Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Personal testimony: What being healthy means to me

I have been reading up on the fascinating subject of Medical Anthropology.

The reason that medical anthropology is important is because I believe that there is a cultural relativism to health. Depending on how concretely you have validated a certain truth, I believe that if you don't live the truth that you have concretely validated in your bones, it will eventually cause an inner-conflict within you. And eventually this inner-conflict will manifest itself as physical disease. I believe this very strongly.

Through experimentation, we all need to find the physical exercises that work for us. We need to discover the stretching exercises and nutrition diet that works for us. We all have different physical bodies. And we need to experiment with the different kinds of advice on health, as available out there, and apply it to our person. In this posting, I share some of the conclusions that I came to from my experiments with health.

What does what I consider to be a healthy lifestyle have to do with you? Why would my realizations about what is a healthy lifestyle for me...why would that benefit you at all? I don't know. That is for you to experiment with and discover. Feel free to ignore all of my words. I don't mind.

I know that my blog is one of millions out there on the subject of health. I write what I believe about how to be truly healthy. It doesn't mean that anyone out there has to believe a word that I am saying. I am sure that you all believe your own truths on how to live a truly healthy lifestyle, as you have felt validated in your lives through your own experiments. I am simply expressing the nature of the truth about health as I have felt validated in my life.

I came to the conclusion about the nature of what was truly healthy lifestyle for me through a series of informal experiments that I conducted in controlled settings.  I felt the experiments were rigorous enough for me to come to the conclusions that I did about what was in my best health and interest.
I believe it because I have felt the results in my life. I encourage everyone to follow their experienced truth about how to be truly healthy. I would be lying to myself if I didn't live my experienced truth. And you would be lying to yourself if you didn't live your experienced truth. Best of luck on your quest for health through living your experienced truth. I hope you will wish me the same.

This is not about showing-off or having a debate or whatever. It is simply about stating my realization. I  know that this is not the only way to look at being healthy. Certainly, I try to remain open-minded about all the different ways that I can be healthy. I am always learning new ways to live a healthy lifestyle.

I have no intention of arguing with anyone about the validity of my statements. I don't need to. I am stating what it means for me to be healthy. I am sure you will come to your own conclusions about how you should be healthy based on your own experiments.

I have no problem with you blowing away my statements as hogwash. I have no problem with you laughing away my words as the words of a religious fanatic. This is your prerogative. And I hope you exercise it with the license your conscience gives you. Certainly I write all the words that I do with the license that my conscience gives me. Today I am exercising my prerogative to express myself as my conscience allows me. I have not always given myself the license to do so.  So today, it feels good to do so.

I have stopped myself from doing so just because I felt that my words were too radical. I felt my realizations about health was truly far out. I felt that it was too 'out there.' I felt embarrassed to plunge myself out there in the unknown. I felt intimidated. There are a lot of mean voices out there. There are many laughters out there.  It's a scary dark world, isn't it?
I can think of quite a few words that "rational" people can pin on a person who states the kind of truths about health that I do. And it is this hesitation of being laughed at that stopped me from emphatically saying what I believed. But, I also realized that I have suffered a lot from bottling the nature of this truth about what is truly healthy for me for too long.
At a certain point I almost feel like not stating it started to have diminishing returns in my life. I think at a certain point of not stating the truth that you feel in your heart, you start to feel very duplicitous. You feel like you're living a lie. And this causes new conflicts and can eventually manifest as physical illness.

At a certain point, I realized that I was not stating the nature of my truth for fear of how the popular notions of the people in this world would see me. I wouldn't be seen as cool. I wouldn't be seen as hip. I realized that I was materially attached to my false ego. I was so attached to being accepted by the people of this world. I was so attached to meeting the standards of this world. And it was this attachment that stopped me from stating and acting according to the truth that I felt in my bones. This conflict was causing a lot of issues in my health. It was contorting my body out of shape. This was causing symptoms of disease to the point that I was taking medications to control the symptoms.  
Finally, I happened to perform some experiments that revealed to me the kind of knot that I had tied myself into in trying to resolve all the contradictions of my life. And through writing all of this I seek to set myself free.

And I understand that duplicity is a very important quality to get ahead and succeed in this world. Certainly that is the essence of being a Magician. But we should all act according to our intended purpose in life. One cannot show all faces to everyone in the world without losing a sense of what one's true face is. For me, at a certain point, I realized that the only person whom I want to know the true nature of my face is Krishna.  I have found it quite tough to be bold enough to state that. I know that I will find it even tougher to live it.

Before this, for some time, I have felt the need to state the nature of my truth about what is true health for me. But I have hesitated and I have felt embarrassed to do so. I didn't feel myself worthy to express the truths I write below. But I realize now that this was false humility on my part. I had a pre-conceived notion of the kind of people that should speak of truths below. But now I realize that I was simply over-complicating things.

Below are simply my realizations about what I feel it means for me to live a truly healthy life. There are many of us that have personal goals of health. There are many of us that feel that if we jogged a certain number of miles or we did a certain number of pushups that we would live a healthy lifestyle. But we fall short or our personal goals. In the same way, I fall short of living my healthy ideals. But I felt that at least stating them publicly would be a first step.
I learned this from a gentlemen that I saw pin his goals for losing weight on his front door. He had a graph that showed ideally how he wanted to lose weight over the following months. Then he would update the graph to show how much he was actually losing weight over time. 
He pinned the graph to the front of his office door. And I know why he did it. He knew that doing that would give him motivation. Now other people would hold him accountable to the the truth that he believed in about what was truly healthy for him. What a brilliant idea.

