Sunday, April 01, 2018

An Independent Life (Putting It All Together)

The most disturbing thing of people feeling a lost of control over their own lives and destiny, is the increasing reliance on "other people" to fulfill their basic (daily) needs.  So increasingly, they feel their lives are beyond their own control -- and all they feel they can control, is the remote for their television and entertainment.  They may even feel privileged and "progressive" to have reached such an advanced state of "interconnectedness" -- that they fail to realize they have become entirely helpless in living their own lives -- and are even advised to become even more so.

It is good business for those who provide their "services" -- for those who no longer can provide many of these things for themselves -- and increasingly lack the competence and confidence to do so -- which seems quite a perversion of how we think life should be for the best.  Early in life, they thought nothing less for themselves -- until increasingly reaching a point sometime in their lives when they experienced a definitive turning point -- and felt resigned to the kindness and mercy of others -- who could not resist the power of feeling others totally dependent and indebted to them for their continued existence.

That is the modern version of power -- just as these of an earlier time relished their power of life and death in the most brutal ways that now have become so subtle and insidious.  If we can make a whole category of people helpless, we have an unlimited source of customers for our own services -- and they never change so that they don't need us anymore.  They are our personal "cash cows."

One is simply the "pass through" -- for others getting paid (rich), while they never get better -- but only increasingly worse, and dependent on even more costly services.  That certainly distinguishes life at the bottom -- where those are regarded as expendable and disposable, and openly prey and exploit the most vulnerable, and not merely gullible.  In that scheme, the most "successful" regard themselves as the ultimate exploiter -- at the top of the the pyramid -- outsmarting all the others.

But real success is getting beyond all that dependency and co-dependency to become an "independent" person (mind) -- not thinking in such terms, but providing as much for oneself so others never need to consider doing so for them.  Such a life these days, seems almost unthinkable -- so reliant have many become on information and input provided for them -- disturbing the stillness and tranquility of their own minds in deference to the most intrusive and persistent.

Just as "scarcity" has been replaced by "abundance" in a generation, many have not made the shift to adjusting their strategies and orientation when the rules of the game have changed so drastically -- and the danger is no longer underconsumption, but overconsumption -- even to one's own destruction.  Thus, obesity and excess are the markers of advanced decline -- and the minimalist lifestyle of only what one actually needs, seems ingenious.

That is the new paradigm for this age -- and not that of the previous generation's -- of acquiring and accumulating as much as one can -- even if it risks burying them, as hoarders are wont to do.  Such people feel they are "dependent" on their possessions for their well-being and prosperity -- even as it "owns" them and dictates their lives.  As such, their whole lives can be seen as an "obsessive compulsive disorder," having little to do with meeting "actual" needs, and have become ritualized to where no deeper insight is possible.

Of course that is mental illness -- that many increasingly fail to recognize, or are taught not to see -- as all delusions are encouraged, as though that was a public good. That increases the "GDP"  -- the greater dependence.  It's good to be able to disconnect from the grid of predetermined choices and fates -- and write out one's own.  But one has to ensure that they haven't lost those capabilities -- in exercising them from time to time -- if not oftener.  That's how one knows they are still capable of doing these things for themselves -- and not have these memories and experiences merely planted in their heads -- as though they thought of these things themselves.  Or did they? -- and how will they know the difference?

Friday, March 02, 2018

The Power of Exercise

The biggest difference anybody can make in their own lives is to exercise -- because that is invariably the person they are.  Nothing else is possible.  You are what you do, and if you don't do anything, the results are obvious.  That doesn't mean that a person has to climb Mt. Everest (or the peak of their choice) to prove they are fit -- or die trying to do so. 

One just has to be able to do everything they normally do -- as best as they can, and maintain those capabilities as long as they live.  That's really a simple task -- made difficult by doing otherwise.  Usually, they get distracted onto doing things that subvert that health and well-being -- with the rationalization that it doesn't make a difference.  Thus they are convinced, and convince themselves, that things that matter, don't -- with disastrous consequences to follow.  For a while, they say they should have known better, but after a while, they make no pretense for falling apart -- with no will or skill to make it otherwise. 

Then the worst just happens -- and they are powerless to do anything about it.  For a few, that is the beginning of the end -- of increasing hopelessness and despair, and the feeling that they will ever master and be in control of their lives again -- as they might once as a young person believed.  Now those dreams are over, and they can only look forward to diminishing health and well-being -- because it is "too late" to do anything about it.  But so was every moment before then.  That is their conditioning, that is the "shape" they are in.  It is both physical and mental, and their whole adaptation to life.  That is the person they've become.

