Why We Grow Old
It's not so much age -- as it is whether a person is constantly improving, or constantly getting worse. The surest way for things to get worse, is to deny that there is any problem -- because then one doesn't seek a solution but accepts the problem, as the way things ought to be -- ie. "just getting old."
All of life is a problem we need to solve. The challenges are different at different times in our lives -- but we still have to rise to that challenge every day of our lives. That IS life. That is what all life faces, and when they can no longer meet that challenge, they perish -- quite understandably. That is the way of the world.
Most of the problems that people accept as the normal, are conditions they can do something about -- but are conditioned (educated) to accept them as normal by whatever peer group says it is so. That's why it is good to have a diversity of exposures rather than the consensus that everybody has to be that one way -- of inevitably and invariably getting worse, but maybe going into denial about it.
Some can and do get better -- but not necessarily in the old and familiar ways. Younger is not necessarily better. Better is something else entirely different -- and not just more or less of the old and familiar. And that is the mistake many of the old make -- in wanting to go back to their youth -- instead of exploring and creating the greater life ahead, which no one taught them to do, or was possible, so they don't do it, and can't imagine it possible, or another way.
That is the very crux of the problem.
Appreciate What You Have
The greatest attainment and the key to life, is making the most of what one has -- rather than desiring, and even attaining, insatiable more, which as wise people realize, always is a little more -- no matter how much they have.
That is the first consideration, and not the last, for those who want to be efficient at personal problem solving -- before one can go out and save the world. One has to first direct that improvement to one's personal problem solving -- before it can be effectively scaled to solving the larger problems. Obviously, solving the problems of one's own health, should be the primary director in every life.
That is what it means fundamentally, to appreciate what you have -- to make it greater. That's the meaning of the word -- "to make greater." That is what appreciation does. Once we understand that, we can make a little into infinity. But we can never do that, if we can never appreciate what we already have -- to make it more.
That is particularly the problem of health in older people -- who think they can get better, without doing anything about it. Of course what one does makes a difference, and all of life is not just a random walk in each lifetime -- "signifying nothing."
Jesus said, "I give you talents, but you have to make them greater." Or you lose them. That's the difference between those in good health, and those in failing health -- whether they are getting better. If they aren't, there is no hope -- because it is just a matter of time... But most people can control their own health and destiny to a remarkable degree and extent -- but they have to find out themselves to know the actuality that is their reality. Finding out for oneself, is the quest of a lifetime -- at any time of life. That is the secret.
The Answer is Out There
The Great Realization is that we know far less than what we don't know -- or think we do. Just because we don't have the answer, doesn't mean that nobody does. It may even be that what we think is hard and difficult, is really very simple and easy -- but our conditioning (education) is to think that everything is hard, and requires years to learn -- especially if the "educator's" job, is their own lifetime job security -- for as long as they can convince their students, that nothing else is possible -- for everything that can be known, has already been discovered, as though knowledge were always a thing of the past, and not the future work of humankind.
For surely, that is the work of everyone -- and not just a self-selected and designated few. It was not always that way, and among the oppressive individuals and societies what makes them distinctive and dangerous as the world becomes more populous. We no longer live and organize to conquer and vanquish every other -- particularly those who do not believe as they do, and demand that everyone does on forfeiture of their lives, as they deem necessary.
That is true even of societies that consider themselves "enlightened" -- as they predictably do -- justifying all actions to enforce their "consensus." Formerly, they owned the machinery of control and propaganda, and so could be fairly successful -- especially in the schools of indoctrination to convince the young and impressionable, that they did know "everything there is to know." But the answers, are not just what they control, and even create -- but the actualities every individual life creates for themselves. That is what is real, and happening, at every moment in time.
How much we know of it depends of every individual's openness to those possibilities -- that they may not know everything there is to know, or even the little to solve the problems of their own daily living -- before presuming to solve all the great problems of human existence -- for everybody else. Invariably, those who never solve the problems of their own living are "too busy" solving the problems of everybody else -- and so there is no time left over for the selfish pursuits of "cleaning up their own act," and in that way the proper work of the world is left undone while much that is unnecessary and counterproductive have highest priority.
And things just get worse, year after year, unfailingly -- even calling it "paradise," or the "Best of all Worlds. " They may not convince everybody of that, but they convince enough people to make that their "localized" reality -- and all that can be known. Dissenters from those lockstep truths, are purged, or purge themselves -- in moving to more agreeable conditions rather than accepting that life can be no other way.
Those are the brutal struggles of societies of the past -- hoping to remain in that past, rather than discover the future in which those problems and difficulties that have tormented humankind for time immemorial, are solved, because that's what people do, and live their lives to do. Either that, or they just accept the lives that were handed down from the past, and go no further -- as the unwritten taboo -- of where no one should go.
