Monday, November 16, 2020

More of the Same is NOT Better

 In a previous time, it was thought that "more" was always better -- not realizing that things could be any "different."  It wasn't until the modern age when people began to realize that the transformation of more, was something different, almost entirely.  That happens when the critical mass is reached -- and so something entirely new and different becomes possible -- but not until then.  

Most of the time, we never get to that point.  The obvious one is wealth -- at which a sufficient amount, doesn't need more -- but realizes the imbalance with all other aspects of that life.  Then the rest has to get better -- or all that wealth is meaningless, and more, simply the lack of any better ideas for putting money to good use.

At that point, the wise will embark on a wholesale upgrade of their lives -- but as with everything in life, simply more is not enough -- they require something different, on a higher level of appreciation and functioning.  Thus, simply more food will not be better -- but the highest quality of nutrition becomes paramount.  What is more important than taste and generous portions, are the most nutritionally dense foods one can consume on a regular basis.  

Eventually, that's what builds the body -- and not the most enticing foods one can prepare and delight over.  It doesn't matter how visually appealing, or how insatiable the food makes one consume -- if baseline nutrition is not addressed and satisfied.  Not surprisingly, that will vary from individual to individual -- with a great deal of overlap.  But the ultimate reality, is each individual's actual experience.  That is not merely "anecdotal," but the actuality of their existence.

Thus the generalized notion of what is good for one must be good for all -- without exception -- is disproven time and again.  What works for some, will not work for others, but it is still important, to find out what works for any one -- as the purpose of their whole existence.  People who pride themselves on these generalizations miss this point entirely -- and think they must merely apply more force and coercion for their models to turn out "perfectly" -- as they perceived in their own minds.  But that is seldom, if ever, how things actually work.

It is the individual realities, that add up to the big number, and not the big number, that dictates the outcome of every individual -- regardless.  That is placing the cart before the horse, mistaking the cause for the effect, and never knowing the difference.  It is in knowing this difference, that determines the successful, from failures.  Often, that cannot be measured in money, or IQ scores -- or any other one thing, because it is the totality of everything -- and no longer simply one thing, no matter how prolific.

In fact, that is frequently how many successful people fail in life -- and fail to get it.  That is ultimately what it is -- that undefinable greater than the sum of its parts as viewed through the veil of half-truths, and partial understandings.  It misses the whole point entirely -- by its observation of only one small part of it.  Of course it is the ultimate presumption of the self-absorbed mind -- that regards itself as all that can be known, and knowable.

That is not just the way it was in a long-forgotten past, but the reality of everyday life -- however much we are in denial about certain aspects of it, and would wish to edit and erase certain parts of it.  But what parts of it?  If one knew that, then there would be perfect understanding -- and not the quest for it that the inquiring and intelligent mind has always been driven to.

It is that certainty -- that has always been the greatest calamity in human experience -- whether in this age or another.  It just comes in different forms in every era.  In this age of the technocrat, it is thought that they have the rights to the claim of the ultimate truths as their exclusive monopolies and jurisdictions, and others simply don't know any better -- or anything worth knowing -- rather than looking for that grain of truth in every particle of life and behaviors.

And so many have come to the erroneous conclusion that simply more of anything, is the whole truth that matters -- and not that there can be a qualitative leap beyond the quantitative "more."  Living forever in a vegetative comatose state?  Yet that is still how many hope their lives will play out -- not suspecting that better, if shorter, might be far better.  And that is how the story of life has played out -- up to now.  However, there are now those proclaiming that henceforth, no one should die -- for any reason because they claim that prolonging life is the only meaningful measure of it.

Denial of death is not exceptional -- and in fact, is the basis of many religions -- speaking figuratively, and metaphorically.  By that they mean, the one individual life merges back into the greater whole of it -- and that is the significance of life -- individual and otherwise.  It is important to think deeply on such matters because it is the depth of life that matters, and not simply the frenetic activity at the surface -- which many are entirely consumed by as the measure of their "success."  This is not just the spiritual side of life but the deeper meaning of it -- that modern people frequently think they are way beyond, and as such, they lose their mooring, anchorage and direction.

As a famous author once observed, "it is all sound and fury -- signifying nothing."  Is that what modern life has come to?  Many are "busy," but have no idea "why?"  

Thursday, October 01, 2020

People in Good Health Live Longer and Better Lives

Do everything possible to be in one's best health.  It seems so simple and obvious -- yet escapes so many.  Many hope to be the exception to the rule -- or just don't know any better, or care to.  Usually they come from a conditioning in which they've never questioned the information they were spoonfed from their earliest years not to question -- even using sugar as the primary reward for inducing and reinforcing behaviors.  That's where it all begins -- and unfortunately, never ends for those who age and die way before their time. 

The number to be concerned about is all causes of mortality -- rather than just the one particular certain industries are promoting -- even if it is "heart health."  All death is characterized by the stoppage of the heart -- unless of course, the heart continues to live on beyond the point which all other functioning has ceased -- particularly vexing if one is responsible for that continued maintenance.  Thus, the more meaningful functioning is more likely to be neuromuscular and cognitive functioning -- by which which we recognize the individual responding and reacting to its supporting environment.

