Cloven Hoof

Cloven hoof: (n) a divided hoof ascribed to the Devil

I refer to it as “descending theology.”

It begins with a plausible notion and ends in the deepest dumpster of superstition. Let me give you an example:

There is a Creator who made the Universe.

Now, you may not agree with this, but at least the concept itself has some plausibility. In other words, if there were an eternal force, this
Unit would be able to hatch a Universe.

Yet from that point on come descending assertions, affirmations and doctrines about this Creative Force. For instance:

He had a son.

He decided to kill his son on a cross.

He believes in witches.

He had little children murdered because they laughed at a prophet.

You see what I mean? Whereas the original idea may have been feasible, when more and more tales of the bizarre are added, the theology descends into the graveyard of Mount Olympus.

Let me try another one:

There is evil in the world. (All right, I’m with you)

That evil appears to be organized. (Sometimes certainly feels that way.)

The mob boss of evil is named Satan. (You’re losing me…)

Satan is not really human or angelic, but rather, a creature. (Okay. I’m backing out of the room.)

Word has it, he walks on cloven hoofs. (Now I’ve turned and I’m running away very fast.)

If we were able to believe in God without the deterioration of descending theology, which turns everything into R-rated nursery rhymes, we might be able to take the better nature of our Deity and find it inside ourselves–and love one another.

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Clout

Clout: (n) influence or power

Liars talk too much.

It’s one of the sure ways to pick ’em out. Rather than just stating the facts or presenting the situation, they feel the need to emphasize some
aspect of their story to further impress you with its validity.

That’s always been my problem with the word “clout.”

How much more reinforcement is necessary for a good idea?

How many times do we need to recite our accomplishments before we understand that nobody cares?

How often will we find ourselves stumbling over words because we are not yet convinced that the room has been swayed by our argument?

Does a nation have clout because it has a big army? (Candidly, the nations which have had big armies throughout history are no longer around.)

Do a people have credence because of their faith in God or their morality? If that were the case, the Puritans would still be very popular instead of deemed assholes for killing little girls as witches.

Does a woman gain clout by convincing everybody that she’s just as good as a man, when being a man may not be good enough?

How many characters do we need to introduce to develop the plot?

How many promises should be secured before we decide to move out and attempt a noble deed?

When I was in my thirties, a very prosperous music producer told me that I had no future because I didn’t carry enough clout. I looked him in the eyes and said, “I decided a long time ago not to carry anything I didn’t need.”

We don’t need clout. Actually, it warns of insecurity, pomposity and arrogance.

If I believe I am the best at anything, I need to leave my house more often.

If I think that God favors me because of my numerous religious inclinations, it may be necessary for me to encounter those human beings who scrape together fifty cents, knowing they need sixty cents to survive.

If you want to legitimize the word “clout,” then here is a better definition:

Clout is when I have the humility to realize I don’t really matter, so if I want to keep from being invisible, I should open up my heart and do what I can for the human race.

 

 

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Await

Await: (v) to wait fordictionary with letter A

There is a contingency of humanity which believes that as long as any issue can receive a majority of approval, then that particular subject in question is proven truthful.

What hogwash.

There are times in our history when chasing witches and killing them, owning slaves, beating women and human sacrifice certainly gained a 51% range of acceptance.

It didn’t make it right.

So I become concerned when religious and secular people agree.

I suppose that sounds odd, but it tells me that the subject matter has some sort of copout, because these two worlds don’t normally coincide.

  • In the religious world, it’s called Calvinism–the contention that our lives are predestined and therefore pretty much out of our control.
  • In the secular community, it is blissfully proclaimed to be destiny. “We were born a certain way, therefore we’re committed to be a certain way, and the more we fight it, the more miserable we become.”

But I happen to be of a school of thought that there is a universal truth from which all founts of blessing pour:

It’s called free will. And when you remove free will, you shake your fist at the sky and insist the Earth is flat.

So I make my decisions about life, spirituality and social change based upon free will.

The removal of free will is the institution of stupidity.

The institution of free will is the only way to fight stupidity.

So even though I am not favorable to abortion, I live in a Republic where a woman has a free-will right to decide that for herself.

Even though I don’t understand all the ins and outs of the gay community, I am thoroughly convinced of their free-will authority to pursue their own path.

So when I saw the word “await” today, it reminded me of a common phrase I’ve always found distasteful: “Await your fate.”

If you don’t mind, I shall not do that.

If it turns out that I was destined to be one way or another, then so be it. But my understanding of God and His universe is that He has granted us the power to will and do … thus opening the door to changing our circumstance.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

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Ankh

dictionary with letter A

Ankh: (n.) an object or design resembling a cross but having a loop at the top instead of the top crossing arm; used in ancient Egypt as a symbol of life.

Insanity is tricky.

