Study Center | The Masonic Philosophical Society
The Ancient of Days

San Diego 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.

San Diego Study Center
La Jolla Riford Library 7555 Draper Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
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Is Hermeticism an ancient form of science?
Date: 3/17/2018 12:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Isaac Levy
Synopsis: We often think the people of ancient times were brutes and savages. However, they may have been more sophisticated than we give them credit for. Science, as we know it today, is based on observation and experimentation. An experiment is only valid if the conditions can be replicated with the same results every time. If we see the same observation or outcome happen over and over again, a pattern emerges. What does science and its observations have to do Hermeticism and Freemasonry? Are the Principles of Hermeticism as profound as Freemasonry is ancient?

Does Nihilism Lead to a Fulfilling Life?
Date: 4/21/2018 12:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Isaac Levy
Synopsis: Human beings are blessed (or cursed) with intelligence. We use this ability to gain insights into ourselves and the world around us and we develop meaning from it. Even if we dont understand something, our brain will make up an answer to justify its existence. The Nihilist will argue that it is better to not believe in anything than to believe in something that is false. Does the philosophy of Nihilism lead to a fulfilling life and is this philosophy in opposition to everything Freemasonry stands for?

What is Theosophy?
Date: 6/9/2018 12:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Matias Cumsille
Synopsis: Theosophy is responsible for bringing the philosophies of the East to Western culture. Brought over in the early 1900s by Helen P. Blavatsky, Theosophy has had an enormous impact on the lives of many individuals over the past century. However influential, Theosophy as whole or its tenets are not well known. Is Theosophy simply a type of philosophy or is it religious in nature? Join us as we discuss Theosophy, its relation to Freemasonry, if any, and their motto of Nothing is Higher than the Truth.

Could working the path of Enlightenment really be the turning back of time?
Date: 7/20/2019 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Formal Science
Presenter: Bro. Kathy Courtney
Synopsis: Universal Co-Masonry is a group of open minded seekers who study Science and the Arts so that the truth may become clearer or even known. In many occult studies the initiate commences on the “path” to enlightenment called the Great Work. Those that study the tree of life believe that creation (emanations) comes down the tree and the path back to the source is up the path on the tree. Consider some of the ideas about the Circle of Life and Karma. Recall the theory of the “Power of Now” embracing the moment and the 24 hours in the day, the great time markers – Sunrise, Mid-day and Sunset, the Solstices and Equinox celebrations. The Zodiacal year. In this discussion, some scientific theories of what time is, how it came into being and some of its ancient symbols will be reviewed along with significant myths and legends on what Time is, why it’s venerated, how to use it well and its possible control.

Do Swords Have Magical Powers?
Date: 5/4/2020 7:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Esotericism
Presenter: Christina Murphy
Synopsis: Stories and legends of swords have captivated human imagination throughout the ages. Whether they are considered powerful weapons of war or instruments of valor and chivalry, swords often speak to some higher level our consciousness. But where does the inherent mystique of the sword originate? This discussion will examine various concepts surrounding swords and attempt to answer the question "Do swords have magical powers?" Also, how do these concepts influence and relate to Freemasonry?

Was William Blake Ahead of His Time?
Date: 6/1/2020 7:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Kevin Watson
Synopsis: Freemasonry encourages free thinking. One artist who exemplified this trait was William Blake, though it is unknown if he was a Freemason.  Looking through two of his most famous poems, “The Tyger” and “The Lamb,” we will look into the ideas of a brilliant mind to see if we can challenge our own thoughts; for a Freemason should never live in a fixed perceptive.

Is the Electoral College an Antiquated System that has Outlived its Usefulness?
Date: 7/6/2020 7:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: History
Presenter: Karen ONeil
Synopsis: This month's studies will explore the historical origins and intent of the Electoral College. Our discussion will not focus on a particular party but specifically, the arguments that favor the continuation of the Electoral College and those that advocate for its removal. Our nation's forefathers, many who were Freemasons, devised a system for a "more perfect union." Does the Electoral College, in reality, follow this historical vision?

Is it Possible for an Artificial Intelligence to have Humanity?
Date: 8/3/2020 7:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Natural Science
Presenter: Amy Palian
Synopsis: The teachings of Freemasonry guide us to become open-minded individuals and to think “outside the box”. It also teaches us to improve ourselves through self-reflection, love, tolerance, and acceptance. This discussion reflects on humanity as a race and what distinguishes us from other organisms and machines. We will touch upon love, tolerance, and acceptance of things that are different from us. Scientifically speaking, humans belong to the animal kingdom just like cats and monkeys. Some people say that what makes us different from other animals is our Humanity, and some claim that it is our “free will”. Others insist that it is our intelligence that distinguishes us from other species. In this discussion, we will delve into the meaning of the word "Humanity" and whether this "Humanity" is becoming a rare quality. Upon touching topics on the advancement of technology, the science behind human consciousness and the creation of artificial intelligence, we will discuss if it is possible for an AI to have "Humanity" hence be considered human.

Are Our Thoughts Who We Really Are?
Date: 9/7/2020 7:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Byron Gorrell
Synopsis: Thoughts are something that present themselves to us constantly. From the mundane to the deeper thoughts to the annoying repetitious advertisement jingle you can't seem to shake, every one of us has thoughts; thousands of them every day. So what is the nature of those thoughts? Are they who we really are or, as some Zen Masters propose, is our true self something beyond them? And how does Freemasonry work to mold these thoughts into a better, more perfected individual?

What Purpose Do Myths and Fairy Tales Serve In Our Lives?
Date: 10/5/2020 7:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Literature
Presenter: Benjamin Hartle
Synopsis: Throughout human history, stories and myths have had a prominent place in every culture. What purpose does it serve in culture, in religion, and in daily life? Some people believe that mythology can help us explain the world and our place in the universe. Is this possible? Freemasonry believes so as it, too, uses mythology to convey ancient truths. This distinctly human trait of telling stories, rather by drama or story, might just be one of the most powerful means of communication. Join us as we study myths and fairy tales and whether or not they are a vehicle for conveying or teaching truth that transcend other methods.

How is Behavior Modification used in Spiritual Practices? 
Date: 11/2/2020 7:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Zoe Generaux
Synopsis: We often must modify our behavior to bring it more into alignment with our preferred spiritual practice. This can be healthy or, at times, it may not be. Freemasonry seeks to be a positive medium to help evolve the spiritual discipline in its Initiates. The voluntary undertaking to help one's self, in order to live a healthier and more spiritual life, is an act of a mature seeker. This month we will discuss the many ways that spiritual practices may modify our behavior for good as well as for ill.

What is the Symbolism in Surrealism?
Date: 12/7/2020 7:00:00 PM
Topic of Study: Art
Presenter: Charlotte Achen
Synopsis: This month's MPS will examine surrealism art, in particular, the works of Salvador Dalí. The study of what surrealism is allows the Mason to challenges the constraints of his consciousness. Freemasonry seeks to liberate the unconscious mind from the restraints of the unknown through symbolism and rationalism. Surrealism provides a medium by which to safely explore the unknown aspects of the human mind/

"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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