Tria Prima Podcast Episode 5: Building Your Masonic Memory Temple
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In episode 5 of the Tria Prim Podcast, Pat, Jake and Jaime celebrate being able to record in the same room once again after taking a pandemic break, we share some big news about our latest book project in partnership with Masonic author P.D. Newman and discuss the idea of building your Masonic memory temple.
Once considered the “Holy Grail” of hallucinogens, over the last quarter century, DMT has entered the public mind like never before. No longer a taboo topic to be discussed in the hushed tones among an esoteric elite, P.D. Newman’s Angels In Vermillion traces the secret lineage of transmission, beginning with Elizabethan alchemists, Dr. John Dee and Sir Edward Kelley, winding through the Royal Society and Masonic fraternity, and leading all the way up to the nineteenth century occult revival – and beyond. Fathoming Hell and soaring angelic, Newman leaves no stone unturned in his quest to uncover the hidden, hallucinatory history of the “Spirit Molecule,” DMT.
Episode 5 Transcript
This trascription is produced using voice to text. We provide the transcript as a listener aid and to give Google something to index. It may contain errors. The software is by no means perfect. If in doubt, refer to the actual audio.
Pat Shannahan 0:03
Welcome to the Tria prima podcast, the podcast about Freemasonry and the western esoteric tradition. I’m Pat Shannahan. with Jamie Lam, and, Jake true.
Jake Trayer 0:13
Hello, there. Hi.
Pat Shannahan 0:14
It’s our first time in a room together in a really, really long time. So guys, we’ve got some some big news to share. We are now not just a podcast and a website, but we are also book publishers, which is massive, right? Our first book is by Peter Newman, who’s a regular contributor to the to the blog, he’s got a book angels in vermillion.
Jake Trayer 0:38
Yeah, just at the time of recording this, it pretty much has been out for a week, yes,
Jaime Paul Lamb 0:44
it’s basically like the lineage or the sort of cult lineage of DMT. And how that was cryptically passed through these societies, secret societies, really, and how it kind of like, it was not made, you know, the rest of the world was not made privy to this until deep into the 20th century, you know, until really the work of I think strassman with the, the, you know, his spirit molecule, you know, the spirit molecule DMT, the spirit molecule. So, um, I don’t think there’s really been a huge Expo Xay about dimethyltryptamine. Until, you know, again, deep into the 20th century. So preceding that. Newman really points out this very secret and occult transmission, you know, this very, like, hidden, guarded secret. You know, it’s a fascinating journey, and to see it pass, specifically through the Royal Society, john D. Edward Kelly, into Desa Ghoulia. A, and Preston and these are the architects of early Masonic ritual is just like, it’s eye opening. So it’s a it’s at once sort of a mystery. And, and also a history. And also just a really intriguing view of how we’ve gotten to this point, from this entheogenic substance that’s been around since time immemorial, that has just come to the popular surface, or the surface of the popular mind. In the, you know, mid to late 20th century.
Jake Trayer 2:50
Yeah, it’s a really cool book. And we put a lot of time and effort into it looks really cool. Yeah, it’s a covers by by Travis lore artist, Travis Lawrence, who’s a other other. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 3:01
it’s just such a cool cover. It is it is a cool looking book. Yeah.
Jake Trayer 3:04
Great book. Pick it up. On our website, or I’m sure it’s it’s on Amazon as well. Probably at this point. Tria prima Co. Now, enjoy our first podcast back from a long time.
Unknown Speaker 3:21
Any of the thoughts and opinions expressed are, are not?
Unknown Speaker 3:26
I know what? Well, they’re not representative of any particular jurisdiction or any particular Masonic jurisdiction. We are literally three people who are just talking to each other totally improvised. About a certain subject one cut, one cut. Yeah. So and the idea I guess, for this episode, is may Sonic memorization. Why do we do that? That sort of thing? Well, what’s the importance about memorization in the craft? Right,
Unknown Speaker 4:02
right. I think this is a timely topic. I’m in the process of getting ready to have my first degree examination where I’ve had to memorize a lot of stuff and you have been going well, both of you have been going way more than than I have on So
Unknown Speaker 4:22
wait, so we should start with you. So what’s your what are the requirements of your blue lodge? You have to do the Catechism the obligation and is there anything else?
Unknown Speaker 4:34
Yeah, well, there was, there was a, you had to memorize and perform a section of the ritual. I did the working tools of the first degree of the first degree. What are those working tools, the 24 inch gauge and the common gavel and then I have to do a catechism in a presentation and Then the obligation. So,
Unknown Speaker 5:01
so the Catechism for people who don’t know, Jake, what is the Catechism?
Jake Trayer 5:09
Well, first of all, it’s pretty cool. This conversation is particularly cool because we’re all like kind of different stages of, of our Masonic career houses that are requiring different levels of memorization. I feel like so I just want to preface by saying that’s cool. Jamie is about to go into the east. I’m doing I’m jumping in to do the lecture for the for the second degree. And like Pat just said, He’s doing the EAA proficiency stuff. So it’s all kind of all different. Which is makes this a cool conversation. But the Catechism catechism, I guess, is a recapitulation of the degree that the candidate just went what am
Unknown Speaker 5:59
a sonic word after recapitulating to him the manner of his reception? Let’s look at did you learn recapitulation from Masonic ritual?
