Monday, September 21, 2009

New Media Rules! (Who I Really Am)

Every time I see a new campaign by old media (newspapers) to retain/assert their relevance -- much less the supremacy and monopoly they once had, I'm reminded of the class I had on the burgeoning World Wide Web, in which we were instructed to choose our aliases carefully so that nobody could deduce who we really were except to know the person we fantasized to be in the fictional world of cyberspace, that of course, would always just be a plaything for those who would never really matter, but allow us to attack those who really were somebody, from the safety of our anonymity, and to propagate and indulge endless escalating flame wars and abuses as the ultimate exercise of powerful anonymity.

Thereupon I boldly concluded, the best alias was to be myself -- because everybody would assume that it was just another fictitious person(a). And since no serious writer would write and publish on the Internet, I would, and thus be the writer on the World Wide Web, or the World's Writer, as I titled my homepage -- confident that nobody would be so presumptuous as to have beaten me to it. Of course, that was all blasphemy, as I also proceeded to regard and pronounce the email/homepage/blog, as the literary genre of these times -- and the Interrnet, the only publication that mattered.

In seeing all these things early on (much less come to pass), I often laid claim to being the leading-edge writer of these developments, confident in the knowledge that nobody was doing what I was doing, because they didn't think it was possible -- to regard the Internet as the legitimate, and all the previously sacrosanct publications as "obsolete." For I recognized that in a competitive world, the advantage goes to the side recruiting from the largest gene pool -- and not the one restricting their membership to their own exclusivity.

Formerly, that may have been the advantage of (trade) associations -- that they could control that field by recognizing those who had a right to participate in it, and on what terms that they would dictate and adjudicate. It was simply unthinkable, that people might (could) create their own rules, that made a lot more sense and appealed to a higher intelligence, than simply the desire of a few to remain at the top no matter what. That was how the old games used to be played.

All that changed dramatically overnight, once every field of activity and interest, could be participated in by anyone with the desire and confidence to. That has always been the underlying foundation of participation in any field of human interest -- that confidence to. Many gained that confidence by being in those associations that could (would) enforce their compliance through their own brute force and other means of coercion. Much of the time, it was simply the failure to recognize the legitimacy or even existence of the other -- hoping that they might lose interest and go away.

But some have a deep and abiding interest (love) of what they do, and so they do it regardless of the approval and approbation that society goes to great lengths to reinforce, in what they call education. It is an indoctrination into the (political) "correctness" of that society and culture. It begins in the schools but doesn't end there. Many other interests/groups take advantage of that conditioning as the basis of their own control over individuals by some more organized and powerful group. Few think to challenge it once they are within that association -- thinking it is the association from which they derive their strength and power, and without it, they are nothing, powerless and weak.

Thus the skill in the new media (World Wide Web), is knowing how to be the whole of consciousness rather than the partisan (sectarian) part one usually see advocated -- the whole rather than one of the innumerable, irrelevant and powerless parts -- that the old institutions and old media, don't seem to catch on, but are evermore insistant, that we all have to go back to playing their old game, by their rules and their adjudication, rather than the new media rules!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Anytime, Anyplace, In Any Condition

Like everybody else, I read the conventional advice and columns on fitness and exercise, trying to figure out exactly what it is they want us to do, since their ability to communicate what they know invariably far exceeds what they know -- which is a fatal handicap for those wishing to be the most influential voice in any field. Nowhere is that more true than in physical education, in which the students are expected to do flawlessly, what the instructor doesn't want understood but simply obeyed.

That's not unlike the medical/sports studies usually offered as proof that something, or a system works, because it was double-blind, and hence, the participants had absolutely no idea what they were trying to prove or test. The fallacy though, is that (athletic) performance is the measure of one's ultimate understanding in anything -- so even wanting to do well, is a large part of that measure and performance -- and not the proof that even with a lack of any understanding, insight, and desire, something might work in spite of one's abilities to undermine their own efforts.

In that way, sports performance becomes a lot like the rest of life -- and that is the significance of training for anything, to improve one's chances of success in any subsequent arena of life -- as well as find out what one's proclivities and potentials are. But obviously, this cannot be a study of random behavior, or doubled-blind so that the subjects have no idea of what they wish to accomplish. That is the fallacy of most, if not every one of those pseudo-scientific studies claiming to prove, what they already believed to be true from the start, and then designed their experiment so that the results could only confirm that truth.

Unfortunately, that's what a lot of people actually think science is -- proving the truth of their preconceived conclusions, and seeing only what they want to see, and disposing with that they choose not to see. In this manner, "science" is inevitably culture bound -- but that doesn't mean that science is necessarily bad. It's bad in cultures and societies that regard any progress as a good, or has a problem distinguishing good from bad.

Thus some (primitive) societies think the only physical capabilities worthy of developing, is the capacity to destroy every other, and not that teamwork, cooperation, and the sharing of anything, is their ultimate objective. In these primitive societies, every behavior and action, is a zero-sum outcome -- with a winner at the expense of a loser, and often, with many losers to support and distinguish only one winner. Such societies are not only zero-sum but eventually become extinguished and extinct.

The obvious winners, are those still around -- and flourishing. They're always fully prepared to prove themselves -- or find out what their present capacities are. That is the point of living and life -- at all times.

