Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Making The Difficult (Impossible) Easy

Though I've met and talked to many masters and teachers of exercise all my life, I'm struck by how few have come to the realization that what they are all trying to achieve, is to make the difficult (impossible) easy, but instead, think it is their task and duty to make the easy, harder, until it is virtually impossible, if not literally so.

Obviously, that is "wrong understanding," since the very essence of understanding, is to make the complex very simple -- and not get lost in one's own confusion. And for students, that ability to reduce every bewildering complexity to a manageable simplicity, inspires them to get started as soon as possible, and stay with it as their fundamental approach to everything else -- for the rest of their life.

And that is what a lifelong regimen of exercise (activity) prepares one to do -- as well as achieve in the actual doing of it. So one of the requirements of a lifelong practice, is that which can be done everyday -- even and especially at one's worst, yet be just as meaningful at one's best, until eventually, there is no discernible difference between one's worst and best; one is simply "on," and always "on," if not "off."

Computers are very effective and efficient because they act in that manner -- either on or off, and not 10% on one time and 90% the next. Such machines would be unreliable, if not useless and dangerous -- and would be replaced at the earliest opportunity before they cause a catastrophic calamity. A calculator can't be right just 50% of the time; as soon as it is not 100% reliable, then it needs to be replaced entirely -- so that all one's time and energies are not consumed solving all the problems caused by that one error that snowballs into a lifetime of misery and undoing.

That would obviously be "right understanding." In modern information processing, or computer programming, that would be the "critical path," upon which all else succeeds or fails, and if that essential understanding is deficient, no amount of subsequent effort can make right. It is not that a hundred unrelated things are wrong, but one critical error that makes everything else go haywire, and makes the world seem to fall into chaos and disorder.

In ensuring that the body retains all its faculties, one has to actually fire up those neurological pathways daily -- to actually effect movement to the furthest range of that possibility, which is easier than it seems, but usually just not thought of.

The contemporary popular emphasis is on the action of the heart -- which is already working as well as it can. That is not the problem; nor is the breathing deficient -- but the end result action, implies all that, and not vice-versa. The critical path is that the focus and axis of movement is the furthest extremity activated -- because obviously to get there, those neurological impulses, have to travel from the brain all the way out to the movement articulated -- and if it is just centered on the action of the heart, than it is no movement at all, because that is the action that has to be activated as the minimum requirement of life -- but it only guarantees the minimum, and simply more of the minimum, does not indicate the maximum possibility.

But a definitive movement at the furthest extremities of the body, implies the neurological stimulation of that entire pathway and state. One cannot move a finger, unless the entire neurological pathway to it, is in working order -- and if it is intact, that improvement is entirely possible -- starting from any base level of proficiency.

The obvious exception, is when there is no responsiveness of any kind. The great masters of movement, can detect that discernible difference -- and achieve its highest expression and articulation. But one has to first recognize what is significant, willful movement -- at the highest level of its expression and possibility.


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