Saturday, February 03, 2018

Making the Best of Any Age

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

The Basic Function of the Human Body (Being)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 04, 2017

One Day At A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 05, 2017

As Long As You Get It Right Eventually

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Sometimes the Worst That Can Happen...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 08, 2017

Take All Day If You Have To

Probably the egregious error most make in their lifetime, is the value of time and its use.  Most regret that it was wasted in their youth -- never to be regained, restored, and even revitalized -- which is the remarkable and ultimately most meaningful achievement in any life.  How does one use time to increase it?  In that way, time is always on one's side -- and not the fearsome arch-enemy they come to regard it.  A large part is how we've been conditioned to think of time -- as the enemy, rather than the friend.

We always think we're in this race against time -- when we'd be better served to think we have all day to get anything done.  This is especially true of how we've come to regard exercise and athletics -- to see who gets it done first -- and not who finishes last, or when all the others have long given up.  The one who keeps going, is the stand alone winner.

But does that mean we all should take up marathon running -- and see who is the oldest ever to finish a marathon -- or climb Mount Everest, or die trying?  There are a lot more personally meaningful things one could do -- and keep on doing for as long as one is alive -- and the day they stop doing it, is the day they die.  But until that end, they are capable every day of their lives -- for as long as they live, and that is all that matters.  Then one day, you just don't wake up -- and the greater life goes on.

Many on realizing they haven't done their exercise for the day -- think they are too late to get it done then -- whenever they realize that.  Time has not moved on, but is waiting for them -- to once again, get with the program.  There is nothing more important for them to do -- at any time they realize it.  They simply have to begin it now -- and if they finish in the morning, afternoon, or before going to sleep , that is soon enough, and plenty of time to do it.  One has to make time for the important stuff -- and not let all the unimportant stuff deter and dissuade them, which for most people, is simply watching more television.  Eventually, that is all they do.

Long before they get to that point, they can realize that they don't need to watch any television at all, and would be immeasurably better off if they didn't -- including even watching exercise videos.  No amount of watching all the exercise videos in the world ever made, will put them into better shape than discovering what works for themselves -- in the doing.  Some people are amazed that anyone can learn (or is allowed) to learn on their own in that way -- like all the great prodigies of every field had to.  Nobody else could teach them -- what they alone knew, and brought to the world.

For such individuals, time stands still -- because what they do is the timeless -- and they are so into that moment, that it is the summation of everything that ever came before it, as well as changing the course of its future development.  In that course, many will become obsolete in that instant -- and leap into the unknown and undiscovered.  That is what we want to know -- even more than the known, and what everybody knows -- but is not working.  Obviously, it is more valuable to know what works -- than all the knowledge and information that doesn't, and has led us to the present problem and conumdrum.

And invariably, that is to the realization that what we thought works, doesn't anymore -- no matter how hard we try, and how much time, energy and other resources we devote to it.  Meanwhile, that which does truly work, is worth doing nothing else. Regrettably, that is what we fail to get right -- determining the useful from the useless, and preferring greatly, the useless over the useful -- and leaving no time and energy for it.  That is the tragedy of the human condition -- that assuredly, is not hopeless.  It is simply the road less traveled, and the path less trodden -- but assuredly exists, even if it is much denied.

However, it is not just a matter of wishful-thinking and affirmations in spite of the actual realities -- but actual fact, as improbable as it seems.  That is "the word made flesh," the manifestation of reality, and no longer simply the belief in that possibility.  That is the integration of thought in action.  But simply believing is not enough; what matters is the exercise of that belief -- to see if it makes a difference -- incredibly, instantly -- and not simply as a matter of time, and especially, psychological time -- as many are convinced, is necessary, to make any difference.  The difference is noticeable as instantly as turning a screw: it either makes a difference or it doesn't, and then in the positive or negative direction -- but the change is instantaneous, and not only apparent in a matter of months and years.  By then, it is too late -- and all will have been lost -- as the proverbial "too little, too late" -- to do anything about it.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Practice Makes Perfect

Many people think there is a point in life at which it is no longer necessary to keep improving -- and think that they can only get worse -- no matter what they do, so that many just give up trying.  Therefore, the prognosis for everything is not good -- as a self-fulfilling prophecy.  

They already know the outcome -- and there will be no positive surprises.  Mostly, that is their conditioning -- rather than undeniable fact.  Some people do go on improving day after day -- not by chance, but by deliberate intention.  That skews the odds away from randomness and entropy -- which is increasing randomness.

It is quite fashionable among some cohorts --to believe that life and everything one experiences in it, is random, and there is nothing one can do to make a difference -- so bad things just happen, and good things, are not what they seem.  Thus they warn, if it seems too good to be true, it is -- and so they will not even consider those possibilities as real, and actual.

In this way, they live their whole lives in denial -- that everything that seems obviously true, are false, and vice-versa.  The obvious is never the truth -- or actuality.  The mind, they are convinced, must convert everything it experiences as the actual reality -- into its opposite, and do that for everything one encounters and considers in life.  Thus it is easy to fall into confusion and contradiction -- forgetting which is the true and which is the mind making a conversion into its opposite.

The simple-minded have no energy to waste in doing so.  They simply accept the obvious as the obvious -- because they don't know better, and haven't been conditioned otherwise.  Of course, that is the tactic of advertising and marketing -- to convince one of what is not true, and deceive them(selves) into buying whatever they happen to be selling.

The world was never meant to be so complicated and convoluted.  People get good at what they actually do -- and not merely what they wish not to do -- even if it is the obvious.  That is the deception of wishful-thinking -- that it is the same as actually doing anything, especially by those who pride themselves in knowing better.  They think that knowing is simply enough, and not doing anything based upon that knowledge.  If fact, those believe that knowledge is a substitute for doing -- and even better.  So they never bother to practice and effect the value of that knowledge; it is merely enough for them  "to know."  And so they never find out the truth of the matter.

Yet that is what practice is -- finding out what is the truth of the matter, not only once, but as many times as one can -- until one can't.  When that day arrives, there's nothing they can do about it -- but until then, they do it to assure themselves they still can, and know what they can do.  They live their lives that way -- every day of their lives, instead of falling far short of when they actually cannot -- and have long given up trying -- claiming they are too old, too young, or inexperienced.

That's what practice is for -- to gain that experience and expertise.  It may not be the same as it was before -- but learning the new limits is even more valuable than dwelling upon memories of what one had before.  That's what young athletes do to get better -- practice.  That's also what the devotees of any discipline do -- to get get better -- even if it is to better learn their new limitations, as well as capacities.  

In doing so, one strengthens themselves in unexpected ways, and increasingly less in the expected and predictable ways.  That is real progress -- and not merely staying within the box of their limited expectations.  That is the ultimate intent of "practice" -- to break through to where one has not gone before, or even thought possible, and not merely to repeat the tedium endlessly -- as though somehow that is transformative.

The practice is to make perfect.