I believe that the Trivium and the Quadrivium are the pillars of Freemasonry and without them are craft is at a disadvantage, especially in this mass information world.
We like to say that we make a good man better but how do we do that? How about teaching a man to logically and reasonably be able to interpret others and the world around them (known as Grammar in the Trivium), being able to understand the real truth and wisdom within the mass information gluttony of false and mis-leading information and data that comes at us every day (known as Logic in the Trivium) and then being able to speak in a wise, truthful and persuasive manner to educate others (known as Rhetoric in the Trivium).
Once the Trivium is learned we start with the Quadrivium. The Quadrivium is the four subjects, or arts of arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy because these four things make up the world in which we live.
To really understand and comprehend the Quadrivium, the Trivium must be learned first and in this order, Grammar, Logic and then Rhetoric. I cannot emphasize this enough.
Let’s look at why the Trivium and the Quadrivium are essential in Freemasonry and in today’s world.
As I mentioned before, we live in a time of mass information overload. Just about everyone is trying to get attention using social media and other forms of digital communication.
Information overload is also known as infobesity or infoxication.
In the “The Influence of Task Interruption on Individual Decision Making: An Information Overload Perspective“, the authors stated;
“Information overload occurs when the amount of input to a system exceeds its processing capacity. Decision makers have fairly limited cognitive processing capacity. Consequently, when information overload occurs, it is likely that a reduction in decision quality will occur.”
This is essentially what is happening today to our minds. Our limited cognitive processing capacity is being bombarded in many directions with data and limiting our ability to correctly process this information.
Add unhealthy gmo, sugar filled, processed, fast foods to the mix and our minds are auto-pilot stupid most of the time. We all know that Freemasons eat a healthy diet at our annual picnics, bar-b-ques, ice cream socials and dinner lodges.
This is important because the number of people in the USA with Alzheimer’s disease will almost triple by 2050. Numbers are projected to rise from about 5 million now to 13.8 million.
Right now in 2017, 1 in 3 seniors die from Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
See my article series –
The mind is a terrible thing to waste and have waste away.
This is especially important when the Trivium and the Quadrivium was taken out of the western public education system well over 100 years ago and the ancient and still current method of filtering, processing and speaking no longer is something most people possess.
Freemasonry at times has tried to resurrect and keep these pillars of education alive but even our lodges have stopped emphasizing and teaching the ancient filtering education and knowledge system of the Trivium and the Quadrivium. Our lodges are becoming inundated with gossip, media propaganda, ad hominem attacks and fallacies.
For this reason, I bring the Trivium and the Quadrivium to all of my brothers in the craft and to anyone who wants to learn how to filter out mass disinformation in the world today.
“People today are in danger of drowning in information; but, because they have been taught that information is useful, they are more willing to drown than they need be.”
If they could handle information, they would not have to drown at all.” ~ Idries Shah, Reflections
The abundance of books is a distraction)” ~ Seneca
“Even for studies, where expenditure is most honorable, it is justifiable only so long as it is kept within bounds. What is the use of having countless books and libraries, whose titles their owners can scarcely read through in a whole lifetime? The learner is, not instructed, but burdened by the mass of them, and it is much better to surrender yourself to a few authors than to wander through many.” ~ Seneca, Treatises: On Providence, on Tranquility of Mind, on Shortness of Life, on Happy Life
I believe that Seneca would say the same thing about the mass of information we are exposing ourselves to today and overloading ourselves with.
“With enough mental gymnastics, just about any fact can become misshapen in favor to one’s confirmation bias.” ~ Criss Jami, Healology
What I have learned from various websites and blogging is that most people don’t usually try anything out that is new to them, they will look up and read the opinions and the views of others online and then make up their mind as to what the value something has based upon what other people think.
Keep in mind that they may not know any of these people and even if they are people (web bots). Can anyone else perceive the insanity and danger to wiring our minds to think like this?
When did the Internet and what’s on it become factual based information that can be trusted without further research?
The root of the problem is that, computer processing and memory is increasing every year with the ability to output more information faster and faster. The human mind and our consciousness that records the mass amount of data coming at us is already easily being overloaded and cannot adapt fast enough to keep up with today’s computing power.
“Current research suggests that the surging volume of available information—and its interruption of people’s work—can adversely affect not only personal well-being but also decision making, innovation, and productivity. In one study, for example, people took an average of nearly 25 minutes to return to a work task after an e-mail interruption. That’s bad news for both individuals and their organizations.”
“Ringing phones and e-mail alerts lower IQs by 10 points”
“Information overload costs the U.S. economy $900 billion a year”
Death by Information Overload
We have become so re-wired by information overload that 80% of the people who started reading this article have already checked out on it or are multi-tasking on something else while there reading it. Even more amazing, 80% of the people who viewed this article on social media just looked at the picture with it and read the headline, even though they may commented on it and shared it.
I‘m going to stop here for now but in my next article I’m going to discuss the results of how technology, information overload and the news is effecting the lives of everyone in some very negative ways.
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