The human experience is one of emotional variation; of joy and despair, potential and peril. In this all human beings are united and share a common humanity. However, people are also united in another way, and often in a way that they do not consciously realize. If they do realize it, they often become too beleaguered by fear and paralyzed by sheer terror to face it. I am writing about contradictions.
A contradiction does not result from faulty logic, as many would claim. Instead, a contradiction results from a lack of logic, because logic is by its nature unable to be faulty. Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification. In this sense, applying logic is very important for the bodybuilder. Logic is the foundation of science.
Calling the sky "ground" is one example of a contradiction. Something cannot be both sky and ground at the same time, no more than something can be scientific and mystical at the same time, with respect to the same issue, in the same way.
The foundation of logic is: A is A. Put another way, identity is reality. To call an object by an identifying title means that only that single object may be called by that name. Identity is reality; A is A.
This realization allows man, using his senses, to make concrete, real and objective determinations about reality. It allows him to determine specific things about the metaphysical, and presents him with the ability to formulate plans of action with respect to the man-made.
However, sadly, the prevailing attitude of modern society with respect to absolute knowledge is [in the words of Bertrand Russell] "Don't be too sure! No one can be certain of anything!"
Statements like these lead to confusion and chaos, and provide each person room to invent their own version of the "truth" on any issue they please. There is only ONE truth [the metaphysical]. Anything man-made is susceptible to error and chaos. The man made is not infallible. Proponents of the "no one can know anything for sure" mentality seek to destroy the method by which man determines reality: his mind. If no one can be sure of anything then absolute knowledge is impossible, and thus chaos and confusion rule.
The idea that no one can be certain of anything is clearly false, and is, in fact, a mentally poisonous idea that leads to confusion, chaos, and feelings of helplessness in times of danger, hopelessness in times of despair, and worthlessness in times where action is needed most. Perhaps the psychological phenomenon of belief perseverance was a compensatory action of the evolutionary process. In light of this line of reasoning it may be credibly argued that this is the case.
It is true that certain people cannot determine anything: the deceased. However, if you are human and are alive, and if you have at least one of your five senses intact, you can make certain determinations about reality. If your sense of touch is not degraded or impaired you can, for example, tell for certain whether or not placing your hand in a flame is helpful or harmful to your physical survival. Other examples exist, but I will not list them here.
I will now show the implausibility of the correctness of Mr. Russell's statement by asking: If no one can be certain of anything, how is it that Mr. Russell has become certain of it? The question is as rhetorical as the answer is self-evident.
Despite the obvious flaws inherent in the writings of Mr. Russell and those like him [Kant, Hume etc.] the ideas they represent still hold weight in the minds of the uncritical around the globe. Bodybuilders are not exempt or immune from holding these thoughts, or suffering their vicious results.
Many bodybuilders, in fact, try to find the solution to gaining muscle while denying that a solution is possible. In harboring the philosophies outlined above and in holding these inhibiting contradictory thoughts, many bodybuilders bear guilt. In truly believing that nothing can be known for sure, bodybuilders, and their fellows in society, perpetuate the notion that nothing can be known or accomplished [this includes muscle growth].
"Nonsense" you say. "Bodybuilders do all that they can to gain muscle" you reason. "Besides, this philosophy is all well and good, but it's the stuff of academics, and has no effect on me." To you I ask: Do bodybuilders REALLY do all that they can to gain muscle? Are you SURE that they do? And, most importantly, are you CERTAIN that these ideas have no impact on your ability as a bodybuilder?
Whether or it is consciously realized, most bodybuilders have difficulty gaining mass and improving their health because of two conflicting philosophical systems at work within them. These systems are the systems of [some form of] mysticism and pseudo-science.
The process of bodybuilding is a physical and psychological endeavor. Make no mistake: bodybuilding is as much about the body as it is about the mind; at least it is if your goal is to experience a return on your investment of blood, sweat and tears.
Because bodybuilding involves the mind and the body, and thus the physical body and the psyche, it is important to realize that physical and psychological laws apply to bodybuilding, as with every other human daily activity. After all, things function according to their nature; they have no other choice. AS THEY ARE, THINGS FUNCTION. This takes us back to the fundamental tenet of logic: A is A.
All things MUST, to FUNCTION, operate within a defined set of established parameters. When objects operate not as they are intended, they MAL-function. The rules of a physical objects functioning is determined by its nature. This being the case, the physical body functions according to the laws of the physical universe - chemistry, physics, biology, etc. The psyche must also function according to its makeup.
The human mind builds concepts from fundamentals. From concepts the mind makes specific discriminations. Let me provide an example:
A child opens his eyes and sees an object. Before he is able to identify it as a "ball" he must first take note of its physical features. Therefore, he arbitrarily assigns the object the name of "round." He does this by comparing the "round" with other things in his visible spectrum that are not "round." Therefore, he has identified that this one object is UNLIKE the others, by comparison and contrast.
From this he is able, when seeing something else that he calls "round," to see that, by contrast and comparison, this one "round" is not the same as the other "round." So he then, psychologically, requires a new identifying label to distinguish from one another, within the primary concept of "round", seemingly unlike objects. Using the fundamental of "round," then, he DISTINGUISHES one fundamentally like object from the other by creating a concept he calls "color." For each different "color" that appears unlike the others previously identified and integrated into his brain, he creates a new label. He does this until he notices no new objects requiring classification or identification.
