Friday, December 26, 2014

Creating Value

Many people think that "making money" is the be-all, end-all of life, when there is something much more fundamental at work, and that is "creating value" when there was nothing before -- and that action, is what is monetized in some financial transaction (exchange) -- or not.

In many cases, it is inefficient and counterproductive to place a price on an item to value it, if there is no one readily available to value that on the other end -- and so the better values may go unappreciated, while lesser values are greatly overpriced.

That is not to say that it shouldn't be that way -- but rather, there may be another value system in play -- frequently much greater -- like the air we breathe, and the company we keep, for surely, that is the world we live in and enjoy -- and not going down into our vaults, and lying in our money.

Thus the value of something, can be immense (immeasurable) to one, but of no consequence (value) to another -- as in the case of a person who rides a bicycle, and another who eschews it because it is not a car, and wouldn't think to ever use it -- and thinks the value of it is getting rid of it, to free up space so they can maneuver their car without it.  Thus, not having it, has more value than having it -- while the right person, would have their world expanded greatly into essential transportation.

Obviously, the key then, is to have and be able to function in many, alternative value systems, and not just the one -- and beyond a certain point, may not be a reliable measure of one's actual quality of life.  That becomes increasingly true when information and understanding is the transformative catalyst that determines ultimate, or useful value.

"Usefulness" is what many lose sight of -- which determines how much value one gets from the same thing.  A coat is not valuable in the tropics as much as in a colder climate -- where it might be the difference between life and death, or just being an ornament and adornment, one could just as well live without unless one subscribed adamently to the dictates of fashion (fad), as affluent societies are often prone to regard as the current essentials of contemporary life.

But while there is that super culture at work, those living closer to the edge, or more in touch with actual needs, can better determine for themselves, what are the essentials, and what are the wants generated by the various trade associations -- as the must-haves, if one subscribes to their programs, and values of how one ought to be living their lives.

It is easy to get caught up in those confusions -- depending on their sources of information and marketing.  The common concern of these times, is frequently how much one needs to have, not only to live well now, but well into any reasonable lifespan -- and beyond to ensure that affluence for all one's progeny as well.  There is no amount of money that can assure that success for everyone -- for all time, because that capacity has to be learned as well as earned, in living each individual's life.

That can't be done by one -- for everyone else, for all time.  Each individual has to learn and earn that ability -- as the be-all, and end-all of their own living.  That is the meaning and purpose of life.  That is what it is all about.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Value is Hearing What Other People Think

Many people think to create forums (media) so that they can tell others what they think -- rather than creating forums so that they can hear what other people think -- and that is the problem of communication in this day and age -- despite all the marvels that make those transmissions possible.  Nowhere is that more true, than on the social media -- in which everybody now has the opportunity to tell others what to think -- especially about them.

It becomes everybody's opportunity for self-advertising and self-promotion, which formerly was available only to those who could afford to pay for that privilege.  Now anybody who wants, can try to manipulate the thoughts of others -- rather than merely revealing the limits of their own, and their ability to express them.  The positive, is that more are motivated to master those skills with very tangible results other than just the grades they receive trying to live up to other's expectations of how well they are doing.

The advantage therefore, goes to the rare few, who are gifted and skilled, at seeing themselves as others see them -- rather than merely how they wish others to see them -- which is the age-old problem of the human condition.  There is no problem when everyone sees the same thing; the problem arises when everyone only sees what they want to see -- and nothing else.  

In a previous time, that was attributed to Madison Avenue, and the effects of advertising, which were considered among the highest skills, because that was the ability to unilaterally control how most people thought -- since most people could not afford to pay the high advertising rates of the existing publications (media).  One literally got, what one paid for.  The balance of power, was additionally weighted to those who could hire the best writers, and advertising minds.  If they were political rather than commercial, it was propaganda, rather than advertising, but it was marketing nevertheless -- evolving inevitably into the infomercial -- in which even their creators can no longer tell the difference.

Obviously, it becomes much easier to be delusional and incapable of distinguishing fact from fabrications -- and many come to prefer the latter, if not exclusively -- often as their "entertainment," or what they believe is their first amendment right, to believe anything they want to believe -- as the truth, and even higher than that.  Some think that is the "progress" beyond the truth -- of which they can convince themselves.  Thus evolved the preference for many, of virtual reality over and above the actual reality.  To such people, there is no difference -- and not just literally.  