It is far more appropriate to think in terms of neuro-muscular functioning rather than nervous and muscular apart from each other -- because they are so codependent on each other.  As such, ancient thinkers recognized the advanced integration as the highest intelligence -- which is the reason for the establishment of the gymnasiums and the monasteries for the exercise and practice of highest actualization and attainment.  

So now in these times, to actually outlaw such institutions of civilization, is particularly disturbing -- because what replaces it?  The mass media would like it if they do -- because the opportunities for control is that much greater, when there is no checks and balances of others present.  Control then can be absolute.  

We call that relatively new development -- "self-isolating activity."  One has the illusion that they are engaged with others and their environment, while it is wholly contrived and exists only in their brain -- with no corresponding external reality.  That was what was called in earliest times -- "delusions of grandeur"" -- where one simply retreated more and more into the inner realms in preference to a shared reality.

Nowadays, in many cases, it is called any number of diseases and conditions -- but the result is still the same -- the deterioration of one's abilities to respond to the exigencies of the realities of their time and place.  Some merely call it "age," and insist there is nothing further one can do about it.  But many insist that begins at graduation from high school -- or even kindergarten, at which point they stopped learning anything else, and further.  A few even pride themselves on such an achievement -- as enlightenment.  To them, it is a return to the womb -- where one no longer has any responsibility for one's own nurturance and actions.

So independence and self-reliance is further discouraged -- as the cultural imperative to be the mass rather than the individual.  Individual means not apart, but the whole, and indivisible -- contrary to the popular meaning of that word, while mass, is really to be only a part, or a small part of something much larger than themselves -- and only to play that part.  As such, it was invariably a fragmented perception of the totality -- as though reality existed in that way.

That misunderstanding, is the reason things do not go as we expect them to -- often with disastrous results -- one still maintains, proves the futility of any understanding on their part.  Yet it is seldom the case that one knows "too much," than it is likely that they know too much of what is not valid and true -- which is always worse than knowing nothing at all, because what they know, is likely to be the opposite of things as they actually are, and work -- while those beginning with an acknowledged complete ignorance, are likely to find out what is true and valid -- without the presumption that they know better.

In this way, knowledge can become a handicap -- as the separation between their knowledge and things as they are -- grows wider.  If that is the case, then how does one begin integrating that knowledge from the actuality?  That is the very reason for the value of exercise and practice -- as it is the integration of mind and body, and its highest attainment -- health.  In colloquial terms, that would be "firing on all cylinders" -- from which all else merely flows.  They get it right first, and not just hope that it will all come together at the end.  It doesn't happen that way.  That is merely wishful-thinking -- the belief that simply persisting at all the wrong things, will somehow be miraculously transformed into some kind of utopia -- in another time and galaxy.  The universe just doesn't work that way.

Obviously, healthier individuals do their best -- including and especially at surviving.  Not all life is equal in that way.  Some may pull ahead for a short while, but only a very exceptional few, will continue to improve with time -- mainly because of what they are doing.  There are always exceptions -- but that is the generally well established rule.  So, far more important than extraordinary life support, are the things one does to provide extraordinary support for themselves -- and that is validated and actualized by their health.  All that matters is what one can do for themselves -- and then the rest may be helpful, but never in place of.

Try as they might, there will never be equal outcomes -- no matter what one does.  There will be differences of outcomes -- depending on what one actually does.  That should be no secret -- or worse, forbidden and suppressed knowledge.  That will do no one any favors -- and make all the dysfunctions of the present time inevitable for those following that advice.  So the question is not how to enable such people with greater dysfunctions, but how do they not get there in the first place -- by developing good (healthy) habits?

At that juncture is where contemporary society has fallen off the tracks.  Good outcomes don't just happen.  That is the selection process.  Yet somehow, we have been brainwashed that only the opposite is right -- no matter how disastrous.  Why should so many be in poor health -- from their own doing?  But that doesn't mean that healthy people will live forever.  They will simply continue to live better -- for as long as they do, and that is good enough for even the most highly intelligent person to do.

That is simply making the best and the most out of their lives -- and they can be very happy with that.  That is as good as life gets -- and they are at peace with the universe, and one with it.

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

They Don't Know What They Don't Know

Almost everybody recognizes that the person who claims to know all the "right" answers, usually hasn't even begun to ask the right questions -- or they would not be the foremost "expert" on why things go wrong.  In fact, if they really knew what they were talking about, there wouldn't be a problem -- and getting worse because of what they "know."  The Buddhists would call that the "right understanding," from which the "right effort" naturally flows -- because with the truly right understanding, it would be impossible to do anything else.

That is like experiencing a hot stove the first time -- which ensures that there won't be a second, or subsequent efforts to remind oneself not to touch a hot stove.  But it is another matter entirely, to find out whether a stove is hot or not -- and not assume that it is -- or not, because of what they "thought" they knew.  In such cases, they have to actually find out -- and it is not enough just to know that one should, or should not have left it on.  One's entire life and future may depend on it.

