons" as they are called where I am from.

Many Masons believe it should be kept very traditional and that ALL members should partake in the ritual the old fashion way, one man at a time and a lot of memorization. That is how I went through, and I believe many others on ATS as well.

And while I do not speak for any other Mason on the site, because I do not know their stance it can be easily divided into those who support one day type initiations and the traditional manor.

I am very much against the one day system, done in large groups and quite often you will never see those men again. However one day classes present opportunities to men who others wise could not be Masons because of work or life problems, I have heard of some Brothers who went one day because they literally could not memorize the speeches (I grudgingly accept such an excuse).

There is a big problem in Masonry however.. by allowing one day Masons and implementing this "easy way in" we attract more men to join, by doing so they pay their dues which allows the lodge to remain open, which those who actually attend benefit. It can hurt your pride in the organization to see it going to such levels though.. and the problem will, imo, accelerate very fast when the baby boomers begin dieing off. I do see more and more really young Masons around my age, I still think we could do a better job at presenting our self in universities and other areas where young educated men congregate. I have a few plans but no one seems to have the heart to actually do anything about it.

But still, even with one day classes which, at least in my state, constitute the largest portion of new members, we still have a negative membership growth rate by nearly 2000 men. Sad numbers.



If I ever join i wouldn't want to get passed along so quickly.


You have a choice, and some lodges will promote one way over the other. My lodge promotes one day classes, which I refuse to attend, and I know of a few others as well. And then after lodge we can all get into a big argument over it and leave angry.
The last time there was a one day class I said I would never see those men again. Er, well I met one when I went into the Scottish rite but that was the last time I saw him then lol.

But it would still be your choice.



How do they justify that.


As stated before it is justified simply by the increased income and the increased numbers on the roster. Now, I may give you a negative view of one day classes and this speed process, some very good Masons come from one day classes who participate in lodge and the charity events we do.



I have seen the script for the riruals and they are pretty lengthy. I realy can't see how anybody gets the value of them that way.


Again, speaking in my opinion, I believe someone who is paying attention can obviously discern the same meaning as someone who goes the traditional way. The ritual is the most important part of Masonry, without it Masonry is nothing. The thing that one day classers do NOT get from the class that a traditional initiation gets is the entire lodge focusing on YOU, that is what bonds many Brothers.

Every one remembers their initiation and their passing and their raising, to sit on the side lines with a bunch of people and see it acted out in front of you instead of actually being there, well you just cannot get the same "feeling" so to speak. And honestly maybe that is why so many do not participate in Masonry after the fact, they have no connection. Going through the process and the rituals them selves, especially if you ask for help on your returning work, you build friendships and connections within the lodge, friends you can return the next meeting and easily start a conversation with.

Of course I stress this is my opinion, not the opinion of all Masons, some may share my views and some are the complete opposite.

Hope that answered some of your questions.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 07:47 AM
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Originally posted by lazy1981

Don't you feel that it's a pretty shoddy practice to pass anyone along in degrees so quickly instead of spending the time and effort to get the meaning of each degree.


On one hand, yes. In my jurisdiction, there is a minimum waiting period of 28 days between degrees for the Blue Lodge degrees. After receiving a degree, the Candidate is assigned a coach to review and teach the degree.

However, there have never been any required waiting periods for the degrees of the Scottish and York Rites.

In the Scottish Rite, there are 5 "mandatory" degrees that must be conferred in full ceremonial form. These are the 4°, 14°, 18°, 30°, and 32°. Staging the other degrees is optional with the individual Scottish Rite Temples. If they are not staged, a brief lecture is read explaining them, and the Candidates receive receive that degree by proclamation instead of by ceremonial initiation. They may then study the printed materials on the degree.


If I ever join i wouldn't want to get passed along so quickly. How do they justify that. I have seen the script for the riruals and they are pretty lengthy. I realy can't see how anybody gets the value of them that way.


