Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … May 28th, 2016

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: I know you don’t exactly believe in God…

 

Dear Man: No, wait. God sounds like a great idea. It’s the “believe” part that throws me.

 

Dear Woman: What do you mean?

 

Dear Man: Let me see if I can explain. I believed in Santa Claus. I believed in Prince Charming. I believed in the American dream. I believed in the house with the white picket fence. It took a lot of energy to believe in those things, and the payoff was … well, shall we say, disappointing.

 

Dear Woman: Well, maybe I shouldn’t bring this up.

 

Dear Man: No–my heart isn’t set in stone. Let me hear what you have to say.

 

Dear Woman: It’s the story of Adam and Eve.

 

Dear Man: Oh, you mean with the talking snake?

 

Dear Woman: Yeah–let’s just put the talking snake to the side right now. I’m referring to the story line.

 

Dear Man: Okay. The story. Gotcha.

 

Dear Woman: Do you realize that the Good Book says that God considered the man and the woman together as a unit, in cooperation, to be Adam?

 

Dear Man: No, I didn’t. Really?

 

Dear Woman: Yes–they were not only created as equals, but also as what I might call “mutuals.”

 

Dear Man: Mutuals. I kind of like that. What do you mean?

 

Dear Woman: Mutually independent. Mutually valuable to each other. And mutually capable.

 

Dear Man: Do you really believe that?

 

Dear Woman: Yes. So I believe the true evil in the world is when we “split the Adam.”

 

Dear Man: You mean the atomic bomb?

 

Dear Woman: No, not a-t-o-m. A-d-a-m. Whenever we insist that men and women are so drastically different from one another that peaceful coexistence can only be considered as the premise for a farce. So evil is when the Adam–the mutual man and woman, living peaceably together–is split by fear, religion, tradition or domination.

 

Dear Man: So how did this happen in Eden?

 

Dear Woman: Well, I don’t exactly know the moment it happened, but somewhere along the line, the man and the woman stopped talking together–to the extent that Eve felt that her questions would be rejected and not understood by Adam. So she goes off to investigate the unknown without her “mutual.” She does this because apparently she feels cheated, and I think she feels cheated because even though God viewed them as mutuals, Adam was beginning to desire domination.

 

Dear Man: How do you think he did that?

 

Dear Woman: My opinion? By trying to act smarter. Always putting himself in the role of the instructor. I’m sure he did it politely or even with some chivalry. But it was passed along to Eve that she was the lesser of the pair.

 

Dear Man: Keep going. This is fascinating.

 

Dear Woman: And in the process, I think Adam gave Eve the impression that he found her sexually interesting, so to a certain degree, she was afraid of becoming unattractive, or nervous about getting older.

 

Dear Man: Of course, this is all your conjecture.

 

Dear Woman: Hell, yeah. I mean, my plotline does fit with the story, and makes sense with the battle going on with the genders today. But here’s the truth–what constituted evil in Eden is the same thing that stirs it up today. Splitting the Adam. There would not have been any temptation for Adam and Eve if they had maintained their mutual beauty. But because Eve felt misunderstood and cheated, like she wasn’t as smart, and that she needed to avoid growing old, she went to the source of knowledge and got the evil with the good.

 

Dear Man: Very interesting. Of course, you’d have to believe in the story to follow your theory.

 

Dear Woman: I suppose.

 

Dear Man: So let me ask you this. What do you get out of that?

 

Dear Woman: All domination is insecurity trying to hide behind the plot to control. If you’re afraid to be a mutual, you will always try to be the most important.

 

Dear Man: Splitting the Adam, huh?

 

Dear Woman: Yes. It created an explosion of insincerity, inequality and insufferable condescending attitudes that still radiate in our world today.

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Ask Jonathots… September 17th, 2015

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Let’s cut to the truth. Why aren’t women considered equals in the workplace? My company has one female division chair out of twelve divisions. Upper management is less than 10% female. What is the future for equality for women?

Fortunately, the future for women can be improved by their involvement. For the power in life is finding your weakness, acknowledging it, ceasing to be defensive about it and therefore, turning it into your strength.

Up to the age of eleven, girls and boys are practically the same. At that point, Mother Nature, the Creator or Evolution–depending on your beliefs–strikes women with the whammy of estrogen.

Because it’s a chemical and therefore a drug, it places females under the influence of its power. It leaves them a little bit weaker physically, and therefore, in the world of the jungle, dependent.

So what should we do?

We should teach our young girls that merely being commissioned with carrying the procreation responsibilities of our species does not render them ineffective for also toting leadership possibilities. Instead, we now tell our young ladies that they don’t amount to much of anything if they’re not loved by a boy.

