Saturday, February 06, 2016

The Smallest Changes Make the Biggest Difference

The people who accomplish the least, are those who take on the most ambitious projects -- while those who accomplish the most, are those who pay attention to the smallest details.  That's how things are accomplished -- one small detail (step) at a time until the outcome is inevitable -- while those who think only of hitting homeruns, seldom make contact with the ball -- and it is putting the ball in play, that makes everything possible.

It is far easier to write a sentence than it is to write a book -- but to those who do neither, think it is the same.  But if one begins with a simple sentence -- constructed thoughtfully, it becomes the foundation for the next, and shortly becomes that book.  That manner of doing, determines whether we will be successful at anything we do.

That is particularly important when we lose our way -- and wonder how we can get back on track, whether that is recovering our health or building financial security.  You have to first save a dollar.  Failing that, it doesn't matter how good the investment -- if one never has the resources to underwrite it. Health is that same way; the least of our movements, is the road to recovery -- while not doing anything but hoping for improvement, will end in the predictable result.  Nothing else would be possible -- in a cause and effect world.

It is not necessary to plan on running a marathon or lifting a record weight in order to make the simplest movement possible -- which is then repeated a hundred or a thousand times -- but it is invariably the one simple movement, mastered to its greatest efficiency -- rather than the million things going on all at once.  Which step is more important than any other?  So rather than any single repetition meaning more than any other, one is really working against the corrupting influence of "fatigue" -- so that there is no corruption of form, but perfecting that movement with each repetition.  Thus the last, is even better than the first -- because that is the practice of getting better -- by actually getting better.

Unfortunately, this attention to detail and improving performance, is not foremost in most programs for improvement, let alone being the objective.  Instead, it is erroneously believed that simply doing anything -- no matter how badly, is better than doing nothing at all, and of course not wasting any time and attention learning the difference -- which makes all the difference.  Thus some people in their activities and practice, show remarkable improvement and prodigious results, while inattentive people wonder why they don't get those same results -- while fancying that they are doing exactly "the same thing."  Obviously and tangibly, they aren't -- but think that is close enough -- whether running, jumping, singing, writing, speaking, etc.

They ostensibly do the same thing, but always get a different result -- and then they don't even realize, it is a different result -- because of their unshaken belief, that doing anything, is better than doing nothing but paying attention is a necessary requirement for doing anything well -- and knowing the difference.  It is learning that attention to detail -- and what makes the difference between a poor performance and result, from a vastly superior outcome, is always the greatest lesson one can learn doing anything.

This becomes increasingly more important, the less able one has become -- while hoping to recover or achieve for the first time, the capabilities one thinks they want to have.  But it doesn't just come -- because they want it badly enough.  It has to be their primary practice -- in doing anything, and everything -- and particularly in living the life that works extraordinarily well for them -- especially at those times most crucial to any outcome -- the matter of life and death itself.

That's what one hopes to be preparing for -- and not that one is too old and beyond hope for that to happen anymore, which becomes more obvious and apparent with time and age -- in not doing so.  So while one may think they are doing everything "right," everything else in life is telling them it is "wrong," but they reject that logical conclusion in preference for what they wish to believe -- until reality catches up and clobbers them.  Then their response is always, "too little, too late," rather than the right amount, just in time.

At that rate, one is doing as well as one can hope to ever be doing -- for as long as they can.  When they are perpetually "too little, too late," they eventually run out of time and life, and chances to do the right thing.  Not that they have ever known the difference.  And that is why learning the difference -- the quality of paying attention, is what meditation is all about -- the state of mind capable of seeing and observing everything, and not just confirming what one already knows -- as though there is nothing to see and learn beyond that.

But obviously, that is where the answer to any question, problem and difficulty lies -- or there wouldn't be any problem and difficulty.  Otherwise, the problems of the past, merely repeat themselves timelessly -- because nothing else is possible -- unless one asks the impossible question, "What is one missing?"  Those who are too ready with the answers, have merely learned the "right" answers -- that may or may not have anything to do with reality, but know what has been taught as the only thing that can be known, and accepted by most -- even if it doesn't work, and makes no sense to believe in -- invariably that any other way is not possible.