It doesn't matter what the experts say you should have done -- or not done, because the only thing that matters, is what one did.  This metaphor is a lot like what we encounter every day -- and hope to learn to get it right -- unfailingly, as early as possible in life, because not to, has disastrous and deadly consequences.  That may be driving the wrong way on a one-way street for the first time, but hopefully, not the last time.

Life has many such lessons -- of which we hope to know better -- before it is too late.  But that is what life is mostly about -- this learning from day one -- to do one thing, rather than another -- but even in the best of circumstances and precautions, bad things can happen, and that possibility exists, as long as we're alive.  Ultimately, everyone runs out of chances -- and nobody lives forever.  One just hopes before then, to make the best of all one's chances -- before one simply runs out of chances.

In a life of one hundred years, that might be doing and experiencing many things -- or just one thing, repeated every day.  The end result will be the same, so it is largely up to every individual to decide which of those lifestyles one adopts -- with their varying consequences.  The same outcomes, will not be guaranteed for everyone -- but a fair and enlightened society, will attempt to see that everyone starts as equally as possible -- but after that, there surely will be a different outcome for each.  That is life -- in every shape and form of it.

All do not fare equally well from that beginning -- while a few, will even manage to begin many times over -- and get very good at it -- because they practice, and do not settle for only one start, and one race -- and no second chances.  Thus the skilled practitioner of anything, is usually one who has practiced more than all the others -- even to the point that it is no longer practice for such individuals but simply what they do -- until it is so automatic, that it would be impossible to imagine them not doing it unfailingly.

That can be a sport -- but that is just one game among many others one hopes to master in their lifetime -- at least well enough for them to feel comfortable moving on to the next level of challenge and growth.  That entails starting all over again -- learning as though one recognizes they do not know rather than being stunted in their feeling, that they already know all there is to know -- and everyone who does not know what they do, is an idiot.  Usually it is true, that those who know less than they do, are idiots -- but that doesn't make them smart.

Such people think that because everyone else does not know what they know -- that they must be fools, and seldom realize, others may actually know a lot more, and that is the reason that they don't know what one does.  That is the presumption of people who fail to master the right understanding -- and are mystified as to why everybody else does not do the same things they do -- with such catastrophic results.  Of course, we call such people, "dysfunctional" because they fail to understand that one thing is related to every other -- and life does not happen in a test tube free of such variables -- most of which are unrecognized, as well as unmeasured.

But just because they aren't, doesn't mean it may not be even more significant to the outcomes -- so intent was the experimenter, in proving what he wanted to prove, and would not accept any other.  Unfortunately, much of what we know, is predetermined in that way.  That is not science -- but merely authority -- like the Pharisees and Scribes of every time and epoch.  What they say, is what they say, and there should be no other -- by law or custom.  Those who disagree, should be thrown into prison, or very publicly be crucified -- so nobody else is tempted to follow in those footsteps.

Who those will be, is usually taken upon themselves -- to be the exclusive judge, jury and executioners -- although the latter they will usually cede to others, to make it seem more legitimate, and the will of the people -- whom they should tell what to think.  Even better if they can convince the people that they thought of it themselves.

But not everybody can think for themselves -- although all will flatter themselves that they do.  They will say that is what the science or evidence says -- but never speak of any particulars, so one can determine if that is true or not.  The science simply says, or the evidence is overwhelming, but what that is specifically, is never forthcoming -- presumably because it would be too difficult for anybody less qualified to understand.  But that is what real science is -- that even a perfect fool could understand, and not just self-proclaimed and anointed geniuses of our times.

Long before that authority is challenged and questioned, a better understanding is being suppressed -- usually because it is not as profitable -- though it may have greater benefits in the long run, and the bigger picture.  What is actually more desired, is infinitely greater health, and not simply, more and more expensive health care -- to make the vested interests richer.  The greater benefit, is actually to have healthier populations who minimally need acute expensive care -- for those with multiple chronic conditions that plague them all their lives -- and are never cured.

The obviously better answer is that everyone takes better care of their own health -- rather than a few specialists who take care of all.  That is not an efficient way of achieving those objectives -- just like old academia, where a few pioneer the knowledge for all.  That was the old model -- prior to the 21st century, when now everybody has all the tools for research -- as well as publication.  That's a hard one to give up -- for the entrenched status quo.  It's not likely to be discovered by committee, either.  More often than not, the great discoveries come by serendipity -- and merely paying attention.  In such a state of mind, one sees more than what they are trained to see -- which are not simply aspects of reality, but the whole of reality.

But if we only go about it the same way that hasn't worked before, any advances will be merely illusory.  It is only when the mind is totally silent, without the limits of its prior knowledge, that something new comes into being.  And that may be exactly what we want -- and not the failed prototype in one more manifestation.  So when we have a disease that only kills off the unhealthy, one should ask, is anything wrong with that? -- or is that even a problem?  That is the way life works.

