Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Direction Of Change

The observant and perceptive have always noted that life is change -- so that is a constant, and not whether there is change or no change; there will be change. The relevant and significant question therefore, is what is the direction of that change -- because that direction is what is relevant, and not just the level, or magnitude at the moment. When there is change in one direction quite obviously and acceleratingly, we call that momentum (movement) in that direction. If one movement cancels out the next, then there is no momentum but stagnation, and no apparent change of direction, although there is much stress and effort to move somewhere, get somewhere -- but everything one does, nullifies every other.

That is the unfortunate manner in which most people think and pursue their conditioning strategies -- to get nowhere, with as much stress and effort as possible -- as though those factors alone was what produced great results, rather than merely spinning their wheels with as much noise, waste and irritation to others as possible. The results are readily apparent to the trained eye, as excessive wear and tear on a body, rather than a finely-honed machine ready for anything.

That appearance and impression is rather rare and therefore striking -- for those aware enough to notice the difference. Most do not -- mainly because they’ve never been trained to notice such differences. Those who do and can notice, have traditionally been those with a high native body intelligence -- also known and recognized as gifted athletes, or other performers. That is their job, or the way they constitutionally are -- and why there is generally recognition of those abilities without the best having to demonstrate and “prove” it.

That is quite a different sensation and experience from those who think they always have to prove themselves -- or that their competency (adequacy) will always be questioned -- as is common of those with mediocre or questionable abilities. That manner of confidence, is chiefly what the best communicates to all the others -- not in a competitive way, but in a way that is not an issue but a fact. So that is what everybody aligns their perceptions of reality around -- that indisputable and unshakable fact.

Many people taking up exercise or thinking about exercise, are easily deterred and discouraged by the enormity of their task -- in the terms that have been laid down to them as the way it has to be -- even if it is unproductive and discouraging to most. They’re simply admonished to get with the program and try harder -- rather than the inventors of such prescriptions pondering if there can be a better way, that works without fail, with a minimum of conscious effort and struggle. On hearing that, one is conditioned to dismiss it immediately as nonsense -- rather than the obvious insight and simplicity it is.

But that would be most people’s initial reaction a hundred yeas ago in being told that the fastest way to get anywhere, was to fly there. That was simply nonsense and could never be -- rather than the only thing that made sense. It’s not the effort, unpleasantness, cost or anything else associated with that tradition of thinking about transportation that is the greatest significance, but a better understanding of what one is doing, and trying to achieve.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

“I am working out,”

I just make it look easy. But I don’t just make it “look” easy, I make it easy -- and therefore, anybody can do it, and get instant, verifiable, self-evident results.

That’s getting to be true with many things one does now -- achieve instant gratification (verification) of the wisdom of what one is doing -- rather than having to wait a long time for any payback -- including even having to wait until the afterlife until one is rewarded. But by then, anything is possible -- and of course, all bets are off.

So to see instant cause and effect -- rather than just slaving away believing -- until after one dies and then is rewarded, is still a hard-held notion to many. It should not be so in the world of conditioning for athletics -- or any other purpose anymore.

Fifty years ago, prior to the time exercise made a claim to being “scientific,” it was well known for many kooky ideas and beliefs. The best of the bunch, were those whose sole objective was to produce “instant results” and transformations, which were those who targeted specifically, how one should hold one’s posture, walk, sit, "behave," and otherwise give an impression of being a confident and competent person.

That’s still true today -- as body language and the expressions of movement. The lone exception has been this notion of exercising just for fitness’ sake -- without any mastery in movement. In fact, the ideal is to create as much work as possible, sweat as profusely a possible, experience as much pain, discomfort and difficulty as possible -- for its own sake, because none of those skills could ever be useful directly in any normal, useful human activity.

Much of what we learned to do in the 20th century, followed that familiar pattern of creating work (struggle) for its own sake -- because of the unprecedented challenge in creating meaningful leisure time and activities -- to replace the purposeful and absolutely necessary work that was now beginning to become obsolete because of modern knowledge and technology .

