Prehistoric Man, by leaving all fours (Homo Erectus), emancipated his hands, and with this new freedom, he developed his mind, through his hands. The hands are the eyes of the body. The hands of time, have always written the pages of history. All ancient knowledge came from this source and that is why the eye in the palm, is a symbol for many cultures.
Bodybuilding also starts with the hands. In order to lift you have to touch (make contact with what your lifting). Remember the hands are the eyes of the body, so with a firm grip, you create a confident mind, and the weight powers up, because the hands could see. With your hands, you move into the action and gain wisdom.
Some would say, Peter your hands don't see, they feel their way around. I tried an experiment, and I did 2 weeks of training blind. Eyes covered. Yes I was under tight supervision by another lifter. Balance, for me huge problem in squats, lunges, and I some how I didn't have the confidence for heavy lifts. 2 weeks later, I did get better in balance, it did strengthen my mind-body connection and I can see a purpose to blind training.
Hands and consciousness have walked together (hand in hand), since cavemen were drawing on the walls, they drew what they could see and do. From this lengthy process, mankind became conscious of himself, and expressed this new consciousness through his hands by drawing on the cave walls.
Years of wall drawings, expressing all that he could see, he began to draw himself, as part of the picture. This was a giant leap for Mankind. The beginning of self-awareness, a consciousness of the self, and in relation to the overall environment. And this new awareness brings fourth, the one question, that we as Humans have asked ourselves, for thousands of years. The one question, where all philosophy springs fourth, WHO AM I, the original, prevailing thought, that leads us to believe, that life is only as good as the questions you ask.
Who am I? This is the beginning, and from this thirsty minded need to know. To know what?
To Know Thy Self.
All Human societies are based around personal identity, and note how this concern can last a lifetime. There is something odd about a Human with no identity. The original question of "Who am I?" is only answered by the knowledge that you gain from knowing yourself.
The Socratic vision, from this knowing of the self comes fourth, understanding, respect, love, and world peace. Then the next step is:
The Mayan says "In la Kech, Ala Kem," I am your other you and you are the other me." (World Peace can only be accomplished this way). Lifters can make great contributions to mankind. Some say I'm only one!
The greatest contribution you can make to mankind, is a happy healthy Self. As Zig Zigler would say, "are you a wandering generality, or a meaningful specific?"
Most religions, believe that we are created in the Image of God, and this leads us to the Question, How do I know God? To know God, first "Know Thy Self." If I am the Image, and God is within, knowing one self becomes a priority.
You And Your Environment Are One
As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm.
As is the atom, so is the universe.
As is the human body, so is the cosmic body.
As is the human mind, so is the cosmic mind. Ancient wisdom.
In a very real sense, your environment is your extended body. Example: With every breath you take you inhale millions of atoms of air which were exhaled by someone else, trees, animals, even insects in your environment. If we turn up the magnification you'll find that you are made of atoms, electrons, subatomic particles. Then further magnification you will find vibrating waves that come and go; these waves are unseen to your eyes however they extend past your physical earth body, into the air and into your cosmic body (space).
Chinese Tao masters such as Confucius and Mencius knew that a very enlightened aware human recognizes his cosmic body.
In Unity consciousness, people, things, events out there all become part of your body. The famous naturalist John Muir said "Whenever we try to pick up anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
The cosmic worldview is not a spiritual one in its equations; Einstein and his colleges are united by the same thoughts of the ancient wisdom.
- Niels Bohr compared the wave aspect of matter to cosmic mind.
- Erwin Shcr?ger believed that the universe was itself a living mind.
- Isaac Newton, maintained that gravity, magnetic fields and all other forces were thoughts in the mind of God.
- A young student asked the master: "Don't we live in the same objective world?
The master: "Yes, but you see yourself in the world; I see the world in myself."
This minor perception shift makes all the difference between freedom and bondage.
In the cosmic world, change is inevitable just as it is inevitable for your cellular interaction with a constant changing environment.
The bodybuilder has the potential of taking his Art straight to God. Every time you go to exercise, train, to push that extra, you make a deposit in your life's account. And the more you deposit, the more you have to pool from, and the more options appear. This is the fertile ground of Growth, the valley of the Gods.
Arnold used Imagery, he fantasized that he was the Scandinavian God of thunder, the Hammer, the mighty Thor in mythology. 20 years later Arnold's dream comes true in Conan the barbarian, in that movie he was outrageous and breathtaking, all at the same time.
