Saturday, September 26, 2015

Feeling Good is the Best High

The best reason for being in good health is to feel good -- and not just not to feel bad, which is often the way it is promoted.  In that manner, it is an achievement and accomplishment rather than an avoidance.  Good health, is the capacity to feel good -- and not merely in order not to feel worse.

That difference in outlook and approach, is the difference between being-motivation from deficiency-motivation -- which is the self-actualization Maslow spoke of in the previous century, when he noted that their was no psychology for positive development, but only the psychology for dysfunction, deficiency and inadequacy -- as though that was the "normal," and expected.

He further noted that what we knew of human history and culture, was largely if not exclusively, the work of maladjusted people -- because those were the people who wrote, played music, became "entertainers" -- driven as they were, to be "liked," and approved of because that's what they lacked in their lives -- and thus, drove them to extraordinary lengths for.

To get to that level, they frequently resorted to alcohol, drugs and other abuses to transcend the reality of their actualities, and were applauded by those who also shared and experienced those same motivations and neediness.  Even cultural institutions were driven by those same desires to be "other than what one is" -- rejecting the person one is, in favor of those they should become -- as though that made perfectly good sense, and ennobled one, rather than it truly did, diminish and reject all one actually is -- and understood oneself to be.

In fact, the person one is, was never thought to be a worthy subject of study -- although the wise persons of every time and culture -- had pointed out that the greatest attainment achieved, was simply in knowing oneself -- rather than the ideal they wished to become.  Frequently if not always, it led to mistaking the person one wished to become -- for the person one is, and is apparent to everyone else.  And so we call such people "delusional," because they cannot acknowledge and live in the reality that most people do.

That of course, is the basis for most mental illness -- living in a reality shared by no one else.  In that reality, they can attain unparalleled and unachievable greatness because that opinion need not be correlated and corroborated to any other reality agreed on by any other.  Sometimes that achievement can be obtained at the sacrifice of everything else -- as mass murderers think to do in going out that way.  That is their moment of glory and fame -- but whether anybody else thinks that a worthy achievement, dumbfounds everyone else -- except those similarly deluded.

Hopefully, one doesn't have to be "out of control," in order to experience one's own immense power.  That transcendental moment can be experienced  in all that one does -- when one puts their whole being into it.  That is the integration of mind and body -- rather than the splintering of it.  That is achieved in all the little things one does -- and not just the one big thing one hopes will redeem them from the thoughtlessness of everything else they have done.

That is the goodness one feels in being totally healthy -- and one's being, is one's doing, and not the fragmentation into alternate realities.  That is a very real possibility in this time and age.  People don't have to be motivated by deficiencies and dysfunctions -- to attain their greatest health and well-being.  That can be achieved by just the proper understanding that such a thing is possible -- and not a futile quest for only the vain and inordinately lucky.  It is in fact, the meaning and purpose of every life -- as the "new normal" that is entirely possible for everyone.

It is not the way we were -- but much better.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Wisdom of the Ages

For every ailment under the sun
There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it.
-- Mother Goose (1695) 

More often than not, problems exist because we are not aware of the solution -- but accept the problem(s) as how it was meant to be -- for all time, and forevermore.  But living in these times, one is inclined to suspect that one simply hasn't discovered the right solution, and even if they did, many would not accept them -- or think those solutions are just for the privileged few, of any time and place.

Thus, many think they have to first become kings and queens, or very rich people, in order to be entitled to such privileges -- rather than that they are the right of those who can merely recognize what works and what doesn't -- in today's mass market world.  Some of the best ideas are nearly free -- because the greatest value of a great discovery (invention), is the sharing of it with the rest of the world.  That's how that reality comes into being.  Otherwise it doesn't, and is lost for another few centuries -- until it is inevitably discovered again.

