Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mistaking the Effect for the Cause

"Correlation" is the co-incidence of two events happening simultaneously -- neither of which may have caused the other.  It is just noted that when there is an incidence of one event -- the probability of another event occurring at the same time, is that correlation.  

Less well understood, especially by those with just a politically correct (liberal arts) education without any science courses -- is the cause and effect relationship -- that is to say, that one thing causes the other, virtually without fail.  Then we're pretty certain, that one thing, is the cause of the other -- so to see the other, we have to cause it.

Nowhere is this misunderstanding greater than in the field of conditioning for fitness -- where one hopes that by doing certain things, one improves their chances for survival and success -- which is being fit to do so.  So essentially everything a person does -- is a preparation for everything else they will subsequently do, and if all they are experiencing is failure in everything they do, they have to change their behavior to produce the desired outcomes.

But that doesn't happen just because one wants them to; there are preparations and practices one must take to increase the likelihood and probability of those favorable outcomes -- all one's life.  There's never a point at which one can just call it a day and coast on in to the promised land of everything good, and nothing bad will ever happen again.  It requires a vigilance, constant preparation and practice -- or the results become less certain, unpredictable and erratic -- the normal definition of failure, disappointment and frustration leading to depression.

Thus the bottom line question asked by most health professionals, is summed up by the question, "Have you experienced depression in the last several weeks?"  Not to, indicates the resilience and robustness of that individual to feel they can overcome most challenges and difficulties -- and the future successes of that individual.  But that does not require a Ph.D or M.D. to master; it can come from any regimen that empowers one to feel that way -- capable of being successful at what they have to do in life, including all the things healthy people take for granted -- such as their own self-care, grooming, hygiene, cleanliness, nutrition, practices, interactions with others, etc.

Failing those minimal tasks, is a dire prognosis for the future of that individual.  So one hopes to get at least that much right -- for all the days of their lives.  Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, those lessons are seldom taught, systematically and rigorously, which already sets one up for a lifetime of successes or a lifetime of failures, and in the end, even the most previously successful succumb -- thinking they never have to improve anymore.  But all of life, is this evolution of being and improvement -- or there is extinction.  That is the Way of Life.

Still, many think that if they were only rich and famous (first), they would surely become good at something eventually -- and not that it will simply speed their self-destruction.  In the field of physical conditioning, many are prescribed a course that is impossible, and if they don't (can't) do it, they will predictably be in bad shape, but if they could walk on their hands for 100 yards each day, they would assuredly remain in remarkable condition they had never achieved before at any time before in their lifetime -- as though that was any wisdom and usefulness.

Yes, I suppose if one could fly or walk on water, one would have godlike powers -- and health.  So the question one asks, is not what one cannot do that will one day result in their doing so, but what can they actually do -- and improve?  That answer should be obvious and self-evident -- in increasing the range of motion of what movement one already manifests.  By that, one means more precisely, increasing the range of motion one can obtain voluntarily and willfully -- and not by any outside force forcing a range of movement that can be done safely and healthfully (without injury).  Otherwise, we can just snap a head back with the justification that "whatever doesn't kill one, will make them stronger and better off for it."

Obviously, that is the wrong understanding -- but not unlike much advice one hears in many highly competitive and destructive activities -- especially to see how far they can push the limits without injury and death.  There is a certain appeal and thrill to some -- who misunderstand the first rule of survival and fitness is not to be injured or killed by anything one does.  That includes the realization that if one doesn't use their legs anymore, the chances of them becoming permanently disabled are inevitable -- that can be effectively maintained by using them daily, for at least a few repetitions in increasing that specific range of motion -- daily.

So rather than being a hard thing to do, it should be made easy by practice and intent -- even if one does nothing else otherwise.  That is especially so for those who have no better use of their time than to devote it to dissipation and destructive habits -- even if they think that is what their "retirement" should be all about -- hastening their own end until it is over -- as the only way they know how to be.  That is the only way they've seen it done before -- and not that that stage of life now has to be re-created and re-imagined, because it was never possible before.

But that is the challenge of this time and age -- as never before.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

The new New Age

The new old age is also the new New Age -- having supplanted both -- as the real nature of new.  Otherwise, it is just the old being called the "new" -- when it is just the same ol' thing.  That used to fool a lot of people -- deceived by a word, and not the actual fact.  Increasingly, that is what the new age does -- integrate the new with the old -- so all that remains, is the new -- and present reality.

By "old," we now mean the world that used to exist before the turn of the century -- when though it was anticipated with great trepidation -- was lost just as "1984," was denied happening.  The world became "1984," but then became the 21st century -- or the new millennium, although the world did not end in the way many thought it would.  Rather, the new just came into being -- and did not have to kill off the old.

