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.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Life Tells You What To Do

If you just listen, life tells you what to do.  All one has to do, is solve the problem of their present predicament -- and that qualifies them for a higher challenge and calling -- and not that one has to aspire to reach the top at the very beginning, without solving anything.  That is the natural progression.  One simply has to do one's best -- at any task, no matter how menial and trivial it seems at the time, because that successful completion, is the foundation for every other subsequent challenge.

There is no skipping only to the top jobs and positions -- from not having done anything well to qualify for them.  If one thinks they can skip those important foundation-building exercises and practices, they will soon learn that they are missing that vital lesson when they need it most.  But if they have it in their arsenal and repertoire of skills and assets, it is there for the taking, and using -- even without deliberately knowing so.

Increasingly, that is how most skills are acquired -- without deliberation intention to cultivate that particular requirement.  It comes to support the more deliberate intention -- to solve a well-defined problem.  But the manner in which one achieves all that, is what matters even more -- and that's what many never learn, much to their regret, and eventual doom.

It's all the little things one accomplishes -- and not the few and rare big things one usually focuses on as landmark achievements.  But all the little things, added up over time, is a mountain dwarfing any singular achievement -- no matter how famous or infamous one hopes to become.  That is the clear message that all of life is telling one -- pay attention to the little things, the details -- for that is what distinguishes the great from the small.

The opposite of this approach, are the many who insist on telling life what to do, and how everything should turn out, regardless of their individual effort and attention to any part of life.  They merely want the results -- regardless of doing anything right to obtain them.  They think wanting it badly enough, is all that is required to achieving and obtaining anything, and predictably, are sadly disappointed when they realized that is not enough -- and think it is useless and too late to go back to the beginning and learn those things.  That's only the task of young people -- they think, rather than that is what young people do that keeps them young.

What makes them "old," is refusing to learn anything anymore -- but instead, telling life and everybody who will still listen to them, how life should be and turn out.  And so life batters and bruises them until they listen -- or simply continues to batter and bruise them the rest of their lives because they will not listen and learn anything more.  That is the hard way to go -- but many insist on it.  It is no accident that they look that way -- of living a hard life that ages them before their time.

They will even insist that nothing more can be learned -- especially from life because it has betrayed them at every turn.  But life is the greater, the sum of all things, and not one, no matter how great and famous they aspire to be, demanding that they alone, should tell life and everyone else, how it ought to be.  Life doesn't work that way.  It is a concert, and not any one person's exclusive solo -- no matter how the reporters want to make it seem so.  The world is not that way -- no matter how much one would like everyone to think what they tell them to.  That is the lesson of the ages.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Rising to the Challenge

There is no good or bad news -- except how one responds to those challenges.  One can go into a irrecoverable downward spiral, or use it as a springboard for getting where one has never gone before.  In that way, every crisis is a challenge to be the best one can be -- based on everything else they've ever done before.  Thus the present implies the past -- as well as indicates the future.  It is not just one more thing unrelated and unconnected to every other.  That is the context of every meaningful and successful action -- and not as a lot of failing people think, that they'll be the million in a million.  The million is the success -- proven time and time again.

Nevertheless, it is difficult for a few to believe that there is a reason things happen as they do -- rather than the majority is always wrong, and they alone, know all the answers.  Most of life knows all the answers -- and those that persist in their stubbornness, usually aren't around for very much longer.  Eventually, they just run out of chances.  That's why it is so important to get it right the first time -- and every time, in everything one does -- because that alone, qualifies them for the next.

But if they just fritter away their opportunities, invariably they run out of options, choices, decisions -- and then have everything dictated to them, as the only way it can be.  You don't want to get to that point -- when all the choices and opportunities are behind one, and only a certain rut lies in front of one.  That is also burning one's bridges behind them -- so they have nowhere else to go.  On the other hand, the wise tactician, multiplies the possibilities and options before them.  They grow their life -- rather than killing it, and do so until the day they inexplicably perish.  But that is not part of the plan -- to bring about their own demise, destruction and death.

Those are Darwin's losers; the winners find a better way -- even if they have to create it themselves.  When those individuals do, the whole of the species is advanced -- and not just the one over every other -- in a brutish struggle for scarce resources and survival -- as the only way they think life can be.  At best, it is just a repetition of the past -- and never breaking any new ground.  Of course, such societies have no future.  They have to create it -- and not just repeat their glorious past.

That is the challenge of life and living: one must get better.  The alternative, is to only get worse -- and it does not matter how many others one drags down with them, or exploits for a better position.  It is still a sinking ship -- no matter how they rearrange the deck chairs.  The challenge of every individual, is also the challenge of civilization -- with the fate of humankind hanging in the balance.  But all actions are not created equal.  Some matter much more -- because that is the spirit and understanding they are undertaken with.  Others think that nothing they do matters -- and is of consequence, and so they live their lives that way -- without any significance -- "sound and fury, signifying nothing."

