El Anciano de los Días

Seattle Study Center

La Sociedad Filosófica Masónica ha ido creciendo en todo el mundo de manera constante. Si bien ofrecemos muchos recursos diferentes para que nuestros miembros crezcan y aprendan en línea, simplemente no hay sustituto para asistir al Centro de Estudios más cercano a usted. Cuando usted asiste a un Centro de Estudio de la Sociedad Filosófica Masónica tendrá la oportunidad, no sólo de escuchar a un orador, sino de participar en el diálogo.

Seattle Study Center
926 1/2 Broadway Tacoma, WA 98402(Enter via Court "C" - up hill behind building. Looks for Knights Logo on green door; meeting is on third (top) floor)
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Is Chaos A Good Thing?
Date: 2/24/2018 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Karen Kidd
Synopsis: In many esoteric and religious traditions chaos is described as a necessary component for life, the universe, and everything. The "Big Bang" is often thought of as the chaotic origins of the present Universe from which order evolved. In Hinduism, there is Brahma the world-creator Vishnu, the world-maintainer, and Shiva the world-destroyer. In science, there is a recognized life cycle of birth, life, and death. There also is a suggestion that there can be no order without chaos, which leads to Freemasonrys great motto, "Ordo Ab Chao." Chaos often is relatively defined, especially in the first world (my flight was late, the limo got stuck in traffic, my room wasnt ready, I forgot my lucky tie, the cellphone charger didnt reach from the nightstand to the middle of the bed, everything is utter chaos). It is rare to hear someone who has experienced genuine chaos (war, famine, pestilence, and death) discuss chaos so readily, let alone as a necessary and good thing. Its hard to imagine the people of Rome in 412, abducted human beings forced into the transatlantic slave trade or Anne Frank and other victims of the Holocaust discussing the chaos that overtook their lives as a good, inevitable and necessary thing. Is chaos - REAL CHAOS - a good thing?

What is the true meaning of The Word?
Date: 3/24/2018 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Byron Gorrell
Synopsis: Religions, particularly Christian and Catholic, associate The Word with the written word in the Bible, with Jesus, or both. It is described as the embodiment of what God is and wishes to convey to us all. However, what does a closer examination of The Word tell us? Is the commonly accepted interpretation of that concept correct? As a Freemason, we are propelled to scrutinize all questions and so in this discussion we will journey down a path of discovery which may surprise you in its outcome – potentially contrary to what you have been taught growing up.

Do The Needs Of The Many Outweigh The Needs of The Few, Or The One?
Date: 4/28/2018 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Carolyn Bellinger-Kawahara
Synopsis: In the universe created by Gene Roddenberry in Star Trek, the alien race of Vulcans suppress all emotion and make decisions based completely on logic. As Spock tells the Captain, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." This may be true and work well for Vulcans, but probably not in all cases for earthlings. Ancient Greek scholars considered the study of logic to be one of the seven essential liberal arts because it promoted and developed the power of reasoning by which truth could be discerned. Is logic always most appropriate way to arrive at a decision? Understanding the Masonic references in this topic requires understanding Star Trek and its iterations, when they are at their very best, for what they really are: not so much entertainment as a clever and nonconfrontational airing of whatever social problems through which the world presently is trudging. Vulcan culture as portrayed in Star Trek points up the logical thought processes that Freemasons are encouraged to use in their everyday lives. It seems to follow that suppressing vice and embracing non-attachment is a form of obedience to the dictates of logic, which includes submitting oneself to Masonic discipline. However, the next (albeit, not so good) movie turns this idea on its ear and points up, instead, the nuances that arise from too rigid an application of logical thought. Sometimes the needs of the one do outweigh the needs of the many; and self sacrifice for the alleged good of humanity can be a double edged sword.

Are People Ethically Obligated to Improve Themselves?
Date: 5/12/2018 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Janet Hendrickson
Synopsis: Self-improvement is one of the essential tasks of Masonry. Adults are expected to have achieved at least basic competence in a variety of intellectual, physical, and social skills in order to function in society, but most people choose to continue to improve themselves, driven by a desire for excellence, curiosity, ambition, or moral striving. But do we have an ethical obligation to improve ourselves? And if so, to whom do we owe the obligation? To our families and society? To deity? To ourselves? The key to understanding the Masonic references in this topic is to understand what "ethics" are. And that is not so easy a thing to define. In Freemasonry, we are encouraged to make a daily progress in the Craft and we understand that doing so is part of the self perfection. It begs the question of whether doing that is an "ethical" thing toward which all mankind should aspire or if this is an especial work for Freemasons.

