How would our perception be altered if conspiracy theories were true?
Date: 4/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Jill Jones
Synopsis: Conspiracies are not a new invention of modern man, but have subsisted throughout the centuries. However old conspiracies as a whole are, believing a theory, especially when others don't can alter our perception. As Freemasons, our quest for truth is often met with aversion to truth. How can our convictions to an idea change our daily lives?
How does the silver cord serve to link the soul and personality?
Date: 5/27/2017 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Tom Simota
Synopsis: The silver cord, also known as the sutratma or life thread of the antahkarana, refers to a linkage from the higher self to the physical body. Is there really a silver cord and does it have a connection to other "threads" referred to in esoteric literature? How does this link to the Biblical passage referencing the silver cord and golden bowl? Freemasons strive to be better each day - let's explore what we can learn about whether the silver cord exist, and if so, how it might expand our consciousness.
Are the ethical ramifications of eugenics so great that they may outweigh our pursuit to "build a better human?"
Date: 6/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Shawna De Puente
Synopsis: The term eugenics is derived from the Greek word “eu,” meaning good or well, and “genos,” meaning offspring. Conventional eugenics, or intentional selective breeding for improved genetic traits, has been performed on crops and livestock for thousands of years. Examples of modern eugenics today as it relates to humans include stem cell treatment, modifying or removing genes to prevent or treat genetic disease, selective reproduction and prenatal diagnosis such as amniocentesis testing. Will eugenics become common place? How will this affect population growth? With this exciting technological advance it is hard to wonder if Aldous Huxley's futuristic novel Brave New World would become reality?
What is a Leitmotif and is it important in music?
Date: 7/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Art
Presenter: Bro. Pamela McDown
Synopsis: The term leitmotif was first applied to the operas of Richard Wagner to describe a recurring melody that is associated with a certain character, people, object, place, emotion, or idea. The leitmotif has long been a standard technique of how film music is used. For example, in the film Star Wars, whenever anyone mentions The Force, a certain short melody is played. How important is this leitmotif? What makes it distinct?
Understanding leitmotif can have more of an effect than just how we experience a piece of music, rather it may be possible to to symbolically tie it to ourselves.
In this meeting, we will hear various examples of leitmotifs and learn how Freemasons and composers are alike in the use of this musical technique.
Who were the Rosicrucians?
Date: 9/30/2017 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: History
Presenter: Katie Cumsille
Synopsis: Modern Rosicrucian is a Western esoteric tradition that has a rich history that has seen many evolutions since its infancy. Born in the late 16th century from a series of manifestos, the Order of the Rosie Cross has had its trials and tribulations by men and women of science and religion as well as mass rejection. Why would such a philosophy as Rosicrucianism undergo such hardship when it only idolized a utopia worthy of all people? No violence or bloodshed was split by the Brotherhood only the sharing of dreams by those who wanted a more perfect world. Having many similarities and possibly a common birth to Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism is a fascinating but tragic tale of ideals, imagination, and hope.
Why are our memories critical to our sense of well being and how can they be influenced?
Date: 10/28/2017 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Chris Osborn
Synopsis: Each person has experiences but what is important in this conversation is how do we remember those moments and why we remember them. Duality, a symbol not lost on the Esoteric student or Freemason, is found here in the human remembering experience with the remembering self and the experiencing self. These dualistic sides of man have key roles that each play in our sense of well being. Join us as we study and discuss the mind and man as author Daniel Kahneman has explored in excerpts from his books "Thinking, Fast and Slow."
Does Masonry share a deeper link with Catholicism?
Date: 11/25/2017 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Theology
Presenter: Tom Simota
Synopsis: At times, the Catholic church has seemed to be at odds with Freemasonry, but is there a deeper link between the two that most people are not aware of? Both entities have a history with the Templars, but who were they and how are they connected? During our time together, we shall explore ideas to see if the Masonic Legend is more closely woven together with tenets of Catholicism. Perhaps we will discover together a "middle ground" that bears fruit to ponder for continued study.
Are the Emerald Tablets still relevant to modern society?
Date: 12/30/2017 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Vicki Jones
Synopsis: The Emerald Tablet, also known as the Smaragdine Table, or Tabula Smaragdina, is a compact and cryptic piece of the Heremetica reputed to contain the secret of the prima materia and its transmutation into gold. It was highly regarded by European alchemists as the foundation of their art and its Hermetic tradition. Indeed, the Emerald Tablet has influenced so many esoteric traditions and thought, but is does its teachings extend into modern society? Can its wisdom be timeless or was it specific to those who lived while it was being written? Join us as we investigate the Emerald Tablet to see if we can be the better for it.
Is it wise to pursue artificial intelligence?
Date: 1/27/2018 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Janet Lowther
Synopsis: For many years we have seen robots and artificial intelligences in popular media as variously benign or villainous. In recent years futurists like Ray Kurzweil have extolled the potential for artificial intelligence, while other thinkers like Stephen Hawking have urged caution. Nearly 75 years ago Isaac Asimov proposed three Laws of Robotics to render artificial intelligences safe, but is it feasible to implement those laws or will learning machines develop an independent will on their own, simply as a result of their complexity? Freemasonry is dedicated to the improvement and advancement of humanity. Some futurists consider artificial intelligences as humanity 2.0. On the other hand they could well be the end of humanity as we know it. Where do you stand?