Friday, July 16, 2021

Getting Started

 The difficulty in doing anything, is getting started.  That is true for exercise programs, diet, writing, speaking, changing anything.  As always, the best time to start doing anything different, is right now, and not a moment longer continuing the old ways.

Most will counter that they have to finish off their junk food before they can begin a healthy new diet -- which means they are adding to the problem, rather than stopping it immediately, and beginning on a new better course.  So of course, they maintain their old habits -- rather than living a better life immediately, and thereafter.  Diet is obviously the most visible and tangible example, but also along that line, are the many behaviors that are less obvious, like saying one thing, while doing something else entirely -- often what is expressly counterproductive, as though it was a neutral and normal act -- when it is the problem, or not working.

Yet people persist -- and wonder what went wrong.  They may even insist they are doing all the "right" things but getting all the "wrong" results -- and have no clue that the "right" efforts, produce the right results -- and no amount of doing the wrong things, will get the right results.

That's often not what one is taught in the classroom as the "right" answer -- and so one must never question it.  However, in every random sample of people, there will be the one or two who will question everything -- because that is the kind of person they are, and will probably remain so all their lives.  Those are the few who go on to discover many things that most will not suspect possible -- nor be able to tell the difference, because everything they know to be true, is what somebody else told them -- and never what they have determined for themselves.  Everyone has that right -- but few will choose to exercise them -- waiting only for somebody else to tell them what to think, and what is right -- as though there is only one authority on such matters, rather than everybody finding out what the truth of the matter is.

The truth of any matter, is that nobody knows with absolute and authoritative certainty what the truth is -- although a few will come forward and claim that omniscience.  To question them, is to question and spit in the face of God Himself -- they will suggest to unknowing and undiscriminating reporters.  In fact, many of that profession, pride themselves on being undiscriminating about anything -- which should make one wary of accepting such sources -- because admittedly, they cannot tell the truth from the false, and have no way of knowing but to ask someone else.

Thus it has been noted, that a falsehood can travel around the world, in the time it takes to unravel the truth of any matter -- as though speed was all that mattered.  Simple truths, often take time to be revealed -- but by then, many have lost interest, and have jumped on many subsequent erroneous bandwagons on the road to folly.  So ultimately, time is the test of truth -- and abandons most when they need it the most.  That is the aging process.

Those who live their lives well, see their lives get better, while those who have wasted every advantage ever provided, have nothing left, and are deeper in debt and deficit on every facet of life.  Ultimately it shows -- whether they were naughty or nice.  Eating more than their fair share of food -- eventually shows up -- everywhere.  Not exercising shows up as well.  Not writing or speaking, results in an inability to communicate -- especially in what one thinks should be obvious.  It was never made obvious -- in any tangible way.  The wishful thinking was never communicated to the universe -- one hoped and expected it would.

That may be in another universe -- but not this one, where things are made manifest.  Therefore, people who know what they are talking about, show it -- in appearance, thought and action, and not that the truth is what anyone says it is -- regardless.  Who has been given that authority and dominion over all the others?  That is a sobering question for those who presumed that authority -- just because they could.

But everyone has that authority in their own lives -- but should proceed cautiously and deliberately, and not with reckless abandon just because they can, or saw somebody else do it.  That is true even following the advice of all the designated experts in the field -- the best of whom do not claim to know everything, because finding out for oneself, is the only real truth -- and what ultimately matters.  That is an ancient wisdom that has never become obsolete.

That moment of truth arrives as soon as one stops listening to the "experts," and listens to the truth of what their own body and senses are telling them -- in the mind-body connection.  Those who do that well, become the masters of their own universe and lives -- which reveals itself in time, as one ages, and how one ages.  If everything they know is false, that facade is revealed -- for truth will stand the test of time, or expose them.  That is the (un)pleasant truth of every life.  How a person ages -- or doesn't, is the story of their lives.  That's what time tells.

None of that gets wiped away.  Every thought, deed, and action is etched on their faces and bodies.  It can be a blessing or a curse; it is cause and effect, played out in every life -- as it must be.  They may get away with it for 20, 40 years, but eventually, it catches up to them -- but that is good or bad, depending on what one did.

When the forty or sixty years are up, there is still time enough to get it right -- and that is the beauty of it.  One can always begin anew -- from now on, but even those given "one more chance," will find a way to waste it.  But they get a chance, with every moment they still live -- until it is over.  But if one has previously wasted every moment of their lives, the chances are not great they can turn their lives around -- but it is always possible, as long as there is life.  And so the question remains, what is possible -- and how to make it so?

