The Trivium Discussion Group
2nd Tuesday of every month 7-9PM
Palm Springs Masonic Center
Open to the Public
We believe that we are holding true to our roots of Masonry because when you take the time to think and meditate on Operative Masonry you will come to the conclusion that there was a lot of learning in the Craft. The Master Mason took on an apprentice for seven years to teach him the whole of his Craft so that he can finally go work on his own and make his own way in life. He had to sit at the feet of the Master and learn the theory first and then learn how to apply it in real life. That took a commitment to learning and discipline.
So what does this have to do with the Trivium and discussion?
“The earliest evidence for linking Masonry to the Seven Liberal Arts and the Sciences is the Regius Poem possibly written by a monk from Llanthony Priory, Monmoushire, around 1390” p. 7 California Freemason Oct. 2013
This poem proclaimed that Masonry has always been associated with “Grammar, Logicke, Rhetorick, Arithmatic, Geometry, Musick, and Astronomie.” This is an unmistakable reference to the 7 liberal arts composed of the Trivium (Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric) and the Quadrivium (Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy).
The early Lodges of the 18th century were brought about in a time of great change in the world. The Enlightenment was just getting into full swing and everything was changing: religion, education, science, and politics. Not everyone was thrilled with all these changes, especially those formerly in control of all aspects of the common’s man’s life. So where else could these things be discussed safely if not in a Lodge? Many of the concepts of Masonry, while considered part of our culture today, were quite radical in their time. The simplest example being the acceptance of people of a wide range of faiths. That kind of thinking would have gotten you killed in earlier times and in fact did account for a great many deaths.
In looking at the ritual and lectures one can see the Enlightenment ideas over and over. The various philosophic paths are represented as well. So it is very likely that Masonic Lodges were in fact places of great learning and discussion about topics of great importance to all men in an atmosphere of safety and cooperation.
Palm Springs Lodge has noticed that this practice of getting people together to do some critical thinking and discussion has been missing in our society for some time.
Our mission therefore has become to get people thinking and sharing views on important questions and not just surface discussion but deep thinking, challenging your beliefs, really digging down and finding out why you believe what you believe.
Our ritual and lectures talk repeatedly about learning more and making yourself better. How?
It has been our observation that especially in today’s world, the need for honest, open, searching discussion on critical questions is vital to being a fully rounded man and eventually Mason.
We therefore have dedicated part of our time at lodge to helping to return the legacy of critical thinking and dialog into the Lodge scene by both studying the Trivium and also having discussions on important and relevant topics.
Through the study of the Trivium (Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric) we learn an” integrated approach to unlocking the power of the mind.
We study the Trivium to learn how to learn because we want to learn how to critically think for ourselves. We want to become first hand independent thinkers rather than remain second-hand, dependent thinkers.
We wish to produce appropriate critical, creative, self-sufficient individuals who become equipped to attract intellectual abundance into their lives as well as that which naturally follows from it- material abundance.
The ultimate goal of learning and practicing the Trivium is to able to reach an awakened state of education where we can thoroughly and critically entertain various ideas without necessarily embracing them. In other words we come into possession of an open mind. We free ourselves from our own opinions and prejudices.
This will be our charitable contribution to the community, our community service. Charity to us means something different. At the time when our rituals were being written, charity was understood as the translation of the Latin word caritas, the meaning of which to the Romans was ‘preciousness’ or referring to something of a high price. It later became the Latin translation for the Greek word agape, which is known to us as an unconditional spiritual love for God and humanity.”
Thereforethe promotion of wisdom, strength and beauty, in the form of patronage for the very arts and humanities about which we have always taught, is the best philanthropic hand that we believe Masonry can extend to our community and the world. We who are seeking to do good works have chosen this course over all other options, it speaks directly to the principles laid down in our several lectures, as well as to who we are and what we should become as Masons.
Come join us every second Tuesday of every month. The sessions are from 7pm to 9pm. We are currently reading the book The Trivium by Sister Mariam Joseph and review one chapter per month. The first fifteen minutes of the night are devoted to reviewing the chapter we were assigned for that month then we get into deep discussion on our two to three questions of the night. There are discussion etiquette guidelines that are followed and we are holding discussion not debates. If this interests you please come by and join us.