So What’s the Score? … February 26, 2012

(1436)
 
It’s impossible to initiate progress if you haven’t welcomed the ingredients and attitudes that produce growth. Growth, on the other hand, seems futile if it isn’t motivated by a revelation of intelligence. At least that’s the way I see it.
 
So what I’m going to give you today are ten elements that you can evaluate for yourself–and then be audacious enough to apply them to the world around you, giving each attribute a 0-10 score: 0 if you see none of it presently coming to be and 10 if you find that this particular idea is in full bloom.
 
Let’s start with intelligence. To contemplate if intelligence is truly being given an opportunity to do its good work, the first thing you have to consider is:
1. Stop complaining. Yes, it is virtually impossible to receive new information when you’re presently in rebellion to the circumstances and environment in which you have found yourself. Complaining is what stops the brain from receiving fresh insight and instead, forces us to fall back on attitudes which have proven to be insufficient. (Grade 0-10)
2. Start learning. All learning begins with considering instead of rejecting. If your beliefs are causing you to close out the entrance of knowledge that might expand your general intelligence, then your precepts are not really beliefs at all, but instead, a stone wall you’ve built around your brain. As you can also see, learning cannot begin until complaining stops. (Insert your grade, 0-10)
3. Be content but not complacent. Contentment is a rest stop on the road to discovery. Complacency is building a barn and storing up what we have so far, assuming it’s enough. We must be content, but turning that into a lack of activity is to stymie ourselves in an ignorance which eventually lends itself to stupidity. (0-10)
 
As you can see, the top score for intelligence would be 30.
 
Next is growth. The first area where we see the signs of growth is:
1. The appearance of wisdom. What is wisdom? Wisdom is knowledge that has been accepted as real, which we have begun to apply to our everyday lives. You can tell when someone is becoming wise when what they believe shows up in their actions. (0-10)
2. Stature. Stature is the cloak of blessing that falls upon us in both our physical and spiritual beings that confirms our message by exposing all hypocrisy and making our lives accessible to others instead of a huge mystery. All of us have to be honest–if something is truly helping us grow, that particular spurt of growth will show up in our entire beings, from head to toe. (0-10)
3. We suddenly find ourselves in favor with God and man. There is no real evidence of growth in the human family without the joining of heaven and earth. We know that we’re beginning to expand when that which is spiritual in our lives is not at war with that which we have discovered to be practical. Likewise, we stand back in awe when we discover that the practical things in life have always had spiritual implications. (0-10)
Once again, high score here–30. 
 
This leads us to the final category–progress. This one has four parts. How can we determine that the human race (which, by the way, includes us) is making progress:
1. Pure in heart. The more emotionally transparent we are willing to be with the world around us, the healthier we will feel and the more we will progress. Without this, we live a shadowy existence of lies, constantly in fear of being discovered for who we really are. (0-10)
2. Hungering and thirsting for spirituality. One of the main proofs of progress in the human family is an appetite for spiritual things that is not merely worship in the abstract, but applied in everyday choices. That is why I use “hunger and thirst”–basic human passions–for describing the quest for understanding our more eternal side. You will be able to tell when the world both around you and inside you is making progress when you see a legitimate appetite–hungering and thirsting for spiritual things. (0-10)
3. Renew the mind. We make progress as people when we never make up our minds. I know that in politics they call it “flip-flopping.” In religion they refer to it as heresy. But there is really no need to make up your mind–because the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, and we all are in the process of having our brains renewed with data that is not yet programmed inside our processor.  That’s why I am very careful nowadays to preface my ideas with this phrase: “… from what I know …” I am aware that one of the true signs of progress is that my mind will be renewed. (Once again, keep up with your 0-10)
4. And finally, you can determine the true progress of a human life by a decision to move towards health. The debate should not be about whether cigarettes, alcohol and drugs are legal or permissible. When we finally start making progress, we will ask the question, “Does it make us healthier?” It’s what I’m going through in my life right now. I really don’t overeat anymore, but I once did, which built up fat supplies in my body which resist eviction. So I have to reconsider all of my eating styles to find the most healthy possibility. If I don’t, I won’t make progress. (0-10)
 
As you can see, the high score for intelligence is 30, likewise, growth is also 30 and progress is 40, giving us a grand total of 100. Add up your own score–and go ahead and do it for the world around you, if you so wish. I will do so myself, and also share with you–as humbly as I possibly can–where I feel our country is in the matters of intelligence, growth and progress, based upon these categories I shared with you today.
 
I will give you my I.G.P. number tomorrow and then we all can start moving towards the excellence we so require.
 
Happy tallying!
 
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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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