Number 269 – March 15, 2010
Dear Masonic Student.
Below is an essay I had on file in my computer. I don’t know where I got it from, but I think you will find it interesting.
On the mind all our knowledge must depend…
The most amazing thing about the world is the human brain that appreciates it.
That mass of corrugated gray matter boxed in bone which registers the impressions received from all things, from stars to dust motes, is by far the most wonderful substance of all substances.
What would a tree mean if there were no brain to see it with its eye, to hear it with its ear, and to touch it with its hand? Nothing. Practically it would not exist.
There would be no sun if there were no eye, no perfumes if there were no nose, no sounds if there were no ear.
Blot out brains and the universe is extinguished.
There may be other suns in the sky, there may be spirit bodies moving among us, there
may be stupendous music swirling around us, all of such quality that we have no organ
to perceive them. For us they do not exist.
A telephone would be a dead thing and useless without a receiver. The brain is the
receiver of the universe.
Very wonderful is Paderewski’s performance upon the piano, Raphael’s colors upon canvas, Shakespeare’s words on paper, and all of the Creator’s glory of landscape and sea view; but not so miraculous as the grayish stuff in our heads that can receive their messages, record them, and translate them into emotion.
It was not such a task to create a world as it was to construct this curious organ that the world can play upon. For a world with no brain in it would be an Ysaye without a violin.
So also a Wagner opera is surpassed by the brains that can understand it. Newton’s mathematical theses, and Wordsworth’s poetry, and Socrates’ reasoning, and Lord Christ’s life truths, greater than these are the people that can grasp them.
My mind is the ultimate miracle. Long before this brain came into being there were electricity, light, sound, color, and all the phenomena of existence; but, actually, the universe was created when I was born, and when I die it will be the end of the world.
The whole cosmos, the sum of things, is all in that pulp in the bone-cup at the top of my spine.
More strange yet than our ability to perceive sights and sounds is our capacity for understanding those motions of pure spirit that go on in other brains. We can see the hope, love, hate, joy, and sorrow of another, interpreting them by words, signs, and other
We can grasp world plans, recondite scientific theories, and the subtlest refinements of thought. We can weep at poetry, laugh at comedy, mourn in sympathy, fear from our own fancies, feel sin and rightness, follow evil or worship God.
Of all jewels found in earth or sea, of all machines made by man’s cunning, of all the incomprehensible works of the Deity, nothing excels that handful of gray substance that functions like a locked-up god in the cranium of “the two-legged animal without feathers.”
Words to live by: “The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.” Mortimer J. Adler
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The Masonic Monday Question for the week of 03-15-10 is: Does an unaffiliated Mason enjoy the privilege of Masonic visitation?
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Mote has a few meanings – among them are: An archaic form of moot; may or might; a particle or speck of dust.
Eugène Ysaÿe – Violinist – July 16, 1858 – May 12, 1931
My new and preferred email address is: email@example.com
Three Five Seven: Papers for Lodge Education
Grand Lodge Education Officer