I haven’t posted for a while, simply because my time has been and continues to be consumed by one of the most difficult yet rewarding projects I’ve undertaken – the writing and developing of a book.
Although the book is still months away from being released, here’s the cover and title!
Here is an excerpt from my upcoming book. Enjoy!
It was my fourth drive around the poorly lit neighborhood, and I was baffled. This was where elite world thinkers were meeting, in an old residential section on the north side of Chicago? All I could see were aged homes, brick-clad apartments, and townhouses. Address numbers were practically invisible in the autumn darkness, and I was coming up – once again – to what was supposed to be the location for a “Global Peoples Assembly.”
I had to be lost.
The date was November 7, 1997, and when it came to big cities I possessed a country-boy naivety. To someone who had grown up on a grain farm in the Canadian prairies, Chicago felt like another planet, and earlier that evening my inexperience shone through.
Needing to book a room for the night, I found, a dozen or so blocks from my meeting destination, a 1950ish looking motel. A bed is a bed, right?
“How many hours do you want?” asked the elderly female receptionist, barely looking up from the boredom of her newspaper. This should have been my first clue.
“All night,” I answered, passing the money for the posted rate of a single-bed. Scowling at the cash in her hands, the lady piped-up: “Well, how many are going to be using the room?”
Dumbstruck, I stumbled out an apologetic, “Just me.”
“Oh…” with a little smile, her eyes came up to meet mine. “You want it for sleeping!” Later, I discovered that “sleeping” was not a priority in my chosen establishment.
Dropping off my luggage in a small, grimy room, I left to find the Global Assembly. After driving in circles for twenty minutes, I parked my car and nervously walked up the steps of an empty looking brick building – the only one that seemed plausible in relationship to the directions on my map – and there, in the shadows of the door awning, I found the address number and a taped-up piece of paper with simple type.
Walking in, I was welcomed to “DreamHouse.”
Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, a social critic and peace activist, noted mathematician, a world-recognized author with dozens of published books and essay collections, and a widely celebrated humanist. He was an outspoken proponent for a “scientific civilization.”
Here are 5 quotes from Bertrand Russell on the “scientific society.”
1. “…a scientific world society cannot be stable unless there is a world government.” – The Impact of Science on Society (Simon and Schuster, 1953), p.104.
2. “The need for a world government, if the population problem is to be solved in any humane manner, is completely evident on Darwinian principles.” – The Impact of Science on Society (Simon and Schuster, 1953), p.105.
3. “I believe that, owing to men’s folly, a world-government will only be established by force, and will therefore be at first cruel and depotic [sic]. But I believe that it is necessary for the preservation of a scientific civilization, and that, if once realized, it will gradually give rise to the other conditions of a tolerable existence.” – The Future of Science (Philosophical Library, 1959), p.34.
4. “A World Authority, if it is to fulfil its function, must have a legislature and an executive and irresistible military power. Irresistible military power is the most essential condition and also the most difficult to fulfil.” – Has Man a Future? (Penguin, 1961), p.73.
5. “I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. There are others, which, one must suppose, opponents of birth control would prefer. War, as I remarked a moment ago, has hitherto been disappointing in this respect, but perhaps bacteriological war may prove more effective. If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full. There would be nothing in this to offend the consciences of the devout or to restrain the ambitions of nationalists. The state of affairs might be somewhat unpleasant, but what of that? Really high-minded people are indifferent to happiness, especially other people’s.” – The Impact of Science on Society (Simon and Schuster, 1953), pp.103-104.
2016 is here! And there’s much in store for the next few months, including the anticipated release of a book.
So, what’s transpired since the last Update (October 1)? Here you go!
– The big decision was to cancel Forcing Change magazine. After nine full years, it was time to wrap up the online publication, which will open up space to complete my book project. I was sad to see the magazine go; after all, it was a resource I personally used in my studies. However, I’m excited to see what doors will open as this next phase of research and writing unfolds. Note: All back issues of Forcing Change magazine are going to be stored in an online archive, embedded in a new website to be released shortly.
– Attended the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah. Over 10,000 religious leaders and activists converged to celebrate oneness, work for global solidarity, and envision a united world. Traditional evangelical Christianity, however, didn’t fit this global mash-up, and thus the proclamations of “tolerance” were limited; everything is accepted, except exclusive truth claims of salvation, the fallen state of humanity, and that God is distinct and separate from creation. The October edition of Forcing Change was entirely devoted to reporting on the Parliament.
– Three other highlights from the Utah/Parliament trip.