Jake Trayer 6:08
Yes, absolutely. Okay. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 6:11
Not a common word, but you definitely see it in free minutes.
Jake Trayer 6:15
What’s like a regular word to use there?
Unknown Speaker 6:17
It’s regular. I mean, it’s not super crazy, but it’s, but it’s certainly something that’s that’s a ritual. It’s $1 word. That’s alright. Yeah. What’s, what’s $1? Or what are we calling a 50 cent word? Something shorter than recapitulation. Okay.
Jake Trayer 6:36
So yeah, that catechism is, is that add, I guess, a really zoomed in view from a 10,000 foot view, maybe it’s what we’re about to get into in terms of our conversation about building a memory temple and that more?
Unknown Speaker 6:56
Dude, you’re totally blowing the where we were building to say memory temple is to give away the exact end of this conversation. Are we done now? Hey, thanks, Jeff.
Jake Trayer 7:09
Like the punch lines first. That’d be lame. If we just waited till the end. bring that up. True. We’re getting there. So so that’s I guess that’s the simple answer. For me. There’s an Arizona it’s interesting, because there’s short form and long form. So there are not a lot of lodges that I’m aware of that actually asked the candidates to do the long form
Unknown Speaker 7:32
catechism. So by short form and long form, what precisely are you talking about?
Jake Trayer 7:40
So I don’t even I couldn’t even tell you what the short form requirements are,
Unknown Speaker 7:44
I think short form in most jurisdictions is signed scripts on words.
Jake Trayer 7:50
Right. And the obligation, sir, I don’t know. Pretty sure the obligation, you always have to do the obligation. So I think it’s the questions are left out
Unknown Speaker 8:01
signs, scripts, words and obligation obligation. You think that’s the standard short form across jurisdictions,
Jake Trayer 8:09
at least in Arizona, I don’t want to say across jurisdictions, but I’m sure a lot of other jurisdictions would mirror when we have going on.
Unknown Speaker 8:18
Well, I know that with Pat, since Pat Shannahan right here has been coming up in Ascension lodge in Phoenix, Arizona, we require not only the the maximum of our jurisdiction, which is the word is our maximum it is the Catechism the obligation and science group. Some words,
Jake Trayer 8:44
everything we just said for short form plus the q&a. So
Unknown Speaker 8:48
the Catechism so yeah, so Pat is having to do more than that, in that he is also having to bite off a chunk of ritual. And you are doing the working tools for the EEA degrees?
Unknown Speaker 9:02
I did. I’ve already performed it. The I got to perform that during the first EAA degree that I witnessed after becoming a enterpreneurs. That’s right.
Unknown Speaker 9:12
Now, now that’s interesting right there. So you’ve had to memorize a chunk of ritual, in addition to the Catechism and your obligation. Absolutely. And how did it feel in on a live degree? Like, I know that you did this on an actual degree, right?
Unknown Speaker 9:35
Yeah, it was, it was the first degree that I saw, performed after having been made a Mason and for me, it was an amazing experience to to, to witness the degree being performed, but then to be able to present to a, you know, somebody who’s new these these working tools that I had displayed I’m thinking about ever since I had been made a Mason, and
Jake Trayer 10:02
on you or WordPerfect it You nailed it. Oh, thank
Unknown Speaker 10:06
you. It was, it was in. The other great thing for me was is I really felt like I was part of the lodge. That was the moment that I really felt like, Oh, I’m part of this here I am the newest guy. And I’m standing up with a spotlight on performing a piece of ritual. And, and while I’m, I’m really I’m part of this Lodge, I’m not just a spectator, and
Unknown Speaker 10:31
it’s so so that’s interesting right there because like, a lot of people have different techniques and you just coming in cold. Obviously, you’re you’re an entered apprentice right now, right still, because it’s because of because of COVID because of COVID. So you you learn the working tools, and you deliver them on an EAA degree. So what what would you say? Was it rote memorization? Just repetition going over it? What was your technique that you applied?
Unknown Speaker 11:03
Well, that that’s been the that was the interesting thing of the start is I haven’t had to memorize anything since I was in high school. And maybe maybe college had to be do that. But yeah, it was it was kind of rote memorization, just kind of memorizing each word, taking it, almost like learning a piece of music where you learn one bar, you’re learning the next bar, and then you put them together, and then you kind of keep going. doing that. And then then it was thinking about the meaning and how it relates to my life, you know, thinking about the tools, and then the lesson that it’s trying to teach and then thinking about, okay, well, in my life, what do I do? You know, and I found a lot of value in that.
Unknown Speaker 11:43
So it was something where you automatically found it applicable. It was like you were getting into the content of what you were trying to deliver. Oh, absolutely. While you were memorizing it.