So how can one NOT become that person?  That is the difference between those who are succeeding and those who are failing at life.  One is the master of their own destiny, while the other is the victim in every other's path.  For these latter individuals, life is more about what others can do for them, and less about what they can do for themselves.  Inevitably, there is very little they can do for themselves -- which is the skill set they never acquired some time in their lives -- having missed the whole point of what life was all about.  They never matured, and blossomed into a free and independent person -- at some point in their lives, and preferably, in the best years of their life.

For most, that is the golden years, and the golden age -- of when they do.  Instead, they were too busy chasing finish lines and fulfilling bucket lists -- to have remained at home, taking care of business -- and all those housekeeping chores that the wise build their lives upon.  They were out chasing fame and fortune -- at least in their own minds, while their own foundations were crashing down upon them.  One wondered -- when if ever, they would ever awaken to that awareness -- which was the only thing separating them from the happy outcome they sought, while choosing to chase the wrong things -- even if only because "everybody" else seemed to. 

But was that truly "everybody else," or merely the false idols held up before them? -- all seeking that same, elusive fame and fortune? -- they would give everything they had, until they had no more to give.  Still, they could replenish the well -- if only they knew how.  That was not something they thought important to learn -- as they were confident there was always more where that came from.  In that way, the best often become the last -- trailing badly as they limp and hobble their way to the end -- thinking they would always maintain their advantage at the head of the pack.  They only knew how to win -- and when the winning stopped, they had no idea what to do -- and so they perished, or merely shrank into a shell of themselves -- rather than reaching a higher level with every passing phase.

Such people, only want to stay young forever -- rather than growing into each successive stage.  Those were the best years of their lives -- that they now merely want to relive forever -- even if only in their own minds.  Far better would it be for them to exercise the best version of their present selves -- as though that was all that really mattered.  That doesn't mean simply repeating the past -- as though that was the only thing that mattered.  Surely what matters now, just as any other time in the past, is finding out what one's present (actual) capabilities are -- whatever that might be. 

That knowing and discovery, is what is important -- at any stage, and condition.  That is discovering "reality," and to know that, is worth all one's fantasies -- no matter how lavish and glorious one thinks they used to be. 

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Making the Best of Any Age

Younger people want to be older, and older people want to be younger -- so obviously, those who are happiest, are those making the best at whatever age they are -- and not wishing things were different before making the best of each and every present moment.

There are countless dysfunctional people who know exactly what they would do if they won the lottery -- but have no idea what to do under their present circumstances, and are not even going to try.  Instead, they will go into denial that things as they are, is trying to tell them something.  It invariably, is what they don't want to hear -- and deal with -- as the way things actually are.  So they go on to solve some other problem -- imagined or real -- to distract them from the present urgency, hoping it will pass and resolve itself -- as many problems will.

But that seldom gets to the root of the problem -- which causes it to reoccur, more virulently the next time -- until finally, "the shit hits the fan," and life cannot go on any longer in that denial and neglect.  Often, it is one of these famous incidents that become known to the public because of its violence and bizarre circumstances.  And the question that immediately comes to mind is, "What were they thinking -- if they were thinking at all?"

Often those reporting such events, don't first question the particulars of such bizarre events as the first line of defense for an unsuspecting and generally trusting audience.  They think it must be true or why would someone bother informing them of such a thing?  Sometimes they do because it is profitable for them to spread such misinformation -- if the truth won't sell.  Thus they prefer a falsehood that sells well, to a truth with diminishing customers, because once those people know the truth, they have no need to buy more -- of what doesn't work.

That is life in the small pond.  They have to sell more to the same people, rather than one to an ever-expanding universe -- who only need one.  But such products, change the world, and life as we've known it.  They are the products and services of a certain age and time -- that was the springboard for even greater products and innovations -- rather than allowing the same old problems, to simply persist and haunt humanity forever after, as the infamous age-old problems

But are they really the problems of age -- or something else -- something much more fundamental?  And that is the lack of understanding things properly -- invariably because that which was assumed to be true, were never questioned in the first place.  Even the thought of it, is mind-boggling and even insulting to those who thought themselves educated and rational.  What if those problems, are not caused by one's genes, but one's behaviors?  And so when one changes the behavior, those "genes" simply disappear -- or more accurately, are not expressed.

