Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Understanding Conditioning Revisited

Yesterday, I looked at the the video I used to promote as my introduction and summation of the state-of-the-art in the observation of exercise activities over a lifetime of over fifty years -- beginning with watching my father instruct others in Tai Chi, before I knew what I was “studying.” Early on, I inquired into the instruction myself and became fairly proficient at that “practice,” but was also distracted and intrigued onto other play, and so fell away from that discipline because they required hours of practice to maintain.

If one skipped a day or a week, it was difficult to recall the sequence of movements -- because they required memory to retain, rather than simply insight into the simple and most basic discoveries of childhood exploration. A lot of “traditional” education was of this sort of rote memorization -- that one simply repeated, perfected, and transmitted to the next generation. In this way, it is quite easy to merely repeat everything as taught, as the way it is -- and has to be forevermore.

Other disciplines may be less rigorous, but run along the same methods of instruction and unquestioning obedience. Occasionally, one comes along who questions everything that is taught as the unchallenged truth -- but are usually quickly suppressed, repressed, discouraged from inquiring further. They may even be ostracized and banished. A rare few may then meditate deeply on these matters and come up with rare insight that while encompassing everything previously known about the subject, enlarges the perspective considerably to great universal principles and truths.

That’s what Understanding Conditioning does in its unpretentious way -- of noting that the essential movements, must take place at the extremities of the body, rather than be focused at the core of heart and lung function -- which are autonomic (automatic) functions, which became very fashionable in the latter half of the 20th century, in the struggle for primacy and dominance for jurisdiction of this emerging lucrative field. The medical professionals were very intimidating to the physical education instructors who previously ruled the roost with an unquestioned iron hand.

However, the secret they don’t teach in medical schools is exercise, because it is about health and not sickness, which is the specialization of medicine -- which some would like extended to all facets of human behavior. It’s always nice to be king, or at least regarded as the smartest person in the world, about everything. Very few can resist the temptation to pontificate lengthily about every great concern to humanity -- and have their authority assured. That is every bureaucrat’s (authoritarian’s) Wet Dream -- to be this powerful, all-knowing being who can tell everybody what to do and think, and not be subject to any criticism like other mere mortals.

And so that particular time in history, was also the rise of such technocrats (experts), whose claim to authority were frequently certifications from institutes they were also the inventors (directors) of -- conveniently enough. These august institutions verified that the so named in the document, had certifiably impeccable credentials, by an impressive sounding accrediting agency.

They exploited the reporting media’s total preoccupation and self-absorption with their own self-aggrandizement, and so could not suspect that anything was wrong -- because they were operating in the same manner of manipulation, deception and distortion -- and so could not tell that something was amiss but rather promoted the liturgy themselves, that one should not discriminate the credible from the incredulous anymore.

Naked and ruthless ambition, justified and was proof enough, in that order of things.


At December 27, 2006 12:08 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The emphasis on the heart and lung function in exercise is misplaced because those are the two functions that work perfectly already -- and is not the weakness of most bodies.

The weakness are in areas of voluntary control -- which has to be learned almost entirely -- BECAUSE it is not autonomic or automatic.

A runner (or any other athlete) is not thinking that he has to get his heart rate up to 200, to assure his objective (victory), but is focused properly, on his primary objective -- confident that the autonomic support functions will continue to operate with reliability and predictability.

But because there was one set of con-artists talking to another, nobody could tell the bullshit -- that became the heart of most discussions of exercise in this manner, that really set back this movement of general health for several decades in which it prevailed over all others -- especially in the popular press.

But it became increasingly obvious, that despite the so-called expertise in this area, people were more out of shape than ever before -- when really, it should have been easier than ever before, to be healthy and in good shape.

Instead, the popular press had to preach the mantra, that one shouldn't discriminate and be discriminating about anything anymore.

At December 27, 2006 12:17 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Rather than taking a lot of time, energy and effort, the truth of the matter is that one has to be "conditioned" to be out of shape and in poor health -- because the autonomic imperative of the human body, is to be healthy.

One has to be conditioned (educated) not to desire to be so, or that it doesn't matter.

At December 27, 2006 12:31 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

In an highly ambitious and competitive social environment, the last thing anyone is likely to do, is share valuable information with another. What they will do, is provide information that maintains their own competitive superiority.

Among athletes, or anybody else, the last thing they are likely to do is divulge all their secrets by which their opponents can use to advantage over them.

Part of the game will be to provide misleading information -- to obtain or maintain a competitive advantage. Thus lying, cheating and stealing becomes the expected, if not admirable qualities -- above truthfulness and helpfulness.

So those survival qualities become even more the critical difference in every experience of life. While popular culture is promoting that one should follow what "others" tell them to (as the consensus and political correctness), leaders and other successful people, are learning to determine truthfulness for themselves, and becoming increasingly critical thinkers.

Being able to tell one from the other, is the highest skill of today's contemporary life.

At December 27, 2006 12:35 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

One doesn't have to convince everyone of this way of being; the value is in distinguishing those who can make this distinction, and those who cannot.


Post a Comment

<< Home