Unknown Speaker 11:56
Yeah, absolutely. I think, well, the easiest way to, to learn something like that, to learn it word by word is, is to create an emotional connection with the material. You know, it’s the, it’s the same thing like if you if you hear somebody who is like a Shakespearean actor, a Shakespearean actor who just just knows the words, and is just saying the words that they memorize perfectly, it sounds so stilted, but you’re listening to a Shakespearean actor who knows what each what those complex phrases really mean, and the passion behind it, and it’s like, oh, that’s he get it, you know, you may not even, you know, reading it may be hard to get. But if you hear somebody who really is in passion, say those, those lines, it’s, it’s powerful. And so, I guess in my head, I was just trying to like, Okay, let me let me create an emotional connection by relating it to my life, you know,
Jake Trayer 12:52
it kind of builds up, I feel like, for me, it starts as repetition or trying to just kind of rote memorize stuff or read through it a bunch of times. And it kind of gains more meaning and value, the more I go over it. So the first one I learned was the apron lecture. When I was I don’t know if I was an EA giving that launch. But I, I might have been. I mean, I I joined in a lodge that was quite a bit older than me the entire Lodge, you know, in a small town in northern Arizona. And
Unknown Speaker 13:29
wait, so gasp you were in a lodge full of older men. I was okay.
Jake Trayer 13:36
At 19 striking. I mean, yeah. But like astonishing, really. Not. Okay. Yeah. So, sorry, Phineas Cyrus and Kaiser. Whoops, no, they threw me in right away, though. I mean, I, I jumped straight into like a senior steward chair and did the apron lecture for pretty much until I moved down a pace in Arizona, but, or even after I moved to flag and I would drive down in between, I would do them at Flagstaff Lodge and go and do them. And pacing. But for me, it started kind of meaningless, started just as Okay, I got to like, it felt kind of like a task, kind of like homework, you know. And it was, it was the most meaningful lecture I got during my degree, it was I felt like it was the most emotional aspect of the degree that I went through. But then as I began to try to memorize that, that lecture, kind of lost some some meaning for a bit. I wasn’t thinking in that in that mode or in that way. But then the more comfortable I got with the lines, the more the more I did it in large, like during an actual life degree, the more meaning I gained, and though actually the more emotional God every time, so I don’t know how many times I’ve probably done it 20 times. There’s nothing you know, but now it’s, it’s just like burned in there. It’s burned into my head. And same same now with like, most of the second degree lecture. That’s what I’m going through right now and a few other things. And same deal. It’s like the further I’ve gotten in more more meaning it gains but I don’t kind of go and do it. Thinking about the meaning I have to start just like repetition repetition. Do you go paragraph by paragraph? Or? Oh, yeah, yeah, typically, you get a paragraph down. And so I try to go, yeah, I try to go paragraph and then, and then like a line or two into the next one. And then when I start the next section, or the next paragraph, I do the same thing. So I actually hop into the next one. So when it’s time to piece them all together, or at least do them in bigger sections, than I already know, kind of where each paragraph starts. It’s easier to kind of stitch them together. I feel like so I read a little pass into the next one every time. That’s generally how I do but a lot of repetition. Early on, I haven’t done this as much recently, but I would record myself. I think a lot of guys do this. A lot of masons I hear I have never done Oh, really? Yeah, yeah. So I, I would record myself. And then all my long drives because I would drive from paste in the flag. I would just listen to it on repeat. Is it helpful? Yeah, cuz then I started to say it with myself. The hardest thing was when I recorded it, I didn’t record it with like the cadence that I would have liked to have done in a large room. So I had to, I had to re record a couple times with better cadence and inflection here and there. And then I would just say it with myself. But I haven’t done that for any of the secondary. I just did that with April’s. So
Unknown Speaker 16:50
here’s a sticky question about recording yourself for memorization. Of course, we have things like carve, Hugh hack, etch, Mark, letter, engrave, whatever, all of those things in the obligation. That’s first degree stuff, right? So we have those sorts of things. So of course, in the modern age, if we’re considering stamp, stain, carve you hack, etch letter, and engrave and all these sorts of things. We are we are of course, also considering by extrapolation, digital recording, right? I mean, it’s just like so. So you think because it’s not in there.
Jake Trayer 17:34
Now, we amend our ritual all the time. While
Unknown Speaker 17:39
True, true, so though it does not
Jake Trayer 17:42
say legible or intelligible, doesn’t it? Yeah, yeah, sure. But, again, kind of in regards to the things that it’s just outlined.
Unknown Speaker 17:51
I mean, I’m not trying to bust your chops about it. I’m just saying that, that, would we not extrapolate our obligation out to digital recording as well, just on
Jake Trayer 18:03
Unknown Speaker 18:04
Man, maybe? Yeah, no, no. Um, and and I’m not saying this because I am one who does not record it. I think I do not record it just because I don’t particularly see the value in that, you know, recording it and listening
Jake Trayer 18:19
to here’s why I think I’d done. I’ve done that. Because you wouldn’t consider me a musician because I’m a drummer. So, but coming from a pseudo musical background.
Unknown Speaker 18:32
Well, a drummer is somebody who hangs out with music.
Jake Trayer 18:36
Yeah, exactly. That’s, that’s the line. I that’s how I’m memorize music that I see both in school and just playing on my kid at home. I just that’s how I memorize songs, just recording, listening to them over and over and over again, playing to them over and over again. So that’s where my mind went immediately with the memorization was like, well, it’s just listened to it over and over and over again. Yeah, you didn’t do that. Also, the majority of our you know, the majority of that book is our ritual book. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s published or you can go buy Dunkin Duncan’s right off the shelf.
