Everybody living 50 years ago, realizes that the world that existed back then, has totally changed -- and that is even true of 20 years ago, and the pace of change has accelerated to the point to which one expects everything to change momentarily -- yet only a few years ago, the academics promoted the notion that there was nothing ever new under the sun, and history merely repeated itself -- ever since the dawn of civilization. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth -- if evolution and progress was to be believed, and even those who fancy themselves as "progressive" thinkers, often proclaim that humanity has fallen from the grace and perfect knowledge of times past -- into a devolving ignorance from which only their chosen few are immune, and that is why they so generously offer, to do the thinking for everyone else in the rapidly approaching apocalypse.
Old notions die hard -- in the minds of those resistant to change -- especially those who believe they have a right to think for everybody else, such as was popular in the age of broadcast media as the self-appointed prophets of their times. That was the model of one-way mass communications -- in which a self-chosen few, told the masses what to think -- and even insisted The Constitution endowed them with special rights to speak for everybody else -- and still infer that today as though it is actually written that way. But assuredly, the constitution ensures those rights equally to everyone -- and not just those who call themselves the press, or journalists, or some other euphemism of objectivity and impartiality. They even insist that they alone must be perpetuated as an institution -- even while all the sacred cows of the past have been revealed and undone -- as having passed their prime and usefulness.
Yes, there even was a time when shamans and inquisitors played a central role in society and history -- and not that they were immediately recognized as charlatans and con-artists. They were simply trying to make an "honest living" -- just like everyone else they claim was worse and incredulous. Who was one to believe their own lying eyes, ears and senses? So this reliance on others for information and advice, has been a normal part of human societies and extension of each individual mind since living organisms began living in colonies to form critical masses that could withstand challenges that each individually and independently, might not stand a chance. But such critical masses, improved the chances that there would be a variation, or mutation from that past normal -- into something else, something unforeseen -- the quantum leap into a higher state of consciousness and being -- rather than simply a continuation of the past, and more of the same.
As a matter of fact, the new supplants all the old, and not merely adds one more thing -- to acquire and accumulate -- as the old mind is conditioned to think is the only thing possible. The game has long since changed -- from whomever has the most toys wins. It's not the number of toys that matter, but who has the one thing that does it all -- that therefore allows tremendous consolidation and one to have it all -- without the baggage and storage responsibilities. That of course, is the modern concept of the networked mind (individual) -- accessing everything one needs -- but only as they actually need it, and not having to build stockpiles of anything (and everything), to ensure one makes it through every crisis -- or even daily life!
Such planning and contingencies, no longer need consume our every waking moment and lives -- as it did up to the beginning of this present century -- and new millennium. Many feared on approaching this date, that it might bode the end of the world and life as we knew it -- which actually turned out to be quite true, but no less true than any other time and moment in history. It was simply more clear cut -- and definitive than any moment for at least one thousand years since we flipped the calendar so emphatically.
So while the half-life of everything else seems to have decreased, human life spans have increased to make an entirely new age, or stage of life, now possible for many more than was possible for even the richest or greatest one person living at any time before. That is likely to be true for every succeeding generation as well. Knowing that, the limitation and frontier of every consciousness and being, is the extent to which they can simply plug in to the resources of this time -- first by simply knowing about it.
Cures and solutions may simply be what one doesn't know or is aware of -- and not that such things do not exist. Therefore, the primary task of every viable being, is finding out what is "out there" -- even if they have to create it themselves in that finding out. That is the integrating mind -- that takes all the fragments of information, and makes it whole, comprehensible, and effective (productive) -- in powerful new ways. It is not a return to the "old ways," as all that can be known -- and simply repeated and replicated to eternity.
In that state, or grace of mind, all things then become possible -- including and especially, regarding the concept of "age" and "aging" -- obviously and predictably. One is not simply young and then old with time -- but also new, in the manner of systematically and deliberately "dying to the old, and being reborn in the new" -- which empowers one to be a driving force in their own lives. That is quite the opposite of the current paradigm of becoming less empowered and abled, and ultimately totally dependent on others for everything.
That revival, resurrection, reincarnation has been envisioned for ages now -- as the meaning of life for quite a while now -- as the prescription for whatever ails one. That is also the meaning of the New Age.
