2020Masters MessagesMasters Messages 2020

What’s in a number?

I’d first like to say that in the midst of the Pandemic we
are all going through, I hope this message finds you and
your family safe and healthy. If there is anything that is
needed, please reach out to the Relief Committee and we
will try to help as best we can.

We are surrounded by numbers. they guide us, restrict us, and free
us – all at the same time. Phone numbers free us to call each other
and connect. The numbers on the scale restrict us in what food we
should eat or, the number on the scale frees us to what exercise we
can do. Same for the number around our waists. In cycling, we are
governed by three numbers: cadence, speed, and output. We try to
find the balance within these three to get us to where we want to
go. The speed limit on streets restricts us in how fast we can ride.
Does it really? Or should we take that time to look around us and
see where we are, where we are coming from, and more clearly see
where we are going?

The ancient Babylonians observed the movements of the planets,
recorded them as numbers and used them to predict eclipses and
other astronomical phenomena. The priesthood of ancient Egypt
used numbers to predict the flooding of the Nile. Pythagoreanism
believed that numbers were the basis of the entire universe, which
ran on numerical harmony. Numbers are a part of our everyday
life.

What about the number 3? In Macky’s Encyclopedia of
Freemasonry, “Everywhere among the ancients, the number three
was deemed the most sacred of numbers. A reverence for its
mystical virtues is to be found among the Chinese, who say that
numbers begin at one and are made perfect at three.” In Plato’s
philosophy, the number three is the image of the Supreme Being.
Aristotle says that the number three contains within itself a
beginning, a middle, and an end. The Pythagoreans called it perfect
Harmony.

The Bible contains many references to threes. In Matthew
(12:40),” For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the
belly of the great fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and
three nights in the heart of the earth.”. From John (2:19-21), “Jesus
answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three
days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was
this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But
he spake of the temple of his body.”

What does the number three mean to us as Masons? There are the
obvious three degrees and what they represent. But there is more!
Of the five human senses, there are three that are particularly
peculiar among Masons. There are three steps on the Master’s
Carpet. We know of three ruffians. There are three great lights.
Three lesser lights. Three moveable jewels. Three immovable
jewels. There is a special meaning for three in the 47th Problem of
Euclid.

While what we are cannot be measured by a number, we must
remember that they are there to remind us of those solemn truths
that exist within the most innocent social pleasures.

Fraternally,
Worshipful Bro. Peter