Unknown Speaker 19:16
True, but Duncan’s is vastly different from Arizona ritual, for example. 30 relative,
Jake Trayer 19:22
yeah, I mean, vastly different to us. Not vastly different, necessarily, to the, to the layman.
Unknown Speaker 19:30
Sure, that’s relative. Yeah, all the central points are there. Um, Pat, you didn’t Did you record yourself at any time during the working tools? No,
Jake Trayer 19:43
no, I just took it. You know, he maintained his sentence Frank fragment is to sentence fragment and then this kind of put them together and
Unknown Speaker 19:52
so do we. So do you feel that we need to enact any sort of pencil penalties on Jake for For having maybe overstepped his obligation a little bit.
Jake Trayer 20:07
Yeah, I don’t I don’t. I don’t. Yeah. Are there provisions for like, maybe in an infraction?
Unknown Speaker 20:13
I mean, since we’re already here, it’s it’s literally just me, you and Jake right now. So all of us have taken a first degree obligation. So we know the gravity of that obligation. So if we know that Jake, maybe kind of was dicey in a little area of that. Is there anything you feel that we need to be doing right now?
Jake Trayer 20:36
Well, here’s, here’s where your whole argument falls apart. And it’s what the what you what you said, legible or intelligible to any to others. But I never exposed any of those audio recordings to to anyone else. You so yeah. So that’s weird. So if you never became legible or intelligible to my other person,
Jaime Paul Lamb 21:01
no, I get that. And you know, what’s weird is I’ve heard people over the years say, like, particularly sort of old timers, I guess, will say like, Oh, yeah, I just, you know, I deliver it to my wife. And she,
Jake Trayer 21:14
okay, well, I would net Yeah,
Jaime Paul Lamb 21:15
that and she checks me out through the ritual book, you know, and so it’s like, I’ve heard that several times. And I thought to myself, are you kidding me? You’re really delivering this lecture, or this catechism, or this obligation to your wife and she is holding the book across from you. And
Jake Trayer 21:32
I’ve never heard that. You’ve never heard that. Now. I’ve heard that a few times. I’ve heard that to really from from a Mason, like from a Mason, just casually saying that to you
Jaime Paul Lamb 21:44
don’t even tell me who? Because we might need to enact some penalties on some.
Jake Trayer 21:49
Yeah, that’s that’s crossing a line, in my opinion.
Jaime Paul Lamb 21:52
That I mean, it’s clearly crossing a line and that and that isn’t like,
Jake Trayer 21:56
do you know if they were saying the obligation? Or the I’m sorry, the penalty?
Jaime Paul Lamb 22:02
I’m not sure. I mean, that’s, I mean, if anything, we’re not going to say the penalty, right.
Jake Trayer 22:10
I mean, I would hope so. Yeah. But someone that goes as far as to like, have anyone check them on there. Anyone that’s not a mason check them on their hand them their ritual?
Jaime Paul Lamb 22:21
No, so so check this out. Here’s kind of a funny story is Stephanie and I, my wife and I will sometimes get fro Yo, and we’ll watch like, various documentaries. And sometimes I will pick out a Masonic documentary. And there was one that came out. That was like, they essentially went through a lot of third degree stuff, you know, in the in the thing, and they in fact, did go through something resembling the obligation that we’re familiar with, at least in Arizona. And and since then, Stephanie has said to me, she has said to me, okay, yeah, you better not tell anybody or we will have to, we will have to bury your tongue in the beach.
Jake Trayer 23:15
Jaime Paul Lamb 23:16
she has said to me, so she says this goofing around. She says we will bury your tongue in the beach. You know, which, like, obviously, that’s like, weird. That’s kind of there’s a syntax error there and everything. But it’s I find it hilarious. It’s almost like I don’t know. It’s
Jake Trayer 23:36
wait. You said they said the obligation on this show? Or they said the penalty.
Unknown Speaker 23:42
The penalty as being part of the obligation? Yeah, it was in this program. I forget which documentary it was. But ever since then, Stephanie will periodically goof around with me saying, Oh, you better not tell anybody that or we will bury your tongue and in the beach.
Jake Trayer 24:01
Unknown Speaker 24:02
So I’m like, No, I always say to my credit, I’m always like, that’s not even a thing. What are you even talking about? You know, I just jive my way through. I’m like, that’s what does that even mean? Where did you even get that? You know, I just kind of Stonewall at that point. But um, but it’s a thing. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t want to get into she listen to these. No, she won’t hear this. She here. She hears enough of me she doesn’t. But uh, so memorization say,
Unknown Speaker 24:37
yeah. So Jamie, you’ve been really hitting the memorization hard here the past couple weeks. And we and you know, it’s months and you and I’ve had some really cool conversations about that. So what what have you been preparing for and what’s what have you gotten out of it.
