Release Date Announced for The Black Stone

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I am pleased to announce that Tangent Publishers, an imprint of Integral Publishers, has announced its intention to release The Black Stone (the first book in The Kalendar Series) on May 1, 2016.

Woo-hoo!

At long last, you will soon be able to read my first book since 2007’s Soulfully Gaya peek at a New Magic which is arising in our midst. Stay tuned.

For more information about the book, visit the home page for The Kalendar Series.

Welcome To The Biggest Shift In My Career As A Writer

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My future’s so hazy … and I’m not talking about the smoke in the Spokane air. I’m talking about the biggest shift in my author’s “brand” since I started writing publicly in 2003. My flight out at the airport departs in a little while, and the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention is in my past. I leave the convention as I came in, a soon-to-be-published SF/fantasy author writing in the genre for the first time. But now I am no longer disconnected to the social universe of SF/fantasy writers and the publishers, artists, and other groups who exist with them in a mutually beneficial ecosystem. I’ve been through WorldCon.

As I officially become known as a SF/fantasy author for the first time, I will still put on the hat of Integral thinker explicitly at times, but newly situated in a novel shade of the East-West, Buddha-meets-Freud philosophy that resonates with my particular poetry and fantasy world building. I promise that my books in progress will articulate an innovative magical system that actually functions in the world in a post-metaphysically “magically” interesting way. My books don’t just open up imaginary worlds; they disclose THIS world in a new fashion by helping us to forge a new and more holistic relationship between body and mind, society and Nature.

Embarrassing admission ALERT! It’s almost unimaginable for me to realize that a year ago I had no idea that I was even writing a science-fiction/fantasy book. I knew was writing a “weird” book, but in my mind it was without genre; I was writing a book I saw in my mind as a timeless classic, one similar to the great books of world literature such as the I Ching or Dante’s Divine Comedy, but imagined through the lens of Integral philosophy that I had hewn from the glass of thinkers such as Ken Wilber.

But it turns out that I was wrong. As my books took shape in the past year, it became apparent that their poetry and prose could not be contained in one book, but in a series of nine books called The Kalendar which tracks a single immortal man gifted with 3,000 years of life on the Earth. The books would need to track him from a time over 2,000 years ago to a point nearly 1,000 years in our future. That means in the early books I have to put a sword in his hand and watch as he grows up in the world of antiquity, fighting for maturity as a swordfighter. And in the later books which I have envisioned I will need to put high-tech gadgetry and maybe even a space-ship in his possession, and watch as he pioneers our shared future.

I thought I was just writing a book. I was somehow oddly blind for a long time to the fact that I was writing a genre book specifically in fantasy and SF. It’s still a book which I have imagined as closer in spirit to Dante Alighieri than to George R. R. Martin. Definitely more Tolkien than Twilight. But (with a publisher on board) very soon what I think of what I’ve written will be less important than what you think, and all the readers think.

One thing I learned at this WorldCon is that if I’m going to be the best SF/fantasy author I can be, I need read fewer classic works of esoteric spiritual imagination and read more books by contemporary storytellers who are connecting with readers TODAY. Actually I just need to make more time to read, period.

So anyways today I am bringing home with me a bunch of SF books as contemporary as can be and will soon be wearing an additional hat: the fan, the reader, the explorer of imaginal universes of contemporary visionaries. Integral thinkers are one kind of visionaries. SF/fantasy world builders are another sort altogether. What sort of overlap there may be, and how their respective positions as purveyors of story and meta-myth may interweave, I do not claim to know. (Naturally I’ve got some ideas, but I need to let them percolate for a while.)

Thus begins the creative process of transformation which as a reader of this blog you have stumbled upon. I’m an author who has booked and blogged for more than a decade in Integral thought and spirituality and LGBT topics … now undergoing a major overhaul in what I do. My coming books will combine a blend of poetry, prose, philosophy, and art with a SF/fantasy twist. If that doesn’t appeal to you, let’s part as friends and I’m sad to see you go. But if you can get your geek on, don your sword or light-saber of choice, then come along with me. There’s important work I can only do from this perspective, and I’d love to have you on board.

Now onward … to build a new blog with lots of fun stuff coming, see the first book in The Kalendar series out the door, and then execute on an ambitious vision for many more books to come.

