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
“Prepare to see yourselves as Gods…” – Maitreya.
Chairs shuffled as the conference room came alive. “Now take a hand and form a circle,” explained our afternoon speaker. Quickly I scanned for an exist, but a hand grabbed mine and pulled me to the edge of the row. Another hand connected. Looking at my chair about ten feet from the end of the aisle, I could see that the light on my micro-
cassette recorder was still on. At least I would capture the audio of what I was witnessing.
Eileen Sarafis, a Broadway vocalist with gospel albums, stepped into our giant human ring. The richness of her voice flowed into every corner of the room.
“I AM the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. The First and the Last; I AM, I AM… I AM the Word of God, I AM the Lamb… I AM the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; I AM Holy, Holy Lord. God almighty,
which was and is, and is to come… I AM that I AM…”
Her last note faded into a reverential hush, and many eyes were closed in profound introspection. Breaking the moment, our speaker – now standing in the center – calmly acknowledged the divinity that encircled him; “The Christ within me salutes, honors, and respects the Christ within each and everyone of you…”
The February issue of Forcing Change opens with the lines above. In this issue, which was released a number of days ago, we explore the idea of divinity as expressed in the New Age Movement and in various branches of spiritual philosophy. More than that, we compare and contrast these God-claims against the Biblical text. The purpose? To better understand the depth and scope of the Genesis account, and to recognize that the core of Genesis 3 remains in motion today.
In fact, it informs our modern world – we continually declare our own mastery, and act it out, often against one another.
Along the way, you’ll join the author as he embeds himself in a New Age conference, and finds himself in a “Circle of Gods.”
Member-subscribers of Forcing Change, go to www.forcingchange.org, log in, and download this historically important edition. Use it as a sounding board – a launching pad for discussion and conversations – and through it, take note how the “old” idea of Genesis continuously plays out in Western society today.
Each month I relate what’s happening with Forcing Change, and give you a glimpse into what we’ve done as a family. Here’s the update for February.
– In early February I had the opportunity of traveling to Escondido, California, where I participated in the TruthXChange think tank. Peter Jones, author of Capturing the Pagan Mind, One or Two, and other books on the Christian response to global Oneness, contacted myself around the Christmas season to see if I could attend. As Executive Director of TruthXChange, he graciously allowed me time to give a modified “frontline” presentation to the gathering. It was a great experience with lots of good feedback. My topic? How Oneness is being expressed through evolutionary culture and transformational festivals.
On my way to the think tank, my connecting flight in Minneapolis was delayed because of storms along the eastern seaboard. During the wait, a young lady sat next to me for a few minutes. Based on her attire and other clues, I asked if she was a flow artist – yes! “Which transformational festivals have you attended?” She gave me a quick list of events in New York and California, including Joshua Tree. Understanding that she’d experienced a crosscut of evolutionary culture, I asked her a basic question; “What’s the common connection between the festivals?” Her response was immediate and telling: “It’s spiritual – it’s all very spiritual.”
– February was “manuscript month.” I had a few weeks to push hard on some first draft chapters, and now I just want to keep going! I’m looking forward to the end product, and it might be done before 2025, my sarcastic date-for-completion.
– Finished the February issue of Forcing Change, which looks at the topic of “becoming God.” It’s an overview of Genesis 1 and 3, and how this plays into religious and philosophical thought today. Some of this has been explored in past editions of Forcing Change, but the topic here is being considered in-depth. The essay title is “Circle of Gods.”
Radio Shows: I was a guest on Stand for Truth, hosted by Susan Knowles.
– As I was in Escondido, California, for the first week of February, I booked one day extra to rent a car and explore. I had never been to California before, and I was excited to check out the scenery, go to the beaches, and just relax. My day’s goal was simple: Drive west until I found salt water, follow the shore at my leisure, and soak up the sun wherever and whenever. So I first found myself in Oceanside and spent time walking the surf there, then drove down to Torrey Pines – but because of some fancy golf tournament, I couldn’t find anywhere to park – thus I continued on until I found myself at Mission Beach. That’s where I stayed until the sun went down, and loved every minute of it. I was a little nervous about finding my way back, for I didn’t have a map, GPS or cell phone, and because I really didn’t know where I was in relationship to Escondido. I just started driving, and everything fell into place.
– The day after my return from California, Leanne and I were treated to a wonderful choir experience. Scott and Austin, our son and daughter, were part of the Provincial Honour Choirs, an auditioned ensemble made up of singers from across Manitoba. Scott performed with the adult group, conducted by Michelle Chyzyk, and Austin with the Senior School choir, conducted by Christopher Aspaas.
– Leanne had the opportunity of adjudicating a youth speech-arts festival in Binscarth, Manitoba. For two days she listened to poems, readings, speech choirs, and other forms of speech art – and then had the difficult task of evaluating and marking each performance. The level of competence demonstrated by the participating youth was remarkable. Moreover, as Leanne is involved in organizing a similar festival in our area during the month of March, she had to devote a lot of time and attention in February toward this upcoming event.
– Went downhill skiing at a local hill, and I’m paying for it in pain. But it was so much fun! In the past I used to be aggressive on the slope, but over the years I’ve taken a more conservative approach. However, I decided – for old time sake – to push the boundaries. One tabletop jump, in order to clear it, required hitting the approach at top speed. Unfortunately, while in the air, a ski binding let go… so my landing was a little messy. As one ski remained and the other went on without me, I was instantly flipped sideways, landing hard on my left shoulder. “Snap-Crackle-and-Pop” are no longer just Kellogg mascots for Rice Krispies. I don’t think I broke anything… but my shoulder is not quite right. Anyway, I got up, remounted, and – after tightening the bindings – cleared the tabletop (most of the time), again and again and again. Silly tabletop.
– Scott spent a week house sitting for relatives, and this gave him some time on his own. He also went for rail equipment training and received his ticket to operate railway track machinery, so it looks like he’s back on the railroad this spring. And he and Austin volunteered for a couple of days at the toboggan hill at Valley View Bible Camp.
Stinkers for the month of February: Colds all around (Austin is still sick), and a week of tire trouble. In five days we had 7 nails, two flats, and one tire wrecked when a nail went through the sidewall. The joy of living on a dirt/gravel road not far from the municipal garbage dump.
– Josef M. Bauer, As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me (Skyhorse Publishing, 2008).
– Peter Jones, Capturing the Pagan Mind: Paul’s Blueprint for Thinking and Living in the New Global Culture (Broadman & Holman,2003).
– Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. The Majesty of God in the Old Testament (Baker Academic, 2007).
This is a sobering yet important topic – “Is my church acting like a cult?”
The radio host – Cindy Hartline, and the guest – Christopher Lawson, handled this tough subject in a tactful and compassionate manner.
Here’s the link to Cindy Hartline’s radio show, Love For The Truth Radio: www.loveforthetruthradio.com
Here’s the link to Chris Lawson’s website, Spiritual Research Network: www.spiritual-research-network.com