In much the same way, capacities that are never expressed, weaken and may finally be extinguished -- for lack of use, while less desirable traits, are reinforced as the person one has come to be -- and that is true at any age.  That is what we know commonly, as the "lack of exercise."  People are, what they actually do -- and not what they wish to become.  That is just the simple truth of life and living.  So it behooves one, to be that person -- who does that, and not simply know better while doing something else entirely.  And so the difference between the person they are, and the reality they wish to live, grows wider with each day.

Even doing only one thing repeatedly and constantly -- to the exclusion of everything else, will not make one more fit to do everything else -- contrary to what the promoters of that one thing as the only thing will tell us.  You have to do everything else, to be able to maintain those capacities.  That is particularly true with the most versatile and adaptable species -- that are capable of such a wide range of expressions and articulations.  What capabilities are necessary to maintain at at least a functional level all one's life?  That is what has to be maintained -- more than doing any one thing, however repetitively and exclusively.

That which we do most often, is that which is easiest to overlook -- such as sitting, lying, watching television, and compulsively eating, let alone the smoking and drinking with their well-known adverse impacts.  Yet admittedly -- or not, they account for fully 90% of our health problems, when the alternatives, are limitless.  It need not be difficult -- and that manner of thinking, makes it prohibitive -- while those barriers should be lowered as much as possible, to make the doing as effortless as necessary.  That has been the wrong-thinking -- or even lack of thinking, from those agencies and persons charged with encouraging the wider adoption of healthful behaviors.

Beginning is always the hard part.  Once a person has begun, momentum takes over -- and becomes difficult to stop.  So the question to consider offhand, is not how difficult it should be, but rather, how one gets one started -- and once started, should not be discouraged.  Even if done wrong -- because the practice inevitably becomes self-correcting.  "Practice does make perfect" -- as long as it is not made increasingly more difficult as a requirement of that performance.  That's how many go astray -- in thinking that the objective of any practice, is to make it increasingly more difficult.  In doing so, the practice becomes easy, rather than increasingly more difficult -- which should be obvious that one doesn't want.  Done that way, one will eventually have to give up such a practice -- rather than persist in it all one's life, as the foundation of well-being, throughout one's years.

Too many focus on the destination at the end of the journey -- rather than the beginning, which necessarily is the foundation of where one hopes to be.  If the beginning is undertaken, the prospects for that undertaking is auspicious -- over never having taken that first step.  That is the graveyard of most ambitions. Never getting started, never knowing what to do first.  All their energies are focused on what to do last.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

The Basic Function of the Human Body (Being)

The most basic and fundamental function of the human body is to produce flow -- and when that ceases, the health of the body begins to malfunction and inevitably die.  So the quest of every individual, is to optimize that flow -- which is literally the lifeblood of health and well-being.

In every organism, that central and vital role is played by the heart (cardiovascular), but it is not the only organ system in the equation.  The other great role is played by the neuromuscular that directs the flow to wherever it is desired most -- as the expression of what it believes is important to do.

That is to say, that whatever is expressed (used), is that body's priority of everything it could be doing -- from virtually limitless possibilities -- as humans are the most versatile, nonspecialized of species.  However, specific individuals will be notable for their much higher degree of proficiency than most others, because of their particular genetic makeup, which to a lesser degree, can be emulated by the rest, as well as perfected even more by the gifted in that area.

Altogether, that contributes and manifests the richness of human societies and civilizations -- so remaining in that flow, is where one desires to be.  That brings new life, information and possibilities into an otherwise isolated and stagnant worldview -- both in the inner and the outer.  That is the meaning of being "one" with the universe -- that the individual life be aligned and a reflection of the rest of reality -- and not some vision apart from it, or in constant conflict determined to impose their unyielding view upon a constantly changing (fluid) world.

Life doesn't work so well that way.  But it is more than beliefs and ideology that makes it so.  Science is the attempt to make the explanation fit the reality -- and its failings -- rather than demanding that the realities conform with what one would like it to be, with no regard for the actual outcomes and experiences.

In individual lives, the essential question is whether one feels their life is getting better or worse -- and how that assessment is borne out by the observation of behaviors and appearances.  Therein lies the value of the gift of seeing oneself as others see them -- and not simply living in the fantasy world of one's delusions -- in which anything goes.

