G-Poppers … April 14th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesus.

What does the name evoke?

G-Pop remembers a time when the mention of Jesus would flood one’s mind with images of mercy, kindness, forgiveness, tolerance and most certainly, love.

But the years have pressed on, and the insanity of religious fanaticism has begun to lump Jesus in with all his errant practitioners and sour-faced sheep.

It may be the greatest tragedy of Good Friday. Not only was he crucified by ignorant rabble, who had memorized scripture but had no Word in their hearts, but he is now re-wounded by those who fail to comprehend that they are imitating the primer of his murderers instead of the mindset of the Master.

G-Pop recalls a phrase Jesus once used: “Except your righteousness exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Exceed.

Exceed what?

Prayer? No–it can’t be that. Jesus warned his disciples not to advertise their prayer life, but instead, find a closet, shut the door and create intimacy.

Study? Highly unlikely. Jesus accused the Pharisees of parsing every jot and tittle as they “strained at the gnat and swallowed the camel” forgetting the “weightier matters” of God’s message–that being justice and mercy.

Fasting? Once again, both he and his disciples were accused of never fasting, and Jesus told them that if they did, to make sure they literally put on a happy face.

So how did he want his disciples to exceed the religious people around them?

In the humanities.

  • Training themselves to give a damn instead of insisting that they just couldn’t muster the energy.
  • Refusing to judge other people, even though it temporarily makes us feel ooey and goooey with superiority.
  • Realizing that the folks who are considered the least on Earth have the heavenly Father’s eyeball–to see who will come and gently tend to them.

G-Pop points out that as we consider the crucifixion of Christ, we have to ask ourselves, why such a drastic measure? Why kill him?

And the answer is simple. There was a danger that if Jesus lived, or his disciples were still filled with his power and spunk, that religion would not be able to manipulate people into enough guilt to trap them in ceremony–as it robbed their pockets.

“This Jesus, this Jesus, this Jesus must die.”

G-Pop thinks the best tribute we can give to Jesus on this dark day in history is to exceed the Pharisees that walk the Earth today–by using the humor, kindness, gentleness, cleverness and mercy that he taught us to possess.

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G-Poppers … November 4th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop is insulted.

After six months of playground buffoonery passing itself off as a Presidential election, he finds himself feeling violated by the very same people who would solicit his support.

One of the candidates insults G-Pop’s intelligence and the other one insults his faith.

As Secretary Clinton touts her qualifications for the job of being the leader of the free world, listing numerous occupations which have prepared her for the position, she simultaneously pulls up lame, pretending that the technology of an email server is beyond her grasp.

She also has a litany of profiles to explain how four Americans in Libya–a very hostile environment–were lost on her watch.

On top of that, she continues to make excuses for a husband who certainly did his best to denigrate the gravitas of the job as Commander-in-Chief.

It seems that Hillary is incapable of comprehending that credentials need to be backed up with actions.

On the other hand, G-Pop’s faith is insulted by the lifestyle and urges of Donald J. Trump. Donald has taken one of the primary concepts of the Declaration of Independence–“all men are created equal”–and has whittled away, redefining the meaning of these words by placing special significance of one group over another.

He simultaneously has taken the respect, honor and equality that Jesus saw for women, attempting to turn our country back into a 1950’s philosophy, where it is assumed that men will step in to cover the inadequacies of the “ditzy female.”

But worst of all, Mr.Trump pretends to take on the mantle of faith in Jesus Christ, when three of the greatest principles in the teachings of the Nazarene are repentance, tolerance and forgiveness. By his own admission, he does not apologize, he does not view all humans as equals, and he would much rather attack those who cross his path and challenge him.

These two people are insulting.

If you have intelligence and a measure of faith, you will find their applications disheartening.

So what should we do?

Is it worse to have someone who insults your intelligence, or an individual who insults your faith?

Or is it more important for us to realize that as expected, no true transformation, revival or inspiration will ever come out of Washington, D. C.?

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G-Poppers … September 2nd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop considered a beautiful thought: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Suddenly a fresh breeze of wisdom blew across his mind. If we’re supposed to love our neighbors as ourselves, it certainly is much easier to love them if we believe they’re a lot like us. Actually, it becomes nearly impossible to express affection and respect if we find they differ too much.

So any attempt to make human beings culturally diverse is feeding the racial retardation. We first must become common, and then manifest our traditions and preferences.

But without discovering the common good, the common nature and the common cause of the human race, we open the door to giant chasms of misunderstanding.

Perhaps the most overrated and ill-founded notion is, “There’s no one in the world quite like you.”

Prepare yourself for a truth–there are millions of people in the world like you. You cannot establish uniqueness by your molecules or quirks.

You are part of a species.

As part of that species, the thought of loving your neighbor as yourself is the oil and grease that allows you to move among others without friction.

