San Diego, age 14.
Way back when I was only 14 years old, I saw a pair of new Marine corps cordovan dress oxfords at a surplus store. Brand new, $15.00. I talked my mom out of the money and bought them. (She was working at the Naval Air Station making $2.50 an hour). Back then at the age of 13 I had just learned how to masturbate. My new shoes turned me on sexually, no doubt because I felt inadequate as a boy hoping to be strong and brave like the soldiers, sailors and marines I saw every time I went to downtown San Diego. My self image was very low, in other words.
We kids only had cheap Keds back then. About $7 a pair. Along came Adidas, Nike, Converse, so I started collecting. Long story! I have since mellowed out! The Sneaker Freak generation brought shoe collecting into greater visibility. Pornography was hard to find back then. The trio today known as PMO came later. But, yes, I'm well informed on this subject -- and shockproof.
But I had an Addictive Personality so my lust for male footwear ought not to surprise anyone.
At an early age I had somehow come to believe that I was vastly inferior to other boys at school. You might say I wanted to be in the boots of a soldier or athlete. My main reaction to this a bit later was to striver for good grades and proving my worth to my teachers, from junior high onward.. I was sexually abused by a teacher in Junior High. My dad got drafted in late WW2 and was serving in the Navy. He was not there for me in other words
Mine is a long and complicated story. I started addressing this back in the late 50's, through Freudian and then Jungian Analysis. At last I met Jesus Christ in late 1962, everything began to change.
According to the American Psychological Association, an inferiority complex is characterized by constant feelings of inadequacy or insecurity in your daily life due to a belief that you are physically or mentally inferior to others, whether such a belief is based on a rational assessment or not.
When I asked God to help me understand how this had happened. Right away I was lead to the word “Teraphim.” The word refers to “household gods.”
Sneaker Collecting For me collecting shoes was also a form of
“The majority of sneaker lovers have a deep history behind the sneakers they wear and collect. One popular motive behind collecting sneakers is based on what people watched and who they looked up to as a child. Athletes and superstars are people who have a significant impact on individuals and the shoes they purchase. Growing up in the 1980s when Jordans were first released, kids looked up to basketball players who were wearing the latest styles.”
Some Root Causes:
Cracked Pots Crackpots and Cracked Pots are not quite the same thing. God does not plan to merely take the good guys home to heaven and allow the bad guys take over and run the planet. That’s His short term plan to polar things. Long term? The sky is falling now everywhere. Those who know and cling to Jesus Christ are safe. The rest of you are not. Years later in Jungian Analysis my Analyst called my attention to the Puer Aeternis archetype.
Back in my drinking years (1960-1980) my drinking buddies and I knew every watering hole on the Peninsula. There was Rossotti’s on Alpine Road behind Stanford. The Oasis on El Camino in Menlo Park (beer only), the Cracked Pot in Atherton. (Palo Alto was dry all the way to East Paly in compliance with land ceded to Palo Alto by Leland and Jane Stanford about 1884). Yes, I'm an alcoholic, sober 40+ years.
1960: Fast forward: Martinis on the fantail of the yacht Acania were the order of the day. I rode the ship from Curaçao to Antigua in 1960 which led to an incredible chapter in the land of Steel Bands and Calypso. Beefeaters gin was only a dollar a bottle so we shipped it home by the case.
Returning home I worked overtime to build a close friendship with Phillip and Melinda Compton which lasted for many years. We three loved to visit Barghetto's’s winery in Santa Cruz. Phil did the driving so I could drink too much wine.
It has been forty three years since I stopped drinking. I have friends who have been sober only a few months and they can’t imagine my decades of sobriety. The hard part for me was realizing I had an addiction to alcohol and that my heavy drinking friends probably were not addicts. On my first visit to Raleigh Hills Hospital in Redwood City, the staff were mostly addicts so they knew the trickster at work in alcoholics. I enjoyed my first week in rehab, especially meeting other recovering alcoholics from all walks in life. After a week I was feeling like a new man so I got to go home. Warning: If you are an addict, Make sure you dump all of your liquor including those secret stashes you've saved for a rainy day. Watch out for wine vinegar and shaving lotion.
