Monday, October 13, 2014

"Senior" Citizenship

Arguably the greatest milestone in every life, is reaching the status of full, or senior citizenship -- when one is entitled to all the benefits of living in their society.

Until then, one has to struggle largely on one's own -- feeling "less entitled" -- until the day one reaches the magical age of 65 -- when the entire machinery of that society, is now dedicated to helping one out.

Early benefits can be obtained at 62 -- or even earlier, if one is judged "disabled," but no questions asked entitlement, begins for most at 65 -- when Medicare also kicks in.  Then the great equalizer is how healthy one is -- all things being equal, because at that point, one will be as equal to anyone else -- with the machinery of the government and society, now on one's side.

For most, that means not being completely dependent on the vagaries of the market and "other people's opinion," to largely determine what one's choices will be.  At that point, nobody cares -- if one conforms or not to the tyranny of opinion -- because they'll continue to receive their full entitlements, whether anybody approves of them -- or not.

That's a huge advantage to have -- that most will not feel fully entitled to, until they reach the milestone of full (senior) citizenship -- with all the seniority rights, of no longer being held to account -- to anyone else, but themselves -- at which point, accounting to oneself, was never so important -- leaving woefully too many, totally unprepared -- for that responsibility and accountability in their lives.  That is also one's greatest opportunity -- to choose the life one wishes to live, or more accurately, is the karma of one's life -- up to that point.

The person one is then, is the summation (result) of the life one has lived -- that earns them their entitlement for life beyond.  Obviously, one hopes to embark on that stage of life, in the best condition of one's life -- rather than reaching the point of despair that life cannot get any better, but only worse, from here on out.  Those latter, have failed to prepare themselves for the fulfillment of their lives as the golden years of their existences.

That period should not be the beginning of decline and deterioration -- if one has learned all their lessons correctly.  Of course, many will have learned all the wrong things in life -- and done them, to their detriment.  But life doesn't have to be that way -- in the actualizing world of full functionality -- rather than the old paradigm of dysfunction, still acceptable to many, as the only way life can be -- and particularly, end.

Life doesn't have to be -- and end that way -- short, nasty and brutish anymore.  It can have whatever ending, and meaning, one can imagine it being -- and living that way.  That means living healthy and intelligently -- as the way to ensure one's best health and well-being, and no longer just leaving it to chance, and the arbitrariness of others -- to determine for all, how best everyone should live their lives.  Everyone, as a "senior" citizen, has a right to determine that for themselves.

But many, will not know how to rise to that challenge and golden opportunity in their lives,  because they've never prepared themselves for that possibility -- and the possibilities, but have only done what they were told -- for the benefit of those telling them what to do.  So doing what is for their own benefit, is something that many have never been taught to do, discovered for themselves -- or even thought possible.  That's how the world fundamentally changes -- upon reaching senior citizenship status -- that even people who have thought they've prepared for that stage of their lives, have largely missed the point -- thinking it is simply the continuation of life as usual, but one is older, and less capable -- rather than rightly, as being at their most powerful.

At that point, money is not as important a differentiator as the vested interests would have us continue to believe -- because what is even more important at that point in life, is all the knowledge, information and experience one has learned in their lives -- that leverages any amount of money.  "A fool and their money is quickly parted," has been known for ages.  But a wise and intelligent person, will find a way -- no matter how daunting the situation may first seem -- because that is their learned response to a problem -- to solve it, rather than  accept and give into the problem as their inescapable reality.

The solution may not come immediately, or in the next few days -- but they will continue to work on it -- all their life if need be, until they resolve it.  That is the meaning and purpose of their lives that they have dedicated themselves to -- that persists long after they have stopped working at any job -- simply for the money, power, status, etc.  They have created a meaning for their life -- which keeps them going far more compellingly and powerfully than the usual incentives -- that when they stop for most, leads to their disintegration and deterioration -- because that motivating force that was the vitality of their existence, has disappeared.

So while one is still young, or more importantly, at any age -- one is preparing oneself for the best life one can envision -- and manifest.  It is not simply life as we have known it in the past -- but a whole new way of being that has not existed before.  That is the work of man -- and all humankind -- to be all that one can be.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Future Will Be Different

For most of recorded history, those in charge, tried to convince us that the future would be no different than it had been in the past -- which is to say, that history merely repeated itself, and never broke new ground -- when the real truth is that the future has always been different, and never just the repetition of the past.