Likewise, we should tell our young men that even though they may possess greater muscle mass through testosterone, that the management and proliferation of our human race is almost solely contingent on the female. After a man commits his semen donation to the cause, women carry the ball.

Any man who has ever watched the birth of his child can attest to this. There are few times that a man feels any more helpless than when he’s observing his mate bring a child into the world.

Until we cease to fund and support a cultural war between the sexes, the female of our species will suffer inequality, injustice and unfortunately, often abuse.

So where should we begin? May I suggest four steps which would aid us in developing mutual respect?

1. Stop insisting that the way “Grandma did it and believed it” needs to be passed along to the next generation or we will all fall into a godless hell.

2. At the crucial time of puberty, find sports, activities and projects that young people can do together instead of separating them off due to muscling.

3. Stop portraying emotional response as a negative and realize that the entire human race is steered by the heart.

4. Find reasons for commonality–physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

Women are doomed to carry the cross of burden and the angst of disrespect until we realize that this characterization is based solely upon the introduction of estrogen into their bodies.

Once we understand this and honor one another for our contributions instead of limiting each other, we will not only start generating more equality but will also reignite the passion that men and women have for each other.

 

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Advent-ure … December 2, 2012

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The Advent season–to welcome newness.

I’m for that. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what we can give to Jesus for his birthday. I came up with ten gifts.

1. Why don’t we stop the war between men and women? Jesus included both and treated the sexes equally.

2. How about avoiding vain repetition in our church services? I have nothing against symbolism, unless somewhere along the line we lose the reality that makes the symbol have meaning.

3. We could teach heart, soul, mind and strength. That’s what Jesus thought. He was of the belief that human beings are heart creatures and if you don’t touch their emotions, you don’t stand a chance of touching anything else.

4. How about encouraging talent instead of insisting that everybody has some without requiring excellence to follow?

5. NoOne is better than anyone else. Jesus would just love it if we started teaching and believing that. When inferiority does battle with superiority, ignorance wins.

6. Why don’t we blend spirit and truth? Why does there have to be a segmenting between the conversations we have about God and those we have about our lives?

7. Here’s a good idea: let’s stop talking so much about evil. It makes us begin to believe that good is an underdog.

8. Be of good cheer. Even if we sometimes have to pretend that we’re seeking satisfaction and joy, it’s better than insisting that everything is boring and self-defeating.

9. How about if we promote a “yes” and “no” philosophy? Indecision is the best way to welcome inefficiency into our lives. Once we’re inefficient, we get too discouraged to do much of anything.

10. And finally, why don’t we try to simplify the faith instead of making everything so doggone complicated? God is love. If there’s more to it than that, I’ll probably need another lifetime to figure it out. But for this particular span of life I’ve been given, I think I’ll just stay with that if you don’t mind.

I believe if we followed those ten ideas and gave them to Jesus on his birthday, we not only would have a better church, but we would also certainly be on our way to having a better world–and then this year would be a true advent-for-sure.

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Sleepy Adam … July 25, 2012

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If you mention the creation story from the book of Genesis, you always get an interesting traffic jam of reactions.

There are those who believe that God literally created the world in six twenty-four hour periods and that our planet is no more than sixty-five hundred years old. Others are a bit more careful in their proclamations, adhering to the process listed in the book of Genesis, but allowing for more time to have elapsed between creative bursts. Then, some contend that the creation story and Eden are mere metaphor of processes which actually occurred more “chemically” than “supernaturally.”  These folks still hold tiny ropes in their hands, still believing that the whole thing was instituted by a divine presence. And of course, there are disbelievers, who pooh-pooh the whole passage, debunking it with relish, and in so doing, establish their superiority to fairy tales and imaginary friends.

Having presented these categories of thought, I will now tell you — I don’t care.

I read the creation story the same way I read the whole Bible–in relationship to what I am experiencing and understand as a human being on a planet that is still reasonably functional. I neither deter from divine inspiration, nor do I defend it like some aging soldier who just won’t let the war die. What I find interesting is the use of certain language when explaining the procedure.

One of these phrases is “the creation of man.” I think it’s rather interesting that the Bible leads us to believe that God may have intended to create just a male part of the human race, who would have lived forever as more or less a permanent, masculine caretaking force for the earth. But as the story goes, He discovered that people are not good when they’re by themselves. So He decided to create woman. What is fascinating to me is that God, according to the tale, put Adam in a deep sleep, in order to gain parts of his innards–kind of like an anesthesiologist.