That's why we have competitions -- as well as doctors, teachers, and accountants.  They inform us what the score is -- and not that one is always the champion of whatever league he imagines to be playing in.  It's good to make that contact -- maybe even running for election, writing, creating something tangible, having an actual conversation, learning wholly new and different ideas, etc.  That is the key to remaining in the flow -- healthy and vibrant.  Once one grasps that concept, then it is easy to see why a body dies, and before that, becomes dysfunctional.  It is never used (exercised) in that way -- even if one did once, a long time ago.  That is not enough to keep one current, and in the flow.

So to properly begin the day, it is beneficial to actually move into different poses, postures and movements -- to review all those possibilities -- even if one does nothing else.  It is enough to know what one still can do -- in fact, and not just the thought and memory of it.  "Yes, I can do that" -- while doing something else entirely, or nothing at all, or merely understands what needs to be done but doesn't do it, is the beginning of that separation and fragmentation of reality, and is powerless.  The integration of thought with action, is the road to wholeness.  It doesn't have to be made difficult.  The movement itself has magic.  That is change.

Monday, December 04, 2017

One Day At A Time

A lot of people set out each day to solve all the problems in their life -- for the rest of their lives -- rather than just their most pressing problem, at any particular moment.  Obviously, that is putting the cart before the horse -- which doesn't work so well, if at all.  Problems arise one at a time, and not all the problems, at once -- diluting one's focus and attention.  Ineffective people, are those solving the problems of the past -- or future, while devoting no attention to the present moment -- which is the only reality that ever matters. 

Just talking with such people, is energy-draining, because one's attention and focus is constantly being redirected to the imaginary -- instead of the actualities.  It is their entertainment -- and only way they know how to be.  Their being, is becoming something other than they are.  And so the best advice for such people, is simply to be themselves -- and not the other they wish to become.  That is the genius, of knowing oneself -- rather than some other fantasy, of another they want to become.

Becoming other than they are, is the favorite "entertainment," of those who will never truly know themselves -- which is the highest attainment in any life -- to simply Know Oneself.  That really is the whole point of any life -- great or small.  It's not about the money, food, drink, or song -- but simply the awareness of the person one is -- and not what one wishes to think about themselves, or to have others think of them.  All that, doesn't matter -- not in the big picture, because they are just illusions and delusions that take one away from what they could be doing to actually make a difference in their lives.

Knowing those differences, is what differentiates the successful from the unsuccessful -- who can't tell that difference.  And that is why they are unsuccessful at everything they do -- because they cannot distinguish and discriminate the significant and important, from the insignificant and unimportant, and so are always doing the wrong things -- at the wrong time, thinking it doesn't matter.

They characteristically think that just doing anything, is as good as doing the right thing -- thinking nobody can tell the difference, and it is simply enough just to "look busy" -- and get paid the same as those actually doing something productive and worthwhile.  Needless to say, they miss the whole point of living and learning -- and simply grow old and more useless every day.  They may even think that the whole object in life -- is to get as many others doing as much for them, as they could be doing for themselves -- as the ultimate objective of their lives.

The supremely healthy individual, is one capable of doing as much for themselves as possible, and in that way, become civilizations and cultures in themselves -- by building their lives one day at a time -- as though everything mattered.  That is a life of significance -- because they have made it so, and not thinking that all in life is simply entertainment, and then they die.  That is the obvious danger of contemporary culture to many people, so bored that they think that the quest in life is for more entertainment -- while doing nothing of consequence to improve their own lives.

Of course such a thing is possible -- every moment of one's life -- taking it one day at a time, with attention to detail -- and leaving the great task of changing the world, to the delusional and bored.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

As Long As You Get It Right Eventually

Few get it right on the first try -- especially on the monumental undertakings.  Usually it requires many attempts to get it working in the first place -- especially if it hasn't been done before.  Of course it is very easy to do the same old thing over and over again -- but doing something different, and new, requires practice and persistence to get it right -- when it's never been done before.  And that's what one wants to do in life -- accomplish what they've never done before.

It doesn't have to be climbing Mt. Everest and all those cliched bucket list entries.  It can be different things for different people -- and will be, depending on what is really important, significant and necessary.  Most people don't have the luxury of having everything in their life in order so that they can do what is purely arbitrary in their lives.  That only happens in schools -- where the arbitrary is made to seem as important as the significant.  In real life, all that matters is the truly significant -- and learning what that is.  Seldom does one know from the very beginning.