It's not even a good game.  Life is just one entertainment and diversion after another -- or they are interminably bored -- mostly with themselves.  Every opportunity is lost.  They rise to no challenge -- and pretty soon, it is all over.  Those challenges don't have to be big things; they are more likely to be personal challenges and milestones -- that they fail to answer, time and time again.  But life is no other.  It is entirely personal -- and not about what somebody more important and well-known does, or does not do.

When one is only talking about what others do and don't do -- as the reason for success or failings in their own lives, all is lost.  That person has lost the significance and power of their own action.  They are the pawns in the game of life.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

What 10% of the effort, gives 90% of the results?

Because we live in a world of finite resources (reality), we have to ask the question, what do we get out, for what we put in? -- and not as the personal motivators of every stripe insist, that we get out what we put in -- with no regard for efficiency or economy.  In such a world, there is no loss -- and there is only gain, no matter what they do -- which is convincing argument, that one should do anything, because anything is preferable to nothing -- and "nothing" includes thinking seriously, of what one is doing, or about to do, before mindlessly doing so.  That is the habit, especially novices and thoughtful people who wish to grow old successfully need to consider and cultivate -- before always learning the "hard" way -- that things are not so, and the world really doesn't work that way -- even as much as one would desire it so.

There are differences -- for good reason, and it becomes increasingly important to understand them for what they are -- before proceeding to go "all in" -- on what not might be their best bet.  Even champion boxers and predators spend their first rounds finding out about the capabilities and reactions of their opponents -- before launching an all-out attack on the unfamiliar.  One first must grant the benefit of the doubt -- to find out first what one is dealing with, and any problems that might arise, and be well-prepared to handle them.  The thing encountered, may be like nothing else previously encountered -- in the textbooks, as well as individually and personally.  And that is the reality of the situation -- and not the generalization and stereotype.  Those who can master that, are the masters of any situation -- including the many changes one can expect to handle throughout a long and varied life.

Unfortunately, many novices don't learn that wisdom before meeting an untimely and premature end -- as happens over every species of life.  All and every, will not be so fortunate -- even among the apex predators.  Their chances of survival are usually 1 in a 100 -- at best, and so something much larger must come into play if they are to survive another day.  That ability is the intelligence to survive and thrive -- in the many possibilities every individual must devise for their own lives.

Increasingly, that is dominated by individual experience and learning -- rather than the collective pre-digested, that can only take anyone so far.  At some point, they have to leave the safety of the collective, and venture out on their own path -- learning what works best for them -- even if it works for no other, and the proof is in the being.  Many will profess to "know," but one would never know it from looking at them -- because everything appears to be a contradiction and nullification, of everything they claim to be -- and so that confusion and turmoil becomes apparent to know that one has observed and learned enough -- and should more productively move on, in every individual's personal quest for intelligent life in the universe.

That is searching for the 10% that works better than the other 90% -- and to be able to tell that difference.  Some foods are better than others -- and for every individual, there is an optimal diet -- which can also fail miserably with others.  Yet to this day, there are purists insisting that there is one best diet for everybody -- and that everything else should be "outlawed" -- just as in ancient times, when most allowed the few to do all their thinking for them -- unquestioningly.

In that environment and culture, few learn to discover the truth of anything for themselves -- but are merely told that "the experts say" -- which is only what they would like everybody to believe, rather than any actual experiments, observations and measurements.  Naturally, another group of experts will be saying something different next week -- or in some other publication or forum, many created especially for that occasion and promotion.

So what is one to believe?  Most of the information one is privy to, is likely to be this kind of advertising and promotion -- even as oneself as the expert in manipulating what one thinks.  That seems to be the particular challenge in the age of information -- in determining the credibility of their source of information.  What is their agenda?  Often, it is just the simple objective of establishing themselves as the expert.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Productive Exercise without the Hassles

Whenever we think of "exercise," we think of something hard -- missing the whole objective that it is a practice of making the difficult easy -- and not increasingly more difficult.  That misses the whole point entirely -- and precisely why exercise is of little use and benefit, precisely when we need it most -- to be easier and more accessible.  Instead we create unnecessary barriers to it -- instead of lowering those bars, and even eliminating those constraints.

Then all you have are the benefits -- without the hassles, reservations and objections established by the self-appointed gatekeepers.  But it must be productive, and not merely another way of wasting time -- because one has no better idea of what to do with one's time and energy -- but to waste it.  Along the way, we at least hope to remain interested -- if not entertained -- for lack of a greater meaning to what we do.  "Anything is better than nothing" -- we rationalize these behaviors, while not entirely convincing ourselves.