That has unfortunate consequences for those who do not assess risk and reward properly, as life eventually instructs them definitively.  Many get away with their wrong thinking because they never actually test the truth of anything they know, because in most cases, it is enough merely to go along with the thinking of others -- until it is critically important that they have to think for themselves because the challenge is unique to themselves and to their situation -- which nothing else in life has prepared them for.

Under those conditions, many people predictably fail, or perish -- because life is only guaranteed for each individual uniquely, rather than unconditionally no matter what.  Some even miscalculate to the extreme of taking more risks that guarantee their demise and extinction.  Usually, that is just a lesson to the others, not to do the same.  But there is no guarantee that everyone is paying attention -- and sees what is happening, because they may be attending to some alternate reality, or virtual reality instead.  

That is not unlike the very common problem of being "distracted" by anything other than what one should (must) be paying attention to.  For that reason alone, one should not be conditioned to be distracted from thinking about what one is doing, in preference to better awareness of what they are doing -- as the integration of thought in action -- that transcends the power of either thought or action without it.

That is the crux of the problem of modern life and contemporary living -- as wonderful as it could be, but few yet have actually actualized to its fullest promise.  That is the greatness that is the promise of life in the 21st century.  That is the challenge and response of these times.  Everything else is just a distorted narrow view searching for this whole -- that even the sum of all the parts, if one could individually gather them, would not be equal to -- if in fact, one could gather all the parts in one's lifetime.

That becomes the key --  to understanding any of the parts, or bits of information, that will be proffered as the whole truth on the matter -- in the many infomercials and fabrications one will encounter.  Is there any relationship to any actual reality one is familiar with -- or is every reference, merely to another wishful thought -- never pointing to and grounded in any actual reality?  That integration of thought and action, is the difference between success and failure, in everything one does.

There is no secret to life.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Doing What NEEDS to be Done

Obviously, doing what doesn't work, or what works badly, or just anything at all, is not going to produce the same results as doing what works, and needs to be done.  It doesn't matter what burns the most calories, or costs the most money -- produces the most pain and/or injury.  Yet many people think that is enough -- just to go ahead and do whatever they want to do, whatever turns them on, no matter what glaringly needs to be done.

And therein lies the crux of most human problems and conditions -- doing what has caused their problem, and not doing what would prevent, or cure it -- in the mistaken notion that doing whatever they want, or feel like doing, is sufficient -- and what they are entitled to do.  But life doesn't work that way, no matter how much one wishes it to.  And so one has to observe and experiment with what actually works, and not merely the most popular opinion of what does, or for that matter, the oldest idea of what is going on.

Yet somehow, many feel that the most popular and/or oldest ideas about the universe, are the most valid -- rather than the most primitive misunderstanding of what is at work.  The truth is not a long-standing belief or an ancient wisdom, but what can be discovered in the present moment, and at any time, by anyone.  That is the scientific method.  So one doesn't need a cult of "experts" to tell them what to believe -- as though truth can only be handed down by the properly designated hierarchy and bureaucracy that have placed themselves in charge of such matters, and would like everybody else to pay them their dues, from here on out.

The truth is something much more serious -- and above and beyond the validation of such payments.  That's why the best things in life are often undervalued, while the most worthless things, are the most popular, and in demand, because it is more profitable, to continue in that way.  Thus, many of the solutions to problems, do nothing more than continue them -- rather than eliminating them completely -- because it is more profitable to do so.  And that is the whole objective of that undertaking or industry -- to perpetuate the problem.

That was even more true of the past than the present -- built on the foundation of ignorance instead of knowledge.  It was once more popular to think that power derived from the control of the ignorant, rather than enlightening them.  Many primitive societies and cultures, still think of education based on that model -- of indoctrinating the misinformation that will keep one a captive audience/customer for life -- never breaking free of that control and monopoly.

