Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Quest for Truth (and Passion)

On my way to a political meeting yesterday, the first person I ran into at the wrong end of the site, was an ostensibly “homeless” person -- going through what seemed to be some kind of Oriental martial arts routine, but he immediately said upon seeing me, “Your name is Michael, isn’t it?”

It turns out he used to view the video Understanding Conditioning while he lived in Seattle in the mid-90s -- as one of the most frequently rebroadcast on public access by popular demand. I didn’t have a television while in Seattle, but I took people’s word that it was broadcast as frequently at times, as every other day from telephone inquiries, and the greetings I got in public from perfect strangers insisting they “knew” me.

But there was at least one person who would go into a rage every time it appeared -- as both a “competitor in the training area as well as video producer.” All the abusive calls I received -- anonymously of course -- were variations of that same person, pretending to be an army of outraged citizens agitated by my revelation of the secrets of exercise that threatened to destroy this whole lucrative field for exploitation. We even had long personal discussions about such matters privately at first -- which was this person’s manner of probing for a persons’ vulnerabilities and susceptibilities. This is a fairly typical profile and modus operandi of a harasser -- usually somebody well-known to the “victim,” often totally unsuspectingly in winning their trust and confidence.

I used to be welcomed initially at many offices of august persons in their field of expertise, who wondered what million dollar apparatus we might market based on my brilliant insights. It was a great disappointment for them to learn that there was no huge fortune to be made exploiting self-evident truth that I felt should be in the public domain as expeditiously as possible.

The struggle has not been in trying to get acceptance of these simple insights that pretty much eliminates the barriers to optimal fitness to anyone -- but the suppression from fellow “authorities” not to eliminate these problems mainly due to ignorance and misinformation -- and not a lack of effort, time and money -- as their profit opportunity. I have nothing against profit but feel it should be made off of right information -- rather than wrong information, to perpetuate the problem and condition.

Even in the best of situations, people will fail to achieve their objectives due to poor execution and perception of what they are doing -- rather than wrong understanding. I think we should all begin with at least the “right understanding.” For many years and still today, it was the “wrong understanding” from which all one’s efforts could not overcome. The Buddhists even had a precept a thousand years ago, that "right understanding led to right effort,” and lacking this “right” understanding, only the “wrong” effort could be expected. In fact, nothing else was possible.

Most people’s frustration with conditioning advice is that much of it doesn’t make sense but is proffered authoritatively and authoritarianly -- as the way they were taught, with an obsession for control and little understanding of true objectives of how they can be obtained through causality (also an early Buddhist insight).

Anyway, this person I met off the beaten path, who one might think might not be, seemed totally at peace in the world -- and robustly healthy, and obviously aware of what was going on.


At February 22, 2007 12:26 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I have a different perception of "homeless" people because I used to spend a lot of time bike-camping, and met many who had a nomadic lifestyle as a mark of distinction and achievement -- for how long they could sustain themselves in that manner.

One also recognized that many of the truer homeless had also seen the benefits of turning their situation into a recreational challenge rather than let it overcome them.

I think what would surpise most people is how little it takes to fulfill one's housing needs. Most don't need a million dollar mansion that even the middle-class have been convinced is their entitlement, if not goal in life.

Obviously the great pioneering tradition of America required that many live in tents and wagons, and form communities of governance and mutual interdependence.

The problem of homelessness is not solved by more single family detached housing for as far as the eye can see, but in many countries already, have evolved to co-housing solutions and community housing by which most people can get by quite well with only a small amount of personal space and few possessions.

Even among the "homeless," the mentally ill are usually those who have an acquisitive and accumulative disorder that requires them to keep everything regardless of true usefulness in their lives.

These days, a person can actually run a business and even an entire industry on a laptop computer and cell phone -- and maybe an address to establish identity and credibility.

Many people undoubtedly have entire furnishings stored in various sized lockers for the day it is appropriate to actually use them in the accustomed way. In Hawaii, those "second houses," have notably disappeared from most people's lanais, which in years past, would contain as much furnishings as were contained in all the space inside.

There is no lack of stuff that even the most discriminating among the "homeless," are careful not to burden themselves with. If one doesn't label oneself as "homeless," it might be impossible to tell in many cases.

Food, clothing and shelter comes in many forms these days -- so to generalize about these things, is not very productive. What is obvious, is that the solutions of the past, are not the solutions of the future.

"More" of the same, is likely to be the problem, rather than the solution. "Better" usually changes everything, especially eliminating the need for "more."

At February 24, 2007 11:03 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I think a lot of people would be surprised that a lot of cutting edge thinking is actually being done by people "living on the edge" -- because their solutions have to work because they matter, as a matter of life and death.

What could be done with the $10B (to run empty trains around Honolulu) could probably build an entire city of the future using innovative thinking and strategies like the governor is proposing.

Because the federal money has been so easy to come by with virtually no accountability, the culture and society of Hawaii has become the world's leading expert and manufacturer of waste and nepotism unparalleled even in the yet to be developed countries.

But is that what we want to be "world-famous" for?

That's why I frequently point out the obviously bloated looks and bodies on our highly visible "leaders." If one eats at the trough, one will have a fairly predictable look -- and outlook.


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