Making the smallest changes, always results in the biggest differences -- over time.  If it's not working now, it probably never did.  One is always finding out.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Everything You Know Isn't True Anymore

Maybe it never was.  But ideas have a way of catching on -- despite the realities it purports to represent.  There is obviously what is happening out there -- but what we see and think of them, may be something else entirely.  It's not that it might never have been true before, or at any time, but it might not be true now -- for the best we know.  There is always a better truth that supplants all we previously knew.  So the proper question is not what is the truth for all time, but what is the truth, the best we know now -- and we can begin that inquiry by asking, "How do we know, what we think we know?"

More often than not, what we know, is what somebody else wanted us to know -- and not necessarily if it was the truth, depending on their motives and agendas.  That is, most of what we know, is what its promoters and advertisers would like us to know -- for their own advantage, and not necessarily our own.  That is why it is best not just to hear one perspective on the matter, but others as well, until the weight of evidence and testimony seems to mesh with everything else we know to be true in the world -- even if it is something new and different.

Thus it is not enough to know it has been an old or ancient knowledge that makes it valid -- but whether can be proven in the present moment -- and each experience (experiment) thereafter -- until there is a better truth and explanation -- which is always evolving to be better.  That alone is the hope for the future -- and not simply the young, rich or powerful.  Thus the great advantage, is finding the greater truth -- that is so much more than simply any single truth, or the sum of the parts.  The greater (integrating) truth, multiplies all the previous truths one had discovered -- and not simply adds to it.

Such increments, mean very little -- in the great scheme of things.  It is only a little truth, and not a great one -- that transforms one's world to something meaningfully different.  That is the difference between the thrill of discovery, and the agony of merely doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.  Real change doesn't happen that way.  That is the reason things stay the same, no matter how much we would like to change it.

But when you do something significantly different then everything changes -- because it is what matters, and makes the difference.  That is the kind of conditioning very useful to have because it makes improvement always possible -- and not all the effort that doesn't make a difference, or in fact, reinforces the status quo and is the probable cause of one's deteriorating condition.

In this way, one is always finding out many things -- whether it is the truth or not, and that is also useful to know -- whether one wants to or not, because then they don't have to go through the trouble of learning it.  It is theirs for the taking.  It is a convenient truth -- or falsehood, that one learns without effort and waste of time -- just going about one's business.  Many are determined not to see the true or false -- but only what they want to see, and that is to waste all one sees and does -- in the course of their living.  That would be paying attention -- to every present moment -- without regard to how they would like it other to be.

Those are the great lessons of life -- learning what is happening -- and not just working to change it into something else -- regardless of learning what it is already.  The powerful mind and life, is not those that can change something into what it isn't, but that which can fully appreciate what it is, as it is -- for that is the greatness and totality of the world.  At all times, something is already happening -- and never that nothing is happening, and so one has to make it -- out of nothing.  That manner of thinking, requires a lot of energy and resources -- to create something out of nothing, or to render something into nothing.

One of the hardest things to accept about the world, is that there is always change; that is the nature of the world, and universe.  The world is not static, unchanging, and one can move with it, or against it -- with great struggle and no guarantee or even chance of success.  But many will be given no options of anything to do besides that which will guarantee them failure -- at least so far.  There is always the hope that one will be the first to succeed -- in doing what has always failed before, but what else is one to do?

