Saturday, June 16, 2018

It's A Changing (Evolving) World

Even forms that were successful in their time, eventually become outmoded and obsolete -- so one should not let that happen to themselves.  Individuals can be quick to adapt and respond -- unlike the institutions that will invariably have to fail -- because they cannot change quickly enough, since they are designed to last as they are -- until they fail.  They become the dinosaurs of the current age.  Thus in seeing the demise of institutions like Sears and the shopping malls that were hugely successful in their day and age, there's very little they can do to remain at the top forever -- just as anyone else.  They too will come and pass.  That is life -- and the only reality we have known.

As long as we change, adapt and evolve, we can remain vital to the times we live in -- and the failure to do so, and respond to those challenges, obviously makes one less fit for continued survival -- and life at its best.  So that is the challenge throughout our lives -- to be at one's best, and to regard any deviation from that experience and path, as clear signals that one must change their course -- or perish, either quickly, or slowly over time and age. 

Fortunately, that means using all the tools and strategies one now has access to -- and not just the original equipment one was born with and previously acquired.  One must even be prepared to let everything accumulated thus far go -- to enable oneself to move on -- without all that previous baggage.  Unfortunately, many cannot let all that go -- because that has now become their security, and everything they know.  But what they don't know, is far greater than what they previously have accumulated all their lives.

It is said that information (the known) doubles every year -- or more accurately, evolves into something better, and supplants the old -- integrating all the previously known -- especially in the integrating mind -- that is not simply accumulating separate pieces of information and keeping them separate and unrelated pieces of information, but integrating each into a greater, more encompassing, powerful whole.  That is the mind of the 21st century -- and not simply the accumulative and acquisitive mind of all previous generations.  That's how life has changed and evolved.  Undoubtedly, it is a whole new world -- and not simply the old world repeated with each succeeding generation -- as the institutional and bureaucratic minds would have us believe and perpetuate.

Naturally, such institutions, are the last to know what is going on -- even as much as they will insist that they know all that can be known.   Most know not to make such foolhardy and outrageous claims -- but there will always be the self-chosen few who claim that advantage over all the others.  They will insist that they alone own the monopoly of that information -- and by extension, all information -- as the self-appointed guardians and gatekeepers of that function for society, and all others.  In such a scheme, no one is allowed to think for themselves -- and investigate independently, which has been the basis of scientific inquiry and freedom of thought for the last five hundred years -- since the Dark Ages.

That is the reason they are called the "Dark Ages" -- when nobody was allowed independent thought.  There were institutions and hierarchies for the proper distribution of any information, and particularly, any publication -- which made possible the widespread dissemination of what could be transmitted only by word of mouth previously.  So to live now in an age when any publication is possible, requires a whole new response to those realities and inputs, but most importantly, with how one integrates it into a greater, more powerful and effective whole of comprehension -- that is the greatest possibility of that individual's life.

Thus the individual is not just a surrogate of that society, but is the indivisible (individual) of all of life at the present time -- that subsumes the old divisions and demarcations of previous consciousness.  Thus life as we've known it before and been defined, is now surpassed -- by those individuals attaining greater integration of the present collective consciousness of all that has been previously known, but not so well integrated by the institutions and defenders of jurisdictional turf.  By definition, that is the deliberate fragmentation of information into the impenetrable specialties and hierarchies allowed to only a few -- which now puts them at a disadvantageous in an era of evolving open information and sources -- as they wait for authorization for access and approval.

By then, it is too late.  The moment of truth has passed -- and now they are responding to the past -- that has long passed.  It is not a world of scarcity -- in which any product or service is welcomed gratefully, but a whole new world of abundance in which every extravagance and extraneous, must be filtered out before draining precious attention and effort.  That is unmistakably the changing and evolving world we now live in -- that brooks no room for distraction and time-draining error.  One needs to get it right as soon as possible -- or getting it wrong, will drain years of life and resources before one resumes the rightful path of growth and improvement -- and sadly, a few, will never recover but plunge ever deeper into hopeless despair, and their own dark ages -- cut off from the light (information).

