Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mistaking the Effect for the Cause

"Correlation" is the co-incidence of two events happening simultaneously -- neither of which may have caused the other.  It is just noted that when there is an incidence of one event -- the probability of another event occurring at the same time, is that correlation.  

Less well understood, especially by those with just a politically correct (liberal arts) education without any science courses -- is the cause and effect relationship -- that is to say, that one thing causes the other, virtually without fail.  Then we're pretty certain, that one thing, is the cause of the other -- so to see the other, we have to cause it.

Nowhere is this misunderstanding greater than in the field of conditioning for fitness -- where one hopes that by doing certain things, one improves their chances for survival and success -- which is being fit to do so.  So essentially everything a person does -- is a preparation for everything else they will subsequently do, and if all they are experiencing is failure in everything they do, they have to change their behavior to produce the desired outcomes.

But that doesn't happen just because one wants them to; there are preparations and practices one must take to increase the likelihood and probability of those favorable outcomes -- all one's life.  There's never a point at which one can just call it a day and coast on in to the promised land of everything good, and nothing bad will ever happen again.  It requires a vigilance, constant preparation and practice -- or the results become less certain, unpredictable and erratic -- the normal definition of failure, disappointment and frustration leading to depression.

Thus the bottom line question asked by most health professionals, is summed up by the question, "Have you experienced depression in the last several weeks?"  Not to, indicates the resilience and robustness of that individual to feel they can overcome most challenges and difficulties -- and the future successes of that individual.  But that does not require a Ph.D or M.D. to master; it can come from any regimen that empowers one to feel that way -- capable of being successful at what they have to do in life, including all the things healthy people take for granted -- such as their own self-care, grooming, hygiene, cleanliness, nutrition, practices, interactions with others, etc.

Failing those minimal tasks, is a dire prognosis for the future of that individual.  So one hopes to get at least that much right -- for all the days of their lives.  Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, those lessons are seldom taught, systematically and rigorously, which already sets one up for a lifetime of successes or a lifetime of failures, and in the end, even the most previously successful succumb -- thinking they never have to improve anymore.  But all of life, is this evolution of being and improvement -- or there is extinction.  That is the Way of Life.

Still, many think that if they were only rich and famous (first), they would surely become good at something eventually -- and not that it will simply speed their self-destruction.  In the field of physical conditioning, many are prescribed a course that is impossible, and if they don't (can't) do it, they will predictably be in bad shape, but if they could walk on their hands for 100 yards each day, they would assuredly remain in remarkable condition they had never achieved before at any time before in their lifetime -- as though that was any wisdom and usefulness.

Yes, I suppose if one could fly or walk on water, one would have godlike powers -- and health.  So the question one asks, is not what one cannot do that will one day result in their doing so, but what can they actually do -- and improve?  That answer should be obvious and self-evident -- in increasing the range of motion of what movement one already manifests.  By that, one means more precisely, increasing the range of motion one can obtain voluntarily and willfully -- and not by any outside force forcing a range of movement that can be done safely and healthfully (without injury).  Otherwise, we can just snap a head back with the justification that "whatever doesn't kill one, will make them stronger and better off for it."

Obviously, that is the wrong understanding -- but not unlike much advice one hears in many highly competitive and destructive activities -- especially to see how far they can push the limits without injury and death.  There is a certain appeal and thrill to some -- who misunderstand the first rule of survival and fitness is not to be injured or killed by anything one does.  That includes the realization that if one doesn't use their legs anymore, the chances of them becoming permanently disabled are inevitable -- that can be effectively maintained by using them daily, for at least a few repetitions in increasing that specific range of motion -- daily.

So rather than being a hard thing to do, it should be made easy by practice and intent -- even if one does nothing else otherwise.  That is especially so for those who have no better use of their time than to devote it to dissipation and destructive habits -- even if they think that is what their "retirement" should be all about -- hastening their own end until it is over -- as the only way they know how to be.  That is the only way they've seen it done before -- and not that that stage of life now has to be re-created and re-imagined, because it was never possible before.