Preparation and Practice
Everything one does, is preparation and practice for everything one will subsequently do -- and so no matter how badly and tentatively one begins, they get better with persistence. They don't get better just wishing to do so -- or thinking how to do it perfectly the first time. It may be that they have no idea of what is really and actually involved -- until they actually manifest that knowledge in action (movement). Of course it is always easier just to say and think one can -- because it looks so easy when other people do it -- usually because they've prepared and practiced it for many years, that it looks easy and effortless.
To the observer, they may not realize the full extent of what is actually being done -- but looks at the least significant aspect of it, and thinks that is all there is. This is most obviously true in athletic performances and exercise -- yet all the participants think they are doing the same thing, with obviously different results and competence. And even the self-proclaimed experts are confounded when reality does not conform to their theories and explanations -- and think they simply need a better theory and explanation, instead of realizing the truth of what is actually happening.
That is true for all arenas and actions -- from personal hygiene to personal finance -- and everything else in between. For that reason, everybody does not end up with the same results -- and it is no mystery why that is. A few become masters of what they do -- while many others have no clue as to what is actually being done. Usually that is because they are not paying attention, being thoughtful and (self-) aware. They may even think that such things are not possible -- or the primary task of every individual -- but just mindlessly follow the instructions from whomever they think is the "boss," and struggle mightily against such authority at every opportunity they can -- whether for their own good or not.
Often, everything they do, undermines everything they hope to do and accomplish in their lives, and they can never figure it out -- so distracted and mesmerized are they by all the wrong things. They may be obsessed with the desire to be "rich and famous," but have no idea why that might be so, or what they should do to achieve that fame and fortune. To them, it is only sufficient to desire to be rich and famous, so when their 15 seconds of fame manifest, they have no idea what to do. Their opportunity has come and gone -- and they have no idea what happened.
But those who are prepared and have practiced, rise to such occasions -- because that is what their lives have been all about -- not just wishing and hoping that things were other than they actually are. Whatever they are, and whatever beginning point, one actually has to do something -- no matter how humble that beginning seems. The lack is always this fundamental lack of understanding and executing the basics -- and not what to do when they are rich and famous. That is not the problem.
So when they are not rich and famous, they still have whatever skills they've practiced and perfected -- and not simply the incessant demand for more -- of what they feel everybody has -- that should be their entitlement, because they "want" it more than everybody else. That's no way to run a society, or even one's own life. What each has, is mostly their own doing -- even while resorting to the marketplace to find out who is offering the best exchanges of value for value. Before money is actually exchanged, the best off, will find out all the information available, and what is available -- rather than simply whatever anyone has to sell -- whether it sufficient, or perfectly fits their needs. That takes practice in becoming one's own best expert.
That doesn't guarantee a satisfactory outcome, but necessarily gets one closer -- until one gets to that perfect solution, and not simply creating endlessly more problems. That should be a clue that their solution is not the answer to their troubles, but merely perpetuates the problems, as well as that solution -- someone is invariably selling, as long as they can get away with it. Once it no longer sells, then they have to come up with another gimmick -- hoping to attract another group of buyers -- who never solve their problem. And so they learn to live with it, and live that way -- as their answer to all of life's problems.
They never expect to solve any problems of their own living -- and that is the whole point of it all. Naturally and predictably, everything just gets worse -- and they believe that is the natural consequence of living a long life -- rather than the opportunity of it to make the most of all that time available. Instead, they find ways to waste their time with endless distractions and diversions -- until they have no idea of whether they are coming or going, and are merely confused at every turn and development.
With what little they have, they don't make the best of it -- but make it even less, or waste it entirely. Nobody helps such people because there's no money to be had from doing so -- and so they have to figure these things out for themselves, which is the only way it can happen. Those who are dependent on others for these answers, will invariably find that those solutions, benefit the sellers, and not themselves -- unless it can be of mutual benefit. To eliminate that expensive middle man and derive all the benefits for themselves -- they have to do their own thinking.
And that is the whole point -- they are immeasurably better off for doing so. That is where we all hope to be -- as much as possible for oneselves. That is not optional or a luxury only the rich and privileged have -- but is the very foundation of wealth and well-being. Otherwise, one is constantly at the mercy of others -- despite how much they insist they are doing it for our own good, and nothing is in it for them.
So ultimately, the practice is this awareness -- and not simply what they insist we believe. That is what killed the mainstream media, and all the other intermediaries. We can go directly to the source. It is a wonderful new world -- favoring the fearless in finding out what they need to know. That is a world quite different from those insisting they know all that can be known -- and fit to publish. Those were the days -- that aren't coming back.
