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The Ancient of Days

Dallas 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.

Dallas Study Center
Unity Church 210 Virginia StreetIrving, TX
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Does photography offer a true representation of reality?
Date: 7/20/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Jill Alessandra-Garza
Synopsis: Photographs can represent a moment in time as far back as the origins of the art itself or as recent as the second that has just passed. They can show the progression of time in an individual life, in a family, in a society. They can capture the beauty of a curious and singular look at the sometimes tragic, sometimes mundane and sometimes joyous adventure that is life. But are they real? Let us journey through this artform to explore the philosophical questions it poses, questions of the nature of time and space, and the continuum of reality.

What are the origins of the Tarot?
Date: 8/17/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: History
Presenter: Shawna De Puente
Synopsis: We will explore the factual history behind the Tarot referencing the books on the history of the Tarot by Robert M. Place. As stated by Mr. Place, “between the fifteenth century when the Tarot was created and the present, some have attempted to explain its mysteries with fanciful theories and speculative history. Starting in the eighteenth century, Western occultists claimed that the Tarot originated as a spiritual text in ancient Egypt and that it was spread through Europe by Gypsies.” There are also theories on the trump cards with claims that they contain a type of secret code. We will explore these theories and sort out fact from fiction. We will also look at a selection of tarot decks and explore the symbolism in these decks. It is widely known that Freemasonry is rich in symbolism as is the Tarot. The Rider Waite deck (AKA Rider Smith) does indeed illustrate some Masonic symbolism as Arthur Edward Waite was a Freemason himself. Albert Mackey writes “There is no science so ancient as that of symbolism and no mode of instruction as every been so general as was the symbolic in former ages.” He also writes in part, “The first learning in the world consisted chiefly of symbols.” Can the symbolism in the Tarot open the doors of the mind and spirit in ways that the written word cannot?

Camus, The Stranger, and The Absurd
Date: 9/21/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Dennis Garza
Synopsis: In this classic novel introducing the unique absurdism of Albert Camus, Meursault refuses to be emotionally governed by the expectations of others. He does not show emotion at his mother’s funeral and seemed to have a detached indifference to a myriad the bizarre events unfolding in the novel. The courts and society in general conclude that Meursault is a “soulless monster” but Camus is expressing a belief that the main character is simply embodying the nature of the universe, absurd, and without meaning.

The Pursuit of Happiness: Is it a Choice?
Date: 10/19/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Lin Gold
Synopsis: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are enshrined in the American consciousness as examples of our “unalienable rights”. We are understandably protective of our life and our liberty. “Freedom!” has long been the rallying cry in the US, and even our economic system is a “free-market” system. But what about happiness? Despite our place as the world’s most powerful country, the US is ranked 18th in the World Happiness Report by the UN. Why is that? Current scientific research and age-old spiritual teachings agree that material gain has limited impact on our happiness, yet the primary measure of our national well-being is the Gross National Product (GNP), which is only a measurement of our wealth. If the pursuit of happiness is as important as life and liberty, why don’t we measure the Gross National Happiness (GNH)? Why are our national policies (and our personal lives) so often guided by the measure of our wealth, rather than the measure of our well-being? Can we choose happiness instead? Freemasonry provides us with the tools to chip away illusion, reveal our true nature and build a healthy relationship to ourselves and our community. This lays the foundation for true happiness.

Did Freemasonry shape the actions of the liberators of South America?
Date: 11/16/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: History
Presenter: Diego Segatore
Synopsis: The majority of Americans are aware that many of our founding fathers in the United States (and sizable proportion of our Presidents) have been Freemasons. What most don't know is that this fact was not relegated to only the northern section of the American continent (or two Continents, depending who you ask). The two main liberators of South America, San Martin in the South and Bolivar in the North), were active Freemasons while leading their armies in battle against the Spanish Empire. In Argentina in particular Freemasons were not just fighting in the battlefield against the Spaniards but also against the Clerical wing of the liberation movement in setting up the institutions of the new country. Many claim that the secular nature of the these institution, for example the public education system (something unheard of in Catholic countries) is completely due to Freemasons making the decisions. All of this brings us to the conclusion that the ideas that Freemasonry gives its brethren inevitably leads to thoughts of liberation and freedom from oppressive forces, surely there must be a link given all the hard data to support it.

"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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