The greater question is, how do we get healthier? -- because that is the solution -- and that works for everything else in life.  We need to drastically improve health -- and not just prevent the sick from dying.  That is a real solution.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

The Ultimate Exercise Machine (Exercising at Home)

The shutdown of gyms and other exercising venues, is an excellent opportunity to rethink "exercise" -- and all it can be, and not simply focus on what marketing strategies will sell best -- whether they actually deliver those promises or not.  If they indeed worked, we wouldn't have so many people living longer lives -- but in poor health, making them vulnerable to whatever the "disease" and "fear" merchants can conjure.

Health is the best defense against any disease -- or disaster.  That is simply being the best one can be -- and beyond that, is out of our hands -- and that is important to realize also.  It is like that old wisdom, "Let me change what I can, and accept what I can't change, and most importantly, know the difference."  Most spend all their time and energy trying to change what can't be changed, while doing nothing or little, to what they could make a huge difference in their lives -- and so they come to accept the futility and despair of doing nothing that really matters, while protesting constantly that things shouldn't be as they are.

Far more fruitful and practical, is to accept things as they are -- and figure out a way to work with those millions of years of evolutionary wisdom -- and fully embodying and exemplifying those possibilities, rather than expecting and demanding perfection without any effort and expense on their part.  Nothing has ever worked that way.  Even the lowliest of insects, must work tirelessly from dawn to dusk -- or dusk to dawn -- just to survive another day.  That is the advantage of being higher up on the evolutionary scale -- that one no longer has to toil every moment of their lives, just to secure enough food to sustain them one more day.

Instead, they are well-designed to store up excess reserves -- for more difficult and challenging times, and emerge unscathed, and even ahead of when things became difficult.  That is the value of culture -- which propels each subsequent generation to begin on a higher level, and not revert each time to merely subsistence concerns -- beginning with just eating enough.  And thus humankind, has long exceeded those thresholds, and even become a curse to those who cannot manage abundance and success well -- but can only think to undo those advantages, and begin all over again, as the only way they know to live in a world of greater prosperity.  We know such individuals as "dysfunctional," because despite their seeming great advantage, always find a way to undermine themselves.

These are people who cannot handle success -- but are doomed to repeat failure repeatedly, and prefer it as all they know.  Meanwhile, the best and the brightest have moved on -- regrettably having to leave them behind, or they will drag down the rest -- if empowered and enabled.  Such people, thus empowered, will then turn on their enablers -- and no amount of compassion can change that -- however much they demand that the rest cannot move on without them.  That is the "dysfunctional relationship."

But it always begins with one -- exercising and actualizing their own fullest possibilities as the greatest antidote to whatever ills and misfortunes befall them -- and whether they risk it all on the proper outcomes, or simply lie in wait for their ultimate demise -- and thinking there is nothing they can do about it but trust in others to do it all for them.  Such a life -- and society -- doesn't work that well, because there is no limit to how much all the others can sacrifice for one who will not do anything for themselves -- or others, but increase their incessant and insatiable demands.  There is no limit for how much others can do for them, while always dismissing offhand, what they can do for themselves -- first and always.

That is the genesis of a healthier culture -- than the less perfect societies of the past, each seeks to improve upon -- as their own categorical imperative, or supreme commandment of life.  In that respect, the individual is the world -- as the highest manifestation of it -- and not just as a theoretical model, of what ought to be instead.  That is the evolution of understanding that makes greater achievements possible.

In order to make that leap to the next (higher) level, the understanding of what one is doing, first has to be stripped of all presumptions and beliefs -- that those are the only things possible.  The work, or action that is measured, is what is going on inside the body, and not its apparent manifestations that is more likely to be counterproductive, and even injurious -- as the practitioners of every activity ultimately experience.  If that were a therapy or course of improvement, it would not be crippling, debilitating, inevitably, abandoned -- when needed most -- which is the truth of such fitness modalities.

When things work, they work, and don't require unlimited and increasing commitment and devotion to produce those favorable results.  It is simply an indication that it doesn't work -- and a different approach and understanding needs to be looked for.  That is self-evident truth that is manifested in every life -- and not needing a double-blind study to prove -- all in the names of "science" -- which is always rigidly controlled to defend the self-invested status quo, who like it that way.

For all the rest, they should begin each day with a systematic program of stretches and movements just to get functioning properly -- and not that personal records have to be achieved in every effort.  Ideally, the greatest gains are made in going from total incapacitation, to the flawless execution of even the simplest movement -- which in olden times, would be that focus on breathing or heart rate -- which is unnecessary, because it is an autonomic function, and therefore, always appropriate to a more conscious and deliberate effort and movement -- that is only possible with the correct breathing and circulatory support, but the breathing alone, cannot ensure -- just as heart rate alone, will not ensure a world record, or personal best.

One implies the other, but not vice-versa.  In fact, one is automatic, or autonomic; it takes places regardless of conscious effort.  Otherwise, one can't properly do anything else -- because they are too focused on the breath, but the proper performance of any other conscious and deliberate movement, includes the proper breathing.  Nothing else is possible.

