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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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.

Is a government with 3 distinct branches appropriate in the Modern Era?
Date: 2/24/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Joshua Fradenburg
Synopsis: The Constitution establishes the United States of America as a federal government with roles and responsibilities divided amongst three distinct branches of government. The Legislative, Judicial and Executive Branches are granted responsibilities which had been exclusively granted. Historically, the separation of powers has served as a check-and-balance, but has waned in recent years. Join us as we explore other societal structures that provide stronger checks-and-balances, rendering federal separation of powers irrelevant.

Is Religion a Manifestation of a Collective Unconscious?
Date: 3/10/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Theology
Presenter: Scott Young
Synopsis: Carl Jung coined the term Collective unconscious to refer to a common structure in the mind shared by all beings of the same species. For the case of humans, this unconscious is populated by instincts and what is known as archetypes which are universal symbols of meaning. The theory holds that as humans progress in the development of self they move out from this collective and form a "persona" which is essentially a small portion of the collective to which they identify and act. Jung believed mythology to be a projection of this consciousness and that it could be studied by investigating the religions, myths and belief systems of different cultures. He also felt that organized religions that practice dogma tend to channel and mold the archetypes into the minds of people but at the expense of vital individual meaning. How does Masonry allow you to understand the concept of the Collective while avoiding dogma in its study? Do the ritual and symbol of Masonry actual work with this Collective unconscious as an underlying theme?

Society, Community or Family: What is our Role in the Education of our Youth
Date: 4/28/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Charlotte Achen
Synopsis: In sowing the seeds of our future, what is our role in the upbringing of the children in our community? Are we sufficiently preparing them for an ever-changing society with the skills to survive? This month's M.P.S. will examine questions regarding what role our society, community and ourselves have in the education of our current (and future) youth. Additionally, questions regarding what type of education, skill-sets, is our current education gearing our children for and how much has this evolved over the past 100 years.

Does the music we listen to have an effect on our health and well-being?
Date: 5/26/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Karen Phelps
Synopsis: Throughout history, music has been used to influence social change, heal physical, emotional, mental and spiritual suffering, restore lost speech, encourage and motivate, treat trauma, strengthen warriors and unnerve or scare enemies. In this discussion, we will explore the powerful effect of music on our state of mind and learn how to choose appropriate music more consciously for the desired result. We will also examine how Freemasonry uses sound and music in its rituals to evoke varied responses.

What is Compassion?
Date: 7/28/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Karoli Clever
Synopsis: There are many emotions that guide the individual or larger group to respond to need, to help or lend comfort. Compassion may be a core programmed behavioral response or learned from nature, experience, or environment. We will explore what makes up compassion, something that many Freemasons aspire to attain.

Could Marcus Aurelius Have Been the First Freemason?
Date: 8/25/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Andrea Katzer
Synopsis: Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor from 161 to 180, was a practitioner of Stoicism. His writing called “Meditations” is a significant source of our modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy and could be considered the source of Masonic morality. The goal of Stoicism is freedom from passion through the pursuit of reason and apathy, in its ancient sense of being objective, unemotional and having clear judgment. In many respects, it bears a remarkable similarity to the ethical teachings of the Buddha and the four noble truths of Buddhism, and it also bears a remarkable similarity to Masonic teachings. Well explore how the writings of Marcus Aurelius perhaps built the foundations of Modern Freemasonry.

What is Liberty?
Date: 9/22/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Kathy Bidwell
Synopsis: There's much talk these days about our liberties; are they inherently ours or is it something we must pursue, as in the infamous “pursuit of life, liberty and happiness”? In this discussion, we'll explore the intangible concept of liberty, its five general types, and the significance liberty has to us as individuals and to society in general. We'll also discuss the relationship between liberty and Freemasonry.

Why do humans create ceremonies...?
Date: 10/27/2019 2:30:00 PM
Topic of Study: Theology
Presenter: Karen ONeil
Synopsis: This study session will explore ceremonies of remembrance in various cultures and throughout the Ages, analyze their differences and commonalities, and address the question: "Why do we seek to remember?" Some contend that it is human instinct to remember those who have passed on, perhaps an innate need to remain connected with the premise of there being an afterlife. Others would argue that the ceremonies are mere examples of insecurities and fear of mortality.

"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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