Tuesday, October 30, 2018

‘The Movement Towards Inner Freedom’

Yesterday was the 69th anniversary of the death of George Gurdjieff, the founder of the Fourth Way, whose teachings are kept alive today by inspired followers such as the Gurdjieff Foundation of New York. The Foundation will host another introductory lesson next week. From the publicity:

The Movement Towards
Inner Freedom
Gurdjieff Foundation of New York
Friday, November 9 at 6:30
240 East 53rd Street, Manhattan
(Quest Bookshop)
RSVP here

“Liberation leads to liberation.”
G.I. Gurdjieff

The evening will include presentations, readings, practical exercises in movement, the Gurdjieff/de Hartmann music, conversation, and refreshments.

If you are a thinking Freemason, you may find these studies worthwhile.

The other day, Parabola magazine published online an excerpt from a book to be released in February. Gurdjieff Reconsidered: The Life, the Teachings, the Legacy by Roger Lipsey will be published by Shambhala Publications. Lipsey’s other books include a biography of Dag Hammarskjöld.

One sample paragraph:

G.I. Gurdjieff
The Rue des Colonels Renard is centrally located. Today you might want to stop in a café at the intersection of Avenue Mac-Mahon and the Rue des Acacias, where Gurdjieff often had his coffee, and surely looked from time to time past a receding row of street lamps toward a flank of the Arc de Triomphe not far off. At some point he turned that view into a parable about the distant aim toward which one might well be toiling and the many smaller aims and thresholds, requiring meticulous attention, that precede it. His apartment was nearby in a street like any other. Yet it was là-bas, as one of his pupils put it—there yet far off, another world. “Here in my house,” Gurdjieff stipulated, “all must be quintessence. Rest you do at home.” There was a further rule, captured by another of his pupils: “Here there are no spectators.”

Check out the excerpt here.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

‘The Mitch is back!’

Courtesy Mitch Horowitz

There’s some good news, and some bad news, but some more good news from the Livingston Library:

The good: Mitch Horowitz will return to the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library on Tuesday for another speaking engagement!

The bad: It’s sold out! Well, not actually sold out, because admission is free, but the event is booked. No one who has not already reserved his seat shall be accommodated. Do not go there if you have no reservation, or you’ll experience some non-symbolic Masonic penalties.

The more good: Due to the popular demand, Horowitz will come back to Masonic Hall on Tuesday, November 13 for a reprised talk!

This is a big month for Mitch Horowitz. His new book, The Miracle Club, was just published last week by Inner Traditions. A few weeks ago, he was tapped to serve as a lecturer in residence at the University of Philosophical Research, Manly Hall’s gift to the world, in Los Angeles—where he will be speaking tonight and tomorrow on Manly Hall.

From the publicity:

The Secret History of How Mysticism
Shaped Our Nation
An Evening with Mitch Horowitz
Tuesday, November 13
6:30 p.m.
Livingston Library
Masonic Hall, 14th Floor
71 West 23rd Street
RSVP here

Esoteric philosophies and movements, such as Freemasonry, Spiritualism, Theosophy, and New Thought, have wielded a tremendous influence over America’s past and present. From its earliest days, the nation served as a laboratory for the revolutions in alternative spirituality that eventually swept the globe, yet this aspect of our history is often ignored or overlooked.

In this special evening, PEN Award-winning historian and popular voice of esoteric ideas, Mitch Horowitz will discuss the occult influences behind our nation’s culture, politics, and spirituality, including:

  • How colonial America became a magnet for mystical figures and movements
  • The remarkable impact of Freemasonry on the nation’s development
  • The marriage between nineteenth century Spiritualism and the women’s rights movement
  • The occult roots of “Positive Thinking”
  • The impact of African-American magical traditions
  • The lives of mystic Americans, from Marcus Garvey to Madame Blavatsky
  • The legacy and growing influence of Freemason Manly P. Hall
  • Halloween’s rise in our military as a national holiday

Mitch finally asks whether occult principles can point the way toward healing our deep national divide today. This special, in-depth journey through our unknown history is an evening not to be missed.

A widely known voice of esoteric ideas, Mitch Horowitz is a writer-in-residence at the New York Public Library, lecturer-in-residence at the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles, and the PEN Award-winning author of books including Occult America, One Simple Idea, and The Miracle Club: How Thoughts Become Reality.

Mitch has written on everything from the war on witches to the secret life of Ronald Reagan for The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Salon, Time, and Politico.

