Saturday, February 07, 2015

The Golden Age

Retirement is great -- as long as one is healthy.  When one is in declining health, nothing else can get much better.  That is dependent on one's health.  Therefore, obviously, attention to health must have our highest priority -- and implies the quality and vitality of one's life.  If one is getting better, what more can be said?   And if one is in a declining health spiral, eventual disability and death seems the only certainty.

Yet many are paralyzed by the fear -- rather than realizing they have nothing to lose in doing everything they can to make themselves better.  Certainly, they can't get any worse.  But most don't want to change -- even if it means getting better.  The inertia is too great -- to get moving again.  They don't want to move on; they want to die where they are.  Formerly, people made those choices for themselves.

But now with so many health care workers, social workers, home health aides, one can be kept alive longer than their own efforts alone make possible. That is fine -- as long as any other doesn't have to sacrifice their own health and well-being for any other, whether the young for the old, or the old for the young.  Often, it is not just one for one, but many for the one, until one has a whole empire serving the needs of The One -- for which any sacrifice, is not too great.

That is not the trend in modern societies -- fortunately.  The highest attainment is the greatest self-reliance and self-sufficiency, because everyone is given equal access to all the resources -- particularly information of what they are, and how to access them.  But the outcomes and results, will never be the same for everyone because of individual variations that ensures the survival of the species in the diversity of responses to any crisis or challenge  Otherwise, one thing would wipe out everyone in an instant -- rather than allowing a few exceptions to the rule, to survive and eventually flourish in drastically changed circumstances.

It could be that some can stand the cold better, while others the heat. But as such, some enhance their survival prospects by moving towards their most favorable conditions -- rather than their most trying and difficult circumstances -- as proof they can withstand anything.  Far better, for them to identify and move towards their greatest strengths and favorable conditions -- in optimizing their life and existence.  That is what every living thing must do.  That is their categorical imperative -- the drive above all the others.

The individual must survive -- in order for the group to.  If none of the individuals survive, than the group is not possible.    That is why the individual must survive, and beyond that, thrive -- to make all things possible beyond that.  And rather than retirement being the end of those responsibilities to do well, it is actually the test tube of experimentation for how life can be -- if one's primary responsibilities are no longer the perpetuation of the present society, and its dependencies.  It can be a life of greater independence, than increasing and inevitable dependence.

That is a choice -- that the most able make, because they can.  That creates the society of the future. -- and not simply extending the lifespan of failing/fading life.  That formula is doomed to extinction. -- because the measure of life, has never been its quantity -- but its quality.  And quality is not just more of the same -- but significantly and appreciably different and better

Those are the foundations of a golden age -- of individual or collective life, when one has access to all the information.  The limit then, is not the information, but one's own desire and drive to tap it.  Many don't even want to know about it -- because if they did know about it, they'd feel compelled to do something about it -- and so let themselves off of that responsibility, by choosing not to know, and turning away from every possibility of knowing.  So theirs is the age of darkness -- repeating life as it has been, for thousands of years before.  Or even the generation before.

That is the betrayal of all that have come before us -- not to see what lies beyond.  Quite probably, it is of life beyond the money and cares of our traditional lives -- which we think is the ultimate goal and destination. And then we die -- or spend the rest of our lives worrying about it.  That too, will come to pass, but to spend the better half of one's life worrying about it, is wasting the best years of one's life -- in the actuality.

All of life up to this point, has been a preparation, for moving beyond the past and knowledge that limits us. Only those who take on the challenge and responsibility of finding out the life never lived or imagined before will enter the golden age of these discoveries. And that is to embrace and embody, all that has gone before -- and go beyond that. That is the golden age of discovery.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Easier Than You Think

What works almost as well as a complete layoff, is only one overload workout a week (to stimulate growth) -- particularly as a person ages, and their recovery ability drops off dramatically. They should still continue light daily movements to aid the recovery and prevent severe muscle soreness from setting in. One has to fine-tune to their recovery ability -- rather than the arbitrary objectives of benching their bodyweight at age 90 -- or whatever they think will defy that decline.

No matter how determined one is to override the pain messages and the lack of recovery that begins to accelerate the aging process that leads them to abandon exercise entirely, they have to recalibrate what load and frequency sustains gains, rather than increases the pain -- until there is debilitating injuries and accelerated aging -- indicated by decreasing range of movement.

