Monday, March 01, 2021

The Greatest Difference

 The greatest difference in the world has always been the difference between 0 and 1 -- and with that ability to discriminate that simple and fundamental difference, it is possible to derive very complex answers -- that would have seemed like finding a needle in a haystack, or one in a million, otherwise.  Attempting to identify the one in a million, seems like an impossible task unless one goes about it systematically -- first distinguishing with certainty, what is not -- from what is, and in this process of elimination (discrimination) -- arriving at an inevitable answer.  That is the fundamental strategy of information processing -- done once, or a million times -- to get it right.

Any evolution, also plays that same role -- of doing something over and over again, until it gets it right -- but then, the game doesn't abruptly stop there, but continues indefinitely refining the answers.  Where anyone is in that process, nobody knows with absolute certainty -- and wise and intelligent people, do not presume as much.  We can only get that much closer to being right -- but not necessarily for all time, and all circumstances -- for sometimes, everything we know, can change -- and that which was first, will now be last, and the last, will miraculously be first!  So any truth, is not a permanent thing -- but the truth of the matter now, for the best that we can determine presently -- and can proceed with that confidence, which is not to be mistaken for absolute certainty, and an eternal truth.

In most cases, the truth of the moment, is as good as it gets -- and what we have to work with -- but each moment, builds upon the previous -- and that is why we practice, and eventually become better -- at what we actually do.  If it is the wrong thing, then we get good at doing the wrong thing -- which obtains very different results from practicing the right thing -- and that should be obvious.  No amount of doing the wrong things, will get one the right results -- and should never presume they are doing all the right things, but getting the wrong results.

The world (universe) doesn't work that way.  Those who are most certain they are doing all the right things are seldom as successful as those who begin with uncertainty and seek to find out a better way each time.  For such people, every effort is not simply a repetition of one thing -- whether it is right or wrong -- but the practice of improving, and changing their world in that real and meaningful way.  They don't just live in their heads and in virtual worlds, but in their bodies -- integrating what they know as the manifestation of their being.  That is the real meaning of health -- being as whole and complete as possible -- and not fragmented in all the ways conceivable -- as though that was a good thing.

In this way, each individual is the manifestation of reality -- as best as they understand it.  When everything seems to go wrong in their lives, that is not a manifestation of perfect knowledge -- but the need for improvement in one thing or another.  It is not productive to conclude that one had no input in their outcome -- and bad things merely happened, despite anything they could do.  Always, they could have done something better -- and that would have made a difference.

Anybody who has ever brought about change in their lives -- knows that is true; it makes a difference what one does -- and not that the situation is hopeless, so why bother?  That is the perfect prescription for despair, not caring, and not being able to tell any difference -- so why bother?  The little things, make as great a difference as the big things -- if that is all we can do -- at the moment, but that changes the possibilities for the next moment.  Even the smallest change can lead to the biggest difference -- persisting in that manner.

That's how people become good at what they do -- by doing only one thing right -- and then going on to the next.  Nobody is asking them to set a world record from the start.  That's not how great things are done.  They begin with doing the simplest thing well -- whether that is getting out of bed, or writing a simple sentence that becomes a great thought.  That is the difference between 0 and 1.  You only have to do the one.

That becomes the foundation for everything else one does -- whether that is just getting out of bed, or a chair, or out of the house.  For many people, that is how they have to restart their lives -- from the dormancy of the past year.  They don't have to make giant leaps -- but are better off taking baby steps in the right direction.  Don't even think about marathons -- as they may be entirely unnecessary and even counterproductive.  They rightfully should start all over again -- as though they know nothing, and discover anew what has value, and what is merely rote conditioning -- and let it go at that.  That which is useful will be rediscovered, while that which is useless, need not be remembered -- but it is not necessary, to purge those memories; they will simply fall away.

That is the new economy -- doing only what needs to be done, and forgetting all the rest.  That was last century, or even last year -- and we just need to pick up and move on.  You make the best of the present situation -- and not fight the battles and the demons of the past.  It is a golden opportunity for those who recognize it -- as their time -- because they are born anew.  That is the Promised Land.

You don't need to rewrite the past; that has already been done.  One needs to write/live the present -- which will become the future.  Everyone starts from where they are -- and measures that progress.

Monday, February 01, 2021

No Amount of Doing the Wrong Thing, Will Get You the Right Results

That is the hardest concept to get across -- especially to those who cannot tell the difference (discriminate).  That's what discriminate is -- the capacity to tell the difference.  Unfortunately, at the present time, in many societies it is banned, censored and suppressed by the hierarchies of the orthodoxy (defenders of the status quo) -- because it is the only thing that works, and would destroy the very cause of the problem upon which it is premised -- and provides their continued employment and positions.  They are fully-invested in perpetuating the problem -- as the only thing they know to do.

