The Initiate's blog

I'm finding that a foundation of Masonic ritual is memorization. Most of the words spoken by officers in a formal meeting are straight out of a book from memory. Even at this early stage I'm faced with a requirement to memorize about a page of text. This scares me!

Not only have I had little need to memorize anything more than multiplication tables (and these a long time ago), And as far as recalling historical facts and dates, again, it's a story of little retention.

When I attempt to repeat anything word-for-word, it is impossible to say the same state them in a single, consistent way multiple times. I habitually paraphrase thoughts and substitute equivalent words. Though I attempt to commit a few sentences to memory, they don't stick.

Even back in the day, when I was in school, memorization of long passages wasn't part of the curriculum, unless one was in a play or choir. And then I knew those weren't venues I would do well in, for the very reason of being poor at memorization. 

Soooo. Here I am with a chance - no, a need, a requirement - to work on memorizing passages of significant length. This is a hurdle. And on top of that I must recite them in front of an audience. I can imagine that at least a few other Brothers have the same reluctance and that this limits who and how many of us continue to become officers.

I hear (yes, from those who are good at memorization) that it isn't that hard and that anyone can learn. Experience in both elementary education and adult training suggest this is certainly not true if everyone, and in this case maybe this dog can't learn this new trick. But I'll give it a shot.

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