At 90, one is less impressed with how much one is bench pressing, as it is that one still can simulate that range of movement -- with no resistance at all. People who can no longer lift their arms or legs -- are in obvious decline and deterioration brought about by their efforts -- and not the lack of them.

That's what a lot of young people do not adapt to -- as they grow older. That's true for Arnold, Casey Viator, Frank Zane, Dave Draper, Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, and many of those cross-fitters who think that they can continue to jump out of the building -- for as long as they continue to do so, because nobody tells them to stop -- before they absolutely have to -- when they inevitably tear their (Achilles) tendon. Less fortunate people have heart attacks -- because the heart doesn't have unlimited capacity, as many world's strongest men have already proven. Or the legendary John Henry. Even the original marathon runner, dropped dead right after delivering the news that "We prevail." Or all those WWE Superstars.

Life doesn't end at 40, or 50, or 60 -- crippled by all those past abuses inflicted upon ourselves. The body doesn't get used to it, but breaks down -- when the objective is to break the body down unnecessarily and needlessly. So is there a level of muscle stimulation that can be sustained indefinitely so that at age 90, one has the full range of all their movements -- if no longer the speed and explosiveness, because that is seldom an actual requirement to maintain functionality throughout an extended lifespan? And that should be the greater objective -- that one maintains their full range of movement throughout life -- and not that they're crippled and so no longer attempt any movement anymore.

But the curious thing is that the maintenance and extension of range of movement -- results in the greatest muscular contraction possible -- even without any added resistance. That's what I pointed out to Arthur Jones when he was determined to create machines that could provide resistance through the full-range of movement -- which he never went far enough to realize that the fullest range itself, invariably provides that resistance, and results in the ultimate muscular contraction we know as a "cramp." But the trick is, can we move easily in and out of a cramp? That is what we're trying to condition the muscle to do.

The old folks get cramps a lot -- and therefore don't contract their muscles anymore -- which results in that atrophy, because the most valuable "work" of any muscle, is simulating the pumping effect of the heart, that increases the circulation that maintains the health of any organ, and improves it. It's possible to produce the pump without the pain -- and increasingly desirable and beneficial to do so. But not if one is conditioned to believe that the pain is necessary; it is actually a deterrent for doing so.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Creating Value

Many people think that "making money" is the be-all, end-all of life, when there is something much more fundamental at work, and that is "creating value" when there was nothing before -- and that action, is what is monetized in some financial transaction (exchange) -- or not.

In many cases, it is inefficient and counterproductive to place a price on an item to value it, if there is no one readily available to value that on the other end -- and so the better values may go unappreciated, while lesser values are greatly overpriced.

That is not to say that it shouldn't be that way -- but rather, there may be another value system in play -- frequently much greater -- like the air we breathe, and the company we keep, for surely, that is the world we live in and enjoy -- and not going down into our vaults, and lying in our money.

Thus the value of something, can be immense (immeasurable) to one, but of no consequence (value) to another -- as in the case of a person who rides a bicycle, and another who eschews it because it is not a car, and wouldn't think to ever use it -- and thinks the value of it is getting rid of it, to free up space so they can maneuver their car without it.  Thus, not having it, has more value than having it -- while the right person, would have their world expanded greatly into essential transportation.

Obviously, the key then, is to have and be able to function in many, alternative value systems, and not just the one -- and beyond a certain point, may not be a reliable measure of one's actual quality of life.  That becomes increasingly true when information and understanding is the transformative catalyst that determines ultimate, or useful value.

"Usefulness" is what many lose sight of -- which determines how much value one gets from the same thing.  A coat is not valuable in the tropics as much as in a colder climate -- where it might be the difference between life and death, or just being an ornament and adornment, one could just as well live without unless one subscribed adamently to the dictates of fashion (fad), as affluent societies are often prone to regard as the current essentials of contemporary life.

But while there is that super culture at work, those living closer to the edge, or more in touch with actual needs, can better determine for themselves, what are the essentials, and what are the wants generated by the various trade associations -- as the must-haves, if one subscribes to their programs, and values of how one ought to be living their lives.

It is easy to get caught up in those confusions -- depending on their sources of information and marketing.  The common concern of these times, is frequently how much one needs to have, not only to live well now, but well into any reasonable lifespan -- and beyond to ensure that affluence for all one's progeny as well.  There is no amount of money that can assure that success for everyone -- for all time, because that capacity has to be learned as well as earned, in living each individual's life.