That's why a meaningful fitness program can be done anywhere, anytime, in whatever condition one is in -- and not merely be an idea of the condition one would like to be in. Yet that is how fitness professionals usually talk about their activities -- as something they only hope to be in some imaginary future, rather than manifesting and exhibiting it in the present moment of actuality (reality).

Of course, such discussions have no reality but are merely the exploitations of wishful-thinking of preselecting those who will never know the difference between any actuality -- and their perception of it. In fact, such conditioning in these individuals, is self-contradictory action of belief, nullifying every other action -- with a zero-sum net outcome. One gains the world but loses one's soul. One gains prosperity, but sacrifices one's health, and so on.

What healthy individuals are, is the total integration and integrity of everything they are in a positive direction, and not merely, self-contradictory activity. It means nothing to have a great triumph in great sadness and embarrassment. Those are the Pyrrhic victories, in which one has ostensibly "won," while having lost "everything," and especially that which would have given such a victory great meaning -- and now it is meaningless.

And thus a true sportsman, learns to use as a guide along the way, how they play the game, as a measure of its success as much as the final score. In this way, fitness in the present moment, is the indicator of its ultimate destination and accomplishment -- and not just an inconvenient means to an end that grows more distant with each conditioning session until one falls hopelessly behind and out of it, and gives it up entirely, because those objectives keep slipping farther away as one ages with the realization that all is now irretrievably lost.

Then, all those efforts seem to be "wasted," in that lifelong chase for goals that were never or could ever be fully realized -- in each moment of one's living -- anytime, anyplace, in any condition. That is the most damaging aspect of most conventional conditioning programs -- that only promise to deliver a result in some never attainable future.

This becomes increasingly apparent as one ages and sees the futility of actualizing their success, one day further into the future.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Right Metaphor

The difficulty one has with many things, is envisioning the proper process before one can effect that which makes the biggest difference. With exercise, what is frequently advised, is to exercise to get one's heart pumping -- rather than the realization that the heart is ALWAYS pumping, and what one really hopes to effect for a greatly enhanced functioning and performance, is to get everything else in the body working up to the level of its unfailingly most reliable feature.

And so upon awakening and feeling no capacity to immediately jump up to run around the block, one should go about slowly and systematically regaining the competencies that have lay dormant for the last several hours -- first in realizing what are the conditions they now wish to enhance, at the most rudimentary level of improvement.

The first thing to realize is that the heart is the most unfailing organ of the human body -- but for the same work the heart of already doing, there is much we can do to enhance the circulatory effectiveness before we even consider making the heart work harder. The heart is always the hardest working organ of the human body, by deliberate design and evolution -- that is hardwired and failsafe in every individual and is not likely to be its weakest link -- unless as in a few individuals, we make it do all the work, with no assistance from other organs, which ensures its premature failure.

But the greater question often overlooked and often not asked or considered at all, is what is the role of all the other organs, and especially the muscles, in effecting the optimal circulation to all parts of the body? If one thinks that the heart is the only organ responsible for that function, then one is powerless to do anything but to increase the work of the heart.

But obviously, that is not the case -- by those who have trained themselves to increase the functionality, flow and effectiveness of those parts that become well-developed in various individuals because they direct their attention, energy and focus to the development of those faculties and exhibit that development to striking degrees.

The obvious case are the bodybuilders who often achieve their development to disturbing disproportions of balance and symmetry -- by learning how to "pump" blood to a particular muscle they wish to engorge in such a way. However, that pumping is achieved by concurrently stopping the flow back to the heart, thus producing that pumped effect for a short while before the muscles relax and restore normality. But that is a conditioned reflex of circulatory control that is also referred to as muscle control -- that is effecting the circulation obviously. That accounts for that pumped, or bloated look -- which in most people not training for that effect, to seem simply bloated, fat and undefined.

For most of these latter types, the simple awareness of that process of circulation -- that it is not static and fixed but controllable by muscle manipulation itself in greatly restoring, improving and enhancing that flow, goes a long way in immediately and visually validating that effect -- just as it does in advanced bodybuilders, who train themselves to do so -- as the skill for which they are judged.

Even the most out of shape and out of condition person, is not without some muscular development -- more than they suspect, but often don't know about or are unaware of because they've never tried to exhibit or access it. Young children often become aware of this ability as "making a muscle," which most do not develop to a high degree, but should -- because just changing the condition (shape) of a muscle from flaccid and relaxed, to fully contracted, mimics the heart which is the only muscle to function unfailingly in that manner 24/7.

That should be one's instructional metaphor as to what is possible throughout one's body because there is no area of the human body that is absent of that musculature. The body is designed for that movement, control and function. The circulatory system as well as the musculature, is designed to provide movement, health, and functioning particularly at the extremities of the head, hands and feet -- as that which distinguishes humans above all the other animals.

Yet the unfortunate emphasis of conventional conditioning programs is to place great emphasis and value on movement of the larger core muscles whose primary designed feature is to provide stability and support -- rather than movement, just because they can. However, such movement at the core, is in every case meaningless without a particular controlled mastery and expression at the extremity.

The large muscles merely provide the stability and support for the movement that takes place meaningfully at the extremities of the body -- out to the toes, fingers and facial expressions -- where it is most meaningful and productive to move, at all times, and throughout one's entire life. Maintaining and optimizing those expressions, implies the general well being much more than the core supporting structures -- and is the difference between those who can and do, and those who would like to.