Take the Rest of Your Life if You Like
The unfortunate teaching in many schools is the requirement that one must come up with the "right" answer immediately and quickly -- rather than taking as much time as necessary, to arrive at the ultimate (best) answer. The whole point is to get there at some point in ones life -- and that is particularly important, the later on in life that is -- when one most needs it, and it is vitally important -- to get it right.
That is the failing of much contemporary instruction -- that the fastest way is to already have it in memory, rather than searching it out beyond one's existing knowledge -- as one has the urgency and motivation to find out. The truth of the past, may not be the truth of the present situation. Often the answer lies in simply asking the right questions -- and not having all the answers to the wrong questions.
So to say that one finally arrived at the right answer too late -- is to miss the point. The whole point is to find out the truth of any matter -- as long as one lives. That is necessary to living effectively -- at any time in one's life, and no time more vitally, than all one's life. That more than anything, redefines and revitalizes the human life. The question then is, can one really live that way -- in the present moment, and not just in one's thoughts and memories?
This manner of living, is knowing what one needs to know in this moment -- and not merely storing as much information as humanly possible -- in the event that one should really need it. At times like those, one is likely to be so overwhelmed by information and irrelevancies that the simplicity of clarity and a free mind, is not likely to be possible. One is simply too busy doing all those things that do not matter, to have the time, energy and clarity to do the things that absolutely must be done -- as all that matters, and needs doing. They're just "too busy" doing all the wrong things.
So more important than just voting once every four years, one should be exercising intelligence and awareness every day of one's life, in everything one does --as the best strategy for obtaining favorable outcomes in their lives. If one only exercises that faculty once every four years, the chances of getting everything wrong, is highly likely -- wishing one could do it all over again, rather than moving on -- with the other choices one is now faced with -- each and every day.
Those are equally life-changing and life-altering decisions, choices and actions -- rather than the endless political debates by those who do nothing else -- and certainly, nothing consequential in their lives -- but to tell everybody else what to do, and what to think. Hopefully by now, with the Internet and all, they have realized what a difference they can make in their own lives -- and not just for those somewhere far away through self-designated intermediaries of good works and political correctness.
For surely, that is the world we now live in -- with each as principals in their own lives, rather than as pawns to the powers that want to be. That is the question at the heart of every choice one makes -- whether they are more empowered because of it, or more dependent on others to tell them what to do, and what to think -- as though one is not capable and qualified to do that for themselves. That is the crux of the lifestyle one creates for oneself. It has very little to do with the masses -- but is the heart of what it means to be an individual, and uniquely so -- because of all the choices one has made over a lifetime.
None are more important than the one makes now -- in spite of it all. One can turn one's life around at any moment -- no matter how bad, nor good, it has been up to now. That is life. It's not a remembered thing -- or a hope and a prayer. It is how one actually plays the present hand of circumstances. And if that was not so good before, it can be better this time -- not by accident or randomness, but by intention and deliberate action.
One doesn't get there by a leap of faith -- or winning the lottery (randomness), but in getting it right eventually. It doesn't have to be immediately, or even the first time -- as long as one eventually gets there -- sometime in one's life, and the later the better. Because then, one will have made all the mistakes, and come to appreciate it better -- as long as one has not given up, and fail to notice any difference anymore. That is the point of no return and hopelessness.
One hopes never to get to that point at any time in one's life -- as that more than anything else, signals the beginning of the end -- when one no longer expects improvement but only to worsen more slowly -- at best. That is not an actual physical point, as it is a state of mind. So even if one hasn't solved all their problems by then, one still has the rest of their life to work on it -- and there is nothing more important to do -- with all that time one now has in retirement. It's the beginning rather than the end -- for those who don't expect that improvement is any longer possible, or even preferable. One hopes never to get that way, however many people do, and believe it is the only thing possible.
You'd think that nobody thought that way anymore -- with change and rapid improvement exploding all around them. It's not just the cost of living has gone up -- but so has the quality of life -- that many fail to appreciate properly, or at all. They simply take everything for granted -- as their entitlement. The better is not guaranteed to everyone.