Those possibilities have to be created -- and tried, if they make greater sense to do so.  Frequently, that comes about because there is no hope otherwise.  One simply has to do what makes sense -- rather than to go down with what is not working.  At such times, something new is discovered -- and limits that were thought to be physical and immutable, are seen in a new light of being only the imaginary -- and not the only thing possible, and everything else hopeless.  There is another way.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Sometimes More Funding is Not the Answer

It merely perpetuates the problem.  I remember being rebuked many years ago in suggesting to the Arthritis Foundation that glucosamine might be effective in treating arthritis -- and they were insistent that anybody claiming a cure for arthritis was a fraud, because there was no cure for arthritis, only to revisit their website decades later -- claiming they wrote the book on alternative cures for arthritis -- which was now their major moneymaker.  I remember very vividly in that contact of being told that they did not exist to cure arthritis -- but to raise money to cure arthritis -- and I should be clear in that distinction.

Later, when I met with the research director on Alzheimer's at the University of Washington, she insisted that the head could not and should not move -- as she demonstrated to me in resisting the ability of her head to move, and proudly boasted that any attempt to move and exercise the head (neck) would result in whiplash as the only possible outcome.  So I pretty much gave up on the academicians and researchers who were intent on not discovering any cures, but was very determined to obtain as much money for their "research" on costly explanations for why their disease was incurable.

Previously I mentioned I worked with the caregivers at the Fremont Public Association (Seattle), which required me first to obtain training and certification on First Aid and CPR -- at which I pointed out to the instructor, Fire Chief Claude Harris, that if one does perform chest compressions, mouth to mouth breathing is redundant and unnecessary -- to which his response was that I proposed it only to avoid giving mouth to mouth to people with AIDS and other possible unknown communicable diseases.  I said that was an additional benefit of doing only chest compressions -- rather than interrupting those efforts to give mouth to mouth breathing.  I pointed out that when one compresses the chest, the chest (lung) volume decreases forcing the air out of the lungs, but when that pressure is released, atmospheric pressure will inflate the lungs -- just as the self-inflating air mattress I brought with me to demonstrate in addition to the dummy they provided.

That eventually resulted in the protocol coming out of Seattle proffering the hands only CPR as the preferred, state of the art modality -- because it is the only thing that makes sense -- if the atmospheric pressure alone will refill the lungs.  In fact, many decades previously, the resuscitation technique consisted of applying pressure to the back and lifting the arm up to effect the breathing rhythm while lying face down -- until replaced by chest compressions receiving priority as the life saving measure.  So they threw in mouth to mouth breathing that could be done while the victim lay on their back -- as two things they needed to do, rather than the simplicity and effectiveness of only one.

The heart and lungs work similarly -- in pumping (moving) blood and air -- by the alternation of pressure differences.  That is the principle of hydraulics.  My previous concern was primarily to increase the circulation to the hands and feet -- in order to cure arthritis at those sites, regarding it as a circulation deficiency -- that I experienced as arthritis pain in the hands and feet.  As a young child, it was predicted that I would be crippled by arthritis as an adult -- a conclusion I found unacceptable even as much as the "experts" proclaimed that nothing else was possible -- because there was "no cure."

Then when my back pain was so unbearable I thought I'd never walk again, I coincidentally ran into the doctor's presentation of the cure for fibromyalgia that he claimed was the common, generic drug of guaifenesin -- by his convoluted explanation.  I just noticed that I became immediately well from all these autoimmune afflictions that had plagued me all my life, as well as all my relatives and friends, who I suggested it to because as the doctor pointed out, there are no negative side-effects even as much as the disclaimer warns against it as standard protocol, not to take it for extended periods.  Given the choice of excruciating back pain or relief, one is willing to risk the unknown side-effects, which the doctor was very adamant, there are none.  Yet there are dire warnings that there may be.  Meanwhile, the very real pain suffered by arthritics makes life unbearable for many.

This was not the first time medical science had failed me.  Apparently, I was one of the first persons ever encountered with lactose intolerance -- when I volunteered as a medical research subject as alternative service during the Vietnam war years -- and they had never heard of a person being allergic to dairy -- convinced as they were, that it was the perfect food.  About twenty years later, I read the first book claiming to be the first discussing the common frequence of lactose intolerance not only among most populations throughout the world, but even throughout history.

