Sunday, August 31, 2014

Your Health is Your Wealth

Health is not something separate from your life -- but is the summation of all one does and is.  There is no good health in spite of it.  There is good health, and good life, only because of it.

That is to say, that the way one is, is a direct result of what one does -- and not that there is no relationship between one's health and the way one lives it.  People have good lives, because they live good lives -- and have bad lives, because they live bad lives.  People who do bad things to their health, have health problems, and its many complications.

The obvious one is smoking; slightly less obvious, is overeating, and eating bad food choices, and not exercising to keep the body well-conditioned -- so that it can do the many things it might want to do -- instead of always explaining that one can't do that -- which eventually becomes everything.

How is a reasonable person to expect that their quality of life and activities will   be severely impacted and limited -- until finally, one needs an army of caregivers to do everything for them -- because one has long given up doing anything for oneself anymore, and think getting everybody else to do everything for them, is their seniority entitlement.  Those are choices people make to become less competent and able -- just as it is a healthy choice to become more competent and able.  

It is not the same -- whether one chooses to be healthier, or unhealthier.  Such choices matter profoundly, in everything one chooses to do -- in one's life.  It's not just health for health's sake, something only vain and arrogant people do.  It is what every intelligent being does -- choose to enhance their chances for survival, and beyond that, actualizing the greatest life one can live -- as the primary meaning and purpose of their lives.

All one has is a chance -- at life.  There are no guarantees and entitlements of the best life -- but one has a chance at it, and that is as much as one can hope for.  The rest is learning what makes life better, and what makes life worse, and choosing to make it better -- every day of one's life.  As soon as one stops doing that, than there is no reason or hope that things can get better -- because one doesn't no the difference, or care to know.

So things get worse -- and one has long forgotten how to make any difference in their lives -- which is their world.  And so they complain about the world not working -- and not just them -- who they think has no part in it.  They see the many ways to fail -- and no way to succeed.  That is their choice -- the way they see the world, as not working, and only getting worse.  

But obviously, the world is working, or there wouldn't be so many people in the world -- setting world records.  People get better, because it is in their DNA to get better -- unless they choose not to.  They sit on the banks and watch the rest of humanity cross the river because they've decided that they can't go on -- and they don't want to do anything about it.  They've lost the will to change.  They now demand that the whole world change for them.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Why Running is Overrated

Healthier people are more likely to run than unhealthier people.

But as many people point out, it wreaks havoc on one's knees, feet, back -- and so most people don't run anymore -- particularly as they get older and more out of shape.

The geniuses at the high school physical education departments of the world, would be doing something much more worthwhile and valuable creating/describing movements that everyone can do without causing the injuries, deterioration and pain that tells most people not to do something -- with good reason.

Just turning the head 360 degrees left and right -- for 5 minutes standing or seated, would activate all the muscles of the body and keep one in that condition and proficiency all one's life, rather than produce the graveyard of knees, feet, backs that precludes one from meaningful, healthful movements anymore -- because they injure themselves in that way, but are convinced by the "experts" that those are the only movements that matter -- as if they mattered.

The UPS driver needs that skill at turning one's head and knowing conditions all around him to act safely -- rather than he needs to carry a package for 5 minutes to deliver to the next carrier along the route. 

Humans are an  information-gathering/processing animal, and not one reliant on brute force/strength or ruthless competitiveness for survival.  More often than not, problems solve themselves just in taking in enough information to know what is going on -- at which point, one only needs to contribute a little bit of effort to that understanding and awareness -- rather than invent the wheel entirely with only their own efforts.

That is not an effective or productive way for a human to be -- reinventing everything from scratch -- without that awareness of what already exists -- and leveraging that understanding with readily-available tools.  One of the great inventions, is the chair -- for which many things can serve that purpose, and so one doesn't need to build a chair every time one wants to sit -- for the purpose usually, of sparing their knees, feet, back and hips from unnecessary wear and tear -- so that one has those capabilities ready when actually needed.