Is Beauty More Important than Wisdom and Strength?
Date: 7/28/2018 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Karen Kidd
Synopsis: Freemasons are taught that Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty are three principles by which one should live. These virtues are older than any Ritual in Freemasonry. Some see beauty being the crowning glory of the three. However, it seems that Beauty is assigned to the lower of three principles. Does that mean beauty is subordinate to strength and wisdom? Or is beauty the more important of the three? And what do wisdom, strength and beauty actually mean?

What is "The Golden Mean" and Is It Relevant in Todays Society?
Date: 8/25/2018 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Carolyn Bellinger-Kawahara
Synopsis: The "Golden Mean" is also known by other names, such as the "Golden Ratio," the "Divine Proportion," and the "Fibonacci Number" among others. Its actual numerical value of 1.618 was first calculated by a Greek sculptor and mathematician, Phidias. This number is important in art, design, and architecture to determine the most pleasing and desirable proportions. In nature, this ratio and sequences based on it underlie many structural proportions of biological organisms. On a philosophical level, the ancient Greeks associated mathematics with beauty and truth, and the most important components of beauty were symmetry, harmony, and proportion. They believed that the "Golden Mean," or the "Middle Way" was the harmonious path between two extremes. Is the "Golden Mean" reflected in the living of a Masonic life? That connection between the Golden Mean and the "middle way" are what reveal this topics reference to Freemasonry. It is complex and yet startlingly simple geometry, in which the the Golden Ratio (occasionally referred to as a "Masonic Number"), divides a line on a point in which the smaller parts relates to the greater and then, taken together relates to the whole.

Are Humans Truly Intelligent?
Date: 9/22/2018 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Byron Gorrell
Synopsis: Most people believe human beings are intelligent per the definition devised by human beings. However, are we truly intelligent as envisioned or are we creatures of habit, essentially acting out of instinct? Is there a distinction between the two? This topics reference to Freemasonry is tied to the most important component of any Lodge: its members. Specifically, they are good people who want to be better. However, people remain critters, those creatures of habit prone to acting out on instinct. So the topic asks how folks can accept these foibles in each other and still maintain harmony and life in any lodge.

Is Self-Sacrifice Inherently Virtuous?
Date: 10/27/2018 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Theology
Presenter: Janet Hendrickson
Synopsis: Self-sacrifice is considered by many to be a virtue and Freemasons strive to be virtuous. That said, Freemasons also are taught about nuance and, in this topic, the difficulty we run into with self-sacrifice is in its extremes. Self-sacrifice can be heroic and compassionate, particularly when its an individuals own decision to make that sacrifice and when the path ahead is very clear. However, theres also the Maoist idea of the long board being sawed off, the long nail being beaten down, that self-sacrifice be required for the so-called "greater good." It flies in the face of the majority rule with minority rights respected, tolerated, even celebrated. This is a nuance that the thoughtful Freemason would do well to comprehend.

Will Truth Really Set You Free?
Date: 12/1/2018 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Karen Kidd
Synopsis: “We do not see the world as it is. We see the world as we are.” This quote often is attributed to the Talmud as well as to Anaïs Nin. Like every bit of wisdom that arises with seeming spontaneity from all of humanity, the truth in this statement is self-evident. But what is truth and will it really set you free? There is much to be gained from suspending ones truth long enough to consider that ones truth may only be a version of that truth, and that being open to the truths of others is worth pursuing. There are many who become Freemasons out a of a deep sense, even yearning, for "truth." Some never get any further than that yearning but the more intrepid in the Craft soon find the question is turned back upon them and they go through a difficult process of questioning what truth actually is. This self-reflection is a sort of purging away of the mortal parts. Once applied to ones truth, which can be painful for some, the discipline can be applied elsewhere, but, again, one must ask will the truth set you free once you find it?

"Un ser humano es parte de un todo, llamado por nosotros el universo, una parte limitada en el tiempo y el espacio.Sus pensamientos y sentimientos como algo separado del resto ... una especie de ilusión óptica de su conciencia. Esta ilusión es una Una especie de prisión para nosotros, que nos restringe a nuestros deseos personales y de afecto para unas pocas personas más cercanas a nosotros. Nuestra tarea debe ser Liberarnos de esta prisión ampliando nuestro círculo de compasión para abrazar a todas las criaturas vivas y toda la naturaleza en subelleza."
Albert Einstien
Físico
Escrituras personales

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