Jesonian: Three for the Road … May 25, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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churchThe weakness of religion is that it draws people to the ceremony of worship instead of the heart of God and empathy with their fellow-humans.

You can read it all through history. The same complaints that Jesus had toward the religious system of his day hold true two thousand years later with our particular derivation.

But honestly, it does little good to complain about religion, politics or immorality if you don’t have a solid idea as to what will work, and a pathway to the door of understanding.

In becoming a Jesonian follower instead of a typical Christian, who is constantly stirring the Old Testament with the New Testament in an attempt to keep peace, three ideas have to be placed in primary position, as the dictionary for defining the terms of our faith:

1. God created the earth without form–and useless.

Yes, kind of a mess. So He could work on it. God is a builder, not an apartment manager. He likes His universe and He likes people because we’re both fixer-upers.

2. God created people for companionship.

He already had angels to worship Him. He was already well-served. He had no intention of running our lives or even devising plans for us to discover in the midst of our confusion. Granting us free will, He gave us the ability to both walk toward Him and walk away from Him with equal dimension.

3. God created nature as a balance–an even playing field–and also as an environment for humans to take responsibility for, as their home.

Environmental issues are not “liberal” or “conservative.” They are spiritual.

I must candidly tell you, until these three ideas become our spirited journey, there will be a sensation of being lost instead of found.

It is the Jesonian way of looking at life:

  • God is a Creator.
  • I am His friend.
  • The earth is our home.

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The Running List… October 18, 2012

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Live from October 1st filming

Eleven days ago, when I awakened with the startling notification that my legs had decided to become non-supportive of my endeavors, my first instinct was to become discouraged. (I personally relish discouragement. It is comforting. Discouragement is the emotion we select when we really don’t want to look much deeper into the situation, but instead, would prefer to believe that we are the offended party.) It does have its dark side, however. It only has one door. Yes, it has an entrance but provides no exit, while simultaneously dimming all the light around you. So I immediately rejected discouragement and instead leaped to my running list.

My running list has five items: God, Mother Nature, people, friends and me.

Those are the elements, really, that interact with me every day of my life, since I rarely have to have a personal interchange with a goat or an elephant.

God. Who is He? God is a spirit. What do we know about spirits? Absolutely nothing–except they’re not physical. So it’s understandable that when God thinks about me, He’s thinking about my heart and spirit instead of about how I need to shed some pounds, start an exercise program and avoid pasta and salt. He is a spirit who became creative. Even to this day, we can tell something is truly spiritual if it was birthed from a creative place. And finally, being a spirit that’s creative, He has afforded us the opportunity to receive Him as a Father if we so desire, by faith.

So what did God think about my legs? Not much.

I moved on to Mother Nature. She is the enforcer, the practicality, the earthly intelligence and the evolver of planet life. She tries to create an even playing field, which requires some rules, followed by surprises. After all, if people only learned the rules, then we would just be a bunch of obedient robots, but if life were just full of surprises, we would be ducking for the cave every time we heard thunder. It’s balanced. Mother Nature has no relationship with me at all. She sees me as she sees everyone else, and because of that she is of great value in my life. What does Mother Nature feel about my legs? Mother Nature does not like sixty-year-old fat men who occasionally splurge on their eating like they’re eighteen and carry out the schedule of a twenty-five-year-old troubadour. She has an ax to grind with me.

So let’s review. God loves me; Mother Nature thinks I’m a prick. Okay. Let’s move on to people.

I love people because they have one moving part: they think about themselves. If you’re offended by that, you will probably not find yourself to be much of a people person. If you expect high-sounding virtue and great generosity of spirit, you probably will come to the conclusion that Homo sapiens should be wiped from the face of the earth. But once you understand that people are self-involved, then you can find a way to become involved with their self. So what do people think about my legs? Once again, not very much. They might consider me weakened if they saw me in a wheelchair, until I could demonstrate that I still bring value to the tribe and therefore, blessing to their teepee.

How about friends? Remember, friends are just people who decide to make you one of the things of their self-involvement. In other words, you are ONE of the ingredients (so don’t get puffed up). What do my friends feel about my legs? Being friends, and often related to me, they want to make sure they say something intelligent and meaningful. Also, just in case I fall over dead, they want to make it clear to everyone around them that they warned me. Their involvement is most valuable, with precious junctures of tenderness and prayers that go up to my Father, who would love to see my heart and spirit live on.

So let’s catch up and keep score. God does not really focus on my bad legs, but rather, is concerned about my heart, spirit and maintaining a personal relationship with me. Mother Nature couldn’t care less about a personal relationship, but instead, wants me to follow the rules better, and then she will consider whether I get to hang around. People are busy with themselves and only consider my legs a weakness if I do, or if I refuse to be of benefit to their pursuits. Family loves me, and as they think about themselves, they include me because I have become part of them and they want to make sure they have done everything reasonable to assist me without becoming overly zealous.

Then there’s me. I, being human, am also self-involved. So I am afforded two choices when it comes to dealing with affliction: Self-awareness or self-pity. Let me not be too noble here–I occasionally indulge in self-pity when I find I have too much time on my hands and get in some sort of bleak place, where I only see the lesser possibilities for my soul.

