“Ifing” Way: Part 2… October 27, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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If bigger

What if a voice of sanity had risen up at various stages in the story of human history, to offer a challenging view when craziness was about to win the day?

If …

Dad arrived just in time.

His youngest son was already primed and ready to run out the door to go see his older brother to try to reconcile hurt feelings. The siblings had never really been close, yet the bond of family had always meshed them with a sense of loyalty. But recent events had exacerbated the tenuous feelings, generating a volatile situation. A simple misunderstanding had turned into a sense of rejection, culminating in a looming burst of rage.

When the incident happened, Dad stepped between them to prevent violence, but the younger son, having a more optimistic nature, believed all that was needed was a good conversation. So he had privately decided to go off on his own, without any counsel, to see his brother at the work site so they could “rummage through their feelings” and arrive at resolution.

Fortunately, Dad came on the scene–just in time.

“Where are you going?” Dad asked.

The young man paused for a second, wondering if he could possibly deceive his father and achieve his own purposes, but then realized that was contrary to his heart.

“You know where I’m going. I’m going to make peace with my brother.”

The father smiled. “I know that seems like a good idea to you, and far be it from me to be against peace, but your brother is a complicated man and his emotions and thoughts are not privy to you, and therefore not available.”

The young man frowned.

Sensing his son’s disagreement, the father continued. “We could talk about this all day and we wouldn’t agree. What I would like you to do is trust me. If I end up being wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it. But I would like you to leave your brother alone for a while, until you and I agree on a better time. Because if you go and see him now, all you’re going to do is remind him of the pain of the conflict, and perhaps incense him over the idea that you appear to be the better brother because you’re trying to make things right. I want you to promise me–based upon our friendship and bond–that you will stay away from him until things are better.”

The young man objected. “But how can things get better if we don’t make them better?”

The father patted him on the shoulder and said, “Son, sometimes things don’t get better. But if we interfere, we can make them worse.”

He gave his younger son a hug. The boy agreed to stay away from his older brother until such time as was deemed appropriate.

As it turned out, the conversation never actually happened. The two brothers, who had never been particularly close, maintained a distance throughout their lives. They learned how to be appropriate during family gatherings, and gave each other proper respect and space.

Cain and Abel never became close friends.

But because Adam took his position as a father and intervened in a dangerous situation … no one had to die.

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Twain — Part II … March 1, 2013

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Both candy and fruit have sugar in them. The difference is that fruit also has nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Candy doesn’t.

So if you will allow me, for the sake of this essay, I will talk to you about “candy culture” and “fruitful faith.”

“Candy culture” is what looks really sweet, so it’s gobbled up and ends up rotting everything in our heads. “Fruitful faith” is developing a taste for things that are really good for you and then finding your peace with the sweetness contained within.

So here’s what candy culture tells us about relationship and marriage:

1. Emotionally men and women are completely different from each other, so it is practically useless to try to have conversations to work out feelings. Instead, the less we share with each other and the more we accept one another’s preferences, the better off we are.

2. Spirituality is really religion and religion is a very personal thing. We don’t want to force our belief system on anyone else, so of course, discussing the nature of God and how the planet earth works in the realm of the soul seems to be both frustrating and alienating.

3. Since men and women are believed to be so different emotionally, their brains also work with patterns unique to their genders, which usually boils down to some derivation of the “hunter/gather” theory, with men being the aggressors and women being the nesters.

4. Concerning our strength, physicality and sexuality, we are constantly, in this “candy culture,” attempting to blend love, having children and pleasure, to create a package of romance that is palatable to both parties and explainable to the surrounding world.

As you can see, in the “candy culture,” the collision of a lack of information with uncertain conclusions leaves the individuals involved in relationship second guessing each other, paranoid and ultimately, angry–either out of suspicion or dissatisfaction.

So what is a “fruitful faith” relationship?

