Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Creating a Conditioning Program for the Life You Actually Live

There seems to be innumerable articles written lately in the fitness magazines asserting that contemporary lifestyles should not be the way they are -- but instead, everyone would be healthier if they returned to work 8 hours in the fields or the coal mines -- as though that would be a life worth living, or even bearable for most. Maybe people ought to just pound their heads against the wall -- in their thinking that it would make their brains stronger.

It seems that once a discussion is proclaimed as "fitness," the most ludicrous regimens become plausible -- as though wishful thinking, will fill any unforeseen realities along the way.

The usual limit to a life of unlimited exercise -- if such a thing were possible -- is the very real fact that the body suffers from "wear and tear," and beyond a very brief period of accelerated exertion and effort, begins to exceed its recovery ability -- and that is when people actually begin a momentum of deterioration from which they do not recover, let alone progress.

That is to say, that if one exercises rigorously one hour on the first day and maintains that rigor each day, he begins to wear down and is unlikely to be maintaining that program after a month -- or certainly a year, and for many, they will give up exercising permanently because of it -- thinking that if they cannot maintain that pace, their continued efforts are futile.

And if contemporary lifestyles is largely sedentary and cerebral, does one have to resort back to a hunter/gatherer or even agrarian lifestyle to maintain one's fitness -- for what purpose? -- if not to negate entirely one's actual lifestyle?

So obviously, the intelligent approach would be to create and design movements that complement and enhance one's actual uses and activities -- rather than having to reserve an hour each day to go to a specially designed environment and apparatus to do movements and activities one would never do otherwise -- thinking somehow, some way, that would enhance their abilities to do what they actually do.

The whole approach is preposterous on its face -- that one should expect to become good at what one does without practicing it, while practicing to perfection, what has no practical or useful application otherwise. That is what is known as opposite-thinking -- or if one wants to do something, they instead, dysfunctionally always do the opposite, which most people would see the absurdity of immediately. But some people, including many fitness advocates, do think beating up their spouse and kids, is the magic path to winning their love and affection. And that is why they believe abusing their own bodies unmercifully, is treating themselves "right," and healthfully.

There is no rhyme or reason, one cannot or should not design, exercise movements, that enhance one's ability to sit longer -- rather than the admonition, never to sit at all. Instead, while in one's usual posture, many movements are actually possible -- beginning with the position one is usually in -- which is always a good excuse to begin one's exercising, from any position, and always from where one already is. Which then makes exercise possible, anytime and anywhere, under any condition one is already in -- and not that one has to overcome at least an hour's worth of reservations and resistance, and then allow for another hour of recovery and disruption afterwards. Thus one is down two hours, before one even does one's hour of conditioning activities -- of bouncing off the walls or whatever.

The effect of all that kind of high maintenance conditioning programs -- to say nothing of the expense and scheduling of personal trainers and other professional experts one is advised to consult and retain, makes it pretty nearly certain, such a program of conditioning, will never be adopted by any person in their right mind, who does anything but obsessing compulsively and constantly about their health and what they have been brainwashed into thinking requires extraordinary amounts of efforts and expense to maintain -- rather than that it is easily achievable at every opportunity.

The most obvious example, is turning one's head all the way to the left and then all the way to the right, or alternatively, raising the head as high and back as possible and then back down and in -- while standing, sitting or lying. That would be the beginning essential enhancement (fitness conditioning) activity (practice). Then, in that heightened state of brain functioning, it will figure out the rest -- as what the brain is primarily designed to do.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Difference of Change

One of the great fallacies of popular thinking perpetuated by the mass media and culture, is the idea that simply "more," is better, or even, that "anything" is better than nothing -- rather than the more accurate understanding, that better is different from any more.

That is the critical and qualitative difference between things -- because more of the same thing, is merely the same thing -- but when something is truly differently better, something magical seems to occur -- that those operating simply with the "more is better" mentality cannot see the quantum leap -- from where they are presently, to a whole other level of experience and understanding.

One sees it in the eyes and the personal transformation immediately of those who have undergone such an experience and profound change. For such people, they and everything in the world has changed -- because their fundamental understanding of the world is different from how it was just a few moments ago!

That is the true nature of change -- when there is really that change, and not simply calling the same thing, something different -- thinking that is enough, as though simply knowing the words, conveys the understanding of those words. That is what we call knowing the jargon rather than the experience of such an actuality.

And no matter how educated we are in the words (knowledge), we all still have actual experiences we can learn from and be intensely engaged in in every moment of our lives -- which a few people, make into their daily practice, or meditation -- which is simply to be totally aware of what is happening, and what they are doing -- unprejudiced by their previous knowledge.

Unquestionably, that is a high mountain for many trained in the propaganda of the correct and only information worth knowing, can overcome -- but that is the real objective of such conditioning (indoctrination) -- to produce the few who will go beyond the limits of that understanding that are the present dilemmas.

Obviously, when the state of health in the population is in decline, the so-called explanations of why that is so, is not the solution -- but merely the justification for that present state and its continuation. Once there is clear insight, the problem(s) ceases to be -- as a result of that understanding, and nothing else is possible.

