27 April 2016

Spending our Strength and Losing a War

As a culture, America has turned a very sad corner and seems hell-bent on destroying itself in the name of unfettered selfishness. I hope to provide a few examples of this and what needs to be done to bring ourselves as a people back from the brink of irrelevance.

For all of its terror and brutality, I think groups like the Islamic State embrace a few social traits that strengthen their chances for survival and success beyond our own:
  • They marry women to their most loyal men permanently.
  • They get these women pregnant by their husbands early and often.
  • They indoctrinate their children into their worldview and religious convictions.
  • They demand that their members sacrifice many of their personal desires to serve the requirements of their culture and its success.
I am not any sort of fanboy of ISIS nor do I approve of their methods, so don't turn me in as some traitor in our current hysterical climate! I am also not comparing any religious dogma in particular here, say between Islam and Christianity.  Everything I am talking about is sociological in nature and points to the fact that a group that inspires as ISIS seems able to do is going to outlast the possible collapse of Western civilization.

If we "Westerners" don't re-discover the traits that build and perpetuate a society, we will continue to become culturally weaker. At some point, we will be unable to withstand groups that simply out-breed and out-"culture" us. Ultimately, I see Americans either being supplanted by, or more likely assimilated (as an underclass) into, cultural groups who better know and embrace "social success traits" that we have chosen to abandon.

How are we accomplishing our own decline?
  • Women are in a hateful competition with men that denigrates both genders and ruins marriage and family - those who don't want to fight it out with the opposite sex in our current climate are presented with the now lauded societal option of avoiding the battle by choosing to be "gay".
  • Children are either unborn or birthed outside of natural families. Many are forced into circumstances riddled with developmental disadvantages like systemic poverty and missing parents, robbing them of things needed to thrive and succeed.
  • Our public "education" of youth has become a huge social laboratory for any will-o'-the-wisp cultural re-definition scheme that happens along in the name of "non-discrimination" and "inclusion".
  • Fewer and fewer people are taught or choose to sacrifice momentary personal pleasures and a single-minded quest for material wealth in favor of the propagation of some higher cultural standard.

Spending Our Strength with "Harlots"

As you have observed in our own society, we are setting aside all the culture-promulgating bullet points above as antiquated foolishness. As an example, let me shine a little light on the current Western "love affair" with LGBT(Q) practitioners.

Judeo-Christian/Islamic tradition has the concept of the "harlot". This is a person who traffics in sexual distractions, often for money. One can always find a market for this because sex and things like it are very physically pleasurable. The LGBT(Q) movement can be viewed most basically as an "open-source" avenue to a cornucopia of such pleasuring "harlots" - you can get your sexual distractions without spending much money on it! If prostitution was a taxi service, the LGBT(Q) movement would be like Uber.

Sadly, at the behest of LBGT(Q) types, every young person now has to struggle with questions about their gender and its role in their lives. They are encouraged to do this by profiteering harlots in media and popular culture by spending vast amounts of time and energy exploring the rat-hole of their personal sexuality. LGBT converts spend themselves on "pride" marches and politicizing their supposed "discrimination" to gain wider acceptance. They often co-op the natural love of parents, siblings, and friends, getting them to support their "cause" as well by marching beside them, all in the service of a libertine sexuality that discourages natural marriage, encourages divorce, produces no children, and "spends" our cultural strength.  If you don't support the LGBT(Q) community and their purposes, you will angrily be branded as a bigot by those who say they just want to be loved and accepted. All of this harlotry is fought for in courtrooms and legislatures, ignoring far more important and challenging matters, because some people want "respect" for their open desires for unfettered sexualized pleasuring.

If people gave as much concentration to, say, financial help to family and friends as they do to such navel-staring, its public promotion, and other rat-holes of societal time and energy, there would be far less poverty and we would have more resources of all sorts available to contribute to solutions to far more deserving issues. Unfortunately, the LGBT(Q) "harlots" demand our strength and attention and we have becoming very willing to forgo things like family and society to appease them.

Losing the "War"

Let me be frank, I think we are totally losing this "war on terror" with our willingness to use our amazing weaponry at the slightest provocation and our willingness to throw away our few remaining values in the process. We are using the wrong tactics and weapons. Our enemies, possessed of little more than their devotion to a God that asks for a higher standard, will easily dominate us at some point unless we come to our senses! Groups like ISIS will not win because Islam is necessarily superior. Such a people will win because they have chosen to embrace the pillars of societal strength like family and childbearing and child-rearing that we are spending our strength to banish from among us.