But that is the challenge of this time and age -- as never before.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Easy Does It

People fail when everything they do becomes too difficult and impossible to do even the simplest things necessary to achieve and maintain their optimal health.  Eating becomes a chore, sleeping, bathing, and eventually even breathing.  At that point, life lies in the balance.  If things get any worse, that life may no longer be possible -- but if it gets better, that life is resurrected and recreated -- and that is the importance of "recreation," and also, "resurrection."  "One must die to the old -- and be reborn in the new" -- especially when that old is not working but only ensuring one's end.

Still, letting go of the old, may not be possible for many -- conditioned as they have been, to always make things more difficult for themselves.  That is what they think is necessary to "improve" -- that they first have to create the problem in order to motivate themselves to discover a better way of doing things -- than they always have been done before.  There is no provision in their learning (conditioning), of simply finding a better way -- freeing one from the addiction of that conditioning that fails them.

In this very manner, most people are ultimately their greatest victims -- victims at their own hands.  Only in rare cases, are a few destroyed at the hands and capriciousness of others.  Even those who are, usually play a large part in placing themselves at the mercy of others -- whether well-intentioned or not.  The most common of these "relationships," are the familiar toxic codependencies -- of which it becomes difficult to distinguish which is the victim and which is the perpetrator.

Only a generation ago was there acute awareness of such vulnerabilities -- as people were more dependent of specific others because they didn't have access to everybody as easily as the World Wide Web made possible.  It is even difficult for those who were not living then to even imagine such a world -- now living at the leading edge of communications and information, as every new generation is born into.

So the challenge of the old, and for every generation, is to constantly die to the old, and be reborn into the new -- and living only in that reality, and not the past, or even the future -- but the now, which implies that past and the future, and is the only reality.  How one does in that present moment, is the sum total of that life -- and nothing is more real than that.

The culprit therefore, is all the distractions and entertainment, that takes one away from that focus and mindfulness, that that is what matters -- and not all those things we often think is so important instead.  That is the simplicity of being -- totally there, in the present moment -- when all things are possible.  And particularly, that is the solving of the problems of our daily living -- which is both the simple and the grand -- reduced to clarity.  Otherwise, there is confusion as to what is the actual and what is the imagined.

And that is the way many live their lives -- always in this confusion -- mistaking especially, the complicated for the simple -- and insisting that things always be complicated and difficult, as though that was the end purpose of their lives and activities.  Eventually, life just gets totally out of control -- and consumes all their time, energy and resources.  Every little thing, then becomes a big thing, consuming all their time, energy and resources.

Yet despite that, everything simply gets worse, and eventually, hopeless -- at which point death becomes the only thing possible.  That existence is no longer viable -- and capable of continuing, no matter how great the expenditures and effort.  So rather than effort being a measure of success, it actually is a better indicator of failure -- because sustainability demands economy and efficiency.  Everything that is uneconomical and inefficient must end.  We know that in everything we do.  But some will persist in their denial for as long as possible -- until that is no longer an option.

Then life and choice, is out of their hands, beyond their control. Intelligence is what makes the world simpler and easier -- rather than more complex and difficult.  And that makes all things possible.

Friday, February 19, 2016

One Step at a Time

Wise people are advised never to get ahead of themselves -- which means they are thinking too far ahead of their actions and reactions -- and thus have little connection to what is actually going on, from moment to moment.  Thus, obviously, they are never "in the moment," but invariably, "out of it."  That is obvious to everyone else but themselves -- whose actions are inappropriate, because they have little to do with the exigencies of the moment.

So it matters very little where they eventually hope to end up, if they have no idea how to take the first step -- leading to the one thereafter, and in that manner, actually getting to the place they only imagined at the start.  But that "envisioning," is not nearly as important as the awareness of where they are, and what they are doing momentarily -- and can respond to every contingency appropriately -- which is the kind of conditioning that has high survival value, and one can be confident, that no matter what situation arises, they will do the appropriate (right) thing -- rather than just the socially (politcally) "correct" thing -- often with disastrous results.