It is enough, just not to give it new life -- by repeating it as the way things are -- because they are wholly different now.  Comparisons to the past, keeps those memories alive -- along with its knowledge, which is of the past.  Discovering the truth of the moment, does not reference the old for that understanding -- but seeks to understand the present as it is unfolding.  The mind discovering the new, has no preconceived notion of knowing what it is -- which is the mind of the past, mired in the past.

Previously, every "old" generation thought it was their responsibility and duty to pass on the old ways of thinking and doing -- as though somehow, they were superior to the new -- always.  If nothing else, they became defenders of the status quo -- to keep things the same as they always had been -- at least in their own lifetimes.  But a few, and then the many, began to question whether that made any sense at all -- when it was understood that the truly new, supplanted and included everything that was known before -- in the present.

Unlike previous times, it was admitted that nobody really knew "everything," and far more needed to be discovered, than had previously been known -- especially when things didn't work out so well with the old (past) understanding.  Instead, there is always uncertainty -- in which each has to discover for themselves what is the truth -- in their own experience.  That was previously dismissed as the anecdotal -- or individual experience, that varied from one to another -- which was never allowed previously.  Each was only a cog like every other cog in the great machine of society.

Individual means indivisible or whole.  It is the basic quantum of reality.  It is the one meaning total.  That is the foundation of statistics, and great numbers -- but each is not simply a part of reality, but the whole of reality, for particular individuals.  Everyone does not die of heart disease -- but some people do.  That should be of great concern to those who will, but less so to those who won't, and are more predisposed to other vulnerabilities -- that each discovers as they live their lives.  It is the same way with  abilities and talents.  Properly done, it takes a lifetime to discover, and develop -- and is the meaning and purpose of those lives.

How well each does -- determines their success in life -- in developing the mastery of that life -- from beginning to end.  In this, the game is not over half way through -- or after 20 or 40 years, but lasts the whole lifetime.  Most, in the past, haven't done that so well -- beginning to lose that vital life force at 60, 50, and even 40 -- when they began to think it was all downhill from here, with no further worlds to conquer.

That is the great problem of these times -- the old old age.  It is becoming increasingly apparent that that continuance, is not sustainable -- because eventually, we get to the point that everybody has to be dedicated to caregiving everybody else, and nobody has the time or energy to care for themselves -- which means that things just get worse, and can never get better.  But life has to get better -- or it will cease to exist.  That is the self-evident truth.  Things must get better -- and not simply repeat themselves, as they have always done before.

That is just an illusion.  It was not always that way before. That was just the old culture saying so -- hoping to perpetuate itself for eternity.  But history does not repeat itself -- except for the defenders of the status quo saying so.  Even as they do so, they will deny that that is what they are doing -- preserving the past -- through their songs, habits, compulsions, and dysfunctions of fragmented and disintegrating lives.

Their problems are always "outside" themselves rather than the very core of their being -- internally.  That is where most problems are -- and so can never be solved.  But if they are the problem, then they can be the solution -- just in the understanding of that.  That is the problem -- the understanding of it.  Properly understood, there is no problem.  That is particularly the problem of the old old age.  Previous generations did not realize that everything they do -- becomes them.  You can't do everything wrong, and think that the outcome will be good.  You have to do all the right things -- to produce a more favorable outcome.

The wrong exercises (practice) won't work; they aren't working.  But one has their whole life, to find out what works for them -- and failing that, or failing to try, dooms one to failure, and ultimately (premature) extinction.  There is no guarantee of success -- but that is the chance one has to take, and nothing is more important to do.  Then the prognosis for a whole generation becomes better than we could imagine -- only knowing what we know now.

What changes that -- and everything, is discovering what works -- and wholly living in that new reality, and not just arguing the old against the new.  That is totally counterproductive -- and won't solve any problems.  That's how the world changed in the 21st century -- leaving behind most not born into it.  Old age has always been this failure -- and not greater successes that surely must be more possible given greater opportunities and advantages.

Beyond people living longer, they are living better than was even imagined for the most privileged twenty years ago.  Every twenty years is better than the previous.  So how does one take advantage of that opportunity?  Not by merely living longer, but by living as best they can -- which is not being stupid.  That a few think that that is what is meant, shows their lack of understanding -- that the good is not bad, and other (self-)contradictions.  The good is that which is intelligent to do.  That solves all problems -- and not simply repeating what hasn't worked before -- hoping for a different outcome.

Life doesn't work very well that way.