1) Being billeted to and connecting with Bill McKeever of the Mormon Research Ministry, and making friends with a wonderful group of Christian authors, researchers, and apologetic-based evangelists who also attended the Parliament and were billeted with Bill. And while at the Parliament, I ran into a Christian pod-casting friend and another friend who’s an author – they spotted me first and yelled across the hallway, “Carl Teichrib!” Yup, that stopped me in my tracks! However, I was very encouraged to see other Christian researchers in attendance, engaging as a witness to participants from various religions, and being there to monitor and assess the direction of the interfaith movement.
2) After the Parliament, I had a window of time to visit with friends in Utah, enjoying a great conversation over breakfast with Lincoln Cannon of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, and then spending two enjoyable days with Shane and Kim Jones of Tri-Grace Ministries – including a slip-sliding off-road adventure to the top of a local mountain range in Shane’s 4X4.
3) Toured the Radha Krishna Temple (pictures below), also known as the Lotus Temple, located near Spanish Fork, a predominantly Mormon community about an hour south of Salt Lake City. Here, I listened to the guru talk about Hindu evangelism in North America through yoga and the Festival of Colors. A write-up of this encounter can be found in the November edition of Forcing Change magazine.
– Forcing Change magazine finished the year by publishing an extensive Global Calendar of Events, listing and detailing upcoming conferences and gatherings dedicated to global governance and international security, transhumanism, interfaithism, the resurrection of the pagan paradigm, and movements toward oneness.
– In November I spoke five times in four days at a multi-church series of services just north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I met some wonderful people in the Martensville/Warman district, and enjoyed the hospitality and warmth of the Bergthaler Church family.
– Spoke at the Neepawa Christian Fellowship, giving them an update from the Parliament of the World’s Religions.
– Edited the Winter 2016 edition of Hope For The World Update, the quarterly newsletter of author Gary Kah.
– Attended the 10th Annual Colloquium on the Law of Futuristic Persons, a virtual conference on transhumanism, held at Terasem Island in Second Life. It was a fascinating day as speakers explored the philosophical aspects of artificial intelligence, possible social and legal ramifications, and other developments in transhuman thought.
– Earlier in the year I taught a modular course at Millar College, and in November I received a nice big package of research essays to mark. Ah, the extended benefits of teaching!
– Radio shows and podcasts I participated in: Steel on Steel, VFTB, Janet Mefferd Today, TruNews, The Weekend Vigilante Show, Stand Up For The Truth, The Truth Traveler, Soaring Eagle Radio, Remnant X Radio, His People, Call to Decision, TruthTalk, Love For The Truth Radio, and Understanding the Times.
– Our daughter, Austin, was part of the Central Manitoba Youth Choir (CMYC) – a group of fifty auditioned, high school musicians. My wife Leanne and I chaperoned one of the CMYC practice weekends, and had the opportunity to privately enjoy this outstanding choir for two days. A couple of weeks later, CMYC gave 14 performances during a five-day tour. Here are a few videos from one of the performances. Austin is wearing the teal-blue scarf in the front-center.
– I managed a few hours of metal detecting over the course of a couple of days, and pulled some silver from the dirt; a number of small sized 5 cent coins, an old 50 cent piece, and a handful of silver dimes and quarters with many dating before World War I. Dirt fishin’s fun when the silver’s biting!
– As an extended family, we greatly enjoyed our Canadian thanksgiving weekend. The weather was exceptional, and a photographer friend was willing to do a series of family photos at an abandoned farm (yes, that’s a collapsed stone house in the background).
– Leanne and I flew to Toronto on personal business. She hadn’t been there before, and my one and only time in the city was back in 1997 when I traveled through by bus (whipty-do). So… we went up the CN Tower and visited Casa Loma, and hopped on the subway system while downtown. Our return trip to Manitoba was a leisurely three-day drive over the north side of the Great Lakes, stopping to see a friend in Sudbury, walking the beach at Terrace Bay, and exploring the city of Thunder Bay – a very refreshing break!
– Had a bitter-sweat weekend in early November: Attended the funeral of an elderly family friend, and then, that same day, went to the wedding rehearsal of our niece – and of course, the wedding the following day.
– Leanne and I started assisting with our home church’s College & Career group. We get together once a week, and while it’s not a large gathering, the conversations, Bible study, and fellowship has been sweet.
– Our son, Scott, and I spent two days cutting and installing baseboards and door casements for a friend. Let the sawdust fly! After Scott made a more complicated angle cut that fit together perfectly, he looked at me and exclaimed; “Now, that’s really satisfying!” Of course, when we miscalculated a cut, it wasn’t satisfying at all…
– Although Leanne and I both came down with the flu, we still managed to enjoy our Christmas; spending Christmas eve hiking through the snow-covered forest along the river by my dad’s farm, and visiting with friends and family. As our winter has been unseasonably warm (no complaints!), we had to be careful with river crossings and thin ice.
