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Article # 261
The Sleep of Reason

Author: R.W.Bro. Leon Zeldis    Posted on: Friday, October 4, 2013
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The Sleep of Reason
A  short  story  by R.W.Bro. Leon Zeldis (Chile/USA/Israel)


“  The sleep of reason breeds monsters” -- Francisco Goya, 1746-1828


The first sense he gradually recovered was hearing. Suddenly he was conscious of a a tremor, a vibration, that became more defined by moments, sounds of instruments, the hum of electricity, dull shocks, pulsations, and among all these, unintelligible interjections, orders given in such a low voice that he could not make out the language spoken.

He was invaded by a feeling of jubilation, exultation. He had done it! He had been right, and all doubting Thomases who had laughed at him, including his own wife, had been wrong! He felt a tinge of remorse, thinking of Laura. How many years had passed? Perhaps centuries. Laura and all her generation had probably disappeared and memory of his existence been erased.

The sounds around him continued without change. For some reason, he didn't want to open his eyes. His internal sensations had returned. He felt he was breathing unassisted. His throat was dry, and something had been introduced into his mouth that bothered him. Possibly an ultrasound probe.  He felt various aches in arms, legs, neck. Nothing unbearable. He paid attention to the sounds, trying to distinguish what language they were speaking, but found nothing, except for the certainty that it was neither English nor Spanish. He thought it might be Japanese, or an African language. He was not surprised; the Japanese were in the forefront of technology. Surely they would have developed the instruments and procedures to revive people held in cryogenic stasis. 

Again he was filled with joy. He had to make an effort to refrain from exploding in a burst of laughter. When he was diagnosed with cancer, it took him only a short time to reach a decision. He did not trust surgery; what's more, he had an irrational fear of the scalpel. His mother, too, had died of cancer. His decision was logical and reasonable: in the course of time, the cure for all diseases would be found, including cancer. The thing was to be able to wait. He wanted his body to be frozen, kept at a temperature that would prevent decomposition of the tissues. The cells would revive after being unfrozen. That had been demonstrated. The technology to revive persons was almost within reach, how much easier it would be in future generations, when a cure had been found! That was only theory, but now it was a fact.

The proof was himself: he was alive! 

Involuntarily, a sigh left his lips. Immediately he felt a change in the noises surrounding him. The whispers increased and he felt his arms and neck being touched. Still, he didn't want to open his eyes. Carefully, he moved a finger of his right hand. Success! He could move it, with some muscle pain, but without difficulty. His brain controlled his body. He was really alive!

He began making plans for the future. Was he the first to be revived? If that was the case, he could sell his story to the press. If there was a press in that future. Communications had to exist. Perhaps television, or internet, or whatever. A man from the twenty-first century revived. That did not happen every day. His name probably was being displayed throughout the planet.

The planet. This reminded him of certain projects discussed before the procedure. Eventually, he was told, the bodies kept in cryogenic stasis would be sent into outer space, where the cold and the absence of bacteria would keep them in perfect conservation as long as necessary, without having to maintain the artificial cold that would be required on the surface of the earth.

Somebody started carefully pulling out the tube from his throat. He had a momentary spasm of nausea, but it passed and the tube was out and he could breathe unmolested.

Slowly, he opened his eyes. Lights, colors, vague shadows. It was difficult to focus. The muscles had lost the habit. Besides, the light was dazzling. The room became almost completely silent, only the background noise of the instruments continued.

He tried to raise an arm to shade his eyes, but he was unable to. He felt an instant of panic, until he realized that the problem was not in his muscles, but that he was tied down on the bed. He turned his head and could see, close to the headboard, a silver table like that in a hospital, displaying a collection of surgical instruments, knives of various sizes, saws, and other tools whose purpose he could not even guess. Tired, he laid back his head and closed the eyes.

It was logical that activating his muscles would be difficult. Nothing to worry about. He thought of the funds he had left deposited in the bank. His lawyers had sworn that no court of law in the world would allow any of his heirs to touch that money According to his calculations, discounting the expenses of maintaining the body; the capital should duplicate every twenty years or less. He was probably a mega-millionaire. He laughed inside. With enough money you can buy even immortality!

He felt a bit stronger and opened his eyes again. This time it seemed that he could focus better, or perhaps they had lowered the intensity of the lights. He could discern figures with white coats, but the faces were in the shadows.

A bluish tentacle slid over his chest and arranged an electric contact. A feeling of horror seized him. What was that?

With a desperate effort he half-closed the eyes to help focus them. He finally distinguished the faces of those around: shapeless bulbs, with disgusting fringes of flaccid flesh hanging over things that could be eyes or mouths or beaks, or something else.

Now they approached, balancing, stretching towards him their viscous tentacles, whispering in their unintelligible language. A cry of desperation came from the depths of his soul. Immediately, two fetid, dripping tentacles closed his mouth.

Opening his eyes as wide as he could, he saw them grabbing the knives and coming closer. He was unable to cry.

Then the experiments started.


