Monday, March 27, 2006

Right Understanding

The first widespread observation of causation is the enlightenment of the Buddha into this insight -- that one thing causes another, in a chain reaction of connectedness to every other thing -- and for that reason, awareness is the key to the greater experience of life.

Another anointed a messiah, observes that unless one can die to the old and be born anew, only a certain death awaits him. There is a life of eternal renewal and rebirth that is not simply the continuation of the past -- but something different entirely, but in order to experience that life, requires a leap of faith in dying to the old (known) -- because the unknown, is where that greater life exists.

The old life -- is the conditioning of the past, while the new life, is the conditioning to the present realities that have changed greatly since one was initially indoctrinated into that culture as a child, but which historically and traditionally, one has maintained dogmatically despite the great changes in the world in his lifetime. While always true in every era, that becomes a greater truth with greater change and changes.

The most frightening prospect for people as they live longer now, is not that the body fails physically, but that the connection of the brain to the rest of the body is severed -- as in the case of the dementias, which is not unlike many other dysfunctions of presumably normal lives.

Dementias are different in that there is a sense of irrecoverability from those dysfunctions that normally, we feel to be merely aberrations, preventable and treatable. But once all hope is gone for a recovery, the prognosis is not hopeful -- except for the possibility of some miracle some researcher proposes to find with the generous help of a research grant into the as yet implausible.

Meanwhile, simple observations and insights into human behavior could be the adjustment and refinement that empowers life in the new way not possible before. Chief among those ways is this simple observation of the connectedness of the mind and the body -- that it is not separate and apart, but integral. The ideals of the classic and enduring cultures and civilizations, is the notion of the fully-developed being -- and only recently, have we formalized the fragmentation of individuals into specialties and categories, and within each individual, isolated systems within the organism, that has begun to be reversed with the defining paradigm of these times -- the general purpose computer.

That development has totally reversed the trend toward narrow specialization, with its exclusive jargons and control hierarchies. Does that mean that all chaos and anomie breaks out with this dissolution of the old order? Hardly. What emerges is an even higher level of proficiency and recognition of authenticity, integrity and self-evident truth -- verifiable to anyone willing to participate in the construction of the new understanding. Understanding is not something that is merely passed down from the duly certified authorities in that priesthood -- but is the general council of all the interested and competent participants who exhibit themselves in that credibility.

That is determined in the open forum -- and not limited to a protected, favored few. Those results are completely different than are possible when the participation is selected by only a self-aggrandizing few. Absent in those discussions, has been the voice of the consumer, the non-vested party (the greater good) -- and not only of the self-regulating “professionals,” claiming to know better than everybody else because that is their exclusive turf.

That would be government (society) for the people, of the people, by the people -- as the constitution intended.

6 Comments:

At March 27, 2006 5:12 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The manner of inquiry is essential to the discovery of the truth. If the avowed purpose of the group is to promote the interests of the group, it can easily come at the expense of the greater society (good). The obvious cases of this are the conspiracies that promote the various vices and addictions people are vulnerable to and prosecuted.

Those “professionals” have as their categorical imperative, the maximizing of personal gain --even at the tremendous cost to society at large. Less obvious, are the many ways that dysfunctions and inefficiencies are enabled to produce a reliable future stream of earnings in ensuring that the condition does not improve but remains the same and even deteriorates slowly throughout the population. Those are the familiar chronic diseases that can be expected to increase dramatically with age -- as we have known it in the past.

However, the normal expectation of aging and its effects, are presently in great dispute and under review. Not among those who cling to the conventional wisdom and the traditional model of what it has been and invariably should be, but among those who do not accept that norm as the inevitable experience.

I recall seeing a calendar in a yoga class in which many extremely old-looking people are seen to assume extraordinary poses -- and commenting, that it was extraordinary for a person who looked like they should be dead. I would have been much more impressed if they did not look extraordinarily old -- as the primary objective of their attainment. Many old-school thinkers would dismiss that as merely the superficiality of valuing appearance over substance, the image of health from the actual health, which they argue, was the ability to achieve the pose. A “pose” is also nothing but an appearance of an intangible quality -- expressed in a distinctive, recognizable form.

I still maintain that I would have been much more impressed if the major attainment was in the perception of agelessness -- that it was not a primary consideration in the assessment of that individual -- that they were not in good or bad condition “despite” their age, but that the concept of age, never entered my mind in considering that person. That is just what a healthy person looks like.

