I am no longer opposed to them based on the principle of the initiatic experience. It remains a valid point, the quality of the experience is reduced, yes. This reduced quality may not compel the initiate to transformation, yes – but that is not the major point. We have that problem already, without one-day-classes.
This is Freemasonry, not a fringe occult of personality. In the Degrees, we do not wave a magic wand over your head and declare you divinely changed. We do not manipulate your aura. We do not channel the power of the gods.The ritual does not change you.
Masonic initiation takes work. It takes effort on the part of the initiate. It is a hero’s journey in the classical sense. The initiation shows you the path. You must walk it. No one can walk it for you, no one who has the power to bypass it for you, the Lord of the Labyrinth will not show you a shortcut. Masonic Initiation means learning the Work, studying it, performing it, passing it on, over, and over again. You must commit it to your soul through inculcation. By this standard, most Masons remain uninitiated – and that is a good thing. It is meant to be that way. However, if you are willing to stare into the darkness, and bleed, and sweat, and toil, and cry, and laugh, and sing then you may work in our quarries to make the world a better place for those, you’ll likely never meet, and find illumination.
My objection to one-day-classes is that they engender lazy leadership, not lazy initiation. In the end, it is not how the instructions are communicated, rather whether you do the Work. A Lodge, who does not do the Work that matters, does not instruct in the history and philosophy of the work, and doesn’t give new blood the chance to do the same, is in need of new leaders, not new tools of initiation.