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The Ancient of Days

Seattle 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.

Seattle Study Center
925 Court C, Tacoma WA 98402 (Looks for Knights Logo on green door; the meeting is on the top floor)
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What is "The Golden Mean" and Is It Relevant in Todays Society?
Date: 8/25/2018 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Carolyn Bellinger-Kawahara
Synopsis: The "Golden Mean" is also known by other names, such as the "Golden Ratio," the "Divine Proportion," and the "Fibonacci Number" among others. Its actual numerical value of 1.618 was first calculated by a Greek sculptor and mathematician, Phidias. This number is important in art, design, and architecture to determine the most pleasing and desirable proportions. In nature, this ratio and sequences based on it underlie many structural proportions of biological organisms. On a philosophical level, the ancient Greeks associated mathematics with beauty and truth, and the most important components of beauty were symmetry, harmony, and proportion. They believed that the "Golden Mean," or the "Middle Way" was the harmonious path between two extremes. Is the "Golden Mean" reflected in the living of a Masonic life? That connection between the Golden Mean and the "middle way" are what reveal this topics reference to Freemasonry. It is complex and yet startlingly simple geometry, in which the the Golden Ratio (occasionally referred to as a "Masonic Number"), divides a line on a point in which the smaller parts relates to the greater and then, taken together relates to the whole.

Are Humans Truly Intelligent?
Date: 9/22/2018 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Behavioral Science
Presenter: Byron Gorrell
Synopsis: Most people believe human beings are intelligent per the definition devised by human beings. However, are we truly intelligent as envisioned or are we creatures of habit, essentially acting out of instinct? Is there a distinction between the two? This topics reference to Freemasonry is tied to the most important component of any Lodge: its members. Specifically, they are good people who want to be better. However, people remain critters, those creatures of habit prone to acting out on instinct. So the topic asks how folks can accept these foibles in each other and still maintain harmony and life in any lodge.

Is Self-Sacrifice Inherently Virtuous?
Date: 10/27/2018 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Theology
Presenter: Janet Hendrickson
Synopsis: Self-sacrifice is considered by many to be a virtue and Freemasons strive to be virtuous. That said, Freemasons also are taught about nuance and, in this topic, the difficulty we run into with self-sacrifice is in its extremes. Self-sacrifice can be heroic and compassionate, particularly when its an individuals own decision to make that sacrifice and when the path ahead is very clear. However, theres also the Maoist idea of the long board being sawed off, the long nail being beaten down, that self-sacrifice be required for the so-called "greater good." It flies in the face of the majority rule with minority rights respected, tolerated, even celebrated. This is a nuance that the thoughtful Freemason would do well to comprehend.

Will Truth Really Set You Free?
Date: 12/1/2018 10:00:00 AM
Topic of Study: Philosophy
Presenter: Karen Kidd
Synopsis: “We do not see the world as it is. We see the world as we are.” This quote often is attributed to the Talmud as well as to Anaïs Nin. Like every bit of wisdom that arises with seeming spontaneity from all of humanity, the truth in this statement is self-evident. But what is truth and will it really set you free? There is much to be gained from suspending ones truth long enough to consider that ones truth may only be a version of that truth, and that being open to the truths of others is worth pursuing. There are many who become Freemasons out a of a deep sense, even yearning, for "truth." Some never get any further than that yearning but the more intrepid in the Craft soon find the question is turned back upon them and they go through a difficult process of questioning what truth actually is. This self-reflection is a sort of purging away of the mortal parts. Once applied to ones truth, which can be painful for some, the discipline can be applied elsewhere, but, again, one must ask will the truth set you free once you find 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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