Unknown Speaker 24:57
So so in Arizona, to moved to the east, which I’m doing in you know, I’ve already sat there once and I’m moving there, I’m being installed like within the next month or two. And what you have to know to meet proficiency to move to the east, is you have to know to open close and obligate or, and completely conferred degrees on all three degrees. So you have to know open, close, obligate and conferring the degree on entered apprentice fellow craft and Master Mason, in Arizona, you also have to know one complete lecture. So years ago, when I was a senior Deacon, I learned the second degree lecture was in Connecticut, we called the middle chamber lecture, which was lengthier than the one that we have in Arizona because it contained manatorian material, which is to say, it’s just extra stuff. I don’t know the exact definition. But when there’s monetarily material, there’s like extra material that’s appended to what there is strictly in the lecture and ritual. Or That’s my understanding, at least Anyway, it was a long lecture, that second degree lecture, I learned that years ago when I was a senior Deacon. And I delivered it I don’t know two or three times at that time, but um, I haven’t had to bite off a chunk like that. Because right after I was senior Deacon, I went straight to the Oregon. So I was lodge organist. In every all in my Lodge, my mother lodge back east, and my affiliate lodges out west. So I always went straight to the Oregon because everybody wants an organist, so I never got back in line. So it’s only recently at Ascension lodge here in Phoenix, that I got back in line. So consequently, as I was moving through the pedestals, the pedestal offices that is to say, Junior, and senior Warden, and then master worshipful Master, I had to meet proficiency. And the proficiency for those is you have to open close, obligate and completely confer the degree on every degree. And for Master Mason, you have to know a complete lecture. So I figured, okay, I already did the second degree lecture, the fall craft lecture or the middle chamber. And I looked around in my Lodge, and I was like, okay, there’s a handful of people who know the first degree, there’s a handful of people who know the second degree, but I, in fact, don’t know anybody who does, who knows the third degree and my blue Lodge, you know, which is relatively new blue lodge that we chartered. So I was like, How can I be the most useful? And I figured, okay, I’m just gonna bite off the third degree lecture. Now, it’s a formidable lecture in Arizona, because I think a lot of Mana torial stuff is in there. It’s longer than the one in Connecticut, I think. So it is literally nine pages in our ritual book. And I believe it’s 19 paragraphs. And I’m not talking about modern paragraphs in a blog, or anything like that. I’m talking about Edgar Allan Poe paragraphs. These are, you know, giant paragraphs, right. And there’s 19 of them. So it’s a formidable thing. So I had, um, let’s say a couple of months tops to get this together, because it was kind of sprung on me a little bit, right. And I spent, I want to say, a minimum hour a day, you know, and I did it, like, you got, like, it sounds like you guys did it, where I, I sat there, and I bit off a paragraph, and I just read, I read over it several first, I read the entire thing a few times, just to get a big picture overview, just kind of get the lay of the land. And then I took it paragraph by paragraph. And um,
Unknown Speaker 29:18
you know, I read through that paragraph a few times, and then I tried to kind of put the book down on my lap and kind of recite it, you know, so, No, I did not have I did not go into now, this is important. I think, I did not go into it with the idea that I am erecting a memory temple or a memory palace, right? That was the product of learning. So, this is what to me is fascinating about Masonic memorization, and what I think is the kernel of why we do this sort of thing is that we memorize these things. By whatever methodology we are, we’re comfortable with, but what we are doing is digesting a microcosmic Lodge and a microcosmic temporal ritual in our mind. So we have space and time, may Sonic space time that we are literally digesting and creating the space time. And it is space time, I want to clarify that it’s a chunk of space time because it is. It is sequential, certain things built on other things and where there is a sequence there is time, right? But it’s also spatial. Because anytime you look at any Masonic ritual, we are constantly talking about Oh, once and whether Oh, from from west to east, and from east to west, again, where does the worshipful master sit in the East? Where does the junior Warden sit in the south? What are your duties there? You know, like, we’re constantly orienting ourselves to these four cardinal points. That is not an I believe that that is not accidental. And I know I’m talking a lot right now, but I just want to get this point across. We are digesting chunks of Masonic space time, when we do our memorization, and we are internalizing that, and by doing so, we are creating or erupting a microcosmic temple, a mnemonic temple in our minds, whether you call it a mnemonic temple, an intellectual temple, or an astral temple or an egregore, Oracle, temple, any of those things. We’re we’re kind of working on one of the planes. So if they’re if they’re considered if there can be said to be several planes upon which the temple archetype manifests. One of those is the mnemonic plain, right? And when we do our memorization, we are erecting that mnemonic temple. So yes, we have the temple downtown where all the lodges me, right, that’s the physical brick and mortar temple. We have the Houseman not made with hands to turn on the heavens, which is the celestial temple. You know, there are there are, there’s a fractal expanse of the temple archetype. And one of those that is so crucial in that hermetic expanse of the temple archetype is the mnemonic temple. So that’s why and I’m about to close this up. That’s why I think that that’s so important, is because when we do this memorization, which we are required to do, why else would we be required to do I don’t think the Elks or the rotary or the Kiwanis Club, I don’t think any of those people are required to bite off these large chunks of memorization, right? Specifically on such an abstruse topic is King Solomon’s temple, it’s, we’re erecting that as masons, in our minds, you know, and there’s more to be said about that. That’s a massive topic with with inestimable implications, you know, the implications of that are staggering. You know, if you just unpack that idea right there.