As a trained historian, I have a fascination for literature that was unpopular in their day -- that eventually prevailed.  That's how this country was founded.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Fountain of Youth

The search for the Fountain of Youth does not exist outside the body -- but within it.  That is simply understanding what makes the vital fluids of the body flow to keep them well-maintained.   The presumption is that that is what the heart alone is responsible for -- without the cooperation of all the other "parts" of the body -- particularly where they prematurely fail.  That is not a secret -- but obviously, the most visible parts of the body -- at the head, hands and feet -- that most people are conditioned to take for granted that they take care of themselves.

Nothing in nature is designed that way.  If there is not constant and relentless improvement, there is only deterioration, decline and death -- that should surprise no one.  One would not expect anything else.  But that's not saying that there is nothing one can do.  It actually is saying that all that one does, makes a difference.  However, one has to make that difference. It doesn't just happen -- because one hopes it would.

So the "secret" of life, is realizing that everything makes a difference -- rather than that nothing does.  That is the essential difference between success in life, and failure.  Those who are successful, leave nothing to chance and neglect -- and so everything they have and accomplish, is because they made it so -- while those who don't think that they have to contribute anything to the cause, unsurprisingly, have nothing worth having.

That is the way of the world -- and life -- that critical understanding of it.  One is the steward of one's own life -- and not that everybody else is to blame, but oneself.  However, the concept of blame, is to place cause outside of the individual -- when the whole secret is understanding that the cause is within each individual -- and failing that vital connection of each to all, is how the life is dis-integrated, fragmented, and undermines itself.

It's not a matter of effort -- but of understanding.  In order to understand, one has to look in the proper place -- which is inside, and not outside -- for that fountain of life.  While the external world has much beauty and power, one has to realize that the internal world has that same power and beauty -- and that within each, is the microcosm of the whole world.  And thus the wise have remarked, that "The Kingdom of God is within."

That is the entirety of the world one actually lives in -- no matter how much one tries to distract themselves otherwise -- in games, politics, religions and other entertainments.  One is the world.  If one can accept that responsibility wholly, while taking nothing for granted -- especially what one "knows," and thus, fails to investigate.  That is the unexamined flawed premise that is at the root of all one's dysfunction, disease and decline.  That is invariably the source of all one's problems -- whatever field one is in.

That is particularly true of how one experiences their personal life -- as orderly or chaotic.  That's what people have joined monasteries and communities seeking: that place of perfect order and functioning.  But before one seeks it outside of oneself, it would be far more prudent and practical, if one were to inquire whether one had that essential understanding of oneself.  Why does the body fail -- if one does not take care of it properly?  Why would anything not fail under those conditions?

The critical point for many -- is that time in their lives when nobody tells them what to do anymore.  They are on their own -- entirely, and that life from thereon, is entirely what they make of it -- for better or worse.  Many think at that time, that things can only get worse -- because they have never learned how to make things better.  Such people accept everything as they are -- thinking no improvement is possible, feeling no responsibility for how the world is -- and their experience of life.

Because they don't change the reality of their existence, they create alternate worlds of fantasies and entertainments -- to distract themselves from that reality.  When that breach is complete, they then live mostly in the world of their fantasies -- rather than the reality that is common to most.  That keeps one in the flow of life -- rather than becoming a stagnant pond of thoughts and memories.

The circulation of the body also takes place in that same manner -- and that failure, is how the parts begin to break down -- most noticeably at the extremities of the head, hands and feet, which collectively, are the critical faculties of life as we know and enjoy it.  Those are our cognitive faculties that distinguish the quality of our lives, and how we express it.  Yet frequently, that is what we take most for granted, as not needing to maintain -- and improve.

They are much more important, than biceps and quadraceps, as the vital communication with the rest of the world.  That is far more important than how much one can bench press.  Or deadlift.  That is ultimately what makes a person strong -- their vital connection to the rest of the world.  Lacking that connection and sustenance, even the strongest must fail.