 
At March 28, 2006 12:04 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

As people live longer, the need to be completely “reconditioned” should be obvious -- just as is frequently done with machinery, including computers and its peripherals. Then they are brand new again. But most people’s conditioning have not been revisited since their first formative years -- and then once they leave the schools, they no longer undergo such rigor in the conduct and maintenance of their lives. It is presumed that once a skill has been taught, it remains throughout life -- without considering the fact, that many did not get those lessons right the first time but merely faked their way through because of the inattention of their instructors, who may have just been going through the motions themselves.

Very few are the masters at what they do; most, go to schools and universities and mange to fake enough proficiency to get by -- because “there is so much material to cover” -- and so mastery is not a requirement. But actually, it is the mastery of anything -- even the simplest of movements, that is the key to further progress -- and not simply doing a lot of anything poorly or indifferently. The difference is the qualitative experience that produces a transcendent and transformative (growth) effect -- that simply more of a lesser intensity will not.

The reason many do one thing while thinking they are doing something else, is that there is not this essential connection reinforced in movement -- in which hand-eye coordination requires the actual seeing of what the hand is doing (or the foot, or the head). One sees it only with one’s mind -- and so there is not this essential feedback at the most basic level of movement. One imagines he is doing the movement properly -- because either the eyes are obviously closed, or he is looking at the movement of the instructor rather than of his own. He believes then, that he is doing what the instructor is doing (identification) -- rather than observing what he is actually doing!

That is the proper development of hand-eye coordination -- and why most people have no idea of what they are doing. Only those gifted in movement, will have that sense innately wired into them. The rest have to very deliberately cultivate that connection. The unfortunate consequence of the class instruction is that there are as many different manners of performance as there are participants -- with everyone thinking they are doing the same exercise, when on closer observation and examination, they are decidedly not.

When there is a requirement that proper effective exercise requires 30 minutes or more, then it precludes personalized, reciprocal instruction -- that is also instructive. There is no greater manner of learning than to teach another -- and in that instruction, learn as well. For one only to be the teacher, or only to be the student, is the very destruction of the learning process -- because the learner must be the teacher as well as the student. In a world insistent on endless division, fragmentation and compartmentalization -- there cannot be any comprehension of this total process, but only a fragmented, incomplete, partial (partisan) understanding -- which is disintegrative.

The life force is integrative -- recruiting all the “parts” to work together for a single, focused purpose -- and not for the many parts to work against each other. That is the problem of people in quandaries -- that they have been faultily conditioned (bad parenting and bad education) to work tirelessly against themselves! They beat down and batter themselves over the course of their lives -- and the abuse, neglect and indifference shows.

 
At March 29, 2006 8:06 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Human betterment is not the exclusive province of science and technology -- but belongs to all of society and culture. By far, the greatest potential for human improvement is simply making better personal choices -- rather than human engineering by a few for all.

The great advance is the spread of the thinking that people can improve their own lives -- and not merely have it improved for them by a few people who claim to know better or more than everyone else. That's how societies get into trouble -- by letting a few (oligarchs) make the decisions for all.

That's the troubling thing about these technocratic visions for future societies. It's invariably designed by a few to create everybody else and the world in their own image -- as the ideal, with them permanently ensconced at the top.

 
At March 29, 2006 8:14 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Probably the most dangerous trend in society is the movement of wisdom out of the hands of individuals into those of a few master controllers. That's what I look for in these media reports: Is their information empowering or disempowering?

Doers one feel more confident and competent to live and manage his own life or is this merely a commercial or public service announcement to convince us we can't live our own lives, make our own decisions, improve ourselves -- without their miracle aids?

 
At March 29, 2006 8:40 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I notice every time I tune into these infomercials -- that in the time they take to tell me how credible they are, they could have told me what it is they know that is worth knowing -- and letting the message speak for itself, speak its own truth. Instead, they go about it backwards -- in the old “testimonial” style of convincing us that they are the world’s foremost authority -- while disclosing none of it. That’s quite a trick.

Information and truth is never given away -- even by the news people. Whatever information is provided freely, is just the teaser for what they’re really selling. That reinforces the notion that information (the truth), is never to be given (shared) freely -- but is only the bait for entrapment and deception.

The ultimate gimmick, is no gimmick at all.

 
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