Ask Jonathots … January 28th, 2016

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One of my friends believes that sexual repression is the reason for almost all problems, from behavioral to criminal. How important is sexuality? Is there such a thing as a religious calling, or, as my friend says, is that the sole reason for the sexual scandal in the Catholic Church?

Sex is an appetite.

It’s very important to realize this.

It is neither holy, nor is it hedonistic.

If monkeys can do it, it’s probably not super-spiritual, and if the end process of the procedure is procreation–the birthing of other human beings–it’s probably not evil.

You have to find the balance. What is the balance?

For instance, another bodily function is a bowel movement. Constipation makes us sick. But diarrhea is also a sign that we’re ill. What we want are healthy bowel movements.

And what we also want is a healthy sex life.

Since sex is not terribly difficult to do, it’s probably unrealistic to think that people are going to avoid it until they get married at age twenty-six.

Yet because it has so many physical ramifications, disease possibilities, and the potential of pregnancy, it should probably not be open season beginning at the age of twelve.

There are three reasons that people say they have sex:

  • They love each other
  • They want each other
  • They desire a child

Of course, there are variations on those–and different intensity levels. But as you can see, those three do not naturally connect.

In other words, love for someone can be manufactured because we are physically stimulated.

Wanting someone can be extremely temporary, until the orgasm is achieved.

And having a baby is an eighteen-minute production for an eighteen-year problem.

So the church tends to teach that the best practice is to refrain from sex until marriage, even though there are no people sitting in the pew who feel that is actually possible–or followed the practice themselves.

The world, on the other hand, or the secular community, thinks that free sexual expression is essential as a choice of adulthood, but offers no comfort for those who are heartbroken or stricken by disease because of promiscuity, or left with horrible choices due to unwanted pregnancy.

We are in the process of finding a balance.

To me, the best way to achieve this is to make it clear to young people–and older folks, for that matter–what sex is.

1. Sex is pleasure.

The fact that a creative God also uses it as a means of procreating our species is just smart due to the fact that if making babies took great effort, we would soon be extinct.

Trying to make sex anything other than pleasure is putting a golden crown on a pig.

2. As pleasure, it is a lesson in discovering how to mutually respect the person we are sharing the experience with at all times.

The idea that women are growing up believing that sex is for men and that they are not necessarily supposed to have an orgasm is one of the greatest abuses to the female.

3. Sex is emotional.

Here’s the trick and here’s the problem: as human beings, we seem to be incapable of separating the physical act of pleasure from the emotional tie of friendship or love. This introduces jealousy. This promotes some revenge. It causes sex to become a tool of pain rather than the promoter of pleasure.

4. Sex is attached to our passion.

Just because you said you loved someone ten years ago doesn’t mean you want to crawl in bed with them and have a crazy night of love-making. If the emotional, mental and spiritual energy does not continue, then the horniness quickly wears off. So we develop silly words like “soul mate” to describe the latest person who excites us.

Human sexuality is tainted both by repression and too much expression.

It is a physical act with emotional overtones, stimulated by mental commitment and spiritual energy.

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Good News and Better News … January 11th. 2016

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Good New Better News Toe

Pictured is the big toe on my right foot.

No air-brushing, make-up, special effects or plastic surgery were involved in the presentation of this shot. (I did take the precaution of slathering the big fellow with lotion to counteract some dryness.)

I was born with two big toes–one on my right foot and one on my left. In the course of the journey, I lost the one on my left foot due to an infection.

I must be candid and tell you that I’ve always taken my big toes for granted. But when I was recovering from the amputation, I discovered that the big toe performs an important function: it gives us balance. It allows us to have a swagger–a smoothness to our gait as we walk and run.

I did not need to relearn walking, but I did notice a difference, and occasionally had to catch myself from falling because I assumed that the “Great One” was still in position on my left foot.

So I realized that as the big toe functions, so follows the foot.

  • A nice foot is beneficial to an ankle.
  • A solid ankle supports a busy leg.
  • A busy leg gives purpose to a torso.
  • A torso is a great resting place for a head containing the brain, which barks orders to all of the members.