So the ignorant may express bigotry through racial slurs and feelings of superiority, but those who deem themselves intellectually astute also promote prejudice by trying to box the human race into little containers of culture.

G-Pop wants his children to understand that they will never be able to love their fellow travelers until they see these humans inside themselves, and see themselves inside their brothers and sisters.

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G-Poppers … May 13th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop wonders if his children comprehend the origin of evil.

After escaping the notion that we are plagued by demons from hell or caught up in a Luciferian revenge plot, we are left with the reality that evil is simply human beings gone amuck.

But is it all the lust of the flesh? The lust of the eyes? The truth is, most carnal sins do little to hurt anyone but the offending party.

G-Pop is curious if his children can recall an old-fashioned word which seems to have fallen out of favor: cunning.

Yes, it is a cunning spirit inside a conniving human heart which plans the offense, and even death, of other souls.

G-Pop’s not quite sure where it started–maybe it was thousands of years ago, when the human race lived in tribes and one tiny village thought it was clever to withhold the location of a good hunting ground from another nearby clump of people, so as to gain superiority.

In doing so, the selfish clan established a wicked premise: “We are better than you.”

Once that idea is invited into the minds of people, they will always be looking for ways to express their dominance, to the detriment of others.

For after all, in the 1950’s, in the southern part of our nation, no white family would discourage black people from singing Negro spirituals, clapping their hands, eating neck bones with collard greens or acting quiet and humble. Matter of fact, any Caucasian person would insist it was “just the black culture.”

They felt magnanimous by being aware of the preferences of their darker-shaded neighbors, allowing them to practice their desires.

It was cunning–a way of saying, “You’re not as good as me because you don’t do the same things I do. I pretend to bid you well, but reject your choices.”

This is why, in our present environment, politicians are able to convince us that Mexicans are rapists, all Muslims are potential terrorists, and billionaires are out to strangle the poor so they can fill their coffers.

We once believed that America was “the great melting pot.” It’s been replaced by the insistence that “we are the great grocery cart.”

We lay inside this country–separate, culturally bound, no longer searching for commonality, but instead, faking a reverence for each other’s cultural inclinations, while privately looking down on each other for having them.

It is a cunning spirit that gradually welcomes segregation and eventually invites violence.

Will G-Pop’s children become aware of this, or buy into the ridiculous notion that we’re actually involved in culture conflicts, which can be alleviated by more education and understanding of our differences?

Going back those many thousands of years, if the selfish tribe which found the excellent source of food had simply said to themselves, “This other tribe is also hungry and there’s plenty for everyone,” then how many wars, executions and genocides could have been avoided?

The source of evil is the cunning notion that if I can convince you that you’re not quite as good as me, I can relegate you to a position where I can move you anywhere I want.

Until we become the great melting pot again, we will struggle in alienation which ironically seems to be feeding tolerance, but actually is just a cunning way to starve people of equality.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … January 30th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: A couple of days ago I read an article in a magazine…

 

Dear Man: You’re just trying to impress me with the fact that you can read.

 

Dear Woman: Actually, I’m trying to impress you with the fact that I read something and retained enough to have a discussion. Anyway, in this article it said that men and women should appreciate their differences because it grants each of them a “unique perspective.”

 

Dear Man: A unique perspective?

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, that’s what I geared in on too. What does that mean?

 

Dear Man: That means I have a way of looking at things that’s different from you, and you would garner great insight by listening to my feelings on the issue.

 

Dear Woman: Do you think that’s true?

 

Dear Man: I was taught it was true. Matter of fact, I grew up believing that relationships were 50-50. Somewhere along the line, that got pooh-poohed, and now we believe that it’s gotta be 100% and 100%. It’s the me plus me equals us.

 

Dear Woman: We don’t believe that. It’s a war with an unsettling truce. Men pretend that women are smarter while still retaining the power.

 

Dear Man: Well, how do they do that?

 

Dear Woman: By telling you that you have a “unique perspective” which they value hearing and enjoy ignoring.

 

Dear Man: So what you’re saying is that telling someone they have a unique perspective is not a positive?

 

Dear Woman: Absolutely not. It’s never positive. Saying that someone has a unique perspective is only two argument points away from the classic, “We’ll just have to agree to disagree.”

 

Dear Man: So you believe that’s why we have so many stalemates in discussions between men and women?

 

Dear Woman: Yes. Every idea has a genesis and an exodus.

 

Dear Man: Explain.

 

Dear Woman: That wasn’t very clear, was it? What I’m saying is that the word “unique” is a genesis, but as the word “unique” goes through the human experience, it changes to other words. And by the time it evolves, our emotions interpret it in a much different way.

 

Dear Man: So you’re saying that “unique” doesn’t really mean “unique” to us?

 

Dear Woman: Exactly. “Unique” is translated in our brain as “different.” And different is not something we enjoy. It’s something we tolerate. And we always tell people they need more tolerance.