It's easier done than said.  It doesn't need saying -- it needs doing.  But rather than doing the most difficult thing possible, one should try the easiest thing possible -- and that works if one is nine or ninety.  But one has to actually do something -- and not simply think or talk about doing it.  If one can make that connection, then there is a way to improve one's functioning and condition.  One does not need to ask how much? -- and all those diversions from actually doing anything.  That is most people's first line of defense -- to convince themselves (and everybody else around them) they cannot.

If they just lift one finger, that is more than they have done in years -- on their own behalf.  When they realize that, they see why the world and themselves are in the condition it is in -- with good reason and purpose.  They have to make the connection between thinking of doing something, and actually doing it -- and in that insight, the world is changed, and everything is different.  Nobody can do it for anybody or everybody else.  That's how the world changes -- one life at a time, wholly, individually, and personally -- and that is the actuality of every life by every individual.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Significance of Failure

50 repetitions will usually get one to muscle failure — which is obviously what most people don’t do because they spend nearly all their time “working out” just resting between sets — instead of actually performing any exercises, and particularly when it gets hard (fatigued), and so the body doesn’t have to adapt to do what is easy to do.

That’s why Eugen Sandow was able to build a legendary physique — using light weights for 50 reps. When you take a light weight and articulate the fullest range of motion, that fullest of contractions — requires all the muscles of your body to be contracted because it is not possible for only one muscle to be contracted in isolation to all the others — because one of the major functions of any muscle, is to recruit as many of the other (larger) muscles to assist it.
One of the primary objectives of exercise, is to increase the range of movement — particularly in the direction of the contraction, while most people using heavier weights, do so at the expense of shortening their range of motion to compensate for the added resistance. In that manner, even their full contraction, is actually a resting point — rather than a maximum contraction that extends beyond that.
Most people will experience that range of motion as a muscle cramp — because the contraction is so severe — and can be achieved in the first 10 repetitions before fatigue sets in (lactic acid buildup), and by the 50th repetition, it takes every muscle in their body just to complete that repetition in the worst possible form — but it is everything one has at that moment.
That is “momentary failure” — and what the body now has to adapt to — in the next few days, so those high intensity sessions should be brief and infrequent — most often, once a week, while continuing to do your daily routine of stretching and flexing to prevent the onset of paralyzing muscle soreness (DOMS) from setting in — while the muscles are recovering and growing.
In this manner, it is possible to continue muscle growth even after most people think they can no longer achieve it anymore — because they don’t understand the relationship between the stimulus and the recovery ability — and do a lot of low-intensity exercise thinking that is enough to stimulate muscle growth. It is a brief amount of high-intensity with sufficient recovery time, and daily light stretching and flexing, that makes it possible, and not any amount of low-intensity exercise.

So the body is not responding to amount of exercise -- as it is to the quality of that exercise -- which means expanding the range of that expression. That is true of every activity -- that those most valued, are because they do whatever they do, with greater articulation, or expression -- rather than simply doing very little -- a lot. No amount of doing something badly, will accomplish doing something very well -- once. All human performance is set up with this appreciation uppermost -- but not everyone can appreciate it equally -- and so hopefully, we have "judges" who can distinguish those differences. But long before the public performance, each practitioner hones their skill -- because they must know the difference, and not simply hope to fool the judges, or the media covering them.

Eventually that happens when one breaks not only the records for previous achievements -- but breaks from the conventions one has come to expect in that activity -- and reinvents that sport henceforth. That is the root meaning of sport: an individual exhibiting a sudden deviation from type beyond the normal limits of individual variation usually as a result of mutation especially of somatic tissue.  

On such occasions, there is tremendous uproar and confusion, as the new supplants the old -- in this cataclysmic way.  There is no other defense against the new and unpredictable.  And while this inevitably happens in sports and athletics -- it is also the feature of individual lives that continue to evolve -- and not just by calling the old, "new and improved."  It will be something entirely different.  

Those are the leaps that a few individuals actually cultivate -- to get where they haven't gone before.   Otherwise, one could only repeat the past -- endlessly, and never grow beyond it.  But as tirelessly and repetitively as one practices, it is always with such an intention that one hopes for a breakthrough -- often, just because one is at the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, with the right people.  Conversely, bad things are likely to happen being at the wrong place, at the wrong time, doing the wrong thing, with all the wrong people.  As such, outcomes will not be the same -- no matter how much one thinks it should be so.

Unless one acknowledges these critical differences and failures, one will be lost in a sea of worthless opinions -- allowing them to proceed on the road to folly, and never knowing the difference -- until their predictable, premature demise.  Long before that untimely end, one hopes to have learned from all their failures -- and become better for it.  That entails actually doing something -- and not just thinking about it -- as though that were the same, and equally productive.  In a world of virtual reality, quite a few have difficulty maintaining those distinctions, and boundaries  -- and think the rules should not apply to them -- because they are entitled to favorable outcomes above all the others.