Information used to be scarce and hard to come upon -- and societies were organized to maintain that situation as the competitive advantage for those who got there first, even if it meant exploiting their own progeny -- because that is what they were convinced, was what everybody did, from time immemorial -- and that was their fate and destiny too.
Now we know that if we don't know the answer, it is that we haven't asked the right persons -- even if we have to find that out for ourselves rather than just accepting what we know that doesn't work -- as the be-all, end-all of that matter. Those capabilities are programmed and designed into the very tools we use -- not just to hammer nails or threaten others into seeing things the way they would like us to, or even telling us what they know but arriving at the essential question, how do we know? -- and beginning beyond that.
Thinking Through Time
Truth reveals itself in time. That -- which is false, will fail the
test of time. In all probability, it will just be forgotten and
ignored, because there is no payoff for sustaining the belief-- with no
facts to substantiate it -- until maybe some time in the future, when
someone revives the old as the new -- for one more time, to those who
haven't heard it before.
There is always a fresh class
of recruits who will revive an old fallacious idea, thinking it merely
failed before -- for the lack of trying, and not that it was recognized
as a bad idea -- with good reason. For that reason, many think the
secret to youth, is doing the things one did as a youth -- with
realizing, that is what caused them to lose that youth -- or they
wouldn't be trying to regain it. So one can't simply do what they did
at their prime -- thinking that is all that is necessary to remain so --
indefinitely, because those peak performances, also have (had) a cost,
even if it was one they were willing to pay at any price -- thinking
that was all they needed to attain "immortality" -- in whatever hall of
fame was important to them.
In that way, many sacrifice
their health (and sanity) -- for that moment of fame and glory -- for
as long as they can, which no matter how long, will only be momentarily
in the greater scheme of things -- which is their greatest life, at
every stage of it -- and not extinguishing it prematurely, in going
beyond the point of no return or resuscitation. That has always been a
difficult balance for those trying to fine-tune to their optimal lives.
misjudgments, take the lives of many too soon, while many others are
waylaid onto a path of lifelong dysfunction, criminal and antisocial
behavior -- never seeing the light of what they are doing, seeing the
consequences of their actions -- which requires other people to do it
for them. But the efforts of all the others, can never be enough, if
one thinks their part, is to oppose all the others -- in a relentless
struggle and competition -- as though that's what life was all about.
may be so in prisons and restrictive cultures limiting one's choices --
but obviously not the case in a society and environment of the greatest
choices and freedom to make those choices without duress and biases.
For many nurtured in an oppressive condition, the very thought that one
can choose without limit -- was never a possibility they were prepared
to encounter in life, and so their instinct, is to destroy it for
everyone else also. Only in that way, could they achieve a competitive
advantage in playing the "only game in town" allowed.
that one has to buy every "latest, greatest thing," but one should be
open to the possibility that there are other things, than just the one
way they were thought -- and punished for thinking any other. By that,
some think that the only way they can win, is to cheat -- even when it
is not necessary to gain that advantage. That is the only way they know
how to play the game -- which obviously has to result in chaos and anomie in society, as well as breakdowns and crises in individual lives, they even think is the normal process of aging -- rather than taking full responsibility for their bad choices, and resolve not to change.
course it is an untenable position to maintain and defend -- despite
all the information to the contrary. The only hope, is that one will
change, and when they can't, their situation is hopeless and
unsustainable. So one asks, "What is a sustainable?" -- and not that,
"It won't matter because I won't be here to see it -- so why should I
care?" That attitude allows them to evade the responsibility and
ownership for everything going on in their world -- to which they are
just a tourist, having no right to determine the course of that
culture. One's total responsibility, is to "Enjoy," as though that were
an end in itself.
Such people are lost, and will never care about anything of significance and consequence -- because they are not producers of anything, but only consumers
after all the work has been done. And so they think it's always been
there -- just for the taking, and become skilled and clever at "taking
more than their fair share," as all they become good at.
a person produces everything, or most of it, certainly they are
entitled to all or most of it -- and not rather, that they should be in
line like everybody else, or even as they now will insist, for that very
reason, should stand in the back of the line because they are capable
of producing even more. That's how societies and individuals, begin to
fail in time -- because that is not a sustainable society.
One ultimately will reap what they sow -- even if they don't like the results. But rather than ignoring or denying the results, the wise individual, uses that information to determine what they do next -- and keep improving, as their way of life.
Going With The Flow (of Information)
Probably the greatest difference between the Old Mind and the New Mind of the 21st Century, is that the old mind was conditioned to work against the information presented -- as though it was in competition against it -- rather than allowing that information to work and manifest through them. That old mind, was particularly conditioned to think that all the information of others, was also to be regarded as against them -- and never allowing that any information could be used mutually.