 

Dear Man: So how do you build a relationship on tolerance?

 

Dear Woman: You can’t. You kind of end up faking it.

 

Dear Man: So let me try my hand at it. After “unique” becomes “different” in our heads, “different” can quickly become “alien.” In other words, people from Mexico have different customs than we do, so therefore we view them as aliens.

 

Dear Woman: Very well said. And of course, once something is alien, we stick it in Outer Space. It’s not really allowed past our borders, is it?

 

Dear Man: So if I convince myself that your feelings are unique and therefore different, which makes them alien, it’s very easy for me to turn a deaf ear and view them as intrusive.

 

Dear Woman: Yeah. I’m an intruder on your girl power.

 

Dear Man: And I’m an intruder on your macho.

 

Dear Woman: So we end up tolerating each other to get what we want.

 

Dear Man: And when we don’t want it so much any more, we decide to get rid of the intruder.

 

Dear Woman: So as long as we look at each other as unique, instead of finding common ground, we will focus on the differences, become alien to one another and eventually, in a bit of disgust, consider each other intrusive.

 

Dear Man: It’s kind of funny. Because if either one of us found ourselves stuck in the jungle, we would quickly learn to adapt–find our inner monkey–instead of insisting that the monkeys have a “unique perspective.”

 

Dear Woman: You should never consider yourself a monkey.

 

Dear Man: You know what I’m saying. To survive, we find commonality. To fail, we focus on differences. That’s just life.

 

Dear Woman: Except when it comes to men and women, right? Then we think we’re so damn clever by highlighting the uniqueness.

 

Dear Man: So you don’t think I have any uniqueness?

 

Dear Woman: Yes, I do. But it has nothing to do with you being a woman. It has to do with your experience. Your faith. Your charity. Your hope. Your sense of humor. That’s what makes you fresh to me.

 

Dear Man: So how did it get all screwed up?

 

Dear Woman: I guess the way it always gets screwed up. One night, one member of the sexes didn’t want to listen to the other one, so he or she decided that the other gender was unique, and therefore incomprehensible.

 

Dear Man: So I am going to give you a blessing. You are not unique. You are not different. You are not alien to me. And you are not an intruder. It’s my job to figure out how the culture screwed us up … and how we can get back to the Garden.

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Populie: It Doesn’t Matter What You Believe… August 13, 2014

 

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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Canyon edge

“It doesn’t matter what you believe, just as long as you believe.”

I grew up with that statement. What I mean is, that sentiment was the poster child for tolerance. Of course, the idea has become less popular as unbelief has taken its position of power in the great struggle of human philosophy.

Religion, politics and entertainment thrive in this environment of “give that takes” and “taking that rarely gives” because it offers conflict which gets people to the voting booth, plot lines which are often dreary and glum and religious conflicts which make both warring parties puff up with their own supremacy.

The trouble with the whole concept of toleration is that it means to tolerate–and candidly, my dear friends, there are some things that cannot be tolerated. Sooner or later, we have to conclude that you are entitled to believe what you want only as long as it does not hurt other people or as long as it’s sensitive to the principles which cause Planet Earth to prosper.

  • For instance, I do not know why we continue to tolerate anyone who contends that “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is a viable precept.
  • I do not know why we insist on promoting the idea of culture, which is often just a disguise for prejudice.
  • I am baffled why we allow political candidates to plunder the character of their opponent all within the framework of “good politics.”

It does matter what we believe. It is life and death.

It determines whether we have ruling classes and serfs, rejected races and preferential ones and bigotry based upon race, color, creed or sex.

I will tell you bluntly, what you believe must:

1. Bolster your creativity.

Any philosophy, idea, religion or government that stifles the human ability to use their gifts freely has to be identified for its short-sighted, insane propagation of stupidity.

2. Help you avoid cynicism.

If what you believe causes you to become more cynical about human beings, life on earth, science, nature or God, then it is a road block to progress.

3. Endure to the end.

I, for one, am tired of belief systems that vaporize whenever difficulty comes on the scene, escaping to the corners of the room like cockroaches to avoid the truth of the moment.

Without a sense of endurance, we are at the mercy of circumstance, which is meant to change based upon our ongoing input.

4. Create a judgment-free zone.

If your belief makes you so proud of your own personal excellence that you begin to look down on fellow travelers with a nagging spirit of disapproval, then quite candidly, your belief has lost its privilege.

And finally, what you believe must:

5. Be of good cheer.

Good cheer is not always being happy, but it is the acknowledgment that happiness is still the goal, even though we may have hit a rough patch.

When we become agnostic to the idea of finding peace of mind and joy in our lives, we also become belligerent to those around us who are content.

