Friday, July 27, 2007

Being Who One Is

The trick then after everyone is fed, clothed and sheltered, is to find those things and activities that fulfill one’s life -- in a way unique to every individual. Finally, one gets to differentiate from the crowd, rather than do one’s best to blend in with it, and conform to it. At that stage, one is ready to become a “leader” -- not necessarily of the pack, but beyond that, oblivious to it. That is freedom from conformity and the need to seek one’s approbation and validation from others.

An unfortunate number of people never make that leap -- that separates one from the pack, and so always and eternally, life is for them jostling in the pack, hoping not to get crushed, while fearing to stand out. They find their safety and security in the mass and anonymity -- wondering and wishing how it is that there seems to be a few, who are not so compelled -- dwelling tranquilly and equanimously on the fringes of that terrifying herd they feel bound to.

That is the fantasy many have in “retirement,” when they dream they will no longer have to do everything everybody else tells and demands that they do -- and for the first time in their lives, do what it is they really want to do, and be who they really are -- only to find out at that moment, that they have no idea who that person is -- or thought existed, for their whole lives up to that moment.

Then one can understand why it is that some (many) feel that everything they received approval for doing -- would not have been what they would have chosen, if allowed to make those choices without those terrible compulsions and pressures -- of living up to to the expectations and demands of everybody else -- and never having thought for a moment, what they themselves would have wanted their lives to be -- if they could have wished for their lives to have been any other than it had been. By then, many regard themselves in the mirror and see twisted , disfigured, distorted shapes of a person who could have been if allowed to shape themselves in the best they could have imagined.

That is the reason people take on the unpleasant and often hideous shapes they become. It is never too late to mold oneself back into the shape one desires to be (in). One first needs to will oneself into the realization that that ideal can also be their reality -- and that nothing more than integrating that understanding and appreciation, is more more meaningful for them to do -- once they are well enough to do anything.

Many convince themselves they will never be in that state of readiness (wellness) to attempt their best -- so for many, athletics is a good fundamental training in those possibilities, but unfortunately, most lose that conditioning and mindfulness in contending with other arenas of activities and concerns that fragment and disintegrate their experience of the totality of existence.

That is how reality and actualization come together in an integrated, comprehensible, meaningful and satisfying existence. Otherwise, life is that hodge-podge of random activity, signifying nothing particularly noteworthy -- becoming everything one hoped never to be, and not understanding those contradictions.

5 Comments:

At July 28, 2007 11:40 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Just around the age of fifty, today's current population is diverging greatly, apparently and obviously into those who have adapted well to life in their times -- and those who have been battered, abused and negligent throughout their lives.

The most obvious is the shape and appearance of people -- and beyond that, to all their other expressions and attitudes -- which in these times, many have become much more masterful at reading and detecting than ever possible before.

A large part of this is because never before has it been possible to be "known," even if one tries to remain "anonymous," because the astute have learned to look beyond the "names," labels, generalizations and words to the deeper meanings and purpose of each thought and action, and because of the storage capabilities and access to these archives, patterns of behaviors can be recognized by those who really want to be aware of these things.

Many, if not most, still do not, preferring not to be burdened by other people's behaviors until they fully understand their own. But it is not possible to understand individuals except in their interactions with others. So understanding oneself and others, is really the same thing -- or one simply can project oneself onto everybody else, or have somebody else try to impose their hangups on everybody else.

In either case, in the old way of human interaction, one vanquishes and superimposes on the other, instead of finding out who both really are (and not just who they want others to think they are), and finding the greater synergy of both.

The future of humankind is more likely to be this exploration and development of individual possibilities into these realms of true diversity than measuring everybody on the traditional scales of how much money they make and spend as a valid indication of their "quality" of life. That begins to happen when basic human needs are fulfilled -- and simply more of the same, doesn't make life any better, but may actually begin to decrease its quality.

The most obvious is overconsumption of food, and then "luxuries" beyond the necessities. People who define their well-being as the freedom from physical toil and activity, don't consider that there is a huge downside to "letting it all hang out," and not caring how one looks or functions, usually as a childish rebellion against overbearing authoritarians in their lives who dictate what is good for them -- because they supposedly "know better."

Even though these people may know nothing at all or nothing worth knowing, they learned this authoritarian manner as what they thought adults grew up to be -- and predictably sought to impose it on everybody else more susceptible to such dominance. That is particularly true of people growing up in the lower echelons of societies in which those struggles are much more pronounced, vicious and ruthless -- and so they are scarred forevermore in this struggle against everybody and everything else in life, which of course, ensures them of a hard life.

So by age fifty, those battles and effects are obvious.

The new paradigm and possibility of life for virtually all who will choose it (rather than sabotage it), is lifelong improvement. The older generation will think that is the most vain thing to do because they regard the purpose of adults to be to sacrifice for the children -- even when it is not necessary, and even counterproductive to do so.

In individual lives, that may take the form of the mentality that the present must be sacrificed for the future, and by that justification, things that don't make sense in the present, can seem to be prudent. Generally, what works in the present, will lead to the next innovation in the future -- and not that today's folly will be redeemed sometime in a vague future, if we simply wish it to be so hard enough.

 
At July 30, 2007 3:41 AM, Blogger Ali la Loca said...