While ostensibly working to solve the problem, everything they do perpetuates the situation, and makes it grow out of control -- whether that is the homeless situation or disease.  They don't want better health; they want more healthcare -- which, obviously, is exactly the opposite.  Likewise with the obesity and diabetes problem; the solution is not to give them more food and insulin -- but less!  The lack, is not the problem.  It is the abundance.

That's why Intermittent Fasting and a low-carbohydrate diet works wonders in such people -- but the powers that be refuse to have it -- because that would end the disease epidemic -- and there would go their industry.  That is of course, to end the problem of most of the diseases -- and even increasing their numbers and new afflictions -- endlessly.  

The problem is not that we are too healthy; the problem is that we are not healthy enough -- to not need increasing health care -- and even intensive care to live our lives.  Yet that is what has presently transpired.  Some would call it the ultimate nanny-state, but it is the cradle-to-grave control of every aspect of our lives -- that has become fully acceptable and tolerable with the promise that one will never die -- even at 90 or 100.  One continues to live -- but is not allowed to do anything else -- for fear that it would engender increased risks.  It is the ultimate risk-averse society -- but is it worth living?

Might one be better off if they increased their risks -- by doing more?  That is the overlooked question.  That means venturing outside one's house -- and safety and comfort zone -- to explore more of life's possibilities.  Does that entail unacceptable risks?  Or is that what living is all about -- calculating and taking the appropriate risks?  Every animal does that.  Some invariably get hit by a car, or eaten by another animal, or even injured by a lesser foe.  But it gets to find out what those realities are -- and that is life, and not merely living in the bubble for all eternity -- even if such a thing were actually possible.

Of course, the rich man's bubble is larger than the poor man's bubble -- and what they are used to.  The rich man has a lot of accumulated assets to live off of, while the poor man has no margin for error -- and needs to work for their sustenance daily.  Forbidding them from doing so, will not make them equally rich -- nor live any longer.  It will simply make their lives more difficult and unbearable -- all in the name of progress and enlightenment.

Some are fortunate enough to have the advantage of accumulated wealth and assets -- while many others do not, when the wheels of the world stopped -- and all had to be frozen in place with only what they presently had -- indefinitely and uncertainly.  That is the present crisis in the world -- when faced with the threat of nothing greater than the ordinary risk of dying from anything -- as always.  There is no time when the living will never die -- as a few rich men, hope to now live forever.

It's not very different from the pharaohs of old -- taking their entire households with them when they did pass on -- to comfort and continue to serve them in their next life and world.  There, they would still maintain their advantage -- of having it all, and being well-provisioned into eternity.  But is that life, or merely a delusion of what it means to live?

Is the greater life about length -- or depth -- which can be lived in each moment?  Certainly more is better -- but up to a point, where quality of living takes precedence -- but that entails taking slightly more risk for that bigger payoff.  To live forever in poor health, or to live slightly less, but robustly until their end?  For virtually all, the latter is their resounding choice, and not simply forever with no quality of life and experiences.  The virtual human vegetable -- kept alive as long as their resources can afford, and beyond that, everybody's resources can afford.  Those are serious and profound questions to consider on the verge of these possibilities and choices.  At what point is it proper to give up -- so that the rest might go on to greener pastures only possible without them?

There comes a time for everyone to make that choice -- while they are still capable of making those choices -- while young as well as old.  It's not something we usually talk about, and many have forbidden others to talk about as well -- thinking that is enough to make it go away.  But death will not go away -- even for the son of god.  It has to be gone through -- for the greater life -- and the greater good.  That is fair enough, and long enough to live.

But now, some people are foolish enough to say and believe that "even one person dying, is one too many," -- just because the mortality rates have never been lower -- but that doesn't mean that nobody will die anymore.  They'll die according to their "fitness" for living -- in those times and circumstances -- which is not just about who can do the most pushups, or who is still racing at 100 -- even if they look like they should be dead.  No, fitness is much more than that -- and is everything, and not just one thing -- or everybody would own the monopoly on that.  It is even beyond the known -- because it is Nature that determines that, and not anybody thinking they are "first."  No one ever knows with that much certainty what the criteria will be this time.  More often than not, it is being at the right place at the right time, or not being at the wrong place, at the wrong time.  That is the art of living, and surviving.

And then God decides.

