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.


At March 12, 2007 9:38 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Knowledge and information has to evolve beyond something other than just "more" of the same.

Useful information is not just accumulative, but has to integrate and subsume all the others, in a higher understanding.

It's not just the person who knows the most "facts" who is the most intelligent, but the one with the clearest mind to take in the new -- as the new.

Machines and storage devices do a lot better job of remembering and retrieving than the human brain does. But there is some quality for which the human brain can outperform the machine -- and that is what it should do, most productively -- and that is to experience the new, and process it. That is the creative response.

That is still how the human brain outperforms the machine -- which can then be programmed to encounter that same condition again. But in the initial encounter of anything genuinely new and unprecedented, the machine has not been programmed properly for a response.

What has been programmed, is the proper response to the familiar -- which the machine can be programmed to repeat tirelessly and unerringly. That frees the mind to only have to encounter the new -- and rise to that challenge. The repetitive mind merely grows dull and weary over time.

The mind/body that is only dealing with the new, stays fresh and vital, alert because it takes nothing for granted and is not worn out in a groove.

This differentiation is most commonly seen in the difference of those over 50 who remain challenged and fascinated by the new -- as opposed to those who have decided they will not learn anything new anymore, ever again. The latter has sealed their fate. It should almost be a crime to do so; it certainly is a waste of a life now that may extend for another lifetime -- merely in deterioration because there was no prior expectation of many years beyond. So they continue life as if waiting to die.

That is obviously the aging effect we have most known up to this time. What is this life that has never been lived before -- that is more than just more of the same? obviously, it has to be created by those who can rise to this challenge -- changing society in the process of changing themselves.

At March 13, 2007 12:42 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

What a lot of people whose only shortcoming is being out of shape or obese probably don't realize, is that if that is their ONLY problem, they have a tremendous advantage over those who have serious conditions to overcome -- like a heart condition, back pain, arthritis, deformities -- that many people have overcome as a focus of their lives.

Successful athletic stories are rife with tales of those overcoming life and health threatening conditions as their initial objective before realizing they might be the best in the world at what they were doing.

So if a person has no other problem except that they are overweight and out of condition, THAT is the most treatable condition to alter favorably.

That is the major problem in this country -- that people with no reason for being impaired, are functioning at a voluntarily and self-imposed low level -- and they know it and readily admit to it!

So what kind of conditioning (experiences) have they received in life that makes them that way? Obviously, it's not a good one, and that is the failing of our education system -- way beyond the test scores.

At March 15, 2007 12:57 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The most destructive thing in the world, is the thinking that the ONLY thing one can do, is to change someone else. But that has become the conventional norm in social thinking -- that one's value and purpose in life, is how much one can change (influence) other people, rather than in the power to change oneself -- which is the healthful way to be.

When a person has changed themselves, they've changed the world -- directly, powerfully, meaningfully. Attempts to change others, is the conflict in the world -- the contradiction between who one is, and who one would like to be -- and all the wishful thinking, and schemes for the betterment of mankind, will not change that.

So in looking around the world and in society, one distinguishes healthy individuals and healthy culture to that extent. The most unhealthful, are the manipulations of the other as its sole preoccupation -- which means not changing reality but changing, coercing, deceiving, manipulating the other into thinking what is not true.

Truth has always been fairly rare -- the exception rather than the commonplace. That is the reality of the matter. But along came mass media and wanted to convince everyone that everything they said was true -- and not as it has been observed throughout human experience and history, as that rare and treasured moment of insight that often comes when one least expects it. That, too, is the reality of life.

So modern, contemporary, mass media culture is the culture of distortion -- to deliberately and systematically deceive one that the false is the true, and the true is the false -- as kind of the mark of cleverness, but never of intelligence, which the schools reward and reinforce.

Then when people leave school and the instruction of such "teachers," they are totally lost on their own, and the world of their experience is not the world they were educated to fit into. Many become shattered and embittered by the realization of these deceptions -- as the rite of passage in becoming an adult. The others welcome them into the world of "reality" with their knowing cynicism -- and then the reason for the sneers on their faces become evident.

A few manage to transcend the fate of despair and futility, and become their own persons -- which is not considered a societal value but an individual one. In fact, the group will insist that only oblivion awaits those who do not conform to the groupthink they have convinced is absolutely necessary to survive. Stories of those who have survived in this other way, are suppressed.

Many are convinced that their health care plan is their primary care giver -- and not themselves! And so they start on the long road to losing more control over their lives each day -- while thinking if they have enough money, others will be merciful to them.

At March 22, 2007 12:15 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The “problem” is not that anyone can write a blog -- the “solution” is that anyone can write a blog.

In the larger scheme of things, every traditional publication becomes a blog -- as THEIR perception and record of what is going on and is important to concern oneself with. It no longer means, as the old newspapers would like to convince us of, that it is everything that can be known, “objective,” or “all the news fit to print.”

In this new world, what differentiates is the superiority of the insight -- and not merely saying the same things over and over again -- which is the mass media tactic for manufacturing “reality,” “consent,” “conformity,” “political correctness” -- of which they used to have virtually exclusive control.

So I’m not surprised the “newspapers” won’t publish any writing by the great, innovative minds of these times -- because they make everybody else look bad. Like bad salesmen and enterprises on their way out, they insist on selling us what they have -- rather than what we want.


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