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.
Today is the first celebrated, International Yoga Day. On September 27, 2014, India’s Prime Minister Modi appealed to the United Nations, recommending the creation of International Yoga Day. Modi was clear about the subject: Yoga is not exercise, although that is how the Western world has accepted it, rather, it’s about spiritual oneness.
Here’s an excerpt from his UN speech.
For us in India, respect for nature is an integral part of spiritualism. We treat nature’s bounties as sacred.
Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition.
Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistie approach to health and well being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change.Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day
It’s been too long since my last personal update. Much has happened, and the business of this season has certainly contributed to my absence on this blog. Nevertheless, here’s a bit of what’s transpired in the last three months.
– I’m working on a book! Yes, it’s been in play for some time, and this past winter witnessed progress in developing the key thoughts that form the core of the manuscript. The last three months in particular have been especially productive. First, the introduction to the book – which is a mini-volume in its own rite – was finalized. This was no small task as it took four months of research, writing, hard analysis of the main argument, and editing/re-writing before the section was solid enough to form the backbone of the book. Chapters one and two were finished during March and May, and other sections have been moving forward. It’s coming together!
– During March my wife and I had the opportunity to examine the contents of five boxes of World Federalist documents: letters, memos, and reports from the late 1940s and early 1950s. It was an intense day, as we only had a short space to review and catalog the material. But talk about fascinating stuff! Here, in these boxes, was archived the history of a big idea: world government, and the people and organizations behind the early quest for “one world.”
– Of course, as Forcing Change is a monthly online magazine, each month included the release of another report. The March edition explored transformational festivals and evolutionary culture, with two important guest articles. In April I published a rough draft of one of my book chapters, exploring the “meaning of the city,” Babel, and the desire for power through human unity. May delved into the findings of those five boxes of documents, and the discovered role of church organizations in promoting and supporting “world government.” It’s amazing what time reveals!
– Every quarter, I help edit and fact-check articles for author Gary Kah’s newsletter, Hope For The World Update. In early March I worked through the Spring edition, and then in May finished pulling together the requirements for the Summer issue.
– Media Interviews: Stand Up For The Truth, God’s Property Radio, and Love For The Truth Radio.
– Speaking engagements: I had the opportunity to give talks to the following audiences. Neepawa Christian Fellowship (Neepawa, MB), Morris Fellowship Chapel (Morris, MB), Faith Fellowship Baptist Church (Brandon, MB), and the Discerning the Times Bible Conference (Saskatoon, SK).
– We went to Indiana for a short stint to assist with the Hamilton County Passion Play, Behold the Lamb. My wife worked with make-up and doing other backstage duties, our daughter was a drama extra, and I ran a spotlight. Here’s an article on the production: http://currentnoblesville.com/power-play. Note: there’s an error in the piece. It says “around 70,000 people a year” come to see the play. Oh, would that be nice! But the production would need a much larger venue. The number is around 7,000 people in a single week. One extra zero was added to the article – a simple typo.
– Our time in Indiana was one of reconnecting with so many wonderful people: lunch and supper visits, coffee meetings, surprise drop-ins, and just relaxing. After the passion play, Leanne and I spent a couple of days with friends along the Indiana-Kentucky line, visiting and exploring the region. And during one afternoon we toured the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The only real downfall was this: our time in Indiana was simply too short.
– I was able to go metal detecting a few times this spring, with attention given to one spot that has paid off in the past with old coins and interesting artifacts. My finds this spring included more than ten extra-small, five-cent silver coins (including a 1908 Newfoundland 5¢ coin), over a dozen silver dimes, six silver quarters, some old nickels and oversized pennies, approximately 100 old copper pennies, and an 1882 Newfoundland 50¢ silver piece. Yup, I found two old Newfie coins in rural Manitoba. How cool is that!
– Our daughter, Austin, sang in two adjudicated music festivals, and presented well enough to be recommended to compete at the provincial level, which she did. Although she didn’t take the provincial prize, she did well in her placement. Way to go!
– With spring now here, and everything popping up, we managed to have one small feed of delicious fiddleheads (we would have had more, but most were killed during a freak snowstorm). However, we undercooked the tasty morsels. Oh boy, did that ever mess up our stomachs! But we’ve been fortunate. For decades, I’ve been picking and eating wild foods – nettles, different mushrooms, dandelions, all kinds of wild berries and more – and this is the first time we’ve had an adverse reaction. It was an unpleasant but not unimportant reminder to be careful when cooking and eating wild foods.
– Coco, our crazy dog who was 14 years old but acted half her age, suddenly developed fatal kidney problem. It was a sad day at the Teichrib house… :(
– Our son, Scott, who works for a North American railroad company, has been fortunate to work weekly shifts; seven days on, seven days off. It’s always nice to see him drive into the yard and know he’s with us for a week.