Friday, January 01, 2021

It Doesn't Matter How Much You Know that Isn't True

Many think that simply knowing a lot is good -- but it only matters the little one knows that is actually true that one tests and discovers for themselves.  Probably 95% of what one "knows" may not be true, and be actually harmful -- and that is why simply knowing more, may not help them, but actually hurt them -- and be the cause of all their troubles.  But they think that is all despite of what they know -- than because of what they know that isn't so, and never think to question the validity of.

That is most of the "knowledge" in the world -- and everyone's job in life, is to find out which is true, and which isn't.  Nowhere is that more apparent in one's own health and well-being.  If everything one knows is not working, there is a problem with what they know -- and not the rest of the world's perception -- of whether they are right or wrong.

One's actual results and experiences are not just "anecdotal" but the reality of their own lives.  It does not matter how many others made it across the river without being attacked by the crocodile.  For the one that is, it is a total disaster, and not just the one in a thousand of being "mostly" safe.

That is the deception of large numbers -- when all that matters, is the one actuality one experiences.  Until then, the statistic may be 90% true -- but that is not the reality for the 10% for whom it does not apply.  Theirs would be a total disaster -- or impact.  The ultimate test of anything, was what one experiences in their own test -- and nobody knows that with any certainty beforehand, and often, afterwards even.  Sometimes, what one thinks is the reason something works, is not the real reason it does -- and that is the necessity of having others do the experiment also, and then they can compare notes.

More often than not, the truth is not what one expected to find -- while some people don't care, because they will continue to believe as they do regardless of any outcome; they just want to be "right" -- regardless.  They're not interested in finding out the truth of any matter -- for themselves certainly, and for others, if they don't have answers that work.  Some will insist that nothing works -- but what they know -- even if the results are always disastrous.  It merely confirms everything they "know."

In the field of exercise -- especially in aging people -- the obvious observation is that they have a difficult time with even formerly easy movements, and seeing that, why would a sane person construct even more difficult movements for them to do -- unless they just liked the feeling of making others feel worse than they already do?  The enlightened thing to do would be to discover those movements they could do with ease and grace, and encourage that mastery as the foundation for further gains -- rather than to frustrate them from the get-go.

But many fitness instructors lack that sensitivity -- in wanting to feel superior and all-knowing -- probably for the first time in their lives -- when provided a captive audience.  It's not unlike the basketball player who will never let the others touch the ball again once it is passed to them.  It's not much fun for everybody else -- although for the one so self-absorbed, they think all the cameras are rolling, and the applause is only for their ears.  Of course such people never go very far -- except in their own minds.  In their own minds, everybody else just showed up to see them.

Likewise, it doesn't take a genius to create a movement everybody else cannot do -- or is difficult to do -- but does take a genius to discern what anyone can do -- but doesn't think to do, and because of that, is their disability and dysfunction.  The most obvious, is simply turning one's head -- as far as possible, to ensure one's safety before proceeding out into traffic.  A few will claim that they didn't -- simply because they didn't think to do so, rather than as a well-conditioned action.  That is like our basketball player who once he gets his hands on the ball, never looks around at what is happening, and others are doing -- for the easy basket.  They think making the most difficult shot, scores more points -- when it's not that way at all, and they totally misunderstand the rules of the game -- and what everybody else is trying to achieve.

It's not competition that determines who is most fit -- but Nature.  That may seem to change from time to time -- but it is really all the same adaptation to changing circumstances, and how one is well-prepared to respond to them.  That is baseline health -- and not just one isolated measure of it as though it is the whole story.  There is an even bigger fish behind it.  So rather than requiring 100 pushups at age 100, it is sufficient and more meaningful to ask, who is the best-looking person at 100? -- and dispense with further tests and measurements.  That implies health and all its other attributes.  In that condition, one is ready to go at any moment also -- at the top of their game, and not only after decades, or even a century of decline.  They simply go out on top -- whenever that happens.

The worst fate is a prolonged decline into unrecognition as a viable human being.  Way before then, one hopes to have learned a few things in life to avoid that condition and be that proverbial wiser person.  Presumably, that's what life is all about -- growing older and wiser, and not just older horribly -- and drag one's tortured body across some imaginary finish line.  We've already seen plenty of that kind of action.  Health defies aging, but is more than just the foundation for all the other accoutrements of a life well-lived.  That includes personal hygiene, dress and grooming, refined and graceful movements -- and not everything sacrificed for only one thing -- that only results in hideous disproportion.  It is the symmetry that is the whole greater than just the sum of its parts -- but all too frequently, only one part to the diminishment of all the others.