For the first week home I was fine. I felt so good a glass of wine with dinner wouldn’t hurt any? Wrong! One drink and an alcoholic is rehooked. The outside world is not safe if not-drinking is, for you, a life and death issue. I rushed back to RHH where the main counselor said, “I knew you’d be back.” Week Two did the trick! Sobriety at last!
Not much later in made my first trip to Israel. My Jewish hosts, Stanley and Helen Goldfoot, asked why I refused a glass of wine at dinner. They were amazed when I related my story. Stanley told me there were a few addicts in Israel but wine in moderation was normative from childhood. Wine, in the Bible symbolizes earthly joy and I’d have to focus on the joy imparted by the Spirit of God.
As time went on I was able to be around drinking friends. Visiting a bar way later I immediately saw the patrons as utter fools who thought they were having a good time. Lots of “friends” dropped out of my life after I sobered up--which showed me who the freeloaders were.
Looking back I thought awful hangovers and splitting headaches were normal. I kept a bottle of gin in my desk drawer at work just in case. If I had not stopped when I did I would surely have died and missed forty years of adventure, learning, travel and joy.
But God... He knows how to give us back our wasted years!
By the way, childhood vows are powerful and long lasting. My mother died at age 39, (I was 14). I cried every night for a year, mourning her unfulfilled life. I vowed to live in her memory, which meant I could never marry for instance.
See Childhood Vows.
Since everyone who reads this will see a bit of my total depravity Before Christ, you ought to know about my addiction to doctor-prescribed Oxycontin (think heroin). Ten years are missing from my life because of this.
The Man and the Lizard, by C. S. L:ewis
I saw coming towards us a Ghost who carried something on his shoulder. Like all the Ghosts, he was unsubstantial, but they differed from one another as smokes differ. Some had been whitish; this one was dark and oily. What sat on his shoulder was a little red lizard, and it was twitching its tail like a whip and whispering things in his ear. As we caught sight of him he turned his head to the reptile with a snarl of impatience. ‘Shut up, I tell you!’ he said. It wagged its tail and continued to whisper to him. He ceased snarling, and presently began to smile. Then he turned and started to limp westward, away from the mountains.
‘Off so soon?’ said a voice.
The speaker was more or less human in shape but larger than a man, and so bright that I could hardly look at him. His presence smote on my eyes and on my body too (for there was heat coming from him as well as light) like the morning sun at the beginning of a tyrannous summer day.
‘Yes. I’m off,’ said the Ghost. ‘Thanks for all your hospitality. But it’s no good, you see. I told this little chap’ (here he indicated the lizard) ‘that he’d have to be quiet if he came—which he insisted on doing. Of course his stuff won’t do here: I realise that. But he won’t stop. I shall just have to go home.’
‘Would you like me to make him quiet?’ said the flaming Spirit—an angel, as I now understood.
‘Of course I would,’ said the Ghost.
‘Then I will kill him,’ said the Angel, taking a step forward.
‘Oh—ah—look out! You’re burning me. Keep away,’ said the Ghost, retreating.
‘Don’t you want him killed?’
‘You didn’t say anything about killing him at first. I hardly meant to bother you with anything so drastic as that.’
‘It’s the only way,’ said the Angel, whose burning hands were now very close to the lizard. ‘Shall I kill it?’
‘Well, that’s a further question. I’m quite open to consider it, but it’s a new point, isn’t it? I mean, for the moment I was only thinking about silencing it because up here—well, it’s so damned embarrassing.’
‘May I kill it?’
‘Well, there’s time to discuss that later.’
‘There is no time. May I kill it?’
‘Please, I never meant to be such a nuisance. Please—really—don’t bother. Look! It’s gone to sleep of its own accord. I’m sure it’ll be all right now. Thanks ever so much.’
‘May I kill it?’
‘Honestly, I don’t think there’s the slightest necessity for that. I’m sure I shall be able to keep it in order now. I think the gradual process would be far better than killing it.’
