Wednesday, March 28, 2007

It’s Never Been About Effort

Conditioning for the 20th century, was conditioning for the assembly-line world of work and life of the pre-personal computer age. Before there was the personal computer, there were large scale computer or data processing systems -- probably best represented by the key punch cards that the most recent generations can’t even envision as having anything to do with daily life. Work was often tedious -- and so the conditioning machine of the treadmill was an appropriate metaphor. One simply conditioned themselves mindlessly to go through the motions, compartmentalizing that activity while one’s mind and interests drifted elsewhere.

With the increasing popularity of the personal computers, the processing capabilities could be individually programmed anyway one wanted to use them -- and so the critical process was the learning experience of doing something for the first time -- and then setting one’s preferences to do that same routine over again each time, without further extraordinary effort.

However, the conditioning (education) of the past, especially in the hands of unthinking instructors, was to confuse the effort, as the value in itself -- so that the more one struggled, the more pain one endured, the more one was miserable -- was the good in itself. We realize now, that was a misunderstanding of the real value; it was not because we were miserable that we become better people, but because of simply adopting better behaviors directly -- rather than the need to overcome bad ones -- and in this confusion, creating problems for ourselves to overcome.

The conditioning as well as the personalities of that emerging consciousness, could not shake off the conditioning of centuries in response to the challenge of real problems -- and so its initial reaction, when it was physically freed from those problems, was to create and maintain them in the heads, for the lack of a new way of regarding life -- that is the great challenge and task of this century to re-create.

In a society of affluence and leisure, what does one do because they want to do -- and not because they have to do it. This is so revolutionary a notion that most people’s immediate response is to insist on recounting all the things they feel they have to do -- and so have no time to consider what it is they truly want to do, or would do if they were actually free. People living in dire circumstances hundreds of years ago, already had a notion that they were/could be free, and here we are living in times of virtually unlimited choices -- regarding that we have no freedom.

So the perception needs to be brought in line with the actuality of contemporary life -- rather than in convincing ourselves that no matter how much we have, we still need more to be happy, rich and free. The tactic usually used in conditioning programs is to convince one of their deficiencies -- to motivate them to become other than the person they are -- without first discovering the person they are, who may actually be far more talented than the assessor ever imagined a person could be -- because he can only assess talent less than themselves.

Immense talent, will always exceed anyone else’s ability to recognize or judge those abilities -- because they’ve never encountered them before and couldn't imagine anybody else having them. They have been conditioned to think that what they know, is all that can be known.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Reading Between the Lines

Because of the amount of deception and manipulation one can now be exposed to, the need for becoming better skilled at detecting it, has caused the evolution of more highly developed skills to accelerate-- often beyond what is being taught, because the creativity of doing so, can only be matched by those who are creating the skills to detect them -- that haven’t existed before. But rather than this mischief being done at the marginal edges of opportunism, they are more likely to be practiced by those in the positions of highest trust, often as the sanctioned "lawmakers," to spin things beyond any semblance to reality.

Astute observers often note that the event they attended and the one reported, seems to have very little resemblance of one another -- even as though they were in parallel universes, while ostensibly occupying the same time and place. What seems to matter, is what the reporter wants people to think happened -- rather than what actually happened, and many do not seem capable of distinguishing the difference. It is just that they want you to believe whatever they want you to believe -- and whether that is true or false, is not a major consideration at all. It may even be called “irrelevant,” “immaterial,” and “inconvenient.”

It may even be now, that the deception is the objective -- and not the determining of the truth of any matter. That is considered “old-fashioned and boring; it is the ”hype” that fascinates and entertains. The more of it, the better. That some can manage not to touch base with reality for even one moment, is regarded as standard operating procedure in many business and social arenas. And that is particularly true in the fields of politics and the media, as well as health and fitness -- which a few may recall that initially, was the whole justification for their being.

There is also a certain thrill in not getting caught at these deceptions that convinces one of the superiority of their intellect and worth. However, deep down, there is also the desire to be found out -- to be known truly as who they are. Not to be known in this way, is the worst of all fates -- even to be being discovered as a phony. That is what a few can understand -- that the need to be known authentically, even if it is not the person one wishes they were, is the categorical imperative of any life. That is finally, knowing oneself -- even as who one is.

That truth sets one free -- in a way that continuing to live a lifetime of lies undetected, can never do. That is to be stripped of all ones delusions and self-deceptions -- which is actually the unanticipated success of any life. It doesn’t matter how one gets there -- as it matters that one does get there.