That's why civilizations and cultures rise -- and fall, just as individuals are born, and then they die -- to make possible change, which is to say, "different."  Otherwise, people can only be victims to their past, and not the creators of their future -- to the extent that they can imagine possible.  But that does not simply mean that anything is possible, but rather, one finds out what is possible, which is the discovery of truth -- at least for that moment.  That truth of the moment, is not necessarily, the truth for all time -- but only for that moment, and that is why one is always discovering the new, and not merely reaffirming the new as the old -- as many think is their duty to do.

In that manner of living, all that is new, is merely made old -- and not being reborn in the new, as life has to be to remain fresh and young.  Clearly, that is how some are young, while others are old -- in their time, and before their time.  They refuse to change anymore -- but are insistent, that the world and everybody else, change for them -- so they can remain the same.  That which is unchanging, is that which is dead -- because the nature of life, is that it is always changing -- which is manifested by movement.

That is the value of movement -- that it is change, and the life-giving force it brings.  One doesn't move to stay the same; one moves to produce a change -- and this understanding is critical, for determining and designing programs of exercise, that hopes to produce desirable changes, and not just more random activity -- signifying nothing meaningful and productive.  That is to say, that it is important not to just learn anything -- but to cultivate specifically desirable results -- that are obvious and measurable.

However, often what is measured, is not what is most important to measure, but simply, what is easiest to measure -- as in the common example of heart rate, rather than goals, food, tools, or any other tangible expression of what one things is important to effect.  The objective is not just to work harder and faster, but to produce a specifically desired result -- of a better body, health, and life -- that doesn't come about just by increasing random activity.  

Understanding this difference, is the reason some succeed, and many fail -- because they fail to distinguish, that which is relevant and significant to do.  Instead, their efforts, are likely to produce failure and frustration -- rather than the greater clarity, of what they are doing, and attempting to improve at.  But that doesn't happen, just by doing anything -- or only that which they've done before,  that has failed.  They have to do something different -- in order to succeed, and get better.

That's obviously how the future is changed -- and made different -- or it doesn't matter what one does, and how much one does of it.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Your Health is Your Wealth

Health is not something separate from your life -- but is the summation of all one does and is.  There is no good health in spite of it.  There is good health, and good life, only because of it.

That is to say, that the way one is, is a direct result of what one does -- and not that there is no relationship between one's health and the way one lives it.  People have good lives, because they live good lives -- and have bad lives, because they live bad lives.  People who do bad things to their health, have health problems, and its many complications.

The obvious one is smoking; slightly less obvious, is overeating, and eating bad food choices, and not exercising to keep the body well-conditioned -- so that it can do the many things it might want to do -- instead of always explaining that one can't do that -- which eventually becomes everything.

How is a reasonable person to expect that their quality of life and activities will   be severely impacted and limited -- until finally, one needs an army of caregivers to do everything for them -- because one has long given up doing anything for oneself anymore, and think getting everybody else to do everything for them, is their seniority entitlement.  Those are choices people make to become less competent and able -- just as it is a healthy choice to become more competent and able.  

It is not the same -- whether one chooses to be healthier, or unhealthier.  Such choices matter profoundly, in everything one chooses to do -- in one's life.  It's not just health for health's sake, something only vain and arrogant people do.  It is what every intelligent being does -- choose to enhance their chances for survival, and beyond that, actualizing the greatest life one can live -- as the primary meaning and purpose of their lives.

All one has is a chance -- at life.  There are no guarantees and entitlements of the best life -- but one has a chance at it, and that is as much as one can hope for.  The rest is learning what makes life better, and what makes life worse, and choosing to make it better -- every day of one's life.  As soon as one stops doing that, than there is no reason or hope that things can get better -- because one doesn't no the difference, or care to know.

So things get worse -- and one has long forgotten how to make any difference in their lives -- which is their world.  And so they complain about the world not working -- and not just them -- who they think has no part in it.  They see the many ways to fail -- and no way to succeed.  That is their choice -- the way they see the world, as not working, and only getting worse.  

But obviously, the world is working, or there wouldn't be so many people in the world -- setting world records.  People get better, because it is in their DNA to get better -- unless they choose not to.  They sit on the banks and watch the rest of humanity cross the river because they've decided that they can't go on -- and they don't want to do anything about it.  They've lost the will to change.  They now demand that the whole world change for them.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Why Running is Overrated

Healthier people are more likely to run than unhealthier people.

