Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Purpose of Life is To Get Better

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Practice Makes One Good at What They Do

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Integration of Knowledge (Wisdom)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Biggest Difference

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Meaning and Purpose

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.