Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Larger Than Life

Even Jesus didn’t win them all — because winning isn’t the ONLY thing. The main thing is that we know the difference —between the true and the false. That goes beyond what the media (Pharisees and the Scribes) say is true — and the only way to think about these things.

Yes the media would like it if we all bought into what they are selling — but as the wise have always noted, the majority is usually wrong — and not that “might makes right,” so we all have to chant and repeat only what we are instructed to — and not that we should think for ourselves anymore.

We need to be MORE discriminating rather than less. The ability to discriminate is the the antidote for Prejudice and Bias — but if we cannot tell the difference (discriminate), then we go along with the mob — and that is what all the great literature and wisdom warns us of. It comes in different guises each time.

Yes, it would be nice if everyone recognized the truth — but what matters, is the few who do — in every generation and circumstances, and remain steadfast in that truth — by living it. They eventually Inherit (change) the world — as truth stands the test of time, while the false come and go with the regularity of arbitrariness and capriciousness, and the indoctrinations of the present moment.

Making the critical discriminations is what life is all about — and not simply trying to be only on the “winning” side — because there is a reward greater than we have been “conditioned” to value as the only thing that matters. We see the truth play out — and not that is what others tell us is so.

Invariably, it is that they own the monopoly on "truth" -- as though that was what God intended -- as the last word on all things, and get to enforce as ruthlessly as necessary -- as their exclusive right.  It is the same with every generation and society -- and not merely some fable of some distant time in memory -- which they now supplant, as the way it has always been for time immemorial.  That's why we have historians -- who tell us it is not so -- that things weren't always the way they tell us it must be.  Life is change -- and by that mechanism, always getting better -- because nothing else stands the test of time.

That's why the present reality is the truth -- and not only what a self-designated few, tell us is so -- despite what our own senses tell us is so.  If that present "truth" is not working, then one should be free to explore alternative ways of looking at the problem -- because the problem is in the present solution (adaptation) -- and not that the world is inherently flawed, while their understanding is "correct."

Knowledge is useful when it conforms to reality, and not that reality must be distorted to conform to that explanation.  Then, all kinds of mischief becomes possible -- and the truth becomes anything one thinks they can get away with.  That doesn't make for a happy world, let alone a world that works, and makes sense.  That is the "scientific method," as opposed to a world of "authoritarianism," that claims it is following the science -- but that science can't be disclosed to anyone else -- but those already in authority positions.

Fortunately, we still are allowed fields in which one can find out the truth of the matter for themselves -- as the only thing possible.    Those are the matters of personal choice -- which makes the real difference in outcomes and people's lives, and not just that everyone must conform to the "averages" -- and nothing else is possible.  That is the failing of the liberal arts curriculum -- that everything is merely a matter of opinion, and how many one can get to agree with them -- usually without thinking very deeply about it themselves.  Instead, the microphones are thrust in front of them for their "expert" opinion -- as though that is "science," or an intelligent response at all.

That quality of thoughtfulness now becomes absent in all discussions -- and there are no second chances unless one is doing the editing, and then one has unlimited chances to do so until they come out perfect -- while distorting every other viewpoint to gibberish -- just as the editors of old had the chance to do before final publication.  But now, even that can be erased and tampered with -- by the unscrupulous.  And so one has to retreat even further from those engagements with those who have no interest in investigating the truth of any matter -- but have already made up their minds as to what the answers must be -- because somebody has already paid them for that conclusion.

So it is up to each individual to reward themselves in that way -- by discovering the truth of that matter, because that is what really makes a difference -- and not that they can simply live in their delusional world of unlimited "likes" -- and no one can tell the difference.  But a few can -- and those make a difference, and go on and enjoy a richer, deeper life -- a life of authenticity.  Those are the rare few not afraid to find out the truth -- and are blessed by it.  They don't need to be rewarded by others -- and that phony currency of other people's opinions.  They go straight to the heart of the truth.

