Thursday, November 27, 2014

Solving the Problems of One's Own Living

With all the talk about what somebody else (government) can do, what is never discussed anymore, is the possibility that one can solve their own problems -- by themselves, as their primary responsibility, and the objective of their very living.  Unless one does that, the situation is indeed as hopeless as the vested interests make it out to be.  

That is the culture of these times -- cultivating the belief that not only is it necessary to achieve anything except by organizing a mass number to go along with them -- in forcing someone else to do something for them -- but is even thought to be impossible that one can ever, or should try to do anything for themselves anymore.  That is exacerbated by living in crowded cities which foster this feeling and sense that one is powerless, and the victim of their own environment -- rather than the creator and master of it.

So the only thing left for everyone living in such a society, is to force somebody else to do something for them -- and never simply and more efficiently, to do it for themselves -- first and foremost, and then if that proves impossible, to mobilize and organize more help.  That is obviously the first resort to solving any problem -- and not making one's own problems, everybody else's -- who have their uniquely own problems to solve.

Even the gravest problems of our times -- casting a shadow on out to the future, is the problem of increasing dependency, caregiving (for others), running out of money and people to do so, if everyone requires more than themselves to take care of themselves -- as though it were a gigantic pyramid scheme favoring those who got in first, and have secured all the assistance they can before any others can establish their claims to it.

In that manner, there is never enough to go around, because the more resources available, is quickly absorbed by those requiring evermore, and so these problems become predictably worse -- as the problems of living in contemporary society.  How will we be able afford 30 years of being totally dependent on others to take care of our daily living and every need?  The obvious answer, is that we shouldn't be living that way; that is not living at all.  That is merely consuming as many resources as possible -- as the American way of life -- as an end in itself, without any productivity, meaning and purpose.  Certainly there is no fulfillment, as everyone simply gets worse, and is encouraged and supported to do so.

The wise ones will be the first to recognize the futility of that way of life -- as well as the true objective of human life in becoming more independent on everybody else to fulfill their every need, and will realize nobody else could serve one's own needs and purposes they can themselves -- or would want to.  Otherwise it becomes prohibitively expensive trying to force another to do what one could do better for themselves -- each and everyone of us.

That is the life we can choose for ourselves -- and no longer be the pawns and victims of everybody else -- in the nameless and faceless, "government,"  which we've come to accept unquestioningly, as the definitive authority on such matters -- because we ceded that power to them, and has become an irrevocable and exclusive right.  Meanwhile, they work and live in cubicles -- as the "best of all possible worlds" -- because that's what everybody else wants to do also -- hoping to accumulate enough of a fortune, to allow them to be completely useless, for 30 years or more.

There has to be something obviously wrong with that "dream scenario" -- that all the financial advisers and care industries, are adamant that they are the future.  We see it playing out in the test tube environments like Hawaii -- where the cost of living is 5 times higher than the mean everywhere else -- and those at the bottom, are ignored until they ultimately just go away -- somehow.  But that's not a plan -- or any solution.  That is not the desired "Paradise" one hopes is the best place one can hope to be -- because the cost of that caregiving, is the highest in the world, and for that reason, families must band together even tighter and unfailingly -- for that purpose.

Otherwise, they just go away -- and nobody knows, or wants to know of their fate somewhere else -- because they have for all intents and purposes, perished -- because certainly that is the fate of all who no longer reside there.  But the reality is that most invariably go on to much better lives -- although they can no longer surf everyday.  Life goes on, and gets better, as the objective of their lives -- and not simply to get worse, so they can consume infinitely greater resources -- before everybody else beats them to the punchbowl.

Societies are laboratories of experimentation to find out what works -- better, trying the many things, and not just forcing everybody into the one -- that is predetermined from birth for everyone.  That is a society still living in the dark tribal ages of brute force determined by whole can amass the larger army to force their ways on all the others.  In this case, it is those who can control the vote.  And that becomes an end in itself -- just to exercise that power, and nothing else.  It does not matter what they do after the election -- and nobody cares anymore, and didn't even care to vote.

