The Future is being created as we actually live it. It's always been that way. That should be the lesson for those who make it into old age. They have to continue to improve each day -- and failing to do so, will make them get worse, deteriorate and finally die. That is also true for people at every age. One either gets better, or one will get worse -- and that should be the lesson instilled from the earliest days. That is the significance of education.
Learning is for the purpose of improving -- and not just accumulating facts for no greater purpose than having it and flaunting it -- as a few still think. That is a useless education. It has to have a meaning and purpose to be worthwhile -- and life sustaining, revitalizing and recreating. Many lose that meaning and purpose somewhere in their lives -- and are cast adrift from that march of improvement, and even think it their purpose to resist all further change and improvement -- even when it makes life immeasurably easier and better for them.
They just think the value and strength is in resistance -- and deliberately condition themselves in that manner -- never realizing that the whole point in conditioning, is to make life easier and better for themselves. That is the only point -- in everything they do. Yet for whatever reason, some people think the whole point in life and their individual calling, is to make their own lives as difficult and hard as possible, and to make those they have contact with, also as hard and difficult as possible -- as though there was some great advantage and virtue in doing so.
Obviously, such people have learned all the wrong lessons in life -- and getting back on the right track, largely requires this reorientation to the right meaning and purpose for what they do. Otherwise, everything they do, only results in their own self-destruction -- until ultimately, they are no longer viable and vital as human beings -- and eventually no longer recognizable as human beings. They are just life -- but without the meaning and purpose -- of one doing their best to continue to improve and evolve.
For what? -- many will ask, thinking life is arbitrary in this and every other respect. It is as it has always been -- to express and enjoy the greatest life one is capable of, which undoubtedly, will be different for everyone but everyone's lifelong unique challenge. When that stops, one is obviously in deterioration, decline and hopelessness -- and drifting away from the river of life into their own stagnant pools of existence.
That is not how life invariably is -- but the beginning of the end for many. Those are the markers of simply heading the wrong way -- and not the inevitable result of living a long life. The mistakes pile up and become overwhelming -- until one realizes at any time, that one can simply let it all go, and begin life anew the right way. That is the importance of dying to the old, and being reborn in the new -- that conveys everlasting life,to those living in that flow.
That is no great mystery in life. That is what everything in life shouts -- but a few have grown weary of listening, and so they do not hear the voices encouraging them along the way -- guiding them to the right. They are convinced that others are there to thwart them at every turn, and so their lives are consumed in constant and endless battles -- to the end. That end comes as a relief -- as the ending of struggle, pain, misery and suffering, and finally the eternal rest of peace.
But life doesn't have to be that way, or end that way -- to those paying attention, and taking better care of themselves -- rather than neglecting and abusing themselves as the major activity of their lives. That can be done in so many ways -- one regards as their personal vices -- the failure to take good care of themselves, and so others have to take increasing care of them. That is always the rearguard of human society.
What is hoped for, is to remain in the vanguard of the future developments and evolution of human society -- in living the better way, which is always being perfected, not by anyone else, but individually, as we live and manifest them. It is not merely reliving history, refighting the previous battles, repeating life as its always been lived before -- but doing what hasn't been done before. That is the unthinkable -- where humanity has not gone before. That is the promised land of ever-evolving life.
All of life has been a preparation for this moment
People who are sadly mistaken, think that nothing is related to any other. So it comes as quite a shock to them, to learn that they may have had a hand in the outcome they are presently experiencing. It might be as obvious as their poor health and condition. What they did -- or didn't do -- is the reason they are in the shape they're in, and not that they had no part in it.
It is safe to say, that those who are the happiest and most content, are those who think they are mostly responsible for their own fate and outcomes -- and therefore do something about it, rather than lamenting how unfair life has been to them, and given them nothing they deserve. In all likelihood, they have gotten what they deserved -- and if they don't like it, it is time to look into their own actions and their consequences, and see the error of their ways and understanding.
For this, they don't need to begin with a perfect understanding and mastery, as though such a thing were possible -- and easy. They simply have to get better at what they are doing -- just a little bit each day, and of course, they have to start -- and not think of more excuses not to. All the excuses in the world, are no substitute for the tiniest bit of action -- in making a difference. That is especially true when asking why most people age badly, while only a few age well. Those latter, are those who have bettered their understanding of life -- and what it takes to be successful at it.
