Fodder or Feeder?
Clearly, times now are not as they used to be: it’s NOT like the “good old days!” Ofttimes it seems our singular and collective unfolding stories careen without route markers. You may rue the new or face toward the past, gauging absent good old days with an outmoded scale. Or do you pace just in front of a rushing fireball, heading to anywhere, as long as it’s out of the way, directed only by what you are escaping?
One of the foundational texts in Chinese Medicine (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine) discusses in the first chapter how folks nowadays (keep in mind when this was written) don’t know how to live, not like folks in the olden days. Stay up late, drink, carry on and eat immoderately. Scholars don’t really know when this work was written (estimates range 220 BC-220 CE) but it is attributed to the Yellow Emperor who is said to have lived around 2650 BC. No matter the dates, my point is more to human nature and the human condition: we know better but we like to slack off!
Consider Living Well as the Best Revenge as a sociopolitical action as well as a suggestion for maximizing your time here on earth. Consider capitalistic Big Business (Eisenhower’s infamous Military-Industrial Complex bred with Wall Street and Madison Avenue) as feeding off the populace & Gaia by supplying particularly-engineered foods, superfluous material goods & activities, etc for profit of suppliers rather than benefit of consumers, no matter what is said in promotion and advertisement. How much and where do you buy in?
We are made and known by our choices more than our gifts.
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” (Carl Jung)
Create your best self, best future, in all facets and dimensions:
Much is made of spiritual attainment, the higher self, these days. But where is Spirit without a vehicle incarnate? Honor Spirit by honoring Body. Cultivate Spirit by cultivating Body. Eat good food. Move your body. Rest your body. Keep yourself from being fodder for Big Business industrial “food” and Big Pharma profit over real health.
Eat the best quality food you can, the least processed to gain most nutrition so your bodymind operates at it’s best efficiency and minimizes depletion of innate reserves. Set your bodymind up to succeed.
Retain your own power and take responsibility for yourself. Did you really sign up for Big Pharma’s subscription plans? How like Indulgences of old: have your cake and eat it too!
Don’t get me wrong, we live in a time of great option. There are powerful health tools and resources available from cutting edge innovation to ancient wisdom.
You get to choose! Live Well.
Do your own thinking.
From The Dalai Lama: “I’ve learned that peace of mind is not just a matter of dullness, but of being alert & using my intelligence to the full. If we only look at problems we face close up they seem grave, but looked at from different angles our attitude becomes more realistic. The mind remains calm, which we need if we’re going to be able to exercise our intelligence."
He’s talking about the balancing yin and yang. Maintain supple and well-conditioned cognition through “use it or lose it” and rest from mental activity. Be judicious with media and electronics and engagement in current events. It’s almost 70 years since George Orwell’s “1984” was published. He wasn’t wrong, Big Brother is deftly in place (hmm, Big Business, Big Brother: same monogram. Kinda cute, yes?). Where are the interstitial places, the places to rest out of BB’s sight? How to use media for maximum benefit and minimal detriment? Cultivate creativity & wiles. Any artist of any medium will tell you their creative process is dependent on open, undirected, unstructured time and space to invite inspiration. It’s the basic mechanism described in creation myths: out of nothing comes something.
Give yourself the gift of undefined time and space. Live Well.
Chinese Medicine roots the mind in the Heart. Heart mediates all emotions. We develop narratives of our perceptions and encounters; also known as the emotional stories we have of our experiences. Can you work your way back in to the original event and see it, hear it, understand it from an alternate (and equally valid) perspective? How does your emotional state adjust in response? Is there relief from an oppressive memory, confirmation of yourself or another outcome? What was it The Dalai Lama said?
Common thinking may want to separate Mental and Emotional worlds. While they are not exactly the same, I think we all know there’s a great deal of overlap. And here’s a key to the Advertising component of Big Business: the cult of fads. Packaging (psycho-sell) telling you how and what to think, what to feel. Actually, preferring you don’t really think or honestly feel.
Here we are with the Heart again! Heart is the abode of spirit (shen) in Chinese Medicine. So we see Heart as home base for mind, feelings and spirit; in fact, the concept of shen encompasses all three.
What is your true heart’s desire? For what does your spirit long? What is your own curriculum in this life? How do you embody and enact your spirit’s purpose? What pulls you on toward your best self, your best future?
Ah, not simple or easily-answered questions. How to discover the answers? Recognize your innate unique guidance system. Honor the wisdom of your internal Heart compass. Pay attention! Be mindful and do your own thinking.
Live Well to be true to yourself!
“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” M. Ghandi
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” A. Einstein
Find (develop!) your communities of like-minded, like-hearted, like-spirited. Reach out, support one another along the way. Remember those who have gone before, upon whose shoulders we stand. Nurture in to the future in recognition of those who will come after us. If you go back far enough, we’re all related. Community extends beyond the here and now. Technology brings us innovative forms of community.
Live Well on purpose.
As foundational context for life as we know it, is not our parent Earth the ultimate community?
Live well to care for Gaia. Conserve and cultivate natural resources on, in and around earth as well as on, in and around each of us. We’re all in this together, from the microcosm of self through domicile to macrocosm of Earth.
Be kind to your self, it is only one
of many on the planet…
(1965, Allen Ginsberg, “Who Be Kind To”)