The ultimate, is just getting one to pay forever, without ever questioning anymore, what value they are getting for it.  They have been successfully conditioned just to continue that behavior obsessively and compulsively -- for no good reason, and even despite the fact that it creates the problems and injuries that now overwhelm them.  And so the best they can do is stop -- and not that they can be doing something much more productive, healthier and profitable for themselves,  in achieving a better life each is entitled to -- while not exploiting everybody else to accomplish that.

For such reasons, one can be convinced to go to war against all those not  in one's clique  -- as though that made them the proper targets for such exploitation and ruthlessness.  That is the "old" mind at work -- that makes them old -- doing what doesn't need to be done, while not doing what would be wise to do -- and never changing that.  That is the root of why people get old -- they refuse to change despite their unfavorable results, and will not attempt to do anything different that might work.

Thus, they are in a hopeless situation -- that has no end or possibility of improvement.  They simply get worse, from here on out.  That is basically how they are different from the young -- in which there is every expectation that life should get better for them, and when they absolutely feel that is no longer possible, claim the mantle of being old -- as their reason.  But it is not a reason -- but a way of life they have chosen, not to change, and not to improve any longer.  The best they can hope for, is to deteriorate for as long as possible -- even dragging as many down with them as possible.

All that would seem so preposterous and sad, if it weren't so true an observation of the present aging crisis in the world.  There aren't enough able-bodied people to take care of all the hopelessly deteriorating people in the world -- who aren't taking care of themselves the best that is now possible.  That is the forbidden thought.  What chaos would be unleashed, if everybody could best take care of themselves -- and not have that done for them, by whatever powerful interest group, was most successful in that power struggle, that they should do the thinking and therefore take care of everybody else -- because that would be the most profitable outcome for them.

Once one is clear in one's thinking, then the methods and paths are many -- and not just the one that doesn't work, and only ensures one's doom, desperation and hopelessness -- as the only way it can ever be.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Living One's Best Life

Nobody can do it for another.  Each has to live their own best lives -- regardless of what everybody else does.  That has always been the simple fact -- of everybody's existence.  We're all given one chance -- to make the best of it -- or not.  There is nobody, who never had a chance -- at least one, in their lifetime, to make a difference and change the course of their lives.  Most in fact, many chances -- all of them squandered, and so they claim, they never had a chance -- even once in their life.

Even in the most repressive societies and conditions, people have a chance -- and nobody is completely shut out.  So the question is, how does one make the most of their chances?  One can complain to the day one dies, that they never had a chance -- usually because they never took a chance, and found out what was on the other side -- of the road not taken.  Instead, they will insist, that there is no other road -- because they choose not to even recognize it as such.

So for those claiming to live in "Paradise" while complaining how hard their lives are, they just need to find out how else they could be living, if they weren't already living in that perfection. Many will find that they don't need to be working two-three jobs just to keep a roof over their heads --  nevermind getting ahead.  That's not even in the realm of possibilities -- and imagination.  No, one had better just unquestioningly and uncomplainingly keep on doing what one is doing -- because it is the best of all possible worlds -- that has been predetermined for all, for all time -- by those self-appointed to know these things.

That is the true price of Paradise -- never to determine those things for oneself, but always to have it imposed by some superior being -- who tells them what to chant -- and nothing else will be tolerated.  It's good to see when a few escape from such "paradise," and discovers what the rest of the world has to offer.  That is the story of humankind ever since the legend of Adam and Eve, and the Garden of Eden.  What is the rest of the world like?

Some would say it is a sin to find out -- or think that there can be other ways -- than the only one way they have been taught, and to reject all others.  It doesn't matter what that one way is.  It could be a good way, or even a glorious way -- but it is only one way, and really, the genius of life, is that there are many ways, and even many right ways.  However, each still has to choose for oneself -- and nobody can do it for another, or all others.  That's why we live our lives.  To find out.

Many will willingly accept how badly their lives can be -- while never entertaining how good it can be, and if at all times, they are living the best life they can be -- under any circumstances.  It doesn't matter that the circumstances aren't perfect -- all the time; what matters is that one is doing the best they can, with what they have -- and that invariably makes things better -- but not if they think it doesn't matter, what they do -- because they don't matter.

All that matters, is what one does -- actually, and not what they wanted to do, and all that noise.  It is just their entertainment, their distraction from the important work they have to do.  That's what they don't want to know about.  But when the mind is quiet, it is all there.