They probably couldn't, unluess they were a lot brighter than me. After receiving the degrees in the Scottish Rite, the Candidate is given and recommended reading materials that will enhance his knowledge and understanding of the degrees. These include "A Bridge To Light" by Dr. Rex Hutchens, "Clausen's Commentaries On Morals and Dogma" by Henry C. Clausen, and "Morals and Dogma", "Legenda of the Scottish Rite", and "Liturgy of the Scottish Rite" all by Albert Pike. Studying these books will give the Mason (as well as the non-Mason) an in depth review of the Scottish Rite degrees and their teachings.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 08:33 AM
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Right now i am teaching the degree to 3 new candidates(one dropped out ). Every one i have met so far has been very polite and kind and very interested in masonic tradition.

I will be giving the exam soon to these three --I'm kind of nervous because i really never studied the question's...



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 08:40 AM
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I am of the opinion (and this is only my opinion) that one day classes should be done away with for all states. Thankfully my state does not do them and I and all the other masons raised in my state did it the "traditional" way. I think people value something more when they have to work for it. At the same time I acknowledge that not everyone is good at memorizing text to repeat back in front of the lodge - me being one of them. I really believe the state should make the requirements to show proficiency in the degrees more flexible: for example, I believe having to write and present a paper before the lodge shows MUCH more proficiency in the degree, even if I don't memorize the whole thing. There are some lodges who are doing this if I remember correctly, but not really in my state...



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 09:07 AM
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reply to post by LightinDarkness
 


Remember you will not print paste nor engrave them upon anything etc..etc--there is a reason for the memorization of this practice.it is at the very core of masonic tradition...



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 09:14 AM
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The Grand Lodge of Florida s doing away with the one day classes which I think is great. I've met one to many brothers that just want to say they are Masons and not put in the work to obtain the degrees. And these are the ones that don't contribute anything to the craft. It's a lot of work to do it the traditional way, but I think it's well worth the time and effort. You only get out of Masonry what you put in to it.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 09:21 AM
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Originally posted by airtrax007
Remember you will not print paste nor engrave them upon anything etc..etc--there is a reason for the memorization of this practice.it is at the very core of masonic tradition...


That doesn't mean you can't write and present a paper on the ideas/philosophies/symbolisms that are presented in the degrees, it just means we are not allowed to write anything that is deemed "secret."

I think the practice of writing/presenting a paper as part of proficiency is a great idea and I wish more lodges would do it.

At least that way the lodge would get an idea of if the candidate understood what he went through or not. It was easy to memorize the catechism, but understanding it is a different thing.




[edit on 12/4/07 by The Axeman]



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 10:47 AM
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reply to post by LightinDarkness
 




I think people value something more when they have to work for it. At the same time I acknowledge that not everyone is good at memorizing text to repeat back in front of the lodge




Exactly my view point as well. I think sometimes though some people think to much of the work they have to give back. It appears that it has to be 100% correct but the lodge helps brothers who miss a line or two or loose their place. I have never heard of someone turned away for trying, unless they absolutely couldn't do it and had to be reminded every line.

I like the idea of writing a paper or thesis of sorts on the symbolism etc, I have not heard of that before, it is to my knowledge not practiced in my state.

By the way, if you don't mind my asking, which state are you from?

tribe30

IMo, It is great to see Florida do away with these classes, I am sad to say my state (ohio) will probably never get rid of them, its our main way of initiation now.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 11:51 AM
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reply to post by airtrax007
 


The reality is that - depending on your state, of course - all of the ritual and memorization work is now written down and sanctified by the grand lodge (I'm not referring to the various "exposures"). Masonry has many opportunities for many men, and it does not always include performing memorized ritual - after all, lodges do more than ritual and often the ritual itself does include non-speaking parts for those who find value in things other than rope memorization.

I would challenge anyone to prove to me how rope memorization of ritual actually educates the mason more than doing a philosophical paper about the symbolism or meaning of the degree and presenting it to the lodge. Memorization requires comparatively little work, in my opinion - although I do not bash those who enjoy it and they are indeed a critical component of masonry and we cannot do what we do without them. However, in my mind, proficiency should include more than just repeating back ritual - for those who choose to take the option.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 12:00 PM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 


I agree completely. I have also never seen anyone turned away, although I unfortunately have witnessed some candidates who miss MUCH of the memory work and still get passed. I am from North Carolina - and while I don't know of any lodges here who actually require a paper on the degrees, it is something I have heard happening in things like the mainstream traditional observance movement and also in some of the "clandestine" co-mason lodges.