‘The gradual process is of no use at all.’
‘Don’t you think so? Well, I’ll think over what you’ve said very carefully. I honestly will. In fact I’d let you kill it now, but as a matter of fact I’m not feeling frightfully well to-day. It would be silly to do it now. I’d need to be in good health for the operation. Some other day, perhaps.’
‘There is no other day. All days are present now.’
‘Get back! You’re burning me. How can I tell you to kill it? You’d kill me if you did.’
‘It is not so.’
‘Why, you’re hurting me now.’
‘I never said it wouldn’t hurt you. I said it wouldn’t kill you.’
‘Oh, I know. You think I’m a coward. But it isn’t that. Really it isn’t. I say! Let me run back by to-night’s bus and get an opinion from my own doctor. I’ll come again the first moment I can.’
‘This moment contains all moments.’
‘Why are you torturing me? You are jeering at me. How can I let you tear me in pieces? If you wanted to help me, why didn’t you kill the damned thing without asking me—before I knew? It would be all over by now if you had.’
‘I cannot kill it against your will. It is impossible. Have I your permission?’
The Angel’s hands were almost closed on the Lizard, but not quite. Then the Lizard began chattering to the Ghost so loud that even I could hear what it was saying.
‘Be careful,’ it said. ‘He can do what he says. He can kill me. One fatal word from you and he will! Then you’ll be without me for ever and ever. It’s not natural. How could you live? You’d be only a sort of ghost, not a real man as you are now. He doesn’t understand. He’s only a cold, bloodless abstract thing. It may be natural for him, but it isn’t for us. Yes, yes. I know there are no real pleasures now, only dreams. But aren’t they better than nothing? And I’ll be so good. I admit I’ve sometimes gone too far in the past, but I promise I won’t do it again. I’ll give you nothing but really nice dreams—all sweet and fresh and almost innocent. You might say, quite innocent. . . .’
‘Have I your permission?’ said the Angel to the Ghost.
‘I know it will kill me.’
‘It won’t. But supposing it did?’
‘You’re right. It would be better to be dead than to live with this creature.’
‘Then I may?’
‘Damn and blast you! Go on can’t you? Get it over. Do what you like,’ bellowed the Ghost: but ended, whimpering, ‘God help me. God help me.’
Next moment the Ghost gave a scream of agony such as I never heard on Earth. The Burning One closed his crimson grip on the reptile: twisted it, while it bit and writhed, and then flung it, broken backed, on the turf.
‘Ow! That’s done for me,’ gasped the Ghost, reeling backwards.
For a moment I could make out nothing distinctly. Then I saw, between me and the nearest bush, unmistakably solid but growing every moment solider, the upper arm and the shoulder of a man. Then, brighter still and stronger, the legs and hands. The neck and golden head materialised while I watched, and if my attention had not wavered I should have seen the actual completing of a man—an immense man, naked, not much smaller than the Angel. What distracted me was the fact that at the same moment something seemed to be happening to the Lizard. At first I thought the operation had failed. So far from dying, the creature was still struggling and even growing bigger as it struggled. And as it grew it changed. Its hinder parts grew rounder. The tail, still flickering, became a tail of hair that flickered between huge and glossy buttocks. Suddenly I started back, rubbing my eyes. What stood before me was the greatest stallion I have ever seen, silvery white but with mane and tail of gold. It was smooth and shining, rippled with swells of flesh and muscle, whinneying and stamping with its hoofs. At each stamp the land shook and the trees dindled.
The new-made man turned and clapped the new horse’s neck. It nosed his bright body. Horse and master breathed each into the other’s nostrils. The man turned from it, flung himself at the feet of the Burning One, and embraced them. When he rose I thought his face shone with tears, but it may have been only the liquid love and brightness (one cannot distinguish them in that country) which flowed from him. I had not long to think about it. In joyous haste the young man leaped upon the horse’s back. Turning in his seat he waved a farewell, then nudged the stallion with his heels. They were off before I well knew what was happening. There was riding if you like! I came out as quickly as I could from among the bushes to follow them with my eyes; but already they were only like a shooting star far off on the green plain, and soon among the foothills of the mountains. Then, still like a star, I saw them winding up, scaling what seemed impossible steeps, and quicker every moment, till near the dim brow of the landscape, so high that I must strain my neck to see them, they vanished, bright themselves, into the rose-brightness of that everlasting morning.