That's why older bodybuilders stand out grotesquely for that disturbing disproportion -- of only developing the biceps, while looking like they can barely hobble on destroyed or neglected hip, knees and feet.  Yet they have biceps.  More than ever, it should be apparent that symmetry and proportion is the whole point -- especially at the ages at which one should know better.  But very obviously, they don't -- and it is not a matter of having lost it, but never attaining in the first place -- and that is what makes them fit to go out on top -- whenever that is.  That is inevitable, and not like the rich people of today think, that if they have enough money, they can simply live forever -- even if it is in a perpetually declining state.  But Nature doesn't allow that to happen.  That would upset all her plans for an evolving better life -- and not simply prolonging the disabled and dysfunctional as long as possible.  There is no room for that in the grand scheme of things.

And so life goes on -- despite every attempt to impede its progress, and evolution -- and keep things as they are permanently.  That is the backdrop in which we live our individual lives -- yet think from time to time, to make a breakthrough and reset the course of humanity.  That obviously, is not simply repeating history -- from time immemorial, to whatever future they wish to control.  It is something far more powerful -- the search for reality.  That always lies beyond the known and familiar.  How it is likely to manifest is only a guess -- of putting it all together in a much greater way than envisioned previously, and even presently.

It is more likely to be the bedridden exercising in bed, and the sedentary exercising in their chairs -- than it is for all 100 year olds to finish a mandatory marathon -- no matter how late into the night they finish, and even how many die along the way.  But the prototypes already exist -- in the most universal postures of yoga from which all subsequent movements derive.  What has been lacking up to now, is the realization that those postures can be effected by a muscle contraction as well as a relaxation -- and it is the alternation of the two, that produces a pumping effect -- just as the heart moves blood throughout the heart -- and as far as there is space to do so beyond it.  

But it can't force the blood to move out of the way -- because that is not how it is designed to work.  For the circulation to be optimized -- particularly to any specific part, the muscles at the furthest extremity activated (articulated), must push the blood back towards the heart -- to create that space for the new to enter.  Lacking that critical understanding, makes that effectiveness impossible -- because the heart can't pump hard enough to push blood through miles of blood vessels.  

There has to be a motive force coming from the other side -- which uses the venal blood system to complete the circuit.  That is the most misunderstood concept in all of exercise -- the thinking that heart rate alone is sufficient in optimizing circulation.  The heart already does its part, unfailingly -- but not so much the muscles of the extremities, which contract and connect back towards the center of the body approximately at the heart.  How ingenious, and clever by design.  One couldn't have planned it any better -- but one did not have to recreate the wheel to benefit from these millions of years of evolution.  One simply has to understand it.

Then the relevant question of how one optimizes the health and circulation to the heads, hands and feet to keep them from failing becomes an easy question to answer -- and doing so activates and ensures the health of all the regions in-between -- simply because it is connected in that obvious fashion.  So the question, "How can I exercise when I can't even get out of bed?" becomes obvious, one doesn't have to get out of bed.  All one has to do is simulate the movement at the extremities beginning with the fulcrum (axis of rotation) at the neck, wrists, and ankles -- to achieve and attain most of the benefits derived from the much more demanding activities of those same articulations.

Any activity can be simulated in that way -- and doing so, enables the much more difficult version of it -- whether that is ballet, running, jumping, pushing, pulling, lifting, rowing, etc.  Those movements can be maintained in whatever condition one is in -- and understanding that, is the best exercise one can do.  Failing to do so, will require much pain, time, and effort -- without anywhere close to the same results.  That is the critical understanding necessary for movement (exercise) to be productive throughout life -- rather than mysteriously failing throughout one's life, and inevitably abandoned at the point in life at which it would be most beneficial -- if they only had that better understanding, rather than the same information that hasn't worked for anyone else.


Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Tyranny of the Old

 The more things change, the more resistance there is to the new ways -- even when they are far better.  Nowhere is that more true than in aging itself -- that many will affirm and insist that that is what getting old is -- and must be forevermore, even when modern thinking has discovered the true keys to health in longevity.  Many will still prefer the old ways of relentless aging and dysfunction -- to living a different life.  That is all they've seen and know -- and all they think possible.

Even in their best case scenarios, it is to deteriorate as long as possible to eventual indefinite artificial life support -- rather than renewal and rejuvenation as they experienced earlier in life.  Obviously, they won't get there following the advice and even commands that haven't worked out so well -- for anyone!  Still, that is the expectation -- if not the demand from everyone around them -- to just be like everyone else, and fall apart piece by piece.

But it doesn't have to be that way -- if it definitively is not working.  One then has to realize they have to find their own way -- and not just the way prescribed for everyone else -- that is not working for either.  And in fact, they all come down with the same predictable "age-related" diseases -- which are more accurately, just a matter of time to manifest.