It still is the great challenge of modern life -- creating meaning and purpose -- especially for the increasingly and accelerating many who will find themselves freed from the prescribed tasks that kept them obsesively-compulsively “busy,” before their “retirement.”

Many fail that challenge at that point in their lives -- because they’ve never known anything else but the drudgery of a treadmill existence -- doing whatever their “supervisors” told them they had better do. So to be thrust into freedom at that point in their lives with no instruction in how to direct and shape one’s own life, causes many to flounder and disintegrate in that freedom and demand enslavement once again -- as the familiar confines and justifications for their existence.

Because this extended life was seldom possible before for so many, there hasn’t been an overwhelming good example of what it can be -- without the deterioration we’ve called the normal “aging” process. By that we usually mean, that everything bad that can happen, happens, and there’s nothing one can do about it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The State of the Art (Virtual Reality)

If one reads only the popular journals, one is likely to think that the state of human ability (fitness) is on the verge of crisis and collapse, rather than that people are now being prosecuted and persecuted for being “too good to be true.”

It would seem that what is allowed to be true, is predetermined by our expectations of what it must be, rather what it can be -- which I think is the whole point of all human activities -- in discovering what those ultimate limits are. But for the past several decades, there have been presumptions of what is the ultimate fitness expression for everyone -- rather than in preceding to find out, without these preconceived conclusions -- supposedly by experts who know everything.

But that’s never been true of “experts” in any time, on anything -- but has simply been the arrogance of people who know a little bit, and think that is all that can be known. That manner of thinking, is responsible for all the misery, suffering and destruction of the world -- perpetrated by those who invariably claimed to know everything -- whose mistakes, were worth everybody else’s sacrifices.

The cutting edge of discovery is not a government program (although a lucrative source of funding for those who play that game), as much as it is people making discoveries in their own lives -- when their minds are quiet and they are not seeking a specific (predetermined) result. At such moments, the mind is simply free to see what is -- without their prior conditioning of what it is. There is a difference between the actuality -- and the idea -- that should not be confused as being the same thing. Quite often, conjectures are repeated so often that everybody thinks it is an inviolable and unquestionable truth -- which of course, means that nobody ever bothers to question or find out That is the most fertile field for investigations -- for most people in their lives, and not despairing in the futility of making a great discovery no person has ever considered before.

Most of what is “known,” is imperfect information, waiting for the proper moment and motivation to discover the ultimate truth of the matter -- as one needs to. Unless there is this great urgency, it is possible to learn many things (and forget them as quickly). Only when a person is really in need of that answer however, does everything come together in a more effective clarity.

The state of the art is not a remembered truth -- but is the act of discovery in every moment, in doing anything. It is a mind recreating itself in a new reality that changes everything in that new way of seeing things. This new (virtual) reality is very problematical for old minds (conditioning) to deal with, much less embrace -- because it is only trained to compare the new with the old -- and discard the new, if it is not the old. In that way, such minds can not learn anything new -- but are trapped forevermore, in a history that can only repeat itself.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What It Means To Be In Shape

People who are obsessed and preoccupied with the condition they are in, are obviously not experiencing good health and well-being but are actually indicating their lack, or wishful-thinking for an ideal they feel they have to measure up to, and so are constantly obsessed with that striving. People who ARE in good condition, without problems, obviously do not exhibit such behaviors as their “limitation,” and preoccupation. They can take it for granted -- and move on to whatever requires their full attention at the moment, which implies the capacity make an effective response in achieving that task.

They will not have to say, “As soon as I get into shape, I will do everything that needs to be done and is required of me -- but until then, it’s obvious that I have a good excuse (reason) for not doing anything. So don’t blame me; I’m doing everything I can.” It’s always one excuse after another -- for not delivering everything, or anything promised.

