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The significance of the number seven in ancient Greece and its relation to Endocrinology
Menalaos L. Batrinos
Athens, University School of medicine Athens, Greece
Many ancients held various beliefs about the supernatural virtues of certain numbers. In ancient Greece, the school of Pythagoras (590 BC) taught the doctrine of the numerical essence of natural events. In accordance with this theory, the number 7 was considered a sacred number and thus vital to human life.
Solon (640-560 BC), one of the "seven sages" of Greek antiquity, was the first to notice that certain biological events lend themselves to numerical description and divided the ages of man into ten, each lasting seven years.
Hippocrates (640-370 BC), divided man's life span into multiples of 7. Thus, according to him, one is a child up to the age of 7 "during which period the emergence of the teeth is completed", a boy until the age of 14 (7´2) at which time "the sperm is produced", a youth until the age of 21 (7´3) when "the thickness of the beard is completed", a young man until the age of 28 (7´4), a man up to the age of 49 (7´7), a "presbyter" or elder until the age of 56 (7´8) and then on up to the age of 7´14 (98 years) an old man.
Aristotle (384-323 BC) states that the menarche occurs at "around the age of two times seven" (14 years) and the age of 21 (7´3) is the optimum age for childbearing. The age of menopause is indirectly mentioned by him in his writings to be the 50th year (7´7 rounded to 50) since he states that "for the most part, 50 marks in women the end of births".
Reflecting upon these ancient observations, one is tempted to remark that in both sexes, certain endocrine events also occur at chronological ages that are multiples of seven" adrenarche occurs at about the 7th year of age and menarche and sperm production close to the age of 14 (7´2). By the age of 21 years (7´3) the ortimum bone mass has been acquired and a pregnancy by this age protects from breast cancer. At about the age of 28 (7´4), the decline of growth hormone production begins, which thence falls by 50% every 7 years. At the age of 35 (7´5), a progressive decline in adrenal androgen production commences together with a steep diminution of ovarian follicles. The age of 42 (7´6) is believed to mark the beginning of the premenopausal period and the age of 49 (7´7) is the average age of menopause.
"Brethren, I charge you to regard your apron as one of the most precious and speaking symbols our Order has to give you. Remember that when you first wore it it was a piece of pure white lambskin; an emblem of that purity and innocence which we always associate with the lamb and with the newborn child. Remember that you first wore it with the flap raised, it being thus a five-cornered badge, indicating the five senses, by means of which we enter into relations with the material world around us (our "five points of fellowship" with the material world), but indicating also by the triangular portion above, in conjunction with the quadrangular portion below, that man's nature is a combination of soul and body; the three-sided emblem at the top added to the four-sided emblem beneath making seven, the perfect number; for, as it is written in an ancient Hebrew doctrine with which Masonry is closely allied, "God blessed and loved the number the seven more than all things under His throne," by which is meant that man, the seven-fold being, is the most cherished of all the Creator's works. And hence also it is that the Lodge has seven principal officers, and that a Lodge, to be perfect, requires the presence of seven brethren; though the deeper meaning of this phrase is that the individual man, in virtue of his seven-fold constitution, in himself constitutes the "perfect Lodge," if he will but know himself and analyse his own nature aright."
Walter L. WilmshurstThe Deeper Symbolism of Freemasonry
I am a big believer in communications skills. In reading the Masonic correspondence of George Washington, I find that he was quite poetic in his language. Not that he was a particularly poetic person, although he might have been, but that it was necessary that a man in a position of power and influence needed to have a masterful command of language.
Bro. President Washington found it necessary to say nearly the same thing to dozens of people, lodges, and other organizations which were at the time fawning over him, and maybe trying to ingratiate themselves. Yet, he took the time to compose poetic responses using the language of Masonry. He rarely used the same phrases although he was essentially saying the same thing - "thank you for your kind words". He wrote multiple drafts, and considered the act of communication as a key component of his position.
I believe there is a lesson we can draw from this commitment as we look to focus our own attention to how we communicate.
"Fellow-citizens and Brothers, of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
I have received your address with all the feelings of brotherly affection, mingled with those sentiments, for the Society, which it was calculated to excite.
To have been, in any degree, an instrument in the hands of Providence, to promote order and union, and erect upon a solid foundation the true principles of government, is only to have shared with many others in a labour, the result of which let us hope, will prove through all ages, a sanctuary for brothers and a lodge for the virtues, -
Permit me to reciprocate your prayers for my temporal happiness, and to supplicate that we may all meet thereafter in that eternal temple, whose builder is the great architect of the Universe.
"We do not believe that genuine Initiates produced the Book on nature, since this was contrary to the rules of the Egyptian Mysteries, in connexion with which the Philosophical Schools conducted their work. Egypt was the centre of the body of ancient wisdom, and knowledge, religious, philosophical and scientific spread to other lands through student Initiates. Such teachings remained for generations and centuries in the form of tradition, until the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great, and the movement of Aristotle and his school to compile Egyptian teaching and claim it as Greek Philosophy."
“For the principal ideas are certain forms, or stable and unchangeable reasons of things themselves not formed, and so continuing eternal and always after the same manner, which are contained in the divine understanding. And though they themselves do not perish, yet after their pattern everything is said to be formed that is able to come into being and to perish. But it is affirmed that the soul is not able to behold them, save it be the rational soul.”
The Ionic column is far more complex in creation than its brother, the Doric column. Unlike the Doric column, the Ionic column has deeper facets and a slender shaft. The Ionic column is widely known for the pair of volutes (spiral looking horns, like those commonly seen on a ram) on either side of the capital. A simple, thin square belt that runs form the bottom of the capital and ends at the top of the base separates the flutes of the Ionic column. The base of the column is not without its distinguishing features of carved moldings and intricate figures that really enhance the elegance of this past column. In all, the Ionic column is a more elegant column than the Doric.
Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand.
"For it is impossible to-day, as it was impossible in ancient times, for a man to reach the heights of moral perfection and spiritual consciousness which were then, and are now, the goal and aim of all the schools of the Mysteries and all the secret orders, without purification and trial. Complete stainlessness of body, utter purity of mind, are absolute essentials to the attainment of things of great and final moment."