Solving the Problems of One's Own Living
With all the talk about what somebody else (government) can do, what is never discussed anymore, is the possibility that one can solve their own problems -- by themselves, as their primary responsibility, and the objective of their very living. Unless one does that, the situation is indeed as hopeless as the vested interests make it out to be.
That is the culture of these times -- cultivating the belief that not only is it necessary to achieve anything except by organizing a mass number to go along with them -- in forcing someone else to do something for them -- but is even thought to be impossible that one can ever, or should try to do anything for themselves anymore. That is exacerbated by living in crowded cities which foster this feeling and sense that one is powerless, and the victim of their own environment -- rather than the creator and master of it.
So the only thing left for everyone living in such a society, is to force somebody else to do something for them -- and never simply and more efficiently, to do it for themselves -- first and foremost, and then if that proves impossible, to mobilize and organize more help. That is obviously the first resort to solving any problem -- and not making one's own problems, everybody else's -- who have their uniquely own problems to solve.
Even the gravest problems of our times -- casting a shadow on out to the future, is the problem of increasing dependency, caregiving (for others), running out of money and people to do so, if everyone requires more than themselves to take care of themselves -- as though it were a gigantic pyramid scheme favoring those who got in first, and have secured all the assistance they can before any others can establish their claims to it.
In that manner, there is never enough to go around, because the more resources available, is quickly absorbed by those requiring evermore, and so these problems become predictably worse -- as the problems of living in contemporary society. How will we be able afford 30 years of being totally dependent on others to take care of our daily living and every need? The obvious answer, is that we shouldn't be living that way; that is not living at all. That is merely consuming as many resources as possible -- as the American way of life -- as an end in itself, without any productivity, meaning and purpose. Certainly there is no fulfillment, as everyone simply gets worse, and is encouraged and supported to do so.
The wise ones will be the first to recognize the futility of that way of life -- as well as the true objective of human life in becoming more independent on everybody else to fulfill their every need, and will realize nobody else could serve one's own needs and purposes they can themselves -- or would want to. Otherwise it becomes prohibitively expensive trying to force another to do what one could do better for themselves -- each and everyone of us.
That is the life we can choose for ourselves -- and no longer be the pawns and victims of everybody else -- in the nameless and faceless, "government," which we've come to accept unquestioningly, as the definitive authority on such matters -- because we ceded that power to them, and has become an irrevocable and exclusive right. Meanwhile, they work and live in cubicles -- as the "best of all possible worlds" -- because that's what everybody else wants to do also -- hoping to accumulate enough of a fortune, to allow them to be completely useless, for 30 years or more.
There has to be something obviously wrong with that "dream scenario" -- that all the financial advisers and care industries, are adamant that they are the future. We see it playing out in the test tube environments like Hawaii -- where the cost of living is 5 times higher than the mean everywhere else -- and those at the bottom, are ignored until they ultimately just go away -- somehow. But that's not a plan -- or any solution. That is not the desired "Paradise" one hopes is the best place one can hope to be -- because the cost of that caregiving, is the highest in the world, and for that reason, families must band together even tighter and unfailingly -- for that purpose.
Otherwise, they just go away -- and nobody knows, or wants to know of their fate somewhere else -- because they have for all intents and purposes, perished -- because certainly that is the fate of all who no longer reside there. But the reality is that most invariably go on to much better lives -- although they can no longer surf everyday. Life goes on, and gets better, as the objective of their lives -- and not simply to get worse, so they can consume infinitely greater resources -- before everybody else beats them to the punchbowl.
Societies are laboratories of experimentation to find out what works -- better, trying the many things, and not just forcing everybody into the one -- that is predetermined from birth for everyone. That is a society still living in the dark tribal ages of brute force determined by whole can amass the larger army to force their ways on all the others. In this case, it is those who can control the vote. And that becomes an end in itself -- just to exercise that power, and nothing else. It does not matter what they do after the election -- and nobody cares anymore, and didn't even care to vote.
Those are the experiments in "democracy" that go wrong -- because they overlook, or have no guiding principle of greater independence and autonomy -- as the real reasons for being.