Perhaps this was a mistake. (It may have given men future permission to doze off while women are sharing their feelings and new ideas.) Adam might have benefitted greatly by being given a local anesthetic and being fully alert as he watched how God put together the body, spirit and emotions of the feminine of our species.  For after all, somebody has to step in and stop men from being sleepy and women from being allowed to reluctantly run the world while receiving less salary for the project. There are eight things about men and women that are true (well, at least I think so):

The first one is that we are competitors. There are twelve years after our birth where nose-to-nose, men and women are equal. Matter of fact, women sometimes run faster, grow taller and mature more quickly than the male of the species. We should be using this time in our schools to teach compatibility, respect, understanding and empathy between the sexes. I call this the “Let’s Run” phase. Matter of fact, in a good, healthy relationship, a man and woman will always have a decent amount of competition.

From there it moves on to a sexual partnership. Yes, God placed within the spectrum of the experience of both sexes a potential for pleasure to go along with the competition. There are just enough parts that are different to keep the game interesting. I refer to this as the “Let’s Play” part of the experience.

But it doesn’t stop there. Life is not all about sexual conquest. You meet one you like, you get together and basically, you become business associates. You start your own little corporation. I like to dub this particular station “Let’s Work” Once again, if you’ve had twelve initial years of learning to respect and have been granted a sexual interest between each other, then you should be prepared to be mutually involved in a great effort to make money and build a lovely little kingdom for yourselves.

Time marches on and the miracle of procreation brings about children and suddenly–you’re a parenting team! The natural name for this particular juncture is “Let’s Learn.” (By the way, just for the record, there’s no such think as a naturally born mother OR father. We all do it poorly until we do it better and still get to the end and wonder if we’ve crapped out. It’s so reassuring to have another person with you to share the blame.)

The kids grow up and you’re back to being together as a team and you suddenly realize that you’re getting older and you need a health advisor. Yes, it’s nice to have somebody else monitor your cholesterol. It’s wonderful to have someone around who understands your weaknesses without thinking you’ve become weak. Can I call this passage “Let’s Think?” Because as your body begins to lose some of its pizzazz, it’s nice to know that your brain can fill in some of the gaps.

All this time, you still haven’t lost the competition. That special someone is a sexual partner (even though it may be considerably less frequent). Of course, you are still business associates because the checkbook still requires balancing. Parenting team comes into play because the offspring may threaten to return. and most of all, you have the wonderful blessing of having a constant dinner companion–because there’s no power in living a life of “Let’s Think” if you don’t have a person sitting across from you stimulating “Let’s Talk.”

Time presses on and those two eyes in your head begin to dim a bit and it’s nice to have another set around. Yes, four eyes can often decipher what two fail to see. Another set of eyes.Let’s Seelife together–even as we get older.

And finally, the reason I think Adam should NOT have been put to sleep but instead, should have had full exposure to how his mate was created, is that one of the most reassuring parts of being linked with another person is that you know  when you pass on there will be one mourner, “Let’s Remember.” Isn’t that nice? Even if the rest of the world fails to consider your journey, there will be one person who will always sense your absence.

It’s the miracle of man and woman.

  • Let’s Run
  • Let’s Play
  • Let’s Work
  • Let’s Learn
  • Let’s Think
  • Let’s Talk
  • Let’s See
  • And Let’s Remember

If you can resolve the difficulty tha seems to linger in our society as we promote the struggle between men and women, you are more than halfway to unlocking all the secrets of the universe. I believe if God had it to do over again, he would not want a “Sleepy Adam,” but instead, an alert man who understood what was being created in front of him, and prepared to have a competitor, a sexual partner, a business associate, a parenting teammate, a health advisor, a dinner companion, another set of eyes and ultimately … a mourner.

It was a perfect plan–perhaps imperfectly executed. That’s plausible, right? But if we can get all of our “Sleepy Adams” to be more sensitive to our Emerging Eves, we will certainly have a healthier Eden. At least that’s my opinion.

And opinions are where we desperately need to have that other person … who’s willing to listen.

   

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Addled Essence… March 29, 2012

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All teenagers are drug addicts, induced into a life of dependency by their very own mother. Yes—Mother Nature comes along and takes these boys and girls who are enjoying the equality of chilled-hood and injects them with drugs to completely change their environment. The girls get estrogen and the boys get testosterone–and the human race gets really screwed up. So for the boys it becomes a hair-raising experience and the girls scurry along, trying to keep abreast of the situation.

Seriously, we refer to this as “adolescence,” but in my opinion, it’s more addled essence. The essence of oneness the boys and girls had is suddenly addled, shaken to the foundations by the introduction of puberty minus explanation. Yes, there seems to be a dearth of information. What we tend to do is hand the young ladies a tampon and a Midol and the young men a sports drink and a football–and hope they find a way to work it out.

Unfortunately, they don’t.  It begins an adversarial relationship which is never quite overcome, even as adulthood sets in and the later years of graying are achieved.

Boys are taught to be macho. “I want what you have.” Girls are permitted to be prissy. “I have what you want.”

