Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Next Big Thing

What the world doesn't need, is another hypercompetitive exercise in brutality, and movements increasingly more difficult than they have to be -- which is the problem of exercising muscles in isolation, and against one another -- because the whole overriding genius of human evolution, is to make work easier, more efficient, more economical -- rather than go the other way.

Thus, the next big thing, is not even more brutal than mixed martial arts for the 20-30 year olds, but what works for all those aging Baby Boomers -- who can remain active and engaged all their lives, rather than being eliminated by the caveman mentality.

That really shouldn't be hard to figure out -- once one overcomes the primitive notions that the objective in conditioning is not to make work, movement and activities harder -- but to make movement(s) easier, more efficient, more economical, in order for people to maintain that vitality for lengthy lives that could not even be imagined one hundred years ago.

Robert Heinlein, in Stranger in a Strange Land, writes of the human returning to earth from a life he only knew on Mars previously, to imagine the form and function an organism must be, to optimize for living conditions on earth -- as the space age model of possibility, and not reverting to its most primitive forms -- as the rediscovered ideal, and next big thing.

Do we move forward, or do we go backwards -- as the future of human evolution and progress?  What is the future we are conditioning for?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Paradigm Shift (The Quantum Leap)

The major worry, as the Baby Boomers head into the 21st Century, is not that their hearts will fail, but that their senses will, while their vital signs of heart beat and breathing, continue long after -- causing many to expend the rest of their lives and fortunes, in that nearly persistent vegetative (non-responsive) state -- which surely, is the worst of all possible worlds.

Not only is it disastrous for those individuals so afflicted, but it will also impact and drag down all the lives around and associated with them -- because many lives have to be dedicated and sacrificed to keep a person in that nonresponsive though "living" condition -- in that condition, when those individuals are long past being able to do anything for themselves -- and no chances for improvement.  At least babies grow out of that helpless condition to eventually (hopefully) be able to take care of themselves -- and others as well, nurturing the next generation.

But up to now, there hasn't been any provision for those in hopelessly deteriorating conditions -- with no possibility of improvement, and only the guarantee that things will get continuously and progressively worse -- because medical science has enabled that small measure of life to continue almost indefinitely, while the greater quality of life, has long since vanished.  That will continue as long as it is possible, and there is someone who will pay the bills for such continuing care.  Present discussions, are almost exclusively about how we can continue this state of affairs -- and not that the present solution is wrong and misguided, and that there will never be enough money nor manpower for "society" (everybody else), to take care of each individual.

The obvious (better) solution, is that every individual has to learn to take better care of themselves -- first and primarily -- as the greatest responsibility of citizenship and participation in that society.  Thus the measurement of meaningful life, shifts from whether one simply has a heart beat and still breathes, to a higher standard of total functioning -- particularly at the critical cognitive and voluntary organs of the senses (cognition) -- for which humans have long distinguished and differentiated themselves -- before it became "politically incorrect" to do so.

The critical senses (organs) are at the extremities of the head, hands and feet -- by which we express fine motor coordination, hand-eye coordination, hand-feet coordination, ducking a blow to the head, and all the movements most are not aware of that propel the rest of the body.  The movements at the hips and shoulders, which many instructors are proud to identify as the core, are virtually meaningless in the ultimate expression and release of power (to change).

The power of change, is always expressed physically at the head, hands and feet -- as the ability to grip a tool, maintain one's balance, and turn one's head to be aware of what the world is telling them -- before initiating the appropriate responses in relationship to it.  The inappropriate response, is to be oblivious to all that is happening around one -- but to persist in one's actions anyway, thereby requiring greater assistance and resources to keep one alive in that way.

Long before one gets to that point, they need to be increasing the capabilities of the organs of the extremities, by optimizing the circulation to and from it -- in firing neuromuscular impulses to improve those responses and control -- all one's life, which means focusing the movement, at those axes and ranges of movement (expression) -- as the meaningful indicator of their fitness, and not simply stop at the heart beat, which may go on long after any cognitive brain function, hand and foot movement can be expressed.