"The Total Package"
There used to be a time when time and resources were so scarce, that any one person, could only hope to be proficient at one thing -- even and especially at the expense of all other things. In such a world, one might be a good breadwinner, but also be the worst person in the world -- to achieve that.
The idea that any one person, could be all things, or as complete a person as they were capable of being, was such an alien concept, that anyone suggesting such a thing, was thought to be suffering from delusions of grandeur -- or at the least, be unaware of their shortcomings and inadequacies, and probably repressing and denying them -- to make themselves "look good." A few thought it sufficient, just to look good, or to control the image others had of them -- even if it meant "false and deceptive advertising."
All that mattered, was getting the other(s), to buy what they were selling -- even if there was no actuality or substance behind it (the claims). That was notably and distinctively, the 20th century mind(set) -- of everyone being less than a whole person in themselves, as the ultimate realization of society as an mass manufacture assembly line. In such a society, each individual, could only do one thing -- repetitiously, and unvaryingly -- until they themselves broke down from that mechanical repetition. Then younger, more nimble hands would replace them.
But what became of the old and weary? More often than not, they just continued in their downward spiral of disintegration and deterioration -- but were compensated for their years of service with pensions sufficient to keep them alive. But other than that, there were no guarantees of "happily forever after." For that, each was left to their own designs -- and fates.
At that point, many begin to fail -- even when all things may be as equal as they will ever be. That happens because life is more than just about "making money" -- but reveals itself as the sum and totality of the whole -- and not just one part, no matter how disproportionately expressed and developed relative to the whole. It is the whole -- and balance, that gets them to where they want to go, and be. Many realize that too late, while others never realize that at all -- and the is the reason for their underlying sense of incompleteness and incomprehension -- that makes life seem endlessly more difficult and hopeless -- even when they thought they were on the verge of utter triumph and vindication -- in the one sliver of their focus and preoccupation. Meanwhile, the world was collapsing around them.
Then we read about such lives in their spectacular dissolution -- that invariably, most did not see coming -- because they too, were focused on only one parameter of their activities, and not the whole of that life. When that is finally seen and understood, then it all makes sense -- and nothing else was possible. We cannot infer the whole from the part, but necessarily have to see the whole as the whole -- and not selectively repress and deny what we like, and see only what we want.
That has been a problem for as long as people have thought they knew something worth knowing -- and distinguished themselves above the others -- as God's chosen few. Reality and actuality, has no such separations and fragmentations -- into those who know, and those who do not -- as many are wont to do. That creates the difficulties of their lives -- the artificial and arbitrary divisions, making the transition from one to another, difficult and impossible. Each individual, is the totality of the whole, as the indivisible -- of the good and bad, the knowledgeable from the ignorant -- and embracing that acknowledgement, is the comprehension of the whole -- and not the continued endless arguments of the parts -- thinking they are the solution to anything.
Thus it is said, "Those who know, do not talk; those who talk, do not know."
65 is the New 21
Roughly a century ago, a person of 21 could look forward to a life of "maturity," for another 30 years, and then it was time to prepare for the end -- of so few making it beyond 65. In fact, that was such a given, that the initial founding of Social Security a few decades later, relied on the fact that so few would live very many years after they reached 65 -- and if they did, all the power to them to live as long as they could.
Now, pretty much the average person makes it to 65 -- and lives many years beyond, which is one of the unintended consequences of Social Security and other government assistance programs. People who live better, live longer -- and those who prepare better to live longer, are unprecedented in human history and experience. With that lengthening of the life span, the smartest people will take as long as possible to prepare them for real life -- instead of the traditional 21 years, and in times past, maybe only 12 -- before they were finding their way in the world, on their own.
Even before the invention of mass factories employing child labor, children were often shipped off to earn a living as soon as they were able -- at the end of their childhood. Adolescence then used to be a difficult time because many of that age physically as strong as adults -- but lacking the knowledge and experience in life, to be easily manipulated and exploited. Formal education was a luxury few people had. What they knew, they largely learned from their own experiences in life. There was no mass media to tell everybody what to think. Everyone had to figure it out for themselves.
