Study Center | The Masonic Philosophical Society
The Ancient of Days

Salt Lake City 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.

Salt Lake City Study Center
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Can the archetypal myth of the Hero’s Journey assist us in finding ourselves?
Date: 12/8/2018 4:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Brittany English
Synopsis: Several scholars have pointed out that mythological narratives throughout the world often share a fundamental structure, which has popularly become known as the Hero’s Journey. This structure continues to show up in many of our most beloved contemporary books and films, including Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, Shrek, Harry Potter, The Lion King, The Matrix, and Finding Nemo. What is it about the story of the Hero’s Journey that has resonated so deeply with people around the world throughout time? Join us as we use a Masonic framework to analyze the stages of the Hero’s Journey and discuss how they can be applied to transform our own lives.

How are we moved by the power of parables?
Date: 1/26/2019 4:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Deborah Dilley
Synopsis: Parables have been used throughout history to teach universal truths to humanity. Do these stories have only one truth to impart, or could they also be the gateway to not only the lower mysteries, but also the higher?

What meaning do we find in a casting of runes?
Date: 2/23/2019 4:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Jennifer Klenk
Synopsis: As Scandinavian scholar Catharina Raudvere notes, “The pronouncement of words was recognized to have a tremendous influence over the concerns of life. The impact of a sentence uttered aloud could not be questioned and could never be taken back – as if it had become somehow physical. … Words create reality, not the other way around.” In Pre-Christian, Germanic society, the symbolism of future-casting runes represented both phoneme (the smallest unit of language sound) and a mystical suggestion. Join the Masonic Philosophical Society as we dissect the history and symbolism of Viking runes as applied through a Masonic lens.

What is the Power of Sacred Relics?
Date: 3/23/2019 4:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Theology
Presenter: Rochelle Smith
Synopsis: Sacred relics are venerated in different religions around the world. The Turin Shroud, Buddha’s Tooth, Muhammad's Footprint, the Spear of Destiny, Mary’s Holy Belt and John the Baptist’s Head are some of the most familiar holy relics. Freemasons, in general, accept all the world’s “sacred” texts as words to be studied; what about sacred relics? What purpose do such relics serve and do they have a special power? How can we gain a greater understanding of the community or religion from which they originate by studying them?

What is the essence of Numerology?
Date: 4/27/2019 4:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Claradene Wycoff
Synopsis: Freemasons are natural explorers, learning the tenets of arts and sciences, and then seeking deeper into those modalities to further understand the world around us. Just as letters are not only simply symbols of sounds, Numbers are not only symbols of quantities but are designed to reveal deeper meanings. Found in the cultures of India, China, Egypt, Greece and Rome, Numerology is enmeshed in the moral philosophies and wisdoms of the Ancient past. Join us as we explore beyond the symbol of a number to its hidden essence.

Why does Man have existential crises?
Date: 5/25/2019 4:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Deborah Dilley
Synopsis: “Mother died today. Or maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure.” begins the dispassionate narrator of Albert Camus’ The Stranger. Existentialism as a philosophy, and even as its application as a literary device, forces Man to look at his reflection in its rawest form. Sometimes we see nothing reflected back at us that resembles the Humanity we expect to have. Freemasonry and Existentialism have a similar goal, to understand the true nature of Humanity. Join us as we ask the questions of what is the purpose of existence and what is the essential nature of our own free will.

Was Vincent van Gogh a madman or a genius born before his time?
Date: 6/22/2019 4:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Art
Presenter: Brittany English
Synopsis: Vincent van Gogh lived a tragic life filled with rejection and loneliness, which sadly ended with time spent in a psychiatric hospital and ultimately suicide. Today, his paintings are among the most expensive in the world, but during his lifetime, he sold very few – popular lore often claims he only sold one painting while alive – of the almost 900 paintings and 1,100 drawings and sketches he feverishly created. Was Van Gogh a madman, or was he driven to madness by a society that misunderstood and shunned him? How might his life have differed if he was born in more modern times?

Are we on the steps of the Fools Journey?
Date: 7/27/2019 4:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Helen Cox
Synopsis: Freemasonry uses symbolism to understand the commonality of the human experience, using archetypes to help illumine our path. The Fool's Journey is a metaphor for life, which is symbolized by the Major Arcana of the Tarot. We will explore these 22 cards, discuss what these archetypes might mean in our own narratives, and learn how we can use them to navigate our lives more effectively.

How important is our sense of smell?
Date: 8/24/2019 4:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Deborah Dilley
Synopsis: Science and Freemasonry asks us to explore and understand the world through the collection of data and observation. Primarily, humanity explores the world through the five senses. Upon birth, our first sense that is activated is that of smell. Smell can bring us back to specific memories, guide us to our potential mates; smell can even lead us to modalities of physical and emotional healing. Join us as we explore the impact of olfaction on our lives and its effect on our world.

How are we programmed to fear?
Date: 9/28/2019 4:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Rochelle Smith
Synopsis: Our brains have been preprogrammed for fight or flight responses since the early days of evolution. According to new research, your reaction may have less to do with logically analyzing the situation and more to do with how so-called “bravery cells” in your brain light up in response to the threat. Pinpointing these areas of the brain may help us treat debilitating anxiety disorders. Additionally, understanding what each part of our brain contributes can help us understand how we perceive the world and more effectively control our reactions to those perceptions. What do you fear and why? How does the teachings in Freemasonry act as a bravery cell to win the battle over fear?

What are the lessons learned from the Day of the Dead?
Date: 10/26/2019 4:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Art
Presenter: Jennifer Klenk
Synopsis: Día de Los Muertos is commonly associated with Mexico but garners its origin from indigenous Aztec ritual. Día de Los Muertos recognizes death as part of the human experience; with the most popular symbolism in the form of skeletons and skulls. Join the Masonic Philosophical Society as we explore the historical origins, symbolism, and rituals of Día de Los Muertos and its Masonic parallels.

Will the real Shakespeare please stand?
Date: 11/23/2019 4:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Claradene Wycoff
Synopsis: Sir Francis Bacon was a man of many aims and purposes. He was Father of modern science, remodeler of modern Law, editor of the modern Bible, patron of modern democracy, and one of the founders of modern Freemasonry.The Bacon-Shakespeare controversy, as its most able advocates realize, involves the most profound aspects of science, religion, and ethics; he who solves its mystery may yet find therein the key to the supposedly lost wisdom of antiquity.

Is love an art?
Date: 12/28/2019 4:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Brittany English
Synopsis: Is love an art, in which case it requires knowledge and effort, or is it a pleasant sensation that one experiences and “falls into” by chance if one is lucky? In his seminal work The Art of Loving, Eric Fromm argues that it is the former, and that as with every art, it demands practice and concentration, as well as genuine insight and understanding. Join us as we explore this disciplined from of art through a Masonic framework.

"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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