The most basic of human movements is to lift oneself off the ground -- as well as lowering oneself down to that level as easily and gracefully as possible.  That is the great teaching of yoga that is always overlooked -- and often eliminated from the practice altogether, as though everything else was more important.  If an athlete cannot raise themselves off the ground, they are "finished," because they won't be going to the next round.  The contest is over.  That is simply the elemental truth in every activity, much less competition.  We don't need more funding and double-blind studies to "prove" the truth of that obviousness.  It is evident to any body still functioning -- and can tell that difference.

In fact, some performers get off the ground so easily and gracefully, that one would never know that it wasn't part of their program; they just made it look that way.  It doesn't matter, as long as one can still get up -- and continue -- often, even better than before.  That's all part of the game -- what it takes to get there.  Whatever it takes.

That is even more basic than walking -- or any other claim to the most basic activity that can be exercised.  It is no shame to go from the most debilitated condition to one's most able and functional -- and in fact, the ability to do so, indicates one's vitality and viability.  They are undoubtedly, still in the game.  On the other hand, one's inability to change position, does not bode well for their future prospects.

In yoga, that action is manifested in going from the Child's Pose to Tabletop posture, to the Downward Facing Dog, from which they can move into the Forward Fold by walking their hands back toward their feet (rather than vice-versa as usually taught), and then shrug their way to a fully upright position -- as weightlifters do to lift the heaviest weights.  They have to lead that movement with their shoulders -- and not at the waist, which is the improper form, foretelling years of back pain.  Early posture exercises was mainly about this control of the shoulders -- leading the way, and as such, preventing the rounding of the back characteristic of back pain, poor posture, and the look of infirmity.

Prior to the 1950s, that's what fitness classes largely consisted of -- classes for attaining the perfect posture -- as a healthy and robust-looking person bound for success.  It's never to late to begin -- and maintain for the rest of one's life.  That says it all -- and is always a worthy beginning to each day.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Recovery Ability (Resilience)

Probably the most underappreciated and misunderstood force of life is the concept of recovery ability -- or how one responds to the challenges of life.  That can be the calamitous shocks, as well as the self-imposed to increase one's ability to handle any challenges.  Done successfully, one grows stronger with such deliberate dosings and exposures, and prepares themselves to avoid those situations in which one might become overwhelmed by more than can be handled.  So while doing something demanding may cause one to increase their ability to meet subsequent greater challenges successfully, falling off a ten-story building, does not make one less susceptible to falls -- and in fact, will certainly kill them.

Throughout life, one hopes to explore that fine line between too little, and too much challenge (stimulus), and determine the proper dosage that enables one to sustain increasing immunity -- from that which might be deadly or disabling -- just as any animal does in their lifetimes.  That is the basic intelligence test that really matters -- and beyond that, one can fine-tune the subtleties and nuances.

Most athletes experience that turning point at which they no longer recover from their injuries and/or exertions as well as they once did, and seem to enter a prolonged and irreversible state of decreasing recovery ability that signals that it may be time to move onto the next stage of their lives -- beyond world-class competitions.  It happens even to the best -- and to everyone else, a lot sooner -- but that turning point is unmistakable and unforgiving.  But is that the end of life, or just the signal to adapt to even better ways?  Brute force will only get one so far in life, and to go even farther, one has to leap to another dimension and outgrow their childish ways and tactics.

When they do, whole new worlds open up to them -- and they are no longer simply repeating the past -- as the only way possible.  That is what real progress and evolution is about -- and not simply doing more of the same -- hoping for a different and better result.  Often, what they have been doing, will be revealed not as the solution, but actually the root of all their problems -- that keep them from making the leap into the future.  And that's where they want to live their lives -- and not just keep on repeating their retarded past.  Something new and wonderful, has to come into being -- and not just the same old, same old.

Hopefully, everyone is living for the breakthroughs in their own lives -- and are not just the pawns in some other people's or institution's agenda.  We all have that right to our own lives -- and as the authors of our own original, unique, and unprecedented scripts.   That's when life gets really exciting -- to go where we have not gone before, and even nobody has gone before.  But the latter is not our primary concern -- as there may be others, and one shouldn't be overly concerned about what everybody else is doing, while neglecting their own purpose.  It's easy to get distracted by what others think is so important -- and lose sight of our own significance.

Saving "mankind," is not nearly as important and meaningful as saving oneself, and in that doing, one is saving mankind -- one person at a time, and not just the thought, while doing nothing meaningful in one's own life.  And that is usually how mankind goes astray -- by everyone saving everybody else, while nobody bothers to first put on their own emergency mask.  And so the plane crashes -- despite all the good intentions and selflessness.  People are not effective at preventing others from dying and disease; they are most effective at preventing themselves from dying and disease.  That is the effective and winning strategy -- and not preventing everybody else from losing.