Needless to say, it was not a very efficient and welcoming system and society, but a very difficult one -- and so few reached the age of 21 unscathed and unscarred -- as most do now. That is now regarded as every child's birthright -- to have a happy and undeprived childhood -- for which the purpose of government now is to ensure, and even lengthen -- now pass the college years, until they can truly find their way in the world. The norm is graduation from college but now that passage has been deferred indefinitely -- with the realization even, that some will never grow up -- no matter how long they live.
So it is quite possible, never fully to mature -- which is good and bad. The good is not stopping to learn -- and "get on with it," prematurely before one really knows what they are doing -- while the bad is never having to feel one has to "grow up" and take full responsibility for their own lives. One came into this world as an irresponsible baby, and leaves the world like an irresponsible baby -- requiring the care of others, to keep them alive. At no point, do they ever exhibit any capacity or inkling, to care of themselves -- as their primary responsibility and meaning and purpose of their lives -- as symbolized by the age of maturity, self-sufficiency, and independence.
Such discussions, are even deemed "politically incorrect" -- to hold anyone accountable for their actions, thoughts and behaviors -- as the essential social contract. Rather, they are inculcated with the notion that everything in life is random behavior -- and so there can be no consequences, no causes, no effects. People are just enabled to do whatever they want to do -- and the more entertaining, the better -- but it all signifies nothing, or better, whatever one wants it to.
In an earlier time, this coming of age and responsibility as a truly mature person of society, was the advanced age of 21 -- when the life expectancy was 42, and now it is twice that -- and better, but significantly for those living better lives. That may take them their entire adulthood to accomplish -- and then they are "retired," and not expected to work hard anymore to support themselves. It is only at that time, that most achieve that independence in the new world of freedom from want and hardship -- that formerly characterized human society, history and its literature.
The world has changed so dramatically -- particularly in these last hundred years, and especially in the last twenty, that life is very different now -- obviously to everyone but those still insisting that there is nothing new, and that history just repeats itself -- and so should they. But even as much as people will admit that life is very different now -- from even twenty years ago, most are not aware of the magnitude of those changes -- to realize that the age of 65, is really the milestone that 21 was previously.
The progression, has been geometric and not linear. The difference has been a quantum leap in human evolution and lives -- particularly for those who can embrace that reality. Each now has access to the total knowledge and information -- which would have taken years, if not lifetimes, to learn -- which no longer has to be learned, but only accessed, used, and forgotten -- just as quickly and easily, to be able to move on -- to the next thing they need to know.
Such a mind, never grows old -- but is always learning something new, and not simply repeating the old, as the old are wont to do. That is what makes them "old" -- and that can happen at any age in life -- when an individual stops growing, and decides that they know "enough" -- not to have to learn anything more, or new. Those who stop that learning at 21, age in the predictable familiar manner; those who don't stop that learning at 65, create possibilities for themselves they could not even imagine before.
That is how much life has changed.
The Best of Times
There is a conspiracy by "The Media" to convince us that these are the worst of times -- rather than as always, the best of times -- as life is getting better as evidenced by there being not only more lives, but as longer lives, as well as many more, living as well as only one person could do previously. That is to say, that the "average" person, now lives like only kings could -- even 50 years ago, maybe even 20. For one thing, the "average" person, now knows as much as only a rare few had access to -- only 20 years ago, and it is this increase in knowledge, that is the greatest measure of one's quality of life, as indicative of choices one has -- unlike the person of a poor quality of life, who has no options.
That used to be the world we lived in -- as recently as 20 years ago, when the World Wide Web was just beginning to include most people in the world -- especially in the developed countries. There, the possibilities of life, multiplied geometrically -- truly limited only by what we knew, and chose to know. This is the major difference between people -- living in these times -- or not. Many can still choose to live in a much more limited and oppressed times -- the times of their grandfathers, and before that, the fathers of their nations.
