Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Reconditioning, Recreating, Rejuvenating Life in the 21st Century

It is obvious to most people who grew up and were conditioned (educated) in the 20th Century, that the world is wholly different now, but the knowledge and possibilities they learned back then, may not serve them so well now and in the future – if they simply repeat the patterns of the past, rather than explore and develop the greatest possibilities of living in the 21st Century.

Quite possibly, most of what we know, may be no longer true, if it ever was, because information keeps evolving to higher levels of understanding – so that many things thought impossible in the past, including and especially a vastly different and better life, are now the present day realities for increasing many. Some are the first to know about these new understandings and possibilities, while many others, resist them until they are the last to know and accept them.

The conditioning of the past, was partly this resistance to change and accepting different ideas and ways than the one in which they were taught to live out their entire lives, as the only way it has always been done, or had been convinced of that. But the new world, is the understanding that there are many ways, ideas and options – than the one the present conventional wisdom and defenders, try to convince us is the only, if not the best way, even when it obviously does not work for us.

When the knowledge we possess, does not produce the results we desire, we are often told we must simply try harder, and devote more time, effort and expense, into what has not been working, rather than consider that there could be a different understanding, that makes more sense, and in fact, achieves the remarkable results and benefits, with vastly less – because no amount of effort with the wrong understanding, will achieve the results of a very little effort with the right understanding.

In fact, the right understanding automatically leads to the right actions and practices – rather than having to force oneself to continue to do what is obviously not working, and may even be undermining our efforts, and confidence. We often acquired that knowledge (conditioning), because nobody thought to question that there might be a better way (than it's always been done before) – without all the problems, demands and reservations previously thought necessary and essential in those undertakings.

That is the possibility of life in the 21st Century – to be healthy and whole, not as an exception for only a privileged few, but as the new paradigm of living in these times. One no longer just learns everything in school, from experts or teaching professionals, but learns all the time, from everything, and everybody, all one's life – and it is being in that perpetual state of learning, by which one remains healthy, vital and evolving to ever higher levels of well-being, rather than thinking one has learned everything one needs to know in school, and never needs to learn anything else ever again – which is the familiar and destructive pattern of deterioration, decline and dysfunction (disease).

This is very different especially from how we have been conditioned to think of exercise – as the need to do incessantly “more,” rather than that we could be doing less, but better. People don't get better because they do more (of what made them worse with their old understanding), but because they do better, that allows them to do less. But not simply less with their present understanding – which is to think of themselves as a struggle and competition against everybody else, including themselves, working against gravity, time and circumstances, rather than the proper orientation and understanding of optimizing their actions, choices and behaviors to obtain the fullest benefits from their environment and conditions – which produces greater health and fitness as its logical and inevitable outcome.

Much of what we believe to be true, we take on the word of other people telling us so, rather than that we can verify and validate our knowing through our own experiences and sensibilities, so that we can all think for ourselves and make our own inquiries and discoveries thereafter – and not just be told what to think, and when to think them, which no intelligent human being, would settle for.

Vital to any instruction, is that the student learns to be their own teacher – but in order to learn that, they need to see how one learns, and not simply, how the teacher teaches. The great value of education, is observing how the teacher learns – if they in fact do, and not simply repeat what they have been told, is what they must teach. Nowhere is that more true, than in traditional physical education classes and instruction, which is usually just the most obvious of a heavy-handed indoctrination and coercion that doesn't allow one to come upon the truth of any matter for oneself – which allows them to take that basic and vital skill to all the challenges of all one's activities, interests and pursuits.

That is the critical difference in how life has changed from the last century to this: we are no longer merely narrow specialists capable of knowing only one field of expertise or automatons performing one task endlessly, but can broadly experience and operate confidently and competently in as much as we want to. Undoubtedly, some will be more talented in some fields than others, but on a base level of participation, one can feel qualified and welcomed to participate, and not be intimidated and bullied by the self-appointed few who feel they are the only ones who belong there, and own the turf, and everybody else exists only to pay their dues and homage to them.

We no longer live in that world, and so the new paradigm of conditioning in the 21st Century, is the liberation from the compulsion and coercion that restricts and limits movement and funnels them into self-defeating and destructive patterns, to the realization that the range of movement is much greater than thought/imagined possible, and increasing those ranges – and not simply doing a self-limiting familiar range, as a veritable self-fulfilling treadmill -- is what will enable one to do what one has not done before, no matter how many countless, tedious times of thoughtlessly going through the motions.

The conditioning of value is what enables and empowers one to do what one hasn't done before – which is to extend one's range of movement and expression, safely, confidently, sensibly and effortlessly – and create that as a base template for every other activity one engages in the normal course of one's day, rather than being a disruption requiring inordinate amounts of energy, time and focus that takes away from one's day, and becomes one's excuse for not having enough of to do it.


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