That is what humans are doing -- preparing and building the reserves so that they have them when they might actually need them -- and not just burning as much calories, time, energy and resources -- because they have no idea of what else to do, and think that alone is enough.

Let's move health reporting out of the Stone Age.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What One Thing, Changes Everything?

What is the condition and conditioning fundamentally all about?

It is to refine and enhance one's ability to change -- as a response to any challenge one faces in life -- giving them greater survival value.  That is the big picture -- before one gets lost in all the minutia that doesn't mean much of anything.  It's not about the trophies won, highest achievement or greatest risk undertaken -- but capacity to handle most of the circumstances one will encounter in living their own unique lives.  If one can do that, than the results speak for themselves -- but if one is always complaining about not being in the condition to meet those challenges, then those are the opportunities missed, and the life unfulfilled.

And then one asks, "What is one doing otherwise?"  How is one wasting their time (and life)?  Even the greatest athletes in the world, don't spend most of their lives competing -- or training to compete.  It's usually a very small part of their lives -- and the majority is just living it, from day to day, as most people do.  But even in those daily lives, there's a huge difference between those who look forward to each day with purpose, and those who dread another day falling further behind -- and that is the biggest difference that one can make in their lives.  It matters much less how much one bench presses -- if one ever does it at all, even once in their life.

Far more important than sacrificing everything else in life for such an arbitrary objective -- including one's health and limbs as the most fanatical inevitably do -- it makes much more sense to ensure those capabilities over the full course of one's years (life), which for those living now, is not unthinkable to last 100 years.  However, up to now, most don't live that 100 robustly healthy -- and most are in obvious physical decline beginning at 50, and as some proclaim as soon as they graduate from high school, that they're already starting to get "old" -- meaning a noticeable decline from their peak at youth.

In many traditional and primitive societies and cultures, that was about right -- because the lifespan only reached 40 for the luckiest, and the less fit and robust, were weeded out much sooner, out of the necessity of a marginal hold on life -- for everybody.  Now, the average person lives like only kings and pharaohs used to previously.

That is the greatest opportunity of living in these times -- that many are totally unprepared for -- that most just take for granted and fritter away -- the greatest capacity for the fulfillment of their own lives, from beginning to end.  Many people's visions still include a prolonged stage and period of life in which they are totally incapable of doing anything for themselves even -- thus requiring an army of others to be employed just to keep them alive in that state (condition).  That is what many still regard as the normal expectation of a long life -- and not the possibility that it could be robustly lived from beginning to end, as the new and quite predictable new normal.

That is the ending of "age" and "aging" as we've known it up to now.  It's not just one thing that changes -- as we are used to thinking of things -- but everything that changes, as the new paradigm of condition and conditioning.  What one thing, changes everything?, and no longer thinking, of the many different things that need to change as though they are unrelated to one another.  There is not enough time or energy in the world, to change everything in the world as though it is unrelated to every other thing -- requiring change, but what is the critical path, by which one changes everything?

That is obviously brain functioning -- at the root of everything else one does -- including thinking -- apart from the doing.  That requires a conditioning in which, the doing is one's being -- rather than doing one thinking, while thinking one is doing something entirely different -- as the fragmented, divisive mind is conditioned to.  The mind is not apart and separate from the body.  The health and functioning of the body, is the mind, awareness and functioning of the mind.

Obviously, the most important functioning to effect, is the functioning of the brain -- above increasing one's bench press or time in the marathon -- before one does anything else, or even attempts to.  It might be that by increasing the functioning of the brain, that one will see no need to bench press a maximum weight, or run ever again unless absolutely necessary -- and not because one doesn't know what else to do to burn more of the calories one thoughtlessly consumes -- as their preoccupation and abuse of every opportunity they've been given, and presents itself daily to them.