24 April 2016

Your "Religion" as "Devotion" to Your "God"

As you know, I take issue with people who profess to be "atheists". I know it is very trendy and "intellectual" to disbelieve in God or, more likely, to consider oneself above the need for something like God. It brings to mind a quote from Star Trek: First Contact where Jean-Luc Picard evokes his supposed "evolved sensibilities" that didn't include things as low as enjoying murder or revenge. Many people, hoping to look sophisticated, claim to have likewise "evolved" beyond a low belief in and devotion to things like God or religion, but I see this as a terrible self-delusion.

I hope you have learned that I acknowledge a God in my life. If you hadn't yet noticed, The Psychic Proximity Principle, as expressed in my Feeding the Soul of Steve Jobs booklet, is simply a way of accessing the wisdom of God in relation to yourself and your relations with others. Such things work because I have found that my loving God will always share his farsightedness with those willing to act upon it. For me, facing someone who militantly decries the existence of God is like listening to someone who preaches that they don't require oxygen to live - it's hard to hear such arguments when both my God and air have been such active participants in my on-going life!

In the end, I see the argument of atheists as a rationalization to embrace some "evolved sensibility" against a "devotion" to the predominate Judeo-Christian/Islamic God. Humorously, to "embrace" atheism is simply another example of devotion, which such people waste their time trying to convince themselves and others that they have "out-evolved"!

I'm sorry to break it to you, but human beings are hard-wired toward devotion. It can be a positive thing directed toward spouse, friends, a military "band of brothers", or other worthy causes. It can also be directed to various rat-holes, such as a favorite television show, the collecting of possessions, the navel-staring of sexual perversion or "gender confusion", or the single-minded acquisition of wealth or fame. The real "evolved" path is not the (impossible) effort to rise above devotion, but to make sure that our inescapable devotion is well placed.

There is also another truth about devotion - you can only really have one. You can like a lot of things and do a lot of things, but only one thing can command your true devotion.  Christians can read the pronouncement of Jesus on the subject in Matthew 6:24. This one devotion and your efforts to honor it constitute your "religion". I know that is a hateful word to a lot of people, but they need to get over their hatred - we all practice a religion, whether we call it that or not.

For instance, if you are devoted to the teachings of the prophet Muhammad, Islam is your religion. If you are devoted to quasi-sexual pleasuring with someone of your same gender, "homosexuality" is your religion. If, like me, you are devoted to the Christ as revealed through the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, Mormonism is your religion. If you are devoted to all-terrain quasi-military vehicles, either Jeep or Hummer is your religion. Hopefully, I get the point across - your religion is defined by your devotion.  Since we are all hard-wired for devotion, we are likewise all practicing a religion as we support our devotions and spend our time with similar devotees.

Do you have a problem with God, hate the God of those around you, or choose to believe there is no God? Again, you are being a bit self-delusional. The thing that you put your devotion into, the object of your devotion, is your "God". Be it Allah, Money, a Vehicle, Christ, a Gun, a Person; just as much as you are hard-wired for devotion, you are similarly attached to the object of that devotion, like it or not. You have a God of your own choosing, every second of your life.

Are you confused about what your devotion and God might be?  Here is a little quiz to help you realize where your devotion is, what religion you practice, and what God you worship:
  • What do you spend the bulk of your free time doing?
  • What do you spend the most effort coercing your family and friends into doing to share time with them?
  • If you are facing a great loss, what things would you be most concerned for?
  • Leaving aside short-term infatuations, what things have motivated your actions long-term?
Take your answers and analyse them.  If you are honest with yourself (a tricky pursuit) and dig deep, you will end up with one thing that best answers all these questions. It may very well be a devotion/religion/God that you had really hoped would be more impressive or more aligned to a group to which you really want to belong.  If your devotion/religion/God turns out to be a bit embarrassing to you, I suggest a dose of The Psychic Proximity Principle, its inherent soul-searching, and perhaps a course change!

Just like you really can't have two devotions (God and mammon, for example), you also can't honestly practice two religions or serve two Gods. One will always take precedence and the other will be eventually tossed aside in a crisis. Again, it is simply the way we are wired.

Let me give an example.