Those are the metabolic diseases of accumulation -- of all that is toxic, while simultaneously eliminating all that is healthful to the body.  Chief among them is the substitution of sugar (carbohydrates) for every other nutrient -- with the predictable results.  The brain, muscles, and all the other organs cannot repair and rejuvenate themselves -- until all that one has, is depleted, and there is no more life force and the resources to sustain them.

That is not metaphysical, but the actual realities of any existence.  To the right-thinking person, that is fair enough -- and proves one's fitness for life -- that they got it right, and no amount of wrong, can make that difference.  It doesn't matter how many "experts" say it is so -- if it doesn't work for you -- and that is the whole truth of the matter.  It doesn't matter how many others it has been purported to work for.

"Science" is being able to test the truth of any matter for oneself -- and confirm or disprove the truth of it for oneself, and not just "listening to the experts," who may have their own agenda entirely.  Very often, it is to command what everybody else thinks is the truth -- rather than in allowing them to find out for themselves.  This manner of promotion, is merely authoritarianism -- in which people just accept whatever the authorities tell them -- and are usually forbidden to think and find out otherwise.  It is an age-old thread in human experience and evolution -- before a great leap forward -- because reality demands it.

But not everybody makes the leap -- and then those of the old guard -- become the last, while the eager and bold, become the first into the new world.  Again, time plays its role -- waiting for everything to fall into place -- even in the most unpredictable ways.  Who would have guessed that all the gyms would be shut down -- and then the only way of exercising, was with no equipment, accessories, and uniforms -- and everybody would be forced to create exercise as best they can, with whatever they have.  The magic is not in the machine -- or any other apparatus.  It is in the knowledge of one's own discoveries and insights.

Insanity is doing the same things over and over again hoping for a different (better) result -- rather than discovering what actually works -- and then improving upon it.  Knowledge is always at the beginning of the journey and not the end of the need for understanding.  For a whole generation to come to that reckoning is a global shock in consciousness -- that simply accumulating information is not enough, but the integration of all that is known into something unpredictably greater -- is the next step in evolution.

That is the transformation from health care to real health, as the new reality of our existence.   Then the possibility of people living to 100 -- in perfectly good health becomes possible, rather than merely wishful-thinking for most.  Of course one doesn't get there just by eating everybody else's desserts.  In fact, that is the known path to all diseases.  It should be obvious by now that doing all the wrong things results in poor health -- and that is not just handed out randomly, or to those who doggedly repeat what is not true -- and gets no favorable results.

There is a reason some are more susceptible to all manner of diseases and misfortunes -- while others experiencing those same challenges -- overcome those adversities and become stronger and fitter -- with time on their side.  Then the game changes entirely -- when time is on one's side, rather than working relentlessly against them -- waiting to go off.  That's the chance everybody takes -- whether they want to or realize.

With those prospects, one should hope for the best, while preparing for the worst -- because the reality will fall somewhere in between -- and just hoping for the best, OR preparing for the worst, will not be a sufficient response for life ahead.  That is what an intelligent person does -- prepare for many scenarios of varying possibilities -- and never expecting that everything will go according to their demands from everybody else.

Life is extremely personal in that way.  It's not a random walk through life -- but an increasingly focused and sensible one.  Increasingly, what one sees, is what they get, and not something opposite -- as many believe possible.  But that is a good model for testing -- to hone and refine one's knowledge to greater precision and effectiveness -- than just knowing the one thing that isn't working very well, and thinking that is all life has to offer -- for assuredly, it is not.  There are all the possibilities of life -- that some will convince us are disastrous except for their solution -- but merely prolongs and exacerbates one's condition, until finally there is nothing left.

That is the choice of freedom -- to be what one individually wants to be -- and not just have it determined by the authoritarian others -- who say "this cannot be done, and that cannot be done," because all things are possible -- until proven otherwise.  Then, one can discover and actualize the greater life the powers that be insist are impossible, and should never even be thought about -- as their chosen role in society.

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Floor Exercises: The Key to Lifelong Health

 The obvious advantage of floor exercises is that one doesn't have to get up to do them -- and for that reason, are the most beneficial when one most needs to exercise -- when one can't get up.  Then, just getting up, is a monumental and life-saving achievement.  Most people take that ability for granted -- when that eventually, will be the difference between life and death -- that one no longer has to be bedridden, but from that basic skill, determines their freedom of all other movements.  Conversely, when one is so weak that they are not even capable of turning themselves while lying down, they will eventually develop bed sores and resultant infections, and not be long for this world.

