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.
Creating One's Own "Paradise"
No man is an island unto themselves; they are part of a larger environment (context) -- that either fosters health, or is toxic to well-being. But what those conditions are to different people -- varies somewhat, and sometimes significantly. Some prefer it colder, while others like it hot. Some can thrive at high altitudes, while others might perish -- even at the thought. So those latter people identify, what they feel are those conditions that make them thrive. Some like the uncertainty of the weather, while others prefer the same -- not only in the weather, but in all things. If each could identify and choose their own perfect environment, there would be no problem, but invariably, there are those who would wish to impose their preferences, on everybody else -- no exceptions! -- and that is the root of most conflicts.
However in this day and age, we have the capabilities for each to personalize their own environment -- given the general one we all start off with. It may be as fundamental as the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we consume -- and the freedom and choices in each of those considerations. Further along, we could maintain that environment in fully functioning order and cleanliness -- or think those things never need to be considered, and the condition of their deterioration and degradation, is beyond human intervention -- and what the gods alone determine.
So fundamentally, this is a problem of understanding -- and from that, the proper actions naturally flow out of them. But with the wrong understanding, or lack of understanding and the need for it, problems arise and worsen -- and one feels powerless to do anything about them. Those are invariably the challenges of each time and place -- before progress can resume, and eventually leap forward. If only the familiar problems keep getting worse, it is seldom that more of the familiar and well-accepted solution is the answer -- and most likely, that understanding is the problem -- that has to be re-examined, because merely continuing in that manner, is disastrous -- while another way might not be.
Logically, we must find another way -- that doesn't perpetuate and worsen the problem -- as the only effective and reasonable answer. That is particularly the crisis of the homeless in the major cities -- where it is still thought, that simply failing to recognize the problem and the needs, will make it go away -- rather than providing and ensuring the basic necessities for everyone as much as possible. That would be ensuring the necessary hygiene for all those sharing that environment -- even before they have a secure place to sleep and store their possessions. That is the quality of life (and environment) that must be maintained -- before all other considerations.
That is even the primary reason for securing shelter -- for all the other reasons. A person ensuring that quality of personal hygiene and health, is doing their part to create a better environment for all. Beyond that, a person can sleep anywhere, or eat their meals under most conditions -- but a person with poor hygiene, degrades that environment for all -- and will not allow normal proceedings to continue, until they are addressed, and dealt with definitively. But we don't have to rediscover and recreate the wheel for every such instance.
In most cases, those facilities already exist -- but are not given access to because there is no manpower to oversee them -- in the erroneous belief that if public hygiene stations are not provided -- or are inaccessible (locked), the people who need them, won't "go" -- or simply go away. As attractive as the thought, it won't happen that way. People who need to "go," will go regardless of whether they are provided the facilities for doing so -- or not, and so for the benefit of the environment (society), it's in their own best interest, to see that it is disposed of properly -- and in safety.
It's a public health problem and not a public housing problem -- foremost. It's a universal problem -- but those who have a place to go, usually don't go out for that reason -- which inhibits their mobility. That skews the populace and public places in favor of the dispossessed -- who now take them over entirely -- promoting the notion that it is less safe to be out in public spaces. That is now the plight of most urban environments.
But those who remain home, are not home-free by any means. Often, those personal environments may be as polluted as the outdoor environment they have less control over. Many do not think they need nor have the control over their own personal environments -- thinking doors and windows are enough to keep toxins and pollutants out. Therein lies the greater problem -- in not realizing that they can take extra-ordinary measures to ensure their personal paradise -- to a much greater extent than the average person thinks possible, or nearly thinks about at all. That personal space, can also be degraded even with the best of intentions and care.
The problem is that mold and mildew grows in virtually every home -- to which are added, pet dander, cigarette smoking, water leaks and flooding, no ventilation and heating sufficient to maintain a healthy environment. Most places don't have air purification systems -- beginning with the microbial masks warn in many contemporary environments to assure quality products and services. Does that mean one should be paranoid about these things? I feel more confident and assured when my surgeon or dentist wears a microbial mask -- as well as when I see a chef wearing one. And then in today's precision manufacturing business (processes), it is rare to see one without such a barrier to contamination.
I've found that when I feel a cold or other respiratory symptom coming on, wearing an antimicrobial mask, seems to be a nearly instant, reliable cure -- as long as I take that precaution, and maintain that practice for as long as I think necessary. There doesn't seem to be a downside for doing so. Even the cheapest of these masks, claim a 99% effective rate at eliminating bacteria, fungi and allergens -- while those with an added layer of activated carbon, eliminate most of the bothersome odors -- including second-hand smoke.
