Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A New Way of BEing

Probably the greatest difference between the lives and personalities of the 21st century, compared to that of the 20th, is the division of life into many specialties, departments, compartments, identities, fragmentation, identities, arguments and controversies that became supplanted by the one, universal consciousness limited only by one's limits that they have to be.

People don't have to think like a Democrat, Muslim, black, just because their father and grandfather did so, but can choose the total awareness possible to every conscious human being who isn't conditioned to fit into one of the pigeonholes -- which even educated liberals, think is the ultimate designations of what must be.

That is the problem of conditioning -- when it becomes redundant and unnecessary for individuals who are constantly and always learning -- and so never become fixed in that mold that proclaims, "I am a Democrat, just as my father and his father before him, and so must all my descendants also be, for that is who we are, and all we can be."

Not that there's anything wrong with being a "Democrat," or "liberal," or "progressive," or "enlightened," but there is always more of life and truth beyond that, which is always discovering and never concluding, because the mind full of conclusions, is a closed mind, and not an alert mind that is always learning, and being in that truth of the present reality.

Instead, the closed mind is always fighting the last battle and war -- and so is unaware of what is happening right now. So now they take their ancient battles and turf wars to the sidewalks, and argue over who can and cannot use the sidewalks, and who has primal right of way, when such encounters are in reality infrequent -- and it is quite possible in many places still, to have a road and path to oneself, yet still be arguing in the many forums now possible, who is exclusively "right," as though that was an entitlement for some, but not the others.

And so many foundations of that old contentiousness and arguing over nothing and everything, began to disappear and lose its relevance and significance -- despite the protests of "progressives," that they must always remain the eternal battle between the left and the right. In fact, a key teaching of the 20th century, was the very concept of duality as the essential nature of all things -- rather than its oneness, wholeness and integrity. The limitations of that paradigm (world view), was to create the problem and struggle in everything, most notably, between the present and some other time in the past or future. As such, one could never be focused fully in the present to solve the problems of the present, because that energy and attention was divided among the many realities and contrived issues, so one didn't know whether one was solving the problem of the present, or some other -- and thinking, it was the same.

And so such people, confused as they are, fight the last war and solve problems that are no longer the problem, as though that were meaningful, and think they are doing everything they can, to make the world a better place -- while doing absolutely nothing at all, or doing all they can to create the problem that they think they are "solving."

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Backwards Thinking

Those who have learned very little in life, are certain of one thing: That for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction -- and so in everything they do in life, they do the opposite of what one would expect, to get the results they want. It mystifies everyone else around them, but they are certain, the only way to achieve anything in life, is to do the opposite of what a simple-minded person would see as the obvious, while ridiculing all those who do not see the genius of their own tortuous complexity.

In every argument, they will be the "devil's advocate," just to ensure there is confusion, deception and distortion, and no clear purpose can ever get done -- because sometime, somewhere in their lives, they were convinced that the ONLY way to get things done, was to make it impossible to get them done.

So in their thinking on exercise and conditioning, they make it as hard and difficult as possible to get in and/or stay in shape -- thinking that is the ONLY way to ensure that everybody will be in shape, rather than that nobody will take that advice seriously, and those who do, will quickly realize they cannot sustain such a regimen without increasingly extraordinary effort -- and expense.

That does not prevent proponents of the hard and difficult way, of devising even more tortuous routines and regimens, to ensure that nobody will even think to try them -- the harder and more impossible, the better, they beam with their own brilliance.

That manner of thinking, is the major obstacle to thinking that staying and/or getting into shape, is the easiest path in life -- and what the body and all their senses really want them to do. That is the wisdom of each individual, hardwired by millions of years of evolution -- if they can just listen to what it is telling them, without the filter of their own erroneous thinking -- such as everything is the opposite of what it appears.

People who are convinced of that, never can see the obvious, or very clearly, because they are confused by the superiority of their own thoughts, over the greater intelligence of life. They are quite convinced in fact, that their individual intelligence, is far superior to the collectivepossibilities of erroneous thinking, and eliminating them -- in favor of overwhelming simplicity, which is genius.

The remarkable thing about athletic competence, is not the waste of effort and resources, but the economy and efficiency of movement. The best, do only what is necessary -- precisely, and not hope to set off an elaborate chain reaction of opposite effects until they get the result they want. Those who take such laborious paths, end up far from their intended destinations, often confused and forgetful of where they had originally intended. They just get lost in the noise and waste of activity -- unclear of any meaning and purpose anymore, because they think it doesn't matter. Only in that manner, can it matter -- to their backwards, opposite way of thinking, and so the more noise, confusion, havoc, the greater the achievement. Those undoubtedly, are the proud devil's advocates.

Goethe, would describe "Heaven as the place where everything is connected and related to everything else, and Hell where nothing is connected and related to anything else" -- or in the case of devil's advocates, everything is the opposite of what it obviously appears, or just random.