So this ability to change from the most immobile condition to regain full functionality, is really fundamental to lifelong mobility and health.  One can always begin small and minimally, and progress on up -- rather than maintaining a futile notion that popping immediately up and onward, is the only way to be.  It is the ability to change, that characterizes movement and its value.  People are not born running, or born unmoving -- but change from one position to another, as evidence of their viability and robustness, and their dynamism in doing so, impresses others.

Much less impressive, is just holding a steady state -- as that does not indicate any other possibility, nor potential for anything else.  That is all one does, and there is no indication that they can do anything else -- until they actually do.  Usually what one does, is all they can do -- and one should not assume they can do anything else but what they exhibit -- despite claims and promises to do otherwise.  Very simply, what you see is what you get -- with very rare exceptions and surprises.

So, far more indicative of their abilities, is the range of their movements -- rather than just the one movement repeated countless times, or with greater resistance.  In athletic exhibitions, those who can demonstrate many different movements, are far more impressive than those who do only one thing flawlessly -- because it is the change that creates the impact.

To go from lying to standing, is a much greater change than to go from standing to walking.  In fact, there is no greater engagement of all the muscles than in going from lying to standing -- which is the characteristically great advantage of choosing yoga as one's bedrock movement activity, since it specifically cultivates that change, as integral and fundamental to its conditioning program -- which is not duplicated in any other activity -- and particularly, among its oldest participants.

It is very impressive to see a group of 100 year olds getting up and down off the floor -- which is generally their cohorts' greatest fears.  So when these oldsters are able to rise gracefully from the ground, there is few things more striking in contemporary society.  They don't have to put on makeup or wear flashy gym attire to look young and with it.  Just the fact that they get up and down off the floor easily, gracefully and uncomplainingly -- is a lot more than most contemporary younger people are prepared to do.

But that is the real meaning of push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups -- to lift oneself from a lower state to a higher one.  It's not even necessary to do 100 consecutively without rest -- because 100 done nonconsecutively, with as much rest as one desires, is even more valuable, especially when performed in the normal course of one's day.  That is a meaningfully active life -- and not one that is arbitrarily active for just a brief period -- usually under only one proscribed set of circumstances -- and is sedentary and poorly positioned otherwise throughout most of their day.  That latter, causes most of the aches and pains of a poorly aligned posture.

Most of those specializing in back pain will tell you that those misalignments and malfunctions don't just spontaneously happen -- but are invariably caused by poorly designed furniture. shoes and postures.  So their job is to observe and detect such misalignments and misuse, and reprogram them on the proper mechanical advantages of such movements.

That mechanical advantage is finding the easiest and most economical way to perform that movement -- and not to make it harder and more difficult until it eventually becomes painful and impossible.  Yet that is the path many take -- thinking it is the shortcut to quick gains.  That will always result in a premature cessation of such movements and activities -- if not crippling them outright.  That is simply the truth of the matter -- and why most former top trainees, no longer can do what they did as younger and indestructible people.  Many even die prematurely of heart failures -- from pushing their hearts too hard, too many times -- thinking that all that is necessary, is to push their hearts as hard as possible -- until it fails.  That's not a good plan.

The heart will always be the last organ to fail -- and once it does, that is death as we usually define it.  Meanwhile, many other organs may have long failed to function -- but we don't know that, because we have not tested for that failure.  If we have 600-800 muscles, we only know definitively that a dozen or so still work -- because the rest we don't think to test, or even recognize they exist.  So if one can perform a movement that requires all the muscles to be activated whether we recognize them or not, that would be the perfect exercise -- and especially important and useful to cultivate throughout one's life --as the measure far more meaningful than any other.

I've never encountered a healthy person who could not easily get up and down off the ground.  I've met a lot of unhealthy people who could not get up from a lying or seated position -- much less walk, or stand.  That to me is the difference between a fit person -- and those incapable of independent living.  That threshold seems unduly low -- but seems to be fairly consistent for every individual.  Most get to that point -- no matter whether they once were world champions, or the average working person.

Cultures, societies and individuals are impressive to the extent that they retain that upward and downward mobility -- more so than by running, jumping and throwing -- which are much less necessary activities, and being the source of injurious wear and tear that are best avoided.  At that point in life, it is usually all pain and no gain -- and will often set one back weeks and months for recovery.  Many never fully recover, but merely adds to their load of future handicaps and limitations -- until the disadvantages outweigh the advantages that they never try again.

That's a bad place to be.  Usually they got there thinking they could not be any other way -- when the truth of the matter, is that there are many ways to be -- even if one has to create it for themselves.  Far from being the most daunting prospect, that is the way of truth for every individual that has ever lived and prevailed.  That is their singular mission and purpose in life -- to find out what works for them -- if nobody else.  It doesn't have to work for anybody else -- as long as it works for them, and that is proof enough.