Now, popular thinking would be to give special attention to the brain because it is the more advertised authority figure. But having lost my left big toe, I will tell you–if you can get your big toe to react properly and stay healthy, since it is the furthest point from the brain, you can pretty well guarantee that everything in between is jim-dandy.

Yes, a healthy big toe bodes well for the entire human apparatus.

As you can see, looking at mine, it’s a little dry and the toenail is crusty and could use the benefits of a pedicure.

That’s the good news.

Here’s the better news: the same information transfers to our society. While we spend so much time trying to change the minds of people in the world around us or force our ideology in their direction, we would do much better to focus on the big toe of our faith, belief and lifestyle.

There’s too much religion, too much theology, too much politics, and too much knowledge with no learning going on for the good of the common man–and of course, the common woman.

So what is our emotional big toe?

What is our spiritual big toe?

What is the big toe of our mental process, which assures us that our thinking is heading in the right direction instead of being deterred by selfishness and greed?

I think any time we walk away from the Golden Rule, “love thy neighbor as thyself,” we are completely out of balance and capable of falling.

And even in the case of the Golden Rule, there are days we don’t love ourselves enough to give others adequate affection.

Yes, there are times that I stub my toe, and it hurts so much that I don’t want to walk on it, nor be around people and have to explain my limping.

Part of the Golden Rule is knowing that when we feel good about ourselves, it is the best time to bestow the same blessing on others. And when we feel like crap, we should lock ourselves away and rejuvenate before forcing our misgivings on our brothers and sisters.

I guess it’s safe to say that life is about being on your toes and getting a foothold.

There’s truth to that.

So having only one big toe, I watch it carefully because it lets me know what’s going on in the rest of my body–and also, to a certain degree, the stability of my brain.

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Ask Jonathots … June 11th, 2015

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I know this question gets asked a lot, but with all the flooding and tornadoes going on, and people losing their homes, I can’t help but wonder why God allows all of this destruction?

There are two forces at work on Earth: Nature and human desire.

Human desire wanted to build a city below sea level in Louisiana. It is called New Orleans. Mother Nature creates storms to replenish the earth with water and has thoroughly warned us that anything below sea level will…well, be below sea level.

As long as we live lives where we believe that nature is our enemy or that nature can be ignored because of our prayers, we will suffer some of the painful conclusions that befall those who ignore the obvious.

For instance, certainly by this time, since we know that a lot of tornadoes move through Oklahoma, it might be smart to build a system that protects people–and even their homes–from destruction. The fact that the people in that region believe that the present tornado might just be the last one could be classified as a bit ignorant.

You would have much less destruction and loss of life on Earth if the humans who have desire took into consideration the natural order, the way of the earth and the history of how things work.

As long as human desire ignores Mother Nature, she will plow right through our plans and leave many people sad.

So what can we do? Learn how things work.

For instance, instead of arguing about climate change, why not just take the precaution that the climate is changing and make a few adjustments in order to submit to the trend?

But I will tell you–prayers to God will not stop the movement of Mother Nature. God uses the natural order to bring balance to everyone, so that it rains on the just and the unjust.

So what can you do?

Don’t build your house on the sand.

And if you do, be prepared for your living room to be filled with 4 feet of water.

 

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***************************

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The G Series: G-1 … December 6, 2013

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G SeriesIt’s going to be very difficult to have faith that moves mountains if you attempt to maintain a positive attitude that fails to recognize the “rise” in difficulties ahead.

Likewise, if you contend that every Tennessee “smoky hill” is Mt. Everest, you probably won’t do much earth rearranging, either.

For after all, one of the great comedies-in-error is the fact that human beings require a certain amount of balance that they rarely find, or for that matter, are willing to pursue. So instead of analyzing our feelings to find shreds of quality within, we relegate certain emotions as “bad” and others as “good.”

For instance, boredom is normally considered to be a negative in the human family. When we’re bored we become grumpy and immediately try to alleviate the condition by grabbing onto the first roller coaster that zooms through the amusement park.

Yet we consider confidence to be a positive attribute which will propel our wishes and dreams to a conclusion and manifest an obvious victory.