Not just to be successful at all the trivial ways people may become distracted at -- but deeply engaged in their own lives, so that it makes a difference -- in everything they do. It might be even what they don't do anymore -- realizing it is bad for them, and leads to disastrous results. That would include competing with others, and even oneself -- incessantly, as though it were good and a wise thing to do. The inevitable result is an unnecessary and avoidable injury -- that leads to a premature and permanent impairment and disability -- no matter how many blows one thinks they can absorb. It doesn't make them better and more impervious to damage.
It obviously predisposes one to injury -- and with that, a loss of that exercise, articulation and expression -- as happens to so many thinking to retain the recklessness of their youth by indulging in it as long as they can -- until they can't. That is textbook denial -- rather than an understanding and acceptance of its consequences -- before it is too late.
The signs along the way are obvious -- and obviously trying to tell one something important -- but one has to be listening, or it falls on deaf ears. That's why it is so important to want to learn. If a person is not disposed in that way, no amount of teaching is going to make a difference. One will simply resist it all the more -- thinking that is the proper function of their role in life -- to resist the efforts of every other. Such a person can never benefit from the efforts of others; they reflexively try to undermine and undo it. That's what they've been conditioned to do all their lives.
And ultimately, the person they undermine most, is themselves -- because they cannot help themselves. That's the way they are -- and have no way of being otherwise. Such persons are beyond help. Shit happens, and there's nothing they -- or anybody else, can do about it! That's just the way the world is -- according to their understanding.
So thinking it does make a difference -- makes the biggest difference, which is understanding before any further effort is applied. Lacking this proper understanding, makes all further effort arbitrary, futile and counterproductive. Then once the understanding is valid, the effort naturally follows -- but never does before then.
So, many people's efforts seem to be in vain, and the belief that it can't make a difference, no matter what -- because they don't have this understanding leading to proper effort. And there, they do not inquire further -- but accept their dismal fates, as what must be -- and many will agree with them, and encourage them along the way. They say they wish it could be otherwise, but they do nothing to prevent it. Nothing will change, as long as people keep doing what they've always done before. That is the reason it happens.
All the Time in the World
It never fails to amaze (amuse) me to hear people who need to do something important and necessary, say they don't have the time -- because they are doing everything unnecessary and unimportant. Of course the most important and necessary thing to do is tend to their health -- which is the basis for everything else they do in life, and determines the quality of their lives. That's nearly indisputable -- but then after that briefest second of clarity, resume the busyness that is responsible for their poor health, condition and quality of life.
Undoubtedly, they have been conditioned for self-destructiveness, rather than self-actualiztion of their own greatest well-being and good -- both intentionally, as well as thoughtlessly by those with their own self-aggrandizing agendas.
Even those one would think have all the time in the world to do anything they could hope for or imagine, often are trapped in their own self-destructive tendencies and inclinations -- rather than simply letting them go, which would already put them way ahead in the game. It could even be that they have to push themselves to the breaking point each time as the only way they know how to be, or were conditioned to think is necessary.
Nowhere is that mindset more damaging than those mistaking needless competition and competitive strategies, for actualizing their best health and well-being. In the former, one may have to sacrifice their health and well-being, to outshine all the others -- especially if one is not genetically-gifted for that battle.
Everyone I know who thinks they have to go-all out every day of their lives until they drop dead of a heart attack or congestive heart failure, will succumb to their own self-inflicted injuries -- in that way. Most former super-athletes, go out that way -- because they cannot overcome that previous conditioning and mindset that would have allowed them to live many more years merely enjoying the gifts they were blessed with, instead of pushing their luck and limits to the breaking point -- sooner or later.
What is instructive to see is how the many "world champions," are able to make that adjustment to simply long lives in good health, rather than the all too typical story of their premature fall from grace, and many years of infamous poor health before their shockingly young end. That is particularly true, for many of the strongest, largest and fastest people who ever lived.
There has to be a lesson for less gifted people -- as well, because those genetically predisposed, often cannot help themselves -- being the way they are. They are so highly specialized and programmed, than they cannot be any other than they are. So while they are young and competitive, those attributes may be what gains them that advantage, but once they retire and still think that is the winning formula, may experience nothing but injury, pain and torment -- with very little of the benefits -- yet persist for the no longer can recall and related "benefits."