I will say it boldly: I am not tolerant of any belief system that does not foster these five holy principles. And what makes them holy is that they make whole people, who continue to pursue promise instead of spitting on the grave of faith to express their intellectual superiority.

It does matter.

And until we have enough spunk to realize that tolerating intolerable ideas is the certain way to destroy our planet, we will be walking on the edge of the Grand Canyon thinking we’re safe … because no breeze will ever blow.

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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Fearfully and Wonderfully… April 4, 2012

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The Psalmist declared that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”–fearfully in the sense that the same energy that can empower us can also blow up in our faces, scattering our dreams into oblivion; and wonderfully made because even though we continue to gain great insight on the human condition, we still remain the final frontier for discovery.

Over the past several days I have presented human life in six twelve-year packages. Let’s take this morning to sum it all up and also conclude what might be better choices in applying these precious dispensations of time.

From birth to twelve we have the chilled-hood–a time when boys and girls are so similar that it is often difficult to tell them apart–both visually and certainly in ability. But it’s also a dangerous time, when the prejudice can be planted in the young, fertile soil, promoting a lifetime of  begrudging appreciation. For understand this–prejudice is not an idea. It is a disease. And once you allow children to be infected by this germ by alienating members of the opposite sex, then the disease of bigotry continues in their lives and they will find it difficult not to apply the same principle to people of color and people who vary in size. What’s the best thing you can do for your children? Teach your boys to rejoice over being equal with girls and your girls to enjoy equality with boys–AND that this could be the norm for our species, not the temporary. Yes, the message of chilled-hood is that we don’t require antagonism between boys and girls, which can lead in the future to the disease of prejudice, turning us into bigots. Let me be bold–there is no one who thinks that men and women are different who does not also have the inkling that black people and white people are from separate worlds and that the size of a human being determines their value and intelligence.

And when thirteen years of age comes along, in that phase I dubbed addled essence, an introduction of the drugs of testosterone and estrogen permeating the bloodstreams of emerging adults, it is a great occasion to draw a line in the sand and insist that these “addled essence” individuals tolerate tolerance. I love that phrase. What do teenagers hate to do? Enjoy things they didn’t come up with. So the greatest thing we can do for those between the ages of thirteen and twenty-four is place them in situations where they need to tolerate tolerance. In other words, they need to understand that their future primal relationship will be with someone different from themselves, and the more they learn to understand, the greater the compatibility will be. To the addled essence, we require that you tolerate tolerance.

And when twenty-five years of age rolls around and the human being moves into the phase of “you’re kidding,” where procreation seems more important than being creative, we should remember that birthing your own life, and THEN another, is the key to being an excellent parent. Nobody can help anybody else be happy if they are discontented. So before you bring another human being onto the face of the earth, make sure of your own joy about being here yourself.

We move on to years of  thirty-seven to forty-eight. I dubbed this Re-Spend-Ability. The solution here is really quite simple. Love and money don’t mix. Do you want to talk about your love, your romance and your relationship? Terrific. But no signs of the dollar should ever come into the discussion or you will taint the beauty and sanctity of love. And honestly, when it’s time to talk about money, a pencil, paper and a calculator is sufficient rather than memories of your honeymoon and misgivings about whether you are appreciated and heard. The best way to sustain a long, living love affair is to make sure that love and money are never in the same room together.

Just around the age of forty-nine, estrogen in a woman and testosterone in a man begin to wane, hinting towards a loss of the feminine mystique and the macho persona. People get scared so they start picking at each other and blaming each other for their condition–dissing in action. What is the goal? To get older but not old–because even though as a man you are losing some of the ability to run races and lift boxes, and as a woman you are not going to be giving birth to children anymore, what you have gained is experience and wisdom, which enables you to keep a cool head in times of crisis. Can I repeat the by-line for this group? “Get older, not old.” And the best way to stay young is to be current and funny.

Which leads us to our last twelve-year period, which for many people extends even into their nineties. Eco-quality–where nature and human creation were meant to come into peaceful unity, returning us back to our chilled-hood spirit of cooperation. It has a simple and delightful slogan: learn and play. Unfortunately, most people who find themselves in the post-retirement era become grumpy and unwilling to learn, and think playfulness is immature. But if you can escape the urge to be cranky, you can realize there is still much to learn because a whole world of possibility is being invented right in front of you. And there is more time to play because you aren’t lifting boxes and don’t have to wipe the runny noses of your offspring.

There you have it. Now let’s put all the by-lines together and see what we come up with:

We don’t need the seed of prejudice but instead should learn to tolerate tolerance, birthing our own life to joy before we welcome another into our fold. Separating love from money while getting older but never old, we finally arrive at the true wisdom of the human journey, which is to learn and play.

It is a great system that first removes the antagonism that exists between the sexes, which relieves the pressure to be superior and frees us to live a life of true spirituality, which is:  “NoOne is better than anyone else.”

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

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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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