Amen! What an inspirational post. I'll have to come back and re-read when I have down days, doubting this crazy path I am on.

Although the momentary doubts are not nearly as frightening as the prospect of joining the herd. :)

 
At July 30, 2007 10:11 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Mainstream media’s “news” is not objective — but a dysfunctional perspective of life, which attracts dysfunctional personalities to the profession — that increases that mob-think. Different professions, like every subculture, attracts a certain profile of personality as their ideal — which of course eliminates the kind of real diversity which would provide them perspective and insight. Instead, they are a narrow group of narrow minded people who get more inbred every year until they cannot understand why the rest of the world has passed them by, while they insist they are leading the parade, or at least the thinking in this country — when in fact, they have self-selected so nobody can think, so as not to threaten the editors and the rigid pecking order that drives out the talent.

When the talent is locked on the outside and regarded as the “enemy,” those subcultures, even if at one time predominant, have doomed themselves to sterility and extinction. And that is the present state the mainstream media (journalism) finds itself in. Yes, they have been successful at ensuring that nobody with talent can ever bypass all the drones who think the way to get to the top is just to outlive everybody else and harass the up and coming talent, into leaving, after exploiting them as much as possible during their internship, thinking they’ll always be an unlimited supply of ambitious fools willing to prostitute themselves and demonstrate their dedication to do “anything” to get to the top.

That’s why when one sees these “writers” on television or even pictures in their byline, one then understands why such hideous people could produce such a twisted and distorted view of the world — and think that’s what the rest of society should think to be accepted as “normal” in their opinion — as though that opinion should matter.

Journalists are very prone to envy and resentment because they often interview these “famous” people, many who have no talent and ability either, and wonder why that can’t be them — because they have no insight in what is going on, and think that they are entitled to be just as famous — but for what, they don’t think is necessary to master.

So basically that’s all we see these days in the mainstream media as the “news” — everything that is not important to know, while useful information is denied, suppressed or ignored. Meanwhile, they all think they deserve to be the next media icon. So what if they are coarse, stupid, ugly people: “look at Helen Thomas” and virtually everybody else featured in the newspapers. Why these people should have any presence in the American consciousness is beyond me.

 
At July 30, 2007 10:17 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

“The only news is bad news.”

Otherwise, it would be “good” news, or useful information. What one has to understand about the “news” business is that it is to sell you useless information for “free,” so that you need ever-increasing more information, until you are so overburdened and overwhelmed with raw data, you can’t see the truth of anything.

All prices are “impermanent,” and so rises and declines are not “temporary,” but the truth of the matter for the present. Economies change and grow, and so what is needed and profitable to do changes and evolves. That is reflected in stock market prices as an indicator of what is profitable to invest in at the time.

Right now, money is shifting out of the tangible assets like real estate and commodities and moving back into other innovations for adapting to the world. In many places, real estate has risen so fast and so high that nobody can afford to buy it anymore — and so it is unlikely to continue higher.

The better deal is to move to places of opportunity — like Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, New Orleans, etc., and avoid the high priced communities in which one’s entire salary goes towards the rent. Meanwhile, there are always places where the living is “free” — by comparison. But those places eventually get discovered and fully valued and creates the next sector “rotation.”

The strength of the economy is this diversity — to shift resources from and to productively with some dislocation and trauma until people figure out what the “market” is trying to tell us. Foremost, the market (prices) is information of what is economic to do — rewarding those who move in the direction of greatest opportunity and no longer rewarding those still trying to make a buck essentially perpetuating the problems of society.

These shifts are fundamentally healthy, causing and enabling the development of resourceful people who get better at processing information — so much so, that it is obvious that the old sources of information (mainstream media) now seem vapid and irrelevant but are still used by the demagogues of the world thinking to exploit it one more time before it disappears entirely.

That’s one of the big themes the old media is not going to report on because it is the news of their demise and passing.

“The king is dead; long live the king.”

Or as we're fond of saying in Hawaii, "Da kine is dead, long live da kine."

 
At July 30, 2007 10:32 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

No, there's something wrong about people whose faces are fixed in rage and perpetual anger -- whose bodies looked like they've exploded within their clothes, and for that matter, within their skins -- and all they do in life is for arguments they can get into and people they can blame and put down, thinking that makes them better than everybody else.

It's a mental illness -- that got enshrined in a lot of our institutions, so naturally there is a great revulsion and emergence of "new media," which is something entirely different, and not just the old media done as well or worse by wannabes.

That whole world of wannabeism, also dies in the new world of being as one actually is. So if you spend all your time trying to decieve, manipulate, humiliate and harass others, it is who you are and what you do -- no matter what noble and fine-sounding names you want to call yourself.

The era of demagogues and authoritarians that populate the media and try to monopolize it and demand that everyone can only say what they want everybody else to, is over.

Real freedom of information solves a lot of things -- unlike suppressing, oppressing and denying most of it, and claiming the First Amendment as an exclusive right of the press -- and only their press.

The unfortunate consequence for themselves, is that they start believing their own propaganda and following their own advice -- with apparent, obvious disastrous consequences. that's the way the world really works -- and not just, we can say anything we want because we own the press.

It's quite a different world when nobody "owns" the press exclusively -- but that doesn't stop the mindfuckers of the world from trying -- as the only thing they know how to do.

 

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