So it seems as though they are feeling their way around in the dark -- rather than seeing the light of the whole (picture) -- and acting as though most of the the information is unseen and unknown -- when it is merely yet to be discovered by themselves.  Often, there is resistance to such discoveries -- because it would be having to change themseves -- which is what vital human beings are doing all the time -- constantly changing, adapting, and evolving.  What they knew yesterday, is not as important as what they are discovering today.

And so the old model (paradigm) of a person full of knowledge, gives way to the one who can discover momentarily and at will, that which they need to know -- even if they have to invent (it) themselves.  In so doing, they are inventing themselves.  But they are not the only ones.  That is distinctively what the "survivors" are doing -- who are the thrivers of any particular time and circumstances.  That is their survival advantage: they prosper and thrive, and not just for reproductive success -- but in every aspect of their lives.  Those successes, are what is replicated -- in the much greater evolutionary story.

If it works, it is not discarded equally with all the strategies and patterns that do not work.  There is a decided bias towards the successful -- and away from the failing modes of life.  That ending cannot be unwritten -- but it is not random.  It is very deliberate and intentional.  Some are just more aware of it than others -- who haven't a clue as to what is going on, yet thinking they must impose their limited world view on all the rest -- feeling that they are the chosen, for no particularly good and justifiable reason.  As they will stubbornly insist, that is just the way it is "S'posed to be" -- for they know not what reason.  That is the logic of brute force -- thinking that alone is enough to ensure any desirable result. 

The counter to that is a better understanding -- of all involved.  But the brutish mind will think that simply more force is adequate to any task -- and not bother with any understanding.  It has no time for understanding first -- because it is so far behind with their present course, and continuing in that manner.  There is no time for questions -- and serious inquiries and reflection.  And that is their problem -- not only in that thing, but in everything they do -- and fall further and further behind, when just a moment of reflection and insight, might make the problem disappear entirely.  Invariably, they're not ready for that -- simplicity, and rethink.  They are too attached with their accumulations and memories --to abandon them for a fresh start -- even if it means a vastly better life. 

Nobody else can pull them out of their downward spiral.  They have to want it for themselves -- first.  If people want to succeed, they will -- in all the ways and moments of their lives.  Nothing is ever too small to care about -- and give their full attention to.  That fullness of attention, allows change to work through them -- as they offer no resistance to what is, and live in that moment -- as the only reality that matters.  Life carries them along -- rather than they having to reinvent the wheel and everything there is, by themselves.  That is the hard row to hoe.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"Paradise" Is a State of Mind

As increasingly many Baby Boomers retire, a few are looking for that perfect place to spend the rest of their lives -- thinking that it is one place for all, rather than that perfect place that exists only in their mind.  Undoubtedly, a large part of it has to do with their external environment, but even more has to do with the place they have achieved internally on their own -- and that is a state of grace, and peace of mind.  That is the happy place.

Each gets there on their own unique path -- as a product of their own living -- and responses to the challenges of their own lives.  Those challenges are different for everyone -- and what they make of it.  And of course, there are many who get lost along the way, as well as the many more who have no clue -- about their meaning and purpose in life, but have allowed others to determine their fate for them.

But to an unprecedented degree and extent, we should realize that life is what we individually make of it -- from all the choices available to us, and not the only limited few we choose every day to repeat -- even to the well-proven disastrous results.  Those are because of our actions and decisions -- and not in spite of them, and those who can accept that realization and responsibilities, go on to achieve that greater state of mind and peace.  It is not just for another to give to everyone -- no matter how great and powerful.  The power is one's ability to give to themselves.

The first line of defense, is realizing the control others have on their own thinking and the desire to control another -- in the various ways of daily interactions that make the world seem greater -- or less.  Often, that power takes precedence over one's own ability to determine for themselves -- as what it must be for everyone, as though anyone had that right.