It's great if it works for anybody -- or everybody else -- but the only truth that matters is that it works for you -- perfectly.  That's why there is diversity -- and not just arbitrarily mandated by the political correctness of the day -- for they don't know what good reason.  Diversity is not a value in itself.  The greater purpose is in achieving the best result -- by entertaining the various different plausible possibilities and their paths, and preparing for them.  But diversity in itself is merely randomness without that higher criterion.  That has to be results.

What is the difference between a healthy young baby and a dying old person?  The newborn gets on its feet as soon as possible because they realize their very lives depend on it -- while the dying old are simply left behind.  Nobody has to force them to leave the herd.  In that way, the story of life and death is played out in each life -- in its own unique tale.  That's what life is.  The ups and downs -- and how we manage those transitions.

Death is no longer wanting things to change -- but to stay the way they are permanently -- and that is not possible.  So that requires dying to everything, and the body is not far behind.  The fundamental question in yoga, is not how much can one lift or how far one can run, but simply, can you still get up -- and show me.  That is as basic as it needs to get.  And if you're still doing it at 100, you've won. 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Sometimes the Worst that can Happen

 Is the best thing that can happen -- because then,  the worst fears are realized -- and overcome.  Until then, the fears become the limits of what we think is the unthinkable, but only when we are forced to confront it in the actuality, and not just academically and theoretically, we really never know anything with any certainty, and discover the truth of the matter.

It was formerly thought that the world was flat, and if one sailed far enough to the edge of the world, one would simply fall off -- and never be heard from again -- when the truth of the matter, was that there were worlds that existed that one could not imagine -- as the New World yet to be discovered.  So it was realized, that the only thing we had to fear, was fear itself -- and not the realization of any actuality, unless we were forced to make that desperate leap.

Otherwise, one can never sufficiently be motivated just by curiosity and intellectual satisfaction to go far enough beyond the present known -- with all its fears and trepidations.  That is often the case when young birds are finally forced out of the nest -- to learn that they can fly -- when they have to!  Those are the essential lessons of life -- without which, one is crippled, and will not survive for long -- and that is the way of Nature that has gotten us this far, so well.

Could it have be done better or even differently?  Time makes up for a lot of mistakes.  When one has all the time in the world to get it right, eventually one has to get it right -- and that is the only thing that matters, but until then, we never know for certain -- as many presume to.

But as has been pointed out many times before, the thought is not the thing itself -- but always only an approximation of what we are actually dealing with.  What we think we are dealing with, may not in fact be what is -- and that is the root of most misunderstandings and the problem.  The problem is other than we thought it to be, and until that is understood properly, is the reason the solution fails, and all one has  done, is created more elaborate explanations of why everything goes wrong.  Obviously, the problem is not the solution -- but merely multiplies the problem into a bigger one.

At the present time, it should be obvious to most people considering a future, that crowded big city environments are not viable on their present course -- nor are settlements in pristine forests -- so the answer might lie somewhere between those extremes -- as the best of all possible worlds.  That is still a choice for most people -- rather than to live a horrible life where one presently is, and so the greatest task of organizations and individuals, is to find that optimal for themselves -- and not just settle for their dismal prospects remaining where they are.

In a previous time, the best advice was to go West -- until everyone took that advice and those areas became too popular and crowded as well.  But now, the best advice to increase one's prospects, would be to move inland, away from the overcrowded coasts, where many places are offering attractive inducements to move there.  What has one to lose?  One has a chance for a fresh start -- and that should never be taken for granted, or overlooked.

Nobody ever had the right to be overwhelmingly successful being where they are -- no matter what.  Ultimately successful people, had to move into the void of greener pastures to make their lives and fortunes.  It won't happen living in their parent's basement.  They have to be forced out of the nest -- to fly, otherwise, they will simply soil their own environment until they are drowning in it.  That becomes the problem of hoarding on the other end -- when one is simply holding on to everything, and letting nothing go.  Then one is buried by all that trash.

So what is the world telling us now?

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Freedom To Be

Before we discuss sickness, one should inquire into what is health -- and not merely presume that everything one does is right -- or wrong, without first considering, what is health?  For many, especially in the health care professions, that means enabling sickness and dysfunction -- which makes them vulnerable to all kinds of catastrophic events and challenges.  The presumption is, that the way we already are -- is normal, or healthy -- when the truth of most lives, is that it is mostly a deteriorating condition, beginning with as soon as they reach their full maturity -- and then it is all downhill from there.