Mormon missionaries are an interesting lot, known throughout the world. I was once such a missionary, as was my wife. One of my children has served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) and another is doing so right now. We have a constant procession of missionaries over to the house for meals. I know a thing or two about these folks!

On occasion, one of these (typically very young) people will come for lunch or dinner and make some pronouncement over what is being served like "I am a vegetarian", which just bothers me. I don't want to be a bigot, but I have to question the devotion of such people to what they are meant to be preaching when such things are said.

I usually reply with something along the lines of "so, what is your real religion?" and they often become confused or offended.  These young people think they can follow the tenets of two religions, Vegetarianism and Mormonism, and get away with it! You don't think that vegetarianism qualifies as a religion? If someone comes to my house to partake of free food and then turns their nose up at what is served, barring allergies, they are preaching more of eschewing meat than they are of embracing a Christ. They can't effectively follow both, so which one is honored (talked about) and which will eventually be cast aside?

Let's wrap up.

We will all have a passion (our devotion), embodied in some object or person (our God), which we will pursue with vigor (our religion). You have all three: a devotion, a God, and a religion. If you think you don't, you need to stop deluding yourself. If you don't like your current version of the three, you have the power to redirect your devotion to a God and religion that is more to your tastes. Personally, I have found a God that I find worthy of my devotion and I am striving to follow the associated religion. I hope you find your own "three" worthy of your devotion and acknowledge your own God and religion.

14 April 2016

How to Get the Inspiration You Desire

Imagine yourself as one of my devoted readers. I know - it's a stretch.

"Jason, I find The Psychic Proximity Principle really intriguing and read your Feeding the Soul of Steve Jobs booklet through a hundred times!  I am really mad, though. You talk all about how important it is to pay attention to inspiration and follow your heart, but you never told us how to actually get inspiration!"

Well, I really didn't intend to put everything in one booklet.  I do want to write others, maybe even on the same subject! However, because I want to be helpful and not make anyone pine away, let me expand on something I talked about a little in the booklet and hopefully fulfill someone's request.

I talked about walking in the mornings.  I would go either up the big hill and around an elementary school in one town, or the five miles to work in another. I took anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half with me moving at a pretty stiff pace. At first, I did what any first-world dude would do when faced with a lot of quiet time - I rigged my cell phone as an MP3 player with earbuds and entertained myself! I am not much of person for back-to-back music, so I downloaded podcasts from interesting people and subjects.

No long into these daily walks, I found myself running out of anything interesting to listen to. I know there is a LOT of material out there on the Internet, but I could only come up with two or three hours a week of material I consistently liked, which left me several hours of walking without listening material.

Now, let me reveal a bit more about myself - I do recordings.  In addition to walking, I have traveled a lot in a car alone commuting and doing field work for several years. That made even more "alone" time beyond the available entertainment, so I would turn on the sound recorder on the phone and talk. Talk, talk, talk. I tried to act like I was broadcasting, but I fear I'm not very good at it.  You can listen to years and years of recordings of mine on my home server, but I think it would drive anyone, including me, insane!  To top it off, I would start thinking about something and there would be long stretches of nothing being said - a terrible waste of bandwidth!  I still do it to this day, but if I were you, I wouldn't spend much time listening unless you just want to hear what I sound like on a bad recording.

Back to the walks!

I found myself spending more time recording than listening over the months and years. I also spent increasing amounts of time not talking at all. As I was trudging along silently, my mind would seem to empty and I wouldn't be thinking of anything much at all. It was predominantly during these times that impressions would come to me.

Things I need to do at home.  What I should say to my wife when I often made her upset. An impulse to wave at a passer-by who I didn't know. When my mind seemed occupied with breathing and putting one foot in front of the other, especially on a cold or stormy morning when it was more difficult, my heart seemed to open up more to impressions of things I needed to know or needed to do. It is nearly inexplicable except to put yourself into such quiet situations and feel the effect yourself.

That is just one example of how I put myself in the position to feel the "weak magnetism" of the Psychic Proximity Principle and to hear what I have come to call the "voice of God". As usual, choose the descriptive words you like to communicate what comes to you at such moments, just as the Feeding the Soul of Steve Jobs booklet explains.

I think the most important part of getting inspiration is to eliminate as many distractions as you can. Our modern world seems stuffed with noise and passive entertainment to the point that most of us can become nervous around quietness that is so foreign to us. There is always something to watch or listen to, some distraction that can occupy our mind, at least partially. When we can get away from these things, like when I would take a hike in the mountains or walk on empty early morning streets, we are able to hear softer things and feel that "weak magnetism". We can hear the quiet inspiration that flows from God.

