The human body, mind, and co-created world are all incredibly complex, changeable, and adaptable.
Evolution has made it so that the human body can perform a wide range of motions and tasks, and acclimate to a number of conditions and environments without succumbing to death very easily. The human mind is one of the most advanced and adaptable processing systems that exist in our entire universe. And the societies and cultures that we create in our own image, therefore, are subject to change based on these two principles as well.
Although the human body will ultimately decay, age, and die at some point throughout a human’s lifetime, and all humans are subject to death due to accidents or intentional harm inflicted on their vessel by others or themselves, there is no evidence that there is even any one specific age at which the human body naturally expires or any one specific age at which the human mind naturally stops growing and expanding when appropriate conditions are set in place.
This means that if a human is able to maintain healthy conditions of mind, body, and external environment consistently, recovering effectively from any disturbances to their health when faced with illness, that person could potentially live well beyond the known world record of 122 years. Quality of health conditions, which includes possessing internal and personal resistance is never just the absence of illness or misfortune and stress, however, it is having the right internal and external requirements that allow the body and being to maintain or regain homeostasis on a consistent enough basis over time, because imbalance is inevitable.
Health is a broad context of circumstances that includes everything from mental and spiritual to environmental and social health conditions, which is why it is more accurate to say that health is correlated to one’s ability to adapt and/or respond effectively to whatever conditions a person faces as they navigate through life as opposed to any fantasy of remaining in homeostasis indefinitely.
How To Create Or Maintain Balance And Flexibility Of Being
- In The Body: Certain things, like how to gain and lose weight and develop muscle, are based on basic formulas such as calorie intake and activity level and can be predictably controlled and changed at will and with effort as desired. Many processes for maintaining physical health work in this straightforward way. The body can be maintained by following the formulas for keeping it balanced or regaining health after any disturbance occurs. Having been a vegan and vegetarian for most of my adult life (starting at around age 19, which I technically do not consider to even be an adult really), and at times switching to pescatarianism, before dropping all labels altogether to allow myself to consciously consume all foods because I naturally gravitate to fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts (but still allowing myself to eat meat if I wish to do so ceremoniously, which basically means almost never), I can attest to the fact that what one puts into his/her body and the level of activity that corresponds to this intake can be used to shape and change the body in a number of different ways. I can also attest to the fact that the body can recover from just about any imbalance with simple lifestyle, diet, and activity change. My summer spent hiking and bike riding and eating mainly fruits and vegetables created a different result from my summer of resting after a car accident where baking and cooking up a storm from a variety of different cookbooks (and eating all the delicious things by myself because I live alone), produced very different results. As did the summer following my cooking/baking coping phase where I danced instead of baked myself into the most muscular legs that I have ever had in my mainly “thin-fit” existence and learned the art of body shaping and the endless possibilities that allowed me to let go of attachment to form on a deeper level. The body changes and adapts to circumstances constantly. Always know that your Asasnas and Pranayamas can get easier or harder at any point based on this concept. If you start your practice with great flexibility and fall back from practice you can build yourself back up again in the same way that you can also improv/se from a point of little to no flexibility. If you develop to a point and do not practice you can fall back to a previous point as well, but even this is not permanent as it only takes a bit more effort to get you back to where you were before or beyond it. The body is incredible malleable, looks, bones, muscles, fat, skin, hair, teeth, can all change over time or with conscious effort. Do not become attached to any form or overidentify too much with it. Instead, accept what is at any moment and change it as is desired or appropriate.
- In The Mind: In the same way that the body can recover and regain homeostasis and even experience profound growth and change in desired directions by following certain principles, so can the mind. Muscle memory, and neuroplasticity, makes it so that you are able to create desired outcomes within you at anytime. All you have to do is to follow the practices that allow you to grow the connections in your brain required to create the effect that you desire. If you wish to change a pattern that you have developed, for example, whether it is in your posture, endurance, mental tranquility, or anything else, you have the ability to create new pathways, learning memories, or neural networks in your brain to lay the framework for your desired outcome. You can overcome just about any emotional or phycological disturbance, trauma, adversity, hardship, betrayal, limitation, setback, manipulation, attack, anything because, the mind, like the body, is highly adaptable and can change with the right care, rest, acceptance, and basic formulas for creating predictable results. Psychological terrorism works because people know that putting the mind though certain stresses consistently will create predictable results, and same applies for healing and recovery from any mental disturbance. By following certain patterns of mental behavior and thought, the mind can be repaired and/or strengthened, resiliency can be built, and higher state of consciousness can be attained. Having lived a non-coddled life that was not luxurious, or easy, or “fair,” I have had my share of adversity and pain, and despite all of these things, I have worked to overcome my suffering and live the best life that I can (even when people have actively tried to harm me and prevent these things from happening due to flat out and uncalled hatred and ignorance), and I am still a “good person” who does no harm to others despite this. I am not stating this to brag, but to make is clear that you can survive anything and take control of their mind. I can attest to the fact that the mind is adaptable and can be strengthened and improved with the right formulas, and so can modern science and Yoga science. The Yoga Sutras exist simple because there are set actions that one can take to achieve higher states of consciousness that transcend the attached mundane mind. Although, like with the body, the mind can be easy to overidentify with at any given point, even this is ever-changing with each new thought, idea, observation, experience, etc that shapes it. You can build mental muscle and resilience, change mental habits, and so forth. But, it important to not become attached to even the desirable things that you create in the mind, or you may not be able to achieve higher states of being and consciousness that require you to let go of all attachments to illusions and changing aspects of your lower self.
- In The World: Things like cultural and environmental conditions are a bit more complex for some to see as impermanent since they require living in groups and societies that are not always so quick to change and adapt, and in which the behaviors of others can and do have an impact on one’s overall health with or without consent (think of war, social conditions, or the air and water quality that humans or Earth collectively shares for example). External factors that influence health are a bit more difficult to control, but even these conditions can still be navigated around to some extent, and societies and cultures do change (although slooooowwwlllly without a revolution) over time so it is important to not become attached to this type of impermeant form either. Although many have a hard accepting this fact, because they are often born into societies that they assume are just “the way things are” and some benefit from maintaining certain orders and structures, societies change, rise, fall, become transformed and are not set in stone. In the same way that trends come and go, and sentiments are adaptable, so too are entire societies. In Yoga, before one can move forward to true concentration that is void of distractions, he/she will have to master Pratyaharas. Pratyaharas are sense withdrawal from the external environment. It is learning to become inner-focused, and it is one form for removing attachments to the suffering and issues of the world as well. Yamas and Niymas are also great for practicing being in the world by not of it as well. Celibacy, focusing on one’s work, doing no harm, not lying and stealing, and maintaining devotion to a higher purpose keeps you on track for elevation beyond the trappings of the world and are great way to not get caught up in the ever-changing illusions of the Maya in the outside world.
It is best not to become too attached to things as they are at any given moment. If you do, you will eventually suffer since from second to second everything except the eternal unchanging self and Source are always changing. Enjoy things as they come and appreciate them as they are when they are good, and never despair when things are “bad;” nothing lasts forever.
You can, within your powers, create the changes that you desire in your life, body, and mind by following certain proven principles and applying them in a way that is customized to your unique life experience. The body, mind, and world will change and adapt to just about anything and can, because of its predisposition towards homeostasis, regenerate balance after just about any disturbance barring a permanent physical injury such as the loss of a limb (but even this type of catastrophic traumatic event can be compensated for with prosthetics which the body can adapt to).
Change is inevitable in life. You can resist it, but it’s best to either go with the flow or set your sails to a different direction if you don’t like where things are going.
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