This effectiveness of purification -- gives a whole new meaning to the concept of clean, fresh, pure air -- and is already being widely adopted in areas notorious for the most polluted air in the world. Think what it can do for a relatively clean environment. It's a huge difference between eliminating 99% of the pollutants -- and not -- in the very air that one breathes, that it would seem to be the most effective strategy one could adopt to bulletproof oneself from most common irritants -- including just bad odors.
The question for most is whether it is worth the extra nominal expense and inconvenience of wearing such an enhancement. But it is nothing really new -- in that some of the most traditional societies have long standing adoption of such methods to protect against harsh climatic conditions -- ie. dusty, arid environments. Or the extremely cold. We largely don't think we need such devices anymore because of modern heating and cooling systems -- but if that were enough, we wouldn't see them in operating or manufacturing rooms either. They are effective up to a point -- but nowhere near what can be easily achieved with this addition -- obviously.
Some things are as simple and obvious as that. What would you do to live to 100 -- without all the usual afflictions one has come to accept as inevitable and inescapable? It's in the air -- in the environment we live in, which is integrally, ourselves.
It Doesn't Take a Genius
It is very easy to design an exercise program that people can't -- or won't do. It doesn't take a genius to do that. The genius lies in designing an exercise program that someone can and will do -- every day of their lives, and not just when they feel good enough to do it. Obviously, the greatest value of any exercise program, will be one that can change one from not wanting to move, to moving because it makes them feel better -- rather than requiring one to feel at their best to even try.
Yet that is the mindset of most exercise regimens -- that people give up at the first opportunity and challenge to do so. So obviously, the barriers to entry must be low -- and one is moving before one knows it -- and the resistance (fatigue) builds. And then beyond that, many add on greater layers of complexity -- that all but the most able are capable of -- which of course proves the superiority of the instructor (strongest), but eliminates most of the weak and less abled from further participation -- all in the misguided notion that it is actually making the weak, strong, or would, if they merely persisted and overcame their limitations and objections.
And rather than thoughtful and educated people realizing those errors in wishful thinking -- they devise even more difficult and tortuous things that only they can do, to prove the superiority of their indoctrination, and people give them the benefit of the doubt that it makes sense at all to proceed further down that path of a well-proven failure.
Of course, they will argue, if everyone did the impossible (could fly), they would be in much better shape -- and more fit to take on the even more preposterous and ambitious. They may even designate and certify themselves as "experts," allowing them to charge exorbitant amounts for such advice. These fads and madness may even rise in popularity until all those who can do it are aboard -- before moving on to the next "challenge" -- until exhausting all their time, energy and resources, and realizing there is no end in sight, while receiving very little benefits in return.
But most of them, are not used to thinking about returns and results because their conditioning is to believe that expenditure alone is enough -- and when one runs out of that unlimited resource, then one simply doesn't get up, and suffers the decades in decline and deterioration to their final end. In such a case, it should become obvious that just a little will go a long way -- and running marathons and setting a new Guinness record is not a motivation that simply picking oneself off the floor as many times as one needs to, is sufficient to maintain that viability all one's days -- while the fast and the furious, are whiling the rest of theirs, with hip, knee, heart replacements -- while immobilized in their beds and wheelchairs for the remainder of their days.
That is the simple, stark truth of the matter. If one can't move, move the easiest thing possible -- and that will always be, the minimal response possible -- invariably at the smallest joint/muscle for doing so. That is the realization and understanding that makes greater movement possible -- and not starting with the greatest recruitment of the largest muscles -- familiarly known as the core. Movement at the core, gets one nowhere -- because those muscles are not designed for movement but for stability. The muscles at the extreme distances from the core -- are those designed for movement, articulation -- and expression. There is where all the senses and sensibilities are located -- which is the genius in placing them where they can be maximally mobilized.
You don't want your nose, eyes and ears at your rectum. But increasingly, as one does less and less, the only movement they think possible, and are capable of anymore, is that movement at that focal point, which they now refer as the "movement." That is the sad regression from movements and expressions at their extremities -- which necessarily implies all the intervening supporting structures and functions -- but not vice-versa. With that fundamental flaw in understanding, doom is a certainty -- because that is not the design and function of a body in good health, understanding and functioning.
That is where one would measure functionality and health -- and not at the vital organs of the heart and lungs -- which are the given and constants, and not the variables. All the other things one can do, are the variables -- that one can do, but to think that all that is necessary to optimize health is to directly affect the heart rate and breathing, is wholly misguided. That results as a response to everything else one is doing. That is to say, that one does not get their heart rate and breathing up, in order to run a marathon, or do anything, but that rise results from the effort in doing anything -- quite naturally, as a response to what is needed.