It is like the example of touching a hot stove. One no longer has to even consider it
anymore -- each day, and all day. Such a conditioning, would obviously not be better, although it is assuredly, more.

And that is why it is so powerful and instructive, to understand change at its most fundamental and rudimentary level -- rather than going off in all the many confusions of half-knowledge and half-baked ideas -- thinking that if one merely accumulates enough of them, they will constitute a coherent whole -- instead of the hopelessly fragmented and fractured confusion, that thinks more is necessary.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Learning From Everything

In a world in which information is so abundant and easily accessible as it now, there is no reason one has to go to school or to college to learn anymore -- because one is learning all the time, from everything, if the mind is simply paying, or giving attention -- which is to have an open mind.

But in a world in which we are taught to compete incessantly for attention, the one with all the power is the one who gives attention -- and is aware and can fully appreciate what everybody else is doing. That is always the most powerful person in the room -- he who knows what everybody else is doing, and not all those so caught up in what they are doing, that they have no idea that anything else is going on.

Such people are conditioned to be "busy" compulsively, and so their minds and bodies are never still and quiet -- to observe what is happening, but rather think, that nothing happens, unless they make it happen. And so they think that whatever happens, happens because of their efforts -- and only their efforts. Nothing is known, unless they know it -- and are the first to know it, and until they do, it is the unknown.

That was knowledge in a previous time -- something personal and private, and not accessible to anyone else as well. Such knowledge became a process of time and effort -- which made it a virtue and accomplishment instead of the readily accessible, obvious and verifiable.

That was a paradigm shift that changed the world -- and how we think of it. But our cultural institutions and occupations, have not caught up to that new reality -- and keeps insisting, that nothing has changed, so we still need to do things the way they've always been done before, which in the old school education, is to learn it from the properly designated and certified expert for that instruction.

Immediate knowledge and insight, is not permitted; one must take the time-consuming route as the only indication that one has properly learned the material -- in the properly accredited course of instruction. Any other manner, is still not recognized -- although it is becoming more difficult to ignore, deny, control, and manipulate/deceive.

Who has authority, and speaks with authority? And who just pretend to do so? Who decides?

It is determined by those with the most confidence to do so. Not just those with self-confidence, but confidence without the self- imposing its limitations of understanding and observation, which is only the incessant need to be right and feel superior. That is not knowing oneself -- and so everything one knows, or thinks they know, is only a projection of their own needs and desires, and not the thing they think they "know."

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Fish oil linked to increased risk of colon cancer in mice


Actually, that was my first reaction when I tried the fish oil capsules — tremendous digestive upset that discouraged me from continuing that supplementation.

I also had the same reaction to Vitamin D oil capsules — but didn’t have the same problem with the powdered capsules form of it.

I think there is something about the oil that is an irritant — just like in the old days, cod liver and castor oil were used to remedy constipation by inducing diarrhea. It stands to reason that constant supplementation would produce/induce irritable bowel syndrome.

All my life, I was susceptible to gastrointestinal upset, respiratory inflammations, and back pain, but one day attended a presentation by the doctor claiming guaifenesin as the cure for fibromyalgia, which is one of the innumerable autoimmune diseases that all have overlapping symptoms — usually noted by the thickening of the mucus in the body, particularly in the respiratory and digestive tracts, and at the joints for which mucus provides the lubricant for movement.

The doctor said that people could take it regularly like a supplement — overriding the dire warnings on most cough medicine bottles because they contain ingredients other than guaifenesin that have other implications. But guaifenesin, I noticed, also had a tendency to produce some gastrointestinal upset — and so I wondered if there was a remedy for that.

Then in gardening, I noticed that the plants that were the hardiest and made it through the winter were what is known as “herbs,” which in earlier times, were known as medicine and spices, and before the invention of currency, was actually used as money as the ultimate values of societies. That’s why early societies actually went to war over the “spice” trade and control — and was one of the driving forces for the discovery of the “new world.”

At any rate, that got me into growing nothing but herbs, and researching them to see what was the best, and then I noted that fennel and anise seeds, were the herbs of longest standing as remedies for everything — particularly for conditions of digestive upset. Anise and fennel, are the basis of health store cough medicines instead, and sometimes with the use of guaifenesin, but unlike guaifenesin, is known to soothe the gastrointestinal tract, maintain healthy respiratory functioning, and meliorate arthritis pain — as it has been well known to do for thousands of years.

It is the original herbal tea — that also has the benefit of causing people to drink it frequently and thus assure proper hydration, which is one of the major deficiencies in many people’s health regimen.

The gastrointestinal problems are exploding with the aging of the population, so that it is a primary and limiting concern of most people over 50 with all their escalating ills. The first remedy of resort for a multitude of problems and conditions, would be the age-old and legendary standby of fennel and aniseseed infusions (tea), to restore normal, optimal functioning in most people.

It was standard provision of the Roman Legion as they conquered the world, and were/are the staples of Italian and East Indian cuisines.