Jake Trayer 33:44
Well, one of the things that I found in the process of creating that temple, that pneumonic temple and you know, I kind of said this earlier, gain more meaning the more I did it, but it also knowing, knowing those things on that level, so not just like, kind of remembering parts of the ritual, like little bits here and there, but actually, like, knowing it by heart, kind of follows you around in your mundane life. So I know that my you know, circumscribing my own action, you know, the things that we talk about, you know, school, squaring your actions, all that sort of stuff. I didn’t even have to try to do that once I was had all this ritual memorized was just kind of always there like late and like ready to kind of check me like I’m, I thought of, there was like all these synapse jumps or whatever. Anytime I would come to an important decision or something like that. It just like jumped to my forward consciousness, like These things that I had been memorizing, always manifested themselves or emerged out of my subconscious, in my mundane life, so in dealing with relationships or this or that, I just like, they just jumped out at me all the time. And I don’t think that happens without memorization. If you’re just remembering little bits and, you know, tidbits of the ritual after you are in, you never actually make an effort to memorize a ritual. I don’t think that happens, I think you actually have to kind of try harder to, to let the principles of Freemasonry sort of sort of be a guiding light to you. If that’s if that’s even a goal of yours as a Mason, which I hope hope it is. But yeah, I found that that was really cool. And it surprised me almost every time and it still kind of does. Every time I learned something new. It’s like, it applies itself in my wife all the time, which is pretty cool. I found the same thing. Yeah, yeah, I
Unknown Speaker 35:58
found exactly the same thing happened, where, once I got past the words, once I got past the actual, like, trying to memorize the words in the sentence, and now I was just concentrating on meaning. You know, all of a sudden, it would intersect with my life all over the place, driving, work, you know, in my marriage, and all these different places where you would never think little phrases would pop up and be like, Oh, yeah, okay, that’s, oh, that’s an interesting meaning, you know, because a lot of these symbols, they mean different. You were taught, they mean one thing, maybe, but there’s other things that they could mean also, and I think it’s up to all of us to try to figure out what those are. And, and sometimes those things will pop up. There’s other there’s other alternate, extra meanings of some of this.
Jake Trayer 36:49
Here’s another thing that was cool. It makes reading books way better as a Freemason. So all that stuff is just sitting right there. You know, anytime I read a book now, those things are just like constantly jumping to the, to the front of my mind, as I’m reading through a book, especially, I would say, especially if you’re interested interested in, you know, writing Masonic articles or a book, even memorizing will make that process memorizing blue lodge ritual, will make that process so much cooler, if that’s, if that’s what you’re trying to do. I think it’s invaluable to try to try at least to memorize the ritual, if you’re trying to be if you’re rather trying to put out any sort of Masonic literature, or if you’re just trying to enjoy a book that has been recommended to you or something or that you’ve found because of your newfound interest in masonry. It’s, it’s made, reading books more understandable, you know, read in the context of Freemasonry and just generally more fun to read. Because all these had all these realizations that I don’t think I would have had, had I not had ritual just always sitting right there, like ready to go.
Unknown Speaker 38:14
Do you think that, um, the memorization of Masonic ritual reprograms our synapses in some way? Or like, it creates synaptic connections?
Jake Trayer 38:31
I mean, memorizing does that. Yeah, I don’t think I think subject aside, I think the process of memorizing large pieces of information or large, you know, bits of tech 19, large paragraphs of virtual just that process will do that. That, I mean, that’s the most uneducated, you know, I don’t, I’m just that would be my thoughts.
Unknown Speaker 38:53
So what are the implications of that? You think? I mean, obviously, we’re laymen. We’re not like neuroscientists are worse,
Jake Trayer 39:01
it seems to me, like you’re flexing a muscle seems to me, and I’ve, I’m not like I’ve heard and read that from scholarly sources. So I at least heard that or read that a few times that certainly the act of, of memorizing is like flexing a mental muscle what that means exactly, I don’t know, maybe it is creating more synapses, you know, it’s just strengthening your ability to, to speak to so I Well, there’s a there’s an EA in the room, so I don’t want to get too specific.
Unknown Speaker 39:36
Wait, wait. So that sounds like you were you were saying that it made me think of the network. You know, we talked a while again, this is second degree stuff, but we talked about the network Lily work in pomegranates. And that network is what kind of flashed to me when you said that is like when we create a network. I mean, look how it is on you. Like computer science, I guess, you know, something I don’t know anything about. But I will say that we create a network and that certain pathways are linked in communication. Right? So when we’re creating a network in our minds through memorization, which is something that necessarily happens, right, because senate new synaptic trails are blazed, right. And as those trails are blazed, it’s just like when somebody says, Oh, it’s just a habit of mine, that I do X, Y, and Z. That habit has a neurological sort of analog, right? When somebody has a habit is it’s because there are certain synaptic trails that have been blazed, that have made certain activities habitual, right, so, so when we are memorizing Masonic ritual, are we not? in making this network of connections? And and I think this almost answers your question as to why, you know, you’ll be going through life, and then all of a sudden, some may, Sonic platitude, you know, regarding the working tools, or whatever, and it just pops into your mind. It’s because it’s, it’s part of it’s a newly installed program in your network.