One doesn't have to continue -- doing only what one has done before.  The whole realm of possibilities -- awaits being taken.  But that means seeing the world freshly -- from the very moment one awakes.  Otherwise, there is only the continuation -- of what one did before -- and not beginning the day freshly, without preconceived notions of how the day must be -- like every other before it.  So only in that first moment upon awakening, is an entirely new day possible -- and not later, and later, until one is too exhausted -- to think and do freshly, but fall asleep again.

And so nothing ever changes.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Minimum and the Maximum

The first thing one should consider in designing a personal movement strategy (conditioning), is to establish the parameters of the minimum and the maximum -- and not just fixate on the maximum one hopes becomes the minimum.  

The minimum has to be just that -- the absolute minimum one can do at any time, in any condition -- and not only once, when they are at the top of their game in peak condition, or they're discouraged and depressed because they know they cannot do it -- and so never try again.  They don't want to embarrass themselves -- in coming to the realization that they're no longer that once in a lifetime best -- and accept their momentary condition, as what they actually have to work with.  That is dealing with reality -- and not simply the wishful-thinking of what they would like to think.  That always gets one nowhere but farther away from their realities.

That is doing the most simple and basic things until they become automatic -- otherwise, that is putting the cart before the horse, thinking the horse will figure out what you want it to do.  That is the reason for practice -- and actually doing anything great; one has to begin by laying the foundation for that greatness -- which in any case, is constant and steady improvement -- beyond doing the same thing one always did before, and even getting worse at it.

Finally the cognitive dissonance (difference between one's thinking and the actuality) becomes so great, that one is convinced that nothing makes a difference anymore -- and whatever one wishes to think is sufficient.  That's how people go into irreversible decline -- suspecting the worst, but denying it until they are no longer capable to distinguishing any truth anymore.  They just think it is all "entertainment" -- some more entertaining than others, but nothing that has a reality beyond the moment -- lost in the next.

Therefore, nothing ever amounts to any progress -- or even just staying as good as one used to be.  All is simply lost, and there is no base from which they can ever get it back -- or know where "back" is.  Thus the necessity for developing a base, and baseline performance -- not to improve, but to know where one is, and starting from.  Then one can go places.  But first, one has to know where one is -- presently, before it is meaningful to discuss where one wants to be.  One might already be, where one wants to go -- but won't know that, unless they first determine where they presently are.

The minimum, is that baseline grounding -- of where one presently is.  That is what scientist call a "control" -- otherwise, they have no idea of what is different, or changes -- if in fact, there are any.  Most unscientific claims, have no such controls or starting point -- but proves anything the promoter wants to prove, because saying so is enough.

All such claims though, still have to stand the test of time -- that one is still doing it 10 or 50 years later with the same results and effectiveness, and not that what caused them to claim the world championship at one time, results in death or disabling injury in another.  Much of competitive athletics has that fine-line separating the extraordinary performance from a career-ending injury; one hopes not to cross that line, but most inevitably will -- and finally not return, no matter how much the spirit is still willing.

One greatly minimizes the risk of injury from common everyday movements -- by performing a minimum of movements that serve as a warmup and preparation for most movements they make in their daily lives -- regardless of whether they participate in athletic competitions.  That doesn't mean they even have to be competing with themselves -- which some think is a more enlightened thing to do, but is the same competitive mentality that predisposes them to injury and overtraining/burnout, which results in the same premature retirement from such activities -- with the same awful consequences of one going into irrecoverable disability and decline.

The desired maximum is knowing when one is approaching that line without crossing it -- at more infrequent bouts that allow sufficient time for recovery and adjustment to enhanced levels of demands -- over the normal.  But there is this need for both the minimum of daily exercise (warmup), and a slightly more demanding, but more infrequent higher capability of meeting a greater challenge and demand -- on a schedule of once or twice a week -- that can be maintained all one's life.

