What’s Up…

We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming of this blog to bring you a few notes about what’s up in the life of your humble blogger.

I’m currently reviewing and responding to the copy-edits of The Big Book of Christian Mysticism. This process will continue until February 10, when the manuscript is due back on my editor’s desk. From there the book will go to the designers, who will do the layout; copies will be mailed out to potential endorsers and early reviewers. I’ll review the book one more time after the design is finished, but that will be only for proof-reading or fixing last-minute minor glitches. The plan is to have the book to press by the beginning of summer, and in bookstores by the beginning of August.

So… that’s all to say that between now and February 10 I probably will not be posting to this blog every day. Or I’ll be posting more quotations from mystics and other authors, since I will be putting more time into making sure I meet my deadline. Readers who were following this blog before last August (when I was still writing the book) will remember what the rhythm was like. Not to worry, I love the blog and as soon as the copy editing review is completed, I’ll be back to posting daily.

In the meantime, I thought I’d post a few reminders and notices of upcoming events:

Upcoming Classes — I have two classes scheduled through Emory University’s Center for Lifelong Learning, starting in February and in April. Normally these classes fill up in a hurry, but this year enrollment has been sluggish; has the economy finally caught up with the Ken Wilber fans and mysticism lovers in Atlanta? Anyway, if you’re interested in them, please register soon: if we don’t reach a certain threshold, we’ll have to cancel the classes and of course I’d rather not do that. Follow the links to sign up.

  • A Brief History of Everything through Emory University’s “Evening at Emory” Program.
    American philosopher Ken Wilber writes books that combine eastern and western spirituality, psychology, biology, cultural theory, and other strands of contemporary thought to create what the author calls “integral theory.” Wilber seeks to bridge the divide between science and religion, explain the dynamics of human consciousness and moral development, and speculate on the future evolution of our species. Despite the complexity of his thought, many of Wilber’s books are written in an accessible style, including the textbook for this class, A Brief History of Everything. In this class we’ll read the book, discuss its merits and flaws, and consider how Wilber’s ideas can impact both the scientific and spiritual communities.
    Textbook: A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber.
    Instructor: Carl McColman
    February 10-March 10, 2010
    7:00-9:00 pm

    To register, click here

  • Introduction to World Mysticism through Emory University’s “Evening at Emory” Program.
    Madonna is studying the Kabbalah. The Shack is a runaway bestseller. Centuries after he died, everyone’s reading Rumi. Yoga, Buddhism and other eastern practices are more popular among Americans than ever. So what gives? At the heart of all these cultural trends is mysticism, a vague word that can be translated as “the spiritual principle at the heart of religion.” Many people believe mysticism is the golden thread that unites all the world’s religions. Others scoff at the idea. Come decide for yourself in this class as we explore major themes and writings from the world’s great mystical traditions. Using Andrew Harvey’s The Essential Mystics as our textbook, we’ll examine the world’s great wisdom traditions — Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, as well as pagan and philosophical forms of mysticism — acknowledging both the common ground and the distinctive qualities of each mystical path. Class is taught from an academic/nonsectarian perspective.
    Textbook: The Essential Mystics : Selections from the World’s Great Wisdom Traditions.
    Instructor: Carl McColman
    April 14-May 5, 2010

    7:00-9:00 pm

    To register, click here

Also… I’m currently in conversation with a church in Atlanta to host a class on The Protestant Mystics, probably on a series of Tuesday evenings after Easter (in April/May). So keep those dates free if you’re interested, and I’ll post more information on this blog when we have the details nailed down.

Looking ahead, I have two retreats at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit this summer, a writing retreat on June 4-6 and a Christian mysticism retreat July 23-25. For more information or to register, click here.

I’ll be in Portland, Oregon the last weekend in October. We’re working on those details now, but it will include at least 2-3 events open to the public. Stay tuned, details will be posted here as they come available.

More events will be happening once the book is published. Certainly more events in the Atlanta area, and I’d love to travel, but because of family commitments my travel time is necessarily limited. If you or your church/organization would like to host me for a speaking/teaching/retreat event, please contact me (my contact information is listed in a widget on the right-hand column of this blog’s home page).

Okay… that’s it for now. I’ll be posting here, just probably not every day between now and 2/10. Please keep me in your prayers.

After the Book Festival (and Looking Forward to a New Contemplative Prayer Gathering)
"Life is Change... How it Differs From the Rocks"
Speaking of Silence (On Internet Radio)
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  1. Don’t be gone too long. We enjoy reading your thoughts and journey. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Looking forward to your next posts, Carl. If I am thirsting for more, I will look at all those I have not read yet.
    Best of luck with your projects. I live too far to attend, but know Emory a little as our younger daughter went there for her undergraduate studies some years back.
    It has a great Theological Library. While I spent some time there, i came across a wonderful small book on prayer. First time I ever felt like stealing a book from a library. Didn’t.

  3. Looking forward to your coming to Portland, OR in October, Carl!

  4. bookmarked this at Voteboat (never heard of it? let me explain VoteBoat is a user-controlled rating and voting site.

  5. Some people have asked me about Christian mysticism, yet they really want a short, simple reply. This is mine.

    Many people struggle so hard to find God, yet God is always here. Some can’t find time to seek God, but God is always now. As Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you.”

    The divine ‘here’ and ‘now’ are not just this place in space or this moment in time. It is the infinite here and eternal now which are independent of space-time. The divine is both immanent and transcendent, encompassing and surpassing all of existence. The Holy Spirit surrounds us and makes itself known through God and creation.

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