Seldom does one heed the information that they might simply be doing things wrong -- or badly, while even thinking they are living optimal lives -- when for many, if not most, that is obviously not true -- if one thing after another, seems to go wrong, and eventually, nothing seems to work right -- forevermore.  Even most exercise -- thought to be healthy unequivocally, is often what causes that damage and injury, and if not recovered, leads to permanent dysfunction and disability.

As often as not, ceasing one's normal activities, results and allows a full recovery from injurious efforts.  That phenomenon is experienced by nearly everyone in hard training -- who make most of their gains in a brief experiment that is not sustainable for longer periods of time.  That is the familiar boom and bust cycles of training -- particularly notable in competitive bodybuilding activities -- in which those short term gains are achieved by fanatical obsession for short periods of time, doing everything possible and even dangerous, and after 6 weeks, experiencing a breakdown of some sort.  A natural break from those activities becomes imperative and inevitable -- but the more desirable model, is to be able to do something and be capable daily, when one needs to.

Thus like in achieving wealth, one progresses slowly, steadily and relentlessly -- rather than the boom and bust cycles requiring frequent breaks and timeouts for "recovery" -- which then seems to be most of the time, and eventually, all the time.  Frequently it is noted, that one cannot even do -- what they formerly were the best in the world at doing.  Many end up prematurely dead or disabled by their practice -- and for some, it is inevitable, and they would have it no other way.  It is said of such people, that they died doing what they loved to do -- which in the minds of many, is the perfect scenario.

However, even better, is knowing when that threshold and margin for error is not breached, and one can safely live out a long life enjoying all those things they like to do -- without an overly premature end.  That is the frontier that needs to be explored, expressed, manifested -- and not simply living in fear of doing anything, and taking any chances.  That would not be healthy -- and the difference in outright dysfunction and disability, is difficult to determine.  

Thus individuals, as well as societies, often swing a pendulum from one extreme to the other, trying to fine-tune the balance -- but never presuming what those ultimate limits are -- until they actually find out.  That is largely what life is about -- and not simply repeating a pattern or protocol mapped out by the so-called "experts," claiming to have perfect knowledge of such things.  Most only know what they know, but the far more valuable thing to know, is what they don't know, and are eager to find out.  That is the real miracle of life.

Unfortunately, most of those claiming to know it all, are more intent on profiting off of that claim -- rather than finding out whether what they know, is truly worth knowing.  That is often compounded by another's attempts to claim that knowledge or any other, as their own invention and authorship -- which is the root of authority and authoritarianism.  The latter, is the claim to know everything that can be known -- and all others must be brutally suppressed, censored, intimidated.  That observation, should be the premise in the study of every subject -- as the limits of the known, and what is essential to explore.

We always live in such times -- and so the greatest books ever written -- is invariably about that timeless story.  The best one can know, is what they don't know -- and will then embark to find out, otherwise, one is too full of their own knowledge, and never bothers anymore to even question that what they know, is worth knowing.  Far more can be known, than can be applied practically and productively.  The rest is sound and fury -- signifying nothing of importance.  In this, "many are called, but few are chosen."  One mistakes what they know, for all that can be known -- which is the greatest catastrophe of all -- in every field and endeavor.

One doesn't want to be "that guy" -- so full of their own knowledge -- that destroys civilizations and societies because they cannot allow that they do not know everything -- as though that alone, is their exclusive jurisdiction, and all others must be eliminated.  That is the only way they can assure their own victories -- and are interested in no other.  Such people are endlessly engaged in turf wars -- as the only thing they know what to do -- and it does not matter how many others have to be "sacrificed" to prove their point.  

That is the perpetually self-aggrandizing ego -- devoid of any humor and perspective -- who thinks that only their way, is the only way -- and there is no room for any discussion about that.  That is always the danger to a civil society -- that a few coerce the others into believing only their way.  That is also a deranged mind -- who thinks others exist only for their own self-aggrandizement.  

So real health is also this relationship with everybody and all else -- not to be employed ruthlessly only for the benefit of the one -- even if all the others must be sacrificed.  It is not the most good for the greatest number -- but for only the one, at all costs.  Such costs are regarded and justified as a necessary means to the end -- and morphs quickly into the necessary evils to those ends -- which they will be the exclusive judge of that.

Such absolute power corrupts absolutely -- and doesn't matter what their station in life is.  In fact, it is invariably an inverse relationship -- of the least, feeling fully justified and entitled to their delusions.  They think life is only about winning and losing -- and never about just being -- as fully as each individual is capable of doing.  That is a mind that is always comparing and competing with everyone else -- and can never recognize that life is not that brutal, relentless and endless struggle against everything and everybody else.

That outlook destroys everything in its path.  It builds nothing -- for any future; it argues only with the past -- as though that can change anything.