But as many people point out, it wreaks havoc on one's knees, feet, back -- and so most people don't run anymore -- particularly as they get older and more out of shape.

The geniuses at the high school physical education departments of the world, would be doing something much more worthwhile and valuable creating/describing movements that everyone can do without causing the injuries, deterioration and pain that tells most people not to do something -- with good reason.

Just turning the head 360 degrees left and right -- for 5 minutes standing or seated, would activate all the muscles of the body and keep one in that condition and proficiency all one's life, rather than produce the graveyard of knees, feet, backs that precludes one from meaningful, healthful movements anymore -- because they injure themselves in that way, but are convinced by the "experts" that those are the only movements that matter -- as if they mattered.

The UPS driver needs that skill at turning one's head and knowing conditions all around him to act safely -- rather than he needs to carry a package for 5 minutes to deliver to the next carrier along the route. 

Humans are an  information-gathering/processing animal, and not one reliant on brute force/strength or ruthless competitiveness for survival.  More often than not, problems solve themselves just in taking in enough information to know what is going on -- at which point, one only needs to contribute a little bit of effort to that understanding and awareness -- rather than invent the wheel entirely with only their own efforts.

That is not an effective or productive way for a human to be -- reinventing everything from scratch -- without that awareness of what already exists -- and leveraging that understanding with readily-available tools.  One of the great inventions, is the chair -- for which many things can serve that purpose, and so one doesn't need to build a chair every time one wants to sit -- for the purpose usually, of sparing their knees, feet, back and hips from unnecessary wear and tear -- so that one has those capabilities ready when actually needed.

That is what humans are doing -- preparing and building the reserves so that they have them when they might actually need them -- and not just burning as much calories, time, energy and resources -- because they have no idea of what else to do, and think that alone is enough.

Let's move health reporting out of the Stone Age.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What One Thing, Changes Everything?

What is the condition and conditioning fundamentally all about?

It is to refine and enhance one's ability to change -- as a response to any challenge one faces in life -- giving them greater survival value.  That is the big picture -- before one gets lost in all the minutia that doesn't mean much of anything.  It's not about the trophies won, highest achievement or greatest risk undertaken -- but capacity to handle most of the circumstances one will encounter in living their own unique lives.  If one can do that, than the results speak for themselves -- but if one is always complaining about not being in the condition to meet those challenges, then those are the opportunities missed, and the life unfulfilled.

And then one asks, "What is one doing otherwise?"  How is one wasting their time (and life)?  Even the greatest athletes in the world, don't spend most of their lives competing -- or training to compete.  It's usually a very small part of their lives -- and the majority is just living it, from day to day, as most people do.  But even in those daily lives, there's a huge difference between those who look forward to each day with purpose, and those who dread another day falling further behind -- and that is the biggest difference that one can make in their lives.  It matters much less how much one bench presses -- if one ever does it at all, even once in their life.

Far more important than sacrificing everything else in life for such an arbitrary objective -- including one's health and limbs as the most fanatical inevitably do -- it makes much more sense to ensure those capabilities over the full course of one's years (life), which for those living now, is not unthinkable to last 100 years.  However, up to now, most don't live that 100 robustly healthy -- and most are in obvious physical decline beginning at 50, and as some proclaim as soon as they graduate from high school, that they're already starting to get "old" -- meaning a noticeable decline from their peak at youth.

In many traditional and primitive societies and cultures, that was about right -- because the lifespan only reached 40 for the luckiest, and the less fit and robust, were weeded out much sooner, out of the necessity of a marginal hold on life -- for everybody.  Now, the average person lives like only kings and pharaohs used to previously.

That is the greatest opportunity of living in these times -- that many are totally unprepared for -- that most just take for granted and fritter away -- the greatest capacity for the fulfillment of their own lives, from beginning to end.  Many people's visions still include a prolonged stage and period of life in which they are totally incapable of doing anything for themselves even -- thus requiring an army of others to be employed just to keep them alive in that state (condition).  That is what many still regard as the normal expectation of a long life -- and not the possibility that it could be robustly lived from beginning to end, as the new and quite predictable new normal.

That is the ending of "age" and "aging" as we've known it up to now.  It's not just one thing that changes -- as we are used to thinking of things -- but everything that changes, as the new paradigm of condition and conditioning.  What one thing, changes everything?, and no longer thinking, of the many different things that need to change as though they are unrelated to one another.  There is not enough time or energy in the world, to change everything in the world as though it is unrelated to every other thing -- requiring change, but what is the critical path, by which one changes everything?