Different Manifestations of the Same Problem (Cause)
Occasionally we are overwhelmed by seemingly many problems -- when often, it is just one, with many different faces (manifestations) -- so if we get to the root of the problem, the many seemingly different problems, go away, without addressing each specific issue, as a problem all its own. Of course that is not the most lucrative way to think of these problems -- for a person selling "solutions."
They would prefer to have as many different problems -- as well as their respective cures (solutions) as possible -- to maximize sales, and following that logic, prefer solutions that create even more problems. And that, often, is the conundrum of offering real solutions -- rather than simply multiplying the economic opportunities and activities. It virtually eliminates the steady stream of income from repeat customers, who've come to believe that these chronic, lingering problems -- must be lifelong and inescapable, rather than the thought that life could be very different -- once they've gotten to the root of their problems.
The most common of course, is the belief that their lives would be better, if they only had more money -- when a review of lottery winners and others receiving windfalls, merely speeds their self-destruction -- because they now have more money to lose, and they never bothered to learn to manage whatever resources they have, as wisely as possible. And that more than how much anyone has, is what distinguishes the rich from the poor.
The poor think they simply have more money to waste -- to spend frivolously and thoughtlessly, on every sort of entertainment and dissipation -- because that is what they think rich people do. Among such people, such self-destructive activities is their objective -- until it is no longer possible -- because they have spent all their money, or their health gives out first. Some even pride themselves on the cars they have wrecked -- driving fast and "under the influence" -- of the alcohol and drugs they have gleefully consumed -- even posting it daily on their social media pages for all to witness.
It never occurs to them, that it gives a negative impression of who they are -- and think is so important in life. And then in reviewing all their posts, one realizes their entire lives is nothing but this celebration of the trivial and self-destructive, and everybody else should hop aboard this bandwagon of headlong self-destruction. Such ends are always predictable -- and usually tragic, but it's not like there were no warning signs and red flags flying furiously -- with no desire to alter their course.
Invariably, these people also desire to become rich and famous -- while never sustaining an interest in improving their skill at anything that would merit renown. They think that the spotlight merely must shine on them, and then it will reveal the talents and abilities, they've never thought to develop -- and if they did, becoming rich and famous would be left to those who think erroneously to get anywhere by placing the cart before the horse -- as they think that nothing is related to anything else, and there is no cause and effect, but everyone without exception, lives in a world of random outcomes -- and that good and bad, just happens, no matter what one does.
That is still a worldview -- largely promoted by those to whom the objective of economic activities, is to find the greater fool they can exploit -- as the supreme achievement of every existence, and that there is nothing beyond. Such thought processes are especially prevalent among the criminal and forlorn -- swinging wildly from fits of mania to depression -- while never thinking that control, is what they must master -- as the meaning and purpose of their own lives.
Yet well-intentioned and well-meaning people, will encourage and enable such self-destructive behaviors in others -- as what gives them meaning in their own lives, in the solace that there are others more lost than they are, and even dependent on their approbation. That's how the world, quickly spirals out of control -- as all its energies and resources, are diverted to enabling all the problems of the world, and never its solutions.
They're even self-designated as the defenders of the status quo -- by which they place themselves at the top of the social hierarchy, while the rest of life passes them by -- grateful there is something to occupy them to keep out of the way. That is -- until they become too numerous to ignore, and it is time to repurpose such lives or they become too great a drag on societies -- to merely undo all those activities that are undermining human civilization and progress.
Otherwise, the problem of the homeless and hopeless, eventually overwhelm communities -- because they lack the basic skills to live their lives better -- which should be the objective of primary education, even more than academic proficiencies that merely differentiates and eliminates the less able from the most. Because that is what it comes down to as the great challenge of these times -- how each manages their daily lives, and not that we all have to be Einsteins. Those people just naturally distinguish themselves -- because they can't be anything else but who they are. That's why there are these stunning child prodigies -- who are just gifted from birth, and not the result of years of training and practice.
We don't need to identify those people. We need to identify the basic skills in life that give everybody an equal chance at success -- in managing their own lives, and taking care of themselves -- so that society doesn't have to divert increasing resources, to take care of them. That's not an efficient way of providing for most -- that a few, and eventually most, have to take care of a few -- who are hellbent on their own destruction, for lack of a better thing to do -- because they never receive those basics. Then once each is capable of providing for themselves in that essential way -- they can pursue their own unique talents and abilities, and not that we need more funding and caregivers -- for taking care of an increasing population of people incapable of doing so for themselves.
