Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Obvious Truth About Aging

People in decline are most obvious -- at the extremities of the head, hands and feet -- not only because they are the most visible, but also because they are the sites that will first suffer from a decreasing effectiveness of circulation resulting in impaired health and functioning.  

That is so obvious as to be a self-definition of what aging is about -- the loss of full and effective functioning in those organs that most uniquely and distinctly differentiate individuals in their proficiencies -- most meaningfully.  Therefore, to place them in primary importance as an exercise and conditioning strategy, is the only thing that makes sense -- in light of the greatest deteriorative fears of people promised a long life -- by which they hope, to still possess all their faculties -- which are implied to be the critical full functioning at their head, hands and feet -- even while it is less necessary to exhibit the greatest range of movement at the "core" muscles necessary for stability and support -- much more than movement.  

That is their proper role -- and not vice-versa, as many are conditioned to think, and therefore act, which is the fallacy and shortcoming of their conditioning efforts to remain robust and fully functional all their life.  Many still think such a thing is impossible -- that the head, hands and feet should precede the body in its deterioration, rather than being the smart way not to.  In fact, nothing else is possible.  

If the circulation is optimal at the extremity, it must be so through the pathways to it -- but not necessarily so, if one places the greatest importance at the proximity, or at the source of the circulatory function -- which doesn't necessarily indicate or even imply the effectiveness at the extremity -- and in fact, most commonly performed "exercise" movements, divert or stop the flow to the extremities -- in misguidedly favoring the development of the larger core, supportive muscles that subvert the fullest articulation at the extremities.

In all people, regardless of condition and conditioning, the only reliably working muscle is their heart, and what distinguishes the more proficient from the lesser, is not that the heart works harder and faster, but that the head, hands and feet, are capable of expressing that effectiveness in some meaningful and prolific fashion -- which is athletics, performance, art, communications, writing, expression, etc.  If all that were necessary is to hook up every one to heart monitors and measure the rapidity and strength of the heartbeats alone, than surely, that is what we would do -- and think that by that, everything is done.  But that is obviously just the beginning -- and not the end.

Some will still insist that that is so -- which are like those insisting that intelligence is the score one obtains on an I.Q. test, even if they never manifest it in any real life expression and practicality.  Hopefully, that is just a primitive and naive notion that a poorly conceived (arbitrary) measure of anything, is the measure of its significance.

In humans, the measure of greatest significance, would not be running the greatest distance, or lifting the most weight, but in consciousness and cognition -- leading to the appropriate (right) action.  That is the failing one fears most -- that threatens their survival and quality of life.  If the head, hands and feet of the human individual is not deteriorating, that individual is not in declining health and condition -- or what we commonly recognize as aging.

That individual simply persists as a vibrant and robustly-functioning individual -- dare we say, highly-actualizing individual.  We can not expect more or ask more from that individual -- because they are already outperforming everybody else's expectations of what is humanly possible.  In fact, they are defining it -- not only for themselves, but for the whole human species.  In that, is the evolution of the species.

That is the unspoken reason we all exist -- to evolve the species, if we can -- and if we can't, die like all the others before us -- having been given the chance.  That is all, anyone can expect, or hope for.  That recognition and realization, is what we all live for.  That is our life's purpose -- to fully express that possibility, as the greatest meaning of our own lives -- each in their own way, by their own calling.

For some, it is a golden opportunity, or age -- while for too many, that is the beginning of dread, and despair -- because they have no clue, and are already running out of cards.  If one has no idea who they are by then, retirement is a tough time to find out.  One should just be beginning their real life's work -- having gotten to that point, as the necessary preparation to embark on that fulfillment and expression.

It is not about just consuming endlessly more food, entertainment and resources -- with no expectations that one could do better.  But that is what life, and aging, has been up to now -- when enough have arrived to create a critical mass -- from which new possibilities explode -- because they have to.  That is the way of nature.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What One Thing, Changes Everything?

What is the condition and conditioning fundamentally all about?