That is obviously brain functioning -- at the root of everything else one does -- including thinking -- apart from the doing.  That requires a conditioning in which, the doing is one's being -- rather than doing one thinking, while thinking one is doing something entirely different -- as the fragmented, divisive mind is conditioned to.  The mind is not apart and separate from the body.  The health and functioning of the body, is the mind, awareness and functioning of the mind.

Obviously, the most important functioning to effect, is the functioning of the brain -- above increasing one's bench press or time in the marathon -- before one does anything else, or even attempts to.  It might be that by increasing the functioning of the brain, that one will see no need to bench press a maximum weight, or run ever again unless absolutely necessary -- and not because one doesn't know what else to do to burn more of the calories one thoughtlessly consumes -- as their preoccupation and abuse of every opportunity they've been given, and presents itself daily to them.

One doesn't have to continue -- doing only what one has done before.  The whole realm of possibilities -- awaits being taken.  But that means seeing the world freshly -- from the very moment one awakes.  Otherwise, there is only the continuation -- of what one did before -- and not beginning the day freshly, without preconceived notions of how the day must be -- like every other before it.  So only in that first moment upon awakening, is an entirely new day possible -- and not later, and later, until one is too exhausted -- to think and do freshly, but fall asleep again.

And so nothing ever changes.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Minimum and the Maximum

The first thing one should consider in designing a personal movement strategy (conditioning), is to establish the parameters of the minimum and the maximum -- and not just fixate on the maximum one hopes becomes the minimum.  

The minimum has to be just that -- the absolute minimum one can do at any time, in any condition -- and not only once, when they are at the top of their game in peak condition, or they're discouraged and depressed because they know they cannot do it -- and so never try again.  They don't want to embarrass themselves -- in coming to the realization that they're no longer that once in a lifetime best -- and accept their momentary condition, as what they actually have to work with.  That is dealing with reality -- and not simply the wishful-thinking of what they would like to think.  That always gets one nowhere but farther away from their realities.

That is doing the most simple and basic things until they become automatic -- otherwise, that is putting the cart before the horse, thinking the horse will figure out what you want it to do.  That is the reason for practice -- and actually doing anything great; one has to begin by laying the foundation for that greatness -- which in any case, is constant and steady improvement -- beyond doing the same thing one always did before, and even getting worse at it.

Finally the cognitive dissonance (difference between one's thinking and the actuality) becomes so great, that one is convinced that nothing makes a difference anymore -- and whatever one wishes to think is sufficient.  That's how people go into irreversible decline -- suspecting the worst, but denying it until they are no longer capable to distinguishing any truth anymore.  They just think it is all "entertainment" -- some more entertaining than others, but nothing that has a reality beyond the moment -- lost in the next.

Therefore, nothing ever amounts to any progress -- or even just staying as good as one used to be.  All is simply lost, and there is no base from which they can ever get it back -- or know where "back" is.  Thus the necessity for developing a base, and baseline performance -- not to improve, but to know where one is, and starting from.  Then one can go places.  But first, one has to know where one is -- presently, before it is meaningful to discuss where one wants to be.  One might already be, where one wants to go -- but won't know that, unless they first determine where they presently are.

The minimum, is that baseline grounding -- of where one presently is.  That is what scientist call a "control" -- otherwise, they have no idea of what is different, or changes -- if in fact, there are any.  Most unscientific claims, have no such controls or starting point -- but proves anything the promoter wants to prove, because saying so is enough.

All such claims though, still have to stand the test of time -- that one is still doing it 10 or 50 years later with the same results and effectiveness, and not that what caused them to claim the world championship at one time, results in death or disabling injury in another.  Much of competitive athletics has that fine-line separating the extraordinary performance from a career-ending injury; one hopes not to cross that line, but most inevitably will -- and finally not return, no matter how much the spirit is still willing.

One greatly minimizes the risk of injury from common everyday movements -- by performing a minimum of movements that serve as a warmup and preparation for most movements they make in their daily lives -- regardless of whether they participate in athletic competitions.  That doesn't mean they even have to be competing with themselves -- which some think is a more enlightened thing to do, but is the same competitive mentality that predisposes them to injury and overtraining/burnout, which results in the same premature retirement from such activities -- with the same awful consequences of one going into irrecoverable disability and decline.