The challenge for many at this time -- because never have so many lived so long before -- are these challenges of "old age," or simply "aging" (badly) at any time in life.  Since so few lived to deal with it, it's never been thought that people can age well -- as commonly as they accept that aging badly is the fate of all -- with no exceptions.  Except now, because of mass media, more are aware that a few seem to defy what we've come to regard as the normal aging prospect -- however usually attributing it to extraordinary means not accessible to most -- just as pharaoh in his day, felt he had the exclusive right to immortality.

Now it is the right plastic surgeon or geneticist too far ahead of his time who is credited with having those powers -- rather than the realm and jurisdiction of most consumers with access to all the markets and information -- most of which is unarguably bad, even with the imprimatur of those who claim exclusive authority on such matters.  But ultimately, authority derives from those who really know what they are talking about -- rather than how much money they received for deceiving others into thinking they do, which is what commercial writing and propaganda is all about.

In a previous generation, it was simply dismissed as the proper province of Madison Avenue -- where it was regarded that it was fair game to say anything one could imagine, as long as one could get away with it -- after hiring all the experts to their side -- to look the other way.  In some places, everybody who was anybody, was in on it -- because the money made it true, at least for them.  Thus we had many boondoggles that became money pits that solved no problems -- but actually perpetuated them -- as their solution.

The majority then became jaded into thinking no solution was really possible -- for any problem anymore, and all in life was futile, and then you die -- after being robbed all their lives of hope that anything worthwhile could ever become of anything, and all one's efforts.  Such people never saw any problem actually solved.  It was simply the selling of one gimmick after another -- falling more into the category of "entertainment," than any other.  One simply hoped to amuse themselves in this way -- until one met their ultimate and inevitable bad end.  "For nothing else was possible" -- in their world. 
That, unfortunately, is still the life for many -- exploited by the few, but not the few they think.  These are the few one would never suspect, because they trade on confidence, and not the actuality of results -- that are even obvious to those who haven't been persuaded otherwise.  That may even be the myth that they live in "Paradise," when everything would indicate otherwise, and convince them that they don't, and live lives harder than anywhere else -- without such sanctimonious proclamations that theirs was the best of all possible worlds, and would be best off not even venturing to find out, never questioning the truth they've been taught by others to believe.
And that is all their "education" and "conditioning" has been -- to let others do all their thinking for them, and repeat it as though they thought of it themselves.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Denial is not a Solution

Many insist there is no problem -- as their way of solving it.  But the problems never go away, and naturally grow worse -- though they go into denial, more and more about those realities. Eventually there is a full disconnect -- from the realities and one's explanation of it.  Ultimately, nothing is related to anything else anymore, and the explanations (excuses), take on a life of their own, because it has no tie to any reality anymore.

That's what people and a culture are like, when they prefer their wishful-thinking over the actuality of their actual circumstances -- until they can no longer deny or ignore the many catastrophes -- that seem to have come up quite without warning and deserving.  "Randomness just happens," they will proudly proclaim, as though that explained everything.

Especially in Paradise.  Naturally, there are too many "homeless" and "poor," living in Paradise -- as though such a thing were possible.  True paradise would be the elimination and absence of those problems -- and not just the denial of them, wishing it would make it so.  As long as they are denied, it is not possible to solve any of them -- but once they are recognized, is the foundation for a solution.  Solutions must be based on a foundation in reality -- and not simply the desire that things were not as they actually are -- with no way out, nobody who believes any problem can be solved anymore, because nobody had done so, in many decades now.

It even came to be believed, that the job of everyone now, was to perpetuate the problems -- as their own job security.  What would the world be like -- if it wasn't for all the problems to keep idle minds and hands busy?

But the true work of any society, is to improve life beyond what it has been before -- and not just repeat it, for time immemorial -- even if it is "the way we've always done things" -- as the fall from grace and perfection, many believe we began from.  And ever since, it's been downhill.  

