I.G.P. … February 22, 2012

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Clarity–it always makes things so clear, don’t you think? Like standing next to a lake and being able to see the bottom. True or false, you do have the sensation that you could stick a straw in and drink until your belly’s full, without fear.
 
Then there are those times that the waters get muddied. Honestly, I’ve gone to various bodies of water and have been invited to swim and because it was so murky, I had no desire to go in and add new silt to my already ongoing collection on my skin. I was told by all the residents that the water just LOOKED ugly–it was really very clean. But I don’t know how you can have a sense of cleanliness without clarity.
 
It’s what I’ve been feeling lately as I gaze across our blessed nation. My discoveries have led me to a conclusion–the I.G.P. meter. I for intelligence, G for growth and P for progress. Very simply, it’s a way of measuring what human beings do and how we should evaluate ourselves in grading our present status. Are we becoming more intelligent? Are we growing away from our stupidities and into deeper understanding–emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically? Are we making legitimate progress towards acceptance and forgiveness and away from blood feuds and dogma?
 
Good questions, don’t you think? And as you look into the waters of humanity, you have to see that they are muddied by all sorts of chunks of gunk–so large that you can literally pick them up with your hands and remove them if you have the heart to do so. But I don’t think we can continue to judge our fate–or our value–based on our history, our potential or our sense of entitlement. It just doesn’t make any difference if the founding fathers believed something unless what they believed can be transferred into our world, and you and I can find a way to keep the golden parts alive in our generation, passing it along faithfully to the next one.
 
No wonder we’ve returned to a “Marvel Comics” mentality, where we’re constantly seeking superheroes to confirm our real desire, since our passions are requiring more from us than we seem to be willing to give. What are the chunks of gunk? What are the things that are robbing us of clarity and the ability to see for ourselves what the next things need to be to advance our species? What stands in our way? Because even though we tout that the human race is powerful, anointed with special grace, and that each one of us supposedly is unique and without duplication, when we actually do sit down to discuss our future, or even our present plans, a sense of dismay and fatalism seeps into the conference room. Even when we make movies about the future of the world, they are always bleak, filled with violence and destruction.
 
If we feel so positive about ourselves, why is there so much negative energy? If we’re so certain that “no child should be left behind,” why are all the children being left in the dark from the responsibility of perfecting their talents? Why do we remove art and music from our schools and then insist that art and music are an essential part of our culture–blessings that inspire our nation to greater discovery?
 
I don’t think it’s so much an issue of hypocrisy as it is that the waters have been muddied for so long that everyone thinks they should look the way they do. Not so.
 
I would like to take a couple of days to talk about this. I considered sharing it in one jonathots, but I don’t want to pile up a bunch of concepts that end up being applauded for the merit of writing but abandoned because of complexity. So for today, let’s just deal with this–it is important that we take an I.G.P test for our country. Where is our intelligence? What is going on with our growth? And how are we making progress?
 
For the sake of simplicity (basically, for my own personal use), I have boiled it down to three questions. Finding the answer to these questions will help us both discover the present I.G.P. and also create the clarity that could set us off in more positive pursuits. Are you ready to get rid of some chunks of gunk? It will purify the waters. It’ll make you want to swim and drink again. Right now nobody wants to jump into any endeavor for fear of being tainted by the filth. But if we could remove some of these chunks of gunk, we could yell confidently, “Everybody in the pool!”
 
I will do the first question tomorrow–and I’ll even do you one better. I’ll tell you what it is:
 
Are human beings basically bad?
 
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Got a question for Jonathan? Or would you like to receive a personal weekly email? Just click my email address below and let me know what’s on your mind! jonathancring@gmail.com
 
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Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

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