Study Center | The Masonic Philosophical Society
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 Avenue Santa Cruz, CA 95062
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Are Facts More Susceptible to Manipulation in Todays Era of Social Media?
Date: 4/22/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: History
Presenter: Karoli Clever
Synopsis: Technology closes the information gap as the internet allows people from different regions and countries to communicate and exchange ideas. There are many positives to what technology can do for civilization. The quickness in which one can access information helps expedite and increases ones learning and the ability to quickly fact check statements made by others. It seems that technology can lead us more readily to the "truth." Being of great interest to any Seeker, even the Freemason, obtaining of truth is ever in the minds eye. However, are facts more susceptible to manipulation due to social media mass output and Photoshop? It is necessary for all of us to determine whether "facts" are more unreliable today because of the ease by which they can be altered and whether its it just a misconception that we easily followed.

Is the Conflict Between Science and Spirituality Rooted in Our Brain?
Date: 5/27/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Karen Phelps
Synopsis: Research has discovered that some people favor “fact-based” and others “faith-based” ways of thinking and explaining the world. In this study group we will explore whether there is a conflict rooted in the structure of our brains and if we can come to respect the insights that Science and Spirituality offer by training our brains to use both methods to understand life. Co-Masons are encouraged to develop analytical thinking and moral concern, which implies using conflicting networks of the brain. Its members are expected to defend a point based on facts (not feelings) and to avoid superstition…and yet the rituals teach a path of moral improvement, with a faith in God being essential. In this Meetup, we will explore if Co-Masonry calls for more “evidence-based” or “faith-based” thinking.

Is Extrasensory Perception legitimate?
Date: 6/24/2018 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Formal Science
Presenter: Kathy Bidwell
Synopsis: Claims of possessing a sixth sense, or a second sight, have been around since the dawn of men. Technically referred to as Extrasensory Perception (ESP), some believe its a hoax while others claim its real. We will be reviewing the latest research and considering if participating in ritual such as Freemasonry, make us more receptive to ESP?

Can Ritual be Expressed as an Equation?
Date: 7/22/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Kris Wilson-Slack
Synopsis: As humans have matured in their thought processes and theology over thousands of years, numbers have come to be incorporated into complex universal studies, such as quantum mechanics. Calculus is a particular method or system of calculation or reasoning, expressed as equations. It then leads towards the idea of ritual, particularly Masonic ritual, being expressed as an equation that may be understood by the brotherhood of mankind. Yet, it might not be possible to incorporate the variation of human intervention into this equation. We'll discuss whether it's possible to create mathematical equations to explain human ritualistic behavior.

Is Achieving Perfection Realistic?
Date: 8/26/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Charlotte Achen
Synopsis: Throughout Masonic teachings and within our society, perfection is an ever-present theme. However, is the goal of achieving perfection something we constantly strive for or can it be achieved within our mortal lifetime? For this month's discussion we will examine this question and both the symbolical and historical uses of the notion of perfection that have interwoven itself within the fabric of our society.

How Fast, If At All, is the Climate Changing?
Date: 9/23/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Celso Batalha
Synopsis: Weather and climate are two different physical aspects of a region, with the former measured by different quantities, such as wind speed and direction, pressure, temperature, etc, and the other quantified by an average of these measurable's over long periods of time. Earth geological history has witnessed five major extinctions of biological life, all driven by specific external forces acting on large scale, AND in a blink of an eye as far as the geological time scale is concerned. Life has little tolerance to abrupt environmental changes, and new dominant species will succeed those incapable of adapting to sudden changes in global climate. Over the last decades, the scientific community has presented overwhelming evidence of a steep rise on global temperature, and this rise has been consistently associated with greenhouse gases released by human activity. The discussion will follow three steps: (step 1) Do you agree that global temperature is rising? (step 2) If so, are humans responsible for this rise? In case humans are to blame, then (step 3) what should the public in general, and Masons in particular, should do to meliorate the suffering of future generations and ensuring the survival of our species?

What is Meant by the Phrase, "As Above, So Below?"
Date: 10/28/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Andrea Katzer
Synopsis: “As above, so below” is a phrase that is believed to hold the key to all mysteries. It is commonly understood as the concept of the microcosm vs. the macrocosm. Thus, from the beginning, was created the dual nature of human existence: the Inner and the Outer, the Above and the Below. The symbols of Freemasonry also present tools for contemplating the dual nature of reality. The concept of duality may be misleading and perhaps it obscures rather than provides an understanding of the nature of reality. If there is no "above," there may be no below. We'll explore the ideas of dualism, as it relates to our world, and to Freemasonry.

What Hidden Mathematics Can Be Found in Sacred Texts and Ancient Myths?
Date: 11/25/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Scott Young
Synopsis: The dimensions of the molten sea in Solomons temple suggest how to calculate Pi. The 153 fish in John 21 is related to the ratio for the Vesica Pisces. The Osirian cycle myth offers clues to the creation of the solar calendar. Were important and useful mathematical concepts hidden in these writings with meaning only to the initiated? How does Masonry help discover the hidden meaning of things?

Hiram MPS is dark in December. No Meeting.
Date: 12/16/2018 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: History
Presenter: Not Applicable
Synopsis: No Meeting.

"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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