Shades of Eloquence
Our souls are perhaps the only part of us that does not cast its shadow. The soul, in its capacity, has the power to commune with God and is a reflection of the "Uncreated Light" Our souls are mirrors that collects instead of reflects all the moral splendors of the Universe.The soul alone is the key which unlocks all the treasures of the universe; the power that reigns over Space, Time, and Eternity.The soul under God, is the Sovereign Dispenser to man of all the blessings and glories that lie within the compass of possession, or range of possibility.Virtue, Heaven and Immortality only exist in the thought of the glorious mind.
As is so frequent with my itinerant poet sprite, it recently whispered the above discourse into my waking conscious, exemplifying “shades or shadows of eloquence.” I am now perplexed and I dither as to what to do with it. I have been long plagued with such as this for years. It once alarmed me somewhat to receive diaspora of unattached words and phrases, especially the gospel hymns. I would wake with “Nearer my God to Thee”, “I love to tell the story" or "Amazing Grace” rambling(jamming) around in my head and I would persist in humming them all day. Talk about being anxious, thinking the eternal might be preparing me to meet "Thy Maker"
Eloquence is not an often used word. The only reference that came to mind is a podium in our Masonic Lodge. It was built by and donated to the lodge by an elder Mason who referred to it as “The Estacion(Station) of Eloquence” It is located in the East next to The Master’s Chair and we use it to address the lodge when presenting our lessons/lectures in Masonic Education. In Masonry we don't have spots, we have Station and Places and and what we call the Chairs. Secret Stuff Guvernor!
Eloquence is defined as; a noun denoting fluency, articulateness, expressiveness, persuasiveness. It is often referred to as being silver tongued, or having the gift of gab, someone having a way with words. Other definitions would be forcefulness, potency, oratory rhetoric, or just graceful discourse. It can also be used to describe powerful writing such as with Shakespeare or Mark Twain. I don’t particularly care for eloquence being used as powerful or forceful as would be used in demagoguery or political rhetoric. I would rather use "soft graceful discourse",(genteel flattery) a fluid oration or narration with proper pauses and beautiful descriptive adjectives.
My idea of eloquence is this letter that was supposedly penned by Abraham Lincoln to one, Mrs Bixby, who had lost five sons in the Civil War. Please note the expressive and compassionate language and the perfect cursive writing. How sad it is to know that this has gone by the wayside as so much else has in this modern age
I mentioned speaking from this Estacion of Eloquence during our Masonic lodge meetings. The following would be an example of what is put forth as Masonic Education:
Immortal lesson # 434, Morals and Dogma, by Albert Pike
Everywhere, human life is a great and solemn dispensation. Man, suffering, enjoying, loving, hating, hoping, and fearing, chained to earth and yet exploring the far recesses of the universe, has power to commune with God and His angels. Around this great action of existence the curtains of Time are drawn; but there are openings through them which give us glimpses of eternity. God looks down upon this scene of human probation. The wise and the good in all ages have interposed for it, with their teachings and their blood. Everything that exists around us, every movement in nature, every counsel of Providence, every interposition of God, centers upon one point, the fidelity of man. And even if the ghosts of the departed and remembered could come at midnight through our barred doors into our dwellings, and the shrouded dead should glide through the aisles of our churches and sit in our Masonic temples, their teachings would be no more eloquent and impressive than the dread realities of life: than those memories of misspent years, those ghosts of departed opportunities, that pointing to our conscience and eternity, cry continually in our ears, “work while the day lasts! For the night of death cometh in which no man can work” Morals and Dogma, 1862, by Albert Pike
In our lodge we would of course expound upon this and discuss it at length. This is Freemasonry, Ancient Free Masonry and we are defined as The Ancient Science of Morality. We are descended from a Middle Ages order of warrior monks “The Knights Templar” Our ancient brethren were basically Ecclesiastical Navy Seals or Army Recon Rangers. Bald headed, bearded monks, wearing Catholic friar cassocks, living in a priory, unless put in a pinch and then they would fight to the death for their God.
The lesson above, from Albert Pike, is from the same time frame as the Lincoln letter, the middle 1800's. What has become of this eloquence of the written word or for that matter the same gentile speech of the same period. Even our founding fathers spoke with the same educated eloquence.
I am saddened by the machinations of this modern "Device Age" where conversation is thumbed haphazardly onto mini devices with misspellings and abbreviations and hash tag exaggerations plus snide insults demeaning everyone on Facebook. Tweeting and twittering incessantly into an omnipotent Cloud. Daubing with their digits upon mini flat screens, pecking like hens at inaccessible ciphers beneath that thin membrane. Pummeling their devices with their thumbs as if trying to attract its attention. Strumming with their index finger as if attempting to remove an errant hair or piece of lint.
Teenagers even text each other across the same table and giggle innocently not knowing they are losing their ability to communicate audibly. Forever lost will be the decorum of academic propriety and astuteness. Someone may ask them a question one day and they will only be able to pantomime with their fingers or gurgle a throaty but unintelligible retort. The new fashion accessory of a woman is her Smart Phone held in one hand, speaking into its bottom, oblivious to all those around them. Even worse are the Blue Toothers carrying on a conversation with someone oblivious to their level of audible oratory.
I digress when I speak of hens pecking being these last two generations would not be cognoscente of this idiom. I am just an old person snarling at the obnoxious and blatant intrusion of modern technology upon my sensibilities. I was once strong and stood in the breech but I have been over run by the Saracen's assault or is it by Emoji s, GIF's or Smiley Face Stickers?