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San Francisco Study Center

The Masonic Philosophical Society has been growing throughout the world steadily. While we offer many different resources for our members to grow and learn online, there is simply no substitute for attending the Study Center nearest you. When you attend a Study Center of the Masonic Philosophical Society you will have the opportunity, not only to hear from a speaker, but to participate in the dialogue.

San Francisco Study Center
2312 Alameda Ave., Alameda, CA 94501
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If it is possible to clone a brain like Einsteins, then is it possible to clone the hearts of exceptional people to bring more Light into the world?
Date: 2/11/2017 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Behavorial Science
Presenter: Andrea Katzer
Synopsis: As scientists continue to advance techniques in cloning technologies, we have seen an increase in the number of ethical debates on the future of cloning. Reproductive cloning could be used for many beneficial purposes. For example, if used to create an entire human, scientists could produce clones of exceptional people in hopes that their gifts and talents could be passed on, people as luminous as Albert Einstein, whose brain has been preserved for posterity's sake. In discussing the issues surrounding cloning, we will also discuss Masonry’s age old motto that it “takes good men and women and makes them better.” The fraternity has always attracted people of high moral character who support the tenets of temperance, fortitude, prudence, and justice; these are the same moral qualities that we would hope to produce by (theoretically) cloning spiritual luminaries.

Is it possible to create a Universal Religion?
Date: 3/11/2017 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Theology
Presenter: Karoli Clever
Synopsis: As our possibilities to travel grow, humanity has become more tolerant to the diversity of religions and cultural customs than it previously was. To accommodate new generations in the age of exponential technological growth, the impact of lessons from ancient religions may be viewed from a different angle. Freemasonry teaches tolerance of new perspectives and to see the greater purpose in all things that mankind brings together - as with a Universal Religion. With such high aim one must ask, Is it possible to create a universal religion?

Is artistic expression inherently good?
Date: 4/8/2017 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Art
Presenter: Joshua Fradenburg
Synopsis: How does art reflect the inner man? Throughout history, art has been used to inspire, educate, and create social movements. The exchange of art has stimulated new thinking and brought forth curiosity and the exploration of the potential of human possibility. As a promoter of the arts, we will explore how Freemasonry plays a role in ensuring that artistic expression is vibrant and lifting humanity towards its highest ideals.

Is there Freewill?
Date: 5/13/2017 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Behavorial Science
Presenter: Celso Batlha
Synopsis: In this discussion group, we will examine if humans are entirely free to exercise choices in their daily lives. Citizens of a social free world may believe they are free; we suggest that by focusing on the “here and now,” we will evaluate ideas associated with freewill, such as building knowledge. Masonic rituals can be interpreted as artistic dramas performed by members as designed to improve human behavior and bring an understanding of how nature operates on the physical and psychological levels. These dramas may help members develop learning tools, enabling them to perform “unconditioned and free” actions. We will explore if freedom can be exercised in rituals.

Is Literature as important as we think it is?
Date: 6/10/2017 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Jenel Murray
Synopsis: Literature is a term used to describe written as well as spoken art that evolves from the creative mind; imagination developed into poetry, drama, fiction, and non-fiction. In some instances, song may be literature. Literature represents the culture and tradition of a language or people. Ergo, Literature evolves. For many, the word literature suggests a higher art form; merely putting words on a page does not necessarily mean creating literature. In this study group, we will explore the Masonic views of literature and if literature is as important as the Freemason may believe it to be.

Can Wisdom be communicated?
Date: 7/8/2017 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Jenel Murray
Synopsis: Many people mistake knowledge for wisdom because they are intimately related, and this is unfortunate because they are quite different in an important way. Knowledge is the accumulation of facts and information. Wisdom is the synthesis of knowledge and experiences into insights that deepen one’s understanding of relationships and the meaning of life. In other words, knowledge is a tool, and wisdom is the craft in which the tool is used. Freemasons value both wisdom and knowledge, but in different ways. This discussion will surround the question of the difference of the two, and if Wisdom can truly be communicated.

Were medieval stonemasons keepers of arcane wisdom?
Date: 9/9/2017 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: History
Presenter: Andrea Katzer
Synopsis: The stonemasons of Medieval England were highly-skilled craftsmen to whom the principles of building made up a living science. They kept secret their methods of building and established the apprentice-to-journeyman-to-master system of educating men in their craft. The testimony to their exceptional work stands today in the many cathedrals and castles that still exist. As it is theorized that Freemasonry developed from the medieval stonemason's guilds, we will explore the question: "Did these medieval artisans have access to an arcane wisdom that they encoded into the Gothic cathedrals and numerous other structures they created?"

Does Freemasonry really have anything to do with the Ancient Mysteries?
Date: 10/14/2017 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Doyle Slack
Synopsis: The origin of Freemasonry has been debated by many - it’s beginnings shrouded by the passage of time and the secrecy demanded of its members. Some attribute its origins to operative Masonry, some to the Templars and others to much older esoteric traditions. We will examine several of the ancient mystery schools based on historical writings and discuss whether or not a connection can truly be made between Freemasonry and these old Initiatic rites.

Is the Scientific Method obsolete?
Date: 12/9/2017 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Formal Science
Presenter: Kristine Wilson-Slack
Synopsis: The overall process of the scientific method involves making conjectures (hypotheses), deriving predictions from them as logical consequences, and then carrying out experiments based on those predictions. Some scientists have declared, as far back as 30 years ago, that "All models are wrong, but some are useful." The deluge of data and analytics may make the scientific method a thing of the past. Freemasons, who are lovers of nature and science have often used the Scientific method to explain the world and support their philosophies. We'll explore the ways that the scientific method hiders, and helps, Freemason's quests for Truth.

School of Pythagoras
Hypatia Quote

Wisdom of Neoplatonism

"Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fantasies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them."
Hypatia of Alexandria
Mathematician and Astronomer
Personal Writings