From the example of the child provided we see how he has taken a PRIMARY observation, delivered to him through transduction, and constructed a hierarchical system of concepts by which to identify the objects of reality. This is how the human mind works: by taking the metaphysical or man-made, and forming concepts - specifics - from primary and basic observations. This is, not surprisingly [or perhaps surprisingly to some], how science integrates raw data observed from the metaphysical into theories about the nature of the universe and its functioning.
The functioning of the psyche is predictable and mathematical. Non-biological computers [anything that is not the human brain] utilize mathematics based on binary code [ones and zeros]. From binary code computers construct algorithms in a hierarchical manner. Computers use binary code upon which to construct mathematical algorithms because binary numbers are indivisible mathematical existents [with the exception of vector spaces and prime extension fields, with units other than one]. This is the method by which computers function.
The human mind, as shown, uses indivisible axioms [in the metaphysical] from which to create concepts that become increasingly complex as more data is integrated and associated with them. The human mind can not FUNCTION by any other method. The nature of the mind determines its functioning.
The proper functioning of the psyche is predicated upon the observance of, and adherence to, psychological principles. Psychological problems occur only when a breach of psychological law has occurred. Mysticism is one example.
Mysticism of any type [religion, supernaturalism, existentialism, Hellenism, etc] is a process of psychological malfunction. In effect, mysticism is the process of accepting all sensory data as the metaphysical, and all concepts as axioms.
Because mysticism is the process of accepting human experience as the given [as a primary axiomatic source of fundamental truth] mysticism is an attempt to find a solution to a problem in a way that is outside of the brains functioning. Mysticism attempts to find a supernatural solution to a physical and psychological problem by accepting concepts and emotions as axioms. Naturally, this creates confusion and chaos. This creates malfunction.
It is only by understanding the functioning of the psyche and observing psychological boundaries that one can ensure that the mental part of bodybuilding is in check and is functioning correctly to optimize gains.
The process of discovering whether or not mysticism and science conflict within your mind is not simple, but it is possible. To get the psyche working on solving problems effectively, one must distinguish between the metaphysical and the man-made, and, simultaneously, understand the difference in function that each performs.
The most efficient way to bring to mind the difference between axioms and concepts is to be aware of their functions. For this task simple association is appropriate. Remember the following:
Bodybuilding, aside from being partially psychological, is also a physical endeavor whose chief purpose is to increase protein synthesis within selected muscles in the body, via endocrine system stimulation. As outlined in Bodybuilding: Its TRUE nature! bodybuilding is a scientific endeavor, and it is only by approaching it in this fashion that any gains may be made on a consistent and continual basis.
The Two Most Important Questions That A Bodybuilder Must Answer Are:
- Is putting on muscle possible?
- How can I come to know the procedure to do it?
The obvious way of answering both questions is to simply put on muscle. The process of adding body muscle demonstrates that such a feat is possible, and that it is possible to come to have knowledge on the method by which it is may be done.
However, some bodybuilders put on muscle by accident. That is, they do certain exercises, experience muscle growth and then are unable to replicate their results at other times. The chief reason for this is that, although they have put on muscle, thus proving that such a feat is possible, they have not yet discovered the methods and procedures by which they achieved this feat. It is realized seldom that continued growth will not occur so long as they harbor and apply mystical, irrational, thoughts to their training.
Muscular growth is a physical response to a physical process - i.e. physical adaptation to physical stresses and stimuli. It is a demonstration and manifestation of the scientific reality that the body adapts to stimuli. Once muscle has been gained in response to stimuli, then, it is impossible [and irrational] to continue to contend, from a mystical position, that one must "look within" oneself to grow. The existence of new muscle in response to physical stimuli is a refutation to the mystical approach of muscle building.
Discovering the methods by which one may put on muscle is not difficult. In fact, such a system of detection has been in existence ever since Aristotle shone a light on man's ignorance of the physical universe. This method of detection is the scientific method.
It was mentioned earlier that that many bodybuilders look for ways to build muscle, yet deny that such a feat is possible. How many times have you heard someone lament about how they are not getting any bigger and that its "impossible" to grow, yet they continue to look for ways to solve the problem?
The sad reality is that many in this state do not realize they are looking for something that does not exist. You cannot put on muscle and also not put on muscle at the same time. Either the feat is possible and is so according to a discoverable method, or it is not. It is either one state [growth] or the other state [no growth].
The key to eliminating contradictions and conflicts [and their mystical antecedents] is to employ the scientific method. This method of discovery, based on empiricism, will dispel and debunk limiting mystical thoughts and will allow you to gather data about your training that is correct.
This correct information will allow you to derive constructive calculations, which will, consequently, then allow you to develop a plan of action and procedure that will provide your career with direction, and an opportunity for growth.
Conclusion / Summary
The key to obtaining maximum muscle growth is to place the maximum level of appropriate stimuli upon the body.
In fact, bodybuilding does not require any ineffable, mystical qualities. It DOES requires myriad psychological and physical processes, each of which must correspond with reality - each of which must be TRUE and adhere to physical and psychological laws. It is only by recognizing these laws that a bodybuilder can hope to discover the method of continual muscle gains, and continued successes in their bodybuilding careers.
By continually applying the scientific method to bodybuilding endeavors you will see that making continual gains IS possible, and that there IS a system by which you CAN make absolute determinations about reality. You will then be able to leave behind in confusion Mr. Bertrand Russell, his philosophy, and those that claim that absolute knowledge is unknowable.
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