Even the King of the Beasts eventually have to learn that lesson the hard way -- along the road to getting there, and eventually on the road back.  No one is "entitled" to getting there, nor staying there forever.  All one can do is make the best of whatever circumstances have presented to them -- and not waste them all, assured that there will be many more.  When it ends, it ends -- just like that.

In the meantime, one hopes to have cultivated many other skills and attributes -- that provide them with a few other opportunities, when their primary avenue is cut off.  That is having a backup plan -- and building increasing reserves for the bad times -- and if they do not manifest, so much the better -- as their capital builds.  And if disaster strikes, it was all part of the plan they were preparing for.  They had a sufficient margin for error -- that they could be wrong.

That is what a wise few are preparing for -- the best of times, as well as the worst of times -- and in that way, make the best of times at every time of their lives.   That is just not the young years, or the middle and prime, but until the very end -- and going out on top, whenever that is.

One begins near -- to go far.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Changing Whatever Ails You

 When one has a lifelong problem that just seems to be getting worse, one might ask if there is another way of doing things -- and seeing what happens.  It frequently is the case, that how one thought to solve a problem, actually caused the problem -- rather than being the ultimately best solution.  Nowhere is that more true than in the simple act of cleaning up -- after making a mess, and resulting in an even bigger mess -- which then seems the least of one's problems and difficulties.

One of the great crises of last year, among many, was the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 -- which caused many more to consider abandoning altogether -- for technologies that made better sense, and eliminating many of the problems that cause people to require caregiving for these vital functions of elimination and cleanup.  Most don't give that much thought -- until it becomes a major preoccupation for many elderly -- as an increasing reminder of their growing incompetence and diminishing dexterity.

But need it be so -- or could one adopt new technologies and ways of doing things that make the formerly problematical, a non-issue? -- which I think the switch from toilet paper to the state-of-the art bidet attachment represents.  It seems like such a simple matter -- that has profound implications and consequences -- particularly in eliminating the chances for infection from the two major sources of contamination and toxicity.  One need not be a most highly esteemed doctor to realize that such a simple switch would make a major impact on world health and hygiene -- and eliminate many of those problems resulting from that primitive treatment of it -- to a new standard of hygiene in this regard.

That is also symbolic of many other great technological advances that we will not embrace simply because we were conditioned in another way -- and remained the only way we thought possible.  However, in the last ten years, or even five, the whole world of these possibilities have become available to us -- to transform life as much as we can imagine it to be so -- including that we do not have to be victims of our own bad health due to the poor choices we were conditioned with initially -- and are now the source of most of our health issues.  

Chief among them is the notion that we need to remain totally preoccupied on when our next meal is coming from -- rather than the better, more appropriate response of these times, to increase one's time not spent eating -- creating much more time and energy for other more productive activities.  I think that is greatly what it means to move into a 21st century life -- from the past's preoccupation with scarcity in all things, as the basic struggle of human life.  The problems now, are likely to precede from too much, rather than too little -- and those who cannot exercise that prudence and responsibility, can see their lives go off the rails irretrievably -- resulting in all the problems of human evolution and civilization.   That is of course, every manner of communicable and self-inflicted disease -- at its most problematical.  That is, how do we dispose of the waste, that left unattended, becomes increasingly more toxic?

Obviously, this has to begin at the most rudimentary level, and doing that, gives hope for further rectifications.  Those are what we are likely to take most for granted: air, water, sunlight -- as the basics of what has produced life as we know it.  If we truly understood only these three things -- and learned to optimize it, we could create a whole new universe of possibilities and opportunities.  Instead, some would propose that we block out all sunlight -- as though that was an intelligent thing to do.  That shows no understanding of life in any of its forms -- much less proclaiming oneself as its highest manifestation of intelligent life, not only here, but throughout the universe.

There's a reason things are as they are -- but better is always possible.  That is the story of evolution and civilization.  Those shifts are not merely arbitrary but that which stands the test of time.  Otherwise, one is likely to live a life full of regrets -- from hastily jumping on every bandwagon that comes by -- not only fearing to miss out, but even claiming to have thought of the idea originally.  Then weeks later, disclaiming and deleting every association with such wayward thoughtlessness -- while those monuments remain of how misguided and destructive those thoughts and actions were.

One only needs to tour the downtown areas of many cities to see the end result of such "enlightened and progressive" thinking -- for which future generations will wonder, "What were these people thinking!?"

