Jonathots … December 11th, 2018


Jonathots Daily Blog

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handbook for touching

The light of the body is the eye

If the eye is evil, then the whole body is filled with darkness. But if the eye is clear, then the whole being can be illuminated.

Honestly, these words can sound like a bunch of gibberish if they’re not understood. This is the trouble with a lot of deep philosophy and passages that insist they are “spiritual.”

Let me phrase it this way:

Your eyes belong to you, but what you see was programmed by others.

Even though you may insist that you are the master of your own thinking and the manipulator of your vision, there is so much programming that’s gone into you–from childhood, schooling, experiences, defeats, failures and pain–which clouds your vision and only presents the images that memory will offer.

We are very critical of prejudice, but the fact of the matter is, nearly all of our preconceived ideas are deeply ingrained within our consciousness long before we have a chance to vote on whether to accept them or not.

This affects our touch.

If we don’t like what we see, we don’t want to get near it. If we don’t want to get near it, we avoid it and fear it. And once we’ve decided that someone or some group is foreign, then it becomes necessary for us to rationalize our choice by attempting to prove that the forbidden topic, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation is hampered by evil.

Thus, white people who grow up in a bigoted environment really do think the black race looks a bit like monkeys. That’s how they were taught to see them. Therefore, that’s how they view them. The end result is, they decide not to be around them and the unity brought on by touch is forsaken.

Likewise, black parents who teach their children that Latinos are lazy and not to be trusted raise children that purposely avoid anyone with light brown skin, unless there’s enough pigment to welcome them as black brothers and sisters.

Also, the Latinos do it with the Asians, and within their own culture, assuming that Cubans are better than Dominicans, and Asians assuming that Chinese are superior to Japanese.

Once our eyes have been fitted with a pair of glasses by our upbringing, making us see the world in a certain way, then our bigotry becomes a spectacle.

Because once we’re afraid–once our “eyeballing” of other human beings promotes darkness in our minds, we are certainly not going to want to be near them, to shop with them, to go to church with them or to ever risk touching them.

Without touch there is no fellowship. Without fellowship there is no commonality, and without commonality, there is alienation.

Take some time during this Christmas season to consider the vision you have of life–the way you see those around you.

Are you controlling your own perception? Or do you have people you were taught were “untouchables?”

Because if you’re not willing to touch people with the tenderness of your hands, you will certainly end up fighting them with your fists.

 

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Untotaled: Stepping 29–(October 28th, 1966) Soaping… August 30, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2337)

(Transcript)

Halloween always brought out the “ween” in me.

I was never particularly fond of monsters, and dressing up like Superman, with my chubby physique, was inevitably comical.

On top of that, my hometown called trick or treat “Beggars Night.” It made me feel like I was running through the streets of Calcutta with my gunny sack, bringing provision home to my family of untouchables.

I think the worst experience was when I was seven years old, decided I wanted to be Casper the Friendly Ghost, and my mother discovered they didn’t make the costume of the gregarious apparition in any size except medium. Needless to say, I wasn’t a size medium, and the manufacturers never envisioned a 142-pound seven-year-old. Yet I was insistent, so my mother took scissors and trimmed it up so I could slide it on, but as I walked from house to house, it continued to rip where the scissors began, transforming me from a friendly ghost into a “holey ghost.”

I was grateful when I outgrew the experience.

That is, until my friends decided they wanted to go out for Halloween–soaping. It was a common practice of the time. Bored teenagers took bars of soap, snuck around town smearing messages on the windows of cars and homes, giggling and feeling rebellious to their Midwestern in-house imprisonment.

Four of my friends decided to go on such an escapade and invited me, so we bicycled to a deserted garage just outside of town to practice before we went out on the actual adventure. We bought bars of Ivory Soap (simply because it was 99.44 % pure).

I was so nervous that I pushed too hard on the window pane at the warehouse and it broke. This concerned my fellow Musketeers, so they decided to uninvite me so as not to be deemed vandals in their pursuit of cautious rebellion.