That is simply how they think they ought to do things -- and the "only" way they know how to do anything -- all out, or not at all, when the solution more often than not, lies somewhere in between. More often than not, a little goes a long way -- while of course, zero will remain zero, no matter how good one's intentions. Regardless, the valuable and instructive exercise, is simply "finding out." That is what most "too busy" people, never have the time for. And that more than anything, is the key to well-being and happiness.
In that condition, one is always improving, and life is getting better -- and if not, their condition is what it is. There is no denying the facts -- that what they are doing, is not working, and in fact, working to undermine them. Yet they go on in that way, ignoring and denying the obvious -- which are the problems of their lives, invariably thinking there is nothing they can do about it -- when in fact, they are primarily and ultimately responsible for everything happening in their lives.
How do people get that way? Unquestionably, there are a few things one cannot seem to help or hinder, but it is far from most, or everything one does in life -- or in most cases, does not do -- even if one has all the time in the world, to do anything one could possibly imagine doing.
Thus, it is very important first, to just stop whatever it is one is doing and thinking -- which is the quality of mind called "meditation," and just be aware. In that state of mind, all things are possible, and all the time in the world to do it. It doesn't have to be perfect at first -- especially the first time one does anything. But only doing in this consciousness and attention, makes possible this improvement -- and no amount of doing thoughtlessly and compulsively what one has always done before. No amount of doing that, will ever make a difference -- and effect the desirable change and outcome. In fact, and quite probably, that is the cause of one's problems and difficulties.
For all the truly important things in life, there is all the time in the world to do it -- even if it takes one's entire life doing it. For the unimportant things in life, there is little or no time for it -- and that is why one never has enough time for it, despite all one does -- first.
That's not the same as doing the right thing -- even just to find out. That makes all the difference in the world. Problems and difficulties do not arise DESPITE all we do; problems and difficulties arise BECAUSE of all we do. That is the key to understanding what we are actually doing -- and the condition we are in.
To A Better Place (Survival of the Fitness)
The lesson in life is that one must constantly improve -- or be left behind, to perish with those who can no longer move on. But that fitness is not only about strength and agility, or any other one thing -- but about everything, and how they work together -- to create more than the sum of its parts. That is the synergy of life -- making it more than just the little details -- but altogether, take on a life and intelligence of its own, and creates marvelous new things and possibilities one could never have imagined before.
The new, is not merely the old reinvented, and improved. It is something different entirely. There's a reason it never happened before -- because it took time to come into being. And then when it does, people wonder why they never thought of it before -- because it is so obvious, simple, and straightforward. Life does not move to greater complexity but towards greater simplicity. That is the genius of it.
But many confused and confusing people, think the object of life, is to make everything more difficult and complicated -- so we need them to understand and explain what is going on. There is permanent job security in that -- or so they think, until people catch on, and realize they don't have to be dependent on them to interpret life for them. Of course, some people never achieve that clarity -- or think it possible -- but it is always there for the taking.
First, one has to let go of one's previous conditioning -- that what they know, is all that can be known -- and look with fresh eyes unprejudiced by their own knowledge. That is a great handicap who those who pride themselves on their knowledge -- and want to hold on to that as long as possible -- thinking it conveys great advantage.
The advantage is always that of an inquiring mind that presumes it knows nothing -- and thus, is willing to learn everything. Such a mind, is a formidable mind -- because it knows and recognizes no limits, and so is free to observe only what is, as the only reality it knows. The truth is out there -- and not in the words, thoughts, culture and traditions of an imperfect time and understanding -- that its adherents and devotees insist must be for all time.
Reality and truth is not like that; it is in every moment -- in its own time. It is the best we know at any time. And time changes everything. So the solutions of our youth, are not the solutions of our maturity and seniority -- that we now have to rise to. The life of one time, is not the life for all time, and thinking so, will keep us answering to the wrong challenges of our lives -- despite all we do. It is simply the wrong thing, at the wrong time and place -- though many knowledgeable people, will insist that one can never properly and successfully time life, and what must be good, must be good for all time, and every occasion -- which is why they are often so disastrously out of step.
And they grow more so each day, with each passing year -- until the final isolation, which is to be cut off completely from life and apart from it. That is the obvious. So our challenge is simply, how do we not get that way? The real tragedy is that many young people get that way and so don't even make it to adulthood -- let alone the golden years of senior citizenship.