It seems a very simple lesson -- but hard to execute, because one thinks reality is what everybody else is doing -- rather than what one is doing themselves.  For many people, there is no distinction between the two -- and so if somebody else is doing it, that is good enough for them -- and they don't have to do it themselves.  They think if the "average" person does it, they don't have to do it themselves, because they are included in the average -- which means they've already done it.  But the average is not the reality for any specific individual -- and what every individual does, is their own reality -- and not vice-versa.  That's how the human experience diverges -- for every individual.

That is the failure of mass culture to instruct properly.  It is the individual who is real, and not the average -- which is only an idea of what everybody is actually doing.  And so when people fail to get excellent results for their efforts and understanding, it is because they are trying to get an average result -- rather than the best they can for themselves -- with the understanding that that is what others are trying to do as well.   There is no athlete or competitor who is trying for the average -- but each is out to do the best they can do -- individually and personally -- and that is what matters.  That is what is misunderstood by the purely academic approach to the understanding of anything.  Everyone is deliberately trying to skew the average -- and not conform to it!  There is no default to the mean.

So arbitrary (work)loads are not as significant as how each individual responds to it -- and recovers in anticipation of the next.  It could be favorably or unfavorably -- depending on that particular individual.  That is individual variation -- and not one size fits all, because the averages say so.  Most will not be negatively impacted while a few may die -- depending on their recovery ability, which is their response to this and any other challenge.  The results remain to be seen -- and cannot be predetermined except for these actual outcomes, and from that, the truth is revealed.  Individual results will vary -- and be valid for every individual.  That is not just "anecdotal" but a case study of one.  It also, is not the only, and the whole truth of the matter.

One person dying from it, does not indicate that everyone will die from it.  That would be a gross generalization.  Or even that one person dying, is one too many that must be prevented at all costs!  If one person dies of a heart attack from exercising, all exercises must heretofore be banned -- because if even one person succumbs in that manner, it is far too dangerous to be beneficial -- or what the pseudo-scientists (media writers) will proclaim.  It does not matter that they had an underlying health condition; rules are sacrosanct -- and must never be violated.  Nobody should determine that appropriateness on their own -- assessing their own risk and rewards.

It must be determined for everyone else -- for their own good!  "Let it be written, let it be done."

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Making Exercise Easier (and More Productive)

It doesn't take a genius to make anything harder, more difficult, and more complicated -- but that is what the unintelligent, think makes one seem smarter.  That's because to them, everything seems harder, more difficult and more complicated than it is -- because of their lack of understanding.  Doing anything, without any understanding, or the proper understanding, will invariably make things worse -- and never better, and then they shrug their shoulders and proudly pronounce, that that is how the world is -- everything totally and hopelessly messed up -- no matter how much they do.  They don't seem to realize that everything is messed up because of what they do -- and not in spite of it.

So when everything in their body hurts, the first thing to ask, is what are they doing?  And from that, one has a fairly clear idea of what they are doing that got them that way.  It usually is not a big secret, and may be obvious to everyone else.  But accepting or getting used to the idea that everything should go wrong, is what their life is about -- and very few are capable of changing for the better.  They don't want to change for the better: they think there is nothing wrong with everything not working out very well -- and are convinced, that is how it is for everyone else as well -- except they are lying, or pretending to be something else.

So the dysfunctional view of the world, is very strong with such people -- but rather than change, they want to pull everyone else into that reality with them.  They will not get better -- but only worse, and time will bear them out.  You do the same things, you get the same results.  Unfailingly.  Some never catch on.

And that is increasingly true as time passes -- and those results accumulate; they don't just go away with a fresh slate each day -- not that it would make a difference.  They would still find a way to lose -- because that's what they think is the object of the game, or anything else -- to just get worse over time.  They proudly call that "aging," when time makes progress possible -- more often than not.   That's why there is progress and evolution -- over time.  However, that doesn't mean that everyone will progress and get better -- but the few who do, change the course of history and evolution.  They make the quantum leap where others have not gone before.

It is not effort and struggle that has gotten humanity to its present evolution -- but improvements in understanding, consciousness and insight.  If what we have been doing doesn't work, we just can't keep on insisting that it does -- and simply must try harder.  That's particularly true in what seems to work when one is young and healthy, but fails miserably when one is old and decrepit.  It may turn out that what one thought worked in the young, was not it at all -- and there were more powerful forces at work.

And the people who claimed to know -- actually don't -- or don't know what actually works, but simply repeat what doesn't, as though it is the truth, and the only thing they agree upon, is to stick together repeating the same articles of faith -- as their brotherhood, or profession.  Meanwhile, millions are sacrificed to their "knowledge" -- while they remain at the top of the priesthood.  That's a recurring theme throughout history (and ideology).  Those who "know" -- and the people who suffer because of it.  Meanwhile, such people are busy aggrandizing all the turf -- to speak as though they know, and are the only ones who can know these things.