In my opinion masons - like the rest of humanity - excel in some things and not so much in others. Requiring rope memorization for someone who is not skilled in that area but is skilled in applying philosophy and and symbolism seems to be a waste. The only "required" memorization should be signs, grips, and words. If the candidate wants to memorize the whole thing - great! If they prefer to memorize the minimum and write and present a paper before the lodge - thats great too. If they aren't good at presenting - then let's write two papers, and submit them to a masonic publication. All of these things, to me, show them to be proficient in their degree.

[edit on 4-12-2007 by LightinDarkness]



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 10:11 PM
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reply to post by AugustusMasonicus
 


As I said before I am not a Mason but at the risk of sounding cliche' if it's worth doing at all it's worth doing well. That's how I feel about the matter.

At this point that is the only reason why I have yet to petition for membership. I realy don't want to join and do some "mass initiation" I feel that it would cheapen the experience of it all, not to mention that I don't think a person can get the full benefit of the teachings this way.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 10:50 PM
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reply to post by Rockpuck
 


I hope that each initiate has a choice in the matter. If they only offer me an initiation by group I can't say that I will be very interested in going ahead with the rituals.

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only person that views this as a commercialization of something that is meant to inspire honor and moral thought in men. Most of the reason that I want to join is because I enjoy a challenge. Believe me, memorization is not one of my best attributes. But that doesn't mean that people should take the easy way out. For example I'm horrible when it comes to spelling (bad memorization skills for things like that) but I don't let that stop me from things like this forum. I use a dictionary if I'm unsure.

I think those initiates that you spoke of who took the easy way in don't realy care to put in the time and effort that it takes to do things the correct way. I'm a stickler for tradition in many ways.

When I first read the rituals and cerimonies I just wanted to know what others didn't. To tell the truth I bought into many of the conspiracies that float around Masonry. But upon reading the text of the degrees (some parts omited) it helped me to throw off my preconceptions. This was many years ago and I have forgotten most of it.

I'm getting off track here so in short I think that new members shouldn't take the easy way, it shows that they only want to be Masons by title and not in actions.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 11:26 PM
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reply to post by Masonic Light
 


First I want to apologize for posting so many times. I don't know how to reply to all of you guys in one post and I don't like to make people feel as if I'm ignoring them.

I do see how a person can take away valuable lessons in this manner yet I still feel that they (nor I) could come away with a proper understanding. In my experience I have seen that in all things are two levels that one learns. Wheather in religion or in Masonic teachings and things of like nature. There is lesson that is learned in a general sense and then there is a lesson that only "you" can take from a teaching.

I am a Christian man and I do not read the Bible as often as I should but when I do I read what is on the page and I usually come away with the obvious lesson from a passage as well as one that can only be taught or revealed by realy meditating on that teaching. It is only then that GOD reveals his teachings to you. And the same is also true about Masonry.

What I learned in my personal quest in Masonic ritual was mostly by sybolism and by spending time actually trying to see beyond what was merely written. Anyone can read words in plain text but you have to see what is not on the surface. I hope that I'm making sense because it is a bit difficult to explain. Some truths are embedded deep within text or our own mind or spirit and it takes that sort of study to loose them into a conscious understanding. I wouldn't want to do it any other way.

By the way I have a suggestion that you may want to pass on for your lodge to recommend as material for new members. "The Meaning of Masonry" by W.L. Wilshurst. If you haven't read it yet I think that you would realy enjoy it. If you have then I think you'll agree it would benefit all who are or are thinking of becoming Masons.

Thanks for the names of those books. I'll keep them in mind when I join.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 03:06 AM
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reply to post by lazy1981
 




I hope that each initiate has a choice in the matter. If they only offer me an initiation by group I can't say that I will be very interested in going ahead with the rituals.


It is ALWAYS the initiates choice (in states that offer two different programs) .. I was offered a one day program, I chose a traditional way, and sadly I was the first person in a year to choose such a way. No lodge will ever turn down practicing a few nights a week (as my lodge is prapering to do) to initiate even one member at a time.. believe it or not from my experience brothers of the craft are for more likely to show up to practice a one on one degree (traditional) then to practice for a group degree. We take great pride in providing the absolute best for the initiate that wishes the traditional way, and if you chose to join the same will be given to you, I have no doubt about it.