Unknown Speaker 41:29
I also, I also think a part of that is the once it’s there, it’s the associated thinking in your brain that
Jake Trayer 41:40
kind of like the path of least resistance, well,
Unknown Speaker 41:42
it’s, it’s the part of your brain, that’s, it’s the self reflection, it’s the, you know, once it’s there, then it’s kind of like, Well, what does this mean to my life? Or how does this mean to right now, or, and it’s, it’s the associated thinking part of your brain that’s kind of finds those overlaps in in, kind of shows you the meaning shows you the meaning for right in this moment that you need? Is that’s kind of how I see that’s, that’s what happens for me is it’ll pop up when I’m, when I’m thinking about how I’m spending my day or I’m thinking about, you know,
Jake Trayer 42:17
sure, yeah, and like kind of contemplative moments you’re like, right, am I doing making the best choice my time right now? That sort of thing? Right, right. 24 inch gap or gauge pops right? In your mind? Right? For sure. There. So here, here’s kind of something I haven’t thought about before. So like, if you want to, if you want to get really good at target shooting or something, you have to do that, you have to do that a lot. It’s
Unknown Speaker 42:41
like, say 10,000 10,000 hours, right to be a master at
Jake Trayer 42:45
any particular particular thing. Yeah. And then I would assume that you, you can’t just like quit after 10,000 a year, you’ve got to continue the craft, right. So just taking any riding bike, whatever, you know, you’ve got to continue, continue to do that. There’s some things that are harder. I think riding a bike might be a little easier to pick up than, say long range target shooting or archery or something like playing an instrument. But to me, that sounds that sounds like a so you’re, you’re kind of building up your muscle memory doing that, right. But there’s a difference. So you talked about, or at least you brought up rote memorization, which implies well, or does not imply necessarily meaning driving any meaning or trying to apply any meaning from that thing. You’re just it’s like when you’re in college, and you’re just cramming for a test, and you’re trying to memorize answers,
Unknown Speaker 43:46
like the alphabet or the multiplication.
Jake Trayer 43:49
Yeah. Yeah, you’re just abstract, right? That seems like the same thing you’re doing when you’re building that muscle memory? You know, so the thing with the kind of the memory that we’re talking about, it seems like it has the addition of having meaning or value. Almost without trying, like, the more the more I did it, I didn’t necessarily try to pull all this meaning or or apply all this meaning to that stuff, it just kind of naturally or organically emerged at during the process.
Unknown Speaker 44:27
You know, I don’t think you can zone can help it I think it becomes the self reflection site. Yeah,
Jake Trayer 44:32
that’s the coolest thing to me about, about memorizing the, the ritual.
Unknown Speaker 44:38
So would you say is it safe to say that Masonic memorization is like uploading or installing a program?
Jake Trayer 44:50
You’re trying to get really techie tonight?
Unknown Speaker 44:52
Well, I mean, I think it’s applicable I think it’s I think it’s a way I think so analog, a Logically,
Jake Trayer 45:01
I think so. But it’s different for you know, everyone’s experience is different, you know, so we, we, we, I’m sure the three of us have applied different meaning to anyone’s symbol. And that’s the same across the craft. So it’s might be a little bit of an over simplification to say just like uploading a thing, because it doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. So that’s kind of the point I’m making the building that memory temple, pneumonic temple, has this, this interesting extra layer of having unique meaning to each base. So I would say, really, you can’t, you can’t get the full Masonic experience without doing some memorization of his Now, obviously, okay, so yeah, I mean, I was
Pat Shannahan 45:46
gonna say, I think it’s kind of like having Photoshop on your computer, right? You, you can make a picture brighter, or pick, pick a picture darker. And you can real basic things with it, editing, editing, or you can come you can take multiple images and combine them together. And you can create a completely different piece of artwork. And I think just having it in your brain is just having is just us doing the basics is having the basics of Photoshop, but then when you when you really understand it, that’s like being able to take pieces of from one thing and merging it in with your life and create something, right bigger.
Jaime Paul Lamb 46:29
You know, there’s also the idea that all Freemasons, I guess, right have to have to digest a certain amount of ritual, right? So if if all Freemasons in all jurisdictions, let’s just say theoretically, had to digest at least the Catechism and the obligation, then we are all as masons contributing to an egregore called temple now, and I say this specifically. And to kind of unpack that a bit. So each of us, of course, can erect our own personal mnemonic temple, right? So just like we all do, we memorize things. And there’s orientation in the large room, you know, where East is, you know, where the altar is, you know how the floor work goes, and you’ve digested this stuff, and you’ve oriented yourself in your own specific mnemonic temple, right, as you go through ritual, you know, but, um, so that’s kind of it individualized, right. But what’s interesting, I think, is that all masons are contributing to that mnemonic edifice. And if all masons are contributing to this mnemonic temple, at what point does it become a collective thought form? And I say, collective thought form because that is pretty much the definition of an egregore. Right? So you hear that word thrown around a lot. And to clarify kind of what it basically means an egregore is sort of collective mental projection, you know, that a group of people contribute to, it’s, it’s as if I think a good analogy is if, like holograms or holographs, or whatever they are, right? You get various focused beams of light, that intersect each other and create a three dimensional three dimensional image, right? I think that’s how that works or something like that, right, the light is projected, and it creates a seemingly three dimensional image, right. So, a collective thought form or an egregore is much like that, in in that many individuals project, their view of let’s say, in the Masonic case, on a temple, right, and if we are all projecting our specific individualized perspectives to this temple, then we are creating this holographic temple and that that is an egregore Oracle template is a collective thought form. So we as Freemasons share this egregore Oracle temple, because we all contribute through our individualized mnemonic temples to this more expansive, broader egregore Oracle temple on a higher hermetic plane, you know, higher. Does that make sense?