Thus they advocate for the overly stressed individual, that what is required to cure them of their ills, is even more stress -- and only in that way, will their present level of stress, seem less. The only way to achieve world peace -- they argue, is to argue more strongly for it and beat everybody else into submission of the rightness of that way -- even if a few have to be "sacrificed" to achieve their ends -- and of course, it never ends while millions are slaughtered to "prove" the effectiveness of their means.

So when one is clear through all this confusion and propaganda, one can see that it makes great sense for fitness to be the whole meaning of life -- rather than its antithesis, or opposite. People were not born to be out of shape; they were born to be fit. Understanding that simplicity and intelligence evolved over millions of years, enables one to simply embrace it, whenever they simply let go of backwards/opposite thinking.

They don't have to be conditioned to think that way; they have to simply let go of their erroneous conditioning otherwise -- that wastes their time, energy, and ultimately, lives. The struggle does not achieve fitness; fitness is doing the simple, obvious, directly. Being it.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Going Beyond Nautilus Principles (Machines)

If one limited the discussion of what is possible, to the movement of one joint (axis of rotation) of the human body, it might be accurate to say that a Nautilus machine did describe the full range of movement of each muscle in isolation -- but a greater point, is that the primary function of each muscle, is in fact, to recruit every other muscle in performing any task, so that achieving great proficiency in isolating the effort, would be detrimental and counterproductive to the larger end.

We see that in sports when one player may be good, but he doesn't raise the level of play of everybody else on that team (effort), but undermines every other player's best performance so that they can remain singularly the best. That is the product of conditioning that effects the best -- but only in isolation -- and not as a group and synergistic effort, which is likely to be more the effect and effort required in most real life events and performances -- the whole, rather than just the one.

In contemporary society, we are witnessing the effects of that kind of conditioning and culture -- of specialization and isolation, in which one hopes to excel in isolation -- regardless of the progress and advancement of the whole (society). In such a consciousness, it might be important to know how much one knows -- in isolation, or competition to every other, rather than finding out the ultimate limits of what is possible to know using every resource and intelligence possible -- and recognizing that defining the boundaries of one's "own" in that way, creates limits to the known and possible.

Frequently in hearing discussions on conditioning activities, one is likely to hear someone pronounce triumphantly that "Walking is the best exercise, and they walk at least an hour a day," as though that was somehow proof of the excellence and value of that activity -- instead of it being merely a consumption of one's time and resources (remaining life and usefulness of one's body). Usually the presumption in people who think in that fashion, is the belief that the human body is an unlimited resource that never wears out or down -- rather than a precious resource that must be used and managed judiciously, and selectively.

Even the champion and best at any activity, doesn't want to be running every race, and rising to every challenge because that would detract from their best at the appropriate time and place for it -- which is likely to be when one least expects it, and so one wishes to retain that reserve for that occasion -- rather than always being spent and exhausted. That is why one would never condition oneself to "failure," but would condition themselves to persist in that activity until the right moment for its ultimate peak performance -- and conserve one's energies otherwise.

Single effort athletes spend most of their time preparing for their event by trying to achieve the greatest state of relaxation and calm possible -- recognizing that their effort is the difference from that change of state, in which all the muscles are fully relaxed, to the single fraction of a moment in which every muscle has achieved its great effort of contraction -- in synchronization with all the others. All the years of training and dedication, comes down to a single moment, in which they are at their all-out best, at the right time, at the right place.

Those with a high degree of consistency, are notable for always being at the top, while many others, will move in and out of the top rankings from year to year, and even event to event in that same year and season. That separates the similarly gifted, from the best at that activity -- at that time.

People who study movement therefore, would be loathe to pronounce that "Walking is the singular best activity," because the degree and effect of change is minimal -- and can be described as merely falling forward and catching oneself reliably enough. Who is the best at walking is not likely to be answered by simply who walks the best, or who walks the most, farthest and fastest. It is a question usually regarded as meaningless to answer, or even ask the question -- as though it had some merit.

But the question that would be of greatest significance, is that in doing anything, what is the universally recognized moment of peak performance? -- and that would be the moment in which one could effect the greatest change from fullest relaxation, to fullest contraction, of all the muscles in synchronicity. That is in fact, what great athletes and performers of any activity do.

When that is seen clearly, then one recognizes that doing that even once a day would be a great achievement -- and the question of how much to do, is much less relevant, than the significance of how to achieve that even once.

The great value of Nautilus machines was in describing the proper movement to effect the fullest range and contraction in isolation -- which is not the end but the beginning of the fullest actualization of that possibility, which is the triggering, recruitment and involvement of all the other muscles from that singular movement. This is true of virtually every movement performed on any Nautilus machine -- what movement from that point of fullest muscular contraction, would then activate and involve all the other muscles of the body to achieve.

Obviously, that would be the most efficient manner to condition the human body for movement and activities. Only with this understanding is it possible to achieve high levels of performance and functioning in doing anything -- and not through the innumerable distractions and detractions of thinking that doing anything, has the same beneficial effect of understanding what one is doing, and achieving only that.