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The Ancient of Days

Bentonville 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.

Bentonville Study Center
12 McKissic Creek
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Is a New Archetype for the Mystic emerging?
Date: 12/29/2018 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Pamela McDown
Synopsis: Do Mystics have to live cloistered lives to be effective? For centuries, it has been the belief that to find Divinity (in the deepest sense) requires a life of contemplative solitude. Though not denying that there is a measure of truth to this, are times changing? Author Caroline Myss uses the phrase “mystics out of monasteries.” The idea suggests that a mystic may have an ordinary life, a family, a partner, a profession - and yet simultaneously seek to develop a mystical interior life. Do we think that mystics in the coming age are coming out of their cloistered existence? Please join us to discuss mystics of the past and present day and how the mystical path is similar to the path of a Freemason.

Should certain books be banned from the public?
Date: 1/26/2019 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Bro. Isaac Levy
Synopsis: America prides itself on the First Amendment, the freedom of speech. However, the American Library Association receives hundreds of complaints annually for certain books to be banned due to offensive ideas, sexually explicit content, or racial context. Many countries have books banned as well. Should certain books be banned from the public? Does this protect society or oppress society? Would Freemasonry, being an institution that fosters learning, advocate the banning of certain publications from the public? Are there certain Masonic books that are banned from certain people?

Is Deism Really Atheism in Disguise?
Date: 2/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Theology
Presenter: Bro. Kris Wilson-Slack
Synopsis: Deism is the belief that while God exists and he created the universe, He has since been a hands-off being. He is the clockmaker that has no need or want of adoration; He has created the world and it need no longer to concern itself with His presence. Deism, created at the time of the Age of Reason values the mysteries of Science and Nature to explain the world. Much of what the Deist values are also valued by the Atheist - a strong sense of morality, a foundation in science and reason, and no need for organized religion. Freemasons value science, nature and God; concepts which, to either the Atheist or Deist, may seem at odds with each other. Yet, Freemasonry accepts Deists but not Atheists. We’ll discuss the similarities and differences between Deism and Atheism and determine if these two are closer in belief and nature than they first appear.

Is Language (The World of Symbols) the bridge from the unreal to the real?
Date: 3/30/2019 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Bro. Dennis Garza
Synopsis: “Om Asat oma Sat Gamaya Tamas oma Jyotir Gamaya Mrity orma amritam Gamaya Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti hi” “Lead me from the unreal to the real Lead me from the darkness to the Light Lead me from death (the temporal) to immortality (the eternal) Peace, peace, pure peace” ? Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3.28 (Upanishad of the Great Wilderness) In this ancient Pavamana Mantra (Mantram of Extraction, Soma) from the Upanishads we see a formula that leads to peace, a kind of peace that passes all understanding. The formula is presented in three stages: Stage 1: From the Unreal to the Real Stage 2: From Darkness to Light Stage 3: From Death to Immortality (Deathlessness) Today we will take a look at stage 1 of the ancient journey, a journey from the Unreal to the Real! We will do so, in part, by peering at the idea through the lens of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan’s theory of mind. "

Does spiritual ritual affect our physical bodies?
Date: 4/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Bro. Jill Jones
Synopsis: There are many positive benefits of ritual on the physical body, such as the ritual of a hygiene routine. We get up in the morning and wash our face, shower, shave, and brush our teeth, all of these “rituals” have definite, measurable benefits. What if we could measure our spiritual growth on a physical plane? What would that measurement look like? Should we compare our spiritual selves to others?

Is it really possible to have a soul exchange?
Date: 5/25/2019 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Bro. Tom Simota
Synopsis: Author Ruth Montgomery was one of the first to coin the phrase, "walk-ins" to signify that benevolent, enlightened messengers of hope are among us. Be it from a near-death experience or spiritual crisis, supposedly a highly developed spiritual entity can enter in and take over the functioning of a human being who no longer desires to live - aka a soul exchange. Esoterically, is this even possible, or is it fanciful journalism to entice an audience to explore tabloids? Freemasons ponder on ideas and don't blindly accept or dismiss without a deeper investigation. We shall gather to ponder, discuss and discern if this is possible and what it could mean for the future of humanity?

Can a Number Reveal Your Destiny?
Date: 6/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Formal Science
Presenter: Bro. Judy Champion
Synopsis: Numbers are not simply tools for measuring and quantifying. Where and when did written numbers arise? As mathematics became more abstract, numbers and formulas became the universal language of science. Philosophers have attributed properties and energies to them, metaphysical and even spiritual. In religious contexts, 3, 7, 12, 30 and 40 occur frequently. Why was five revered by the Pythagoreans? Numerology grew out of their philosophy of numbers. The numerical values of your birth date and name may indicate lifelong energy patterns or influences. Certain numbers are prominent in Freemasonry and carry symbolic meaning especially when combined with geometry: 3-triangle, 4-square, etc. Are numbers entities that help us understand the natural world and forces? We will explore these ideas together.

Are Crafts really a form of Art?
Date: 7/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Art
Presenter: Bro. Lisa Woodworth
Synopsis: Art is a form of work that expresses emotions and expressions. Craft is a form of work, which has a physical form just like in moulding and carving. One can create duplicate craft forms, which is not possible with art. Art forms move people emotionally, whereas crafts attract people. But can't crafts open the door for people to express emotions? Masonry is oftentimes referred to as a Craft - could Masonic Builders then be considered Artists? Let's explore Beauty, together.

Is the Path of Initiation a Heros Journey?
Date: 9/28/2019 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Bro. Pamela McDown
Synopsis: The phrase “heros journey” or monomyth was made popular by Joseph Campbell in his book Hero with a Thousand Faces. Its the idea that one single protagonist undergoes a life-changing journey to come out the other side wiser than they began. How does the esoteric path of initiation compare to the twelve stages of the heros quest? Join us to see how Freemasons follow a similar journey of their own.

What is evil?
Date: 10/26/2019 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Bro. Chris Osborn
Synopsis: We often think that evil is something outside of us that can control our thoughts and actions to do things we know are not right. The concept has a religious basis in many respects, but what if it is something that can be located in the brain or DNA? If so, can we determine who might have evil tendencies well before they have the chance to perform any evil acts and work toward prevention? Is evil really evil or might it just be a disease or psychological condition? These are a few of the questions that will be explored using the ideas of Simon Baron-Cohen as a basis for discussion from his book entitled The Science of Evil.

What generation should you really have been born in?
Date: 11/30/2019 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: History
Presenter: Bro. Tom Simota
Synopsis: Silent, Boom, X, Y, or Z - which one is really me? A historical view of the various generations indicate specific qualities, atributes and interests that define a group born during a particular time period. While these statements tend to be averages that summarize births during a particular time, it's important to remember that individuality, critical thinking and right-relationship are unique to each soul-personality. Freemasons seek Truth - we shall explore the various generations and then determine where we land as a unique seeker in a span of time.

Do Planets Make Music?
Date: 12/28/2019 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Bro. Pamela McDown
Synopsis: The epic space flights of the Voyager I and II soaring across our Solar System have left researchers on the edge of their seats for decades. Passing by Uranus, Jupiter and Saturn, the probes recorded various emissions and electromagnetic vibrations. NASA had the idea to make those into sound recordings. As it turns out those sounds are deeply familiar to the human ear. Is this just a coincidence or does the Universe have a soundtrack? Join us as we listen to music that is out of this world. Learn how the music of the spheres echoes the teachings of 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
Personal Writings

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