– Brian Doherty, This is Burning Man: The Rise of a New American Underground (BenBella, 2006).
– Lee Gilmore, Theater in a Crowded Fire: Ritual and Spirituality at Burning Man (University of California Press, 2010).
– Timothy Leary, Design For Dying (HarperEdge, 1997).
– Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard Alpert, The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Citadel Press, 1964/2007).
– Swami Vivekananda, Chicago Addresses (Advaita Ashrama, 2013 edition).
– Peter Jones, The Other Worldview: Exposing Christianity’s Greatest Threat (Kirkdale Press, 2015).
– Robert W. Keyserlingk, Unfinished History (Robert Hale Limited, 1948).
– Thomas Cahill, The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 1998).
Have a great 2016!
I attended the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions, held in Salt Lake City, Utah. The official theme of the Parliament was “Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity,” and the meme, encountered throughout the five-day event, was the assertion of Oneness – that we are all connected to the Earth (“you are Mother Earth walking”), and that we are all part of divinity. Reclaiming the Goddess and uniting with Nature was a recurring message, evident from the Inaugural Women’s Assembly to the closing ceremony.
Here are some pictures from the 2015 Parliament. Some photos are little out-of-focus, and for that I apologize.
I’ve been very sporadic with blog updates as my primary focus has been elsewhere, including the writing of a book. However, here’s what has transpired – in part – from the beginning of June to the end of September.
– As said above, I’ve been working on a book! This has been a challenging yet exciting task, with the manuscript exploring the dominant paradigm shift into Oneness, the inevitable passing of Postmodernism, and how this shift plays out in politics, religion, technology, and culture.
– Research activities included:
- Attended a trance festival in July to conduct a social survey. This was an interesting experience as I rubbed shoulders with attendees, festival volunteers, and artists. Many of those I surveyed had also participated in large transformational events like Burning Man and the Shambhala Festival. To read about this encounter and the survey results, see Forcing Change, volume 9, issue 7.
- Attended a transhumanist conference, hosted by Terasem, in the virtual reality environment of Second Life. It was a remarkable day as speakers explored the ideas of Catholic mystic, Teilhard de Chardin, in relationship to transhumanism and collective, techno-salvation. The fact that the event was held in Second Life added an interesting element to the gathering, as virtual reality is a key technology in the quest for transhuman advancement.
- Listened to the Shamanism Global Summit telecast conference, which elevated shamanism as a portal to world transformation and planetary Oneness.
- Watched and listened to the live feed broadcasts from Burning Man. I’ve done this for a number of years, but this time there seemed to be a heavier emphasis on the spiritual component of the Burning Man experience. During the Burning Man week, I occasionally interacted in Burn2, the official, virtual reality Burn community in Second Life.
- Went twice to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The first time was simply to visit and consider the architecture. The second was to take pictures and document the experience. For those who have heard my lecture, “From Babel to Babel,” you’ll understand the significance of this location.
– Speaking engagements: Although I had to turn down some requests due to my workload, I did manage to speak at a few venues.
- Two conferences: the Learn to Discern conference in Abbotsford, British Columbia in June, and the Winnipeg Prophecy Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in late September.
- Churches: Good News Mennonite Church (Winnipeg, MB), Gladstone Christian Fellowship (Gladstone, MB), Neepawa Christian Fellowship (Neepawa, MB), and Lakeside Gospel Chapel (St. Laurent, MB).
- Gave an afternoon lecture on religious worldviews to the leadership program at Valley View Bible Camp.
– Developed and taught a college course on Christian Ethics: Earlier in the year I had been approached by Millar College to consider writing – from scratch – a 20 hour modular college course, to be delivered in early September. I knew the task of creating the course would be intense, but I didn’t realize how daunting it was until I dived into the work full-time this summer. August and the first week of September were consumed with finalizing the curriculum and lecture slides. During the second week of September I taught the course to a class of 38, third-year, college students. Each day the lectures started at 8:00 AM and wrapped up at 12:30 PM, with a forty-minute, mid-morning break for chapel. This course load, from its creation to delivery, was utterly exhausting yet incredibly rewarding, for it forced me to better understand the basis of ethical action, the importance of Christian values in society, and the challenges now facing this generation.
– Edited and developed, each month, another edition of Forcing Change magazine. Essays by others and myself explored the topics of social change, transformational culture, and the shift happening in the sexual/civil arena.
– Wrote an article for Skywatch Magazine entitled, “A New Spirituality for a New Humanity: Technology and the Creation of Gods.”
– Edited a selection of articles and developed the source content for the fall issue of Hope For The World Update, the quarterly newsletter of Christian author, Gary Kah.