While I still watched, I noticed that the whole plain and forest were shaking with a sound which in our world would be too large to hear, but there I could take it with joy. I knew it was not the Solid People who were singing. It was the voice of that earth, those woods and those waters. A strange archaic, inorganic noise, that came from all directions at once. The Nature or Arch-nature of that land rejoiced to have been once more ridden, and therefore consummated, in the person of the horse. It sang,
‘The Master says to our master, Come up. Share my rest and splendour till all natures that were your enemies become slaves to dance before you and backs for you to ride, and firmness for your feet to rest on.
‘From beyond all place and time, out of the very Place, authority will be given you: the strengths that once opposed your will shall be obedient fire in your blood and heavenly thunder in your voice.
‘Overcome us that, so overcome, we may be ourselves: we desire the beginning of your reign as we desire dawn and dew, wetness at the birth of light.
‘Master, your Master has appointed you for ever: to be our King of Justice and our high Priest.’
‘Do ye understand all this, my Son?’ said the Teacher.
‘I don’t know about all, Sir,’ said I. ‘Am I right in thinking the Lizard really turned into the Horse?’
‘Aye. But it was killed first. Ye’ll not forget that part of the story?’
‘I’ll try not to, Sir. But does it mean that everything—everything—that is in us can go on to the Mountains?’
‘Nothing, not even the best and noblest, can go on as it now is. Nothing, not even what is lowest and most bestial, will not be raised again if it submits to death. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. Flesh and blood cannot come to the Mountains. Not because they are too rank, but because they are too weak. What is a Lizard compared with a stallion? Lust is a poor, weak, whimpering, whispering thing compared with that richness and energy of desire which will arise when lust has been killed.’
‘But am I to tell them at home that this man’s sensuality proved less of an obstacle than that poor woman’s love for her son? For that was, at any rate, an excess of love.’
‘Ye’ll tell them no such thing,’ he replied sternly. ‘Excess of love, did ye say? There was no excess, there was defect. She loved her son too little, not too much. If she had loved him more there’d be no difficulty. I do not know how her affair will end. But it may well be that at this moment she’s demanding to have him down with her in Hell. That kind is sometimes perfectly ready to plunge the soul they say they love in endless misery if only they can still in some fashion possess it. No, no. Ye must draw another lesson. Ye must ask, if the risen body even of appetite is as grand a horse as ye saw, what would the risen body of maternal love or friendship be?’
But once more my attention was diverted. ‘Is there another river, Sir?’ I asked...
Our House of Cards
Sex and Worship
The End of Sex Part 1
The End of Sex as we Know it (Part 2)
Introduction to Intimacy
Genders in Heaven
Stages of Manhood
Circumcision and Purity
Arrested Emotional Development
Sexual Fetishism (Wikipedia)
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches.
I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”
And let him who hears say, “Come!”
And let him who thirsts come.
Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man to bear The yoke in his youth.
Let him sit alone and keep silent,
Because God has laid it on him;
Let him put his mouth in the dust—
There may yet be hope.
Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him,
And be full of reproach.
For the Lord will not cast off forever.
Though He causes grief,
Yet He will show compassion
According to the multitude of His mercies.
For He does not afflict willingly,
Nor grieve the children of men.
To crush under one’s feet
All the prisoners of the earth,
To turn aside the justice due a man
Before the face of the Most High,
Or subvert a man in his cause—
The Lord does not approve.
Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass,
When the Lord has not commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That woe and well-being proceed?
Why should a living man complain,
A man for the punishment of his sins?
Let us search out and examine our ways,
And turn back to the Lord;
Let us lift our hearts and hands To God in heaven.
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April 25, 2023.