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.
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.
Feeling Good is the Best High
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Denial is not a Solution
Many insist there is no problem -- as their way of solving it. But the problems never go away, and naturally grow worse -- though they go into denial, more and more about those realities. Eventually there is a full disconnect -- from the realities and one's explanation of it. Ultimately, nothing is related to anything else anymore, and the explanations (excuses), take on a life of their own, because it has no tie to any reality anymore.
That's what people and a culture are like, when they prefer their wishful-thinking over the actuality of their actual circumstances -- until they can no longer deny or ignore the many catastrophes -- that seem to have come up quite without warning and deserving. "Randomness just happens," they will proudly proclaim, as though that explained everything.
Especially in Paradise. Naturally, there are too many "homeless" and "poor," living in Paradise -- as though such a thing were possible. True paradise would be the elimination and absence of those problems -- and not just the denial of them, wishing it would make it so. As long as they are denied, it is not possible to solve any of them -- but once they are recognized, is the foundation for a solution. Solutions must be based on a foundation in reality -- and not simply the desire that things were not as they actually are -- with no way out, nobody who believes any problem can be solved anymore, because nobody had done so, in many decades now.
It even came to be believed, that the job of everyone now, was to perpetuate the problems -- as their own job security. What would the world be like -- if it wasn't for all the problems to keep idle minds and hands busy?
But the true work of any society, is to improve life beyond what it has been before -- and not just repeat it, for time immemorial -- even if it is "the way we've always done things" -- as the fall from grace and perfection, many believe we began from. And ever since, it's been downhill.
In certain places, that can be the reality -- rather than the improvement most feel are their birthright now. Unless they choose badly, one of the few places where the quality of life seems to be in decline, among those who do have a choice among the many. Just the belief that there can be no place on earth better, prevents one from considering and exploring the alternatives. Those who can, are obviously at an advantage -- over those who are certain, nothing could be better -- even as badly as things are for them.
Improvement is nearly impossible under those conditions -- as the "work" of society, has become the perpetuation of their problems, rather than any resolution of any of them -- which drives off the "fit," as their means to survival. The "fit," are those who can see the truth as the truth, and the truth in the false -- and be able to tell the difference -- rather than deny, that there can be any difference.
Nothing More Important to Do
It should be obvious, but to many people, it isn't. They insist they are other than what they actually do -- and would like other people to believe they are. So for such people, there is always the difference between what they do -- and what they wish other people to believe, despite what they actually do. That leads many to conclude that they are "hypocrites" -- people who do one thing, and claim that it is something else, so that others should not trust their own senses, but instead, believe what they say. In that way, others become as confused as they are -- of what their true "intentions" are, in addition to their actions.
That manner of "doing," becomes quite acceptable as the way of the world, where nothing is as it obviously is. Thus, many do not know what happened, until somebody else explains it to them -- in their very contorted logic. Such people are easy to spot, spending most of their time explaining what they are doing, rather than actually doing anything. How could they be?
Doing is always an integrative action. Talking is the act of fragmentation -- of creating many different versions of the one reality. Reality is always the One Thing -- and not many different explanations of what is happening -- which of course, fragments the reality into many tiny parts -- often in contradiction of one another. That is the problem of living in any age.
Many cling to the tiny parts as though they were the whole -- which must be a unifying comprehension, and not just more separate, conflicting realities. That only adds to the confusion -- and never reducing it. Usually, the facts speak for themselves -- rather than needing interpreters of every persuasion and ideology.
So all of life, is a quest for this truth of the matter -- and this truth, will keep them ageless. but when one only lives in the shadows of their delusions, eventually it must come to an end. Before that, is the dying to the truth more and more each day. That's what kills. Dying to the truth. But if one lives fully in the truth, there is no such dying -- for the truth is living in the present and each moment -- fully. Somewhere along the line, we lose that connection, the mind-body, and live increasingly, in lonly the reality of the mind. That is the danger at any age, but especially so as one ages. That is why some do it well, but many do it badly.
That is the final challenge, and we hope to get that right too.
How Much is Enough?
If you have a rate of return of only 4%, and your drawdown rate is
4%, you've already achieved lifetime sustainability -- no matter how
long you live.
The rate of inflation affects everyone
equally, so one doesn't need to add on some imaginary inflation rate
beyond that -- like the labor unions like to flim flam the "leaders"
with, and multiply their advantage over everybody else.
people frequent the markets that are more favorable to them -- rather
than the most punitive, as though it doesn't make a difference.
Those personal decisions and life orientations (choices), will make a much bigger difference than the rate of return once one has accumulated a modestly sufficient nest egg, at which point the "game" of simply making more money, should be moot.
we see in these same articles, that the reason for maximizing one's
returns, is so that one can spend it foolishly and lavishly on travel,
entertainment, fine dining and wining -- at which point all bets are off
that one could ever have enough money, time and energy -- because only
one part of the equation, is not enough to arrive at any valid answer.
is the balance and interplay of all the variables (and constants), that
makes any solution useful -- and not any one factor in isolation -- no
matter how large or small.
The wise person will live
within their means in good times and bad -- while the fool, will deny
that they should ever adjust their expenditures, no matter what. That
seems to be the presumption of most of the financial experts -- that
humans (life) never adjusts, adapts, and evolves -- and therefore is
There is no "happily forever" after from the beginning for all time. If you always do the best you can, you always will.