Throughout our lives, we have heard of the liberal arts and sciences. But until we were presented with them in The Winding Stair lecture, most of us had only a vague notion of what they consisted. The Fellowcraft Degree commends Freemasons to study the Liberal Arts and Sciences, which are grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. When we study the historical background for this list, we will uncover layers of Masonic meanings for us in each of the seven areas of knowledge.
Pythagoras was one of the greatest minds and philosophers of his time and his unquestionable influence can be felt even today in mathematics. It is believed that he was the first man who referred to himself as a “philosopher.” He was the founder of Pythagoreanism, a religious and political movement that appeared mainly in the big cities of Magna Grecia (today southern Italy).
Containing more real food for thought, and impressing on the receptive mind a greater truth than any other of the emblems in the lecture of the Sublime Degree, the 47th problem of Euclid generally gets less attention, and certainly less than all the rest. Just why this grand exception should receive so little explanation in our lecture; just how it has happened, that, although the Fellowcrafts degree makes so much of Geometry, Geometrys right hand should be so cavalierly treated, is not for the present inquiry to settle