– Did some chainsawing. It may sound weird, but after spending time researching and writing, a guy just needs to get out and work with his hands. Last year, a stretch of oak bush was bulldozed for the extra acres just a mile away from our house. So… chainsaw in hand, I cut and hauled away five truck loads of oak firewood. Now all I need is a place with a woodstove… :)
– Rob Eagar, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire: The Writer’s Guide to Marketing and Publicity (Writer’s Digest, 2012).
– Michael Hyatt, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Thomas Nelson, 2012).
– W. Warren Wagar, The City of Man: Prophecies of a World Civilization in Twentieth-Century Thought (Houghton Mifflin, 1963).
– Douglas R. Groothuis, Unmasking the New Age (InterVarsity, 1986).
– John E. Haynes and Harvey Klehr, In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage (Encounter Books, 2003).
This essay was produced for the Mormon Transhumanist Association, and it expands on the presentation I made at the 2013 MTA annual meeting. It was originally published on the MTA Scribd document library.
In exploring this theme of “becoming God,” we consider how passages in the Book of Genesis are twisted to justify the self-God claim. We also examine a broad range of examples: From the New Age Movement to alien abduction messages to education philosophy to Mormonism and more.
The following text is excerpted from the 19-page essay. To read the full edition, designed to help you “understand the forces of change,” go to www.forcingchange.org and download the report from the membership section.
Note: the endnote numbers in this selection correspond to the original copy. Download the full and original report to access the source documentation and endnote materials.
New Age Movement
The New Age Movement is an eclectic classification of spirituality, incorporating elements from Eastern religions, Perennial Philosophy (all religions share a same truth), channeled teachings (“angels,” spirit guides, etc), self-awareness, esotericism, and neo-paganism. The fundamental message is this: “One Humanity, One world, One true expression of divinity, One within the Christos… One Center of Consciousness… Oneness in all things.”26 Although the term “New Age Movement” is used less today than it was in previous decades, it remains relevant in that its precepts have been infused within all facets of Western society.
In the words of American songwriter and New Age icon, John Denver; “we hear in the cry of our hearts expressing connectedness and wholeness and the recognition that we are One.”27
“Nothing can touch me but the direct action of God and God is my Omnipotent Self. I can do all things through the Strength of the Christ I AM. I AM STRENGTH!” – John Randolph Price (capitals in original).28
“You are the Presence of God. God is present on Earth because of you.” – Ken Carey.29
“The universal God is one, yet he is more than one; all things are God; all things are one… men and birds and beasts and creeping things are deities, made flesh.” – The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ.30
Theosophy calls itself “Divine Wisdom,” and is a system of esoteric philosophy borrowed from world myths, Western occultism, and Eastern spirituality. Organized Theosophy came to fruition in the late 1800s through the work of the Russian-born spirit medium, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who co-founded the Theosophical Society. William Q. Judge, another co-founder, described Theosophy as “inclusive of all systems and every experience.”31
Lecturer and author, Cherry Gilchrist, tells us “it is the impetus of Theosophy that has enabled the whole New Age movement to come into being.”32
“Theosophy asks every one to reflect whether to give way to the animal below or look up to and be governed by the God within.” – William Q. Judge.33
“Man is not to be compelled; he is to be free. He is not a slave, but a God in the making, and the growth cannot be forced, but must be willed from within.” – Annie Besant.34
“…the inner man is the only God we can have cognizance of. And how can this be otherwise? Grant us our postulate that God is a universally diffused, infinite principle, and how can man alone escape from soaked through, by, and in, the Deity?” – H.P. Blavatsky.35
Rosicrucianism (Rosy Cross, or Rose-Croix) is an esoteric school of thought that dates back to the 17th century, and claims lineage to the legendary figure of German mystic, Christian Rosenkreuz. Over the centuries, various orders and societies inspired by the Rosy Cross – or with claimed Rosicrucian credentials – arose and folded in England, Germany, France and the United States. Some still exist, and new orders have formed in recent years. Nevertheless, the Rosicrucian meme has undeniably influenced modern occultism and Western mysticism.
One organization with a professed Rosicrucian pedigree is the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosæ Crucis (AMORC), which was constituted in June 1915, and is headquartered in San Jose, California. Noted for its public advertising in newspapers and national magazines, AMORC is a worldwide fraternal body with lodges and self-paced study courses. Its teachings on divinity present God as the “Creative Universal Force,” 36 and that “to find God, we must see Him in all things at once…”37
In an AMORC, 9th Degree Confidential Discourse, we read that, “From the highest to the lowest all is ONE” (capitals in original), along with a prophetic telling of humanity’s redemption through the mythic intercourse of nature.38 The following three quotes from AMORC present their concept of divinity.