But when one is in total synchronicity with the rest of life, one is life -- and the vitality of its most youthful regeneration.  For such people, there is no aging.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Life is for Getting Better

That should be the guiding principle no matter what.  Simply, relentlessly to improve.  With that as one's guiding principle, life will get better -- as a self-fulfilling prophecy.  It doesn't matter where one is or starts from -- only to get better.  The fatal flaw, is thinking nothing matters, and nothing makes a difference -- so doing "anything," is enough to ensure and entitle one to a wonderful life.  It doesn't happen that way.

The opposite or antagonist of improving constantly, relentlessly -- is having a great ambition -- without doing the little things that gets one there.  Instead, all their time and energies are focused on already being there -- and all the fantastic things one will do when they achieve their great ambition -- but until then, they never feel they have to do anything to improve and get better.  In their mind and fantasies, they are already "there," and just waiting for everybody else to realize that.

They themselves feel that they shouldn't care -- or be able to tell the difference -- but everybody else should, for their benefit.  So there is this essential disconnect of any personal responsibility for their own lives -- only that everybody else should make it better.  Obviously, that's not going to happen -- because everybody's first responsibility, is to take better care of themselves.

Lacking that, no amount of caring by others, is going to make up for it -- because that is the limiting factor that cannot be overrridden by any other(s).  It simply is what it is.  Nobody can care more for another, than they care for themselves -- because that is their essential life force, their power to do anything.  "Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could."

Improving implies knowing the difference -- because if one cannot tell that difference, what difference does it make?  But if one knows the difference, that is an infallible guide no matter what one is doing -- even if they are on the wrong track, because they can right themselves, and get back on the right track.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Feeling Good is the Best High

The best reason for being in good health is to feel good -- and not just not to feel bad, which is often the way it is promoted.  In that manner, it is an achievement and accomplishment rather than an avoidance.  Good health, is the capacity to feel good -- and not merely in order not to feel worse.

That difference in outlook and approach, is the difference between being-motivation from deficiency-motivation -- which is the self-actualization Maslow spoke of in the previous century, when he noted that their was no psychology for positive development, but only the psychology for dysfunction, deficiency and inadequacy -- as though that was the "normal," and expected.

He further noted that what we knew of human history and culture, was largely if not exclusively, the work of maladjusted people -- because those were the people who wrote, played music, became "entertainers" -- driven as they were, to be "liked," and approved of because that's what they lacked in their lives -- and thus, drove them to extraordinary lengths for.

To get to that level, they frequently resorted to alcohol, drugs and other abuses to transcend the reality of their actualities, and were applauded by those who also shared and experienced those same motivations and neediness.  Even cultural institutions were driven by those same desires to be "other than what one is" -- rejecting the person one is, in favor of those they should become -- as though that made perfectly good sense, and ennobled one, rather than it truly did, diminish and reject all one actually is -- and understood oneself to be.

In fact, the person one is, was never thought to be a worthy subject of study -- although the wise persons of every time and culture -- had pointed out that the greatest attainment achieved, was simply in knowing oneself -- rather than the ideal they wished to become.  Frequently if not always, it led to mistaking the person one wished to become -- for the person one is, and is apparent to everyone else.  And so we call such people "delusional," because they cannot acknowledge and live in the reality that most people do.

That of course, is the basis for most mental illness -- living in a reality shared by no one else.  In that reality, they can attain unparalleled and unachievable greatness because that opinion need not be correlated and corroborated to any other reality agreed on by any other.  Sometimes that achievement can be obtained at the sacrifice of everything else -- as mass murderers think to do in going out that way.  That is their moment of glory and fame -- but whether anybody else thinks that a worthy achievement, dumbfounds everyone else -- except those similarly deluded.