Jake Trayer 50:07
Yeah. What was your your? There was a question in there, though, that I think it said like At what point or something that would you said at what point does it really become its own like thought form? Yeah, I guess because so this is kind of how I would understand that, like, if you try to play the if the three of us try to play or, you know, adds five more if eight people try to play the telephone game, you know, there’s a good chance that it’s not going to get to the, from the first to the last person in tact as as it were, when it started, or the message, the meaning that was or the symbol, whatever, you know. So there’s very gray in there. I don’t think there’s a very obvious line, but at some point, you and enough people practice this oral tradition. I guess that’s at some point, it becomes an oral tradition that just that just I guess the definition in my mind would be that it’s when an unwritten tradition, right, and that that thought form, I guess, would emerge. The one you’re, you kind of asked for talked about emerges when meaning can be conveyed, like cross generationally, if that’s a term at all, right? Yeah. Even if it was just like, rote memorization for two, three generations, like once that thought form is so strong, and it’s been built up by so many people that it can pass through generate, which is something that Freemasonry has done phenomenally, right. It’s gone through generations of, like, dare I say, like lesser masons that are interested, lesser, and maybe it’s more esoteric, or deeper meaning, you know, when they were just kind of doing it for the fraternal aspect, this or that it’s gone through generations, and darker times where the meaning of Freemasonry wasn’t probably necessarily at the forefront of Freemasonry is mined or, you know, agric or what, but other generations are able to pick that up in an oral tradition like Freemasonry, pretty much is, you know, to an extent, I still see it as one. So, where that, you know, I don’t think it’s a very clear line because there’s, there’s many traditions that have been been passed down unwritten like that, but at some point, it reaches a level or level where that message, even if it’s told, even with, even like Freemasonry, right, there’s different ritual all over the place, but I think generally, Freemasonry all over the world at this point. Now having had what probably 10s of millions of members right over its history, generally speaking, like that hologram, whatever that hologram, I guess you’re explaining is the collective meaning Yeah, and it can just pass on now it’s as long as there’s enough brothers, I guess, to continue that tradition and keep passing it but it’s harder, obviously, with less and less people, which would be one fear about, you know, declining membership in the craft or whatever. But that’s how I would see when something is built to that point to where it can just keep going, regardless of its members really caring or not. What the what the more esoteric or deeper meaning is, and others can glean way down the road what what it might be, but that’s a pretty solid agregar
Unknown Speaker 53:55
any final words or anything Pat? observations, insights, anything.
Pat Shannahan 54:04
I just think it’s gonna make me appreciate what what I I have in store for me as I progressed to the second and third degree and start learning some of those lectures and you know, it is work but at the same time, the has a big payoff. I think
Jake Trayer 54:23
capital W work.
Jaime Paul Lamb 54:25
Yeah, yeah, isn’t not the most sort of it requires the most of us out of any of the work that we do as masons, I think, you know, memorization of ritual, and of lectures, etc, and a floor work and things like that. I mean, everything else is just showing up some place and being good being a good person. And, you know, I mean, there’s that stuff but the labor I think is really, when you have to sit in an officer’s chair, learn your part, be able to synthesize that part with the greater it within the context of the ritual with everybody else, and learn how to, you know, sequence and time things. And where is my part? Where does my part begin? Where does his part end? You know, how do we, so it is like, you know, there definitely seems to be that part of it. But my main takeaway, I think, is, is that we create a micro cosmic temple in our minds. And we contribute to a macro cosmic egregore Oracle temple outside of our minds, you know, it’s it’s an external. That’s fascinating to me. It’s an it’s an external edifice that every Mason contributes to, that does not belong to any Mason in particular, you know? So it’s something that’s externalized. Somehow, And to me, that’s the, that’s the most intriguing part are these planes upon which the temple manifests itself? But, Jay, Kenny, any last words?
Jake Trayer 56:34
Yeah, I would just say, like, take parts, get uncomfortable, like that’s, I didn’t want to do any public speaking. I didn’t realize that’s kind of what I was getting into when I join masonry. But anything that was thrown at me I just took and it’s paid off, like, tenfold. In my opinion, the uncomfortability of doing it a few times, is far outweighed by the reward of building that pneumonic temple. So I would say to anyone that might be uneasy about doing a lecture or whatever, just take it like take it get uncomfortable with it. Do it.
Pat Shannahan 57:20
Yeah, so let’s wrap it up. Yeah, so this is this has been episode six I think.
Jake Trayer 57:28
Number six, I think we’re back in the actual studio back in the same room recording trio Primo podcast.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai