Sunday, July 26, 2015

‘Born on this date: Jung and Huxley’

First published in 2014, this has become one of the most visited posts in Magpie history, so here it is again.

It’s a notable pairing. Born on this date were C.G. Jung in 1875, and Aldous Huxley in 1894. Both accomplished so much for which the world is indebted. As a pioneer in psychoanalysis, Jung advanced our understanding of the mind and human behavior by defining the characteristics of introversion and extroversion; by providing us the concept of the collective unconscious; and by postulating how the identity of the individual is shaped by archetypal symbols. He examined man through a microscope. Aldous Huxley saw man through a telescope, predicting social dysfunction with eerie prescience. His Brave New World (1931) has been warning one feckless generation after another of the perils of surrendering one’s humanity for the promise of a better society. His book predates the rise of Hitler and the bloodiest years of Stalin, to name a few, thus lacking the hindsight that benefitted Orwell, and yet that foresight is what makes Huxley’s story even more scary. It also doesn’t help that emerging technologies seem to vindicate his predictions; in a television interview with Mike Wallace decades after the publication of Brave New World, Huxley said there never could be a drug like Soma. Today we know otherwise.

Carl Jung was the spiritual scientist among the psychoanalysts. Freud dismissed Jung’s explorations of mysticism, which partially caused the break between the two. His research into symbolism, particularly as regards alchemy, garners him devotees around the world to this day. There are those of us who enjoy the study of various esoteric streams who see Jung’s research as essential to balancing the headiness of the highly speculative and undefinable intuitive.

The C.G. Jung Foundation and the C.G. Jung Institute of New York will present an advanced seminar on Wednesdays, from January 28 through May 13, 2015, titled “The Alchemical Opus: Demystifying What It Means for the Client to Work in Psychotherapy.” The course description:

The alchemists used the term “opus,” or “the work,” to refer to their process of changing base metals into gold. This implies not a magical transformation of material, but one of labor and persistence. Descriptions of alchemists and their processes show us that transformation requires our active engagement—dedicated work, in fact—to achieve the psychological growth that we hope for. Psychotherapy serves as the modern version of alchemy in its efforts to forge and create a personality that is, like gold, malleable but incorruptible. But in an era of re-parenting and corrective emotional experience, clients are often not aware of what work they need to do to make their time in psychotherapy effective in bringing about change.

This course will utilize contemporary research, timeless stories, and ancient images to explore the clinical dimensions of the clients’ role in psychotherapy. Both therapists and clients are invited to attend.

Learning Objectives:

  • Summarize basic alchemical concepts and apply them to clinical work.
  • Identify archetypal patterns underlying clinical work.
  • Identify and apply effective clinical practices based on research.
  • Recognize differences between clients’ resistance and lack of information about how to use therapy.
  • List 8 of possible 10 tools that their clients will be able to utilize to make their work in therapy more effective.
  • Identify which tools clients may be avoiding or unaware of, and identify strategies to help them use these tools.
  • Use techniques to help patients effectively and productively channel their emotions.
  • Help patients to utilize the therapeutic relationship more effectively.
  • Encourage patients to assume appropriate responsibility for their actions without self-attack.
  • Instruct patients to utilize stories, literature, and basic schemas to achieve their goals.
  • Help clients to recognize and challenge cognitive assumptions that prohibit progress.
  • Identify clients’ opportunities to utilize challenging issues for growth.
  • Identify appropriate tasks for clients to use in pursuing their psychological growth outside of sessions.

Instructor: Gary Trosclair, LCSW, DMA

Those who pursue the spiritual alchemy found in Rosicrucianism and other disciplines recognize an obvious kindred thinking in this science. There is no reason why the two approaches cannot complement each other.

Aldous Huxley too was concerned with the soul of man. In addition to his social theorizing, he was a magpie himself, studying the world’s religions and producing the book The Perennial Philosophy. Before anyone had heard of Joseph Campbell, Huxley’s study of comparative religion finds there is a “Natural Theology” common to all the religious teachings he examined that offers “an absolute standard of faith by which we can judge both our moral depravity as individuals and the insane and often criminal behavior of the national societies we have created.” People everywhere endeavor to find communion with God, and if they cannot be saintly themselves, they can follow the examples of those who were.

Speaking of birthdays, I’m going to be late for a friend’s party if I don’t sign off. Have a good night. Please enjoy these videos:


Thursday, July 23, 2015

‘MRF Symposium 2015’

The Masonic Restoration Foundations Sixth Annual Symposium in Philadelphia is only a month away, but the deadline to register is July 31.

I am happy to report most of the presenters this year are brethren of The Masonic Society. Yours truly will be among them, and I hardly can contain my excitement to be working with these Freemasons.

All the copy that follows is taken directly from the MRF’s website, but here are the essential links:

Symposium registration here. Hotel accommodations here. Full program here.

Click to enlarge.

The Masonic Restoration Foundation Symposium is the largest gathering of Masons in the United States who are expressly committed to observing the highest standards of excellence in the Craft. This year we are honored and privileged to be holding this great event at what is arguably the most beautiful Masonic temple on the continent: the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

The Symposium will take place from August 21-23, with meetings conducted in Corinthian, Ionic, and Norman Halls. The event will begin with an authentic English-styled Festive Board held in the Grand Banquet Hall on Friday evening, conducted by the brethren of Fiat Lux Lodge No. 1717, an English Emulation Lodge chartered under the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, and featuring comments from our Keynote Speaker, Robert Herd. Along with our usual lineup of interesting speakers, brothers will have the opportunity to see an Entered Apprentice degree using the unique Pennsylvania ritual, conferred by Fritz Lodge No. 308, the host lodge for the Symposium. Registration for the Symposium is $110.00.

This event is not to be missed, and we have secured excellent rates for accommodation at the Courtyard directly across from the Temple. All the information you need to participate is found here on this web site. We look forward to seeing you at the Symposium!

Brian Skoff
Master, Fritz Lodge No. 308
Organizer, MRF Symposium 2015

What is the MRF Symposium?

The MRF Symposium is a meeting place for Masons who are seeking the highest form of Masonic experience they can attain within their lodges, while strictly conforming to the laws, resolutions, and edicts of their respective grand lodges. It is a gathering for those who pursue quality in the Craft to share ideas and discuss their work. The Symposium begins on Friday evening at 7 PM, with a Festive Board in the Grand Banquet Hall, and concludes at noon on Sunday. We are fortunate to have an excellent program of speakers and presenters this year.

Who May Attend the Symposium?

Any Mason in good standing may register for the Symposium, provided he is a member of a Grand Lodge which is a member of, or is recognized by any of the Grand Lodges which are members of, the Conference of Grand Masters of North America. Registration for the Symposium is $110.00.

Topics and Panels

  • Freemasonry’s “Near Death” Experience
  • Constituting a New Observant Lodge
  • Restoring an Existing Lodge
  • The Initiatory Experience and Human Nature
  • Incorporating the Fine Arts into the Lodge
  • The Role of the Masonic Restoration Foundation
  • Restoration Through the Centuries
  • Come to Your Senses
  • Admit Him if Properly Clothed
  • Can We Transform a Brotherhood of Change?

Oscar Alleyne will give the Symposium's
Closing Address on Sunday morning.

Andrew Hammer, President of the Masonic Restoration
Foundation, will present the Opening Address.

Robert Herd will deliver the keynote address
at the Festive Board on Friday evening.

Dress Code for the Symposium: The Festive Board Friday evening will be formal (tuxedo is preferred, but black suit and black tie will be acceptable).

Saturday all attendees are required to wear dark suit and tie. No jeans or sneakers are permitted in the Temple.

Sunday will be business casual.

Note on Parking: A 20 percent discount will be provided only at the parking garage located at 1201 Filbert St, Philadelphia (if you exit the 13th Street side of the garage, the rear of the hotel is across 13th Street).

Monday, June 22, 2015

‘Summer studies at Anthroposophy NYC’

First, you should know the Rudolf Steiner Bookstore will be open seven days a week(!) through July and August. Monday through Thursday, from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to five o’clock.

As always, the Anthroposophical Society of New York City is located at 138 West 15th Street in Manhattan.

While the regular Anthroposophy NYC groups and programs have the summer off, there will be summertime studies on Mondays and Wednesdays beginning next week. From the publicity:

A New Summer Study Group will be happening!

The regular meetings are Mondays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

We will be reading Occult Science as our main text, but first will be reading the fourth chapter, called “The Path to Knowledge,” of the book Theosophy for the June 29 meeting.

Contact is Joshua Kelberman.

All are welcome!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

‘l’Hermione aux U.S.A., Part II’

Last night was the highly anticipated lecture at Masonic Hall by Bro. Alain de Keghel of France, who spoke on the friendship and camaraderie between two eminent Freemasons of centuries past: Lafayette and Washington. Bro. Alain is one of the organizers of the visit of the Hermione replica to the United States and Canada underway now. The ship will arrive in New York City in about ten days.

Alain de Keghel, Martin Kanter, and Misha at Alain’s lecture last night, in conjunction with the arrival July 1 of the replica ship Hermione to New York City, of which Alain is one of the organizers.

It was an eagerly received talk, and it was great to see friendly faces in the audience. It all came about last month, when Bro. Marty Kanter attended the World Conference on Fraternalism, Freemasonry, and History in Paris, and met Bro. Alain, one of the presenters. The event last night concluded and we exited the Ionic Room at about 7:30, at which time I took a short walk to 12th Street to catch a movie. A French movie titled In the Name of My Daughter. Long story short: It is a drama based on real people and events concerning a shady business deal and the apparent murder of an heiress on the French Riviera. In one scene, the sketchy lawyer who would become the murder suspect is asked how he knows the local mafia boss. “He is a Freemason,” he says, “from a different lodge.”

It’s important to network.

Much of the audience at the lecture last night.

The Summer Solstice is here! Saint Johns Day is near. Have a great one.

Friday, June 19, 2015

‘Bluegrass photos’

Amid several long days of rain, we got very lucky Sunday with a beautiful, sunny respite that made the 2015 Traveling Man Bluegrass Festival a perfect afternoon. The event supports the German Masonic Charitable Foundation. The foundation comprises the Masonic lodges of the Ninth Manhattan District in New York, many of which have their roots in German immigration to the United States in the last century and earlier. The charities funded by this music festival include the Shriner transportation unit—the group of volunteers who ferry needy kids to and from the Shriner hospitals in Boston and Philadelphia—and several other children’s causes.

An enthusiast of mountain music myself for many years, I was very pleased with the talent that performed all day at German Masonic Park in Tappan. Well, one band had a drum kit and electric bass, and played rock songs—I don’t know what the hell that was all about—but they were okay too. The other acts, hailing from distant rural locales like Philadelphia, Long Island, and Brooklyn, were excellent. In addition, there was plenty of beer (it is German Masonic Park, after all) and food. I can’t wait for the fifth annual festival next year.

Some photos:

Jersey Corn Pickers

Dubl Handi
Dubl Handi chose its name for the famous washboard brand. Click here.

Buddy Merriam and Back Roads
Buddy Merriam launched his bluegrass career 35 years ago. Actually, Saturday was the anniversary. He knew and performed with Bill Monroe, and he hosts the program Blue Grass Time on WUSB Wednesdays.
A brilliant mando picker as well.

McMule is the band with the drums and bass guitar. Nothing wrong with that, but it isn't what one expects in bluegrass bands. I had a mental block about it, so I shot only the dobro and mandolin players.

Cricket Tell the Weather
I suppose if I had to pick a favorite from among the line-up Sunday,
it would be Cricket Tell the Weather.

‘Summer studies at the Jung Foundation’

The C.G. Jung Foundation of New York has announced its summer schedule of one-week intensive classes. Registration is here. From the publicity:

Intensive Program 1:
Passages: Identity, Consciousness,
and Transformation
July 6-10

Jung felt that individuals continue to develop throughout their lifespans. In our first program, we will view through the lens of analytical psychology those fundamental passages in life experience that contribute to a development of identity and consciousness. We will first receive an overview of life's transitions as seen through the concept of initiation. We will next explore various psychological passages through adolescence, parenting and mid-life and the transformation that each can bring. Finally, we will conclude the week with a discussion about the archetypal forces that shape our perception of aging in our culture.

Monday, July 6

9-10 a.m.
Registration, Welcome, and Orientation

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Paths to Transformation:
From Initiation to Liberation

C.G. Jung's intensely powerful profusion of imaginal experience during midlife impelled him to communicate with the psyche in creative ways that carried him toward a larger expression of himself and his work. This lecture and discussion will explain life transitions, employing the motif of initiation, and assist participants in gaining awareness of the messages being spoken through their own unconscious strivings to achieve a more complete and authentic expression of themselves in the world.

Instructor: Kate Burns, LPC

Tuesday, July 7

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Adolescent Passages:
Gazing Back So that We May Go Forward

Jung called myths the "first and foremost psychic phenomena that reveal the nature of the soul." As we tell, discuss, and analyze myth through the lens of adolescence, we will rediscover as adults those rare, core moments in life which help us realize that we can live again with the sense of passion in life first experienced in the adolescent world of infinite possibilities.

Instructor: G. Kwame Scruggs, Ph.D.

Wednesday, July 8

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Initiation into Parenting

Parenting is a developmental journey for the parents as well as the child. First, in becoming a couple, there's the shift from "I" to "We." Then, when the baby comes, new opportunities for individuating are opened. Finally, the letting go required as the child matures brings another opportunity. Each transition brings one through the initiation and separation stages of the journey.

Instructor: Daniel Griffin, Ph.D.

Thursday, July 9

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Mid-Life Passage:
From the Ego toward the Self

In C.G. Jung's Collected Works Volume 8, he writes "The Stages of Life," in which he put forth the psychological transition that occurred in midlife. In the second half of life, Jung emphasized the importance of consciousness and attainment of spiritual value, meaning and purpose. He felt that the second half of life held spiritual treasures yet to be discovered. Through discussion and exploration of this midlife passage from the Ego toward the Self, participants will gain an understanding of what it means to find a new or deeper relationship with the Self.

Instructor: Jane Selinske, Ed.D.

Student Dinner: 5:30 to 7:30.

Friday, July 10

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Aging, Ecology, and the Spirit of Nature

Through narratives, poetry, and dream analysis, we will explore the archetypal forces - both fierce and generative - that shape our experience in the latter half of life. Tracking correspondences between destructive attitudes toward the environment and disparaging views of aging in our culture, Dr. Costello will challenge the dominant association of aging with images of decline and portray spiritual awakening as an archetype-promoted developmental goal of the aging process. Special attention will be given to the passage into Elderhood and to the nature-based tasks of the latter part of life.

Instructor: Melanie Starr Costello, Ph.D.

Intensive Program 2:
Into the Woods: The Quest
for Individuation in Fairy Tales
July 13-17

In our second program, we will see how an understanding of the meaning of fairy tales can reveal archetypal patterns that illuminate our own development and affect our life choices. We will look at images of redemption, as described in Marie-Louise von Franz's classic works, and how they contribute to psychological growth. We will learn what fairy tales can tell us about the psychological tasks facing us as we mature. We will explore the development of masculine consciousness and the journey of the orphan toward wholeness. Finally, we will discuss the essential image of the Mother archetype and its role in the healing of the mother complex.

Monday, July 13

9-10 a.m.
Registration, Welcome, and Orientation

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Motifs of Redemption in Fairy Tales

In this seminar, we will explore and elaborate on a series of lectures given in Zurich in 1956 by Marie-Louise von Franz, who was a close collaborator of C.G. Jung. By following her insights, we will discover how fairy tales and particularly their images of redemption open up a way for us to engage our own personal complexes and contribute to our understanding of the process of psychological growth and individuation. We will also reflect on some core concepts of Jungian thought, such as the shadow, anima, animus, and the Self. Creative writing exercises will help us to ground some of the images in our own personal experience. Please bring a journal.