It does not so much matter, if one always does the right thing, but always gets the wrong results -- no matter how certain they are.  That manner of doing, tends to undermine one's confidence in doing everything, so in the end, they are certain that nothing they do matters, because they never get the result they hope to achieve.  That sense of helplessness and randomness of experience, lead many to feel that bad things happen despite their good actions -- rather than seeing the truth of the matter that it is obviously the wrong action.

Thus the Buddhists were among the first to point out the importance of "Right action," as being the cornerstone of "enlightenment" in this world.  It is not enough, to know one thing, and do something else, and think there could be the productive results of integrated action and activities -- as though nothing is related to anything else.  The essential connection, is the truth of that moment -- and not the promised truth six months from now.  Things that work, work instantly and immediately -- or they don't work at all, which only becomes more apparent in time -- but time may not be what one has to waste.

The truth is not what is learned and remembered, but is rediscovered and reproven from moment to moment -- in everything one does.  It is not just what a few "experts" do, and then tell everybody else the truth of the matter -- but what each discovers for themselves in living every moment.  That is the truth and reality of everybody's life -- and no longer the world of a few specialists and experts who "know," and those who must believe everything they are "taught," by those claiming that authority.

That is what the primitive (prescientific) society was -- the world of a few, who told the others what to do, and what to think -- and that was the way people thought ought to be --  was the only way to be.  Hopefully, we know better now, unless we find ourselves in cultures that still revere those authoritarian hierarchies as the highest ideal -- and long for the restoration of that social order.  That is also familarly, the world of one's childhood -- of which an unfortunate few regard as the best of times, who hope never to grow up -- and always have authorities around to tell them what to do.

They will never become the mature adults who assume responsibility for all that they do -- and are proud of that fact.  Those are the people who come to feel that the world they live in is that of their own making -- and not a destiny beyond their control, and only other people, can do something about -- to make more favorable for them.  The problem with that, is that those others in control, are usually acting in their own best interests, and not necessarily everybody else's -- just because they have the power, and think that is what makes right in every case.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Solving the Problems of One's Own Living

It should come as no surprise to learn that each and everyone has their own unique challenges, problems and difficulties to overcome, and that is the ultimate meaning and purpose of their lives -- and in that manner, showing the rest, how it is done -- in their own efforts.  That is the value of learning from others -- and from everything in life.  All are engaged in their own unique struggles -- some more successfully than others, but we can learn from both the successful and the failings.  

Of course, we don't want to be the failing -- and not that we merely want to be successful at duplicating such failings -- in repeating what they do.  But many learn nothing else -- and that is why we call them dysfunctional: they fail to adapt successfully.  And if they persist, will soon become extinct -- unless the society enables such failures, rather than recognizing and favoring its successes.

It may be that instead of containing the failures and catastrophes it brings, society encourages its spread -- in ensuring that what has brought about such calamities, are the only way to go -- despite the disastrous results and consequences.  The people are implored to charge on -- as thought there are unlimited resources and lives to give to these hopeless situations -- until it is thought, that there must be another way.  And then history itself is changed -- and the memory of the failings, are extinguished and forgotten.

One doesn't have to remember and revere the failings -- lest people forget, because there are always a whole slew of new challenges to recognize and surmount.  Each generation's successes also sow their future challenges -- even as scarcity brings about abundance and a whole new manner of coping.  So in one generation, rampant starvation may give way to rampant obesity, and the strategies for dealing with that reality shift, is not just continuing what we've always done before -- as though that made sense anymore, and for all times and conditions -- no matter what.

Thus the ability to distinguish rapidly changing and different circumstances, is the greatest survival value and skills that need to be honed all one's life -- and especially, when one has grown immune from that responsiveness -- in thinking there is no more to be learned, and unvarying repetition will suffice -- no matter what.  That will not be a happy ending -- in anyone's life.  Those who will be most successful later in life -- who challenge the present paradigm of becoming less able, by becoming increasingly so -- whatever it takes.  It may take everything they have in life -- to ensure their own success.