So it is great to see when they overreach, and people break out questioning all authority -- that has paraded itself as "science," or the truth, but having no idea how they got to believing what they do.  In exercise, or the course of movement that one hopes to optimize their individual health, well-being and functioning, it is long assumed that simply making any movement more difficult and problematical, will result in making it eventually easier, more fluid, and productive to attaining optimal health -- when that is obviously not true when the former athletic champions prematurely have heart attacks, are crippled, and die of despair that their heyday is irreversibly gone -- and so they relive their youth as their prime, rather than their tortured present.

How did that happen?  It didn't just happen -- it was deliberate and intentional -- in the misguided understanding that to obtain a desired result, means doing the opposite of what is logical to do.  That would be too easy -- and logical, and their conditioning has made them to always do the opposite of that obvious wisdom.  So predictably, their whole lives fall apart following those infallible guiding principles.  Everything just seems to get harder, until one day, they become utterly impossible -- but not to worry, we can hire an army of caregivers to do all those things for us -- and we can continue to become as weakened as possible because technology will still keep us alive despite no effort on our own part.  And that is how many hope to live as long as they possible.

That is not the only future for humanity though.  There is the remote possibility that people can actually get better over time.  Of course, they have to be doing all the right things to do so -- and not just anything that doesn't get one there.  But the experts will rationalize that there is no difference -- because nothing they've tried works, and so they have stopped trying anything else -- and especially, those things that might work -- because they are "too old" to learn something new, and different.

That would be, that the smallest change, makes the biggest difference -- and not the greatest expenditure of energy, for little or no results -- leading to the characteristic despair of those who have done so all their lives -- and have no idea things can be different.  They think that more of the same is the only difference -- even if it doesn't work, and makes them worse.  Still, they will persist at it until they entirely can't.  A large part of their conditioning, is to believe that there is no other way -- and so they have to do it that way -- even if it doesn't work, or make any sense at all.  Their lives are just rote repetition of what they were programmed by others to do.

So it requires that realization to break free from the tyranny of that conditioning -- but obviously requires, doing something different.  Otherwise, the trajectory is inescapable.  Even those who teach exercise to the elderly and frail begin by demonstrating and demanding them to do movements that are difficult or impossible -- rather than beginning with what they can do -- but like most people, simply don't think to do.  And that is to move at the joints that are ideally designed to move -- at the neck, wrists and ankles -- which if they can be maintained, imply the rest.  Larger muscles are not meant to move intricately, but are designed to provide stability and support -- while the important movements take place at the extremities of our vital and critical senses.

Those are the movements and faculties important to sustain and hone -- and not the biceps, pecs and lats -- for what reason?  Yet that is the only bodyparts aging bodybuilders focus on -- as they barely hobble onstage -- with their obviously atrophied necks, forearms and calves.  That's where the failure begins -- and works its way back to the origin of all the muscular structures at the center (heart) of the body, and all the other organs that work to keep the entirety in top running condition.  All the traditional and conventional exercises ignore that importance -- and that is why they don't work -- because the accumulated toxins never returns to the cleansing organs -- and in that process, making room for the new.

That is what productive exercise and movements do -- pump the blood (fluids) back to the heart.  The heart pumps blood into whatever space (vacuum) is available to it -- and simply making the heart pump harder and faster does not achieve that effect -- but prematurely enlarges and weakens the heart.  Productive circulation is not dependent on how hard the heart works -- but how much the skeletal muscles pump blood back towards the heart.  That is what optimizes the circulatory effect -- and keeps one healthy and vibrant in those areas exercised in that manner, and understanding.

Otherwise, there is the frequent frustration and exasperation that no matter how much they exercise with the conventional understanding -- it doesn't work as one ages.  That is the accumulative effect of not doing things properly and not that it has to be that way -- for everybody, no matter what they do, and how hard they try.   If you're not doing the right thing, it doesn't work -- and it doesn't matter how much of it you do.

