Study Center | The Masonic Philosophical Society
The Ancient of Days

Columbia, South Carolina 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.

Columbia, South Carolina Study Center
6251 St. Andrews Road Columbia, SC 29212
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Who Am I?
Date: 1/26/2019 1:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Bro. Loretta Demko
Synopsis: The words belief and faith are often interchanged in our modern language. Originally, prior to the 14th century, belief was differentiated from faith meaning to trust in God while faith was loyalty to a person due to obligation. Worldviews are tricky things to deconstruct because of their massive sizes and the myriad of miniature pieces that comprise them. In this month's discussion we will start from the outward and move inward because this is where we are most aware of ourselves. A Freemason must be aware of who he or she is, and what his or her core beliefs and world views are. Our discussion will focus on five components of Core Beliefs and we will ask ourselves some of the most ancient and difficult questions.

Is man motivated by his fear of death?
Date: 2/23/2019 1:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Bro. Loretta Demko
Synopsis: This interesting and provocative topic will be investigated by reading excerpts from The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker and discussing questions related to the material. One of the great re-discoveries of modern thought is that of all things that move man, one of the principal ones is his terror of death. How has mankind dealt with this issue in the past and and how has this topic evolved to the present day? Are there philosophies or religions were death is not attended to? Why do people feel they must address their mortality? Has society used our fear of our own mortality to bend us into submission? These questions and how this topic relates to Freemasonry will all be presented and discussed.

Who is most apt - the one who competes or the one who cooperates?
Date: 3/23/2019 1:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Bro. Janet Castro
Synopsis: One may say that man is by nature a social being, and that from the interactions with one another, result the evolution of mind, processes, and attitudes. However, one may disagree with this statement and say instead, that man is an Individual Being. Whatever the outcome of this, it is without doubt that our species has evolved in a social environment. Thus, competition and cooperation play an important part. Why are competition and cooperation part of our social relations? What attitude is considered more appropriate for a Freemason?

Camus, The Stranger, and the Absurd
Date: 4/27/2019 1:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Bro. Dennis Garza
Synopsis: In this classic novel introducing the unique absurdism of Albert Camus, Meursault refuses to be emotionally governed by the expectations of others. He does not show emotion at his mother’s funeral and seemed to have a detached indifference to a myriad of bizarre events unfolding in the novel. The courts and society in general conclude that Meursault is a “soulless monster” but Camus is expressing a belief that the main character is simply embodying the nature of the universe, absurd, and without meaning.

What is the real meaning and power of numbers?
Date: 6/22/2019 1:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Bro. Lylia Gonzalezfrayle
Synopsis: Do numbers have an occult meaning? Do numbers have anything to do with Freemasonry? For the seeker of more profound knowledge the occult meaning of numbers is very real. Consider the following quote from Isis Unveiled by H. P. Blavatsky: "Numbers are a key to the ancient view of cosmogony. In its broad sense, spiritually as well as physically considered, and to the evolution of the present human race, all systems of religious mysticism are based upon numerals. The sacredness of numbers begins with the Great First Cause, the One, and ends only with the naught or zero symbol of the infinite and boundless universe." Concerning the secret significance of numbers, we must remember that Pythagoras considered that "ALL THINGS ARE NUMBERS." He was not satififed with the knowledge he had gained at home so he decided to travel to other lands, like Egypt, Hindustan, Persia, Crete, and Palestine, gathering knowledge in each country, not only about numbers, but about occult wisdom. A discussion will follow a brief presentation of this subject, which can give a better understanding of what a number really represents, and what connection does it all have with Freemasonry.

"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
Physicist
Personal Writings

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