1. In the realm of emotions, it is necessary to find a common humanity. If you’re going to get along with anyone, you have to find out what things you share in common concerning your desires, emotions and dreams instead of focusing on what may be obtuse or outlandish differences. Every discussion of an emotional nature should begin with two things: honesty and the statement, “As a human being, I … “ When two people agree emotionally on the parts of their beings that have common humanity, the issue of male and female quickly disappears.

2. In the realm of spirituality, there is a need for a common God. If one party believes in “destiny” and the other holds fast to “free will,” the relationship, in times of crisis, will disintegrate in confusion. We need a common God. That notion is not popular in the “candy culture,” but arriving at agreement about what God does or doesn’t do may be the greatest salvation you could ever provide to a relationship. And by the way … keep it simple. Make sure that your belief system has only one or two moving parts, and learn to trust that movement.

3. A common plan. Two heads are better than one–ONLY if they fuse their ideas. Two bull-heads that never stir in with one another just keep butting. A common plan is when ideas are shared, written down, and the “best of the best” is put together. Sometimes one person will contribute more than another. Other times, the other party will be the major donator. It doesn’t matter. Pursuing a common plan is the only way to have a single-minded relationship, which, by the way, may be the sexiest thing in the world.

4. And finally, a “fruitful faith” relationship has a common pleasure. Do yourself a big favor and remove children and love from sexuality. Those two things will have been handled beautifully by your emotions, spirit and mind. For human beings, sex has one purpose and one purpose only–pleasure. When you add anything else into it, you either over-emphasize the value of the act or degrade the energy. If two people who are emotionally seeking their humanity, spiritually worshipping a common God and putting their shoulders behind a common plan come together to pursue a common pleasure, watch out. “Sky rockets in flight.”

This is the difference between a “candy culture” and a “fruitful faith” relationship. If you want to keep your love going with another human being, emotionally you will need a common humanity, spiritually a common God, mentally a common plan and physically a common pleasure.

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Be-Leave… January 9, 2013

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BE LEAVELife is moving fast. Often we must decide in a single breath of time whether to remain where we are and “be” or depart, to serve elsewhere–“leave”:

1. People are challenged to think. BE

2. Thinking is challenged by people.  LEAVE

3. God is loving and willing to receive.  BE

4. God has an unchanging will that leaves some people out.  LEAVE

5. Creativity is honored.  BE

6. Repetition is worshipped and revered.  LEAVE

7. Some people are better than others. LEAVE

8. NoOne is better than anyone else.  BE

9.  Feelings are expressed.  BE

10. Feelings are repressed. LEAVE

11. Political parties are promoted.  LEAVE

12. Women and men are different and at odds.  LEAVE

13. In God’s eyes there is neither male or female. BE

14. The devil and God are engaged in a great battle. LEAVE

15. There is no battle because God is in control.  BE

16. People are evil.  LEAVE

17. People are created in God’s image.  BE

18. Careful! Life is dangerous.  LEAVE

19. Stay involved without fear. Life is what we have.  BE

20. The end is near.  LEAVE

21. Let’s end the fear.  BE

22. Judge according to the word of God.  LEAVE

23. Just don’t judge.  BE

24. Be in prayer at all times. LEAVE

25. Be of good cheer. BE

Whatever welcomes people to love each other and find the simplicity of a Fathering God, BE. Whatever suspects humans of continual evil in an attempt to please a God who is obviously paranoid, LEAVE.

BE.

LEAVE.

Decide where you want to BE when change comes to our world.

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Smuggling Trifles … December 10, 2012

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Jon Signing

Did you know that three out of four people believe that 75% of what they hear is true, but that one-quarter of the information is lies?

Stop. I just made that up to be funny. So don’t go off and repeat it.

I have to offer that warning because in no time at all, a little piece of misinformation can be transferred across the country, considered common knowledge, without anybody questioning it, challenging its veracity or even considering the source.

We had a whole political campaign this year based on a series of trifles with little evidence, but because they were reported as facts, characters were assassinated and reputations tainted.