Imagery creates an energy field, that has its own expectations, as in icons, the law of attraction. You create a vision, that vision has an energy field, that you have an attraction to. So as you move forward toward your goal, your goal pulls you into that energy field where success is an everyday event.
Many people say "oh how boring" doing almost the same thing all the time, lifting is boring, anyways I don't what to get big".
The Masters say, "repetition is the path to success." Not a comfort zone repetitiveness, but a consciousness that observes it self, and becomes more and more aware of itself.
As we all know, who lift, that we thrive on number of sets and reps, the number of these sets and reps over many years creates an accumulation effect of muscle memory that lasts a lifetime.
This self-awareness, through lifting countless hours leads to self-respect, which has the ability to love others. The dedication, determination, patience of repetitious actions creates its own sense of knowing that you are building a foundation of health, strength and happiness. Life is sweet when you're, healthy and happy.
Action: The Only Way To Live
Words come easy; concepts and philosophies may be profound; good intentions may sound very convincing, however turning the words, concepts and ideas into action requires energy and sacrifice.
Action is not easy in this world of doubt, fear and judgementalness. We have to overcome insecurity, laziness, apathy, boredom, excuses and reasons not to rock the boat, to blend in.
Life gives us the same repeated message that knowledge and awareness without experience (action) has little truth of reality. Many motivational speakers shout out passionate and beautiful ideas to inspire us to get off the couch and make a new life, to put some effort, some will power and discipline. However, most of us take action only when the emotional, mental and physical pain gets so bad that we are forced to act. The gap between knowing and doing remains the weak link in most of our lives.
Remember action and change require initial discomfort, effort and energy. After all that is said and done, it boils down to three words: "JUST Move IT."
Most of us wait for permission from our insides to do anything; we wait until fear is looking the other way or self-doubt or insecurity step aside and give us permission to act. It's when you give yourself permission to act that creates the action.
Remember how long it took to come to the gym. Most people think about exercising for months (years) before they actually come to a point of action. And the good thing is that action creates more of itself - more action. So you might get on a roll (exercise habit), to get rid of your roll (around your mid-section), and not on a pastry roll.
The most powerful way to shape our lives is to get ourselves to take action. Don't wait, choose the way of courage and integrity. Come from the heart and then act despite the feelings of fear, rejection and self-doubt. To handle fear and self-doubt, act as if you felt courageous, as if you felt capable of any task. MOVE IT, and you'll soon feel your fear disappear.
Vision isn't enough unless combined with venture. It isn't enough to stare up the steps, unless we also step up the stairs. What is lacking in the present world is a profound knowledge of the self, and without this knowledge of the self, life goes on without purpose, fragmented and shattered. The been there, done that, don't want to do nothing, attitude of middle aged people of today represents poor thinking from a long time ago.
Take Another Look
The average age of today's population is between 45- and 47-years old. 67 million Americans turn 50-years old in the next three years. This age is a time of introspection when most people anticipate the days ahead are fewer than the days behind.
Some would call this mid-life crisis or half-century shock. Much of our society fears a lengthy life span. They believe that an extended life span would mean even more time spent in sickness and bedridden at the tail end of life. However this fear is unrealistic and in most cases unnecessary.
We cannot entirely stop or completely reverse the aging processes. We can significantly slow many aging mechanisms, and in some areas, partially reverse some of the aging processes. Our information age moves so quickly that research and knowledge in the biological sciences are doubling their information.
This means that in 10 years or less, we know twice as much; and the knowledge we know today, will seem very small in comparison.
When we look around us, it becomes very obvious why people will not try to improve their health and why they are attracted to death. "Even if I do everything right, I could get hit by a bus. Everyone has to die sometime. "You are over the hill at 40." They have a big investment in planning their lives by assuming death at a certain point.
They see sickness and death among friends, relatives, public figures, and therefore feel that it is traditional.
Question: Why is it we always get what we expect? We expect to get sick, so we do. We are convinced that death is inevitable and a nice way out. We see ourselves as victims of hereditary diseases, lifestyle abuses and rigid repetitive thinking patterns. Neurologists tells us we have 60,000 thoughts per day, however 59,500 are the same as yesterday. Rigid thinking patterns give rise to repetitive, recycled social behavior, which extended over a period of time creates a mental and physical rigor mortis. The medical field says, "Humans are living shorter, but dying longer."
Let's Get Real
- We polluted air, water and soil on earth.
- We poisoned our bodies by creating incurable diseases with our sexual behavior.
- Adults are bombing large populated buildings.
- Children are shooting their parents, teachers and schoolmates.