Just doing the minimum, or just doing the maximum -- is not sufficient.   One needs to do both -- for each to give meaning to the other -- just as the relaxation gives meaning to the contraction -- in the beating of the heart, and why focus on one phase or the other, in preference over the other, is dangerous and counterproductive -- just as it is with all the other muscles of the body.  So just to contract a  muscle for as long as possible, or to relax them for as long as possible -- is not how the body is made to work, but requires both -- or life ceases, and before then, diminishes and deteriorates over a long period of time.

Most people just drop out from these activities -- once their "competitive" days are over, because they have no strategy for lifelong health -- which is the much bigger picture, and greater significance of their lives.  Life doesn't end at 30, or sixty, or even 90 now -- and one hopes to be at their best throughout, although the accolades have long stopped.  Remaining competitive in age-groups limited by the participation, is mostly nonsense because it is not the competition that is important, but a distraction from the essential understanding required to uniquely be one's best.  That is way beyond the competition.  That is one's reason for being, and doing, that will sustain them all the days of their lives.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

The Great Divide

People can most meaningfully be divided into two categories -- but not the ones most often talked about -- black or white, rich or poor, liberal or conservative, Republicans or Democrats, etc.  The major difference, is simply whether one is fully healthy and thus functioning on their highest level, or whether there is some factor in their lives that prevent this -- whether they are black or white, rich or poor, etc.  If they are healthy and functioning at their highest level -- then there are no excuses for their failures, or the undeserved success of others, and thus the actualization of their own lives -- as their experience of the world, and reality, come what may.

That is what every individual needs to be fully-focused on -- rather than distracted on all the diversions and entertainments the world is prone to offering as the shadow of reality and actuality -- of which the greatest human error, is in mistaking the "shadow on the wall (cave)," for the reality.  That is the confusion that is the great divide -- because knowing the difference, by learning the difference, is one's healthy orientation to life.

Health is actually what we are all here for -- to manifest it as best we can, and by that achievement, providing that, creating the stepping stone to the next advancement of those possibilities for the human species as well as all of life -- and not just get caught up in our private fantasies, deceptions and delusions of what is going on, and what is so important -- that results in the most inhuman acts and conditions -- because the mind is so divided and fragmented, that it can never see the whole, and experience it.

Instead, every experience, thought, and action, has no relation to anything else.  Everything in life is completely arbitrary -- and has no meaning, other than one's whim, which is to do only one's thing, regardless of all the others.  That's how "accidents" happen -- people thinking they have all the rights, no matter what the realities of existing in a world of others.  It is not enough just to have the right, or the right of way, to ensure one's safety and well-being -- but only a presumption that has to be confirmed, by actual agreement -- and not just unilaterally.  That is the exercise of the human contract, in daily living.

That confirmation and affirmation, makes us healthy -- in the actuality, and not just our own minds.  In that way, the world is not divided into thought and action, but are instead, integrated into thought in action.  And that is what it means to be healthy -- the embodiment of health, and not the fragmentation of it into sundry and many symptoms -- all unrelated to one another, for certainly, they must be fundamentally related.  But for the many narrow specialists of any time, life is never whole and complete, but is a constantly raging war, of every part against every other part -- for primacy and dominance.  That is the unhealthy, tortured mind -- we see explode unexplicably from time to time in some ultimate rage.

Many others, never get to that point of ultimate frustration, but quietly acquiesce and accept, the futility of their own existence, in deciding there is nothing they can do, that makes a difference -- even, and especially in their own lives -- so mesmerized are they by the mediated experience of the images from everybody else's incomplete understandings -- that life is made for the whole, and not just that individual exclusively.

That is the problem of isolation, division, aging -- when people begin to separate from the whole, into fragmented existences apart from all the others.  That is the problem -- and not that dividing it further into all the divisions and categories, brings about a great comprehension of the whole -- which is to live in the unity of it all.  Then there is no ranting against the other -- and every other, as though that was the solution.  That is the divided, fragmented mind -- that is the source of all the problems.