The presumption is that most will make those choices intelligently -- when they don't know how, and never saw it done by those around them -- growing up. They were confused by the meaninglessness of all the activities with seemingly no good purpose -- even promoted by well-intentioned and well-meaning people who had no idea of what they were doing except to pass on their own training (understanding) -- without thinking, does it make sense? That never enters their mind -- that is simply the tradition they were taught, and continue, and the busier they are at doing so, the less thought they give it -- even if it is not working!
It may never occur to them that it could have a greater meaning and purpose -- than simply to do what they have to do earn a paycheck, and rise higher to earn a bigger paycheck. Or buy a bigger house -- whether they actually require one or not. And so the first thing most do on receiving a raise, is to go out and buy a new car -- for lack of anything better to do with the money, or, that is what everybody else is doing.
Only a rare few think to defer their spending and accumulate wealth -- for a really compelling reason -- rather than blow it as soon as they get it, in the many thoughtless ways now possible -- and then return to await for "more." Of course people operating in this manner will never have enough -- but that is not the root of their problem. They were taught that one could always get more -- and not that one becomes rich by making the best of whatever they have -- the multiplier effect. It is not merely enough to think that "one gets what they pay for" -- but that the difference can be substantial -- for the same money. The challenge is to obtain maximum value -- while also providing maximum value so that one can continue to trade on those terms.
That is quite different from just trying to get over the other so that the other will have nothing to do with them henceforth, and burns all the bridges as one goes through life -- thinking that is the wisdom of the world -- that only they are privy to, as self-appointed guardians of the collective intelligence. That is the root of most human ills.
Endless Self-Promotion and the Tyranny of Opinion
In a world in which everyone competes for attention, the person with all the power, is the one who gives attention -- for that is what everyone is competing for. However, if one is merely one of the many competing for attention, they are already lost -- and have no idea what they are doing -- because they are just doing what everybody else is doing, and running with the crowd.
Their explanation for their behavior, is that is what everybody else is doing -- so why shouldn't they? And each pushes the boundaries, until they all begin to fall off the cliff -- and there is no turning back. Each thinks to outdo the other -- thinking there is no end. That is most obvious in conspicuous consumption but also true in most aspects of behaviors and activities -- that the frenzy goes on forever, and there is no turning point and return to balance -- until it happens.
Thus the wise, have always advised moderation in all things, never knowing for certain, when the pendulum will swing -- in its own mysterious timing. That's never stopped anyone from trying to be ahead of the curve -- while countless others will be in denial, all the while it is happening. So one can never be too certain of what they think is happening, and which way the wind is blowing -- because it may have changed, during the time one was making plans for eternity.
For a few, those are visions of enshrining themselves at the top of their favorite charity and cause --themselves. They will stop at nothing that stands in their way of self-aggrandizement. Neither shame nor embarrassment will deter nor discourage them. They are tone-deaf; they don't want to hear anything other than what they want to believe. They will go to their grave with those convictions -- because they feel life is not worth living any other way -- and are willing to take as many as they can down with them in that final blaze of glory.
It should not be so. Nobody should be so deluded, desperate and starved for attention and validation from the opinion of others -- they think have no other reason for being but to sustain them in that way. Invariably, it is just a figment of their imagination. Nobody cares -- as well they shouldn't. They should be too busy caring for themselves. That is the key to personal responsibility and accountability. That is the first and last line of defense. Lacking that, ruthlessness thrives -- as everyone tries to see what they can get away with.
So it is thought that only opinions (polls) matter -- and what one can do to manipulate them -- even if one has to do it themselves. Many lives are now dedicated to those ends. That's no longer the exclusive province of "Madison Avenue," and the mainstream media to tell everyone what to think -- because they themselves, are scrambling for their own lives. So how to know what to believe? One can no longer believe -- but has to find out, for themselves, as best one can -- and go with it as far as it will take them. But they have to question all their premises and assumptions -- and take nothing for granted. Otherwise, they are lost. -- and have no idea what they are talking about.
That is the new world of uncertainty -- in which one is only as good as one can find out, and have to do it for themselves. But everyone has the tools -- if they want to avail themselves of them. That's become the inequality in the world -- the great differentiator: Those who really want to find out the truth of any matter, and those who would prefer others do all their thinking for them. The former is to live an authentic life -- while the other couldn't tell the difference if their lives depended on it.