Friday, January 6, 2023

Dave Dale -- Author Interview

Dave Dale

The Purpose of Life: To Love and To Create:

The Meaning of Life Is Found by Expressing Love Through Creativity


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Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.


I am grateful for my life and some of the hard lessons I have been taught. They have made me a better person.

I was born the son of a minister in Dawson Creek, B.C., which is in northern Canada. Consequently, I was exposed to religion, hockey, and cold weather at an early age.

We moved to Vancouver, B.C., and my hockey career ended prematurely. My parents refused to get up at 4:00  a.m. to take me to practice. I grew up in the tough east end of Vancouver, which was not fun since I got picked on as a minister’s son. There I played on a city championship soccer team; seemingly, half of the team ended up as policemen and the other half in jail.

I attended the University of British Columbia and got a business degree, and learned about politics in student government that were, as the saying goes, so bitter because so little was at stake.

I worked as an airport manager, business consultant, founder of a tech company, member of the board of governors of a university, and a policy advisor to federal cabinet members for science, technology, and transportation.

Those experiences included both successes and failures and gave me insight into how many elements in our society work or do not, including business, education, religion, government, politics, transportation, technology, and marketing.

I built my character, toughness, and empathy while trying to cultivate kindness toward others.

I question and analyze. I will forcibly defend my opinions, but I will change in the face of contrary evidence.

After seeing my father die of stomach cancer, I quickly gave up the burgers I enjoyed and became a vegetarian.

I enjoy watching sports because you can never be certain about the outcome, but also the tv show Married at First Sight because I am fascinated by people and their interactions, foibles, and strengths that come through even on highly choreographed ‘Reality TV.’

I live in Vancouver, B.C., and I am a health nut who intermittently fasts every day, is always looking for the newest nutritional super supplement, and enjoys stand-up comedy.

I am a skeptical optimist that values the micro-moments of connections with others.

I like the person I have become; that is a foundation and catalyst for me to want to help people.


What inspired you to author this book?


What is the purpose of life? Why are we here on this tiny planet amidst the immense vastness of the Universe? Can our lives have significance and meaning?


I have groped with these questions since I was a child, and I would grill my father on them.


I never found a satisfactory answer to these questions in everything I read or heard. Many of the purported answers to those questions from philosophers and physicists, such as life are “absurd” or “pointless,” I could not accept. I just look around and see the intrinsic, magnificent beauty of the Earth and the infinite wonder of the Universe. I know there is an answer befitting the splendor around us. It is simply illogical to believe that, against all odds, we are born here amongst such awe to just suffer or meander through a meaningless and pointless existence. The many wonders and inspirations, such as the pure love that is a newborn baby or the exquisite beauty of a single rose, provide touchstones to intriguing answers.


However, tragedies are hard to comprehend and add to the mystery.


I wanted answers to the primal questions, and it just did not seem anyone else was going to provide them to me. As a result, I started writing this book and was amazed at what I discovered.


I find writing a mode of thinking where I can more clearly see and comprehend issues.


Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?


I heard a father describe the birth of his child as ‘seeing love.’ A baby is pure love.


I wanted to also capture the Universe and a picture of the myriad of stars across the night sky I thought was a good visual representation. The stars lighting up the sky are also beautiful and magnificent, just as life is. However, the most important reason for including stars on the cover was that all of us are created from stardust


Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?


Master Choi Kok Sui was a brilliant man who, amongst other things, showed how the Lord’s Prayer activates your chakras as well as offering incredible insight into other sacred texts from other religions. His spiritual teachings are profound, practical, and grounded.


My father wrote a weekly column in the local newspaper, which I took over as an homage to him when he died.


What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?


First, it is beyond audacious to write your first book on the meaning of life. I had to take this quest on for my own well-being. I was already working on another book, but I kept thinking about these deep questions as I lay in bed in the middle of the night, tossing and turning with my mind ablaze.


Every time I got stuck magically, the right quote, YouTube video, TED Talk, book, or article seemingly just popped into my view. Synchronicity just took over.


However, there were challenges. I knew I had to talk about tragedies and try to understand why they happen. If I spoke of love, I wanted the book to be overtaken and dominated by writing only about romantic love.