Friday, April 16, 2021

Optimizing Health is the Best Defense

While much has been made about what the whiz-bang experts say should be done -- usually by not following their own example -- most of what every individual can do to improve, enhance and maintain their quality of life, lies entirely within their own hands and jurisdiction.  In fact, that has always been the point of life -- and living -- to do best with what each has -- rather than pining for how they wish things were -- first, before initiating any actions of their own.  Of course, that has never been a good prescription nor formula for success -- and happiness -- but to the contrary, ensures the opposite -- and renders one vulnerable and susceptible to all kinds of assaults, infections, misfortunes, etc.  Invariably, that is a disaster waiting to happen.

Ironically, that often happens despite one being extremely active and tireless -- doing all the wrong things, and solving all the wrong problems -- while the real problems, simply get worse, and are regarded as a hopeless situation.  So first, there must be right perception and right understanding -- before there can be right action.  That is the essential teaching of Buddhism -- and real awakening, and enlightenment.  It is not some far off goal of perfection in the far distant future or another life, but the here and now in every moment and possibility.

That is the Great Awakening -- and not all this silliness of who is righter than anybody else.  One is righter relative to their own understanding and being -- and that is the proper study and focus of every significant life -- understanding their own, and not presuming to know better than others.  That is obviously the distinction of those without any understanding -- usually of anything at all, and so they delight in whatever takes them away from themselves and that mindfulness.

 The world is what it is -- for good reason.  It is like the novice approach of market values in which one is led to believe that only they know the true value and price of anything -- and they are led to the slaughter, never knowing what went wrong -- because they knew the truth, and the rest of the world was only fooling themselves.  So one must first allow, that maybe everybody else could be right -- and maybe they are driving on the "right" side of the road -- rather than the new and improved enlightened way.

And then if that presumption proves more damaging than helpful -- one can then ask, Might there be a better way, and what are the alternative explanations -- that make more sense, but more importantly, work -- regardless of one's previous knowledge and experience?  That is how new worlds are discovered -- and the unknown become known.  It is not that everything was already known -- but lost and forgotten -- and the only quest in life is to rediscover that.  That is a very small view of the universe and its possibilities -- and truth and wisdom lie beyond that.

It is nearly impossible to save one on their death bed, or the bed they have prepared for themselves -- all their lives.  It may begin with successes but end in failures -- if they have not learned to deal with both.  Success is a greater challenge than failure -- and so, many deconstruct their successes so they can rebuild from failure -- rather than taking success to the next and subsequent level.  And that is why so many undermine their own success, and sabotage their lives -- including and especially the great athletes, and great success stories in every field.  They never learned to make a good thing better -- even if it was only themselves, which is the most important to do -- and not compare oneself favorably or unfavorably with everybody else -- constantly and incessantly.  Of course we recognize that instantly in social media and every media of our own making -- and why many spend more than half their lives deleting and canceling everything else they did previously.

Obviously, that is not any way to build foundations for any future successes and endeavors, but always has one starting from scratch -- or worse, with tremendous and growing deficits -- until everything seems futile and hopeless.  Chief among that, is one's own health -- which should not just be thrown away, as many talk about it.  That is the life of endless and unceasing dissipation that many literary characters seem to think was all there was -- and the point of their whole existence.  We recognize such characters today as the "dysfunctional" personalities that we hope to learn from their mistakes -- rather than repeating them ourselves as the only model possible.

That is the advantage of learning from other people's mistakes -- as well as our own.  But if we just cancel out everybody else and delete our own, we predictably never get anywhere -- have nothing to build on, develop no fortifications against the travails and challenges in life.  That ultimately, is what life is -- everything, and not just one thing, or only those things we wish to acknowledge.  That is not good enough.  And if one solve problems that don't need to be solved, while ignoring those matters of great urgency, then life will predictably be short, brutish, and "unfair."  One would expect nothing else.

So for the novices of every beginning, they should learn from everything -- not just to immediately emulate them, but to know of that possibility -- among many others, and once one has seen enough, can make intelligent choices -- and not merely try to become more intelligent, diligent or thoughtful on a path that may be totally misguided.  Those choices have to come at the end -- when they virtually make themselves -- rather than choosing prematurely, and then never deviating from that path although it is the cause of all their difficulties.  Trying harder, is not the answer to their problem that may be something else entirely.

So to ask, how can I do more, without first inquiring whether one should be doing any at all -- is beginning on the wrong foot, and asking the wrong question -- that some even demand that others must answer for them, and will tolerate nothing else.