In an age of information, it is important for each of us to take responsibility for what we hear and make sure it bears witness with our own experience.

For instance: “I pledge allegiance to the flag.” Really? Have you ever looked at the definitions of “pledge?” And “allegiance?” And what if the flag begins to represent a republic that is NOT indivisible, but still infested with the same conflicts we had during the Civil War? What if that nation we are pledging to is no longer “under God” and doesn’t offer liberty and justice for all?

How about liturgy in a church? Can we continue to recite words which are not only out of our present vernacular, but also beyond our comprehension?

Can you really go on the Internet and retrieve information which is at best dubious and at worst, malicious?

Can we have a generation out there which is beginning to speak to each other using snippets from movie lines and abbreviations from Twitter?

We are smuggling trifles–little pieces of nothing born in the imaginations of promotional-minded sales people–into our everyday lives and calling them “truth.”

So before you go off and say that I have attacked the Pledge of Allegiance, placed a curse on liturgy, or am an old codger who is against the Internet, realize that I am speaking of a blind faith which embraces any misconception simply because it has a little bit of thrill or controversy.

I have chosen a different path. Everything that comes through my personal doorway has to pass the test of my own experience and my own sense of well-being. So what do I know for sure?

  1. I feel better when I share my feelings.
  2. I find that God is much more possible and plausible when I’m out there helping others.
  3. My brain seems smarter when I chip away at my own cemented ignorance.
  4. I eat better, I live better, I look better and I am better.

There you go. My core. It is from that base that I begin to circulate into the vat of humanity, absorbing new ideas, new information and new opinions. Being open-minded does not connote that we have no ideals or goals. It just means that we’re seeking confirmation for the truth that’s already made us free.

We will continue to be confused as long as we believe that political parties, religion, corporations or even our culture is out for our good. It’s not that we need to reject these forces, but rather, we need to channel the trifles that come our way through the filter of a thoughtful heart, a discerning spirit, a reflective mind and a strong body.

If we do this, we can keep from being duped.

If we don’t? Duping is inevitable.

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D.I.A.–Dissing in Action… April 2, 2012

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Cold turkey–a street slang term for the process by which someone who is addicted to drugs escapes the imprisonment by removing the chemical completely and letting a series of painful reactions remind him or her of poor choices and the consequences. There are many symptoms, but among them are (1) irritability; (2) shaky health; (3) a sense of emptiness; (4) frustration; (5) and of course, a nagging temptation to return to the addiction.

Somewhere between the ages of forty-nine and sixty, Mother Nature gradually begins to snatch away estrogen from women and testosterone from men. The former feelings of supremacy and dependency begin to vanish, hinting towards a return to a more chilled-hood of similarity.

But here’s the problem: by this time, women have become unsure of themselves in a society that has relegated them to a subordinate position. Men have taken it for granted that they’re strong and dominant within the species. It is a game changer—and because it does alter the environment, men and women who are interacting in this era of forty-nine to sixty can get mighty cranky with each other because they see old age peeking its wrinkly face from around the corner. So they take it out on each other. A series of what I would refer to as “public-appropriate dissing” ensues. In other words, if anyone suggested to this couple that they were fighting, they would vehemently disagree, explaining that it was just their way of joking around and getting along with each other. And here’s another problem–unless you’re looking in the mirror, aging is something happening to your partner and not you. So when he comes close for that peck on the cheek, every single wrinkle is prevalent to her eyes. And when she walks across the room with a bit of a limp instead of a girlish bounce, memories of former lust seem to fade away.