I discovered some compelling stories of love that were tested and shaped by a tragedy which helped me see love more clearly. I appreciated the aspects of love that are gritty and don’t adhere to comfortable expectations, such as the unconditional love of a mother for her son who had murdered a child. It set me on a course to truly explore the full spectrum of love, including the unvarnished dimensions. It is there we can all learn lessons about love.


I had this nagging need to talk about and reference the Theory of Relativity. Still, I did not want to overwhelm the reader or myself. I sat with it, and then, when completing the book, I decided I must explore more how the Theory of Relativity fit with what I was thinking and writing. I stopped the book’s formatting, paused the presses, and dug into the Theory of Relativity some more. The inferences I made were subtle but important. I ended up rewriting the first chapter, which delayed the book by a month.



Tell your readers about your book.


One of my editors told me the book is highly unique. My other editor said it was a welcome alternative to all the nihilism of the people surrounding her. I could never have imagined the connections between ideas that evolved. There is so much I learned which has forever changed me.


To the best of my abilities, I have tried to incorporate what I have discovered and attempted to describe the magnificence of love and creativity.


I don’t know, and I am intrigued about where evolution takes humankind, especially because scientists tell us we use such a small percentage of our brains. The spiritual experience is so truncated and muted for most people.


But right now, we need as individuals and as a culture to love and create more. It is the ‘operating system’ that we as an individual and society as a whole need.


Loving and creativity are fundamental, and the building blocks to finding purpose and meaning in life. On that, I am resolute.


My book explores the profoundness and nuances of love and creation and why they are so vital.


Almost all of us mouth the words I love you several times a day to our partner, children, and parents. Not that we don’t mean it or feel love for those people, it is more we don’t explore love, and it becomes static -- condensed in our private little world.


We unconsciously minimize love by thinking of it as an emotion, or the opposite of hate, or saying we love a particular TV show, type of food, article of clothing, or sports team.


After reading my book, I hope everyone re-evaluates their concepts of love and creativity and reveres them more. I also would like it if every reader contemplated deeply how love and creativity can be the key to instilling purpose and meaning in their lives.


I also know that life is not all rainbows and chocolate, and I have tried to confront why we all face gut-wrenching tragedies and complex paradoxes in our lives.


Who is your target audience, and why?


Individuals that are genuinely searching for answers to the primal questions of why we are here and what is the purpose of life.


People who are open and circumspect are prepared to begin a journey of discovery.


If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read, why should they buy it?


I think it will really challenge anyone to think about the purpose of life and specifically the purpose of their own life in new ways that are useful, positive, and hopeful while also addressing the inevitable tragedies and paradoxes we all face.


What do you consider your greatest success in life?


This book. As I read through it, my mind is blown that this was my book. I get emotional, and I almost always receive a jolt of energy and a creative spark when I read it. I wrote this book to answer many of the questions I have had my whole life; for me, it has. I am more at peace and sleep better.


What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

I am not a prisoner of one discipline of academia, religion, science, psychology, or philosophy. My diverse background allows me to question conventions and embrace paradoxes while tapping into philosophy, quantum physics, spirituality, religions, and psychology for insight and metaphors.


How do you overcome writer’s block?


I go for a walk or take a shower. Most importantly, though, when the idea comes even at 3:00 a.m. I get up, turn the computer on, and start capturing the idea and inspiration. I have gotten up, written something, and gone back to bed only to get up several more times in the middle of the night.


What one piece of advice do you have for new authors?


Just write and don’t worry about what anyone thinks, even if the topic is intimidating or seemingly beyond your capabilities. We all have stories to tell and important things to say.


What is next for you in your writing career?


The book I was working on when I got hijacked to write this book.


Tell your readers anything else you want to share.


I crafted this book to challenge a great deal of conventional thinking about what we think about life, love, creativity, and tragedy, but also to ultimately get answers to the questions of the purpose and meaning of life for myself. With the goal that I could then take the answers and incorporate them into my day-to-day life to feel more fulfilled and be a better person. And conversely, not lay awake worrying about life rushing past me and dying unfulfilled.


For me, this book did that. Did it solve all my problems? Absolutely not, but like paradoxes, I can accept and embrace my problems as I work through them with love and creativity.