As long as one regards Time as a friend, it will be a powerful ally -- in achieving what one desires, but if one regards Time as an enemy, then it is an indomitable foe.  Unfortunately, too many are conditioned to think that way -- and so set the indomitable forces against themselves -- as their worthy adversary, not realizing they are way out of their league.  In this, patience is one's best counsel -- so cultivating that talent comes back frequently to aid them in the new.  Good things take time to unfold -- just as bad things -- but the impatient, demands that results be instant -- or they don't want to waste their time.  But time is what we all have most equally. 

We all have twenty-four hours in each day -- and some make the most of it, while many others fritter theirs away -- never seeming to find time to do anything important and beneficial -- and all the time in the world will not make any difference.  However much they have, they will waste.  But if one is in the habit of making each moment precious, it seems to beget more, of ever increasing greater quality.  That is the self-evident truth of optimizing one's health as their first line of defense -- and from that foundation, to launch one's offensive actions -- while those in steadily declining health, are rocked further back on their heels with every subsequent attack.  Everybody seems to know better -- but many feel powerless to do anything about.  They know they should take better care of their own health -- but find some excuse for not doing so.  Eventually, it is too late -- and the windows of opportunity are closed.

It is seldom that one never had any chances -- for even the most destitute and unfortunate, will lament endlessly about all their wasted chances.  Somebody else was supposed to do something -- and then everybody else -- before they could act on their own behalf.  So lacking that improbability, their lives were lost.  All one can do is try their best -- but that's not the same as doing nothing -- and calling it their best.  Some will know the difference, and call it out -- but the most important person to realize that, is each individual for themselves -- that they could have made that difference.

Age is what separates the winners from the losers.  Use it wisely.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Making Movement (Exercise) as Easy as Possible

 It's easy to design exercise programs nobody wants to do; that's never been the problem.  The genius is in devising movements (exercises) that people want to do -- largely because they are easy to do, and actually creates the capacity to do more because it gets easier.  That is quite contrary to how exercise is taught -- but makes sense early on, and particularly late in life -- when one thinks any movement or effort at all, is painful, unpleasant, and impossible to do -- or so they not only don't do it anymore, but also rule out all future thoughts on that matter.

Obviously, that is the beginning of a long downhill slide into disability and eventual oblivion.  Unfortunately, that is what many consider "normal aging," rather than the dysfunctional model -- of being a victim of one's own bad choices, and how they accumulate over time.  So it is not time or age that is the culprit, but one has done with that time.  If it is every kind of dissipation, injury and abuse one can imagine, than the results will not be happy ones.  But if everything is done with increasing thoughtfulness, life simply gets better, and everything makes greater sense in time.

It's not because governments mandate it so and the media enforces the conformity to the correctness of thought, but that ideas come to reflect reality, and thus actions, can be more meaningful and productive.  Otherwise, it is merely wishful-thinking -- expecting reality to fall in line with what one hopes it will be.  While it is good to nourish one's ambitions, one should not forget that every other person also has their own plan for how they would like things to be -- and if they are in competition and conflict with every other, everybody's efforts merely cancel out everybody else's.  That is the folly in designing competition at the heart of all one does -- rather than the more insightful notion that efforts can be complementary and cooperative -- accruing to every other, now and in the past.

In that manner, it is observed that one generation benefits from the efforts of the past -- and not merely canceling them in an endless zero-sum game and society.  That is the kind of society in which only one, or a few benefit, and everybody else is expected to labor mightily -- to no benefit of their own. And in many cases, whatever advantages they have accrued, will be taken away from them -- and so it is pointless to desire to better themselves -- unless that is the motivating force in their lives.  A rare few are constructed in that way -- to relentlessly persist even when there is no hope for benefit or gain -- because they otherwise wouldn't know what else to do with their time or life.  Those few are blessed indeed.

Most however, don't have such inherent specialized advantage -- and find themselves beginning from scratch in most of the things they do, and would appreciate and be greatly encouraged if everything could be made as easy as possible -- to begin, and then to stay with for the rest of their lives if it proves such a great advantage.  Ease of movement and exercise, would certainly be high on most people's lists -- because they all seem to know that proper exercise keeps them functioning at their best -- as the self-evident truth of their lives.  When they are not at their best, a lot of bad things can happen -- more frequently than not.

Yet knowing that, a lot of advice by people who should know better, doesn't reflect this intelligence -- but instead, pride themselves on their ability to make everything harder for everybody else -- probably as a misguided sense of competitive advantage, so that they can always win.  In this sense, winning isn't everything -- if it is the wrong race to win.  Many invariably get side-tracked in this way, and find themselves on the wrong track -- to where they don't know where they are heading anymore.  So life then becomes a treadmill -- on the road to nowhere, and merely wearing oneself out as the only goal in life -- until it is no more.