I'm glad to see that I'm not the only person that views this as a commercialization of something that is meant to inspire honor and moral thought in men.


Yes.... and I am glad you do... though, at least speaking for my own state, the majority see otherwise. I am moving to Oregon this summer so I don't know how my new lodge works, but my experience with my lodge now is more worrying about numbers then quality. Though it breaks my heart to see such things.. I do understand where they come from. In my fathers age, (he was not a Mason) 30-40+ people would show up for a stated meeting.. in my age at 21 I am an officer and I firmly believe only because 20 or so men show up for stated meetings, on average 5+ being past masters.

This is a product of our age, a representation of our spiritual failures. I care not what your creed is..... it cannot be denied we have forsaken ritual and brotherhood on all levels. Lost confused, it cannot be denied how our world has ended up where we are.



Most of the reason that I want to join is because I enjoy a challenge. Believe me, memorization is not one of my best attributes. But that doesn't mean that people should take the easy way out.


Ok, here I advise you. As someone who has been proclaimed by more then one "specialist" a "genius", I tell you the challenge is not Masonry more as your self. Let me explain to the best of my ability. I have never been challenged by memorization, in fact I have a photo memory, read it once its ingrained.. I learned my lectures in a day, my Master Mason lecture in less then an hour honestly, but the "challenge" came not from the institution and the individual words from the degree, but from annalizing the words into MY life. To take what you spoke, what you heard and read, and implying it to your OWN LIFE... Let me tell you, if ever there was a challenge, it is living up to being a Mason. I have not completed that task. It may be many years before I do. I try every day to give what I can, to give what I need and take as little as possible, I honestly try to be the best Mason that a Mason can be but know I probably never will.

The people that take the one day class may or may not have actual difficulties and real reasons why they cannot do it the "traditional way" .. But when you take this rout you excuse the most important aspect of the ritual --- Participation.

I advise all men who either become Masons or choose another route, and what ever that may be it is this:

To what ever your ability give all you can and more to your fellow man, for at the end of your life and you look back at your own successes you will wonder this; did I change the world? The life of another? Did I do everything I could to give all I could without material harm to my self to assist my fellow man?

The challenge you would face is to answer "yes" to these questions, and to honestly say "yes" is a true, honest and worthy challenge.



I think those initiates that you spoke of who took the easy way in don't realy care to put in the time and effort that it takes to do things the correct way. I'm a stickler for tradition in many ways.


I am a stickler for tradition as well, hell I am Irish by 3 generations and I learned the Irish language (munster) just because my ancestors did.. however, I will never accept that new initiates chose one day classes because it is the easy way out. Rather, I accept that new initiates choose the one day classes because it is presented and encouraged. If we as a society (as states) chose to motivate people into the traditional course instead of telling people they can take the easiest way out I would bet we would have 100% more active members then we do now. The youngest members coming in have excellent ideas to bring in new members but so long as the baby boomers hold power we will have to abide by their standards...



When I first read the rituals and cerimonies I just wanted to know what others didn't. To tell the truth I bought into many of the conspiracies that float around Masonry. But upon reading the text of the degrees (some parts omited) it helped me to throw off my preconceptions. This was many years ago and I have forgotten most of it.


Before I became a Mason, I to believed in conspiracies, and advised others to be wary of Masons. When I saw my local lodge (I am not a member of) it was so .... simple... I asked around, some Masons on ATS actually pointed me in the right direction (Apak) and I went down town, a good 15 miles from my town, and questioned around, was given a tour and description and then became a member a few weeks later, raised a few months later.

AS I have said before, more then just my self have believed conspiracies before becoming proud Freemasons, the difference is we chose to venture int the unknown, regardless if we where afraid (and believe me.. when I became initiated I was scared out of my wits, I played it cool with my future brothers but I tell you I had no idea what was to happen or who was to lead me there.)

Also, reading the text all you like BEFORE your actual partaking in the degree means NOTHING. I tell you, in fact I warn you, the true meaning will not come in words, definitions or warnings, it comes in feelings. You take what you want from the degree, but upon each degree I can be sure you will feel the commitment of the brothers holding your arm and you will feel the power pressed upon you and you will realize the power of the degree, and not until then can you fathom the idea, and that is what one dayers miss.