You can fool some of the people all the time, and all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time -- because time eventually reveals the truth.  The truth is timeless in that way; it is what is.  What that is, varies from individual to individual -- depending on their ability to process the information -- and integrate it with all they know to be true.  That is what it means to be truly "fit," and not just one measure among the many that might not even be the right measure for that moment.

Heart rate, or pounds lifted, is not sacrosanct -- but depends on what larger aim needs to be accomplished -- and if that is health in longevity, health is paramount, while longevity is moot.  It doesn't matter for most how long one lives as a "vegetable" -- or otherwise similarly impaired human being.  Far more important is "quality" of life, and length is a by-product of that -- while simply existing with no cognition of life, has no meaning -- except for those who can profit in some way.  And undoubtedly, there will always be people like that -- who make a handsome living on people's continued and prolonged misery.

They don't solve problems, but merely exploit them -- as the only thing they know how to do.  Eventually, they become their own greatest victims -- because that's just the way the world works.  That is cause and effect, karma, religion as well.  In the end, everything is made right -- that is guaranteed.  So we each only need to worry about the short term -- and do the best we can with what we know.  That's what we are responsible for -- and not the ultimate fate of humanity -- as though we knew.  It is seldom sufficient to know only one thing, and think it is everything.  The uncertainty is what drives us to find out -- while certitude discourages us from even questioning anything -- and that is the unexamined life.

That is the real dividing line in consciousness across the human race.  The best is yet to be discovered.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Everything You Know, You Learned in Kindergarten

And haven't learned anything since.

That is unfortunately true of many people -- that the first things they learned, were also their last.  That used to be adequate for when things changed slowly, and new information took a lifetime, and even generations to finally win out.  And that same cycle, would repeat for another few millennia -- until someone created the wheel, or invented fire.  Then, everybody who had attended kindergarten, had a Ph.D.  So it is not surprising that now, people with a Ph.D., think that is all there is to know, and can be known -- and not that it is just the beginning rather than the end of their quest for useful information.

That is not more elaborate and contrived explanations on why everything goes wrong -- but are the right answers that eliminate those problems -- and humanity can move on.  That's when we realize we're on to something -- and are not hearing the same or even different excuses played over and over again -- while learning from those mistakes, are forbidden and suppressed.  And so we spend more money while the problems get worse, and explode out of control.

That's not unlike what is happening in many of our major population centers now -- as they spend increasingly more money on problems that continue to get worse, and often explode out of control -- while wishing it were otherwise.  That's not going to make it happen -- but is merely wishful-thinking -- as though there is no difference, and telling the difference, is now illegal and prohibited.  That is not unlike the cities that are being sacked by vandals and lawless -- in the hope that they will stop.

Those are the people we need to build fences against, because they don't respect our boundaries -- and further inviting their incursions, won't make them come to their senses.  We have to.  That is the unfortunate truth of life -- that some people need to be reigned in -- because they don't have that self-control, and only those who do, can transcend to ever higher levels.  That's especially important when one is "retired" and there are no others to tell them what to do.  What will a person do?

For a few, it is to indulge their lifelong dream to dissipate themselves in whatever manner possible -- in binge eating, binge drinking, binge watching, binge recklessness -- until somebody else cares enough to tell them to stop.  But they're not going to do it themselves, and for that, one has to lay down rules -- because an honor system does not work with those who are dishonorable.  Their objective is to get away with anything they can.  So one has to make this distinction -- between the honorable and the dishonorable, and not assume they are playing by the same rules.

Those are the people who have no compunction about preying on the innocent, gullible, trusting, unassuming elderly and vulnerable -- whenever they're allowed an opportunity.  Most people are not so disposed, but a few are, and that is the need for this ability to distinguish the wolf in sheep's clothing -- lying among the lambs.  That is what the good shepherds do.  That is doing one's part -- in any society one operates in.  They don't just lead the lambs to the slaughter -- ruthlessly as some would have us believe.  They've earned their place at the banquet.

