by B. W. Lingerfelt
Bellevue Lodge #325
Many brothers might be unaware that William Schaw, a pivotal figure in the history of Freemasonry, prohibited the admittance of anyone into a lodge who could not demonstrate skill in “the art of memory.” In 1599, He ordered the General Warden to “test every fellow of the craft and every apprentice on the art of memory and science thereof,” adding that, “fellows of the craft…shall not be admitted without a sufficient test and proof of memory and art of craft.”
The above excerpt from Solomon’s Memory Palace sets the tone for this important new work on memorization.
Memorization has, for centuries, been an important part of the learning process and is particularly important for Masons. While the average speaker may be able to give a “general” recitation of a text, it is incumbent upon Masons to be word perfect in the ritual.
Fortunately, this sort of challenge was addressed centuries ago by the greatest thinkers and their solution was made into a system that allowed them to memorize, word perfect, large tracts of text. Unfortunately, the methods used were often difficult to understand and learn.
With this book by Brother Lingerfelt, the mystery and complexity of the ancient methods of memorization have been removed and a system that anyone can adopt is now available to the modern Mason.
Solomon’s Memory Palace lays out the history and progression of the development of “the art of memory” and then breaks it down into an understandable, actionable method that can be employed for our Masonic work. The author has used these methods himself to memorize lectures and other parts of the ritual shortly after being raised, so he knows this method works!
Brother Lingerfelt has agreed to share a free PDF version of his book with Nebraska Masons in the hope it can help those that are struggling with the memorization or just need a new approach to an old problem.