So rather than being a playground–a joint experience of discovery or a class project resulting in understanding–we have a free-for-all of misinterpretation and domination. Society does little to relieve it, promoting the idea of the war between the sexes in its entertainment and its news articles. Politics continues to promote a glass ceiling, where women are supposedly encouraged to rise in business, but are greatly praised for remaining homebound. And religion—well, religion teaches abstinence without any sense of those who are abstaining understanding the depth, beauty and complications of their appetites.

So of the three choices available for these burgeoning, blooming, bountiful beings—those being abstinence, promiscuity and masturbation—we tend, in the religious community, to blatantly favor abstinence while secretly acknowledging that our children “might not follow the letter of the law.” In the secular community, we quietly allow for promiscuity, while insisting that we have instructed in abstinence.

God gave testosterone and estrogen for a reason. They are inside every one of us to teach us our individual importance and our corporate responsibility. So we end up with an addled essence in our teenagers, which causes the average parent to throw his hands up in the air in desperation, hoping that his precious offspring will outgrow the stupor. They don’t. They carry the adversarial attitude into adulthood unless someone stops them from being so brain-dead from the experience that they can see the necessary coalition between men and women.

We have to decide what we’re going to do. These young humans, who are under the influence of testosterone and estrogen, must be monitored for their better health. We cannot leave it to chance and hope that a few Bible scriptures will inspire them to abstain, or a couple of well-written teen comedies will cause them to wait until they “fall in love” to become sexually active. I think there are four steps to help us deal with the addled essence phase of humanity, to keep it from spilling over into the adult life and making us all believe that men and women were never meant to get along:

1. Talk. I know what you’re thinking. “Tennagers don’t want to talk.” Exactly. I also don’t want to lose weight. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m fat. Create environments, possibilities, interludes, dynamics and opportunities for conversation. Talk about sex. Talk about the opposite sex. Talk about their bodies. Don’t criticize them for pursuing masturbation out of curiosity when the alternatives you offer them are cold showers and the Gospel of John. Talk.

I raised six boys. We talked about sex more than anything else. Why? Because testosterone dictated the subject matter. Talk. Don’t be rebuffed; don’t lose the faith. Find a closet, tell them you’re going to clean it out, shut the door, lock it, turn on the light—and talk.

2. Remove the dominance of the physical. For the love of God, can we stop teaching that men are the aggressors and women are the prize? Anyone who knows anything about sex is fully aware that if a woman is not in touch with her own sexuality and able to have an orgasm, that the sexual act settles into an action of futility. Stop acting like “sex is for men and having babies is for women.” We are not all fundamentalist Christians and Muslims. If women do not enjoy sex as much as men do, the process breaks down. Remove all indications that physical domination has anything to do with romance.

3. Establish commonality. Every high school male should have to go through six weeks of home economics and every female should have to spend an equal amount of time understanding weight lifting and being involved in some form of team sport. We fail in our society by misunderstanding the cultures around us–including the culture of gender. Because I have spent time in a kitchen, I no longer believe that cooking is a female task. Because the women in my life know how to lift a box, sweat a little bit and carry their own load, they no longer contend that men are beasts of burden. Commonality produces cross-reference, which leads us to understanding and culminates in compatibility. Separating boys and girls to make sure they don’t do nasty things just makes them more ingenious on finding better locations for nastiness.

4. And finally, we should use the addled essence—from age thirteen through twenty-four—to inform these discoverers that the trio in our life is essential to make us a quartet. What I mean is when we’re emotionally clean and able to be honest with ourselves and others—even of the opposite sex—it allows for spiritual awareness instead of trying to follow rules line by line. And when we are spiritually aware, we have a great thirst for knowledge which makes us mentally informed. Then our physical–our bodies–are prepared to be honest, aware and informed in making choices. Without this process at work, human sexuality becomes a “shame and blame game” instead of a “same and tame” one. We try to shame people into being pure and then blame the ones who fail, instead of teaching that even though estrogen and testosterone have created different urges in us, we are still 98%  the same. And the more we understand our similarities, the greater our ability to tame our appetites–to more fruitful delights.

We must learn how to deal with our addled essence population. We hide our heads in the sand, hoping they will work it out on their own, when they are under the influence of drugs beyond their control. So you can worry about marijuana, cocaine and meth if you want. These are dangerous. But until we address the difficulties brought on by estrogen and testosterone, we will thrust our chilled-hood  into addled essence, and therefore cripple them for the adult walk–limping instead of sprinting.

Because unfortunately, if you have gone through the twelve years of addled essence, you arrive at age twenty-five feeling the responsibility to pay your bills and get married, which leads to the next condition, which I, tongue-in-cheek, have named … You’re Kidding.

 

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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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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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