Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Way of the Future

The beauty of today’s technology, and the real meaning of the information and communication revolution, is that if one person knows something, it is possible for that information to become virtual knowledge for everyone else -- who simply knows how to access it. Because there are no longer physical (including, time) barriers to that information -- having to buy the book, storing and carrying around that material for the day one will eventually require it (if ever again) -- and so the mind and being is free to devote all resources to the totality of each moment.

What disturbs a lot of people who are perceived as having aging related problems, and maybe many of the younger people too, is the measure of mental and total functioning as exhibited by memory -- rather than the much more powerful ability to compute input freshly, without the burden of memory. That is the powerful computer information processing paradigm of real-time information -- as opposed to the older model of sequentially processed, stored information, reliant on memory (storage).

That shift was empowered by the growth of the Internet (Web) more than anything else, causing a rapid acceleration of all the possibilities of human functioning. Of course, that is not a favorable outlook for the old vested interests that may have even held prohibitive monopolies in their fields. That created the inflection point at which it truly was possible for the last to now be the first -- because they weren’t vested in the successful old ways, so had nothing to lose and everything to gain in embracing the new. Meanwhile, the Old Guard, could not evolve in their consciousness of the new realities -- and were permanently and henceforth retarded, demanding that the world not abandon them, but come back to regard them as leaders once again, just as they were in their memories, dreams and delusions.

The experiences of the new pioneers are thus shut out by the media of the old institutions (newspapers schools, universities) because they are the old -- rewarded and oriented to seniority, rather than the new. The only way they can maintain their value is by maintaining their claim to the superiority of the old ways -- because if it simply a matter of the best ways, and better ways, they have an inferior product -- that they refuse to “improve.” Instead, they steadfastly maintain, that the older product was perfected for its purpose -- of living in another time and age. But of course, they don’t tell you that.

So the literature and language of the reality unfolding, has yet to be written -- or is being written, as we speak. It is not the consciousness of the old world residing in the old books -- but is the living language being evolved to much greater purpose and effectiveness. In the past, the word was just words -- and not the essential tools of discovery of the unknown -- but only of the known. The language of the known is very familiar and taught; the language of finding out, discovery, is not the language of the known -- but of those who don’t want to find out for themselves, the truth of any matter.

In the past, that might have been the easier path to trod; now it is the most perilous. So one has to cultivate one simple skill -- and that is determining the authentic from the false, the deception, the manipulation, the contrivances. Because it has been the challenge of these times, those who have risen to it, have virtual intelligence -- not limited to just their own -- as in the old way of regarding it.

That has already profoundly changed the world and most people’s prospects for the future -- but most don’t know it yet and won’t, relying on the old media and institutions of knowledge. Knowledge is not as useful as the ability to find out -- no matter how much one knows.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Exercising for Life (Aging and exercise)

Even among the most prolific proponents of exercise, few seem to be successful at holding off the ravages of time -- as a convincing case of nullifying the effects of aging. At best, it will be noted, that such a person is in good shape for as old as he is, or appears to be -- and not simply, that that person is in good condition -- and that age is not even a consideration. When is that point of “no return” -- when deterioration overcomes our most valiant efforts to even maintain the status quo?

I think we all know that feeling -- that sense of shock when a familiar person seems to be declining rapidly, alarmingly -- and seems hopeless to bring to the other’s attention, for surely, if it hasn’t disturbed them greatly by now, nothing must matter anymore. The most telling features are the atrophy at the most visible parts of the body -- at the necks, hands and feet, where development, movement and articulation is no longer robust. Those who are, seem very animated, alert and responsive -- by contrast.

That difference is the ability to change -- and bring about change. Yet these are the areas most overlooked and taken for granted in the typical fitness program -- as though nothing could be done about it, when it may be the only areas one needs to focus on -- the movement at those critical joints. If full articulation and health can be maintained in just those areas, it implies the health of all the rest. I’ve never seen the exception --but have noticed the opposite, that diminishing articulation of these areas is the precursor to diminishing and deteriorating function in the capacities contained therein.

Grip strength implies arm and torso strength, as foot strength implies leg and back strength. The development and function of the neck muscles is the single greatest indicator of the overall fitness of that body -- which even the great performance athletes may not be greatly aware of, but which has great impact in the perception of the vitality and dynamism of that individual. So just from a cosmetic standpoint, let alone the most beneficial from an operational perspective, would be the development of these impressive, highly visible muscles -- as a high-impact priority.

People who are very perceptive are aware of this -- and its important role in body language that influences all. The atrophying of the development in those areas, are the great markers of the aging effects -- that can be successfully countered indefinitely, as they are the easiest areas to develop and maintain. Because of that prominence, that would be the logical priority of development -- where it is easiest to develop, most visible, and most useful.

Yet most fitness programs effect so little change, that they require fine and precise measuring procedures to detect their “results“ -- after a fair amount of time on the program has transpired. Meanwhile, measuring improvements in range of movement (performance and appearance) is easiest to detect at the neck, wrist and ankles -- and to enhance quite easily by nothing more than to realize that a further possibility exists -- but is simply unutilized in most people, because they just don‘t think to do it.