Maybe in another place and time -- in another era.  But now, increasingly, the lives we live are of our own choosing -- if we choose to make it so.  Many would rather not have those responsibilities and would rather others simply tell them what to think and how to live their lives.  Then of course, their choices will be made for and by the other's benefit -- and not necessarily for their own.  That can only best be served by making those choices for oneself -- as best they can determine.  So the best they can determine, is the best they can do -- and to choose otherwise, is to abdicate that responsibility to all the others.  Those results, will be less than ideal -- obviously.  Included in this, are all the addictions and compulsions people allow to take over their lives -- that spiral out of control -- to predictably disastrous and fatal results.

Where did they go so obviously wrong?  Less obvious, are the poor choices that take one's vitality slowly -- over the course of their lives, preventing them from reaching the best of their lives.  That is by far, the greatest loss of opportunity in the world today -- still.  People not making the best of their lives -- and then wondering, "What happened?"  They may live their whole lives in that denial.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Purpose of Life is To Get Better

From time to time, everybody loses their way -- but the categorical imperative of every life, is to get better -- all the days of one's life, and when they no longer do that, their prognosis in life is not favorable, and diminishes daily.  That purpose and clarity, is what distinguishes the quality of lives under all conditions -- at every age and stage of life.  When people lose that edge and drive to get better, they fall behind and are less competitive against all the challenges they will face -- even if they are self-imposed.  And for many in modern life, that is often what they are up against -- the handicaps and disabilities of their own making.

In former times, the competition in life was provided largely by others -- or the conditions of their environment -- but in a time when those are greatly self-chosen, those limitations are largely of one's own making and choosing, rather than the inevitable for all.  That is the reality we finally realize are the limits of our lives.  But many choose badly, or fail to acknowledge that what they accept as the immutable and unchangeable conditions and premises of their lives, are in fact, their own choices and abdications from those choicees -- that result in their bad outcomes and predicaments -- that continue if they continue as they have been.

There is nothing inevitable about that.  Life could be very different -- very easily and immediately -- just in choosing to make it so.  It should not be difficult to convince anyone of that -- but it invariably is -- because of their conditioning that life is so -- and many well-meaning but wholly misguided, will insist that those lives must continue as they are -- rather than changing everything, so as to remain viable, and even become formidable once more.

That is not the world most have prepared for -- but fall into the predictable pattern, because it is easy to exploit -- for another's benefit.  That is the world of exploitation, and at best, mutual exploitation -- until one will have no part of it anymore, and breaks directly into the light.  However, the forces and institutions of the status quo, will not allow one to go so easily -- even if they could.  It is for that reason, they invested years of conditioning -- to maintain that "state."

So those "breaking free," generally have to pioneer their own ways -- just in living their lives differently, intelligently -- and not in the failing ways that are well-documented and reported -- as to how life must be, for everyone else.  The successful paradigms are not reported or even "noticed" because they have no opportunities for exploitation by others.  The benefits go greatly to the one exercising their lives in that way -- and are self-employed in that way.  They are their own bosses, and best customers.

Such people are "retired" from the conventional world in that way -- but obviously more engaged, active and involved than people have ever been before -- in wholly integrated lives, rather than the fragmented and conflicted lives of the past, in which the best that could be hoped for, was to continue to live as they have always done so before -- but no longer breaking new ground in the development of their lives.  That model cannot sustain lifelong improvement -- because that is not even a possibility to their way of thinking.

One hundred years ago, that was not possible for most to become "fit" to build up their bodies in the way it has become commonplace to see these days.  What changed?  It was largely in thinking that it could be so -- and so easily accomplished -- especially when one could easily access all the information that institutions largely managed for their own advantage and benefit up to then.  That's how the world has changed -- but the defenders of the status quo, are the last to let everyone know.

A few still insist, that information is exclusively their job and jurisdiction -- while the multitudes go rushing past them -- to obtain the benefits that those few think are their job to mete out only to those signing up for "their" programs -- while undermining the confidence in every other, and particularly the notion, that one could competently do anything for themselves -- because they haven't been duly certified and licensed to do so -- by their confederates.