Instructor: Heide M. Kolb, MA, LCSW, NCPsyA

Tuesday, July 15

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Act II: Fairy Tales for the Second Half of Life

In most fairy tales, the young Prince and Princess marry and live happily ever after, but what really happens then? A small group of fairy tales from around the world tell us – they focus on middle-aged and older protagonists. This workshop will explore what those fairy tales reveal about the psychological and spiritual tasks of maturity – the challenge of individuation and the role of the elder in benefiting society.

Instructor: Allan B. Chinen, MD

Wednesday, July 16

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Sleeping Beauty:
Masculine Development and Consciousness

The Sleeping Beauty fairy tale offers a fascinating glimpse into the problems of masculine development especially as they relate to a holdfast patriarchal mentality. The fairy tale provides us with a solution to this problem in the new hero who is "not afraid." The core of this resolution resides in the archetypal realization of the rite of initiation by our incipient hero.

Instructor: Robert Mannis, Ph.D.

Thursday, July 16

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2:30 to 5 p.m.
The Orphan Archetype as Seen through Fairy Tales

Symbols and images that appear in fairy tales and that have a compelling interest carry a message that, when taken up and worked with, reflect the myth we are living. By engaging in this task, we are led to a synthesis of their relevance to our individuation process. The orphan theme weaves throughout many fairy tales. In this seminar, several of these tales will be highlighted and their orphan dynamics brought into focus. For the orphan, this exploration of meaning can provide the nourishment that is needed to provide an inner home to reside in, an essential container leading to an experience of wholeness. The symbols and images directly expressive of orphanhood will be illustrated through personal experience reflecting their depth of meaning.

Instructor: Rose-Emily Rothenberg, MA, MFT

Student Dinner: 5:30 to 7:30.

Friday, July 17

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2:30 to 5 p.m.
The Archetype of the Mother in Fairy Tales
and the Move to Individuation

C.G. Jung wrote that “the mother carries for us that inborn image of mater natura and mater spiritualis, of the totality of life of which we are small and helpless.” In this workshop, we will explore the Mother archetype as it is depicted in fairy tales and how the journey of the hero provides a trajectory toward the healing of the mother complex.

Instructor: Julie Bondanza, Ph.D.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

‘Summer studies in practical philosophy’

Summer is near, but the learning doesn’t stop at The School of Practical Philosophy. Its New York City location offers several interesting and affordable opportunities to enjoy what it does, namely putting the key concepts of wisdom into students’ hands for daily application in life. It’s not just sitting around talking—although it begins there—but it is intended to help the participant to organize his mind.

The school is located at 12 East 79th Street in Manhattan. From the publicity:

Education of the Soul:
The Value of a Philosophic Education
With Mr. Howard Schott
Wednesday, July 29
7 p.m.

What might it mean to get an education founded in philosophy? When we consider the way in which each of us was educated, did philosophic inquiry play a part? What are the results of having philosophy absent from the schools?

Consider these questions:

  • Do we believe that life is ultimately fair? Will a wicked person surely suffer, at least in the long run? If not, why should anyone try to be good?
  • Have we ever made a decision that we know was entirely our own and no one’s responsibility but ours?
  • Songs and plays say “Life is a dream.” Is the statement true? Are we really awake or are we dreaming?
  • Expanding the view, do such questions have any relevance to the way in which we educate our youth? What philosophic basis, if any, should be made available to the young when faced with finding answers to questions like these?

Join us to explore the part that philosophy can play in the education of the whole human being.

Admission is $25. Tickets can be purchased here or at the Registration Office on the first floor. Light refreshments will be served.

Summer Stories Program
The universe is made of stories, not atoms.
With Muriel Rukeyser

Mondays: July 13, 20, and 27
Wednesdays: August 26 and September 2
7 p.m.

Please join us for Stories to Light the Way, a series of summer evenings filled with tales of the great masters that provide humor, direction, and good company for the journey.

Admission: $15, which includes light refreshments. Friends and family are welcome. Tickets can be purchased here or at the Registration Office on the first floor.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

‘Bluegrass festival Sunday at Tappan’


The fourth annual Traveling Man Bluegrass Festival will be hosted by the Freemasons of the Ninth Manhattan District on Sunday. I can’t believe it’s been a year already.