In certain places, that can be the reality -- rather than the improvement most feel are their birthright now.  Unless they choose badly, one of the few places where the quality of life seems to be in decline, among those who do have a choice among the many.  Just the belief that there can be no place on earth better, prevents one from considering and exploring the alternatives.  Those who can, are obviously at an advantage -- over those who are certain, nothing could be better -- even as badly as things are for them.

Improvement is nearly impossible under those conditions -- as the "work" of society, has become the perpetuation of their problems, rather than any resolution of any of them -- which drives off the "fit," as their means to survival.  The "fit," are those who can see the truth as the truth, and the truth in the false -- and be able to tell the difference -- rather than deny, that there can be any difference.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Nothing More Important to Do

It should be obvious, but to many people, it isn't.  They insist they are other than what they actually do -- and would like other people to believe they are.  So for such people, there is always the difference between what they do -- and what they wish other people to believe, despite what they actually do.  That leads many to conclude that they are "hypocrites" -- people who do one thing, and claim that it is something else, so that others should not trust their own senses, but instead, believe what they say.  In that way, others become as confused as they are -- of what their true "intentions" are, in addition to their actions.

That manner of "doing," becomes quite acceptable as the way of the world, where nothing is as it obviously is.  Thus, many do not know what happened, until somebody else explains it to them -- in their very contorted logic.  Such people are easy to spot, spending most of their time explaining what they are doing, rather than actually doing anything.  How could they be?

Doing is always an integrative action.  Talking is the act of fragmentation -- of creating many different versions of the one reality.  Reality is always the One Thing -- and not many different explanations of what is happening -- which of course, fragments the reality into many tiny parts -- often in contradiction of one another.  That is the problem of living in any age.

Many cling to the tiny parts as though they were the whole -- which must be a unifying comprehension, and not just more separate, conflicting realities.  That only adds to the confusion -- and never reducing it.  Usually, the facts speak for themselves -- rather than needing interpreters of every persuasion and ideology.

So all of life, is a quest for this truth of the matter -- and this truth, will keep them ageless.  but when one only lives in the shadows of their delusions, eventually it must come to an end.  Before that, is the dying to the truth more and more each day.  That's what kills.  Dying to the truth.  But if one lives fully in the truth, there is no such dying -- for the truth is living in the present and each moment -- fully. Somewhere along the line, we lose that connection, the mind-body, and live increasingly, in lonly the reality of the mind.  That is the danger at any age, but especially so as one ages.  That is why some do it well, but many do it badly.

That is the final challenge, and we hope to get that right too.

Friday, June 19, 2015

How Much is Enough?

 If you have a rate of return of only 4%, and your drawdown rate is 4%, you've already achieved lifetime sustainability -- no matter how long you live.

The rate of inflation affects everyone equally, so one doesn't need to add on some imaginary inflation rate beyond that -- like the labor unions like to flim flam the "leaders" with, and multiply their advantage over everybody else.

Intelligent people frequent the markets that are more favorable to them -- rather than the most punitive, as though it doesn't make a difference.

Those personal decisions and life orientations (choices), will make a much bigger difference than the rate of return once one has accumulated a modestly sufficient nest egg, at which point the "game" of simply making more money, should be moot.
Yet we see in these same articles, that the reason for maximizing one's returns, is so that one can spend it foolishly and lavishly on travel, entertainment, fine dining and wining -- at which point all bets are off that one could ever have enough money, time and energy -- because only one part of the equation, is not enough to arrive at any valid answer.

It is the balance and interplay of all the variables (and constants), that makes any solution useful -- and not any one factor in isolation -- no matter how large or small.

The wise person will live within their means in good times and bad -- while the fool, will deny that they should ever adjust their expenditures, no matter what.  That seems to be the presumption of most of the financial experts -- that humans (life) never adjusts, adapts, and evolves -- and therefore is doomed.