At the very minimum, one should at least stop promising what one has no intention of delivering -- rather than merely increasing the promises and expectations with each failure, as though the promises are all that one thinks is necessary to deliver. And thus, the chasm between the expectations and the realities grow to which there is no connection with one another, and then one can say whatever one wants -- because there is no expectation that it must have any connection with any reality.

And so the people who talk the most about “diet and exercise,” are simply those who talk about diet and exercise the most -- not that they ever do anything about it. That is their exercise, and for that, they are the world’s foremost experts -- on talking about it. The actualities of their behaviors otherwise, show no indication that they know what they are talking about. Physical educators are not the only bad examples of this disconnect between the teachers and those who really know what they are talking about -- instead of just going to school to learn to pretend to know, which is what most “teachers” learn as the curriculum of education.

Those who really know, or are discovering to find out, realize that learning oneself, is the key to having anything of value to teach, rather than being so full and blinded by their own knowledge, they can see nothing else -- and believe there is nothing else, when in truth, they have not even begun to look around and ask the right questions. Their teachers may in fact, have instructed them that there is nothing else but what they know -- even when what they know, doesn’t work and makes no difference.

Many people’s knowledge is of that kind; it doesn’t make a difference, and can neither be measured or disproved. The only thing that matters, is how strongly one believes in that truth, and are quite proud to say, that every fact is only an opinion or belief. While that is true, some opinions and beliefs make a positive difference -- and not that it is smart to believe and do just anything, the same as any other thing -- and think there will be the same great results!

Friday, November 02, 2007

What Are We Doing?

As more and more baby boomers advance into retirement, they will become increasingly aware of the need to reverse the deterioration process they have come to accept as the natural aging process -- of which some parts are undeniably immutable. Hair and hair color does change -- and one has to decide how much one wishes to counter that process. For a few, that is the focal point of their efforts -- and seems to affect their whole appearance and perspective most dramatically -- but simply remaining “young,” may not be the optimal fulfillment of the possibilities of human potential.

Optimizing maturity, may not be the same, as simply remaining young -- but there may be a possibility yet undiscovered, of optimizing maturity. This is the real frontier, than simply remaining young, immature, and juvenile over the entirety of one’s existence -- as the best testament of one’s ultimate fitness (fulfillment). That model is not even seen in populations of wild animals -- where among the gorillas, the silverback male, will dominate that social group and organization -- that is never allowed simply to the most youthful, boastful and reckless.

Such dominant individuals, are actually engaged much less than the average in proving their fitness than the average -- and those picked on most constantly at the bottom of the pecking order. In every species, fights and displays occur most often at the bottom, which is what makes life so tenuous and insecure for such individuals. The most secure, are the most relaxed, and so their resources allow them to build up the reserves for the timely battles of greatest consequence.

Thus life and perspective, is very different at the bottom than at the top -- in this inverse manner. Anyone who has spent any time around strong and competent individuals note that such persons are rarely given to boastful displays -- because the manner of their confidence goes beyond that need, especially among peers with similarly high capabilities.

Those are the “winners” in life and society -- that pretty much says it all, as the sum of that well-being one hopes to achieve sometime in their lives. Some think that is unachievable and only an unattainable goal -- and because of that orientation, are doomed to lives of striving in frustration because they never arrive at that point of contentment and fulfillment -- but only know incessant, unceasing and increasing longing, which is to become very neurotic, obsessive and compulsive personalities -- as though that was any kind of maturity of human potential.

In that manner, the more one does, merely creates the need for more that needs to be done -- which is a stupid, popular psychology and misunderstanding of human motivation and achievement. It is a self-fulfilling, self-projection of eternal failure -- which one persists at until one simply has no more energy to give it, and realizes, in that vanity and futility, one has wasted all one’s energies -- in designing a pursuit, in which one could never win, and never accept themselves as they were -- without a desire to change themselves into something better, which is a horrible existence to condemn oneself to.

The problem of aging is this desire to remain young -- instead of discovering the best one can be at any age.