Many people now do not see the connection -- between one thing and every other, and think that everything is merely arbitrary -- according to the story of the day, which everybody is beholden to copy as their own, and "edit" for greater clarity -- which often turns out to be another story entirely.  In that manner, they can claim it as an original -- as though they thought of it themselves -- but is just the story line repeated throughout every journal.  Nobody would know the original authorship -- and so much the better -- in the new improved "journalism."  Rumor is as valid as facts -- until the readership becomes weary of being misinformed and misled -- for a few clicks more.

In this manner, many promise to deliver, but never get around to it -- and send whatever they have to sell, regardless of what the customer wants, and dares them to return it.  It's not a good way of doing business -- but they got their money, and obtaining value for it, is your problem.  That is now the experience of many in the marketplace who are unwary -- but that is the risk one takes, to receive favorable exchanges -- and knows how to recognize them from the fraudulent and unscrupulous.  They sell you the sizzle, but not the satisfaction.

Fortunately, as time goes by, one needs to buy less and less -- while returning to reliable and trusted sites.  That in itself, is worth something.  Thus the rich get richer, and the fly-by-nights move onto the next scam and multi-level marketing opportunity that will soon be included in the Dow-Jones averages.  Thus the rich get richer, and the poor have no idea what they are talking about.  Everything they know, they learned in kindergarten -- and stopped learning anymore.  It never occurred to them that knowledge should work, and make a difference -- or is worthless, and not worth repeating.  But for these victims of the learning wars, repetition is all they know -- even if they are useless and futile.  They think if they simply repeat it often enough, one day it will come true -- and not that it should be obvious from the get-go, each and every time.

That's how divorced many have come from reality.  They think "virtual" knowledge is good enough, and often, as all there is.  And so the world of reality escapes them -- and they suspect nothing.  They may say that reality is anything you want to believe it is -- and give Ted talks on it -- to a proudly undiscriminating audience, who knows what they want to hear.  They are no longer "bothered" by the truth.  In that and any other universe, there are still the few who are bothered -- and know it makes a difference.  They have never been everyone, or even the majority; often, they have been only one -- who stood alone, and stood their ground -- despite all the intimidations to conform.

Those are the great individuals and ideas that have stood the test of time -- as much as the mob-mind tears that notion down.  There are no such individuals they will insist; all have caved to the popular opinion -- or suffered the boot.  At least that's what they'd like us to think.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Self-Reliance (Self-Discovery)

In troubled times, one is required to do everything for themselves -- and not rely on anybody else to do it for them.  Most often, those others will simply not be around -- especially if one is on a road less traveled.  If one has ever been in such a situation, one vows to be better prepared the next and all subsequent times -- and not take it for granted that help will arrive -- just because one wants it.  Increasingly, most of life is that way -- and any help and cooperation is always appreciated, but should never be taken for granted, or worse, feel entitled to.

The obvious situations are the earthquakes, fires, floods, plagues, famines, along with innumerable man-made disasters -- often by following sanctioned advice.  But as long as it doesn't work for everybody else, nobody notices that there could be another way -- a better solution, especially when all thought of such is banned and prohibited -- by the powers that wish to exercise that exclusive control.  Such watershed events happen at least once in every lifetime -- whether it is a war, plague, tsunami, personal disaster and loss.  Everyone will experience at least once in their life -- and those who haven't, still have that to learn, and benefit from.

So it is much better to have won and lost a fortune, than only known winning -- with never a loss, because that loss teaches one something even more valuable than never having loss -- yet.  Because one day it does come, and one is totally unprepared for it -- which is always a greater calamity than those who have been there before.  That is one of the advantages of age -- and having lived a long enough life to have experienced many things -- and have died and been reborn to survive anew.

The caveat of course, is that one survives to learn from that lesson -- and also learns not to tempt fate unnecessarily.  Every mistake and overestimation of one's abilities, could be one's last.  And that is not foolish, for those who survive to 100.  They've demonstrated what it takes to get there.  But just crawling over the finish line after everybody else has gone home, is not enough -- to make one "first."  One wants to discover something else in which they can really be first -- and not the last, and receiving a "Participation" trophy for still thinking it matters.

