Recently I observed a post in an online forum where a Brother stated that he felt the memory work was a big obstacle for getting brothers to participate in Lodge activities.
He detailed how hard it was for him to memorize even a page of ritual, and that time commitments make it harder for other brothers. His solution was to allow Brothers to read from the book or from a paper.
For many masons, memory work is only for proving proficiency, or conferring ritual. As a sideliner Brother they feel they have no use for it, because even in their studies, memorization is seen as inferior to “understanding” what is being said in the ritual.
Now we should recognize that memorization of ritual is not as extensive or as an important in other jurisdictions as it is in the American Jurisdictions. Many jurisdictions use no coded cyphers and permit everything to be written in plain English, with sometimes a few words omitted.
Some Masonic bodies and jurisdiction are looking to remove memorization from their workings as much as possible. They feel it is an unnecessary albatross, as more time should be spent focused on fellowship and community service. Who could argue with that position?
So the question becomes in the jurisdiction that uses memorization, why continue this practice when it is has all of these negatives attached to it.
But wait, before you throw out the baby and the bathwater
At this point, I know you are ready to run to your next grand lodge session to propose a new amendment on memorization.
However, if you have joined Masonry to transform yourself from a man into an uber man, travel in different places, make new friends, lead men, build your communities and learn new and exciting things, then memorization is a powerful tool for achieving those goals.
Memorization training, is a form of cognitive training that is over 6000 years old, and a practice that was huge even in places were writing was common. For two reasons:
- Memory was held to have deep mystic/spiritual significance. It was regard by many as a gift from the heavens and a source of esoteric power. Many believe that memory held many lost esoteric truths and developing ones memory was the key to rediscovering them. Memory also drew a portion of its spiritual significance because it also played roles in anamnesis (recalling the past into the present).
- Practical concerns. A trained Memory was an information management technology, that allowed you to directly control and nigh-automate the processes to acquire, organize, process, store and retrieve information. The end goal was to be able to efficiently recall pieces of information in any order. Having these processes run automatically saves a tremendous amount of time, but more importantly it allows you to focus your attention on other things. This is not multitasking. This is the secret of Masters. Its called Divided attention. The through training these processes finding information and could then instead concentrate on other things. This is why a well trained memory was considered an important tool of invention/creativity. An example, having a lecture memorize allows you to focus on delivery or your audience reactions. Crucial elements made harder if your focus is on being accurate. Additional benefits is that it is good for accelerating your learning, mastering interpersonal communication, boosting your intellect
Nowadays, we only think of memorization as a way to prove EA/FC proficiency and perform ritual (both are very important), We think there is only one way to memorize (Verbatim) but that’s only a 1/10th of the story.
So most Masons only search for Tips and Tricks to help memorize ritual. However, there are 7 Masonic Crafts that are enhanced by superior memory.
My research has shown me that Masonic MemoryCraft is a 600-year-old practice that develops two superpowers in you :
- Faithful Breast, an easily searchable, highly reliable mental database of masonic knowledge. This mental database serves as a feeder for your moral decision-making, and helps you make smarter decisions, faster.
- Superior memory. PM is the trained ability to use memory techniques to quickly memorize and accurate recall large volumes of information in different domains
During the Transition Period I believe these superpowers were grouped together into a single skillset called the The Mason Word,
LOTC wants to help reclaim this lost landmark of the craft and properly unlock all the gifts and rewards available to us from training our memories. In the following cornerstone articles,
- First we trace the Origins of Masonic Memorization, this will connect us with the strivings of our forefathers and give us inspiration for our actions.
- Our Dictionary contains an ever growing list of words and terms used on this site and in this section.
- Next we look at the science of why masons suck at memorizing
- The previous articles help you understand “The Game of Masonic Memory”. When you are ready to train and play check out these articles –
- A simple entered apprentice memorization system.
- 30 tips, tricks and techniques for memorization.
- Improve your verbatim (memorizing word for word) memory skills.
- The Masonic memory Training : Secret of Photographic Memory.
- Consider signing up for our free course tools for memorization
- Finally, if you want to take your memory to stellar levels, contact us here for a private consultation.
My Brothers If we decide to remove memorization or allow it to continue to fall into disrepute, we will we be discarding an important part of our Masonic history.
Even more importantly we will be discarding a potent tool for our personal transformation, and success in our everyday lives and communities.
Lets keep our practices, cultivate and improve our efforts, giving our members access to education that gives them the edge they need to excel in their personal development and personal lives.
This will motivate guys to participate in the life of the lodge, and continue their education.