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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
902 SW 2nd Street, Suite D. , Bentonville, AR
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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?

Is disillusionment a good thing?
Date: 2/24/2018 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Pamela McDown
Synopsis: While disillusionment is hardly the type of sentiment we want to embrace, it is part of our human experience. Disillusionment takes place when it becomes evident to us what we once believed is not true. When this happens, it can be very traumatic and painful, not only psychologically but physically as well. A student may engage in certain studies for many years, consistently demonstrating commitment, selflessness, and detachment, only to be confronted by the devastating sense that the work no longer has meaning and value. What are the causes of such psychological crisis? What are ways to deal with it? Can it bring us to a point of change and transformation? During this discussion we will consider how disillusionment plays a part in our lives and how Freemasonry relates to this question.

What is Spectrum Disorder?
Date: 3/31/2018 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Judith Champion
Synopsis: Conditions such as autism, ADHD, and Aspergers Syndrome are now designated as part of a spectrum of mental, emotional, and physical problems. Autism, in particular, can range from mild to disabling. An alarming trend is disclosed by recent CDC figures: autism has risen from 1 in 2,500 to 1 in 36 affected children. What is causing this? As Freemasons, we study the sciences and it is our special duty that when we find some knowledge that might benefit others, we should shared. We will explore symptoms, possible causes, and ways to deal with spectrum problems.

Does the art of Leonardo Da Vinci contain hidden secrets of sacred geometry?
Date: 4/28/2018 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Formal Science
Presenter: Bro. Lisa Woodworth
Synopsis: Is there more to art than meets the eye? If you look closely at the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci you may be surprised to find evidence of the golden ratio in many of them. “The Last Supper” has been said to have many clear examples of divine proportion. Was the artistic use of sacred geometry in da Vinci’s art intentional? Some scholars do not think so because it is not verifiable. How deep does sacred geometry run in his artistic creations? In this meeting, we will explore various works of da Vinci and show how it all ties into Freemasonry and the geometrician of the Universe.

Did Lemuria Really Exist?
Date: 5/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: History
Presenter: Bro. Tom Simota
Synopsis: While some historians consider Lemuria to be a myth, others consider it to be the cradle of civilization on the planet. Lemuria, also known as Mu or Muror, are all names used for the great sunken landmass in the Pacific Ocenan, which was formerly described as a "Veritable Garden of Eden, with undulating plains, unsullied brooks and rivers with splashing cascades that flowed over rocks and rills toward the salty ocean." Is there anything left of this great landmass and its people? How did Mu disappear and what were the lessons to be learned? Besides the physical and cultural historical evidence of Mu, we shall also explore its association with the Ancient and Modern Mystery Schools, including Freemasonry.

Why does Le Petit Prince so connect with people that it can be read in over 300 languages and dialects from around the world?
Date: 6/30/2018 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Jill Alessandra
Synopsis: Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) is a novella for children, written and illustrated by a French pilot in 1942 while in the United States after the French Air Force was demobilized. When first released, it was considered to be too cryptic to fully understand yet has gone on to be one of the most loved children’s stories. As with masonry, symbols and allegory are used by Antoine de Saint-Exupery to convey deeper meaning. Some say Le Petite Prince is about life and death, about falsehoods and hypocrisy. Others say it is a war story at heart, where isolation, fear and uncertainty are alleviated by intimately dealing with one person, by connecting, by love. We will delve into the mysteries of this little novella, discovering its value and possibly why it was written as story for children.

Are the ethical ramifications of eugenics so great that they may outweigh our pursuit to "build a better human?"
Date: 7/28/2018 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
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? If so, will it be accessible to only the rich, giving their children advantages over others. How will this affect population growth? Will Aldous Huxleys futuristic novel Brave New World become reality?

Is there Beauty in Hell?
Date: 9/29/2018 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Theology
Presenter: Katie Cumsille
Synopsis: Dantes Inferno is full of rich metaphor and imagery as he illustrates his journey through Hell. Why does this epic have more impact than the other two stories of the Divine Comedy? Surely it is our fascination with where the soul goes. A Freemason, without hesitation, will walk along side Dante Alighieri in his journey through the circles of Hell to see if he can find Beauty in a place where no light shines. Can the Mason find that which has been lost while seeing the beauty in the mystery of salvation?

What’s Love Got to do with it?
Date: 10/27/2018 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Chris Osborn
Synopsis: What’s love got to do with it? Many people struggle to find and maintain loving relationships in their lives. Perhaps part of the struggle is the use of the word love to mean so many different things in the English language. Perhaps another aspect of the difficulty is that we all love differently yet expect that others will both understand our overtures of love and know how to love us back in a way that we can understand. Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages points out the importance of learning both our own as well as our partner’s love languages in order to have successful, loving relationships. While his ideas are geared primarily toward married couples, they can, and do, apply to any relationship dynamic. They can be especially helpful within a fraternal organization, such as Freemasonry, where understanding our Brothers and our neighbor is a key part of the experience.

Should a Fifth Gospel be added to the New Testament?
Date: 11/24/2018 1:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Theology
Presenter: Tom Simota
Synopsis: The Gospel of Thomas is a collection of 114 sayings of Jesus that was discovered in 1945 in Egypt. Could this text present compelling evidence about the life of Jesus which has been derived from a variety of sources in the East, including Buddhism, which are unknown to most Western scholars? Masonry helps points the way to the realization of the Inner Light, just as the Gospel of Thomas may direct the spiritual seeker to the Indwelling Divinity. Lets explore if adding a Fifth Gospel to the New Testament could be a stepping-stone to a deeper awareness of the Truth that guides to set us free.

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.

"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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