When those movements are ensured, enhanced and improved -- throughout the remainder of one's life, it is then meaningful to say that one continues to improve and get better -- because that is precisely what they are conditioning themselves to do, and subsequently, beThen it can properly be said, that one's doing, is one's being -- and vice versa, so there is no disintegration and deterioration, but rather the increasing integration and improvement of that individual -- for as long as they maintain that practice.  But it is only perfect practice that makes perfect -- and not just any expenditure of calories and heart beats, that make it so.

That is what most of contemporary conditioning programs miss -- or are entirely unaware of.  One does not become better, or world champion, by simply practicing and doing anything -- as though it doesn't matter.  They have to do everything, as though it matters -- and doing everything in that manner, works in every aspect of their lives and functioning.  And that is not the same thing as just doing anything, in any ol' way, and wondering why one is not getting the desired results.

I notice that there are many videos on YouTube now offering free instruction and advice on the best exercises to do to get in one's best condition -- but most are invariably about what they can do, that nobody else can -- including the 500 lb. bench press, or walking on one's hands for 100 feet, or more familarly, running a marathon at age 90!  Presumably, if one can do that, one will be in marvelous shape and condition -- but fully 99.9% of the population will not be able to take advantage (use) that advice -- invariably offered as a "genius solution."  They may have even bought all the bogus certifications by whomever is selling them -- and convinced the mainstream media (it is very easy to), that they are the premier marketer in that respect.

Meanwhile, the health and social crisis continues to ramp out of control on its present course, because eliminating the problem, is very different from exploiting the present situation -- and hoping it will continue as long as possible.  But there is no future for such a society -- in which everyone becomes increasingly dependent on others to provide for their health and well-being.  The only viable future that makes perfectly good sense, is that everyone has to learn to take better care of themselves -- so there is no need for an army of people to be one's caregivers for the rest of one's life.

That's how the world changes.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Time Is On Your Side

One of the biggest difference makers, is whether one believes time is on one's side or against them: If the game is long enough, one could still conceivably, improve and win -- no matter what the score is, and how far behind one is.  If the game never ends, then one has not lost -- but has all the time in the world to get better.  If one lives that way their entire life, then there is no losing, or winning definitively for that matter, but simply working on one's game -- always improving.

But some get to the point in life, when they think there can be no improvement -- but only deterioration, decline, decay and ultimately death -- and they frequently live many of their years preparing for that eventuality.  But if one lives that way, then one will have wasted all the years they could have been fulfilling their lives instead of waiting for the end -- and worse.

The usual conditioning is to instill in us that we are always working against time -- rather than that we are working with time, just as people often think that the function of muscles is to oppose, or work against one another -- rather than to work collaboratively, for its greatest effect, and effectiveness.  That is similar to the thinking that one muscle works in isolation to every other -- including the heart, or the brain -- when in fact, they work best, if at all, together.  

One therefore, would never want to condition oneself, to merely cancel out their own efforts by deliberately making any effort any harder than it has to be.  The useful conditioning strategy, is always to make things as easy as possible, and in that way, many more things become possible, so more can be accomplished.  Otherwise, one is stuck merely doing and undoing -- and never moving ahead, never moving on, but merely repeating the same old things unsuccessfully, until one is tired of continuing in that way.

That sounds like a lot of people's conditioning programs -- and so they are excited to start a new one, every six weeks -- that promises to undo everything that they didn't like doing, found objectionable, and caused their worse condition than they began with -- and so they are recovering, until they realize they can't anymore, and prepare just to get worse -- and not that they can ever get better again.

When one thinks time is against one, then one tries to overcome it by doing it as quickly and fast as possible -- which may increase the difficulty to impossible.  But if one has all one's life to accomplish that task, then it simply takes as long as it takes -- and it doesn't matter how quickly, or fast one accomplishes that, because that doesn't matter, only that one did, or was just about to.

How we live our lives, is very much like our conditioning strategy -- because that in effect, is what we are conditioning ourselves ultimately for -- to live our lives, and not sacrifice it, for the trophy or moment of glory and triumph, and then wither away the rest/most of our lives, as many young athletes think to do. But those days are very short -- in a long life, and most of it still to be lived, because the fullness is each moment -- and every subsequent moment being the summation of all the previous ones. 

It doesn't matter that one holds on to all the old memories and thoughts -- because the new subsumes the old, and is not just the accumulation of the old.  The problem of this loss of memories, is the letting go and clearing of the memory banks, in order to create space for the new -- is necessary, and a proper function in the vital, healthy person.