And so they proclaim triumphantly, "The more things change, the more they stay the same," and "history always repeats itself" -- as though they were the great and inviolable truths of human progress.  People do improve -- and that changes everything.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Practice Makes One Good at What They Do

That doesn't mean that practicing anything -- any ol' way -- will make one good at what they want to do.  What they hope to get good at, and what they actually practice, may be two different things entirely.  If they practice badly, they will do things badly -- and not that any amount of inattention to what they are doing, will make them proficient and expert.  They are simply practicing to be "bad" at what they do.  That is the objective for many -- who think there is no difference between doing something badly, and doing it exceptionally well. 

One can easily be deluded, and that is why it is important to check in with others for their opinions and perspective, and not dismiss them if they are not what one wants to hear -- that one is the greatest that ever was, and ever will be -- and cling to that belief despite everything telling them otherwise.  That is why a lot of people who only watch television all day, think they are capable of doing everything better than what they see -- because others make it look so easy and effortless.

But one never finds out the truth of that difference until one actually goes through the motions -- and then realizing that a somersault is not as easy as it looks, and what seems impossible at the start, becomes graceful and effortless -- along the way.  That is not their final destination -- but just one more milepost in the journey of their lives, and there is no going back, or standing still.  Life is movement, and thus, momentum -- either getting better, or getting worse -- but there is no just standing still.  Only the frightened mind, fearful of any change, hopes that they can simply remain the same -- forever, but that is not life, or any living being.

So at all times, one must ask themselves, "Am I getting better, or am I getting worse?" -- and if so, know to change one's course and direction.  Obviously, doing the same ol" things that made them worse, is not going to make them any better -- and so they have to start with just doing things differently, and let the results tell them what to do next.  One doesn't need to know the ultimate destination -- to start heading in the right direction, even if they have to try all the others first.  That is also the learning process -- and not simply never making mistakes.  In fact, the most successful people, will tell everyone that is how they got there -- and not that they started at the top -- fresh out of the Garden of Eden, and now are just trying to find their way back to that perfection, which they invariably call, "Paradise."

They wish to believe they started out perfect, but over time, lost their way -- and not that that work still lies before them, and they have to prepare and embark on that journey -- no matter how late in life.  Of course it is much easier to start as soon as one can -- but there is nothing more important to do -- at any stage and age in life.  That is the business of life -- all the little things and details that add up to the big things.  That is how one gets there, and not just by proclaiming their intent the loudest.

One has to get good at life and living -- and not just demand that that be so despite of everything they actually do.  It never happens that way -- no matter how many others one can recruit to join in their demands.  They have to do something -- besides demanding that others have to change the world  -- and their lives, for them.  That is the only way things ever get done.  The people who actually want them, have to get them -- for themselves first, and then it is possible for all the others.  But simply demanding that others deliver that to them, is the reason things have always stayed the same.

Nothing will change until they do.  When that happens, everything else is possible.

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Integration of Knowledge (Wisdom)

Ask ten people what they think "Yoga" is, and you're likely to get ten different answers.  The literal definition is that it means "yoke," and then, "union, and finally, "integration' -- which is the connection of one thing to everything else.  And that way, all three answers are correct and meaningful -- for one thing is tied to every other.  That doesn't necessarily make it spiritual or sacred, but is the thread that runs through all things -- which is energy.

Of all the things people can do, many are beneficial, just as many are harmful -- and distinguishing one from another, is the wisdom one hopes to attain in this lifetime.  One is successful to the extent that the former, overwhelms the latter -- through trial and error more than academic learning, because the former is what one has to learn uniquely on their own.  Academic, or theoretical learning, is what somebody else has told us is the truth -- but for many, that is all they know, and have never found out the truth of anything for themselves -- by themselves.  But that is the valuable learning -- that is the outcome of individual experience and results.  That is who we are.

"Exercise" is not merely practice and useless, but means "use" itself.  To exercise one's faculties, options and rights, makes them manifest -- and moot if not.  People become good at what they practice -- which is what they actually "do."  It is an entirely different matter if one only imagines or think they can do -- without actually going through the motions, or integrating thought in action.  That is when reality is made manifest.  Despite what the pundits "know" and are certain about, they go ahead and play the game -- to find out what actually happens.