There is no "happily forever" after from the beginning for all time.  If you always do the best you can, you always will.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Discovering the New World

Human evolution has always been about movement -- to find out what the world is all about -- as even the first man and woman, were banished from the paradise of the Garden of Eden, to have to find their way in another world.  That is the metaphor of life we all have to live -- to find out not only what is known, but especially what is unknown, and which we have to discover for ourselves even if none have done so before us.  

But as a member of any species and society, we have the advantage of knowing and learning what others have done before us -- which is not the end, but only the beginning for what we must do each in our own lives, because the general rule, can only take us so far, and not necessarily take as as far as we need individually to go.
Every life is unique and individual -- as the blueprint of our very living.  In many ways, we are alike -- but not exactly, and in this way, each has to discover themselves as much -- as they do the world we inherit in common. That is the difference we must learn to differentiate.  Many ideologues will insist that nobody is any different, and so we must all do the one thing, live the one way, which is usually according to their plan -- which might not be good for everybody else, except for those who have already decided that they will be on top -- and will remain so as long as they live, as their grand vision of what life must be.

That is one plan, and one vision for society and the world -- but it is only one, and the treasure and beauty of life, is that we can discover for ourselves other worlds which are more favorable to ourselves being on top of the world.  It is usually a world that has to be searched for and discovered by ourselves -- because nobody else will take us there.  Others are in search of the world that is most suitable and advantageous for themselves -- as they have a right to -- "pursue their own life, liberty and happiness."

That does not necessarily have to be in conflict with all others.  In fact, the best of all worlds, will largely be what is shared, while allowing for individual preferences that complete and complement individual variations and uniqueness.  That is not just a matter of choice and preference, but absolute necessities for individual constitutions.  One man's meat, may be another man's poison, or better said, one person's optimal life, is what they can discover and create for themselves -- as best they can.

That is one's life work -- beyond the work that can be exchanged readily to be appreciated by the  marketplace with others.  That is what is most important for every individual to do as their highest calling -- of their own lives.  Many of course, will never get there -- barely surviving from day to day, as best they can.  But one hopes to get beyond that, as the beginning of the journey in their life, to their best life, in the circumstances that make it possible.  It may be where no others have gone before -- but that is the meaning and purpose of every life -- to find out what that is.

And that is also the meaning and purpose of society -- to help as many as possible get there -- to the point at which they are brave enough to discover their own world most advantageous and favorable to them.  Obviously, such a society would prepare them to move on in life, and not merely be trapped into conforming and supporting the life of the present powers that be, to keep themselves perennially at the top of that pecking order -- and to have no common purpose and benefit otherwise.  Those were the primitive and tribal societies of the past -- and not the golden age of the present moment.  That's where we are today -- and have to be focused on the challenges of the present time, and not the restoration of some glorious past the ideologues (demagogues) would like everyone to buy into.

Such conformity, is not a good in itself -- even if it is the "political correctness" of that time, and what we all ought to think -- as though they knew, what was best for all -- because they think that is their exclusive role and job in that society.  That is everybody's role, job and right in any society worthy of the name.  That is a world that belongs to everybody -- in its entirety, and not just their small piece of it -- that they feel they must ferociously defend, as though there were no other.

From time immemorial, the greatest advantage has always been to those who see the biggest picture of the world -- and not the smallest as though there were no other.  It doesn't matter that that tiny piece of the world is called "Paradise" -- if they know no other, and can envision nothing else, but how life has always been there, or worse, the glorious life they have only been told was possible in a distant past that they can only revere -- because nothing else is possible for their own lives now, at this time and circumstances, but to live life as they've been told to repeat it.