– Radio/media interviews: I had to turn down a number of radio/media requests, but I did participate in a few shows that were, for the most part, scheduled in advance. Interviews included; Erskine Overnight, Stand Up For The Truth, Soaring Eagle Radio, VFTB, Janet Mefferd Today (not yet aired), and Caravan to Midnight.
– Officiated at my wife’s aunt’s funeral: Aunt Min was a feisty and fun lady, endowed with a wonderful sense of sarcastic humor. She was also noted for investing love and genuine caring into the lives of her family and community. Minnie had turned 94 a couple of months prior to her passing.
– Friends: We were incredibly blessed to have friends from outside the area visit us. One young man, Nik, drove from Indiana and spent three weeks at our house – using our place as a center for relaxation, a time to think about his future, and as a jump off point to explore other parts of Manitoba. Later, we were fortunate to connect with a young family (Spray Psalm – you know who you are!) as they made their way from the Canadian east coast to British Columbia; what a road trip, and with three young children in an over-packed car! Friends from Victoria, BC, also popped back into the province. And later in September, a wonderful young lady from Indiana, good friends from North Dakota, and another dear individual from Philadelphia came to visit us. Summer also witnessed us getting-together with friends in Saskatchewan, and others from different parts of Manitoba. Good friends, regardless if they are new to your life or have played long-time roles – be they close or far away – are undeniable gifts of God.
– Earlier in the summer we attended a number of graduation ceremonies, including two home-school celebrations. It’s amazing how fast young friends and family grow up, and it’s exciting to see what their futures will hold!
– Our daughter, Austin, was busy with summer work, taking advanced swimming lessons, acting as an assistant lifeguard on occasion, and auditioning for and being accepted into a regional youth choir.
– Our son, Scott, spent his time working on the railroad tracks, doing some traveling out of the province, and helping on some projects close to home. He also volunteered, along with his sister, at our church’s DVBS program.
– It was also a summer of “breakdown” adventures: I ripped out the exhaust from our 1993 Mazda truck while leaving the trance festival during a violent thunderstorm; the transmission in our main truck, a 1997 GMC with over 500,000km, finally gave up the ghost; and our insurance company wrote-off our SUV due to hail damage. Oh joy…
On the plus side, we only had one day of sewer issues, in comparison to other years. As we rent a farmhouse without municipal water and sewage, both our water and waste must be handled on site; our GM truck hauled our water, and the septic system handles the outflow. But like anything else, this too eventually breaks down. So when the septic system isn’t pumping, isn’t priming, and isn’t handling your waste – you have to disassemble pumps and lines, and muck your way through the mess. It is, literally, a “crappy day.” Why am I telling you this? Our friend Nik was visiting at the time, and for him it truly was a learning experience. Living as he has in an urban environment, people generally take water and waste for granted, never thinking about what’s involved with either process. When he realized what I had to do, his wide-eyed reaction was priceless; “No waayyy… seriously?” Seriously.
– In September, Leanne and I were asked to assist with a church-based “College and Career” group. We’re really excited about this coming winter as we will be interacting, studying with, and engaging with our community’s Millennial generation.
– Leanne and I received a fabulous treat in June: Tickets to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Having never been to a ballet before, we weren’t sure what to expect. And as the show was an experimental dance ensemble – “Q Dance” – we were very unsure of what the evening would hold. But the choreography, music, and moves were simply stunning. We walked away with an appreciation for an art form we had never considered before.
- Milovan Djilas, Conversations with Stalin (Harcourt, 1962).
- Charles W. Slack, Timothy Leary, the Madness of the Sixties and Me (P.H. Wyden, 1973).
- Dietrich Neufeld, A Russian Dance of Death: Revolution and Civil War in the Ukraine (Hyperion Press, 1977).
- Peter Hitchens, The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith (Zondervan, 2010).
- James W. Jesso, Soundscapes and Psychedelics: Exploring Electronic Mind Expansion (SoulsLantern, 2014).
- Evan Ellis, The New Russian Engagement with Latin America: Strategic Position, Commerce, and Dreams of the Past (US Army War College/SSI, 2015).
NOTE: The stress of this summer took a huge toll, physically and in other ways. Pray that the time, resources, and energy would be available to complete the book project. After this summer, it’s obvious that I need to transition into a different phase of research/writing/lecturing work, for if there’s a recipe for burnout, I’m following it. Watch for a “Forcing Change” notification in the near future as I announce a necessary shift in direction.
P.S. Here’s a few photo’s from our summer. Click on each picture to enlarge. Enjoy!
This is the first presentation I gave on the question of Social Justice, exploring its general history within the context of Marxist/progressive social change. The talk was delivered in Minneapolis, MN, during mid-October, 2013.