Just as in the case of withdrawal from hard drugs, these D.I.A.’s (Dissing in Action) become irritable with one another. All at once, things that don’t really matter can become earth-shattering in importance. Simultaneously, some shaky health sets in, which makes them wonder if their partner is going to bring both sadness and financial ruin to the household. Also, the aging process produces a form of emptiness because merely reminiscing about exploits is not like packing your car and going camping. This lends itself to frustration. Discovering you are out of coffee can initiate a cranky rant which can last all morning long, indirectly targeting your roommate. And of course, temptation. Temptation can be one of three little monsters: (A) Why don’t I feel as good as I used to?  Maybe I need a jolt. (B) Let me go spend too much money on something I really don’t need to make me feel young again; and (C) He or she is too old for me. I need a younger model.

I don’t have all the stats, but I think you will find that many marriages that have survived the twenty-plus mark dissolve in this age group, because the disappointment of losing the chemical of choice causes the two parties to begin to blame each other and to diss and fuss. Compounding the problem is the fact that in their addled essence, they were not taught the ongoing equality of the sexes, and in the process of “kidding,” they became overly concerned about things that nature has pretty well in hand. And during the phase of Re-Spend-Ability, they were so shell-shocked by financial concerns and pending doom from attacks of the dollar sign that confidence in one another was eroded.

So when you remove estrogen and testosterone, what you have left is a confused man and a terrified woman, jumbled and jittery about becoming old.

So what should these former “drug addicts” do to counteract this change in their circumstances?

1. Share their feelings. Since men are becoming a bit more vulnerable and women a trifle aggressive, the balance should create an equal playing field for conversation. I understand that it’s hard to start becoming transparent with someone you love at the age of fifty, but what is more difficult is walking around all the time on the verge of a tizzy fit. Create a treaty. And the terms of that treaty are simple: I will allow you and you must allow me to share my present feelings without believing that they are either real or lasting.

2. Share your dreams. By the time one reaches the middle of the century mark , there are things one desired that need to be replaced by realistic alternatives. So you’re not going to get your Corvette, but you could save up your money, rent one for a weekend and go on a trip. You’re not going to actually write that novel about your life, but you could start a journal about what’s going on and what you think about it, so your children will later understand a little piece of your spirit. Dreams don’t have to die just because they failed to end up being complete. If you share your dreams, you can find ways to imitate them that will bring satisfaction because you did it together. Here’s a clue–go ahead and evolve–lest you just end up monkeying around.

3. Share work. You are actually becoming more alike. Use that energy to learn how to do things at the same time for the same purpose. Don’t garden alone. It makes you think too much about what you don’t have. Don’t work on cleaning out the garage without the other person being there. It’s much easier to work out your problems while moving boxes than it is in your own head, staring across the room at your lover, who is unfortunately becoming merely your roomie. Share work. It is a powerful cohesion and perhaps one of the greatest aphrodisiacs.

4. And finally, share wisdom. The only way I know to stay young is to be aware of what’s going on in your world so you can be compassionate to younger folks, on-point when you talk to them and not just some cantankerous, graying individual who pines for the old days. Share wisdom with those who are younger—and that wisdom must be the beautiful mingling of tenderness, humor and ideas.

“Dissing in Action” is something that happens because men and women who failed to learn to co-exist suddenly find themselves sharing rehab together due to their loss of “drugs.” What do you do then? How do you move to the next phase? How can you take the later years of your life and make them the productive celebration of achievement instead of a lamentation over one disappointment after another?

Because shortly after the age of sixty, human beings enter a final phase—one that is certainly misinterpreted in our society, and if they haven’t discovered how to stop “dissing” each other, this next stage will be an agonizing cruise ship trip through hell.

Because sixty-one until we’re no longer here is a return to our chilled-hood status—a phase which I call Eco-Quality.

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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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Below is the first chapter of Jonathan Richard Cring’s stunning novel entitled Preparing a Place for Myself—the story of a journey after death. It is a delicious blend of theology and science fiction that will inspire and entertain. I thought you might enjoy reading it. After you do, if you would like to read the book in its entirety, please click on the link below and go to our tour store. The book is being offered at the special price of $4.99 plus $3.99 shipping–a total of $8.98. Enjoy.

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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