The Train Out of Radical Linguistic Postmodern Relativism is Now Boarding

train1“Will fans want to learn your new language like Dothraki [the language from Game of Thrones] or Klingon [the language from Star Trek]?” my friend asked. She saw that I was posting something about a new language on social media. She also knew that my forthcoming book, The Kalendar: Book One, includes a fantasy/sci-fi novel. I wasn’t surprised by her question.

“No,” I said. “I don’t think so. I think that fans will want to learn the new language the same way that people who get into Yoga want to learn Sanskrit, or people who get into Aikido want to learn more about Shinto and the Japanese language.”

It’s something hard to communicate when the books aren’t here and the language’s grammar and vocabulary are still under development and not public knowledge. How do I say about Lingua-U that the language is part of a spiritual path, one which doesn’t really exist yet, outside of my own nascent practice?

I don’t know. Anticipating the challenge of communicating the spiritual path to people who will become fans of the books, or for people stumbling across my blog and social media, I have taken the first step of giving the path a name. I’m calling it Integral Renewal for now, and that will have to do until a better name comes along. It is a path not merely about development to new heights, but about making the world new again, full of beauty and life which sprouts from deep and honored roots. I have a mind not to define or create a path, but to describe for others what I have found true and useful and important, and set in motion a movement which others may want to carry with them.

So “Integral Renewal” is really the name for the spiritual path which uses the practices which are described in the forthcoming and future books of The Kalendar: the Lingua-U, the New Magic, the New Zodiac, the New Tai Chi, and the cognitive landscape chartered by the New Atlas and the New Map of the Heavens, among others. These aren’t just elements of a sci-fi/fantasy story that has no connection to this world: like the stories themselves, they are part of this world and contribute their wisdom to it.

Since 2004, I have found myself drawn to the Integral spiritual movement pioneered by figures such as Ken Wilber, Deepak Chopra, Marc Gafni, Terry Patten, and more. But there is no deep understanding of linguistic iconism in the Integral Theory. As I wrote recently, Integral Theory has inherited a fetid and murky version of linguistic relativism from postmodern linguists, and it hasn’t bothered to change the bathwater. Without an appreciation of linguistic iconism, there can be no Integral Magic, nor really any deep appreciation of certain aboriginal and shamanic contributions to wisdom, in my opinion. Go ahead and keep paying lip service to “including” pre-modern wisdom, I dare you. Your claims will ring increasingly hollow as a more authentically Magenta/Violet alternative arises.

Integral Theory as it stands now cannot support the truth that the sign is not arbitrary; that there are universal patterns which connect the phonemes of the world’s many languages, patterns which cry out with significance, beauty, and power. It has erected a fine conceptual scheme upon words which it falsely takes to have no iconic significance in themselves. But the root of magic lies within these patterns, at least those roots that I have personally explored the most deeply, and so I am called to break from the Wilberian traditions of the Integral movement, so that I may describe a new path unencumbered by a rigid intellectual edifice.

It is a maxim of AQAL that the truths of all Four Quadrants (individual subjective, collective subjective, individual objective, and collective objective) must be recognized and honored, and that truth “tetra-arises” in all of them simultaneously. The very definition of reductionism is to plant your feet in one perspective only and insist that it bears the whole truth. Well, to my way of thinking, AQAL does something rather similar on a subtle energetic level. It honors very specific vowel and consonant patterns in its ethos and just as specific numerology in its conceptual scheme; it takes these energetic patterns to be universal and absolute. In fact, the phonemes which it honors most especially are merely a small portion of the total set of subtle values and powers manifest among the universal patterns of language. A more whole ethos must include truth from, forgive me, “marginalized and oppressed” vowels and consonants and numbers, which are not spoken in Integral Theory as it stands today. The wisdom of truth from every letter of Lingua-U must be incorporated into a truly integral synthesis, and the practices of Integral Renewal are, for one thing, about doing just that.

No one ought to learn Lingua-U simply because they think it will be fun or a hoot to speak in code at a science-fiction convention to perfect strangers. A good reason to learn Lingua-U is that humankind today has forgotten the wisdom known to ancient shamans and mystics who understood that the sounds and letters of language were a map to human nature and renewal. I intend to help reclaim that wisdom because I am convinced it is the way forward beyond postmodernity which can include everyone’s wisdom, the old mysteries revealed and new mysteries unveiled. To anyone in Post-modernity or Integral who is fed up with the radical green linguistic relativism which infests them both: the train is boarding.