That is probably best expressed in the notion that one has to beat the market -- or beat all the other participants in the market (activity), because they were conditioned to believe that the only way they could win, was for everybody else to lose -- and never that what could be useful and valuable to one, might also benefit every other.
That mentality of course, sets one up against every other, at every opportunity -- whether the situation calls for it or not. In such a framework, information is used only as a weapon against all the others, rather than as a tool for everyone to access as needed, and as such, does not needed to be accumulated and/or hoarded, but is abundant and reaffirmed in each use.
This particularly becomes a problem as one ages in this manner of thinking -- because it makes the world and environment one is operating in, invariably hostile, and so one's energies are increasingly and endlessly consumed in protecting one's "hoard," or "turf" -- with little remaining energy and resources available to take in any new information -- in that moment, which is of course, is the reality of the situation, and not merely the memory of a past situation (knowledge) and response. Such people noticeably, are always living in the past, or even future, but never in the present -- even as much as they will frequently remind themselves, to live in the present (moment).
The very fact that they fragment their reality into the past, present and future, is already an indication that there is no perception of the totality of information with no such divisions. The present information, implies the past and the future, and so is unnecessary to consider, as additional information -- rather distracting and detracting from their attention to the relevant -- which of course, is this particular moment -- unlike all the others.
Such an orientation, is a fresh mind -- allowing one to reach conclusions and responses one has never before -- instead of merely repeating only what they have done every time before -- whether the situation and/or information, merited it. As such, their perceptions and therefore responses, are a private reality or fantasy they increasingly withdraw to -- in preference to increasing their exposure to whatever the outcome or information is now telling them -- and which now requires an adequate and appropriate response. But that is frequently not forthcoming, because such minds are absorbed in the old, which has less and less to do with actual realities anymore -- so immersed has one become in their own thoughts and memories, which is not an inevitable part of aging, but certainly a certain path to it -- at any time and age.
One simply has made up their minds, and is determined never to change it -- no matter what information comes into view -- because that is one's intention, and not going with the flow of information and outcomes constantly monitoring and reassessing -- so as to actually improve the situation for increasing benefit -- and not despite and in spite of "no matter what" happens. That is the distinguishing feature of the primitive (old) mind, from today's emerging fully-integrated, and integrating, actualizing healthy individual. They are so by acting in concert with all the information -- and not just that small part that they would like to take as the whole -- in preference to it, which of course is reality -- and the only one that counts.
In simpler terms, that is going with what works -- rather than superimposing their idea of what should in preference to actual outcomes, and adopting mere repetition as their truth -- over any other feedback. So it is enough to think that simply repeating what they have always done before, is doing all they can do, even if it is not working, or creating the desired (optimal) results -- rather than paying attention to the outcome, as the totality of what they now must respond to -- and in that manner, things greatly improve, rather than staying the same, or more than likely, getting immeasurably worse over time -- which they blame on "aging," rather than accept the truth that they need to change, and thus can improve, and continue to do so all their lives.
That is obviously the right approach -- and not simply doing what one has always done before, thinking there will be some miraculously different result. Every outcome, is simply more information -- one should not ignore, in preference for only that they want to believe. That "solves" the problem every time. That aligns them with reality -- from which the truth is manifested through them, and flows.
The Value is Hearing What Other People Think
Many people think to create forums (media) so that they can tell others what they think -- rather than creating forums so that they can hear what other people think -- and that is the problem of communication in this day and age -- despite all the marvels that make those transmissions possible. Nowhere is that more true, than on the social media -- in which everybody now has the opportunity to tell others what to think -- especially about them.
It becomes everybody's opportunity for self-advertising and self-promotion, which formerly was available only to those who could afford to pay for that privilege. Now anybody who wants, can try to manipulate the thoughts of others -- rather than merely revealing the limits of their own, and their ability to express them. The positive, is that more are motivated to master those skills with very tangible results other than just the grades they receive trying to live up to other's expectations of how well they are doing.
The advantage therefore, goes to the rare few, who are gifted and skilled, at seeing themselves as others see them -- rather than merely how they wish others to see them -- which is the age-old problem of the human condition. There is no problem when everyone sees the same thing; the problem arises when everyone only sees what they want to see -- and nothing else.
In a previous time, that was attributed to Madison Avenue, and the effects of advertising, which were considered among the highest skills, because that was the ability to unilaterally control how most people thought -- since most people could not afford to pay the high advertising rates of the existing publications (media). One literally got, what one paid for. The balance of power, was additionally weighted to those who could hire the best writers, and advertising minds. If they were political rather than commercial, it was propaganda, rather than advertising, but it was marketing nevertheless -- evolving inevitably into the infomercial -- in which even their creators can no longer tell the difference.