What is more important for them to do?  Which means it can't be the end of learning and living, but a beginning for even better, and not a retreat and surrender -- that ensures their demise.  It's not that it is hard as much as it has not been done before -- but which is the only thing that makes sense to do.  It would not make sense to give up before one graduates from school, but it makes even less sense to give up when many feel that is the only thing they can do.  Then surely, one does not find out how it could have been otherwise.

That is the condition of aging as we've known it up to now -- and think it could not be any different, let alone better.  But the current outlook and prospects do not seem good -- so there is no harm in thinking any differently.  In fact, one has nothing to lose, and everything to gain -- in thinking differently.  So why not?  Nothing in life, has prepared us to think that way -- but that does not make it impossible, or even improbable.  It is just the way we haven't thought before -- but that has been true of every evolutionary leap in the improvement of life, both individually and collectively.  That is also the ending of the way we've always done it before -- and particularly if that's not working out so well and satisfactorily.

Defenders of the status quo will say that theirs is the only way -- even if it hasn't been working out so well so far, and their answer is that we simply have to try harder (increase funding) -- at what is not working, as though that is transformative at some miraculous point.  It's like dying doing what you love to do -- because that is the only thing one does.  But all that is certain, is the dying -- regardless of what they do, and then it doesn't matter.

Most never get beyond that resignation and acceptance -- thinking it is the ultimately wise thing to do.  But we are not talking about simply doing the same things we've done before without success -- merely thinking that we can get another result, but rather, doing what we have never done before, and finding out if there is any difference -- and that makes the difference!




Saturday, December 26, 2015

Everything You Do Matters

Everything you do matters -- is a better understanding of life than nothing we do matters.
Life is not a random phenomenon.  Good choices improve one's survival prospects -- and quality of life.  Those who consistently choose poorly, enhance their tendency to extinction.  That shouldn't take extraordinary genius to see.
That is simply the evolution of intelligent life.  "Shirt doesn't just happen."   Good things happen because intelligent life predisposes those outcomes.  Nothing is guaranteed, but one can always influence the probabilities through better, more thoughtful choices (lifestyle).
One makes a habit of a better life; that is what conditioning is about, and fitness.  One makes oneself fit for continued life.  That is true for all life -- and not just humans.  Hopefully one does not require a Ph.D. and "more funding" to understand that.
This understanding and insight, was the beginning of wisdom and enlightenment -- what the ancients called Karma, and modern scientists called "cause and effect."  Life is not random, and all human activity a random walk throughout one's existence.  That is prescientific understanding -- even if explained and justified by a Ph.D.
As such, timing is everything -- and not that one can ever time the markets and conditions -- as some experts are proud to proclaim, as though that was not the repudiation of everything worth knowing.  If one shows up when the movie is scheduled to be shown, one will learn what it was about.  At all other times, nothing will be going on -- and the lights will be off.  That is true for every human event -- including everything conducted with regularity and a reasonable expectation for a successful transaction and exchange.
It's not enough just to do one's own thing -- whenever one wants to -- and think there will be satisfaction in any outcome.  Perhaps the other person feels the same way also -- that they can just do whatever they want to, whenever they want to -- because it doesn't matter, one way or the other.
But assuredly, most things do matter -- even without more funding and research -- because people live their lives as though it does matter, and that's what makes a difference -- especially in one's own life.  And that is what is important -- and not what is happening in everybody else's life.
In that, there is no doing -- but only a supposed knowing -- of what everybody else is doing, as though that was reality, and not one's own experiences -- in the actuality, and the actualization.  And thus the experience of life is fragmented -- into what one is told is the truth and reality, and what one finds out for themselves what is truth and reality.
It is this finding out for oneself in one's own experiences, that reality is manifested, and validated.  It doesn't matter what the "average" is, or the generalization.  Only the individual and specific.  That is the world one lives.