Such people who are like the proverbial Rip van Winkle who fall asleep for 20 years, and wake up to find that the whole world has changed -- but they have only grown old, and not wiser -- in those last 20 years. So they alone, have not improved, and stayed connected to the current life all around them -- but have cut themselves apart from the vital movement of life that keeps improving -- because that is the way of life. It must improve, or face a certain death, and before then, deterioration because they fail to embrace the opportunities of their time -- by taking in new information, but are convinced that information thousands of years old, have not improved since then, and the caveman's brute force, is still the law of the land, and the arbiter of every difference of opinion and judgment.
Such people think that the only way to settle that difference of perspective, is to fight it out -- until the other is dead, or so crippled and compromised, as to no longer be able to express another perspective -- but the one, that they champion and enforce -- as their station and duty in life. Sometimes entire cultures think that way -- and think it is the only way to think -- and those who don't think so, must be punished and killed, which of course, is the carryover of a medieval times and mentality. Some people are still living that way -- but not those who feel they have all the choices in the world offered in today's marketplace of ideas, goods and services.
That is also the answer to the question of "Where is the Best Place to Live?" In that area that allows one the greatest choices of the possibilities -- and not just the one, so-called perfect one for all times, places and conditions -- that allows no further improvement, no progress in understanding. The solution that may have worked 20 years ago when one was 40 -- may not work when one is 60 -- and rather than accept that that is the way it is, the proper course, is to find a solution that works now. That guarantees that one will live in the best of times -- and not just in some distance past and memory -- that things were perfect before, and never the best of the present -- which now is what one is convinced, is all they can expect forevermore.
Time reveals that what they thought was the truth -- was just a thought, and not the the truth. The truth, is always discovered and revealed in the present moment -- and not simply a remembered thing. That kind of truth, has no validity -- if it doesn't stand the test of the present moment. It is not that people grow old and increasingly incompetent, but that what they knew to be true, has been revealed in time, to be false. It has failed to prove the test of time.
That is why a lot of exercise and practices that seemed to work when one was young, doesn't work when one is older. It is not that the body fails, but the knowledge one was so certain of -- fails spectacularly, when it has to face the ultimate test. One can believe that simply lifting the most weight or running the most miles will keep one young for eternity -- rather than causing most people to abandon their efforts, because they now obviously destroy one's health and viability. At which point, many abandon all efforts -- and fall into the despair of thinking that nothing can be good anymore -- rather than that they need to look for better answers, and that what they thought they knew unfailingly for all time, needs to be rethought, re-examined, relearned -- just as when they were experiencing the best times of their lives -- learning everything because they didn't know everything -- especially all that turned out not to be true, relevant, or valid.
That discovery, is the best of times.
One Thing Leads to Another
A lot of people are very discouraged by thinking of all the things they need to do -- that they never get around to doing anything at all -- and are exhausted and discouraged just thinking about it.
That's because they haven't prioritized what they need to do most -- and first, and the rest will follow from that. But that doesn't happen just by doing anything -- or anything first. One merely has to do the right thing first -- and from that, the next right thing will follow.
That right thing for humans, is increasing the blood flow to the brain -- and then the brain so empowered, will determine where the need is next. And in that manner, one is soon operating at maximum capacity, firing on all cylinders -- rather than wondering why did one do that? Then while one is trying to figure that out, their next moment of opportunity passes them by -- as all the mistakes, misgivings and regrets pile up -- and one feels lucky just to survive the day.
And the next day is no better -- but the same nightmare of not getting anything right. One gets up, rushes into one crisis after another -- before the fog wears off and they have a glimpse of how they hoped the day would turn out -- very different from the mess they are already in, and have no way of getting out, but to hope that time will extricate them from that disaster.
And so people who have observed these things in people and themselves, establish a practice of getting their heads right -- before doing anything else, which often consists of prayer or meditation as the first thing they do to begin each day -- religiously! But one doesn't have to live in a monastery to see the wisdom of turning on and connecting the mind (brain) to every other part of one's body -- as a daily ritual that makes their life work better.