The enemy of the old, is not the young -- but the new.  That can be embraced by both the old and the young, or rejected by either as well -- but we only think that the young person doing so is a tragedy, while the old person doing so, can't help themselves -- that's just the way they are.  But never having to learn anything more new, for half one's life, or all of it, is the great tragedy of human existence. 

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Standing the Test of Time

"Old age" is the time when all the problems one has not solved in life, comes home to haunt them.

Increasingly, it becomes apparent that the problems of "aging," are much more the problems of life, than they are of "time."

Because with that same time, some look and function better, while others do not -- all the way to the extremes, where some seem prematurely old at 20, while a rare few (now) at 80, look "ageless," so the concept of age, is not one's primary quality one would use to describe such a person -- because that would be largely meaningless to do so, and one wants a better description of such an individual, and not one that could mean anything, or nothing at all.

Except that time, can also convey the positive quality of experience and insight -- and not merely doing the same thing for 50 years, before being drained dry of all one's vitality and desire for betterment -- as though one was just a machine that depreciates with each use.  That is the materialistic view of humanity, that totally discounts and dismisses the distinctive evolutionary drive to improve, and change for the better.  When one has given up on that notion, then we observe, that person is getting "old," and usually there is nothing anyone else can do about it, because it is largely the fate that individual has decided (accepted) for themselves.

The most common exceptions to that rule, are those who still go to gyms expressly for the purpose of improving -- which is not a bad social context, although admittedly, some do it better than others, as with all human endeavors and pastimes.  The cultural tendency of the past century, was to divide and fragment experience, knowledge and life -- in the (materialistic) thinking that "more" is always better -- without ever getting to the realization that the least expenditure of time, energy and attention for the greatest result(s), is the far greater objective and meaning and purpose in all one's activities.  So the objective is not just to burn as much energy as possible, or as much time, or give it so much attention it becomes its own obsessive-compulsive disorder -- while those objectives seem to recede farther from one's original clarity of purpose and intent -- and thus one eventually arrives at the point, that one feels, what is the use of any of it -- and just withdraws from every activity and engagement.

That is familiarly, what we witness as the horrors of aging -- that can happen even with a few at younger ages, causing a rupture from the rest of society into antisocial sentiments and actions -- of which they see no other viable alternatives.  In such cases, their previous conditioning has been so "successful" and "thorough," that further growth (life) is not necessary, and would even be too painful to bear -- and so they end it in some melodramatic statement of not caring.

Such developments are usually not foreseen by those close by, choosing to ignore, and even deny -- believing even, that everything is always the opposite of what they seem -- so conditioned (educated) are they, to believe that there is any connection to reality.  And so they must make one final, desperate effort to find out -- if anything really matters.

So that is the advantage of continually, and throughout one's life, of staying in touch with one's own unique physical reality -- rather than just accepting the mass media reality, as one's unquestioned own -- because the truth is always subject to this personal testing and results of independent verifiable reality.  Many are surprised and shocked in doing so, to learn that what "the experts" say, are entirely at variance with the results of their own experiments (experience), and those who have been socialized well, will always distrust their own judgment and good senses, in preference for what they have been taught to believe (as the unequivocal truth).

But that is largely what others "believe" to be true because that's what they were taught and never allowed to question -- rather than the truth they discovered for/by themselves, which is actually the truth of their own lives.  And that truth, always improves, and improves their condition -- and doesn't make them worse, though that's what all the experts say is so.  That's why we honor the great pioneers -- like Columbus, Galileo, Paracelsus, and Job(s).  They challenged what everybody, especially the experts, told them must be true -- and could not even be questioned, because that is what the "gods "themselves, explicitly told them to pass on to all the others -- as the Commandments.

Fortunately, we now live in an age in which discovering the truth for oneself, is what everybody has to do for themselves -- and those who do it well, reap those benefits far beyond whatever generalizations could apply to everyone else -- because they have so custom-designed their world to work marvelously well, and not the one-size-fits-all, that serves everybody so inadequately.  But that is the reason the better get better, while the worse get worse -- because they want to get better, and do those things that make them so -- rather than engage in more random activity, thinking it is the same.  That is why it doesn't work.