Such lives and living, can never have breakthroughs, never evolve beyond what it always has been  -- with only less, and never more, and greater.  That is not "Paradise," but somewhere else entirely.  But a person has to come to that realization themselves, entirely on their own.  No one else can do that for any other.  There is no more important thing to do than that fulfillment -- of living the life never lived before -- in one's own.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Even Treadmills Can Be Dangerous

Most people, in considering fitness activities, don't calculate the most important -- which is the risk-to-benefit in doing anything.  Mountain climbers have a tendency to fall from great heights -- and those who love water sports, have a possibility of drowning.  Treadmills force one to move at a greater rate than they are inclined to.  People usually meet their end, doing what they usually do -- whether they like it or not.  That's just a fact of life -- and living.

Thus, one should spend as much time doing what they truly think is worthwhile -- and do that until the very end.  Just watching television, or smoking as one primary activity, robs time and energy from better pursuits.  These days, that might be isolating oneself with one's own thoughts -- while absenting oneself from their actual environment, and what is happening in their immediate vicinity.  That can be dangerous.  Particularly if one is driving a car.

However, that does not mean one should be afraid of everything, or doing anything.  One just has to realize the risks -- that there can be danger in anything -- even running on a treadmill.  Much less dangerous, is just moving one's body -- relative to itself.  Moving the body -- in relationship to external measures, has been the traditional measure of activity -- rather than the internal change of directly improving one's health, which surely, is likely to be more meaningful.  That is, the measure of productivity is effecting movement within the body (circulation and respiration), rather than moving a weight a certain distance in an amount of time.

That actually has very little to do with producing the desirable effects in sustaining lifelong growth, while it could retard it greatly through injury and even death.  But long before that, one can see the success or failure, in the changing health of an individual -- whether they are improving, or deteriorating (disintegrating) -- most notably at the extremities of the head (neck), hands and feet.  Those qualities can usually be determined by the obvious appearance of decreasing vitality and expression -- and measured on performance scales as cognition (mental functioning), grip strength, and balance (foot strength).  Those deteriorations, compromise one's level of functioning in all one does -- and even thinks of doing, anymore.

As nearly as possible, one's conditioning activities, should be as close to their actual usage as possible -- rather than thinking that one grows more proficient, by doing something that has no real world equivalent in practical matters.  One is not simply trying to become the best at the treadmill -- which is the embodiment of activity with no purpose -- but has become the gold standard for so many.  It makes one's heart beat faster -- but so could so many other things, with much more usefulness.

It seems to me that one of the greatest, most useful activities, is to deliberately and systematically optimize the circulation to those parts of the body most vulnerable to the lack of circulation produced by non-use -- and not taking it for granted that that happens just because the heart beats faster -- or at all.  The characteristic of effecting a greater flow, is producing an alternating condition of contraction and relaxation (expansion) in any muscle, which is the pumping effect that is distinctive of the heart, but also capable by any muscle conditioned to produce that same rhythmic effect.

To the body, that is the single most useful "work" that can be done -- to maintain and increase one's health, and produce all those other desirable effects of improved appearance and functioning.  The cardiovascular flow, has to be effected by the neuromuscular flow of impulses that cause that change in state, and greatest range of expression from the relaxed to the greatest contraction -- beginning at the extremity of which there is that deliberate firing to invoke.

Ignoring that, means the typical failure of the extremities to maintain their capabilities, despite the amount of increased work one may be demanding of the heart alone -- which was never designed to do it all.  This is particularly true for those suffering from the deteriorating conditions that begin at the extremities of their body -- and working its way back to the heart because of these circulatory failures -- until the heart may be the only well-serviced and well-functioning organ, even while all else has failed.  Obviously, that is even a greater failure than death itself.  Unfortunately, that is an increasing possibility is such a singularly misguided focus on the value of conditioning activities -- which should be to increase the range of one's activities and competencies, and not just the one while the rest languish and deteriorate into a horrible end.

The greater life, is much greater -- and not just the one, out of proportion to all the others.  That sense of disproportion and imbalance, invariably leads to unforeseen catastrophic results.  Life is the whole -- and not just the part, however important we ascribe to it.  It is the complete development that has always been the objective of every conditioning (educational) program worthy of its time and focus.