You are the world.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Exercising Intelligence

I saw two two very thought-provoking videos on YouTube recently:  The first was a TED talk, in which the expert on aging, defined aging as the "accumulation of damage by the body" -- while suggesting there was a way (yet to be discovered).  That sounds a lot like the age-old wisdom of karma -- by which all one has done and will do in life -- determines one's experience of life.  That is to say, that  life is not random, but there is a reason why things happen -- and if one does not see that yet, one needs to look beyond one's habitual thought processes -- which is meditation, or thinking beyond one's conditioning.  In that way, one discovers how it is they think that way -- and think they thought of it themselves, rather than than that it is what another desires them to think -- as the truth of the matter.

The second video, was titled Kung Fu Genius -- in which the hero of the story reveals only at the end, in answering the question posed by the final climactic triumph -- as to where he had learned his invincible technique, that he in fact, learned it from his opponent in fighting him -- and thus figured out a way to defeat him, and that is why he was a kung fu genius -- as he learned while doing.  And of course one had to agree, that is the essence of genius -- and not how much one knows prior to the doing -- if they ever get around to doing anything at all.  Nist are just content to revel in their knowledge -- and presumed superiority -- even while knowing nothing worth knowing -- because they never manifest that knowledge in any action.

When one puts those two videos together, one arrives at a greater insight that either one alone possesses -- as one wondered why the first presenter, did not manifest and exhibit that robustness of vitality and vibrancy -- but instead, seemed to be old even before his time (age) -- as an "expert" on aging.  Similarly,  lot of people are experts on weight loss and diet -- because they've tried them all, and are definitive proof, that none of them work -- or the exercise instructor, who exhibits any muscle tone anybody can notice -- yet are proud of their resemblance to Gandhi, as the ideal of human understanding and achievement -- that we all ought to emulate.

It does not occur to such proponents, what the actuality of health might manifest, except to persist as long as possible, beyond the point which everyone marvels why they are not dead -- being in that condition of advanced decline and deterioration.  That is not a hopeful prospectus for anybody considering their own longevity, and many think it is not something worth striving for, and the condition in life they want to prolong for as long as medical science makes possible.

That is a mind not breaking out of its prison -- and thinking there is a life beyond -- just a little more light, and a little more food -- as their nirvana.  But for the mind that can break through all that -- they create the life they live, in living it.  That integration of thought and action -- is health, physically, mentally, emotionally, and in every way possible.  That is the work of man -- and not just making more money, and all the other obsessive behaviors that define many lives -- and so naturally, when they are "retired" to create their best lives without all those previous constraints -- many lose their way entirely -- into the various delusions that characterize people cut off from active engagement and participation in the larger society and social fabric, and decline in their own peculiar fashion -- because nobody tells them what to do anymore.

They are entirely on their own -- which is a great disaster for many people -- particularly for those who always relied on somebody else to tell them what to do.  And if nobody does, they don't care either -- and so just dissolve into an indistinguishable mass -- seen only by their social and health care workers, as those that still have to.  At that point, human beings have no idea what they should look like -- and the condition they should be in, that manifests (actualizes) the best that they can be.  They no longer fell that necessary -- or even to fake it anymore.  One is simply done -- and nobody, including themselves, expects anything more from (of) them.  Life then, for all practical purposes, is over.

So how do we not get that way? -- the intelligent mind inquires.  We should be learning as we are doing -- and not simply executing what we already know -- that doesn't work, and won't, no matter how long we persist at it.  Obviously, we have to do something different -- learning in the doing -- and not merely learning apart from doing, academically, intellectually -- but unintelligently.  That is what transforms and transcends the declining human being -- and not just simply, the denial of that reality. That is the most disastrous thing one can do -- becoming evermore detached from those actualities -- to live in their own world, their own personal fantasies and delusions of what they are doing, and how they are perceived by others -- doing their own thing, and encouraging everybody else to do their own thing also -- and so each retreats further into their own self-isolating activity, which has to result in a dead end, and not the wider ocean of life.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Conditioning for these Times

  A lot of well-meaning but not very thoughtful people, think the meaning and purpose of our existence, is to prepare and condition ourselves to live in another era, under totally different circumstances and conditions -- rather than meeting the challenges of our very specific own times.  So naturally, their ideal, is to prepare one to live a caveman's (or kingly) existence -- of perpetual struggle and conquest, in a very short and brutal life.