That can't be done by one -- for everyone else, for all time.  Each individual has to learn and earn that ability -- as the be-all, and end-all of their own living.  That is the meaning and purpose of life.  That is what it is all about.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Doing What NEEDS to Be Done

Obviously, doing what doesn't work, or what works badly, or just anything at all, is not going to produce the same results as doing what works, and needs to be done.  It doesn't matter what burns the most calories, or costs the most money -- produces the most pain and/or injury.  Yet many people think that is enough -- just to go ahead and do whatever they want to do, whatever turns them on, no matter what glaringly needs to be done.

And therein lies the crux of most human problems and conditions -- doing what has caused their problem, and not doing what would prevent, or cure it -- in the mistaken notion that doing whatever they want, or feel like doing, is sufficient -- and what they are entitled to do.  But life doesn't work that way, no matter how much one wishes it to.  And so one has to observe and experiment with what actually works, and not merely the most popular opinion of what does, or for that matter, the oldest idea of what is going on.

Yet somehow, many feel that the most popular and/or oldest ideas about the universe, are the most valid -- rather than the most primitive misunderstanding of what is at work.  The truth is not a long-standing belief or an ancient wisdom, but what can be discovered in the present moment, and at any time, by anyone.  That is the scientific method.  So one doesn't need a cult of "experts" to tell them what to believe -- as though truth can only be handed down by the properly designated hierarchy and bureaucracy that have placed themselves in charge of such matters, and would like everybody else to pay them their dues, from here on out.

The truth is something much more serious -- and above and beyond the validation of such payments.  That's why the best things in life are often undervalued, while the most worthless things, are the most popular, and in demand, because it is more profitable, to continue in that way.  Thus, many of the solutions to problems, do nothing more than continue them -- rather than eliminating them completely -- because it is more profitable to do so.  And that is the whole objective of that undertaking or industry -- to perpetuate the problem.

That was even more true of the past than the present -- built on the foundation of ignorance instead of knowledge.  It was once more popular to think that power derived from the control of the ignorant, rather than enlightening them.  Many primitive societies and cultures, still think of education based on that model -- of indoctrinating the misinformation that will keep one a captive audience/customer for life -- never breaking free of that control and monopoly.

The ultimate, is just getting one to pay forever, without ever questioning anymore, what value they are getting for it.  They have been successfully conditioned just to continue that behavior obsessively and compulsively -- for no good reason, and even despite the fact that it creates the problems and injuries that now overwhelm them.  And so the best they can do is stop -- and not that they can be doing something much more productive, healthier and profitable for themselves,  in achieving a better life each is entitled to -- while not exploiting everybody else to accomplish that.

For such reasons, one can be convinced to go to war against all those not  in one's clique  -- as though that made them the proper targets for such exploitation and ruthlessness.  That is the "old" mind at work -- that makes them old -- doing what doesn't need to be done, while not doing what would be wise to do -- and never changing that.  That is the root of why people get old -- they refuse to change despite their unfavorable results, and will not attempt to do anything different that might work.

Thus, they are in a hopeless situation -- that has no end or possibility of improvement.  They simply get worse, from here on out.  That is basically how they are different from the young -- in which there is every expectation that life should get better for them, and when they absolutely feel that is no longer possible, claim the mantle of being old -- as their reason.  But it is not a reason -- but a way of life they have chosen, not to change, and not to improve any longer.  The best they can hope for, is to deteriorate for as long as possible -- even dragging as many down with them as possible.

All that would seem so preposterous and sad, if it weren't so true an observation of the present aging crisis in the world.  There aren't enough able-bodied people to take care of all the hopelessly deteriorating people in the world -- who aren't taking care of themselves the best that is now possible.  That is the forbidden thought.  What chaos would be unleashed, if everybody could best take care of themselves -- and not have that done for them, by whatever powerful interest group, was most successful in that power struggle, that they should do the thinking and therefore take care of everybody else -- because that would be the most profitable outcome for them.

Once one is clear in one's thinking, then the methods and paths are many -- and not just the one that doesn't work, and only ensures one's doom, desperation and hopelessness -- as the only way it can ever be.

Monday, November 24, 2014

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.

Friday, November 14, 2014

"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."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

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.