But self-awareness is a delicious combination of hope, humor and honesty. Hope in the sense that we know that as long as there’s life, there’s always a chance for something to change. Humor because we know that change will be slow and often comical. And honesty because nothing happens until we’re dealing with real, hard-core facts instead of wishes and dreams.

I decided that it was useless for me to pray for a miracle unless I had already started one. So for eleven days I have been on a fabulous food regimen, using exercise prudently, resting, drinking lots of water, and just enjoying myself to the hilt in the process.And then I have employed the following philosophy: the best way for me to honor God is by respecting Mother Nature while simultaneously attempting to turn all the people I meet into my friends.

There’s the key.

You can’t come to God and pray for a miracle if you’re ignoring the principles, the guidelines and the system of His creation established through Mother Nature. I do not know if I’m going to get better, but I do know that the process to getting better is to honor God by following Mother Nature and turning all the people I meet into my friends.

It makes the “me” part of my running list less cranky, less self-piteous and less boring. That’s where I am right now.

Have you checked your running list lately? God is waiting, Mother Nature will teach you if you listen, people are available if you’re interested in them, and friends are valuable if you give them direction on where your heart wants to go. After all, it’s not that complicated. What complicates life is when we believe too much in God but ignore His nature, or we don’t believe in God … and are stuck with ourselves.

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Is God Mean? … February 24, 2012

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Even though I thought I had my information straight, I decided to go back and check out the list one more time. After a careful scrutiny, I discoveredGod is love,” “God is a spirit” and “God is light.”
 
For the life of me, I was unable to uncover “God is mean.”
 
It seems remarkable, doesn’t it, since the notion of God’s meanness is a prevailing human opinion from time to time for nearly all of us (myself included)? Some tragedy will come along or strange abuse of children or women and we’ll find ourselves lamenting over the seeming impotence of God to aid in these matters, and then someone will remind us about when He was starting his business back there in the Old Testament, that He was known for being quite ruthless.
 
So how does someone who is advertised for the love, spirit and light He brings get tagged so often as “the meanie?” Well, He has some strong deterrents to His public relations campaign.
 
1. Let’s start with the Bible itself. People mistakenly think that the Holy Bible is God speaking to mankind rather than a gradual discovery by mankind of how God speaks. It would be similar to examining a camel by starting at the rear end and working your way up to the face. That’s really the presentation of the book we know as the Bible. But there are those people who hold fast to the notion that the Book of Job is just as viable as the Book of Acts and because that philosophy is still in the air, it often appears that God is mean or in a bad mood.
2. Another thing that does no favors for God’s personal presentation is the earth itself. Storms, earthquakes, eruptions and all sorts of natural tragedies cause us to think that God is either in a bad mood or He’s just grumpy and anti-human. There are very few people who take the time to compliment God on a thousand beautiful sunrises, but they will certainly discredit Him for allowing one big wind to blow the roof off their house.
3. The third thing that makes it difficult for God to escape the “mean” rap are his followers. Most people who are religious blend in just enough of God to rationalize their personal ego trips–so God is labeled with all sorts of false conceptions, ideologies and interpretations.
4. Of course, the main reason that God gets smacked in the head for being mean is the decision He made long ago at creation–and that decision is the unbridled granting of free will to humans. It is irrevocable and non-debatable. People can do whatever they want using whatever excuse they choose, blaming whomever they have selected.
 
So let’s understand the problem. With some of the poor translation of the Bible, the earth’s shaking and shimmying, religious followers making the true nature of the Divine as elusive as possible and the general decision on God’s part to grant free will to humanity, God is often stuck at the end of the line, having to pay the bill for what everybody else has ordered.
 
And one other situation we rarely think about. Just because God is love–which mean’s He’s emotional, by the way–and God is a spirit–which certainly would connote that He is spiritual–and God is light–which means He welcomes enlightenment and knowledge (big brain stuff)–yes, even though all those things are true, human beings are often stuck in an adolescent stage of maturity, like teenagers not wanting to be loved, rejecting any attempt to become spirited, and resenting the hell out of light being shone on their deeds.
 
Yes, if you’ve raised children, you will remember the phase in those precious teen years, when the fact that you loved them and wanted to “spirit them” to better causes, and in order to be a good parent, you had to shed light on some of their dubious behavior … well, let’s put it this way. It did not cause you to fall into good graces with your sneering offspring. Yes, all parents have heard from their teenager: “You’re mean.”
 
So when you combine a Bible that is read literally instead of progressively, an earth that is mothered toward evolution and growth despite our objections, followers of God who always have more agenda than mercy, the decision by the Almighty Himself to grant unconditional free will to His human creation, and the fact that lots of us get stuck temporarily in an adolescent maturity and want to be left alone and not be loved, spirited or enlightened–well, when you consider all of that, it’s no wonder that some disgruntled patrons of the earth might consider God to be mean.
 
Here’s the truth: God is love, spirit and light. The love doesn’t change, the spirit is always moving forward and the light illuminates even those things we wish it didn’t. Mother Nature has a job of making sure that the earth continues and in the process, grants us all an even playing field. Human beings are basically self-involved, but when motivated by other fellow-travelers who are less selfish, can be pumped up to do better things.
 