“It [Divine Mind] is not only the mind of God but also the consciousness and mind of all living beings on the earth plane…” – AMORC.39
“The Temple of the Universe, the Temple of the Earth and the Temple of Life are only one in the Temple of Man… the Messianic Light must emanate from the Heavenly Jerusalem which vibrates within us.” – Christian Bernard.40
“The God of today, in our comprehension and consciousness, will not be the God of next year, for God will evolve as the consciousness of the soul evolves. This evolution will continue until man becomes fully conscious of the consciousness of the Cosmic…” – AMORC.41
Most men who join the Masonic Lodge do so without understanding Freemasonry’s philosophical and spiritual reach. As the Lodge experience is wrapped in symbolism and allegory, it is easy for the average member to go-through-the-motions without comprehending the deeper messages embedded in the rituals and movements. Masonic historians have long acknowledged this general ignorance. And yet, from the first degree – Entered Apprentice – the candidate is encouraged to seek the light of Masonic knowledge and work for perfection.42 If this challenge is truly pursued, not only will the Lodge member endeavor to peal back the layers of ritual meaning, he will actively engage in a deeper study of his Craft. It is in this quest that one encounters a wealth of literature penned by illustrious Masonic thinkers and leaders; works of history, philosophy, jurisprudence, and commentary. Here, in this body of knowledge, we encounter the spiritual application of Freemasonry.
As Sovereign Grand Commander of the popular Scottish Rite branch, Henry C. Clausen, wrote back in 1981; “…science and religion will be welded into a unified exponent of an overriding spiritual power… The theme in essence is that the revelations of Eastern mysticism and the discoveries of modern science support the Masonic and Scottish Rite beliefs and teachings.”43
“Man is a god in the making, and as in the mystic myths of Egypt, on the potter’s wheel he is being molded. When his light shines out to lift and preserve all things, he receives the triple crown of godhood, and joins that throng of Master Masons who, in their robes of Blue and Gold, are seeking to dispel the darkness of night with the triple light of the Masonic Lodge.” – Manly P. Hall.44
“Here lies the great secret of Masonry – that it makes a man aware of that divinity within him…” – Joseph Fort Newton.45
“Masonry, therefore, is not only a system of morality, inculcating the highest ethics through which result, if followed, the conscious unfolding of divinity, but it is also a great dramatic presentation of regeneration. It portrays the recovery of man’s hidden divinity and its bringing forth into the light…” – Foster Bailey.46 …
Becoming a “God” and the physicality of God as an advanced human-being are concepts found within Mormonism. The religion’s history starts with Joseph Smith and his visitations from an angelic messenger, so I will quote Smith’s teachings.
“God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!
…Here, then, is eternal life – to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to an- other, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation…” – Joseph Smith.49
“The Father [God] has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s…” – Doctrine and Covenants.50
“[Speaking of Godhood] What is it? To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a god, and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before.” – Joseph Smith.51
Do you see a trend?
We endlessly assert our Divinity. Today, Cosmic Humanism sells it as a group package. Philip Comella, author of The Collapse of Materialism and host of Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, expresses it thus; “the truth stands in front of us: We are the one mind, and we are dreaming this world. We are God…” (italics in original).53
Alternatively, the Creator of Heaven and Earth declares a contrarian position from the standpoint of the world; “For I am God, and not man…” (Hosea 11:9).
“‘To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?’ says the Holy One” (Isaiah 40:25).54
There is no comparison – we did not create the cosmos, we have not defeated death. For as much as we have advanced ourselves, our limitations are manifest. The more humanity has learned and the more knowledge grows, the more we realize how incomprehensibly complex our universe really is – a universe that declares the glory of the Creator (see, Psalm 19).55
But instead of bowing our knees to Jesus Christ, the Holy One who separated light from darkness, who formed the animal kingdom with distinct species boundaries, who elevated humanity as a royal ambassador,56 and who is exalted above all – “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16)57 – we grandly shout our greatness.
… Ironically, the more we proclaim ourselves to be “as God,” the more we affirm the baseness of humanity. Good intentions not-withstanding.
The words of social theorist Jeremy Rifkin echoes through the ages, showing us just another “circle of Gods.”
“Humanity is abandoning the idea that the universe operates by ironclad truths be- cause it no longer feels the need to be constrained by such fetters. Nature is being made anew, this time by human beings. We no longer feel ourselves to be guests in someone else’s home and therefore obliged to make our behavior conform with a set of pre-existing cosmic rules. It is our creation now. We make the rules. We establish the parameters of reality. We create the world, and because we do, we no longer feel beholden to outside forces. We no longer have to justify our behavior, for we are now the architects of the universe. We are responsible to nothing outside ourselves, for we are the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever.”62