Hopefully, one doesn't have to be "out of control," in order to experience one's own immense power.  That transcendental moment can be experienced  in all that one does -- when one puts their whole being into it.  That is the integration of mind and body -- rather than the splintering of it.  That is achieved in all the little things one does -- and not just the one big thing one hopes will redeem them from the thoughtlessness of everything else they have done.

That is the goodness one feels in being totally healthy -- and one's being, is one's doing, and not the fragmentation into alternate realities.  That is a very real possibility in this time and age.  People don't have to be motivated by deficiencies and dysfunctions -- to attain their greatest health and well-being.  That can be achieved by just the proper understanding that such a thing is possible -- and not a futile quest for only the vain and inordinately lucky.  It is in fact, the meaning and purpose of every life -- as the "new normal" that is entirely possible for everyone.

It is not the way we were -- but much better.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Wisdom of the Ages

For every ailment under the sun
There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it.
-- Mother Goose (1695) 

More often than not, problems exist because we are not aware of the solution -- but accept the problem(s) as how it was meant to be -- for all time, and forevermore.  But living in these times, one is inclined to suspect that one simply hasn't discovered the right solution, and even if they did, many would not accept them -- or think those solutions are just for the privileged few, of any time and place.

Thus, many think they have to first become kings and queens, or very rich people, in order to be entitled to such privileges -- rather than that they are the right of those who can merely recognize what works and what doesn't -- in today's mass market world.  Some of the best ideas are nearly free -- because the greatest value of a great discovery (invention), is the sharing of it with the rest of the world.  That's how that reality comes into being.  Otherwise it doesn't, and is lost for another few centuries -- until it is inevitably discovered again.

The challenge for many at this time -- because never have so many lived so long before -- are these challenges of "old age," or simply "aging" (badly) at any time in life.  Since so few lived to deal with it, it's never been thought that people can age well -- as commonly as they accept that aging badly is the fate of all -- with no exceptions.  Except now, because of mass media, more are aware that a few seem to defy what we've come to regard as the normal aging prospect -- however usually attributing it to extraordinary means not accessible to most -- just as pharaoh in his day, felt he had the exclusive right to immortality.

Now it is the right plastic surgeon or geneticist too far ahead of his time who is credited with having those powers -- rather than the realm and jurisdiction of most consumers with access to all the markets and information -- most of which is unarguably bad, even with the imprimatur of those who claim exclusive authority on such matters.  But ultimately, authority derives from those who really know what they are talking about -- rather than how much money they received for deceiving others into thinking they do, which is what commercial writing and propaganda is all about.

In a previous generation, it was simply dismissed as the proper province of Madison Avenue -- where it was regarded that it was fair game to say anything one could imagine, as long as one could get away with it -- after hiring all the experts to their side -- to look the other way.  In some places, everybody who was anybody, was in on it -- because the money made it true, at least for them.  Thus we had many boondoggles that became money pits that solved no problems -- but actually perpetuated them -- as their solution.

The majority then became jaded into thinking no solution was really possible -- for any problem anymore, and all in life was futile, and then you die -- after being robbed all their lives of hope that anything worthwhile could ever become of anything, and all one's efforts.  Such people never saw any problem actually solved.  It was simply the selling of one gimmick after another -- falling more into the category of "entertainment," than any other.  One simply hoped to amuse themselves in this way -- until one met their ultimate and inevitable bad end.  "For nothing else was possible" -- in their world. 
That, unfortunately, is still the life for many -- exploited by the few, but not the few they think.  These are the few one would never suspect, because they trade on confidence, and not the actuality of results -- that are even obvious to those who haven't been persuaded otherwise.  That may even be the myth that they live in "Paradise," when everything would indicate otherwise, and convince them that they don't, and live lives harder than anywhere else -- without such sanctimonious proclamations that theirs was the best of all possible worlds, and would be best off not even venturing to find out, never questioning the truth they've been taught by others to believe.
And that is all their "education" and "conditioning" has been -- to let others do all their thinking for them, and repeat it as though they thought of it themselves.