So, "how to actually get inspiration"? Get away from things. Take time to avoid mental distractions. Put yourself in situations where it is just you and your heart.  Inspiration is a shy thing, but it will come as you give it some undivided attention!

12 April 2016

The Things that Consitute A Good (Religious) Visit

I have been a religious leader for thirty years, both ecclesiastical and administrative. I have worked with all sorts of people in all kinds of capacities and have enjoyed both sides of religious work.

Of course, you already know that I am a Mormon and we are increasingly known for our "Home Teaching" program, where our priesthood holders visit Latter-Day Saint (LDS) families in their homes with spiritual messages and encouragement to live better lives and attend to their religious duties. A good friend of mine of another faith, who doesn't think much of Mormon doctrine otherwise, did say that Home Teaching was inspiring to him and he wished his own church had the resolve to do something similar. Pretty good program, yes?

As an LDS priesthood leader, I collect statistics on family visits made and report them to regional (stake) and the general leadership.  The question often comes up of what can be "counted" as a proper visit, as many attempts just simply don't rise to the level for administrative purposes. It may seem a little strange for religious people to get weird about statistics, but we are very concerned about being effective ministers and really helping people - good record-keeping is a part of that!

For my part, this is what constitutes a good priesthood visit with others, no matter the intended purpose:
  • Always take someone else with you.  Never make visits alone.
  • Pray beforehand and listen for inspiration. Follow any promptings that you get.
  • Prepare a spiritual thought to present. You may be prompted not to use it, but have one ready.
  • Before you leave, offer a prayer and blessing on the home and family.
  • No matter the stated reason, always record a contact that includes these elements, which should always be done, as a home teaching visit.
I think anyone, even those who shun religion, can find good principles in this list to use and enjoy uplifting visits with family, friends, and acquaintances. Everyone likes to be around people who bring a pleasant "spirit" with them and leave whatever "blessing" or well-wishes feels good, no matter who is offering and what position they may hold!

11 April 2016

Selling Your Soul for Easy Money

I recently published an intriguing little booklet called Feeding the Soul of Steve Jobs, which is about finding the sort of life and success that Steve Jobs enjoyed. It dove-tailed so well with my popular blog-post about The Psychic Proximity Principle that I used it as the framework for the booklet, giving all of you a wonderful case study in putting the power of weak magnetism to work!

As I was writing, I went off on a tangent about the evils of acquiring money for its own sake. I was going to use it as a bonus chapter in the booklet, but I decided against it.  I still find it useful, so I decided to put it here for your "fun and profit"!  Enjoy!

For those of you who have no interest in realizing your potential beyond a low money-grab, I will happily share two legal and honorable methods for becoming "well-off".
I and several friends have used these two methods to become financially "set".  Either will provide anyone with enough money to get the playthings shallow people seems to desire and "the good life" as far as our modern "easy path" society defines it. Regardless, I am here to help you accomplish this small goal.

Before I begin, the best advice I have for the money-motivated (and everyone else as well) is to never get into financial debt or get out of it as soon as possible. Dave Ramsey or any number of personalities can be found on the Internet to help you eliminate debt. It is a good thing to do no matter your personal attitude toward money as it frees you from bondage and provides you the resources to act independently. You can't really accomplish much if you are a slave to creditors!

Following either of the routes below, you should be financially set in a surprisingly short time. Hopefully, after you have the money you want, you might find a way to discover your soul and make use of The Psychic Proximity Principle, though it may be a huge course change.  Until that transcendent day, here are two simple and proven routes to financial security:

The "Hot Job" Route

  1. Get the current list of "hot" jobs and choose between either the first or second job on the list,
  2. Get low-level work in a bigger company hiring people in your chosen hot job (even as a janitor to begin with) and develop relationships with the hot job holders and their managers.
  3. Get the education needed to get your chosen hot job (the company will often help you do this), and
  4. Take any advancement opportunity you are offered toward the hot job.

This route also works with the traditional professions, such as medical doctor, lawyer, MBA, etc.