The Washington Post says Mitch “treats esoteric ideas and movements with an even-handed intellectual studiousness that is too often lost in today’s raised-voice discussions.” He narrates audiobooks, including Alcoholics Anonymous and The Jefferson Bible. He has discussed alternative spiritualities on CBS Sunday Morning, Dateline NBC, and NPR’s All Things Considered.

His work has been censored in China.

Mitch will be offering for sale his new book, The Miracle Club, as well as his book Occult America, and will be pleased to sign copies.

Please send RSVP here.

Friday, October 19, 2018

‘Lecture: The Development of Masonic Ritual’

It’s great to see my old friend Ben Hoff still taking to the lectern to help others advance in Masonic knowledge. Ben served as Master of our research lodge a decade(!) ago when he was the most prolific writer of Masonic research papers in New Jersey. He will appear at Philo Lodge 243 next Tuesday. Go to there. From the publicity:

Development of Masonic Ritual
as Illustrated by the MM Degree
Presented by RW Ben Hoff
Tuesday, October 23 at 6:30
Philo Lodge 243
120 Old Bridge Turnpike
South River, New Jersey
RSVP here

RW Bernhard Hoff served as Master of Highland Park Lodge 240 in 2004, 2008, and 2016; was Grand Historian in 2010; and a Past Master of New Jersey Lodge of Masonic Research and Education 1786; as well as a Past High Priest of Corinthian Royal Arch Chapter 57; and member of DaVinci Council of Allied Masonic Degrees too. He worked for 27 years for Citibank/Citigroup in New York City, where he served as a financial controller. He also holds BA in Anthropology from University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and an MBA from Tulane University in New Orleans, and currently is an Adjunct Professor in the Mathematics Department at Mercer County Community College.

Ben is a very well read researcher in the evolution of Craft rituals. His Masonic library includes centuries-old copies of the ritual exposures that have permitted tantalizing glimpses into the lodge initiations of England and America. His educational gifts to us include many thousands of written words explanatory of how today’s rituals came to be, which provide insight into many related aspects of Freemasonry’s history. If not for the distance, I would be in attendance Tuesday night, but I encourage you to get there if you can. RSVP here.

Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

‘The Last Day’

If it’s fall, it must be time for a Socrates Sunday at the School of Practical Philosophy.

Doing the good work that Masonic lodges ought to be doing, the school pours philosophy out of the urn where most people merely observe it as a subject, and instead makes love of wisdom urgent so its students may add it to their lives. From the publicity:

Socrates’ Last Day
Sunday, November 11
9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
School of Practical Philosophy
12 East 79th Street
$50 per person—click here

If today were the last day of your life, what would you do? What would you say, and how would you feel as the destined hour approached? What would the wise man or woman do in this situation?

Fortunately, Plato’s dialogue Phaedo provides us with a first-hand account of Socrates’ final day in 399 B.C.—one that ends with Socrates, surrounded by his followers, drinking a cup of hemlock in an Athenian prison.

Join us as we immerse ourselves in the wisdom of Socrates and experience his calm confidence in the face of death. Discover what he meant in saying “The true disciple of philosophy is ever pursuing death and dying.” Come to appreciate how Socrates’ words can help us live happier everyday.

The day includes an introductory presentation, catered luncheon, and wine reception. Family and friends are welcome. No prior knowledge of Plato is required. Enjoy the power of group study, delight in philosophical entertainment and engage in stimulating conversation.

Coffee available at 8:30. Wine Reception at end of day.

Fee: $50 ($25 for full-time high school or college students), which includes refreshments, lunch, wine reception, and reading materials.

Monday, October 1, 2018

‘American Revolution, Masonic Forefathers, and Alcohol’

Next week, Hiram-Takoma Lodge will host the program “American Revolution, Masonic Forefathers, and Alcohol” at its meeting. From the publicity:

Thursday, October 11
Hiram-Takoma Lodge 10
115 Carroll Street NW
Washington, DC
(two blocks from
Takoma Metro Red Line)

6:30 p.m. – Dinner (all are welcome)
7:30 – Lodge (Masons only)
Open Program: “The American Revolution, Alcohol
and our Masonic Forefathers”
(ladies, friends, etc. welcome)

Worshipful Master Scott C. Jacobs will give a brief presentation on the links of the American Revolution, alcohol, and our Masonic forefathers. We will view a Discovery Channel video starring Mike Rowe which explains alcohol’s role in our nation’s roots, followed by an educational discussion of alcohol and the Masonic lodge.

Please RSVP here to ensure a proper amount of refreshment.

I hope they will have Applejack on hand!