If one mistakes the effect for the cause, then serious damage will result -- and at the least, be unproductive -- so that one no longer bothers to try. That is what insightful people have called wrong understanding -- and more of it is not the solution -- but the cause of the problem. However, the right understanding, produces right effort. So that is where one has to begin -- and not arrive only at the end. Obviously in that way, one will never arrive at the right outcome -- beginning with the wrong understanding -- no matter how much one puts into any effort. It is not the effort but the understanding that ultimately matters -- and results.
When the Ordinary Becomes the Extraordinary
Far more people are disabled by their own lack of exercise -- than are disabled by illnesses and injuries. That is as crippling as actual inabilities. And even among the ill and injured, some recover while many never do -- and remain disabled for life. The few who do recover completely and even go on to develop even greater capacities by their resolve, are the renown heroes of athletics, but just as extraordinary, are those who recover merely to walk again, and do all the things required to maintain themselves at their everyday functionality. It may not seem like much, but it is the fundamental basis that empowers everything else.
Most of us take these things for granted until we are older -- when they become increasingly problematical as their new reality. It is at such time and epiphanies, that everyone decides that life can still get better for them, or just continue to decline and deteriorate -- from here on out. What that point in life is, varies greatly from individual to individual. Some begin to decline as soon as they can -- while a remarkable few, never come to that crisis.
Instead, they continue to get better with age. Of course, that is not the general rule, but the exceptional -- which is still possible at any age. Those are the people expecting change, and planning and preparing to rise even further to the challenge. That is the winning attitude -- but what else is more important to do? But it is entirely personal -- what one chooses to become good at. If they are wise, they will continue to do the ordinary things in their life - for the rest of their lives. They don't need to run a marathon or swim a mile. They have to do the ordinary things -- as well and better than they ever have. That is the extraordinary.
Life increasingly becomes personal -- at which point a lot of people, call it quits. Lots of support in one's younger years, but at some point, one realizes they are all on their own -- and nobody else cares as much about the outcome. That's a shocking realization for those who have been driven thus far, by the thoughts and opinions of others to determine what their lives will be. Nobody else really cares -- as much as you do. If you don't care, nobody else will. That is the truth of the matter.
That's not what the institutions and media would have us believe -- that anything could be other than what they are promoting, and selling -- as the truth we all know, presumably. However, what we all "know." may vary greatly. Hopefully, we are discovering new truths all the time. But that is not just the work of a few self-designated, but everyone, in every aspect of their lives. That is the significance and work of every life. The rest is distraction and entertainment.
That too, may be increasingly many people's realities -- as the virtual becomes the actual.
The "Fast" Solution
From time to time -- if one is looking for paradigm changing new ideas for problems that simply grow out of control despite the conventional and popular "solutions" that merely perpetuate the problem and make it more lucrative -- one runs across something that rings true with every other truth one has encountered before, and then everything makes sense -- rather than seeming to spiral completely out of control despite all the conventional efforts.
Throughout intellectual history, that has always been the case -- that the great minds all become focused on the same problems -- because that is the threat of the day that threatens everyone's survival. So naturally, not just one person comes up with a solution, but many arrive at the same conclusion, which one articulates better than all the others. Such a person is Dr. Jason Fung and his outreach via the social media rather than the traditional mainstream media, promoting his ideas on the age-old practice of fasting for most of the conditions that have been exploding out of control -- which is obesity and type 2 diabetes -- which are the problems of abundance, affluence and overconsumption.
That is actually not unique just to these times -- but other times as well -- but historically afflicting much fewer. Those were the problems of the kings and pharoahs -- rather than the multitudes, which didn't have to deal with such "problems." Theirs was largely the problem of scarcity and inaccessible to most. But now we live in a world of tremendous accessibility to all the goods and services the world produces and makes available -- which requires a completely different set of survival and proficiency skills -- particularly choosing wisely from everything available. Because if one does not successfully manage these resources, one will be overwhelmed and buried by all of it.
So more than ever, successful individuals, have to choose wisely from the overwhelming, to a very select few -- because indiscriminately eating all one can eat, will kill them as surely as we are seeing presently -- which is not just the normal course of life and especially, "growing old." That is not the only, and inevitable way it has to happen -- for most, if not all. The future life can be something else -- but requires a necessary shift in course because of the new realities -- as the world changes from time to time. That is life -- and how we adapt to it.
Of course it is harder for people who have been conditioned to think they should never change -- and change again -- as many times as it takes, to get it right. That probably, is all one's life, and those no longer changing with the times, are predictably having an increasingly difficult time until all their processes shut down -- from the failure to adapt. One does not need to have an advanced degree and training to do that -- for all the challenges of their daily living. It is simply enough to pay attention and be aware of what is happening -- and not misled by the popular knowledge promoted by the various self-interest groups claiming that jurisdiction and expertise -- while the situation spirals out of control.