Obviously, it becomes much easier to be delusional and incapable of distinguishing fact from fabrications -- and many come to prefer the latter, if not exclusively -- often as their "entertainment," or what they believe is their first amendment right, to believe anything they want to believe -- as the truth, and even higher than that. Some think that is the "progress" beyond the truth -- of which they can convince themselves. Thus evolved the preference for many, of virtual reality over and above the actual reality. To such people, there is no difference -- and not just literally.
That has unfortunate consequences for those who do not assess risk and reward properly, as life eventually instructs them definitively. Many get away with their wrong thinking because they never actually test the truth of anything they know, because in most cases, it is enough merely to go along with the thinking of others -- until it is critically important that they have to think for themselves because the challenge is unique to themselves and to their situation -- which nothing else in life has prepared them for.
Under those conditions, many people predictably fail, or perish -- because life is only guaranteed for each individual uniquely, rather than unconditionally no matter what. Some even miscalculate to the extreme of taking more risks that guarantee their demise and extinction. Usually, that is just a lesson to the others, not to do the same. But there is no guarantee that everyone is paying attention -- and sees what is happening, because they may be attending to some alternate reality, or virtual reality instead.
That is not unlike the very common problem of being "distracted" by anything other than what one should (must) be paying attention to. For that reason alone, one should not be conditioned to be distracted from thinking about what one is doing, in preference to better awareness of what they are doing -- as the integration of thought in action -- that transcends the power of either thought or action without it.
That is the crux of the problem of modern life and contemporary living -- as wonderful as it could be, but few yet have actually actualized to its fullest promise. That is the greatness that is the promise of life in the 21st century. That is the challenge and response of these times. Everything else is just a distorted narrow view searching for this whole -- that even the sum of all the parts, if one could individually gather them, would not be equal to -- if in fact, one could gather all the parts in one's lifetime.
That becomes the key -- to understanding any of the parts, or bits of information, that will be proffered as the whole truth on the matter -- in the many infomercials and fabrications one will encounter. Is there any relationship to any actual reality one is familiar with -- or is every reference, merely to another wishful thought -- never pointing to and grounded in any actual reality? That integration of thought and action, is the difference between success and failure, in everything one does.
There is no secret to life.
Living One's Best Life
Nobody can do it for another. Each has to live their own best lives -- regardless of what everybody else does. That has always been the simple fact -- of everybody's existence. We're all given one chance -- to make the best of it -- or not. There is nobody, who never had a chance -- at least one, in their lifetime, to make a difference and change the course of their lives. Most in fact, many chances -- all of them squandered, and so they claim, they never had a chance -- even once in their life.
Even in the most repressive societies and conditions, people have a chance -- and nobody is completely shut out. So the question is, how does one make the most of their chances? One can complain to the day one dies, that they never had a chance -- usually because they never took a chance, and found out what was on the other side -- of the road not taken. Instead, they will insist, that there is no other road -- because they choose not to even recognize it as such.
So for those claiming to live in "Paradise" while complaining how hard their lives are, they just need to find out how else they could be living, if they weren't already living in that perfection. Many will find that they don't need to be working two-three jobs just to keep a roof over their heads -- nevermind getting ahead. That's not even in the realm of possibilities -- and imagination. No, one had better just unquestioningly and uncomplainingly keep on doing what one is doing -- because it is the best of all possible worlds -- that has been predetermined for all, for all time -- by those self-appointed to know these things.
That is the true price of Paradise -- never to determine those things for oneself, but always to have it imposed by some superior being -- who tells them what to chant -- and nothing else will be tolerated. It's good to see when a few escape from such "paradise," and discovers what the rest of the world has to offer. That is the story of humankind ever since the legend of Adam and Eve, and the Garden of Eden. What is the rest of the world like?
Some would say it is a sin to find out -- or think that there can be other ways -- than the only one way they have been taught, and to reject all others. It doesn't matter what that one way is. It could be a good way, or even a glorious way -- but it is only one way, and really, the genius of life, is that there are many ways, and even many right ways. However, each still has to choose for oneself -- and nobody can do it for another, or all others. That's why we live our lives. To find out.
Many will willingly accept how badly their lives can be -- while never entertaining how good it can be, and if at all times, they are living the best life they can be -- under any circumstances. It doesn't matter that the circumstances aren't perfect -- all the time; what matters is that one is doing the best they can, with what they have -- and that invariably makes things better -- but not if they think it doesn't matter, what they do -- because they don't matter.
All that matters, is what one does -- actually, and not what they wanted to do, and all that noise. It is just their entertainment, their distraction from the important work they have to do. That's what they don't want to know about. But when the mind is quiet, it is all there.