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Ian Lawton has been growing God Pods for over 20 years now, helping people and organizations uncover the seed of divinity within and grow from the inside out. Or as he says in his Twitter profile, he is a "Spiritual teacher of inner wisdom, divine love, deeper consciousness, oneness, peace, and abundance."
Ian is an author and lectures internationally on contemporary spirituality, technology and change. He has been blogging and writing daily affirmations for several years and teaches regularly at C3 Exchange in West Michigan which is an independent, inclusive spiritual community.
Ian has also launched an online community with his wife Meg â€•Soulseedsâ€•that offers resources and services for people of all faiths and no faith.
In this course, we will take a look at all of the different ideas about God and sort out our own, probing deeply while having fun!
Let's check out some of our favorite Big Ideas from this week's class:
Big Idea #1: The Sound of Awe
Human beings have a hunger for the sensation of awe. When we experience ourselves in relation to the cosmos, when we perceive the mysteries of the universe, we feel that we are part of a greater whole. We yearn for this connection, for this awe-some feeling.
What are the sounds of awe?
Oh! Ah! Wow! Ooh! Ah-ha!
In the face of awe, our eyebrows rise like stage curtains, our ears prick up and the hair on the back of our necks stands on end. When others see us experiencing awe, they experience it as well. Awe is one of the great experiences of life and, in a way, it is another name for God.
God is often the word we use when we experience such deep awe that no other word suffices.
Big Idea #2: God is not God’s Name
Many people talk about God like they’re on first name terms. But the Hebrews were onto something when they said that one shouldn’t even speak the word “God”. God can never be truly understood, and the word “God” is just a name, hinting at the true essence.
The trouble with names, of course, is that they put periods where there should be question marks. God is an experience, the word “God” is a symbol pointing to and interpreting that experience.
God is the name that many people give to that which is greater than all, yet still intimately present within each.
So, the next time you experience God, don’t reach for the labels and the words, try to interact with the process and the experience, .
Big Idea #3: Cause and Effect
A lot of our ideas about God center around cause and effect. When someone dies, we ask, “How could God have allowed this to happen? What is the meaning behind this?”
In theistic traditions, people believe that cause and effect are controlled by a supernatural force and that everything happens for a reason. Materialists, on the other hand, believe that only matter matters, that the world is deterministic – everything is a result of that which came before.
But is there a third way? Can we imagine a world in which both matter and spirit create causes and effects?
Perhaps that’s what God is, all causes and effects, all events in the universe, coming together in a single moment.
Other Cool Stuff:
Click here to join our community site where you can discuss the ideas you learn in this class with your classmates!
We hope you enjoyed and see you in Week 3!
-The en*theos Team