And that is how it is with all of life: it doesn't matter what one thinks is real -- until one finds out for themselves if it is.  Not everyone will encounter the same results.  For that, we have to dig a little deeper. and find out the difference in outcome, even when both think they are doing the same thing.  When the results are consistently different, some greater principle is at work -- and not simply that one practitioner is more devout and deserving than the other, is the only explanation possible. 

Usually though, one more devoted to their practice, will experience greater results than the less dedicated -- all things being equal, and they seldom are.  The world was not made that way -- with each an interchangeable part with another.  Industry tries to achieve that universal interchangeability, so one needn't reinvent the wheel each time one fails.  It is enough just to replace the part that failed -- after it is determined what failed.  Often, that is not obvious, but requires extensive trouble shooting to find out -- while many do not get to realizing that something is wrong and malfunctioning.  They think that is how it is supposed to work and be -- broken and badly.

That's why it is necessary to categorize and catalogue the movements each body should be capable of -- as the standard of what should be possible, in the normal human body.  Those movements, postures and poses have not changed much over the course of 5,000 years -- and are easily recognizable in the contemporary exercises of today -- from the pushup, situp, and jumping jack -- even without any apparatus.  The familiar basis of productive exercise, is the movement within the body -- and not any external measuring device.  All it takes, is an awareness that that is true.

And that is particularly true, the older one is.  The functioning of their own body, is the ultimate measure of how well they are doing.  Just that, is enough to tell one what they need to know -- when they need to know it.  But one won't know that, unless they take that inventory daily, if not momentarily.  That is the only way they know with any certainty, that they actually have that capability currently, and not just the vestiges of a memory long since unexercised, and probably extinguished for that lack of use.

Unless those neurons have been fired recently, it is premature to assume that one still has those capabilities -- at some basic, minimal level.  That is to say, that one doesn't have to run a marathon to know they are still capable of running -- if they really had to.  Mostly they need to know, if they are just capable of such a movement at all -- because it is merely repetition after that.  Can you do it once? -- even without any resistance?  That's all one needs to know -- with certainty.

That is the simplicity of exercise, and how little one needs to do.  But one simply has to do that.  That is not too much to demand of oneself.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Biggest Difference

The simplest, most obvious thing, is the most difficult thing to see.  That is simply what we take for granted, and never question -- and the key to any problem, is asking the right question -- as obvious as it seems.  Most will not think to question -- anything.  They will take everything for granted.  They will even regard it as their entitlement -- that they deserve it just by being alive -- until one day it is gone, and they are at a loss as to how to get it back, and that is the story of how most people age badly -- and have no idea what to do otherwise.

There was a time when everything seemed to come easily -- and even effortlessly-- and now nothing comes, no matter how much effort they put into it, or imagine they are putting into it -- just by thinking about it endlessly -- without doing anything actually.  Therein lies the difference-maker -- the difference between one and nothing -- even the littlest amount of actual doing, rather than all their thinking about actually doing something.  They even think that there is no difference between the actual doing -- and thinking about that doing, while actually doing nothing -- but again, they cannot tell that difference, and take it for granted that they are the same.

In the healthy, they are the same -- but in the unhealthy, they are not the same -- and it is that fragmentation, division, and conflict between thought and action (actual), that is their essential problem.  Thus it has been commented and observed by the wise throughout the ages, that every great change and undertaking, begins with a tiny step -- and that action alone, has great power, while no amount of thinking, no matter how great, without any resulting action, will make any difference.  And that, is the simplicity ad power of life -- no matter what one thinks.

That thought without action, is the world of illusion and delusion -- where nothing makes any difference, and so nothing matters.  So to know even one thing, no matter how small and insignificant, already puts one way ahead in the game of life -- because one knows one thing -- rather than everything that doesn't make a difference.  They know the one thing that does make a difference.  And from that, all other things become possible -- and even easy.