- If you consider alcoholism as a drug problem and cigarettes as an addictive health hazard, include Alcoholics + Smokers = 240 million people in the English speaking population. USA, Canada and Great Britain.
- And then, there are the 60 million Prozac and other mental stress and depression-related drug users.
- Since we are here already, lets add the 50 million people on street drugs that we know about.
- There are only 30 million people who absolutely need prescription drugs for their illness.
Now, I am not going to include pornography, but I will add a dash of Ecstasy and Viagra, the new disco cocktail.
Let's Get Serious
We know that all our cells are capable of regenerating the entire human body in 8 months; from stomach-lining renewed every five days, to liver and blood new every 8 to 10 weeks and a skeletal structure that renews itself every 8 months.
We also know that a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables is capable of regenerating human tissue on a cellular level. We also know that taking correct amounts of vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids to supplement good food, increases our ability to prevent sickness and disease.
We know the benefits of exercise on our immunity system, digestive system and circulatory system. Cardiovascular exercise and progressive resistance (weight training) has the ability to maintain bone density and regenerate and repair the respiratory system.
Everywhere around us are signs of what not to do and of course, what to do. When does it become obvious to us? Is humanity involved with the experience of the extremes? And when does the pendulum slowly swing to a harmonious center?
Repetitive thoughts and behavior leave us very susceptible to addictive behavior which is why you see so much of it today. Everyday is the same as yesterday and tomorrow is anticipated to be the same as today. A destiny is in the future not in the repetitive past. Where is our evolution?
And why are we the only species of nature that consistently repeats past mistakes? We are the only living species that lives half a life span. We are the only living species that uses the mind to destroy its own body and is able to commit suicide and call it an acceptable tradition. These questions everyone asks. And each individual needs to answer them in the privacy of their own lives.
Science itself is meaningful from the beginning to the end, but on certain kinds of meanings, ones that are external, existential and global. However to questions, what is our purpose in life, does life make sense, does the cosmic drama have a point, to these questions science is silent.
Values, life meanings, purposes, and qualities slip through science like the sea slips through a fisherman's net. Yet Man swims in this sea, so he cannot exclude it from his sight. Taken in its entirety, the world is not as science says it is; it is a science, philosophy, religion, an art, and constantly changing.
Bodybuilding, weight training, is also a science, where knowledge of biology, chemistry, nutrition, kinesiology, psychology, and with all this knowledge you create a philosophy. A wisdom that only comes from action, walking the talk, thought, word and deed.
A philosophy, that thrives on movement, a religion that seeks daily expression, an art form that goes beyond language. Jared Diamond in his book Guns, Germs, and Steel, "History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among people's environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves." Everywhere in the world, where people live, you will find a gym, where you are welcome.
I personally, believe that my ability to train people goes beyond language. I may not speak the language, but I can train the people. I can go anywhere in the world and get a job as a trainer. My skills are beyond language, most people learn from observation, not from what they hear. Bodybuilding is a passport to the physical world, and the Spiritual world.
Submission (taslim) means to give yourself, unconditionally, whole-heartedly and without greed in your mind. It means not allowing yourself to be disturbed by whatever comes by, and maintaining a cheerful countenance.
For most people, submission is a sign of weakness and lack of will power. However in the theater of lifting, the gym environment creates a humble, submissive environment, because after all is said and done there is always another plate, there is always a goal that is yet to be reached.
Submission means eagerly and gladly welcoming whatever hardship arises. So if your car is in the shop, catch a bus to the gym, no excuses.
Lifting is one of the most satisfying relationships that lasts a life time, filled with joy, confidence, power and love of hard work. A Brotherhood of valiant men and women, who show to themselves and others the gift. The gift of a healthy happy life.
Submission to the process is an intelligent knowing, filled with patience and action, not a blind faith, but an understanding of what could be. To have a vision of one self is to know one self. Ask yourself, what do I want to be like 2-to-5 years from now? And single-mindedly move forward to that vision. The hands of time, and your timely hands will create the difference of your life. Poetry.
Just Another Day
Tears of Joy flowed in Meditation today!
Words come softly and sweet.
The Wind whispers Zarathustra;
Mountains echoes Moses and Mohammed.
The Ocean speaks of Jesus,
While The Trees breathe
The Lotus and Orchid caress Confucius,
Oh! The Bamboo
bows with Lao-Tzu.
Birds sing of Saint Francis,
And the Nile speaks Akhenatan,
and the Sun shines bright on Quetzalcoatl and Kukulcan,
my heart flies.
This is a wonderful day,
God Bless God,