Meanwhile, many obviously practical achievements are ignored -- as though it must be too easy to be beneficial, when those fundamental abilities are the necessary building blocks for all subsequent attainments -- even as basic as still being able to get up off the floor easily.  That doesn't have to be made more difficult -- but always easier, so it is always possible.  That is the genius of doing it that way.

However, for a short period of time, one can make anything seem as difficult as possible, until eventually, it becomes impossible, and after that, unimaginable and unthinkable.  But is that the healthy course of life -- to become more disqualified from more and continued participation? -- or would it be more desirable to make it endlessly possible?  I think most would think that it makes a lot more sense -- and is the culmination of living longer lives -- to live those lives better, longer.

So I find it perplexing that movement specialists would design a fitness test around doing things the hardest possible way -- as their definition of "fitness," rather than arising to those challenges using every possible advantage one could think of -- whether that be lifting weights, moving faster, or just lifting oneself off of the ground -- with all the appendages and leverage they have available to them -- rather than nullifying those natural advantages.  That is actually a stupid way of living, moving, doing anything -- much less conditioning oneself to think that way.

Naturally, such people have problems in their lives -- because they make everything into a problem, instead of realizing the circumstances they are in, and making the best of them -- everything at their disposal, especially their wits.  That is not "cheating," but the intelligent way to do things -- always.  Fitness is not just one-dimensional with one hand tied behind one's back -- but the total response of all the capabilities -- firing as one.  That is the human being and potential -- to do more and better, with everything they have -- and not just with two hands tied behind their back, and their brains disconnected as well.

Thus we have the great inventions of civilization that eliminates unnecessary effort and labor -- enabling us to do much more, with very little brute force required.  In fact, that brute force applied unthinkingly, will break whatever mechanical advantage someone thoughtfully designed and built for all subsequent generations.  So brute force becomes an ever-diminishing contribution to the total effort and gain -- and can be applied directly to greater advantage to where it does the most good.

From what we know of human functioning and performance, that would be to prioritize resources to the brain -- for our greatest survival advantage.  We don't have to increase the circulation to heart as much as to the brain, and to increase the circulation anywhere, requires the specific instruction to do so -- in the actual movement of the head -- where the distinguishing characteristic in contemporary in declining people -- is to display that atrophy and immobility first.  Second and third are the extremities at the hands and feet -- where the circulation is poorest.  Meanwhile, at the heart, blood is going in, as fast as it is going out -- because it is just short-circuiting because there is no pumping of blood out of the extremities so that fresh blood can replace it.

That is the simple physiology of exercise -- and why it works better in some people than others -- not necessarily, and even counterintuitively to brute force -- of which that impact will be experienced most forcefully at the heart.  Not surprisingly, a lot of the strongest men in the world succumb prematurely from heart failures from overtaxing it too much.  Legendary John Henry succumbed in that fashion -- maybe the last time a human heart thought it could compete with a combustion engine.  It doesn't matter how much heart one has -- because that is not the whole equation.

We've come a long way in these past fifty years -- in which most of what we thought to be true, has been proven otherwise -- particularly in diet, exercise and lifestyles (behavior).  Now we're seeing the divergence of those who held fast to all that was true then, and those evolving their thinking beyond that -- in the first wave of Baby Boomers.  Many never grew beyond the '60s; for them, those were the halcyon days -- to be revived and celebrated yearly immemorially.  In their memories, they live forever -- as they were as adolescents.  Only a few, as always, move on -- and actualize the 21st century prototypes.  That's when the "old people"  move easily and gracefully -- without the aches and pains -- because they can.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Larger Than Life

Even Jesus didn’t win them all — because winning isn’t the ONLY thing. The main thing is that we know the difference —between the true and the false. That goes beyond what the media (Pharisees and the Scribes) say is true — and the only way to think about these things.

Yes the media would like it if we all bought into what they are selling — but as the wise have always noted, the majority is usually wrong — and not that “might makes right,” so we all have to chant and repeat only what we are instructed to — and not that we should think for ourselves anymore.

We need to be MORE discriminating rather than less. The ability to discriminate is the the antidote for Prejudice and Bias — but if we cannot tell the difference (discriminate), then we go along with the mob — and that is what all the great literature and wisdom warns us of. It comes in different guises each time.

Yes, it would be nice if everyone recognized the truth — but what matters, is the few who do — in every generation and circumstances, and remain steadfast in that truth — by living it. They eventually Inherit (change) the world — as truth stands the test of time, while the false come and go with the regularity of arbitrariness and capriciousness, and the indoctrinations of the present moment.