The "Military" Route

  1. Join your national military or local military reserve unit,
  2. Serve for an enlistment or two (or if how you spend your days doesn't matter to you, stay through retirement),
  3. Secure work with a military contractor,
  4. Take any advancement opportunity you are offered.
This route requires no real planning or formal education but lots of diligent effort. It works best if you are enlisted as contractors don't need many former officers.

There will always be money in the professions, hot engineering roles, and the military. The point is to get in the front door, rise to the needed requirements, and work hard. Money will readily flow as a result.  As always, I suggest you pursue The Psychic Proximity Principle first to protect yourself from the "empty soul" disease of the money-grab.

03 April 2016

There are no Rat-holes to Respectability

In my time working for the military, I have been introduced to the concept of the "rat-hole". This is a situation where a lot of time, money, and other resources are spent on something that ultimately accomplishes very little or nothing. There are rat-holes all around us and we often don't realize it until they have already stolen a lot of our precious time and money!

I'll tell you about one of the bigger rat-holes where I have wasted a lot of life: disability exemptions.

Many people know my son Matt, who was diagnosed with autism just before his third birthday. If you spend time with him, you will quickly learn that he is disabled. He doesn't have the judgment needed to live independently, to contribute as an equal partner to a marriage, or to lead a family. He was determined by experts to be disabled. A determination of disability is essential to help a person get the added help they need and to get recognition by society that such aid is justified and needed.

The resources and time spent to determine Matt's autism was not a trip down a rat-hole. Sadly, as a result, I took a personal journey to explore my own relationship with autism, which ended up being a long stroll down a very useless rat-hole. I even went so far as taking all my children to be professionally evaluated and wasting a lot of time and money on it. While Matt was obviously disabled and needed a determination of what future expectations family, friends, and society should have for him, I and my other children are not disabled and should have somewhat capable lives. We may be odd in ways similar to Matt, but that doesn't include an inability to meet the requirements of society.

Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking! What would an "autism" determination have accomplished for any of us? If some diagnosis was coming (it didn't), would we get some hoped-for special pass or government benefit? No. I think my wonderful wife tried to get me to realize this, but I wasn't listening. In my case, a diagnosis might have actually interfered with my ability to provide for our family. Can you imagine if I was suddenly prevented from operating a car or if I was required to take drugs that wrecked my work performance? My family and life could have been ruined by continuing down this silly rat-hole! In the end, it only wasted some time and money.

There are plenty of rat-holes out there, leading nowhere useful and causing far more harm than just the loss of some time and money. As an acknowledged surveyor of some rat-holes, I feel somewhat qualified to identify a few. Let me address the gargantuan rat-hole of "difference".

Everyone is different. However, those differences typically don't preclude a person from participating effectively in society. The problem comes when people think their particular difference justifies some special treatment or exemption from common responsibility. In the past, a proper term was applied to this situation - discrimination - and was soundly and rightly discredited. Whatever perceived differences you see in yourself or others, it didn't take away from everyone's responsibility to provide for themselves, overcome obstacles, to start and raise a family, and be a decent neighbor. In a word, we are all expected to become respectable members of society, differences notwithstanding.

Over the years, a growing number of people have rediscovered rat-holes of "difference" that earlier generations largely dismissed as foolishness. Many people now pursue "new" (actually age old) re-definitions of gender and sexuality that rob them of respectability as they purposefully reject family creation and responsibility. Others manufacture or "blow-out-of-proportion" perceived mental or physical illness to justify being a bad neighbor or expecting others to provide resources for them. There are now larger numbers of people who choose to live in such rat-holes; far more people than the larger society can afford to deal with.

I will tell you from experience the pursuit of such exemptions from responsibility are a complete waste of time and energy. There is nothing to be gained by examining yourself against "new" gender definitions and exploring self-absorbing sexual "preferences". I have gone down similar roads of extended navel-staring myself and it proved to be a worthless effort. Sadly, society is now redefining respectability to accommodate such things and forcing everyone to respect people who waste precious social resources. Courts and psychologists are demanding that society treat people who refuse to create families and take on adult roles as both highly respectable and totally acceptable! The shrill voices of far too many militantly childish people are forcing our entire culture down their own self-indulgent rat-holes just when we need to spend our "adult" attention and resources facing real problems.

Take it from someone who has wasted some life exploring a few rat-holes: There is no rat-hole to respectability! Put childishness aside and embrace time-honored definitions of responsibility. You will find that you accomplish far more with the same effort, enjoy far greater happiness and satisfaction, and people of true worth will honor you!