It is not the effort in getting there that is transformative; it is simply “being there,” no matter how one got there. The wrong education, is the teaching that it is the “effort” that makes it worthwhile and ennobling. As long as there is effort to become something other than one is, there can never be the realization and actualization of who one already is -- and therefore, no fulfillment, no matter how much one has achieved. That is the silence -- between the words. That is the state of the art in reading and writing -- between the lines.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Changing Society (and the Individual)

Most people think that in order to change society, one has to change everybody else -- rather than just themselves, because in that powerful action, societies are transformed -- and not when everybody seeks to change everyone else but themselves. The surest way to ensure that there is no change, is to consume all one’s energies in changing everyone else. The most powerful action of any time and place, has always been the direct action on oneself -- in the inward and individual transformation.

That is really the great lesson throughout the ages -- that we have been conditioned to ignore and deny -- in the disempowerment of thinking otherwise. That is what mass media and the institutions strive mightily to convince us of -- that our own truth is not real, but theirs is, all the time, in every case. One is “taught” in this manner that what is false, is true, and that what is true, is false -- in the overriding of one’s senses and judgment in deference to a hierarchy that determines these matters for everyone else.

When they were given that right and power, nobody can recall -- just that they’ve always acted that way, and have become very outraged and indignant, when challenged of those exclusive rights to be in authority of everyone else.

The schools train us well to accept such authority -- if for no other reason that initially, they are much bigger than us. We quickly learn not to challenge everyone bigger than ourselves -- or those who just “act” bigger than the rest of us. Soon, such people demand absolute control over all our lives, thoughts and activities -- as though they somehow had the right, which their “professional” training taught them the proper protocols so as to brook no doubt.

Frequently in these old hierarchies, depending on the classification one was placed in, it was possible to have nearly their whole lives dictated henceforth by these “professionals” as in the case of cardiologists and other chronic inescapable conditions. That was one’s fate -- and the need may have seemed plausible until one was further convinced that others should do all their talking and thinking for them, in a “collective bargain.” Then these individuals wondered why they had no power anymore -- to speak for themselves, forgetting that they had agreed to such arrangements in the small print that they were convinced was not necessary to think on very long -- and in fact, their consent, was all that was required not to ever have to think and speak about anything for themselves.

Others would do all the thinking and talking from here on out. One simply had to follow the instructions of what one was told. “Personal trainers” would enforce and reinforce those behaviors. One no longer need ask, “Why?” All one needed to see was the certification that it was so -- to make it so.

That was the beginning of the end -- for a new way of being, which is really what changed while people were infatuated by the gadgetry. People regained dominion and sovereignty over their own lives again. Of course the status quo was not happy with that -- and did everything they could to deny and defeat it, before realizing, it was already history.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pulling Your Own Strings

A large part of the “conditioning problem” is this notion that one has to be impelled to do it by someone else, or some other external consideration -- apart from their own drive for self-improvement, that many people are convinced, is vain and self-indulgent -- to be concerned about/ for themselves. They have instead been brainwashed into believing their lives exist for the sacrifice to and for others -- which though seeming at first selfless, is actually the most self-centered/indulgent way of being -- to regard that everything one does, is “for the benefit of others,” even while it is shamelessly only for their own gain and benefit.

Closely related, are such rationalizations that the reason to be fit and in good shape, is for one’s heart -- rather than that it doesn’t make sense to be in any other condition, all one’s life, for all one’s purposes and activities. And by being in this best of conditions, one is capable of serving humanity and society because one has this excess capacity to do so -- rather than being one of the innumerable pathetic beings begging for others to help and support them all the time -- with no reciprocity.

This is not to say that one shouldn’t be in the condition to help others -- but that one has to begin with the realization that the first step in helping others, is not to be one of those needing help themselves. First, one has to not be the problem, in order to be the solution. The key is not KNOWING what the solution is, but BEING the solution -- always. KNOWING without BEING -- is always the problem. Obviously too, those who KNOW without BEING, don’t know -- which is the well-known hypocrisy of "enlightened," liberal people running around telling everybody else what they ought to be doing.

That would be “environmentalists” driving around in their Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), to deliver their pious messages that we all need to be earth- and environment conscious. When brought to their attention -- they readily excuse themselves with having an unquestionable higher purpose -- in expediting the distribution of their flyers, often littering the campus after their visit. Thus satisfied, they spend the rest of the evening celebrating the great causes for which they alone, have sacrificed themselves to mankind for.

The greatest service to humanity is to be a living example of the best each individual can be -- rather than this mentality of any sacrificing for any other. That’ makes everybody totally accountable to themselves -- which is the only manner that can assure each individual optimizes their own health -- not for the sake of their doctor, or their employer, or even their family -- but because in optimizing their own well-being, they create that reserve of capacity for themselves, and any other that requires it -- and not only being a perpetually “needy” person always needing this attention from someone else.

The world and society doesn’t work very well that way -- when each has to take care of every other but themselves. The most effective and efficient system, is for each to take care of themselves so that they have the capacity to take care of themselves -- and then others. Those who do not have that minimal of capabilities, are fooling themselves they have any.