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Summer 2015 Update

October 1, 2015

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.

Professionally:

– 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Listened to the Shamanism Global Summit telecast conference, which elevated shamanism as a portal to world transformation and planetary Oneness.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
Human Rights Museum

Human Rights Museum

– Speaking engagements: Although I had to turn down some requests due to my workload, I did manage to speak at a few venues.

  1. Two conferences: the Learn to Discern conference in Abbotsford, British Columbia in June, and the Winnipeg Prophecy Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in late September.
  2. Churches: Good News Mennonite Church (Winnipeg, MB), Gladstone Christian Fellowship (Gladstone, MB), Neepawa Christian Fellowship (Neepawa, MB), and Lakeside Gospel Chapel (St. Laurent, MB).
  3. 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.

Teaching at Millar College.

Teaching at Millar College.

– 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.

Personally:

– 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…

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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.

Books Read:

  • 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!

Sunset before the storm. Taken near our place.

Sunset before the storm. Taken near our place.

Why not?

Why not?

Taking a friend's GSX-R for a spin.

Taking a friend’s GSX-R for a spin.

Summer view of the hills near Carberry, MB.

View of the hills near Carberry, MB.

Lake Manitoba sunset.

Lake Manitoba sunset.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Dawn & Tim Plett permalink
    October 2, 2015 5:32 pm

    Thanks Carl! A very interesting read! Was so happy to also meet your friends from North Dakota! Your pictures are beautiful! Looking forward to one day reading your book. If you are ever free, let us know, we’d love for you and Leanne to join us in Gimli again!

  2. Barbara Hvasta permalink
    October 2, 2015 6:47 pm

    Thank you for the update – eager to read your new book!

  3. October 9, 2015 2:18 pm

    Your work, as always, is exemplary! Those of us who research your subjects are grateful for all that you contribute to bring fuller understanding within the context of a biblical world view. I’d love to have you back on TRUTHTalk Beyond the Sound Bite once things settle down for you. God bless you, Carl! Keep fighting the good fight!

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