Those are the experiments in "democracy" that go wrong -- because they overlook, or have no guiding principle of greater independence and autonomy -- as the real reasons for being.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Expressing Health and Well-Being

As people diminish in health, how it it expressed?  The same way it is expressed in increasing health and well-being -- by the muscles of the face (head), hands and feet -- which most people have never learned or exercised to express -- and so those muscles get very flabby, and incapable of ,movement (expression), until there is no movement at all.  At that point, one seems to be unresponsive to everything going on about them -- even if the critical function of circulation and respiration have not ceased, whereupon they would be pronounced "dead."  But often, long before that definitive proclamation, many stop being acutely and fully responsive, for which we often note that their expressions are "dead," or lacking in animation (movement).

Many people think it is enough just to have their faces fixed in permanently smiling or uplifted expressions -- without variation, or the possibility of movement (change), as all that is required to fool the most undiscriminating observers into thinking they are healthy and well.  But really, it is more the range of movements that communicates the truth of that being -- well or ill.  That's why it is often noted that an extremely depressed person, shows no change of expression -- that is striking to people who are aware of such differences.

Unless they are actually in the commission of a crime, such people only note the strangeness of the expression -- as though one were not responding and interacting with one's surroundings, but rather, the mind is someplace far away, living in another world.   Upon noticing that, the appropriate response is to approach such individuals cautiously, not knowing what their responses might be, since they have no awareness or intention, of communicating their thoughts, feelings, and responses to any other.  This is important because communicating all this, is the primary function of all human beings -- and not running, lifting, jumping, throwing, walking, etc.  The primary function of the human being, is to communicate -- thoughts, feelings, responses, etc.

That is mostly done by the muscles at the extremities of the human body -- which are the head, hands and feet -- where most do not think it is important to maintain, improve and optimize -- but surely, is the summation of human expressions and proficiencies.  However, in the teaching of activities, they are not considered of primary importance -- but it surely is, to the very observant.  That deftness of movement (fine motor coordination), is what distinguishes the great artist/athlete/musician, from those who have only mastered the gross movements -- of seeming to do the same thing, but not as masterfully, definitively, authoritatively.

Most simply see the gross movement -- and are not aware of the fine movements -- where the prodigies of every activity, distinguish themselves.  That is what they do better -- and not simply, more of, what everybody else is doing.  They are doing something that makes a difference -- apart from just doing more.  Those are the finer points of life.

When one is young, it is not so important, but with time and age, become the difference between life and death, and before that, the difference between a good life and a bad one.  Those are distinctions, we are pretty much prohibited from making -- in the misguided intention, that such things shouldn't matter -- but they do, and so are critically important to distinguish, and discriminate -- in favor of.  That is the whole point to life, the survival of the fittest -- which must happen, regardless of what the legislation says.  We cannot legislate  nature -- which is what is.  What is, dictates everything else.

Aging diminishes the capabilities at the extremities more importantly and critically than anywhere else.  Those are usually the first to fail and so act as the barometers of overall well-being -- way before life is threatened.  The muscles in the face, hands and feet, are the most important to maintain, and beyond that, optimize -- even if there is no contest for motivating it.  That's particularly true for those with arthritis -- which begins to include most older people, on top of those born with that congenital challenge.  With age, the lack of muscular development in the hands, feet and head, are impacted tremendously so as to produce deformities -- because the musculature is not strong enough to maintain the structural strength of proper, pleasing shape and design.

The head is also being impacted in less noticeable deformities due to disintegrating musculature.  The question should be obvious which are  the most important muscles and faculties to maintain and develop -- over less critical parts that most think are more important.  They seem to be important until aging becomes a factor -- which is not just about being a certain amount of years more than most.  It is fundamentally about how fit one is for life.  Fit means getting better.  Age can mean either getting better or worse, but most think only gets worse.  Is that age, or just the wrong choice, and then the refusal to change -- ever again? -- until the day one dies, which one certainly will.