So the answer, to me, is that God isn’t mean, but He created some factors in the world around us that can be mean if we don’t learn how to discern the signs of our times and understand our vulnerabilities. God gives free will and lets us discover the hidden treasure that’s been placed everywhere in creation.
 
So in conclusion:
  • The Bible is a book about God–not God Himself.
  • The earth is something He set in motion. It is never merely His daily whim.
  • His followers have to be judged on whether they bring love, spirit and light to the world–thus, God.
  • And the decision He grants us–to have free will–should be entered into with humility, respect and a healthy lust towards succeeding.
 So as we continue our I.G.P.–intelligence, growth and progress–we can fine tune that trio by understanding that a loving spirit of light named God has given us the free will of choice to find Him and unmask the imitators. So now we are two questions down, with one remaining. How about this one:
 
Are we supposed to do better?
 
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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.

Tootsie Pop Logic … January 24, 2012

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Live in Philadelphia, PA

A sucker is a sucker is a sucker.

This became the common theme–and lamentation–of all manufacturers in the lollipop industry. As delicious as the first few licks may be, enduring to the end was often difficult for young tykes, leaving behind sticky, half-eaten globs of goo all over the house.

Something needed to be done, so as always, two extremes were pursued. First was the dum dum–a decision to make the lollipop smaller and offer a variety of flavors. It was, and is, very successful, but still suffers from the redundancy of the common lick.

The other extreme was to insist that MORE lapping and sucking was necessary, so the all-day sucker was created, which was a humongous amount of sugar-candy, which was supposed to be consumed over a 24-hour period. Dedication did not exist for such a project, and you ended up with an even larger sticky object to avoid.

Then came the Tootsie pop. Here was the premise: give people a sucker, but reward them at the end by providing a center of chocolate–a Tootsie roll. How ingenious.

You see, I feel this way about the 2012 election. We are offered a myriad of suckers for our perusal. It is wearisome. It is sticky business. But if you want to be successful at picking a leader of anything, find out what is at the CENTER of their sugar-coated presentation. What IS the Tootsie pop logic of the conservatives and the liberals?That demands that we produce a criteria for what is important and what needs to be said.

Honestly, dear folks, there are only two things that are immutable:  People and money. What are the conservatives going to do about people and money? What is the plan of the liberals regarding people and money?

Let’s start with people.  They require three things:

1. Freedom. If you’re going to call yourself a “free country,” it’s a good idea to back it up with freedom for everyone.

2. Opportunity. This means creating an even playing field as much as possible, so that excellence can truly have a chance to win the day.

3. And finally, rules.  You should have just enough rules in a democracy to maintain the integrity of freedom and opportunity.

That brings us to money. The philosophy on money should be equally as simple:  first, we need to motivate business, industry and personal desire enough to comfortably fund our freedoms, promote opportunities and maintain the necessary offices for the rules which guard these ideas. Secondly, we should have enough money that after we’ve taken care of our own personal needs to a satisfactory position, we can give to others who are less fortunate, so we don’t end up being a bunch of greedy gas-bags.

I know people want to worship the conservative approach or bow their knee to liberalism. I do not join them. I don’t care whether it’s a restaurant, a church, a synagogue, a bistro or the federal government. Are you going to give people equal freedom to pursue opportunity and maintain just enough rules to make sure that everyone has freedom and opportunity? AND will you motivate the raising of money to protect those rights and provide a comfortable living for as many people as possible, while initiating a philanthropic thrust with the remaining funds?

Anything short of that is short-sighted. I don’t care what you’re running, I don’t care what you’re promoting and I don’t care what flag you are waving. People require freedom, opportunity and a set of rules to ensure they will honor the same for all their fellow-travelers. And money must be raised to guarantee that these rights are cushioned by financial blessing and that there is enough left over to instill generosity.

So as I listen to the political candidates, I peruse their mentality on these two issues–people and money. It is what I call the Tootsie pop logic. If you’re going to make me spend all of my time licking away at debates and discussions, you’d better provide me with a chocolate center that lets me know you understand what to do with people and money. Otherwise, it just sucks.

Do I have an opinion on the present crop of candidates? I have many opinions–but honestly it’s difficult to assess either party, because neither one of them has come to terms with the intricate nature and balance of these two necessities. Most of them are more concerned about trouble from outsiders or merely conquering the opposing party in the voting booth. But after the election comes governing–and governing anything is about dealing with people and providing money.

So here’s my Tootsie pop logic. After you get done wading through my numerous clumps of letters forming words, I want you to find a sweet treat in the center, and I always want that center of my writing to give you greater insight on people and money.  Because he who understands what to do with his fellow-humans AND when and how to release the purse strings, basically has total understanding of everything.

What a wild statement.

Tootsie pop logic. What’s at the center of the conservative movement? What is at the center of the liberal take on things? What will they do with people and what do they think about money?

Just some thoughts on this day–and to return to a common phrase in the world of confections:

Try it. You’ll like it.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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