So I sat at home on Halloween pouting. Not even seven Milky Way bars could alleviate my suffering.

The next morning I discovered that my friends got caught on their ninth house, and the constable levied a punishment by placing their pictures in the newspaper, and made them wash all the windows they had desecrated.

Honestly, I didn’t know whether I felt grateful for getting out of the retribution or a little sad because I wasn’t one of the cool guys who had a story to tell.

So I guess I need to close this off with some sort of moral. And that would be, there are just some things that go together:

  • Salt and pepper
  • Love and marriage
  • Congress and confusion
  • And soap and water.

So be prepared–if you’re going to use your bar of Ivory, you might want to be aware that you’ll probably end up … washing.

 

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A Gospel Moment … April 24, 2012

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A single drop of reason can sweeten a bucket of misunder-standing.

It is the gospel. For when you remove the underpinnings of religiosity from that word, “gospel” literally means “good news.” And the good news is that human beings are fine–when they’re human. And gratefully, there are those who are sent to every generation to remind us of the power of our gift–humanity.

It doesn’t matter what their backgrounds are or what nationality or bloodline pumps through their veins–the message is always similar. It is a moment when the spark of revelation triggers the human spirit to enlighten the brain with the notion that we are all human. We need each other. And if we just realize it, we can do better.

  • For Hippocrates, the father of medicine, the message was summarized as: “First, do no harm.”
  • King Arthur had his round table for all the gathered souls, who were encircled in a fellowship of equality.
  • Gutenberg came along and told us that the Word could become Print.
  • Michelangelo walked into a chapel and said, “Look up. Make beauty.”
  • In the midst of ages assumed to be dark, men and women rose up and remembered the value of their own lives and attributed that currency to the generation around them, as Thomas Jefferson intoned, “All men are created equal.”
  • It was Louis Pasteur who granted us the great revelation that bacteria kills people, and because of that, milk, which before had poisonous possibilities, was purified and smallpox, which killed more people than AIDS and cancer combined, was eradicated.
  • It was a man named Lincoln who proclaimed, “…with malice toward none and charity toward all.”
  • A simple fellow named Woodrow Wilson had a vision of a League of Nations, where all the people of the world could discuss their disagreements until unity could be found.
  • Let us not forget Helen Keller, who demonstrated that we could love without all of our senses.
  • And Mother Teresa, who stood firm in proclaiming that there were no untouchables.
  • And a preacher named Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “I have a dream…”, and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with a young woman, Rosa Parks, who had tired feet and refused to go to the back of the bus. Yes, Martin took his people to the Promise Land, but was not able to go in himself.

These were gospel moments, when good news was allowed to fill the air to cover the cacophony of unreasonableness and bigotry. They are all derivations, reincarnations, interpretations and anointing of the words of Jesus: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

It is the only message. It is the good news.

It caused a young inventor to try thousands of different techniques to finally say to the world, “Let there be light.” Yes, it is the spirit of Thomas Edison that we desperately require in this day and age of bleakness. Gospel moments demand that you cease to believe in the bad news around you, that you stop up your ears from hearing the futility, and instead, you allow a sweet melody to sing in your heart, telling you: “NoOne is better than anyone else.”

How can we do it? How can we avoid being trapped in the incessant repetition that demands we stand in line to wait for our next cup of unchanging gruel? What will produce a “gospel moment” for us? Better phrased, how can WE become a gospel moment for others?

Because truth does not come merely from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hindu or any other variety of religious expressions. Truth is one person who refuses to believe that life is a jungle, but instead, clears a path towards understanding.

Is it too much to ask? Or have we used up all the angels of our better nature, and now we’re left with the lingering demons?

Ridiculous. For it is no easier OR more difficult to be “gospel” today than it was for Dr. Hippocrates. Matter of fact, it is merely understanding this simple couplet:

The world’s gone nuts;

Don’t join.

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

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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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