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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 Ave Santa Cruz, CA 95062
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Cause and effect: Are we all masters of our tomorrows?
Date: 5/28/2017 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Karen Phelps
Synopsis: The Principle of Cause and Effect is a theory that has long prevailed, not only in science, but esoteric philosophies and Freemasonry as well. With its wide acceptance, we must venture further, dig deeper, to determine if there is a Law of Causation and if life is a self correcting process that provides the experiences which the soul needs in order to grow. If we do not learn from those experiences, will they be repeated until we do?

Is There a Connection Between Intuition and Wisdom?
Date: 6/25/2017 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Kathy Bidwell
Synopsis: Many people have experienced that inner voice or "gut feeling" when something may be wrong, or that a certain course of action may not be a good idea. What is the physiological process of intuition? Is there any science behind intuition? We'll explore these questions and more as we take a look at the intelligence of intuition as well as discuss if participating in ritual work facilitates the development of intuition.    

Are the Mystery School teachings still valid today and how does Freemasonry put these teachings into practice?
Date: 7/23/2017 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Scott Young
Synopsis: In the modern rational age, based on the empirical science philosophy brought about by the Royal Society over 350 years ago of which some of the founding members were Freemasons, what useful aspects of the older Mystery schools were discarded? This MPS topic will explore to what extent, if any, are aspects of the ancient mystery schools relevant today, and if Freemasonry provides a framework to employ this lost wisdom.

Is it possible to clone the hearts of exceptional people to bring more Light into the world?
Date: 8/27/2017 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Formal 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 its future. 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 the same moral qualities that we would hope to produce by (theoretically) cloning spiritual luminaries.

Memory is essential for full participation in our society, but does memory come at a cost?
Date: 9/24/2017 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Celso Betalha
Synopsis: Memory is commonly referred as the ability to retrieve information and images once experienced directly. Without it, life can be complicated as illustrated in the “50 First Dates” movie, where the main character suffers short-term memory loss syndrome. Every day, she wakes up not knowing who her family members are, nor her basic role in society. Her first hours include a slow process of becoming acquainted with her own identity and history. Although fundamental for carrying out every day actions, memory of the past has been associated with the cause of suffering. The memory of things that no longer exist takes us away from experiencing the “absolute here and now,” the only reality so much celebrated in Buddhism. Modern philosophers such as Jiddu Krishnamurti, have also discoursed at length about the pitfalls of memory and its interference in the process of embracing life “as it is” with the required intensity and energy. Does Masonic philosophy, in any measure, promote the cultivation of memory by its members?  If yes, and by doing so, does it take away from its members the ability of realizing more fully the spiritual “here and now”? If no, can the integrative approach and cooperative interchanging among participants of a drama or ritual be fully achieved without memorization or lines, repetition, rehearsing, and tedious practice?

Dystopian Societies: How close to reality are they?
Date: 11/26/2017 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Charlotte Achen
Synopsis: This topic touches on literature, history, and behavioral science. Within such novels as George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four or John Updike's Brazil, a dystopian society is shown to the reader to be one of government control and little personal freedoms. While fantasy, the authors highlight very real consequences and actions that lead up to them. This month's topic will examine how our current society relates to what these novels discuss and overall how Freemasonry speaks upon the rights of individuals and overall freedom.

"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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