The Importance of The Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences

The Importance of The Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences

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All Freemasons are introduced to the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences on their Masonic journey.

Many U.S. Masonic lodges, seemed to have forgotten the importance of the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences. Unfortunately, very few Masons today, take their introduction and instruction on the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences with any degree of seriousness, and never learn anything about these classic arts.

“The liberal arts do not conduct the soul all the way to virtue, but merely set it going in that direction.” ~ Seneca, Moral Letters to Lucilius, Vol. 2

“It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that, he does not really need a college. He can learn them from books. The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.” ~ Albert Einstein

Recently, Entrepreneur Billionaire Mark Cuban said in an interview;

“I personally think there’s going to be a greater demand in 10 years for liberal arts majors than there were for programming majors and maybe even engineering, because when the data is all being spit out for you, options are being spit out for you, you need a different perspective in order to have a different view of the data. And so having someone who is more of a free thinker.” See the video 

“Cuban’s forecast of the skills needed to succeed in the future echoes that of computer science and higher education experts who believe people with “soft skills,” like adaptability and communication, will have the advantage in an automated workforce.” (1)

“Technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our hearts sing.” ~ Steve Jobs, March 2, 2011

“Throughout major U.S. tech hubs, whether Silicon Valley or Seattle, Boston or Austin, Tex., software companies are discovering that liberal arts thinking makes them stronger.” (2)

Sometimes we forget, that Freemason means, Free – Free Thinker  – Mason- Builder – A Free Thinker, utilizing our logic and reason, to build our life temple. We essentially leave the human herding mentality becoming our own architect.

Most young Masons, regardless of their education, and anyone, will benefit greatly from learning the Classic Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences. I have just shown that many outstanding Entrepreneurs, think that a Liberal Arts education is perfect training for our present and future technological age. My own Masonic Mentor put a high value on a Liberal Arts and Science Education and one of his first recommendations to me was, How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler. A great book. This book is now considered college level reading but back in the 1940’s – 1960’s it was given to grade school children to read.

“The average high school student in the U.S. reads at a 5th grade level, and the average adult American reads somewhere between the 7th and 8th grade levels.”  (3)

According to the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA) in 2009, the percentage of Americans who read at least one book of fiction or nonfiction in the previous 12 months (outside of work or school requirements) decreased from the early 1990s to 2008, the time span for which data of this kind are available. Whereas in 1992 61% of Americans reported having read a book for pleasure during the previous year, in 2008 54% reported having done so.

Lack of time is the most frequent reason given for not reading books more often by 25-39 year-olds (56%). Respondents who left education at 15 or before, give lack of interest as the main reason for not reading more (44%), while just 25% mention lack of time. Strikingly, at least 45% of all those leaving education after the age of 15 years of age, say that lack of time is the most important reason for not reading more.

According to a study conducted in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the U.S. can’t read. That’s 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read.

According to the Department of Justice, “The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure.” The stats back up this claim: 85 percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, and over 70 percent of inmates in America’s prisons cannot read above a fourth grade level, according to BeginToRead.com.

In October 2013, the U.S. incarceration rate was the highest in the world, at 716 per 100,000 of the national population. While the United States represents about 4.4 percent of the world’s population, it houses around 22 percent of the world’s prisoners.

Let’s get back into the Classic Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences of Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, Geometry, Arithmetic, Music, Astronomy and how they can be applied to Freemasonry and life.

Grammar – Grammar is the foundation for asking questions, who, what, where, and why. It challenges the incoming data and information and instead of emotionally reacting to it or blindly repeating it as a truth, the data or information is defined and perceived by the five senses without emotion.

Logic – Logic processes and analyzes, the incoming information or data by the process of identifying fallacious arguments and statements and systematically removes untruths and contradictions, thereby producing factual knowledge that can be trusted.

Rhetoric – Rhetoric is the written or verbal art of communication, wherein a writer or speaker strives to inform, persuade or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. Rhetoric uses the factual information gained from grammar and the logical process of deconstructing untruths and fallacious arguments and statements to provide a persuasive argument based on logic and truth.

You will find that the Trivium used in a negative way by some people, especially politicians.

Let’s stop here and see how these three classic arts can be applied in Freemasonry.

Every Master Mason and even those wanting to become a Master Mason can be encouraged to participate in Masonic education, writing and delivering a 30-40 minute talk. These talks can utilize their Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric skills.

See my article,

What Masonic Education Should Be and Shouldn’t Be 

Geometry, Arithmetic, Music, and Astronomy help us become balanced and open up our understanding our ourselves and the world around us.

The Classic Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences Are More Important Than Ever, As Technology, Makes Us Less Intelligent

Looking at these studies, I can understand why Mark Cuban and others believe that Liberal Arts is the future of education.

Most People Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish (4)

8 Ways Technology Makes You Stupid (5)

People Getting Dumber? Human Intelligence Has Declined Since Victorian Era, Research Suggests (6)

One thing that is certain, the Classic Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences, will give us the tools to make better choices and decisions in a technological world.

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” ~ Francis Bacon

Here are some book recommendations to chewed and digested.

Click On the link or book and Get A Copy…

I’ve always had this idea, that if kids were home schooled with these 4 books when they were younger, they could develop an immense IQ and creative skills.

Trivium: The Classical Liberal Arts of Grammar, Logic, & Rhetoric

Quadrivium: The Four Classical Liberal Arts of Number, Geometry, Music, & Cosmology

Sciencia: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Astronomy for All


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References

(1) Mark Cuban: Don’t Go to College to Study Business. Study the Humanities

(2) That ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket

(3) How to Read a Book

(4) You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish

(5) 8 Ways Technology Makes You Stupid

(6) People Getting Dumber? Human Intelligence Has Declined Since Victorian Era, Research Suggests

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