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The Ancient of Days

Douglas County 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.

Douglas County Study Center
A.F.H.R. Library and Museum9070 South Douglas Blvd.Larkspur, CO 80118
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Do Good and Evil really exist?
Date: 2/12/2019 6:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Doyle Slack
Synopsis: In religion, ethics, and philosophy, the concept of "good and evil" is a dichotomy which appears to be universal. Every language has a word expressing good in the sense of "having the right or desirable quality" and bad in the sense "undesirable." But who decides what is “good” and what is “evil?” A requirement of becoming a Freemason is that one is upright - having a strong moral compass. We will discuss differing viewpoints of whether “good” and “evil” truly exist and how they relate to the concept of morality.

Antibiotic Resistant Disease and Balds Leechbook: Modern Medical Answers?
Date: 3/12/2019 6:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Formal Science
Presenter: Elaine Phelen
Synopsis: Over the past forty years, the public health impact of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has evolved from a controllable nuisance into a serious concern. Staphylococcus Aureus or staph bacteria commonly live on our skin and in our environment. They can, however, get inside the body and cause serious infections. When common antibiotics cease to kill the staph bacteria, this type of staph is referred to as MRSA. Acknowledged by the U.S. Center of Disease Control as "public health’s ticking time bomb," antibiotic resistance threatens to return our world to the time when simple infections proved fatal.

Is The Walden of Thoreau Performance Art?
Date: 4/9/2019 6:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Kristine Wilson-Slack
Synopsis: Thoreau was a disobedient, sarcastic fellow, and much of his philosophy and essays of the early 19th C provides us a view into not only the times but his deeply-felt convictions of how humanity should live and be. This is never more true than with Walden. Walden may be a bit of performance art to show people who complain how easy it is to actually live. The writing could also be the convictions of a true philosopher, bent on bringing people back to a more natural life. The Freemason might take Walden to be a treatise in keeping with an authentic, natural life. Yet, if it was performance art only, it might be a political statement of the times or a one-man revolution in consciousness. Maybe the book is a bit of both.

Can Human Beings Evolve All at Once or a Little at a Time?
Date: 5/14/2019 6:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Henry Kelley
Synopsis: Evolution is more than a theory, it is a historical and physical record of the changes humanity has undergone since the days of cave men. As Freemasons, we strive to understand and be acquainted with those change to see how far we have come and how far we need to go. Come join us in this discussion as we seek to understand the truth hidden within our very bones.

Is Climate Change Real?
Date: 6/11/2019 6:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Isaac Levy
Synopsis: Everyday we are bombarded with images of polar bears losing their homes from polar ice cap loss and stories about how we will be underwater in just a few years. There is a heated debate as to whether we are responsible for this or just helping it along. Some people do not think it is happening at all. Can the teachings of Mystery Schools such as Freemasonry give us an insight into our past? Is climate change a new thing for us or do do we have clues of this happening in the past?

Has the Trivium become so diluted it is no longer relevant or recognizable?
Date: 7/9/2019 6:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Art
Presenter: Mark Valkonen
Synopsis: The Trivium and Quadrivium have been around for a very long time. Since their inception, their lessons have been invaluable for multitudes. However, as science/technology/learning have advanced and new discoveries made, the sheer volume of knowledge has expanded phenomenally. Is there so much knowledge, the knowledge base so vast, that the original teachings are lost, thinned out or irrelevant? Perhaps the foundational teachings have been so overwhelmed that the original intent has been lost through the ages. Let us take a trip through the Trivium and see if they are relevant in today's highly sophisticated and technical world. What can we, as Freemasons and non-Masons, do to ensure the relevant knowledge is applied in our own lives so that this doesn't get lost?

Do We Have Abilities that are Beyond our basic Understanding?
Date: 9/10/2019 6:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Michaela Grezak
Synopsis: Most of us are very well aware of our five senses as we are able to use them on a daily basis. Beyond these five senses, there are physical and cognitive skills that are not so easy to understand and are considered extraordinary. There are people from all over the world, from small villages and big cities who have been known to possess skills and abilities such as Synesthesia, Chromesthesia; Human Echolocation, Super Accurate Vision, Hyperthymesia, Tetrachromacy and of course ESP. These special abilities could be considered to be a neurological disorder or a genetic mutation. Could it be that certain abilities and skills are already within us, but they are just sleeping and inactive? Are certain human abilities the result of genetic mutations? Freemasonry encourages us to improve ourselves and to try to reach our potential, which is not always a straightforward task. But maybe, we are just not looking in the right place. Join us as we explore the possibility of those and other abilities that would enable us to become more than we can imagine and how such possibilities relates to Freemasonry.

Are maps a representation of our world and is our worldview shaped by them?
Date: 10/8/2019 6:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Sandy McKeown
Synopsis: For centuries mankind has relied on maps to navigate the seas, travel continents or follow established trade routes. Accurate maps were often true treasures of knowledge and highly sought after. Other maps were more decorative and marvels of art and craftsmanship. We still rely heavily on maps to find our ways through the city, the state, or across a continent but the appearances have changed drastically. Many of them are completely digital but nevertheless not less valuable. All maps, in present or past times, are created by a human mind. The cartographer makes deliberate choices on what to include, how to represent different features, scale, color schemes… and in doing so creates an image of his mind or society’s view on the given region. How that result is perceived by another depends on the user of the map as well. This holds true for each of us and raises an interesting question: Are maps just a representation of our world’s image or are they shaping our world view as well? We will explore this question from a Masonic perspective using old and current maps.

Is the Bushido Culture of Japanese Samurai Similar to the Discipline of Masonry?
Date: 11/12/2019 6:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: History
Presenter: Aksel Suvari
Synopsis: In the days of feudal Japan lived a samurai warrior by the name of Miyamoto Musashi, the most famous swordsman to ever live. An invincible warrior, Musashi was also a poet, painter and philosopher who left behind a body of work that should be of interest to any student of the esoteric. By examining his life and teachings we will explore the relationship between Freemasonry and the ancient warrior culture of Japan.

How Pertinent is the Egyptian Book of the Dead to Today’s World View?
Date: 2/11/2020 6:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Byron Gorrell
Synopsis: The Egyptian Book of the Dead was in vogue between 1500 B.C. and 500 B.C. Containing dozens of “speeches” or “spells," the tome’s primary intent was to ease the passing of the dead into the afterlife. Created by numerous priests over 1000 years, no two books were alike, providing detailed descriptions of Egyptian gods, pitfalls to avoid and what the afterlife journey would be like. So what threads are woven through the book and what lessons may be gained? What does such an ancient and eclectic volume have to offer Humanity at large and Freemasonry in particular today?

What is Average?
Date: 3/10/2020 6:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Chris Osborn
Synopsis: Are you an average person? We are measured regularly against various averages such as grades, performance ratings, personality tests, physical characteristics, and many more. We assume that our comparisons to these metrics have a great deal of meaning about who we are, and we don’t question these ingrained assumptions. But the reality is that none of us are average and the assumption that we are is “spectacularly – and scientifically – wrong” according to Todd Rose, the author of The End of Average. Letting go of these assumptions about ourselves and others may allow us to unlock our potential rather than always trying to conform to a standard that may have little relevance to us as individuals. Freemasonry asks us to know ourselves and gives us tools to do so, but at times it is necessary to shake our foundations and see what lies underneath to really understand who we are and what we can be.

"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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