The Illusion of Separateness: Questions of Meaning and Deity ~ 4 week class

Wednesdays, October 27 – November 17, facilitated by Elic Llewellyn

  • Does the space between us separate or connect us?
  • Is there a God, or gods behind our universe?
  • If so, what is its or their nature?
  • Is there any innate or intrinsic meaning to our existence as opposed to the personal meaning we might find in the mythic traditions we’ve inherited?

How we answer these questions impacts us on so many levels: our behavior toward one another; our politics; war and peace; our individual and collective consciousness; and our perception and experience of the everyday world as well as that which we call the “Divine.”

In this course we will explore these questions, with the help of a few good books, including but not limited to:

  • Panentheism: The Other God of the Philosophers–From Plato to the Present, by John W. Cooper;
  • In Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being: Panentheistic Reflections on God’s Presence in a Scientific World, edited by Philip Clayton;
  • Elements of Pantheism, by Paul Harrison;
  • The God We Never Knew: Beyond Dogmatic Religion To A More Authentic Contemporary Faith, by Marcus J. Borg;
  • the 1950’s classic, Your God Is Too Small, by J.B. Phillips;
  • How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist, by Andrew Newberg M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman;
  • Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom, by Rick Hanson;
  • A New World View, by Charles Hartshorne; and
  • Omnipotence and Other Theological Mistakes by the same author.

As is clear from these titles, we’ll be exploring pantheism, panentheism, process theology, and the Buddhist metaphor of Indra’s Net, not just philosophically, but as a personal mystical experience.

ABOUT OUR FACILITATOR: Elic Llewellyn ~

Poet, singer/songwriter/guitarist/religious studies scholar and educator ~ all these terms come together in describing our facilitator, Elic Llewellyn. He has been involved with Unity since 1977, and brings extensive graduate study in comparative religions to this exciting program! In addition to his B.S. in Sociology, undergraduate work in Radio, Television, and Film, and graduate work in Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Psychology, Elic is a member of the Theosophical Society, was consecrated as a bishop of the Free Liberal Catholic Church, is a brother of and co-presiding bishop of The Free Sacramentalist Communion (an ecumenical religious order), and is an active member of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies. He also worked for 18 years as a mental health counselor in various clinical settings, and investigated crimes for the Office of the Public Defender of Seattle. Elic brings all these diverse interests and strengths together for this incredible class.

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