The desired maximum is knowing when one is approaching that line without crossing it -- at more infrequent bouts that allow sufficient time for recovery and adjustment to enhanced levels of demands -- over the normal.  But there is this need for both the minimum of daily exercise (warmup), and a slightly more demanding, but more infrequent higher capability of meeting a greater challenge and demand -- on a schedule of once or twice a week -- that can be maintained all one's life.

Just doing the minimum, or just doing the maximum -- is not sufficient.   One needs to do both -- for each to give meaning to the other -- just as the relaxation gives meaning to the contraction -- in the beating of the heart, and why focus on one phase or the other, in preference over the other, is dangerous and counterproductive -- just as it is with all the other muscles of the body.  So just to contract a  muscle for as long as possible, or to relax them for as long as possible -- is not how the body is made to work, but requires both -- or life ceases, and before then, diminishes and deteriorates over a long period of time.

Most people just drop out from these activities -- once their "competitive" days are over, because they have no strategy for lifelong health -- which is the much bigger picture, and greater significance of their lives.  Life doesn't end at 30, or sixty, or even 90 now -- and one hopes to be at their best throughout, although the accolades have long stopped.  Remaining competitive in age-groups limited by the participation, is mostly nonsense because it is not the competition that is important, but a distraction from the essential understanding required to uniquely be one's best.  That is way beyond the competition.  That is one's reason for being, and doing, that will sustain them all the days of their lives.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

The Great Divide

People can most meaningfully be divided into two categories -- but not the ones most often talked about -- black or white, rich or poor, liberal or conservative, Republicans or Democrats, etc.  The major difference, is simply whether one is fully healthy and thus functioning on their highest level, or whether there is some factor in their lives that prevent this -- whether they are black or white, rich or poor, etc.  If they are healthy and functioning at their highest level -- then there are no excuses for their failures, or the undeserved success of others, and thus the actualization of their own lives -- as their experience of the world, and reality, come what may.

That is what every individual needs to be fully-focused on -- rather than distracted on all the diversions and entertainments the world is prone to offering as the shadow of reality and actuality -- of which the greatest human error, is in mistaking the "shadow on the wall (cave)," for the reality.  That is the confusion that is the great divide -- because knowing the difference, by learning the difference, is one's healthy orientation to life.

Health is actually what we are all here for -- to manifest it as best we can, and by that achievement, providing that, creating the stepping stone to the next advancement of those possibilities for the human species as well as all of life -- and not just get caught up in our private fantasies, deceptions and delusions of what is going on, and what is so important -- that results in the most inhuman acts and conditions -- because the mind is so divided and fragmented, that it can never see the whole, and experience it.

Instead, every experience, thought, and action, has no relation to anything else.  Everything in life is completely arbitrary -- and has no meaning, other than one's whim, which is to do only one's thing, regardless of all the others.  That's how "accidents" happen -- people thinking they have all the rights, no matter what the realities of existing in a world of others.  It is not enough just to have the right, or the right of way, to ensure one's safety and well-being -- but only a presumption that has to be confirmed, by actual agreement -- and not just unilaterally.  That is the exercise of the human contract, in daily living.

That confirmation and affirmation, makes us healthy -- in the actuality, and not just our own minds.  In that way, the world is not divided into thought and action, but are instead, integrated into thought in action.  And that is what it means to be healthy -- the embodiment of health, and not the fragmentation of it into sundry and many symptoms -- all unrelated to one another, for certainly, they must be fundamentally related.  But for the many narrow specialists of any time, life is never whole and complete, but is a constantly raging war, of every part against every other part -- for primacy and dominance.  That is the unhealthy, tortured mind -- we see explode unexplicably from time to time in some ultimate rage.

Many others, never get to that point of ultimate frustration, but quietly acquiesce and accept, the futility of their own existence, in deciding there is nothing they can do, that makes a difference -- even, and especially in their own lives -- so mesmerized are they by the mediated experience of the images from everybody else's incomplete understandings -- that life is made for the whole, and not just that individual exclusively.

That is the problem of isolation, division, aging -- when people begin to separate from the whole, into fragmented existences apart from all the others.  That is the problem -- and not that dividing it further into all the divisions and categories, brings about a great comprehension of the whole -- which is to live in the unity of it all.  Then there is no ranting against the other -- and every other, as though that was the solution.  That is the divided, fragmented mind -- that is the source of all the problems.

You are the world.