Hopefully, that is not the reality which most people have to face daily -- especially in the most prosperous society and culture of these times.  The challenges may be in fact, quite the opposite of the desperate caveman's (or conqueror's) -- dealing with the abundance of food and other resources, rather than its scarcity -- requiring a whole different set of responses and reflexes (conditioning), to successfully meet the challenge of their living -- their everyday lives.  And that is in fact, where most people are failing to meet these challenges -- in their everyday lives, from which they can only hope to "escape" -- in one diversion (entertainment) or another.

Not surprisingly, this whole industry of "entertainment" in one form or another, has come to replace the real purpose and meaning in many lives -- as their "reality," instead of the actual ones of their own  existences.  It is no wonder then, that solving these many manufactured problems of the media -- while not solving any real problems of their daily lives -- leaves them powerless to do any more, until finally, they give up trying in utter futility, and are convinced that nothing matters, or could make a difference -- rather than the proper understanding, that everything matters -- and that's why they are in the hopeless condition they are in -- despite what they think they're doing.

That is what we refer to as ineffective, or dysfunctional people -- those who are always and invariably solving the wrong problem at any and every time -- no matter how much it seems like they are doing.  They are obviously doing all the wrong things.  Yet they are convinced, that they are doing all the right things -- which is apparent to an impartial observer, is not the same thing -- but they have lost the ability to discriminate that -- because they have been conditioned, to believe that all discrimination is bad, and should never be done -- because it is the job of the self-appointed experts, to tell them what to think, and when to think them -- and so they become totally dependent on others to do all their thinking for them -- while they even believe they are thinking entirely for themselves!

That is the world (and plight) of modern man -- the world we live in now.  That is the challenge of life in the very real time.  Even virtual, doesn't get us there.  It has to be the actuality of life as we actually encounter and deal with it -- not in some laboratory far away, or some boardroom of a marketing campaign -- but life as we encounter and are increasingly aware of it.  For many, that begins and ends with their individual and unique health -- which is their very capacity to live and experience life.

The critical capacities, are the very organs by which we sense and experience the many things -- particularly at the head, hands and feet -- which are essentially our common senses.  The plight of modern man is this tendency (conditioning) to rely on others to tell them what they feel and experience, rather than relying on their own common sense(s) -- in all manner of things.  So most people, never figure out anything for themselves anymore.  They rely on the doctor or politician, to figure out everything for them -- and think that is the only way it can be done -- and never that they can discover for themselves, what works for them -- if nothing else does. They may even believe that it is prohibited to discover their own way -- and especially if it works, because then there wouldn't be the problem, that so many have come to depend on for their living.

That is the failure of human beings to adapt -- effectively.  The solution is always in the problem itself -- in asking the wrong questions, and not seeing the obvious -- because we are conditioned not to.  

The failure of the body invariably begins at the extremities of the body -- in the vital senses, by which we have a clue (sense) that something is wrong, just as we do when everything is right -- and even sublime moments when there seems like there could be no wrong.  Those are the moments one hopes to condition themselves to -- as their base level of who they are, and how they experience life -- in and over its entirety.

Increasingly, that means not outliving our capacity to experience and enjoy it -- because the head, hands and feet are the first to go -- while the traditional vital signs of the heartbeat continue on -- just because they can.  Life under those conditions become increasingly meaningless.  But far before then,  we need to restore the central importance of life and its activities, to these proper center of focus and development -- which is where they really matter, and make a difference -- and not simply whether the heart pumps harder and faster, as the ultimate measure of anything of significance.  That is the given -- but where we go beyond that, makes the greatest difference.