Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Need to Improve

Some people would have us believe that nothing ever changes -- and in fact, every day is like every other that’s ever been before -- proudly proclaiming and finding disciples who will chant, “History always repeats itself,” or, “Those who don’t abide by history, are doomed to repeat it,” or other similar inanities. The evident truth of reality is that there is always change -- but the mind can be conditioned not to see it, and to deny it.

Much of our education, is actually of that type of conditioning -- requiring what is being presently taught, to be regarded as an absolute truth -- mainly because the instructors would not have the moral and intellectual “authority,” if it could not be presented in that manner. Then, instead of merely indoctrinating that truth unchallenged, they would be challenged and have to justify how it is, that the truth they proclaim, is in fact, what they say it is. And rather than that being a distraction and diversion from learning -- that is really the essence of an inquiring mind and attitude -- which creates a lifelong predisposition to learning, understanding and improvement.

However, that does not benefit the “teaching” professional, so that manner of learning is not encouraged. If one wants to do it, most teaching professionals will admit that it can be done that way, but that should be done only by licensed and certified professionals also -- and not that that should be done without strict supervision by the properly designated authorities. To these people, that’s what truth is -- that which comes from the duly-certified authorities and hierarchies, and not that it is the essential human drive to understand and improve the simplicity of life and existence.

Such people think one must be “forced” to understand or improve -- rather than it is the nature of the human being, and anything else, is a deviation from the natural path. People want to understand, want to improve -- unless early on, in their formative years, they were discouraged and punished for doing so, and indoctrinated with those deviations that served another agenda beyond the individual’s inherent drive to understand and improve.

One can be conditioned to believe they should never trust their own judgment and instincts but must only rely on the wisdom of the properly-designated edicts of authorities, of whom the person advising them, is the local representative. Even if not the properly certified authority, many will assume that position anyway, realizing that most people, are not trained to detect any differences from the authentic and the self-proclaimed, if one uses the appropriate buzzwords and familiar-sounding jargon. Advertising, journalism, mass communication disciplines exist for this purpose. Instead of actually being the authority in the field, one can merely seem like the authority in the field -- which will fool 95% of people -- but the 5% will be the true authorities, one cannot.

Many will grow up entirely in this culture of the false -- never knowing a moment of the true and actual. Because they have been taught to distrust their own minds and judgment, they are entirely dependent on others to do their thinking for them -- and the thinking of the others, unfortunately, is that they remain ignorant, powerless, and hopeless, rather than becoming more independent and stronger all one’s life. That is not an option, the controllers will insist.


At December 17, 2005 2:22 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Unless one has this inner drive to constantly improve throughout life, deterioration, disease and death are hastened -- and this condition widely accepted as the normal and inevitable course of human life. But at what point, should this lifelong deterioration be accepted as normal -- 20? 30? 40? 50? 60? 70? 80? 90? 100?

What is acceptable aging? This question is problematical now that we see an entire generation diverging at “maturity.” Increasingly, that means more people 50 and above are not showing the signs of normal aging we previously and traditionally regarded as the expectation of the normal course of human life.

Those who seem to defy the aging process best, seem to be those living challenging, vibrant and creative lives -- and the question is, how can that be a feature of most people’s existence? Is it necessary for everyone to strive to be the president or celebrity? Certainly one hopes that there are many different paths that the diverse population regards as challenging and personally fulfilling. In all likelihood, it is entirely personally fulfilling, which need not be at cross-purposes to the rest of society’s. Ideally, they are aligned -- so that the personal good also serves the good of the larger society’s.

In the recent past, one special interest group served its own aggrandizement -- with the expectation that every other special interests would do the same, and the resulting society was a compromise that pitted each against every other, as the best of all possible worlds.

But that perpetual competition and conflict wears one down. Recognizing this, one should not use a competitive model as the basis for a lifelong strategy for optimal well-being. Obviously, one cannot be a winner against everybody, all the time; that is a losing strategy, designed to ensure one’s frustration, disappointment, failure, resentment, bitterness, and envy. Those are not positive, life-enhancing emotions and experiences. It creates many losers and only one, if any, winners. It merely destroys a lot of human energy -- among people who no longer know what to do with their energy because of so many energy-saving devices.

So the idea that the conditioning process must be the optimal method for burning or wasting energy, is a bad idea. The conditioning process should be in creating the best ways to use energy productively, usefully and healthfully. That seems to be the “secret” of the healthful, self-fulfilling life -- rather than beating oneself up, and everybody else who threatens to get in his way.

At December 17, 2005 2:37 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

While it makes great drama and press to read about the 90-year old running in their first or thirtieth marathon, such examples are usually counterproductive for most others.

At December 17, 2005 2:47 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

People who work manipulating other people's opinions, think that's all that can be done -- and not altering actualities. For those, wishful-thinking is the same as actual results.

At December 17, 2005 4:10 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I hope it is obvious to everyone that those appearing on television, newspapers and in health clinics, who are badly out of condition themselves, speaking as experts on health, have no idea what they are talking about.

It's like all these financial writers and experts who have never invested in anything themselves --because they want to retain their objectivity by never having any actual experience and involvement.

At December 17, 2005 4:34 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I'm not so impressed with a person in good condition who spends all day exercising and tending to their every health concern -- as I am interested by those who can attain those same results, while devoting as little time, energy and effort towards those objecitves as possible. That, to me, is what people really want, and quite surprisingly, is not possible any other way -- with a superior understanding of the conditioning process -- rather than most traditional approaches, that are proven not to work except for rare exceptions.

Those exceptions don't prove the rule. Trying harder or putting out more time and effort is not the answer. A better understanding is.

At December 17, 2005 4:44 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

What we know is that what may work for 20-30 year olds, doesn't necessarily work for 70-80 year olds, and is even well-proven not to. However, when one discovers what works for 70-80 year olds, not surprisingly, those strategies and principles also work in 20-30 year olds, and in all age groups and conditions.

Most exercise studies extrapolate from the wrong direction!


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