Better they should create their own event -- in which they really do come in first -- such as the first to live to 100, and not look 100.  That is yet to be achieved -- but surely, that milestone will be breached -- as has to, for living even longer, to have much meaning at all.  So those who merely they can live forever on artificial life support, obviously haven't thought the implications of life at all.  Even if one has all the money in the world to afford, does one want to end up a pile of unrecognizable protoplasm in some laboratory-sealed bunker -- far from the river of life?

I don't think so -- but there may be a billionaire or two looking forward to such a precedence.  Much things are possible these days -- but why not the truly amazing, and unthinkable?  That would obviously be for a person to live a hundred years while still getting better -- not as a lie not to hurt their feelings, but actually so, because they actually do all the right things -- and not simply the "right" things that don't work.  That could be true for diet, exercise, lifestyle -- if it doesn't actually work -- but instead, multiplies the many incurable contemporary diseases and afflictions of these times.

A few perceptive researchers and thinkers about life have questioned that maybe everything they thought was true, is not -- as the simple and obvious explanation for why their models and theories do not work -- rather than insisting that they must be true -- despite the results and consequences.  That has been the experience of human consciousness and thought for as long as there is a record of thoughts -- and how individuals, cultures and societies, have attempted to circumvent it -- as the cult of "immortality" in every civilization -- that forms the basis for most religions.

It is the "greater life" in some vague manner that resonates in every culture.  But how that is to be manifested "in the flesh," remains to be seen.  That is what we really want to know -- as the fountain of youth, or the holy grail -- which is that eternal quest for the unknown beyond.  The "known" has its obvious limitations -- that does not get us there -- obviously.  Thus, one has very little to lose going where everybody else has gone before -- even if it is the conventional wisdom that fails everybody else.  We don't need further proof of that. 

The answer must lie beyond this known.  It is the unthinkable.  But only time will tell -- as the first who get there, and share that accomplishment in the unprecedented manner not possible before.  One YouTube video claimed to be a 100 year old ballerina -- which would have been impressive if that were true -- but alas, she turned out to be only 78 -- a remarkable achievement in itself -- and opening up the possibility that it will be achievable in her own lifetime.  However, ballet is a perilous vehicle for achieving and exhibiting that -- and any fall from that grace, might put an end to further progress.

So it would be appropriate to ask, how would one demonstrate the robustness and viability of life at that age and condition?  Does one necessarily have to run a marathon -- that actually eliminates the field rather than increases the access -- by anybody still living and breathing.  That's really not hard to conceive -- if one can let go of all the requirements of all those activities that aren't working, and in most cases, eliminate the participation.  You don't get there by eliminating the field of participants.

And that is what the competitive model of athletics and activities deliberately seek to do -- eliminate all the others until only the one remains.  But is that necessarily what one wants to do?  You can always isolate the one who will be the rare exception -- but if one wishes to discover a general principle, that is the last thing one would do.  You don't want to know what only works for one -- no matter how exceptional.  You wish to find out what works for most -- so many get there, and then you see the possibilities -- of life beyond.

A sedentary life, or even a bedridden one, should not be a limitation.  If one prefers to sit, one need not be forced to stand, nor the bedridden to walk -- when doing so only increases their risk of further danger and injury.  Even then, that does not preclude any and all movement -- particularly of what is most significant to move, and that is the blood -- not primarily dependent on the constant heart action -- but greatly impacted by the engagement of those muscles seldom mobilized.  If fact, many think they are immobile -- when they are still capable of the greatest movements possible, which are at muscles of expression.  They are also the areas greatest distance from the heart -- at the head, hands and feet -- which articulating, and increasing their health and functioning particularly, is mostly the movements that matters.

If those fine-motor movements and expressions can be maintained -- and even enhanced, then one is still improving, and growing.  There is no greater self-evident truth.

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.