At best, we hope to simply be able to "go through the motions" -- thinking that is enough to make a difference -- anything but this relentlessly deteriorating condition we seem powerless to do something about.  The best we can hope for, is to slow down the rate of deterioration -- long abandoning the notion that we can ever get better anymore.  And that is still the state of our conditioning and exercise -- for those who need it most.  They need something that works -- fast and immediately, and not only after staying with the program for years -- but becoming discouraged way before then.

So is it really possible to obtain the benefits of exercise -- without all the hassle and hard work we are conditioned to believe we have to endure to obtain those benefits?  Why not immediately get into shape -- which is quite possible for anyone -- and then stay in that shape for as long as possible?  It's possible right now -- for anybody who can still move, to do so.  All it requires is understanding what that shape (and position) is -- and maintaining it for a discrete muscular contraction (change) -- as the shape one wants to be in -- preferably and more often than any other.

That would be the "contracted" state -- rather than the "relaxed," or flaccid state.  But no matter what condition and "shape" one is in -- one can move into the contracted state, and "condition" oneself to do so -- but must understand that is the intention and purpose -- and not any other, usually offered as "motivation," or some other rationalization for obsessive-compulsive behavior.  That has been the usual approach to conditioning -- to make it an obsessive-compulsive behavior -- rather than an intelligent manifestation of this higher understanding and insight into this process.

It is still largely, this brute force mentality of forcing square pegs into round holes -- and failing that, applying even more force -- until of course, something breaks,  Those are not the instruction manual to an intelligent way of being -- which becomes even more obvious with the passing of time and years, leading most to believe that it no longer works as one ages -- mainly because that manner of functioning and operating the body, was never a good idea in the first place, and only disposed one to the inevitable injuries that would put a stop to all that nonsense once and for all.

But it doesn't have to be that way, and in fact, the intelligent approach to exercise and conditioning, is the only way it can be.  Any other way, simply does not work -- no matter how many centuries the practice has been going on -- also not working, but not stopping anyone from continuing to do so.  The success is not that they continue to do so, but are the results (effects) they get from doing it -- and not merely the affirmations that it is working, though it is obviously and apparently not working.

In that manner, many go into denial until the inevitable -- and are no longer capable of functioning at all -- not in spite of their exercise and conditioning, but because of it -- as the only outcome possible!  That is particularly true of those engaging in obviously dangerous occupations and preoccupations -- even maintaining to the day they die, or is the cause of their dying, like professional wrestling, boxing, or other injurious activities -- from which the "lucky" ones even get to retire from.

But even those lucky few, usually stop doing anything -- because all they know how to do, is to exact further damage on themselves -- until they are crippled and disabled for the rest of their lives, which is usually prematurely shortened.  Obviously any further activity, must be focused on therapy and recovery, and not exacting further damage until it is not physically possible to do any more -- and then they stop.  At that point they have no choice.

But at that point, they can still move on -- heal and recover -- to even better than they ever have been, because they now know better.  However, it should be obvious also, that it can't be done simply in the old, familiar ways that brought them to that state of disrepair (dysfunction).  At that point, only the rare few, will take it to the next level -- of immeasurably better health, beginning with the understanding of what they have been doing -- or simply, awareness.

That is no longer operating obsessive-compulsively -- but now deliberately and intentionally for the better -- because one now understands this process, and sees things clearly.  That is the step beyond the traditional and conventional ways -- that are not working, despite a few still being able to do them.  If it really worked, everybody would be doing it -- but they aren't, and are offered no other possibilities, largely because they've never heard of any other -- at least none that made any significant difference.  There can be many alternatives that do not work similarly -- but those don't make a difference.  They are simply more ways that do not work, and what we really want, is something that actually works -- and not simply to convince ourselves and each other, that what doesn't work, is working

That has largely been the progress of exercise and conditioning to this point -- that we don't recognize that it isn't working, until it is too late, and we are offered no other possibilities.  One either gets with the program that isn't working, or doesn't -- but there is no option of anything working any better, if at all -- especially when their lives depend on it, in their later years.  All they can do, is the same thing they have been doing, more feebly and ineffectively until they can't do anything at all -- and then they are done, and free -- to move onto the next life, but never the next level.  That movement, is not an option.

That failure, is what we have been conditioned to regard as "aging," which is the ultimate failure to understand better -- before it is too late, and we perish.  There is nothing inevitable about it; we are simply provided no other choices, no better understanding and insight  that would free us from this hopeless chain of self-destruction.

Once we have wiped the glass clean, we can see very clearly what we have to do -- and the bonds that have kept us that way -- the way we were.