But way before then, there is much one can do to fully develop the faculties one is born with.  That is Knowing Oneself.  The simple truth some have offered throughout time.  That is the Secret of Life -- Knowing Oneself.  The only way one knows, is to develop it as well as possible.  If the face, hands and feet never age, then that body never truly ages -- because that is where it shows most -- if one is looking for it.  The health of the rest is implied -- by the condition of the extremities.  That's where the human body ages, and fails first.  

Those are the cognitive faculties.  When that is the pattern of failure, it is easy to address, by specifically designing and implementing those exercises -- in preference to all others.  It is more important to move the foot full-range, than any amount of limited range repetition -- which is likely to be walking and running.  But that doesn't necessary imply full-range movement -- which is what one wishes to maintain, and develop beyond that.

Friday, November 14, 2014

"The Total Package"

There used to be a time when time and resources were so scarce, that any one person, could only hope to be proficient at one thing -- even and especially at the expense of all other things.  In such a world, one might be a good breadwinner, but also be the worst person in the world -- to achieve that.  

The idea that any one person, could be all things, or as complete a person as they were capable of being, was such an alien concept, that anyone suggesting such a thing, was thought to be suffering from delusions of grandeur -- or at the least, be unaware of their shortcomings and inadequacies, and probably repressing and denying them -- to make themselves "look good."  A few thought it sufficient, just to look good, or to control the image others had of them -- even if it meant "false and deceptive advertising."

All that mattered, was getting the other(s), to buy what they were selling -- even if there was no actuality or substance behind it (the claims).  That was notably and distinctively, the 20th century mind(set) -- of everyone being less than a whole person in themselves, as the ultimate realization of society as an mass manufacture assembly line.  In such a society, each individual, could only do one thing -- repetitiously, and unvaryingly -- until they themselves broke down from that mechanical repetition.  Then younger, more nimble hands would replace them.

But what became of the old and weary?  More often than not, they just continued in their downward spiral of disintegration and deterioration -- but were compensated for their years of service with pensions sufficient to keep them alive.  But other than that, there were no guarantees of "happily forever after."  For that, each was left to their own designs -- and fates.

At that point, many begin to fail -- even when all things may be as equal as they will ever be.  That happens because life is more than just about "making money" -- but reveals itself as the sum and totality of the whole -- and not just one part, no matter how disproportionately expressed and developed relative to the whole.  It is the whole -- and balance, that gets them to where they want to go, and be.  Many realize that too late, while others never realize that at all -- and the is the reason for their underlying sense of incompleteness and incomprehension -- that makes life seem endlessly more difficult and hopeless -- even when they thought they were on the verge of utter triumph and vindication -- in the one sliver of their focus and preoccupation.  Meanwhile, the world was collapsing around them.

Then we read about such lives in their spectacular dissolution -- that invariably, most did not see coming -- because they too, were focused on only one parameter of their activities, and not the whole of that life.  When that is finally seen and understood, then it all makes sense -- and nothing else was possible. We cannot infer the whole from the part, but necessarily have to see the whole as the whole -- and not selectively repress and deny what we like, and see only what we want.

That has been a problem for as long as people have thought they knew something worth knowing -- and distinguished themselves above the others -- as God's chosen few.  Reality and actuality, has no such separations and fragmentations -- into those who know, and those who do not -- as many are wont to do.  That creates the difficulties of their lives -- the artificial and arbitrary divisions, making the transition from one to another, difficult and impossible.  Each individual, is the totality of the whole, as the indivisible -- of the good and bad, the knowledgeable from the ignorant -- and embracing that acknowledgement, is the comprehension of the whole -- and not the continued endless arguments of the parts -- thinking they are the solution to anything.