Everything You Do Matters

Everything you do matters -- is a better understanding of life than nothing we do matters.
Life is not a random phenomenon.  Good choices improve one's survival prospects -- and quality of life.  Those who consistently choose poorly, enhance their tendency to extinction.  That shouldn't take extraordinary genius to see.
That is simply the evolution of intelligent life.  "Shirt doesn't just happen."   Good things happen because intelligent life predisposes those outcomes.  Nothing is guaranteed, but one can always influence the probabilities through better, more thoughtful choices (lifestyle).
One makes a habit of a better life; that is what conditioning is about, and fitness.  One makes oneself fit for continued life.  That is true for all life -- and not just humans.  Hopefully one does not require a Ph.D. and "more funding" to understand that.
This understanding and insight, was the beginning of wisdom and enlightenment -- what the ancients called Karma, and modern scientists called "cause and effect."  Life is not random, and all human activity a random walk throughout one's existence.  That is prescientific understanding -- even if explained and justified by a Ph.D.
As such, timing is everything -- and not that one can ever time the markets and conditions -- as some experts are proud to proclaim, as though that was not the repudiation of everything worth knowing.  If one shows up when the movie is scheduled to be shown, one will learn what it was about.  At all other times, nothing will be going on -- and the lights will be off.  That is true for every human event -- including everything conducted with regularity and a reasonable expectation for a successful transaction and exchange.
It's not enough just to do one's own thing -- whenever one wants to -- and think there will be satisfaction in any outcome.  Perhaps the other person feels the same way also -- that they can just do whatever they want to, whenever they want to -- because it doesn't matter, one way or the other.
But assuredly, most things do matter -- even without more funding and research -- because people live their lives as though it does matter, and that's what makes a difference -- especially in one's own life.  And that is what is important -- and not what is happening in everybody else's life.
In that, there is no doing -- but only a supposed knowing -- of what everybody else is doing, as though that was reality, and not one's own experiences -- in the actuality, and the actualization.  And thus the experience of life is fragmented -- into what one is told is the truth and reality, and what one finds out for themselves what is truth and reality.
It is this finding out for oneself in one's own experiences, that reality is manifested, and validated.  It doesn't matter what the "average" is, or the generalization.  Only the individual and specific.  That is the world one lives.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

There Is A Cure for Alzheimer's (Aging).

The hardest thing to see is the obvious.
 
About 27 years ago, I got involved with Frank Chopp's Fremont Public Association (Seattle), when caregiving was beginning to emerge as a mainstream topic, with the panic over the AIDS epidemic, as well as other life-ending conditions often self-inflicted as well as what was regarded as the natural consequence of people living longer.

My background and orientation up to then, was really about high-end athletics, and particularly the problem of optimizing growth at any age, hoping that it was possible to remain competitive (high-performance) throughout an extended duration than had been accepted as possible -- if the state-of-the-art knowledge was perfected. It was often noted that this fall from Olympian heights could be very rapid and undoubtedly distressful for those who had up to then known nothing but a high level of proficiency and freedom from injury and dysfunction.  However, it was more likely the case that such high-intensity participation was unsustainable as well as often contributing to their rapid demise through increasing injury, disease and dysfunction.

This conclusion was unmistakable: People's behaviors (and lack thereof), was the overwhelming single greatest factor to their condition and conditioning.  Things seldom just happen.  Individuals are largely responsible for what happens -- and particularly, what happens to them selves -- even though they may think they are doing all the "right" things.  But the results do not corroborate those conclusions.

That happens when we are just flat out wrong in our certainty of knowing what is happening -- when we have not even begun to ask the right questions.  That has largely been the case with Alzheimer's and the other increasing dysfunctions associated with age and aging.  The only true experts are those who have not fallen victim to the ravages of these conditions -- and not those who have in spite of their expertise and knowledge.

Yet billions go to fund this expertise and knowledge -- because that is their game and turf -- that perpetuates the academic hierarchy and status quo, just as in previous times, there was no "cure" for other terminally chronic conditions -- until we jumped to a higher level of understanding of it, which then made it moot.  That is what is happening at the present time -- but not in the traditional academic and research institutions, but in the laboratories of our individual lives -- and how we actualize it.