Making the critical discriminations is what life is all about — and not simply trying to be only on the “winning” side — because there is a reward greater than we have been “conditioned” to value as the only thing that matters. We see the truth play out — and not that is what others tell us is so.

Invariably, it is that they own the monopoly on "truth" -- as though that was what God intended -- as the last word on all things, and get to enforce as ruthlessly as necessary -- as their exclusive right.  It is the same with every generation and society -- and not merely some fable of some distant time in memory -- which they now supplant, as the way it has always been for time immemorial.  That's why we have historians -- who tell us it is not so -- that things weren't always the way they tell us it must be.  Life is change -- and by that mechanism, always getting better -- because nothing else stands the test of time.

That's why the present reality is the truth -- and not only what a self-designated few, tell us is so -- despite what our own senses tell us is so.  If that present "truth" is not working, then one should be free to explore alternative ways of looking at the problem -- because the problem is in the present solution (adaptation) -- and not that the world is inherently flawed, while their understanding is "correct."

Knowledge is useful when it conforms to reality, and not that reality must be distorted to conform to that explanation.  Then, all kinds of mischief becomes possible -- and the truth becomes anything one thinks they can get away with.  That doesn't make for a happy world, let alone a world that works, and makes sense.  That is the "scientific method," as opposed to a world of "authoritarianism," that claims it is following the science -- but that science can't be disclosed to anyone else -- but those already in authority positions.

Fortunately, we still are allowed fields in which one can find out the truth of the matter for themselves -- as the only thing possible.    Those are the matters of personal choice -- which makes the real difference in outcomes and people's lives, and not just that everyone must conform to the "averages" -- and nothing else is possible.  That is the failing of the liberal arts curriculum -- that everything is merely a matter of opinion, and how many one can get to agree with them -- usually without thinking very deeply about it themselves.  Instead, the microphones are thrust in front of them for their "expert" opinion -- as though that is "science," or an intelligent response at all.

That quality of thoughtfulness now becomes absent in all discussions -- and there are no second chances unless one is doing the editing, and then one has unlimited chances to do so until they come out perfect -- while distorting every other viewpoint to gibberish -- just as the editors of old had the chance to do before final publication.  But now, even that can be erased and tampered with -- by the unscrupulous.  And so one has to retreat even further from those engagements with those who have no interest in investigating the truth of any matter -- but have already made up their minds as to what the answers must be -- because somebody has already paid them for that conclusion.

So it is up to each individual to reward themselves in that way -- by discovering the truth of that matter, because that is what really makes a difference -- and not that they can simply live in their delusional world of unlimited "likes" -- and no one can tell the difference.  But a few can -- and those make a difference, and go on and enjoy a richer, deeper life -- a life of authenticity.  Those are the rare few not afraid to find out the truth -- and are blessed by it.  They don't need to be rewarded by others -- and that phony currency of other people's opinions.  They go straight to the heart of the truth.

You can fool some of the people all the time, and all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time -- because time eventually reveals the truth.  The truth is timeless in that way; it is what is.  What that is, varies from individual to individual -- depending on their ability to process the information -- and integrate it with all they know to be true.  That is what it means to be truly "fit," and not just one measure among the many that might not even be the right measure for that moment.

Heart rate, or pounds lifted, is not sacrosanct -- but depends on what larger aim needs to be accomplished -- and if that is health in longevity, health is paramount, while longevity is moot.  It doesn't matter for most how long one lives as a "vegetable" -- or otherwise similarly impaired human being.  Far more important is "quality" of life, and length is a by-product of that -- while simply existing with no cognition of life, has no meaning -- except for those who can profit in some way.  And undoubtedly, there will always be people like that -- who make a handsome living on people's continued and prolonged misery.

They don't solve problems, but merely exploit them -- as the only thing they know how to do.  Eventually, they become their own greatest victims -- because that's just the way the world works.  That is cause and effect, karma, religion as well.  In the end, everything is made right -- that is guaranteed.  So we each only need to worry about the short term -- and do the best we can with what we know.  That's what we are responsible for -- and not the ultimate fate of humanity -- as though we knew.  It is seldom sufficient to know only one thing, and think it is everything.  The uncertainty is what drives us to find out -- while certitude discourages us from even questioning anything -- and that is the unexamined life.

That is the real dividing line in consciousness across the human race.  The best is yet to be discovered.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Everything You Know, You Learned in Kindergarten

And haven't learned anything since.