Thus it is said, "Those who know, do not talk; those who talk, do not know."

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Evolve or Die

People don't change because they want to; people change because they have to.  If they don't have to change, they won't -- even as much as they say they'd like to.  It is only when they have no choice, that those who can change, will, while those who can't -- when they have to, perish.  That is the story of evolution -- the overriding imperative of all of life.

It's okay not to want to change -- but when one has to, that's the difference between life and death -- and those who live another day, and actually improve their survival chances.  Individually, that is also the story of "aging" -- which is usually meant to indicate one is becoming less fit -- to survive and thrive.  The fit are those who survive and thrive -- not just in the familiar sites and conditions of athletic competitions, but more importantly, under whatever conditions present themselves.

The best of course, create a response that hadn't existed before -- the literary tour de force, or unprecedented achievement that is the quality of that individual.  As such, it is not the "average" performance, or stereotypical response -- but something wholly new, which is the culmination and integration of that particular life -- manifested as the meaning and purpose of that unique existence.  That is what we all hope to live for.  That makes our lives extraordinary -- even to us.

Psychologists have called it the "peak experiences" that revitalize and change the course of one's life -- if they properly regard it that way.  To those who can't or won't, those are the crises that send them into an irrevocable reversal that they never pull out of -- that ultimately ends their life.  For most, that will take many years to run its course -- but the trend is unmistakable: one just gets worse, and there is no getting better.

That happens in every life -- so the challenge is to use those crises as the opportunities for transformative change that revitalizes that existence and life -- from that continuation that offers them no escape from that dismal fate.  That is the greatest wisdom and lesson in our lives -- that most do not dare define and confront -- because it means having to choose the untraveled path -- as the only hope from that certainty of doom.

One doesn't get to that point until one feels they have nothing to lose.  They don't even have to feel they have something to gain.  They just know, they have nothing to lose.  Those are the turning points for lives that get better.  They have to get immeasurably better -- unforeseeably better.  They have no idea where they'll end up from their act of desperation -- except they know they cannot go on as they have been.

For many, that is the "health crisis" -- in all its variations -- signaling that change cannot just be casual or moderate.  It has to be a total change -- to meet the challenge that threatens that very livelihood, questioning its every precepts and tenets -- before life can go on.  Those are the supreme moments of every life -- its defining moments, that tests their true capabilities -- and what they are all about.  Nobody can answer that, for anybody else.  That is everyone's moment of truth -- when they have to stand alone.  It is in those moments, that they find out who they are, and the person they've become.

Many don't want to know that.  They prefer to hide in the safety of the average and anonymity -- never knowing who they themselves are.  That is not on their agenda -- of things they want or need to do.  They are entirely content to know only the "average," and never any particular individual -- especially themselves.  They don't want to know that.  But that is the whole beauty of living and life -- of knowing how one could have been different, and made a difference in one's own life.

Instead, they wished to be distracted from their own lives -- into the entertainment and amusements offered by others -- that can consume an entire lifetime.  So in the end, they've lived like everybody else before them -- or thought they did so.  And that was "all there is."

It is thought in most societies and cultures, that the old know all there is to know, and are absolved of learning anything more -- when that is when it is most important to reimagine life very differently all over again.  The young do that because they don't know any better -- and so are open to the possibilities.  That is the fire that drives them -- until they feel they have seen it all, and have nothing more to learn -- because they know it all, of a rapidly shrinking universe.  That is how people grow "old" and die; they are no longer evolving, nor think it possible for themselves -- because they just want to hold on to the life they've always known before.

But every ending, is also a new beginning -- that brings new life and energy, for those who can embrace it.  That's how the last, can be first -- but not if they just continue with their losing, dying ways.  That won't change anything.  But if one does all the right things -- the right way -- it bears fruit, in its own good time.  That is the unmistakable lesson of the universe.  That's what matters.