One doesn't have to do everything -- all at once, from the very beginning -- but doing the one thing almost nobody does before charging out in the world -- to save the world, is the biggest contribution anyone can make to the world -- and that is in achieving that clarity, before one attempts to do anything else. It is much like the warmup we see every athlete do, before attempting their best -- rather than just randomly making as many attempts as possible -- often injuring themselves in that way.
That is obviously somebody who does not know what they are doing -- or care to. Not surprisingly, their outcomes are not good -- though they complain loudly and endlessly about being cheated by the world in this way, and can never figure out what they are doing wrong -- of which they never question. They will insist that they do everything right -- because they think they are doing everything important to do.
That is a lot like the exercise people do -- what they think is important to do, rather than what makes a difference in their lives and appearance -- that those who look healthy, are those who are healthy -- because they make themselves that way. Even those who should know better, don't think such a thing is possible -- that what they do, is who they are -- because doing and being, have become disconnected in their minds. That is not the world healthy people live in -- in which everything is related to everything else, and caused by everything else.
So changing one thing, already makes a difference -- leading to the next -- and not that one has to change everything, before one can change one thing, or anything -- which is how a lot of dysfunctional people think. So when you asked them to change one thing, they tell you of all the things they cannot change -- as their reason, for doing nothing. Everything is futile, doesn't make a difference, because they fail to distinguish what does -- before attempting anything.
That is what we call preparation -- before one does anything -- which makes the difference in the outcome. We do that for very few things, when we should do it for everything we do. The preparation rather than the single attempt, is what defines us -- even more than world (personal) records, because it is what we do all the time -- regardless of the consideration of success or failure. It is simply the way we do things -- everything in our lives, and not just one or any other will see. That is the truth of our existence, our being. That is the life we live.
Beginning Life All Over Again
It doesn't happen every day that one can begin life all over again -- which one should welcome rather than dread, and fear. That is probably the great wisdom of life -- that one can always begin anew -- but only by dying to the old, and being reborn in the new. We know that other forms of life make this metamorphosis -- to fully actualize their existences.
Probably one of the great distinctions of human life, is that we can do it often -- as many times as we choose to -- when we choose to embrace the wholly new. Some people make a lifestyle of change, and adapting to change, while others will have an unbroken continuity of repeating the same patterns every year of their life -- and not think that it could ever be different.
They will think that life where they are is perfect, or paradise -- requiring no change forevermore -- which is not how we got here, or can ever expect to stay the same. People don't change because they want to; they change because they have to -- for their continued viability and fullest Otherwise, they deteriorate and die, and refuse to change anymore, despite their present course not working. That's why people grow old. They make a critical decision, and refuse to change forevermore -- that kills them.
The obvious ones are the addictions that speed their decline and self-destruction. Less obvious are the lifestyle habits -- of excessive consumption of what would ordinarily be healthful in moderation -- as eating, resting, thoughtful risk-taking.
The milestones for a new beginning, are the rites of passages -- into adulthood, maturity and then seniority. Those are the well-recognized opportunities for beginning life all over again -- that a few take full advantage of, while most refuse to make the leap. They do not go on -- but fall by the wayside, to watch those who go on -- trek on to the promised land.
That is the story that has been repeated by every people -- since time immemorial. That is the history and evolution of humankind. It is also the story of individuals -- and the difference they make in their own lives -- that changes the world. It's not an abstraction or generalization, but the fact of every life, and what gives it meaning and significance -- the real choices people make and actualize. That's what makes their life.
That is the significance of "retirement," that many dread -- thinking that it is just the continuation of the life they have lived up to now, but with less money. However, they should have learned by then, how to live on less money -- as the wisdom of their lives, rather than as many still think, that they simply need more money -- and that they'll never have enough, because it is the thinking that makes it so, all things being equal.
That is how one knows one has grown wiser, and not just older; the wiser negates the older, and failing to do so, is what ages people. That is the indisputable truth. People who grow wiser, don't grow older -- but because they don't grow wiser, have to grow older. Older and obsolescence doesn't just happen; it happens because we fail to grow wiser. That is the hard truth to swallow -- and so we prefer to believe that growing old is inevitable. We obviously, have not solved the right problem -- rightly.