It is to refine and enhance one's ability to change -- as a response to any challenge one faces in life -- giving them greater survival value.  That is the big picture -- before one gets lost in all the minutia that doesn't mean much of anything.  It's not about the trophies won, highest achievement or greatest risk undertaken -- but capacity to handle most of the circumstances one will encounter in living their own unique lives.  If one can do that, than the results speak for themselves -- but if one is always complaining about not being in the condition to meet those challenges, then those are the opportunities missed, and the life unfulfilled.

And then one asks, "What is one doing otherwise?"  How is one wasting their time (and life)?  Even the greatest athletes in the world, don't spend most of their lives competing -- or training to compete.  It's usually a very small part of their lives -- and the majority is just living it, from day to day, as most people do.  But even in those daily lives, there's a huge difference between those who look forward to each day with purpose, and those who dread another day falling further behind -- and that is the biggest difference that one can make in their lives.  It matters much less how much one bench presses -- if one ever does it at all, even once in their life.

Far more important than sacrificing everything else in life for such an arbitrary objective -- including one's health and limbs as the most fanatical inevitably do -- it makes much more sense to ensure those capabilities over the full course of one's years (life), which for those living now, is not unthinkable to last 100 years.  However, up to now, most don't live that 100 robustly healthy -- and most are in obvious physical decline beginning at 50, and as some proclaim as soon as they graduate from high school, that they're already starting to get "old" -- meaning a noticeable decline from their peak at youth.

In many traditional and primitive societies and cultures, that was about right -- because the lifespan only reached 40 for the luckiest, and the less fit and robust, were weeded out much sooner, out of the necessity of a marginal hold on life -- for everybody.  Now, the average person lives like only kings and pharaohs used to previously.

That is the greatest opportunity of living in these times -- that many are totally unprepared for -- that most just take for granted and fritter away -- the greatest capacity for the fulfillment of their own lives, from beginning to end.  Many people's visions still include a prolonged stage and period of life in which they are totally incapable of doing anything for themselves even -- thus requiring an army of others to be employed just to keep them alive in that state (condition).  That is what many still regard as the normal expectation of a long life -- and not the possibility that it could be robustly lived from beginning to end, as the new and quite predictable new normal.

That is the ending of "age" and "aging" as we've known it up to now.  It's not just one thing that changes -- as we are used to thinking of things -- but everything that changes, as the new paradigm of condition and conditioning.  What one thing, changes everything?, and no longer thinking, of the many different things that need to change as though they are unrelated to one another.  There is not enough time or energy in the world, to change everything in the world as though it is unrelated to every other thing -- requiring change, but what is the critical path, by which one changes everything?

That is obviously brain functioning -- at the root of everything else one does -- including thinking -- apart from the doing.  That requires a conditioning in which, the doing is one's being -- rather than doing one thinking, while thinking one is doing something entirely different -- as the fragmented, divisive mind is conditioned to.  The mind is not apart and separate from the body.  The health and functioning of the body, is the mind, awareness and functioning of the mind.

Obviously, the most important functioning to effect, is the functioning of the brain -- above increasing one's bench press or time in the marathon -- before one does anything else, or even attempts to.  It might be that by increasing the functioning of the brain, that one will see no need to bench press a maximum weight, or run ever again unless absolutely necessary -- and not because one doesn't know what else to do to burn more of the calories one thoughtlessly consumes -- as their preoccupation and abuse of every opportunity they've been given, and presents itself daily to them.

One doesn't have to continue -- doing only what one has done before.  The whole realm of possibilities -- awaits being taken.  But that means seeing the world freshly -- from the very moment one awakes.  Otherwise, there is only the continuation -- of what one did before -- and not beginning the day freshly, without preconceived notions of how the day must be -- like every other before it.  So only in that first moment upon awakening, is an entirely new day possible -- and not later, and later, until one is too exhausted -- to think and do freshly, but fall asleep again.

And so nothing ever changes.