Sometimes it’s obvious. A five-year-old boy who slaughters cats and dogs probably has some problems and is on his way to being a serial killer.

Yet some insanity temporarily is considered to be current practical thinking, or even spiritual.

This creates a dilemma. Folks who are considered to be spot on do temporarily lose their minds in preference to gaining popular favor.

Several examples come to mind:

  • How about all the people who wrote astounding essays on the value of slavery for the plantation in the Southern states?
  • Those who contended that Prohibition would eliminate drinking and alcoholism in our country.
  • A contingency who had great faith in the existence of witches in Salem, Massachusetts.
  • Politicians who tried to negotiate with Adolph Hitler.
  • Good god-fearing Americans who waved flags in support of the Vietnam War.

Well, I could go on and on.

Case in point: at a certain juncture in my own personal history a friend of mine gave me an ankh. It was beautiful and I thought it was so cool that I wore it around my neck constantly, only to be attacked by friends of the Christian persuasion, who contended it was an Egyptian demonic symbol and that I was welcoming evil in my life by donning it as an accessory.

They were quite insistent. For some reason, the cross coming to an oval at the top apparently created an opening for the entrance of evil spirits.

I did not believe any of this.

But because I didn’t want to lose friends, appear too different or create some sort of Stargate for Beelzebub into my heart, I took it off and threw it away.

I’ve always regretted that. Matter of fact, I used that experience as a point in time where I decided to start thinking for myself, tapping my own spirit and common sense.

For I will tell you: it is rather doubtful that any object in and of itself perpetuates evil.

As history reveals, it takes short-sighted people to truly usher in … the essence of hell.

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Ancient

dictionary with letter A

Ancient: (adj) belonging to the very distant past and no longer in existence.

The basic design of the human being has not changed for thousands of years. Parts be parts.

What makes us call former times “ancient” is the realization that these well-formed beings, possessing a tremendous brain, had a tendency to close down portions of that intellect in order to get along with the superstition and stupidity of their current time.

In other words, those who pursued Greek mythology back in old Athens were made ancient by the fact that they believed in gods and mortals, and sexual relations between the two which created Titans.

I’m sure it crossed the minds of some of them that this rendition of reality was a bit foolish. But to get along, they went along.

I’m sure there were many people during the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, who looked at the list of the accused and realized it was just little Sally, who they baby-sat as an infant, and therefore it was highly unlikely that she was the handmaiden of Beelzebub.

But they went along to get along–thus making them ancient instead of contemporary to us.

The truth of the matter is, the only people we respect today are those individuals from the past who stood against the flow of the ridiculous.

So you have to realize that many things we now accept will become ancient very quickly as time progresses and knowledge increases.

So my thanks go out to those historical individuals who are never going to be ancient because their ideas, although contrary to their times, have moved the human clock.

That is why it is my responsibility, as a parent and a grandparent, to continue to grow and expand in my vision, so that my offspring do not have to mumble under their breath ... “God, he’s ancient.”

 

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Allegory

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allegory: (n) a story, poem or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one: e.g. Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory of the spiritual journey.

I am not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line, the word “reality” became synonymous with “truth.”

Reality is not truth. Rather, it is our present fallen position.

Often we have to escape reality to climb a little higher to see over the mounds of our own stupidity. Yet in the past thirty or forty years, entertainment, education and even our politics have boasted their “open-mindedness” and intellectual pursuits by taking a snapshot of ongoing human behavior, insisting that it is a tableau of our destiny.

Isn’t that ridiculous?

So when I think about the allegory, I realize that it is almost a lost art–because allegory does exactly the opposite of reality movies and TV. The allegory says there are principles, feelings and ideas which are eternal and lasting–which only need to be passed through the prism of our present understanding in order to enlighten us.

Just because people are going through a season when they think God is mean, or doesn’t exist at all, does not mean that’s what they will feel in five years.

What is the consensus of human need on the issue? Find that–then draw an allegory, using the language of our times to present everlasting truth.

  • I don’t want society deciding what is valuable.
  • I don’t want to have a conversation with someone about television shows which extol violence, crime, graft, greed and incest and have him look at me with pity because I don’t understand that it’s “a true story.”
  • I don’t want to watch vampires suck the blood out of werewolves as witches place curses on hobbits who are out to pursue rings by killing dragons and believe that I am out of step because it is just necessary escapist fantasy. Maybe Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are attempts at allegory, but they are so cluttered with the inclusion of destiny that they lose the passion of free will.

I admire allegory.

I appreciate the way Jesus used allegory in parables, explaining the kingdom of God to people by referencing fish, coins, bread yeast and mustard seeds instead of merely bitching about the Romans and complaining about the boring Pharisees.

Reality is not truth.

Truth is finding a way to share what has blessed our species for thousands of years … in a contemporary fashion.