In a very simple world, that is knowing the difference between one and zero.  Entire civilizations, worlds and universes can be built on that powerful (simple) understanding -- not unlike we know today as though none other has existed before.  But it too, was built one step at a time.  It didn't come into being all at once -- as though from some great master plan that everyone, or even some one, knew from the start.  One person took a step, and then some other did also -- and then at the end of the day, civilization moved forward.  The primitive mind, thinks it is their job alone, to tell everybody what to do, and how to think.  That manner of thinking, is a return to the Dark Ages.

Under such world views, nobody is allowed to move forward -- until the self-chosen one allows them to, and of course, nobody is allowed to move ahead of that self-proclaimed "leader."  Often, they will refer to themselves as the "enlightened" (progressive) one -- the guardian of the sacred and righteousness (correctness) -- and those who don't adhere, must be mocked, persecuted, and stoned -- as in the good ol' days.  The story is amazingly familiar and consistent throughout the ages -- and is celebrated throughout the year and every year -- lest we forget the very foundations of our present civilization.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Meaning and Purpose

The meaning and purpose of life and everything else -- is simply to get better, no matter what one is doing.  That is the simplicity of life and everything one is doing -- and not simply to repeat what one is doing for as long as one can.  That makes life and everything one does  -- meaningless.  Yet that is what many people do -- thinking that is the whole object of life -- and why it becomes more meaningless every day -- rather than more meaningful.  So that is what one must ask of oneself in everything they do:  Am I getting better or worse?

Obviously, that question takes on greater importance in age and time -- that is the ultimate test of everything one does.  Is it possible one asks, to keep on improving throughout life -- or does there come a time and age at which only getting worse is possible and realistic?  That is the question and challenge of every moment.

We invariably fail when we begin to ask that question wrongly -- in thinking we can only do what we have only done before -- and not move on to do things differently -- which makes improvement not only possible, but easy, particularly and especially, when the familiar and routine, becomes problematical and difficult.  Therein lies the problem -- and quandary.  The familiar and old, have become the difficult, and even impossible -- and the only way, is to make it easier again, by finding some other way -- in which improvement is not only possible, but necessary and inevitable.

But the problem is that we never seek and explore another way -- but keep trying to do the difficult and impossible, harder -- even if it kills us, rather than to find an easier way -- even if it is as simple as moving in the most basic ways.  Often, that is because we have forgotten those lessons we formerly learned -- and have forgotten because they worked, and thus we abandoned them, or simply took them for granted.

Yet that is the reason we often hang onto to those things we have forgotten why we have them -- not because they no longer work, but we no longer use them -- but there may be something else we can use better now and more productively, but refuse to embrace as what we must now.  Of course it is preferable to embrace them willingly rather than reluctantly, and with great resistance.  That is the challenge of the new, undiscovered and untried.  That does not need to be the more difficult -- but in fact, is the easier way -- that we simply refuse to adopt as they way it must be now.  That is especially true when the old ways used to work -- but no longer do now, and instead of changing, we think it has become hopeless, because everything seems to have changed -- as they always will.

But individually and personally, can one keep changing with those times -- or will one continue to keep on doing what one has always done before, even when they are no longer working? -- and maybe they never worked so well at all?  One will never know that -- unless they try something else -- that might.  Otherwise, they think there is nothing else -- and nothing works anymore, even if they used to -- but not anymore, and it never occurs to them, that maybe it did not work at all.

That would not be the exception, but the rule -- with most things in life.  Thus frequently, what we thought to be true -- no longer is, and the opposite is now true, or what is now accepted as the truth of the matter.  So the problem is what we believed to be true -- and never bothered to find out otherwise -- until many years later, and hopefully not too late.

But if it is still a problem, and getting worse, we really have to do something about it, and obviously differently, or it simply will continue to get worse -- and the whole object in life and everything we do -- is to get better, and we often lose sight of that, as busy and committed as we have come to what doesn't work -- and no amount of time, energy and commitment will change that -- because we are on the wrong path, and will not accept that

That is the simple truth of all we do.  We have to find an easier (better) way -- when what we have been doing, is not working, and no amount of more -- will make a difference.