If done properly and if you have the best intentions it should change your life on a very personal level.





I'm getting off track here so in short I think that new members shouldn't take the easy way, it shows that they only want to be Masons by title and not in actions.


Which is why, in my area at least we call them "ring Masons" .. They become 3rd degree Masons and buy a Masonic ring, the become 32nd's and wear a 14th degree ring. Then disappear.



First I want to apologize for posting so many times.


The more post the more answers and trust me, as Masonry is SO versatile, the more answers the better! .. Ask as many questions as many times and reply as many times, we encourage it, all of us, because each answer from the many areas we come from give the best perspective of our institution, no matter the differences we are brothers, and give through each opinion the best answer to satisfy your own questions, and hopefully give true light to our organization.



I am a Christian man and I do not read the Bible as often as I should but when I do I read what is on the page and I usually come away with the obvious lesson from a passage as well as one that can only be taught or revealed by realy meditating on that teaching. It is only then that GOD reveals his teachings to you. And the same is also true about Masonry.


It is exactly! .. While I appear anti-Christian to so many, including my brothers (light) I read the Bible quite often, (when I was raised I was gifted a huge leather bound Bible.) In fact I go to my local Church often (during the week when no one is there and the fiancee is at home) .. The teachings, as in many religions, give a positive lesson, as a Catholic, baptized and confirmed, regardless of my religion, I love the teachings the Bible has to offer, and Masonry directs the SAME lessons unto us as Masons, regardless as Christian or not, and trust me, my own religion can relate to the same teachings, as does Islam and Judaism, the only difference is petty distinctions and focusing on differences and not the relationship they hold together. While my own personal religious preferences are nether Christian, Islamic, nor Judaic, we believe in the same teachings. Masonry is the center point of ALL religions in meaning, though without dogmatic control over all members it does not dictate what to, and who to believe in, and is thus the most pure form of religion, though of course with out a Dogmatic control it is not a religion, but rather a Philosophy to be implemented into your own religion.

Any ways, I truly hope you become a Mason in the future, our institution and those who depend on us need more men with the qualities you posses.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 06:36 AM
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reply to post by LightinDarkness
 


I do think there is an underlying reason why we as mason's are required to memorize and perform ritual EXACTLY as it was planned from the beginning of masonic time. So i think any change would be detrementle to our practice.

Look at it like the way the TORAH HAS TO BE COPIED-----The entire Torah was therefore written by Moses as dictated by God. This included all the happenings recorded in it from the time of creation.

Balaam was a prophet, and his prophecies are contained in the Torah. Nevertheless, they were written by Moses as dictated by God.

Although the Book of Deuteronomy is written as the testimony of Moses, every word in it was written at the express commandment of God. God dictated the book as if Moses himself were addressing the people.

God would dictate each passage of the Torah to Moses, and Moses would repeat it aloud. He would then write it down.

So i 'm thinking that along these lines we should not change the way masonic ritual is ment to be recieved.

I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to figure out the UNDERLYING REASON why this should be..

Maybe it has something to do with the HIRAM KEY(MASONIC STAR MAP)
or i'm just a lunatic--lol....

Have a great day



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 06:41 AM
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At the same time I acknowledge that not everyone is good at memorizing text to repeat back in front of the lodge.


I disagree. If you can learn one word, you can learn two. Once you have learnt two words, it is not difficult to add a third...

It just requires a little dedication.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 07:07 AM
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reply to post by airtrax007
 


This is not a valid comparison because masonry is not a religion. If you believe each word of the ritual is so sacred, then in my opinion you miss the point. It is the meaning and symbolism and the experience that gives the ritual meaning, not words. We use the same words because it is tradition and I have no problem with that - and we will, in my opinion, always have people good at memorization around to continue the tradition. I would even argue we should continue with this practice, but allowing people to show proficiency in other (equal) ways does not in any way mean that we do away with our traditions.

I'll say again that rope memorization doesn't do anything for actually helping you learn and interpret the degrees. I have seen candidates have the memorization down perfectly but be completely incapable of understanding what the degrees actually mean - at ANY level. Do you honestly think taking the time to write and present a paper about each degree before the lodge somehow shows less proficiency than simply rope memorization?






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