Bob Spatz is available to speak to groups on a variety of topics. His wide range of interests is reflected in his subjects. He generally speaks about:
Personal growth and the pursuit of happiness
Spiritual development and living a meaningful life
Philanthropy and service to the world
Coaching and group facilitation
Thomas Jefferson and what we can learn from him
America's history, culture, and values
He currently is offering the following topics:
"Bob Spatz has been a frequent lecturer for more than 15 years for Common Ground, an adult study center that has for thirty years focused on the world�s great religious, philosophical, spiritual, historical, and cultural traditions. Bob addresses a broad range of topics with great skill and clarity. He�s always deeply prepared and easily able to handle interaction with participants. His presentations receive consistently enthusiastic reviews. Bob's a terrific member of our regular faculty."
Common Ground, www.cg.org
America's Forgotten Spiritual Roots: The Iroquois, the Freemasons, and Thomas Jefferson
We will explore some of the lesser-known spiritual origins of America. The inspiration of the Iroquois, the influence of the Freemasons, and the spirituality of Jefferson all led to the creation of a nation where the human spirit would thrive. At the core of American democracy were human values, such as charity, morality, spirituality, benevolence, friendship, community, and most important of all, love. Given these essential values, we will ask: does America have a spiritual mission, and, if so, how are we a part of it?
America's Forgotten Spiritual Roots: Part 2 :The Counterculture in Early America
America has always provided fertile ground for religious free-thinkers. More than 100 years before the 1960's counterculture and the New Age that followed, America was filled with esoteric alternative movements. We will survey the dynamic counterculture between the Founding and the Civil War: Confucianism, Hindu spirituality, revivalism, Swedenborgianism, occultism/astrology, Mesmerism, communes, and, of course, Emerson, Thoreau and the Transcendentalists. All had an impact on American consciousness and opened the way for the 20th century acceptance of Eastern religious traditions.
Come discover the bright side of American history, tradition, and character. Americans can justifiably consider themselves a generous people. Unique among nations, we conduct almost all our religious activity, and many arts, healthcare, social service, educational, and research activities through private, nonprofit organizations. This third, nonprofit, independent sector affects all Americans and most of the world in numerous ways, and yet we know little about it. In the face of so much cynicism today, we can be proud of this fascinating, complex side of America's past, present, and future that helps explain what it means to be an American. You will leave with a fresh image of America and a new understanding of some of today's political debates.
Jefferson (and Madison) on Separation of Church and State
President Thomas Jefferson wrote of "building a wall of separation between church and state". His figure of speech is now considered the standard expression of that idea and has led to both intense praise and condemnation. We will examine Jefferson's, and to a lesser extent, James Madison's, thought to understand what this idea meant to them and how it grew out of their views on God, religion, freedom, and human nature. We will look at their struggle in early America to put freedom of religion into practice, as well as the historical impact of Jefferson's metaphor on American law, politics, and culture. Finally, we will discuss the relationships of their ideas to current church/state issues.
The Freemasons and the Founding of America
According to the prominent American historian Gordon S. Wood, "It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of Masonry for the American Revolution." But the influence of the Freemasons didn't end there. We'll explore the latest scholarship on the extraordinary impact of this secret esoteric society on America's founding generation and the foundations of the American republic. Our conversations may change your understanding of the nation as it exists today.
Bob also welcomes topics suggested by groups or organizations. Here is a list of other topics he has spoken about that could be available.
Jefferson and a Vision for Our Times
In a Man's World
Commitment in an Age of Individualism
Flow and the Pursuit of Happiness
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus
My Jefferson: A New Vision for America
Making Peace with the Opposite Sex
Awareness: the Convergence of Psychology, Spirituality, and Nationality
The Pursuit of Happiness
Journey of the Heart: Intimate Relationships in the Path of Love
The Moral Sense: Jefferson and Modern Psychology
The True Meaning of American Democracy