Survival is the fitness. That is the reality of the matter. That which is dying, disabled or dead, is not fit -- and one has to change. Life is not an entitlement -- no matter what you do.
A person has to do what they have to do. It's easy to second-guess what another should have done -- or should do. That's not the rightful province of any person -- to tell others what to do and how to live their lives. Their primary and greatest responsibility is to live their own lives -- as best they can, and in doing so, set an example for the others -- as to what is possible. That's the only way any problem has ever been solved.
There are countless people whose lives are a mess -- giving advice and telling everyone else how they ought to live their lives, rather than actualizing their own to the highest possibilities. Countless people want increasing and infinitely more -- without ever making the most out of what they already have -- which is usually their greatest problem, so no matter how much they have, and want others to give them, they always need more.
But assuredly, that won't solve their problems -- because any more, will just be wasted, like everything else they've wasted. And that first, is what are they making with their lives -- their body and their health? Are they in their best condition they can make themselves -- or are they expecting the doctors to make them as well as they can be? -- or for that matter, any other person? That is what is most overlooked in the discussion of contemporary problems.
Are you making the most of what you already have? -- and then it is meaningful to discuss, whether more is deserved, merited, and will do any good -- or merely be more resources laid to waste, as one has already proven they have done. "More" is always the easy answer, but very seldom the real solution -- to most problems. In most cases, the solution is "different" -- and not more of the same thing, that is already the problem.
For that reason, one should not be fixated on one answer to everything -- but should entertain more different solutions -- than just the one panacea -- which they feel is the answer to everything, while never asking the right questions. That is always the root of every problem -- that makes it irresolvable, and just gets hopelessly worse, no matter how much more resources, time and effort they give to doing it that way.
That is invariably the difference between success and failure -- and never simply, more and less. That's what the countless failures need to know -- that the successful, are doing something different, and not simply more of what is failing them. Only in that realization, is there the possibility and hope for a breakthrough -- to the other side, and freedom from the torment of constant failure, misery and disappointment.
It is not somebody else's fault; it is one's own lack of understanding -- everything. Therefore, one must begin everything at the very beginning -- questioning all one knows, because it is one's assumptions and presumptions that are faulty, and not the conclusions assuming they are based on the proper understanding. Assuming one knows absolutely nothing, is actually the quantum leap in understanding -- and not a waste of time the hasty, misguided and hopelessly lost assume it will be.
To begin every day with a fresh mind, is the great awakening of all wisdom -- and not coincidentally, the great teaching of every spiritual tradition. "One must die to the old, to be born into the new." To be refreshed and renewed in this way, is never to grow old. It sounds like a tautology, or simple truth -- that is the most profound understanding in any life. That is the root and basis of ever-renewing life -- and not simply old ideas, thoughts and words repeated yet again, as though nobody ever said them before. In fact, everybody has repeated it before -- and that obviously hasn't worked, and so why not begin anew? -- as though one knew absolutely nothing -- and learns to find out.
So it is irrelevant and counterproductive to boast about what one already knows. The real value, is the capacity to learn what one doesn't already know -- for that is the treasure, and not all the fool's gold, one simply wants more.
Freedom is the Celebration
Many are independent -- but very few are free. Actually, most people in "retirement," are independent, but very few think they are free -- or act like it. Freedom is the realization that everything is a choice -- born of decision and no longer the compulsion to do anything as they've always done it before, or even think that it could be any different.
And that is the beauty of freedom -- to be what one imagines they could be -- not only in their minds but in the actuality -- which is reality. That's how it comes about -- but not if one insists that only what one has always done before, is reality, and everything else merely wishful-thinking. Each are equally plausible; it depends upon the commitment and investment in each reality.
If it works, then one should continue doing so -- but if it is not working, one must do something different -- and not just the same thing, hoping for a different result. That won't change anything -- and what is needed is change. Change makes all things possible -- because it produces a different result, even if at first, it is not exactly the desired result. One knows then, whether one is closer or farther, to reaching their desired outcome -- rather than just the predictable same ol' thing.
And thus one learns one thing -- and then another -- but it is a different thing, and not merely confirming the futility and despair in thought and action. Then one is a slave to tradition and convention -- and not free to find out what lies beyond. It is the finding out -- for oneself that distinguishes the authentic from the pretension. The pretentious have no idea what is real; they only pretend to know -- thinking that it is the same, but fails them in critical moments, when they absolutely have to know the difference.