That’s at the district’s German Masonic Park, located at 120 Western Highway South in Tappan, New York. Tickets in advance cost $10 per person, and $15 at the gate. Children under 12 admitted free. Food, soft drinks, beer, and wine will be available for purchase inside the park. (No BYO.) Plenty of free parking.

Gates will open at 11 a.m. A music workshop (open mike) at the main pavilion will begin at noon, and the music will start at one o’clock.

Proceeds to benefit a variety of children’s charities.

The line-up this year: McMule  • Dubl Handi • Jersey Corn Pickers • Cricket Tell the Weather • Buddy Merriam and Back Roads.


Dubl Handi

Jersey Corn Pickers

Cricket Tell the Weather

Buddy Merriam and Back Roads

I definitely will post photos. Maybe I’ll be able to get one into The Empire State Mason. EDIT: Click here for a batch of photos.

Monday, June 8, 2015

‘Alakazam, Abracadabra, Shazam, Amscay!’

It’s rare I mention the Shriners here on The Magpie, but Bro. Bill (of Knights of the North, etc. fame) shared something on Facebook today that cracks me up.

An eBay seller offers a Shrine fez this week, claiming it was owned and worn by U.S. Army legend Audie Murphy, who was the most decorated American serviceman in the Second World War, and a Freemason and Shriner.

The starting bid, which has not materialized yet, is to be $998. I encourage any potential buyer to have a very close look before bidding.

The lot is titled “Audie Murphy Owned Hella Shriner Freemasonry Hat & Case Dallas Texas 1957.” The photo:

The lot description:

This is a hat that was owned and worn by Audie Murphy.

Audie became interested in Freemasonry in 1955.

He became a Shriner (Hella Temple, Dallas) on November 15, 1957.

Audie often participated in Shrine parades.

Please see all seven of my ebay pictures.

One of them was shown in The American Soldier book by Harold B. Simpson
on page 336. This photo shows Audie wearing the hat.
 Under the photo it says: Audie, shortly after becoming a Shriner, in a Dallas
 Shrine parade on November 15th 1957.

The hat is in a wonderful case that I think is leather. Audie’s initials are
 on the top and one of my pictures shows his name on the inside of the case.
 Both the hat and case are in Excellent Condition!

First, although the photo of Murphy wearing a Shrine fez is blurry, you can see clearly that he is not wearing the fez that is listed for sale here. The fez in the black and white photo from 1957 has the scimitar above the crescent. Just like my grandfather’s fez of 1960s vintage:


But the fez on eBay has the scimitar-through-the-crescent design. Second, the old fezzes were embroidered pretty simply. These “bejeweled” fezzes, with the fake rhinestones and all that, came later. (Murphy died in 1971.)

I communicated my concerns to the seller, and promptly received this reply:


Thanks for taking the time to write and give me your opinion.

Because of where I purchased it I am 100% confident that this hat belonged to Audie Murphy. He became a Shriner in 1957...not in the 1960s.

My ebay picture is not real clear because the photo in the book is not good but if you have the book you might take a look at it closely and you will see that the men in the photo with Audie are all wearing hats and the designs on them are very different. My hatbox also has the design different from the hat.

I paid almost 3 times the amount that I am asking for them and from where they came I will say again that I am certain they were owned by Audie.


So buyer beware! This is why I buy only from newly signed up sellers in Russia and China.

I am no expert on the collectibility of Shriner fezzes, but paying three thousand bucks for one fez—and let’s say it was in fact owned and worn by Audie Murphy—is nuts. (And if you did something that stupid, wouldn’t you at least know to call it a fez, and not a hat?) The $998 isn’t much smarter. I have watched enough History channel to understand how famous people’s antiques, autographs, and personal effects are valued, and this offering is a bit much. No mention of a certificate of authenticity either. I do recall several years ago some of Sir Winston Churchill’s Masonic items went under the gavel and fetched about $500.

That’s Winston Churchill of saving-the-world-fame.

Audie Murphy is remembered as a peerless war hero and even a movie star, so I reckon personal effects of his that are connected to his wartime service and screen career would be the valuable mementos. His Shrine membership? A note in a book of Masonic trivia.

Caveat emptor! (That means look out for the quicksand.)