In simply moving through that fullest range of possibility, one will already recognize muscles one didn’t realize they had. A similar situation exists for all the muscles throughout the body -- that they are already there, waiting to be revealed in the proper articulation that expresses its prominence. They just don’t know how -- or had forgotten to exercise that capability. The movements they have been taught, are not the proper ones to reveal it.

As is frequently the case, one doesn’t need more -- without first accessing and utilizing what one already has. The greatest gain is not in attaining what one doesn’t have yet; the greatest gain is in realizing and utilizing what one already has but has never thought to use.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Inquiring Mind

Key to the concept of being better, is feeling more control over one’s own life -- and not just having the capacity to pay off infinitely greater health care bills, with the assurance that whatever ails one is “covered.” Health care should be for the benefit of the client/customer, and not just for the benefit of the health care provider -- of the various stripes and certifications.

So the vision of lifelong, inevitable and premature deterioration has to be re-examined before simply enabling more, and infinitely costly procedures will make life better -- which has never been a serious consideration before -- that the meaning and purpose of life is to get better, no matter what one’s age, status, and financial condition is -- which is the great equalizer. Most of the talk about life in maturity now is a fantasy of finally achieving unlimited wealth and freedom -- which they never achieved before in the prime of their years but are led to expect, if not demand, once they are retired.

For most of the young people’s lives, they are conditioned to believe that they should do what the experts, teachers and media tell them to do -- because they “know better,” or in some cases, “know it all,” when in fact, they may know nothing at all, but may have the power to suppress all inquiry into the matter. A lot of information is lost this way -- suppressed for hundred of years in the past -- until those truths are rediscovered at a better time. But that advantage will have been lost for many until too late to do them any good.

The great probability is that somebody has already discovered the answer for the problem one has in mind -- but for which he doesn’t have a satisfactory answer yet. So the quest in life, is discovering who has that answer -- which may not be those who claim to have all the answers -- even while those answers just seem to make the problems worse. Some people are satisfied that they have the “right” answers even if it doesn’t make a difference; they think that is all that is required for an answer to be “right” -- that it is approved by the right experts.

But even among the experts, some are more knowledgeable than others, and in fact, the best information is likely not to be known to most, because few are on the cutting edge of discovery. In that discovery, most do not immediately embrace the better way -- but have been taught to resist any other than they already know as the foundation of their expertise in that field. To realize they were mistaken is not a realization many can accept and move on to the greater truth -- but may resist their entire lives so as not to threaten their insecure self-image.

That becomes almost a litmus test for the 21st century personalities now emerging -- how quickly they can embrace new information, and avoid the presumptuousness of their absolute certainties that close their minds forever from further inquiries. In this, it doesn’t matter how much a person knows or claims to know already -- because it is the truly inquiring mind that will discover the truth, freshly each time. And the truth, rather than remaining the same for all time, is likely to change with time and every new discovery and development.

So whether it is the businessman, the scientitist, the journalist, the teacher -- what one desires to find are those on the cutting edge of new discoveries, and not those who boast of how old, timeworn and commonplace their knowledge is.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Being Better

From reading the popular information sources, it would be difficult or even impossible to believe that one could get any better, or that one should even entertain such a notion, other than in the only approved of manner -- which is to assure lifetime, maximum health care coverage, from the most dreaded conditions and fate possible -- as the categorical imperative of our lives.

Absent from this consideration is the much greater one of entertaining the possibility of much greater health than has ever been imagined by most people -- accustomed as they have been conditioned and educated to think, that health is simply the temporary absence of overwhelming and debilitating disease and injury -- and not preparation for the much greater possibility of life in supreme health imaginable to just a deranged few. So our conditioning (education) for life is backwards -- in preparing for the worst, and not the best -- and so we are conditioned also, to only look for the worst, which is death, disease and destruction, even while the great majority of life, is quite otherwise.

Such is the morbid preoccupation of our media, schools and universities, which heretofore, have been the major conservators and transmitters of information (knowledge). It seems that the even more and greater danger they can discover, the more funding they will receive for their studies, and the more the demagogues of the world, will pay attention to them and evoke their images of doom and gloom.

So the notion that things, societies and lives are actually improving, is not the perception propagated, but discounted and dismissed -- in the easy sources of information, or “news.” That latter, is not information one seeks to make one’s life better, but is information one receives to make one’s life worse. Certainly, bad things happen, but not as frequently as one is preconditioned (educated) to believe they do.

In real life experience, the percentage of bad things happening is rather small -- but in the media version, they are happening all the time, unrelentingly, unremittingly -- which is quite a distortion of reality, and a drain of our energies to that which we can do something about to greatly improve our lives. Reading about doing something healthful is not the same as just doing it -- which could be done in the time it takes just to read about doing it, but instead of doing it, one reads another article against doing it, etc.

What is frequently noted now is that one is better off not knowing about something -- than it is to know about all the things others want us to know about, distracting and even undermining us from the powerful wisdom of personal experience -- which should be everyone’s greatest teacher in life. The mediated sources -- the media, schools, universities -- exist now to convince us that such experiences and knowledge is invalid, and only what they know and discover as "certified" people working in laboratory environments, is the only truth that can be discovered and discussed anymore.

There’s something wrong with that vision of life and society. That is the heart of the problem.