R.W.Bro.Leon Zeldis was born on June 20 th in 1930 in Buenos Aires. He was the fifth child of his parents, who were Russian Immigrants. His family moved to Chile in 1931. He grew up and was educated in Valparaiso, Chile. He graduated as a Textile Engineer from Philadelphia University in 1952. He also graduated in Linguistics, History and Business Administration. He married Luisa Drapkin in 1956. They have four children and ten grandchildren. The family immigrated to Israel in 1962. He retired as Quality Control Engineer. As an Academician, he has been the Professor of Philosophic and Masonic Studies in La Republica University, Santiago in Chile from 1996, Visiting Professor Universidad Complutense, Madrid and Professor of Textile History and Technology, State Technical University, Santiago up to 1962. The Chilean Government has appointed him as Honorary Consul of Chile in Tel Aviv from 1963 and awarded the Order Bernardo O’Higgins.He was initiated into the mysteries and privileges of Freemasonry in America Lodge (No.86) Chile. He was a Founder member of "La Fraternidad, Lodge( No 62 )of Tel Aviv (1970),which was the first Spanish-speaking lodge in Israel, working in the AASR.and of which he became the W.M in 1971. He had held various offices in the Grand Lodge of Israel, of which he is the Honorary Assistant Grand Master from 1995. In Royal Arch, he was installed as the First Principal of Har Sinai Chapter in1985. He held various offices in R. A. Grand Chapter, including that of Grand Chaplain. He has taken the Degrees of Captivity, Royal Select and Super-Excellent Master Degrees and Royal Ark Mariner. . In Scottish Rite , he was elevated to 4th Degree AASR in 1969, Coroneted Active Sovereign Grand Inspector General 33° in 1991.He has served as Grand Secretary General in 1993-1995 and elected as Sovereign Grand Commander in1996-1998. He is an active member of various Masonic Research bodies as follows. Founder Member, Chair of Philosophical and Masonic Studies "Dr. René García Valenzuela", Universidad La República, Santiago, Chile., Fellow, Philalethes Society, Contributing Member, Scottish Rite Research Society (USA), Member, Society of Blue Friars and Correspondence member, Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, England. Honorary Member of "Rey Salomón" Lodge No 105, Lima, Perú (1982), Supreme Council for Italy (1996), Academia Maçónica de Letras de Pernambuco, Brazil (1997), "Salem" Lodge of Perfection N° 12, Haifa, Israel (1997),Supreme Council for France (1998) ,"King Solomon" Lodge of Perfection N° 13, Ra'anana, Israel (1998), "Montefiore" Lodge N° 753, Glasgow, Scotland (1999). "Hermes" Lodge N° 13, Madrid, (2000), "Max Polliack" Rose-Croix Chapter N° 4, Ra'anana, Israel (2002), and "Lázaro Cárdenas del Río" Lodge N° 57, México City (2002), "Mount Moriah" Rose-Croix Chapter N° 2, Jerusalem, Israel (1975), "Ramat Gan" N° 6 Lodge of Perfection, Ramat Gan, Israel (1978), "La Esperanza" N° 72 Lodge, Haifa, Israel (1978), "France" Lodge N° 77, Jerusalem, Israel (1993), "Jerusalem" Lodge N° 909, Paris, France (1995), "Jerusalem" Lodge N° 91, Roma, Italy (1996),"Igualdad" Rose-Croix Chapter N° 3, Tel Aviv, Israel (1998) and "Galilee" Lodge N° 31, Nazareth, Israel (2003) He was the Representative of the Grand Lodge of Chile near the Grand Lodge of Israel (1976-1993), Representative of Grand Chapter of South Carolina near the Grand Chapter of Israel (1983), Representative of the Supreme Council of Ecuador near the Supreme Council of Israel (1991). Representative of Grand Lodge of Spain near the Grand Lodge of Israel, He was awarded Tiradentes Medal, by the Supreme Council of the Federal Republic of Brazil (1992).Besides all those distinctions, he enjoys the unique reputation of an erudite Masonic scholar and a prolific writer and has presented many papers in the Research Lodges. Many of his articles have been posted in the premier Masonic website Pietre Stones Review of Freemasonry. He maintains the website in which his articles have been posted. Visits to that website is earnestly recommended for acquiring great Masonic knowledge.He has presented the following papers in International Conferences.1. “Spanish-speaking lodges in Israel” in International Symposium on the History of Spanish Masonry, Cבceres, Spain, June 1991.2. “Education as the Key to Tolerance” in European Conference of Sovereign Grand Commanders, Berlin, May 1994.3. “Freemasonry in the 21st Century”in First World Reunion of Grand Masters, Mexico City, March 1995.4. “Masonic Blue” in International Congress of Masonic History and Geography, Goiania, Brazil, June 1995.5. “Projection of the Values of Freemasonry in its Actions for the Benefit of Society”, Inaugural lecture at the foundation of the Chair of Philosophical and Masonic Studies “Dr. Rene Garcia Valenzuela, University La Repתblica, Santiago, Chile, September 1996.6. “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in International Seminary on Anti-Freemasonry, Santiago, Chile, October 1997.7. “The Scottish Rite Tradition and its Present Actuality”in European Conference of Sovereign Grand Commanders, Paris, May 1998.8. “Presence and Evolution of Freemasonry in the 21st Century”in International Seminar “Masonry: Myth and Reality”, University La Repתblica, Santiago, Chile, October 1999.9. “Antisemitism and Freemasonry”in International Conference on The Historiography and Methodology in the Study of Freemasonry, Canonbury Masonic Research Centre, London, November 1999.10. “Freemasonry and Society in the Middle East”in Summer Colloquium, Grand Lodge of Chile, Santiago, January 2000.11. “Looking back - Moving forward”in Philalethes Annual Conference, Washington, February 2000.12. “Facing the Future of Freemasonry”in Academy of Masonic Knowledge, Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, October, 2000.13. “Anti-Masonry and Anti-Semitism”, 9th Symposium on the History of Spanish Masonry, Segovia, Spain, October 2000.14. “Iconography of the Tracing Boards” in The Visual Arts and Freemasonry, Third International Conference, Canonbury Masonic Research Centre, November 2001.15. “Freemasonry in the Middle East”in Grand Lodge Valle de Mיxico, Mexico City, February 2002.His illuminating articles have been posted in his website Please visit that site to peruse his articles. We are very thankful to this great Masonic Scholar for kindly permitting us to post this article in our website.

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