The solution to a problem, is not the problem -- but the elimination of it -- totally. Then one can move on -- rather than solve the same old problem, as the great nemesis of one's existence. That is just the continuation of the old, and not beginning life wholly, freshly new -- because one realizes a much better life is possible that way.
The Obvious Truth About Aging
People in decline are most obvious -- at the extremities of the head, hands and feet -- not only because they are the most visible, but also because they are the sites that will first suffer from a decreasing effectiveness of circulation resulting in impaired health and functioning.
That is so obvious as to be a self-definition of what aging is about -- the loss of full and effective functioning in those organs that most uniquely and distinctly differentiate individuals in their proficiencies -- most meaningfully. Therefore, to place them in primary importance as an exercise and conditioning strategy, is the only thing that makes sense -- in light of the greatest deteriorative fears of people promised a long life -- by which they hope, to still possess all their faculties -- which are implied to be the critical full functioning at their head, hands and feet -- even while it is less necessary to exhibit the greatest range of movement at the "core" muscles necessary for stability and support -- much more than movement.
That is their proper role -- and not vice-versa, as many are conditioned to think, and therefore act, which is the fallacy and shortcoming of their conditioning efforts to remain robust and fully functional all their life. Many still think such a thing is impossible -- that the head, hands and feet should precede the body in its deterioration, rather than being the smart way not to. In fact, nothing else is possible.
If the circulation is optimal at the extremity, it must be so through the pathways to it -- but not necessarily so, if one places the greatest importance at the proximity, or at the source of the circulatory function -- which doesn't necessarily indicate or even imply the effectiveness at the extremity -- and in fact, most commonly performed "exercise" movements, divert or stop the flow to the extremities -- in misguidedly favoring the development of the larger core, supportive muscles that subvert the fullest articulation at the extremities.
In all people, regardless of condition and conditioning, the only reliably working muscle is their heart, and what distinguishes the more proficient from the lesser, is not that the heart works harder and faster, but that the head, hands and feet, are capable of expressing that effectiveness in some meaningful and prolific fashion -- which is athletics, performance, art, communications, writing, expression, etc. If all that were necessary is to hook up every one to heart monitors and measure the rapidity and strength of the heartbeats alone, than surely, that is what we would do -- and think that by that, everything is done. But that is obviously just the beginning -- and not the end.
Some will still insist that that is so -- which are like those insisting that intelligence is the score one obtains on an I.Q. test, even if they never manifest it in any real life expression and practicality. Hopefully, that is just a primitive and naive notion that a poorly conceived (arbitrary) measure of anything, is the measure of its significance.
In humans, the measure of greatest significance, would not be running the greatest distance, or lifting the most weight, but in consciousness and cognition -- leading to the appropriate (right) action. That is the failing one fears most -- that threatens their survival and quality of life. If the head, hands and feet of the human individual is not deteriorating, that individual is not in declining health and condition -- or what we commonly recognize as aging.
That individual simply persists as a vibrant and robustly-functioning individual -- dare we say, highly-actualizing individual. We can not expect more or ask more from that individual -- because they are already outperforming everybody else's expectations of what is humanly possible. In fact, they are defining it -- not only for themselves, but for the whole human species. In that, is the evolution of the species.
That is the unspoken reason we all exist -- to evolve the species, if we can -- and if we can't, die like all the others before us -- having been given the chance. That is all, anyone can expect, or hope for. That recognition and realization, is what we all live for. That is our life's purpose -- to fully express that possibility, as the greatest meaning of our own lives -- each in their own way, by their own calling.
For some, it is a golden opportunity, or age -- while for too many, that is the beginning of dread, and despair -- because they have no clue, and are already running out of cards. If one has no idea who they are by then, retirement is a tough time to find out. One should just be beginning their real life's work -- having gotten to that point, as the necessary preparation to embark on that fulfillment and expression.
It is not about just consuming endlessly more food, entertainment and resources -- with no expectations that one could do better. But that is what life, and aging, has been up to now -- when enough have arrived to create a critical mass -- from which new possibilities explode -- because they have to. That is the way of nature.