One invariably learns that with each attempt -- what is successful, yet what is still not.  For many, that is good enough, and all they settle for -- the first whiff of success, and not refining and fine-tuning the perfection -- yet at some point, realizing that is good enough, but not before.  Where individuals draw that line determines their quality of life with each iteration.  For those who are improving, it's never the same -- they are doing something different, to break new ground.

To the untrained (undiscriminating) eye, everything seems the same -- because they don't know what to look for, and at.  They see only the gross movement, and not the fine -- which makes all the difference in every outcome.  It is what is known as the follow-through -- when most have stopped long ago, and some have already quit and gone home.  All those people know, is that they got home on time.

Those who go on to be ultimately successful, are those who are the last to leave -- leaving no stone unturned in their quest to discover all that can be discovered.  That is what drives them -- and not the clock.  And it doesn't matter how many times they get it wrong -- they keep trying to get it right, and that is what matters.  That's how they lives their lives -- to the very end.

That may mean reinventing life as they've come to know it -- but survival and thriving is much more important than maintaining whatever status quo is now failing.  Life is not permanent; it is dependent on the successful adaptations one makes all their lives, every single moment.  There is no happily forever after -- but happily for each and every moment won anew.  That is the best that can be done.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Sometimes the Worst That Can Happen...

-- can be the best thing that ever happened.  It is moments like those to force one to go beyond themselves -- to where they've never been before, or even imagined possible.  Particularly so if what they think they have, cannot get any better -- and there is only worse, which surely cannot be all there is in this expanding universe.  But any loss, is regarded by the status quo, as a threat -- even if it represent an opportunity to improve and get better -- often, infinitely better.

That is the progress and evolution of life -- if one merely goes with that flow, rather than demanding that the whole world stop, and maintain their particular status quo -- or status.  Life doesn't work that way; it waits for no one, as much as we are singularly pleased with where we are -- and thinking it should always remain this way.  The test of any life is not that it remains one way "forevermore," but that it relentlessly moves forward -- largely by overcoming what seems like insurmountable obstacles.

Even the bad news, is just information for what one has to do now -- rather than dwelling on the good news of how things used to be great at some imaginary and wonderful time in the past.  That will serve one no good purpose -- but waste their valuable time reliving the past, when obviously, the present challenge is the only hope for a better future that may be only realizing how the world has changed for the better -- since one last assessed these things.

The present crisis forces them to look -- at the other ways of doing things, and not merely doubling their efforts in ways that are no longer working.  That invariably means change -- for the better, rather than the worse they convinced themselves was the only alternative to what they are presently doing -- often with disastrous results, that predictably, brought them to their current crisis.  At some point, they have to wake up -- or go into irreversible decline.  That is the law of nature.

Those for whom that is not true, will increasingly withdraw from engagement, and retreat to their memories of better times -- insisting that nothing better is possible, and the future only dire -- and growing more so daily.  That's obviously not a mindset that will flourish and prevail -- but predictably shrinks along with that vision of the world as a shrinking pie -- with all the good pieces already taken.

But if one lives long enough in this world, it is obviously getting richer -- and even those things that even the richest and most powerful in their time could not have -- is what is readily available to most, if not all.  "Money" is somewhat of a limiting factor -- but even more so, is the refusal to consider all the options -- including and especially life as we've never imagined possible for ourselves.  That may be exactly what we have to do -- but dismiss off hand, and obviously if we do that, nothing else will make much sense.

That is frequently the explanation of the most troubled and hopeless people on the planet -- that they dismiss the most obvious, and then develop elaborate explanations and justifications for continuing to do what they are doing -- with such disastrous results.  That is the dysfunctional lifestyle and adaptations -- hoping for a different result.  Of course it will end badly -- often tragically.  These things don't just happen -- but are made more likely to, and then the reporters will depict it as a random event.

It's not so random -- just as good fortune is more than just winning the lottery -- that frequently turns out to be the worst thing that ever happened for those unprepared for that windfall.  Within a short time, they are even more impoverished than they were before -- because their problem was not money or the lack of it, but their inability to manage any amount effectively and intelligently.  In that way, it is like any other resource -- time, money, energy, thought and exercise.

It doesn't just happen.  Life is what one makes of it.  It can be better or worse.  But first, one has to find out what is out there -- and not be content to think that everything they knew 50 years ago, is everything there is to know -- and that is what they wish to return to -- as the best of times.  The world is not like that -- anymore.