And that was the situation for most of the affluent societies in the world -- this lack of discipline and restraint -- that was becoming "unthinkable" in the world of abundance and convenience. Instead, the media (marketing) messages, encouraged unlimited consumption -- as though there were no adverse consequences. In order to get that message out on commercial media, one had to generate massive revenues -- with those particularly susceptible, being those who spent time on such exposures -- while only a few could remain immune -- because of their discipline not to, and disinterest. But the masses were tuned in by default -- and thought that was the extent of knowledge and possibilities.
That's how social media had a tremendous advantage -- if they could ever break through the self-imposed trivia, many were conditioned to believe as the only thing possible. They thought that anything truly valuable, had to be monetized to be justified -- and validated. But the world is far more than commerce -- and commercial considerations. That is particularly true for the rich and prosperous -- and not just more of everything. There is a point at which the quantitative reaches a critical mass and transforms into a qualitative difference. It is not simply more but entirely different and better.
Then the struggle to understand the incomprehensible ceases -- and gives way to a new ease in understanding -- everything.
Usually one finds something when one is not looking for it. That's why research grants don't usually work. They merely confirm what one already wants to believe -- and every other finding is discounted and dismissed -- because that is not what is being observed and measured -- and that is not what they are funded for. So even if the results are even more astounding than what they are being paid to confirm, they cannot be distracted -- even if it is far more valuable and significant. That is not how the system works -- and many will smugly point this out -- as though they know better, and pride themselves in their sophistication.
Meanwhile, great truths elude them -- because they know only the the minutia. And so they live in constant fear of ever finding out the truth of any matter -- because that would distract them from their job -- which is to be paid not to think for themselves, but only to think what somebody else would like them to think. That is what they are getting paid for.
So arriving at that point in life in which they actually think for themselves -- and find out the truth of anything, is their greatest fear -- for which they never dare to go beyond. That is the frontier and limits of their thinking -- especially in the old world view, that prevents them from ever discovering the new -- which is the "unthinkable." They never think to go "there." That is off-limits -- until first one, and then another, proves that it is not the fear it was thought to be -- and a whole new world is discovered, and created.
Of course there are many things we need to avoid -- but fear is this conditioned response to anything, and not just those things that are truly bad for us. It can also be a fear of that which is actually good for us -- such as thinking for ourselves, when a self-selected few think they should do the thinking for everybody else. That disempowers everybody else -- and eventually disables them.
It begins with the most basic fear of life -- that of starving to death, which many learn to avoid every moment of their lives -- that then becomes their great undoing, particularly in the new world of abundance and virtually unlimited plenty. The worst off, are convinced that the objective and purpose of life, is to overconsume as much as humanly possible -- unaware that humanity did not evolve under those conditions, that now become extremely problematical -- taken to extremes and excess. It is rightfully observed to be "mindless" consumption -- for the conditioned fear of never having enough -- when that has ceased to be the reality.
Then the most extreme overuses (abuses), are what we recognize as compulsive disorders, or addictions. One simply can't help themselves -- whether that is eating, drinking, exploiting, competing, cheating -- when it is not necessary, and have become counterproductive and damaging. So the first thing, is to become "mindful" of what one is doing -- and what one is not doing -- in its most basic simplicity.
That is the power of fasting -- or not eating anything, for as long as possible. Nothing is as effective at focusing one's attention than simply not eating for as long as possible -- totally voluntarily. That is the wisdom of the ages. Then the mind is fully focused and in tune with the body -- and from that integration, one can act with effectiveness. Of course, forcing it on another, is always a violence -- but the self-enforcement of such a practice, is the cultivation of the discipline to accomplish anything else. That is the very embodiment of the delayed gratification necessary to achieve great things.
Those unconditioned in this way, are the failures of every culture and societies -- demanding immediate gratification no matter what the circumstances and consequences. In this manner, they must consume all they can, at every moment possible, and know nothing else, no other possibilities -- because it is not of their will, and voluntary exercise. Those are the troubling crimes of these times -- when people felt they had no choice, no other way they could have been.
Something very fundamental and basic was missing from their earliest years. That critical lesson was not always getting what they wanted, every time they wanted it -- without fail. Such conditioning is the ultimate failure -- and that's why the self-imposed practice and exercise of not consuming all one can, is a basic lesson one must practice and exercise all one's life. Often, one must do what is right, even when there is no immediate pay-off -- because the real pay-off, is in knowing that one still can exercise mindful and willful action -- especially when nobody else is around to validate it. It is just who you are -- and the person one is. That's all that matters.