Here’s the truth:

  • When I’m bored it’s because dissatisfaction has warned me that I’ve begun to settle for things that are less than I hoped or are inferior to my abilities.
  • The purpose of confidence is to remind me, in my dissatisfaction, that I have been successful in the past when I’ve ventured into the wilderness of possibility, without every eventuality covered.

I can’t be a complete person if I’m just dissatisfied–I settle into a muddy pit of mediocrity and complaining.

But in like manner, if I have confidence all the time, it will soon be dashed by the reality of competition, trial and tribulation, leaving me running to the corner like a little whipped pup.

It’s the balance of the two.

Every Friday in this G series, we’re going to discuss this balance, which will be one thing we consider to be negative and another we think is positive–which really need to be blended, to generate our human effort through creativity.

I’m dissatisfied, so I will consider, with confidence, what more I can do.

Without dissatisfaction, my confidence is just boasting. And without confidence, my dissatisfaction is merely cranky.

Learn the ways of your human days.

Come face to face with the nature of the race.

And understand that a dissatisfied soul who is able to tap his or her confidence notices that the mountain is small enough that the faith provided …, just might move it.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Deposit Yourself … February 7, 2013

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Bank of AmericaWithin the common folklore and tales of the life and times of Jonathan Richard Cring is the notion that I hate banks.

It probably sprang from my early years, when I was so poor that when I walked into one of these institutions, I always felt like everyone in the room knew that I was “weighed by my balance” and found wanting. Over the years I have moderated my feelings and generally speaking, I am fine to go to the drive-through window and put money in without too much fear possessing my soul.

Such was my mission yesterday. Arriving there, I discovered that two lanes were open at the drive-through, one labeled “commercial accounts only,” and the other  for us plebeians. In the lesser lane was a white mini van, which pulled in just in front of me. The driver reached for the magical tube, to begin the transaction. It was a woman. I pulled behind her (since I was not a “commercial account” customer).

And then it happened. As it turns out, she took the tube–not to place her deposit neatly inside, for a quick transaction–but instead to acquire a deposit ticket from the teller, which she would retrieve and sit in her minivan and make out her deposit while I waited behind her.

This is one of my pet peeves.

I thought about changing over to the commercial transaction lane. But you see, that’s where we get in trouble. We get frustrated with our present circumstances, caused by someone breaking the rules, we decide to break the rules ourselves. Then we either get caught doing it or we frustrate somebody else, who comes in, observing us breaking the rules.

I realized I had two choices. I could sit there, staring at her rear end intensely, with its “Baby On Board” bumper sticker (I assume a personal confession to her emotional status).  If I did this, I would discover that fifteen seconds would seem like ten minutes. In no time at all I would be convinced I had sat there for half an hour and would reach for my horn, to blare at the surrounding world, only to receive the edification of the lady’s middle finger.

My second choice was to turn off my engine, totally ignore the situation and do something I was planning to do after I left the bank–out-of-order from my Things to Do Today list. But after all, those little notes I jotted down for myself, to give guidance for my day, aren’t exactly the Ten Commandments.

So I turned off my engine, grabbed a book nearby that I was supposed to peruse, and became deeply engrossed in reviewing the material. So involved was I that upon finishing about eight pages, I looked up and the van had disappeared. The lane was open for my entrance.

As I started my van, from my rear came the honking of a horn. Somebody behind me had selected Choice 1.

I just laughed. “I know how you feel, fella,” I said as I rolled forward to make my deposit.

Here’s the truth–I can’t change the world. Let me go further. I can’t improve the world. What I can do is find a way to make my journey as pleasant, free of tension and forgiving as possible. In doing so, it will appear that the world directly around me has changed. If I can get several friends to join me in that quest, we can generate buffer “safe zones,” where other humans can come and not feel that they need to make excuses, lie, cheat and become angry.

This may be the best we can do. Each one of needs to deposit ourselves in an environment of our own creation, where we select to be who we want to be–no matter how frustrating the circumstances become.

Turn off your engine. Grab a book. And ignore all “babies on board.” This, too, will pass.

Then all you have to deal with … is the terror of going to the bank.

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