That is unfortunately true of many people -- that the first things they learned, were also their last.  That used to be adequate for when things changed slowly, and new information took a lifetime, and even generations to finally win out.  And that same cycle, would repeat for another few millennia -- until someone created the wheel, or invented fire.  Then, everybody who had attended kindergarten, had a Ph.D.  So it is not surprising that now, people with a Ph.D., think that is all there is to know, and can be known -- and not that it is just the beginning rather than the end of their quest for useful information.

That is not more elaborate and contrived explanations on why everything goes wrong -- but are the right answers that eliminate those problems -- and humanity can move on.  That's when we realize we're on to something -- and are not hearing the same or even different excuses played over and over again -- while learning from those mistakes, are forbidden and suppressed.  And so we spend more money while the problems get worse, and explode out of control.

That's not unlike what is happening in many of our major population centers now -- as they spend increasingly more money on problems that continue to get worse, and often explode out of control -- while wishing it were otherwise.  That's not going to make it happen -- but is merely wishful-thinking -- as though there is no difference, and telling the difference, is now illegal and prohibited.  That is not unlike the cities that are being sacked by vandals and lawless -- in the hope that they will stop.

Those are the people we need to build fences against, because they don't respect our boundaries -- and further inviting their incursions, won't make them come to their senses.  We have to.  That is the unfortunate truth of life -- that some people need to be reigned in -- because they don't have that self-control, and only those who do, can transcend to ever higher levels.  That's especially important when one is "retired" and there are no others to tell them what to do.  What will a person do?

For a few, it is to indulge their lifelong dream to dissipate themselves in whatever manner possible -- in binge eating, binge drinking, binge watching, binge recklessness -- until somebody else cares enough to tell them to stop.  But they're not going to do it themselves, and for that, one has to lay down rules -- because an honor system does not work with those who are dishonorable.  Their objective is to get away with anything they can.  So one has to make this distinction -- between the honorable and the dishonorable, and not assume they are playing by the same rules.

Those are the people who have no compunction about preying on the innocent, gullible, trusting, unassuming elderly and vulnerable -- whenever they're allowed an opportunity.  Most people are not so disposed, but a few are, and that is the need for this ability to distinguish the wolf in sheep's clothing -- lying among the lambs.  That is what the good shepherds do.  That is doing one's part -- in any society one operates in.  They don't just lead the lambs to the slaughter -- ruthlessly as some would have us believe.  They've earned their place at the banquet.

Many people now do not see the connection -- between one thing and every other, and think that everything is merely arbitrary -- according to the story of the day, which everybody is beholden to copy as their own, and "edit" for greater clarity -- which often turns out to be another story entirely.  In that manner, they can claim it as an original -- as though they thought of it themselves -- but is just the story line repeated throughout every journal.  Nobody would know the original authorship -- and so much the better -- in the new improved "journalism."  Rumor is as valid as facts -- until the readership becomes weary of being misinformed and misled -- for a few clicks more.

In this manner, many promise to deliver, but never get around to it -- and send whatever they have to sell, regardless of what the customer wants, and dares them to return it.  It's not a good way of doing business -- but they got their money, and obtaining value for it, is your problem.  That is now the experience of many in the marketplace who are unwary -- but that is the risk one takes, to receive favorable exchanges -- and knows how to recognize them from the fraudulent and unscrupulous.  They sell you the sizzle, but not the satisfaction.

Fortunately, as time goes by, one needs to buy less and less -- while returning to reliable and trusted sites.  That in itself, is worth something.  Thus the rich get richer, and the fly-by-nights move onto the next scam and multi-level marketing opportunity that will soon be included in the Dow-Jones averages.  Thus the rich get richer, and the poor have no idea what they are talking about.  Everything they know, they learned in kindergarten -- and stopped learning anymore.  It never occurred to them that knowledge should work, and make a difference -- or is worthless, and not worth repeating.  But for these victims of the learning wars, repetition is all they know -- even if they are useless and futile.  They think if they simply repeat it often enough, one day it will come true -- and not that it should be obvious from the get-go, each and every time.

That's how divorced many have come from reality.  They think "virtual" knowledge is good enough, and often, as all there is.  And so the world of reality escapes them -- and they suspect nothing.  They may say that reality is anything you want to believe it is -- and give Ted talks on it -- to a proudly undiscriminating audience, who knows what they want to hear.  They are no longer "bothered" by the truth.  In that and any other universe, there are still the few who are bothered -- and know it makes a difference.  They have never been everyone, or even the majority; often, they have been only one -- who stood alone, and stood their ground -- despite all the intimidations to conform.

Those are the great individuals and ideas that have stood the test of time -- as much as the mob-mind tears that notion down.  There are no such individuals they will insist; all have caved to the popular opinion -- or suffered the boot.  At least that's what they'd like us to think.