It doesn't matter how long we live anymore; the important question is how well we can live our lives to the end -- however long that may be.  That is the qualitative shift into the 21st Century -- which renders a lot of the problems of the 20th Century mute.  The essential question is not how can we take better care of others -- but how can we take better care of ourselves, which breaks the dependency-codependency of 20th Century culture.  Obviously, we can't have more people taking care of more people -- but need more people to take better care of themselves to reduce the need for more "professional" caregiving, which as everybody familiar recognizes, multiplies the problems and difficulties.

But that is not the kind of society we want, or should envision.  Instead, we can cut to life without these problems -- which are largely self-inflicted.  As one of the most observant persons in the field of movement and exercise, it was obvious to me that the weakness of the human condition, was largely the inadequacy of effective circulation at the most critical organs of the human body -- at the head, hands and feet -- resulting in the notable decline in brain function, grip strength and foot strength to maintain balance -- areas that are easy to improve, but will not happen with traditional/conventional exercise regimens that don't regard that development as their highest priority, with its focus on the heart function, and core muscle strength.

In order to gauge the effectiveness of the circulation to the head, hands and feet -- it must be measured at the head, hands and feet, and not simply measured and implied at the heart.  The effectiveness of any circulation, has to be measured at the extremity -- and not at its source.  That would be tantamount to putting the thermostat in the furnace -- rather than at the extremity where one spends most of their time -- and then wondering why one is never comfortable.  In the same way, one can only detect the effectiveness of the circulation to the head, hands and feet -- when there is fullest muscular contraction and relaxation just as with the heart, because while the heart pumps the blood out to the extremity, it is the extremity that must pump blood back to the heart -- to optimize that cycle.

Therein lies the problem -- as anyone would recognize visiting a large population of those with dementia.  They never move their head.  The marker for decline in any person, is the atrophy particularly of their neck muscles -- caused by never moving them through the full range of its movement from fullest contraction to fullest relaxation -- which is the distinctive action required to pump any fluid through a hydraulic system.  The heart does that automatically -- but the defining difference, is whether the muscles at the extremity effectively pushes the spent blood back to create room for the new.  Failing that side of the equation, the cells and organs will die and be diminished.

That active, muscular functioning and range of movement by the head, is never exhibited by those with dementias -- as far as I've ever witnessed.  The range and movement of the head, is an indication of its cognitive functioning or decline -- in everyone!  And vice-versa.  The human body is not designed to run, lift or jump -- as much as it has evolved to move its head, hands and feet -- as its primary, health-sustaining movements.  That is not done by conventional/traditional exercise -- no matter how much of it is done.  That is why conventional/traditional exercise is no help -- but rather diverts the flow to all the wrong places -- the core muscles, rather than the extremities which are invariably ignored as unimportant.

That's how the human body fails -- in everyone, some faster than others.  What can we do about it?  Throw billions more money at it -- for the same results -- and worse?  It's a good business for the grant-writers.  Of course they don't want the situation to get any better.  How could it?

It requires a new insight into the obvious.  That different understanding is the turning point -- and not however many billions you want to throw at the traditional/conventional profiteers.  And if you rely on such experts, their answer will be invariably, that they need infinitely more money -- to not solve the problem, which is within the grasp of everyone experiencing these difficulties in their lives.  That is the only way it can be solved -- and not by the caregiving industry.  They are the problem.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Make the Best of Every Moment

Life is very fleeting, and nothing in it permanent, and so we need to take nothing for granted -- presuming it will be there the next day (moment).  The bargain one finds today, may not be there tomorrow.  But there'll be plenty of other opportunities -- as long as one doesn't take them for granted also.  In that way, one always fails to appreciate the present moment -- in favor of some other.  The present is never good enough; there is always some better time -- but never the present moment.

And so all the moments in that life are lost -- to some imaginary and fictional better time that is always elusive -- until one runs out of time and days, having lived that way.  That is the unfulfilled life.  Fulfillment for that person comes only in the next life, or in the next moment -- but never in the present, where reality is fulfilled.  It is different for every moment -- and that is the beauty and joy of it, giving every moment, every day, and every life its significance, meaning and purpose.

Nobody can do that for another.  Each person must discover that significance, meaning and purpose for their own lives -- as their own fulfillment, and failing that, is the failure of any life.