So though I do not live the words that I write below, I have realized with a certain degree of certainty that there is great truth to them. To the degree I have lived it, I have felt healthy. I found my realizations validated from many different perspectives. To the degree I practiced it, you could say that I started to feel healthy in my bones. I started to feel healthy with such strength that I felt like a hypocrite for shying away from stating the nature of what made me feel healthy just because it wasn't fashionable in the contemporary world. 

I felt such a conflict from not publicly stating what I believed so strongly in was contributing towards my health. My hypocrisy just to be respectful to other people's ideas of health, was beginning to be painful. I realized that I was being evasive about my true beliefs because I didn't want to offend people. Could it be that I believe that there is no room for both my belief and the belief of others to co-exist without conflict? It could be. But if that is so, this was my arrogance.
Nevertheless, I believe strongly that living a lie and denying the nature of my truth just to be socially acceptable caused a lot of difficulty for me. I feel that my body got warped in trying to adjust itself from the truth that I believed in my bones.  I felt so conflicted. And I feel that this conflict came in the form of severe dis-ease to me. I feel that my body contorted out of proportion in trying to reconcile the difference between the truth that I felt in my bones about what would be a healthy lifestyle for me and the truth dictated by the world. Both sources of truth imposed on my body with great force. I felt crushed and confused in between from the polar forces that acted on me.

So finally, out of weakness, from not being able to withstand the pain of feeling so conflicted any longer, I release realization of the nature of my truth about health into the world. My blog is one amongst millions. And I expect that most of these words will go unnoticed. These are just my realizations about what I consider to be a healthy lifestyle. It probably doesn't have anything to do with what would give you health and satisfaction.

One View of Health
I believe that our natural healthy state is to love and play with Krishna at every moment. But we are disconnected from our conscience in knowing that our true intention is to love and play with Krishna. I believe that our true state of health is in loving and playing with Krishna in the spiritual world. But our current state of consciousness is such that we are buried by the heavier elements in the material world. And in that way, we are dis-eased.

In our natural state, we are not at ease with ourself in having a different intention than loving and playing with Krishna.  But in our dis-eased state, we don't feel this lacking. This is the true nature of our dis-ease. It is like the saying goes, 'Alas we cannot feel the pangs of ignorance and a lack of peace the way we feel the pangs of hunger.'

How do we get separated from our true intention? How do we get disconnected from what we know deep within our hearts? Well it is quite easy actually. All you have to do is continually associate with and identify with matter and soon you will develop a relationship with matter. Since matter is heavier than spirit, as soon as you identify enough with matter, soon, you stop hearing the soft voice of conscience. Your conscience tells you what is in your spiritual best interest.
This is why advertisements that we watch on TV are so effective. Why do you think that advertisement companies pay $3.5 million dollars for a small spot during the Super-bowl? They know that if consumers repeatedly associate with and identify with the particular product that they want you to be attached to, you will gradually identify with it. It will become a part of your ego. And then you can't live without it because you will see it non-different from you.

On the other hand, the more we become detached from the material world, the more the heavier elements rises from our consciousness.  The more we don't grasp the heavier material elements, the more we are light and free to be our true nature--spirit. The soul is very small. It's nature is to be very humble, weak, tiny, insignificant.

In the material world, it is not desirable to be any of those above qualities. No one wants to feel weak, tiny, insignificant or humble.
But the soul is not of this material world. This is a big problem because it produces a conflict. All around us in this material world we see that everyone is trying to be 'someone' in this material world. We see that people are trying to identify with the elements in this world. People feel successful by the symbols that they are identified with, whether it is a mansion, a Mercedes, an Ipad or an Iphone.

The soul on the other hand is spirit. It has nothing to do with these material elements or the symbols made of those elements, whether that symbol is a mansion, a Mercedes, an Ipad or an Iphone. The soul detached from all the elements of the material world instinctively loves and plays with Krishna. Pull the soul away from the world of matter, and instantly it feels the current of it's spiritual batteries. And like the Energizer bunny, the music in the soul immediately tunes into loving and playing with Krishna. It keeps on going and going and going....loving and playing with Krishna.

The soul is an object. Every object has a function and attributes. The soul has two functions. One function is to love spirit and the other is to play with spirit.
Just like a material object has many attributes, the soul also has many attributes. The more detached the soul gets from the world, the more the soul feels it's conscience. It realizes what it's true nature is and what it should do. The more the soul identifies with matter, the more confused it gets about it's true purpose (intention), it's function and it's attributes. 

The material elements are heavy. Our spiritual nature is very light. The heaviness of the modes of nature covers our subtle nature. Actually, the more subtle, the more powerful. Our soul is the subtlest of all elements because it is spiritual. We don't feel our spiritual nature because we are covered by the heavier material elements.

Our identifying with matter. As spirit, we can identify with anything. Think of a white cloth. Any dirt can stick to it very easily. So this is the way it is for spirit. Spirit is the cleanest of elements. It is the purest of all elements. And as such, almost anything can stain it. It is so clean that anything that comes in contact with it, threatens to get stuck on it. All we have to do is identify with this material element and it gets stuck on us. And once it is stuck on us through identity, this forms our ego. 

So the more we go on interacting in this world, the more we come across different elements. And the more we come in contact with different elements and identify with it, the more our ego is formed. And with this identity we started to define our purpose in this material world.

The first steps towards detachment from materialism and moving towards spirituality is to be in santa rasa towards all of external-sensing and internal-sensing. I have found the practice of Vipassana helpful in developing this feeling of neutrality to the world of inner-sensing and external-sensing.

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