Friday, May 01, 2020

The Key to UNDERSTANDING Exercise

The bottleneck in the circulatory system is not that the heart is not pumping -- but that it is pumping into the resistance of the fluids remaining at the extremities -- and so merely pumps the blood back into the heart -- rather than to the extremities, which as he points out, has no flow. However, the alternating contraction and relaxation of the muscles does create a pump -- but the obvious effective design, is to create a pump at the extremities -- which one can do when one realizes this obvious problem, which explains the deterioration of the human body -- beginning at the head, hands and feet -- embodied by the swelling and inflammation, as well as lack of articulation of the joints/muscles at the extremities, where people start to show this aging first, and most obviously. That deterioration is noted as a lack of movement as well as functioning at the critical extremities of the body -- resulting in the common problem of the turkey neck as well as cognitive decline (dementia) at the head, weakness of grip, and absence of sensation and balance in the feet -- because those organs have degenerated from the lack of optimal flow that removes waste products and creates room for nourishment. My observation has been to dispute the erroneous notion that exercise is done mainly for the benefit of the heart -- when the heart may be the only consistently working muscle in the body -- and just making it work harder, doesn't optimize the flow any better -- but as noted in many athletes, merely enlarges their heart -- because it is pumping harder into that resistance. What does make a difference and optimizes the flow, is to initiate a muscle contraction at the furthest extremity -- realizing that in every case, the insertion of each muscle, must move towards the origin -- which is towards the heart, and contraction (making a volume smaller) is also compressing fluids towards the heart. As I pointed out to Arthur Jones, the creator of the Nautilus machines, and the founder of "high-intensity exercise," you don't need to create a machine to work every, or even most of the muscles -- because initiating a muscular contraction from the furthest extremity, triggers a contraction in the supporting muscle (proximal) -- until they all go back to the origin at the heart. That is the most productive thing one can do -- because that action pumps the blood back towards the heart -- creating space for the heart to pump blood into, rather than just short-circuiting back towards the heart. This insight came into focus for me around the time Nautilus was at its height of popularity but I noted then that few were achieving the results his machines promised -- despite how hard (high-intensity) one was willing to train -- but noted that many were even beginning to die of heart problems, including notable bodybuilders and professional wrestlers. I didn't think that was the objective. Meanwhile, I was giving presentations on an easier approach to exercise -- that could be done in any setting because it simply required this better understanding of the human body and functioning -- that really eluded most exercisers, and so it becomes entirely ineffective in their later years -- although the spirit is still willing. The most important movements are the movements of the head, hands and feet. Running, jumping, dancing is fundamentally moving the foot as a lever; but those end movements, imply the rest. It is impossible to contract a more distal muscle as fully possible -- without the supporting muscle (proximal) being engaged (anchoring) -- and with that understanding to optimize that flow -- that left unaffected, results in the accumulation of toxins and allowing for no new nourishment -- no matter how hard the heart is pumping. Because it is pumping into the resistance of the fluids already remaining there. That fluid just remains there -- and is not the blood re-entering the heart but the blood that has no where to go because the fluid (blood) in the extremities are not being evacuated by the proper understanding of this optimization of the circulation. You have to create a pump at the extremities -- and with the proper observation, one realizes that beginning at the extremity, is the only way to do it -- and not working the heart harder until it fails. In this way, the critical faculties of the head, hands and feet become the leading indicators of this continuing vibrancy -- rather than just being in good shape for a person who looks like they should be dead.

No, I'm not saying that simply doing (more) of the conventional exercises -- like yoga, tai chi, and deep breathing will work any better than it has over the centuries. However, a better understanding of the process -- will work wonders, rather than just sell more heart rate monitors and courses promoting the wrong effort -- which is the primary reason that business model was so commercially successful -- as well as promoting all the so-called "heart-healthy products." In most people, the heart is not the weakness of their muscular (nervous/circulatory) system but is obviously the strength -- since it is always working, and usually infallibly. It is doing its part -- but it can't do it alone. When one asks, "What is the best exercise one can be doing?" -- without preconceived notions of what it must be -- the usual answers are such things as walking, running, swimming, etc. -- rather than the much more productive answer of what optimizes the circulation (health) throughout the body -- and particularly to those parts that have the poorest circulation, and so those parts fail first -- at the extremities. But simply making the heart beat faster is not the solution if there is no space for the heart to pump the blood into -- and will simply return to the heart. As the doctor points out, that flow is fine -- but the flow in the capillaries are non-existent, and remains that way. It is only a presumption that the blood in the capillaries (at the extremities) is the blood returning to the heart -- by some convoluted explanation. But as the doctor also notes, if one were to design a circulatory system ideally, it would be at the top of the head -- so it flows down. But since you have a closed hydraulic system, flow is not so much dictated by gravity as it is by pressure difference. So if the blood in the capillaries don't move, the flow cannot obviously go into it. One has to create a vacuum (space) which readily draws blood into it. The way to do that is to create a heart-like pump at the extremities -- by mimicking the action of the heart -- in contracting and relaxing at the furthest extremity from the heart -- that contraction squeezing the blood back towards the heart, and upon relaxation, the heart has plenty of vacuum to allow the blood from the heart in. Bruce Lee as well as Jason Fung essentially said the same thing -- "That in order to fill your cup, you must first empty it." Similarly, philosophers and other wise individuals advised that in order to gain wisdom, one must let go of all the junk in their minds first -- that leave no room for anything new. Likewise, the computer model in which one must first clear memory -- in order to use it. It all sounds very metaphysical -- but is actually the simple and obvious -- but people can't accept it, because they want to hold on to what doesn't work, and all their fanciful ideas -- that don't work, often because they think that knowledge in itself is valuable because that is what everybody else is saying. The head (face and neck), hands, and feet are the first places to display the effectiveness of the circulation -- and not the core -- which is the usual extent of one's movements -- while the much more important functions at the head, hands and feet deteriorate. Increasingly, that is the problem -- that while people's heart may continue to beat tirelessly, their brains have died, their grip is weak, and their balance (feet) is so weak it cannot hold them up properly -- even among the lifelong exercisers. They're not specifically addressing the real problem -- but are doing something else instead. No amount of doing the wrong thing, will get one the right results.