That is the freedom to find out the truth of the matter -- and not just repeat the truth somebody told them -- as though they thought of it themselves. But such people have no idea how to think for themselves -- because they only know what they've been taught is the truth -- as though it is the same thing, which it seldom is. To believe they are, is the reason for futility and despair -- without the hope of ever finding out.
That is why freedom is always a celebration -- of one's ability to find out the limits of their being and doing -- and not as the fearful think, that it is a freedom from those challenges. The greatest gain, is the loss of that fear. Then one becomes fearless -- and therefore free, but not before.
All of Life is a Preparation for Whatever Happens
Everything in life doesn't happen by accident. They happen because we prepare for them to happen. In that way, the life we prepare for, is invariably the life we live. That is the meaning behind education, diet, exercise, and caring -- both for ourselves, as well as for others, which is the world we live in. That is why we must care for the world as much as we do ourselves -- because it is ourselves.
That is a fundamental understanding many people miss -- thinking what they do with and in their own lives, has nothing to do with anybody else's. They may even think that they are against everybody else -- and are always prepared to be so, as the whole object of their lives, which of course, makes it hard and difficult for themselves -- and everybody else.
That is how they see life and all that is happening in it -- as a struggle against everything and everybody else -- rather than the cooperative effort to make life the best for anyone, which is themselves and the world they live in. This way of thinking, is often regarded as the highest form of understanding achieved by only a few, after a lifetime of arduous study -- often in separation and seclusion from the world "outside," in a worldview that seeks to separate one thing from every other.
For such persons, life is predictably hard and difficult, full of self-denial as well as the denial of things as they are -- preferring their self-indulgence as how things ought to be. But no matter how grand their schemes for self-aggrandisement, it is only about themselves -- and not the world they share with anybody else. That is the anti-social and criminal mind, and to a lesser extent, the dysfunctional personalities we all hope not to become -- who invariably perish prematurely through some misunderstanding of how life could be otherwise -- with or without them.
Assuredly, life will go on -- whether one makes the best of it, or the worst of it. The wise choice is obvious and preferable -- but an aberrant few, will never figure that out until their dying day -- and all the days before then. Those are the few who disproportionately "make the news" -- because they are so spectacularly wrong.
There is that tendency in each one of us -- and not that there are the self-righteous "intelligent," and the rest deserving to be manipulated and exploited for their own self-interests. The problem is in this cultivation of this self -- in opposition to all others apart from the living without the cultivation of the self. That's where all their energy and thoughts are going -- and so there is none left for the being and doing that actually matters and makes a difference.
That is to be in the reality that matters -- where all things are possible and is constantly evolving towards the greater. That is the meaning of a better life -- that one becomes increasingly aware of -- and not that it doesn't exist, until one personally discovers it. It is out there already -- just for the taking. That is the world we live in. It already has been created -- it is just what we haven't discovered for ourselves yet -- in the great collective intelligence. Knowing and learning that -- is what real intelligence is -- and not what one thinks they alone possess, that all the others don't.
That is the flawed understanding of every person living below their potential and actualization -- finding out and knowing the way that works, usually while stubbornly clinging to the way that doesn't for them -- which is their reality -- but not necessarily the greater, and desired one. That is the conclusion they have to come to -- that it is not working, and not that that is the best that anyone can hope for.
Such a better life, requires decisions that result in different outcomes -- and not merely continuing to do the same things, even while calling it different names. That is not progress -- or can make a difference. The word is not the thing itself. One has to see that distinction. Wrong effort, is not the same as right effort -- and calling them the same, will not produce the desired outcome. In this case, it is that any effort is preferable to none -- when all one's efforts are creating and perpetuating the problem -- and are not the solution that one is "too busy" to discover -- first.
And not only is their solution not working for them, but they also feel greatly compelled to see it not work for many others as well -- as their great mission in life, because they just don't know any better, and refuse to learn anything different -- until eventually, they couldn't if they wanted to. But by then, it is usually too late to make a difference, and too late to care.
So while one can, the truly inquiring mind is interested in not what merely confirms their present understanding and limitations as all that can be known, but of determining what they don't know that they think they do. Therein lies the solution -- and the greater (better) life beyond.