Learning from Each Other Is Good for the Soul

by CSW Director Rob Field


I have the pleasure of representing the Center by speaking, teaching, or preaching on occasion at faith communities and other organizations in Western N.C. It’s something I love to do.

Recently, I spoke on the subject “What We’re Talking about When We Talk about God” — a “light and fluffy little topic,” as I joked in my introduction. I spoke about how much I’ve learned from agnostics and atheists. As a theist (someone who believes in the existence of a divine being or spirit), it is good for me to meet and hear from people who don’t believe in any kind of God / Spirit / Being.

Encounters like these give me a chance to receive the insights of others and sharpen my own thinking. Agnostics, for example, have persuaded me that it’s a waste of time trying to convince someone that a divine being does (or doesn’t) exist. Most everyone I’ve spoken to comes to the topic with a set of subconscious assumptions that significantly influence their thinking. Attempting to “prove” the existence or non-existence of God would be about as ridiculous as trying to prove that I love my spouse. Both would end up being exercises in frustration.

When we come with an open mind and heart, however, there is a genuine spiritual benefit. You may learn something about the topic or about the other person that you never knew before. This is why, at Center for Spiritual Wisdom, we try to incorporate peer learning into all our offerings, taking time for interactions between presenters and participants. You always have the option of taking an online course from a “big name” teacher, perhaps along with hundreds of others. At CSW, however, we believe that transformational learning is most likely to happen in a more personalized setting. When you’re sharing space and interacting with others, in a mutual search for what is true, beautiful, and good, you can come away a changed person.

It’s why learning from others in an embodied way is so very good for the soul. Read on in this newsletter for several CSW events that will feature small group interactions.


photo of Rob Field (second from right) with small group members while on pilgrimage in Athens, Greece