Study Center | The Masonic Philosophical Society
The Ancient of Days

Santa Cruz 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.

Santa Cruz Study Center
828 N Branciforte Avenue Santa Cruz, CA 95062
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Is the Conflict Between Science and Spirituality Rooted in Our Brain?
Date: 5/27/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Karen Phelps
Synopsis: Research has discovered that some people favor “fact-based” and others “faith-based” ways of thinking and explaining the world. In this study group we will explore whether there is a conflict rooted in the structure of our brains and if we can come to respect the insights that Science and Spirituality offer by training our brains to use both methods to understand life. Co-Masons are encouraged to develop analytical thinking and moral concern, which implies using conflicting networks of the brain. Its members are expected to defend a point based on facts (not feelings) and to avoid superstition…and yet the rituals teach a path of moral improvement, with a faith in God being essential. In this Meetup, we will explore if Co-Masonry calls for more “evidence-based” or “faith-based” thinking.

Is Genome Editing Ethically Sound?
Date: 6/24/2018 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Formal Science
Presenter: Kathy Bidwell
Synopsis: Genome editing is considered by some to be one of the greatest advances in medical science, while others feel designing our DNA is too much like playing God. What are the ethical and social implications of genomic medicine? Do they outweigh the advantages? We'll look at the latest in genome editing technology and discuss it's potential impact on society. We'll also consider the implications that this technology could have on our free will, and would that affect our ability and/or eligibility to be Masons.

The Six Stages of Moral Development and is there One that is Best for Humanity?
Date: 7/22/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Scott Young
Synopsis: Most people would agree the existence and adherence to a moral code is important to a proper functioning society, but how well is Morality understood? Are there situations where the moral codes are not enough or too much? What level of Morality is the best and does it adapt to the culture and time it is in or is it something universal and absolute? We will discuss Kohlberg's 6 stages of moral development and see how they fit in modern society in the presence of social media, political tribalism and consensus bias. We will also look at how Freemasonry helps in development and understanding of a moral framework.

Is Achieving Perfection Realistic?
Date: 8/26/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Charlotte Achen
Synopsis: Throughout Masonic teachings and within our society, perfection is an ever-present theme. However, is the goal of achieving perfection something we constantly strive for or can it be achieved within our mortal lifetime? For this month's discussion we will examine this question and both the symbolical and historical uses of the notion of perfection that have interwoven itself within the fabric of our society.

How Fast, If At All, is the Climate Changing?
Date: 9/23/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Celso Batalha
Synopsis: Weather and climate are two different physical aspects of a region, with the former measured by different quantities, such as wind speed and direction, pressure, temperature, etc, and the other quantified by an average of these measurable's over long periods of time. Earth geological history has witnessed five major extinctions of biological life, all driven by specific external forces acting on large scale, AND in a blink of an eye as far as the geological time scale is concerned. Life has little tolerance to abrupt environmental changes, and new dominant species will succeed those incapable of adapting to sudden changes in global climate. Over the last decades, the scientific community has presented overwhelming evidence of a steep rise on global temperature, and this rise has been consistently associated with greenhouse gases released by human activity. The discussion will follow three steps: (step 1) Do you agree that global temperature is rising? (step 2) If so, are humans responsible for this rise? In case humans are to blame, then (step 3) what should the public in general, and Masons in particular, should do to meliorate the suffering of future generations and ensuring the survival of our species?

What is Meant by the Phrase, "As Above, So Below?"
Date: 10/28/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Andrea Katzer
Synopsis: “As above, so below” is a phrase that is believed to hold the key to all mysteries. It is commonly understood as the concept of the microcosm vs. the macrocosm. Thus, from the beginning, was created the dual nature of human existence: the Inner and the Outer, the Above and the Below. The symbols of Freemasonry also present tools for contemplating the dual nature of reality. The concept of duality may be misleading and perhaps it obscures rather than provides an understanding of the nature of reality. If there is no "above," there may be no below. We'll explore the ideas of dualism, as it relates to our world, and to Freemasonry.

What Hidden Mathematics Can Be Found in Sacred Texts and Ancient Myths?
Date: 11/25/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Scott Young
Synopsis: The dimensions of the molten sea in Solomons temple suggest how to calculate Pi. The 153 fish in John 21 is related to the ratio for the Vesica Pisces. The Osirian cycle myth offers clues to the creation of the solar calendar. Were important and useful mathematical concepts hidden in these writings with meaning only to the initiated? How does Masonry help discover the hidden meaning of things?

Hiram MPS is dark in December. No Meeting.
Date: 12/16/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: History
Presenter: Not Applicable
Synopsis: No Meeting.

"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest ... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
Albert Einstien
Personal Writings

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