Addled Essence… March 29, 2012

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All teenagers are drug addicts, induced into a life of dependency by their very own mother. Yes—Mother Nature comes along and takes these boys and girls who are enjoying the equality of chilled-hood and injects them with drugs to completely change their environment. The girls get estrogen and the boys get testosterone–and the human race gets really screwed up. So for the boys it becomes a hair-raising experience and the girls scurry along, trying to keep abreast of the situation.

Seriously, we refer to this as “adolescence,” but in my opinion, it’s more addled essence. The essence of oneness the boys and girls had is suddenly addled, shaken to the foundations by the introduction of puberty minus explanation. Yes, there seems to be a dearth of information. What we tend to do is hand the young ladies a tampon and a Midol and the young men a sports drink and a football–and hope they find a way to work it out.

Unfortunately, they don’t.  It begins an adversarial relationship which is never quite overcome, even as adulthood sets in and the later years of graying are achieved.

Boys are taught to be macho. “I want what you have.” Girls are permitted to be prissy. “I have what you want.”

So rather than being a playground–a joint experience of discovery or a class project resulting in understanding–we have a free-for-all of misinterpretation and domination. Society does little to relieve it, promoting the idea of the war between the sexes in its entertainment and its news articles. Politics continues to promote a glass ceiling, where women are supposedly encouraged to rise in business, but are greatly praised for remaining homebound. And religion—well, religion teaches abstinence without any sense of those who are abstaining understanding the depth, beauty and complications of their appetites.

So of the three choices available for these burgeoning, blooming, bountiful beings—those being abstinence, promiscuity and masturbation—we tend, in the religious community, to blatantly favor abstinence while secretly acknowledging that our children “might not follow the letter of the law.” In the secular community, we quietly allow for promiscuity, while insisting that we have instructed in abstinence.

God gave testosterone and estrogen for a reason. They are inside every one of us to teach us our individual importance and our corporate responsibility. So we end up with an addled essence in our teenagers, which causes the average parent to throw his hands up in the air in desperation, hoping that his precious offspring will outgrow the stupor. They don’t. They carry the adversarial attitude into adulthood unless someone stops them from being so brain-dead from the experience that they can see the necessary coalition between men and women.

We have to decide what we’re going to do. These young humans, who are under the influence of testosterone and estrogen, must be monitored for their better health. We cannot leave it to chance and hope that a few Bible scriptures will inspire them to abstain, or a couple of well-written teen comedies will cause them to wait until they “fall in love” to become sexually active. I think there are four steps to help us deal with the addled essence phase of humanity, to keep it from spilling over into the adult life and making us all believe that men and women were never meant to get along:

1. Talk. I know what you’re thinking. “Tennagers don’t want to talk.” Exactly. I also don’t want to lose weight. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m fat. Create environments, possibilities, interludes, dynamics and opportunities for conversation. Talk about sex. Talk about the opposite sex. Talk about their bodies. Don’t criticize them for pursuing masturbation out of curiosity when the alternatives you offer them are cold showers and the Gospel of John. Talk.

I raised six boys. We talked about sex more than anything else. Why? Because testosterone dictated the subject matter. Talk. Don’t be rebuffed; don’t lose the faith. Find a closet, tell them you’re going to clean it out, shut the door, lock it, turn on the light—and talk.

2. Remove the dominance of the physical. For the love of God, can we stop teaching that men are the aggressors and women are the prize? Anyone who knows anything about sex is fully aware that if a woman is not in touch with her own sexuality and able to have an orgasm, that the sexual act settles into an action of futility. Stop acting like “sex is for men and having babies is for women.” We are not all fundamentalist Christians and Muslims. If women do not enjoy sex as much as men do, the process breaks down. Remove all indications that physical domination has anything to do with romance.

3. Establish commonality. Every high school male should have to go through six weeks of home economics and every female should have to spend an equal amount of time understanding weight lifting and being involved in some form of team sport. We fail in our society by misunderstanding the cultures around us–including the culture of gender. Because I have spent time in a kitchen, I no longer believe that cooking is a female task. Because the women in my life know how to lift a box, sweat a little bit and carry their own load, they no longer contend that men are beasts of burden. Commonality produces cross-reference, which leads us to understanding and culminates in compatibility. Separating boys and girls to make sure they don’t do nasty things just makes them more ingenious on finding better locations for nastiness.

4. And finally, we should use the addled essence—from age thirteen through twenty-four—to inform these discoverers that the trio in our life is essential to make us a quartet. What I mean is when we’re emotionally clean and able to be honest with ourselves and others—even of the opposite sex—it allows for spiritual awareness instead of trying to follow rules line by line. And when we are spiritually aware, we have a great thirst for knowledge which makes us mentally informed. Then our physical–our bodies–are prepared to be honest, aware and informed in making choices. Without this process at work, human sexuality becomes a “shame and blame game” instead of a “same and tame” one. We try to shame people into being pure and then blame the ones who fail, instead of teaching that even though estrogen and testosterone have created different urges in us, we are still 98%  the same. And the more we understand our similarities, the greater our ability to tame our appetites–to more fruitful delights.

We must learn how to deal with our addled essence population. We hide our heads in the sand, hoping they will work it out on their own, when they are under the influence of drugs beyond their control. So you can worry about marijuana, cocaine and meth if you want. These are dangerous. But until we address the difficulties brought on by estrogen and testosterone, we will thrust our chilled-hood  into addled essence, and therefore cripple them for the adult walk–limping instead of sprinting.

Because unfortunately, if you have gone through the twelve years of addled essence, you arrive at age twenty-five feeling the responsibility to pay your bills and get married, which leads to the next condition, which I, tongue-in-cheek, have named … You’re Kidding.

 

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Listen to Jonathan sing his gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, accompanied by Janet Clazzy on the WX-5 Wind Machine

 

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http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

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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