Is the Tail Wagging the Dog??

I would like to propose the question
"Might there be a fundamental misunderstanding
of the nature of individuality?"

We somehow make the tacit assumption
that there exists a central individuality to us
that doesn't change

and that our feeling states,
accompanied by vision, hearing, smell, and taste
come from outside ourselves,
like the humours of the night
or caused by "tangible circumstance"
or from inside ourselves
as unbidden moods
held in secret
happening to that central individuality.

The "central individuality" is just the belief that there is a central individuality
added to all those other sensations.

Actually, all there are are those sensations, labelled, "me".

In reality, we have no way of ascertaining whence our memories of experience come,
since the emergence of memories trails events
unknown until they become recognizable -- only after the fact
-- by spontaneously comparing them to memories.

Continuity of self
is continuity of memory.
Change of memory
is change of self.
(Whatever doesn't change is persistent memory.)

HOWEVER, that doesn't address the question,
"Whence cometh those memories?"

For, from there,
also cometh individuality.

Do memories come "from the outside, in" to us?
Do they emerge unbidden from within ourselves as imaginings
or both, with imaginings coloring memories that come from outside?

And how can we be sure which is which?

Ay, there's the rub.

Perhaps our individuality
is all-pervading
all connected with everything else,
but because of the optical illusion of seeing, itself,
taken as our primary information source about reality
we take ourselves to be contained within the skin surface.
We take things to be separate and distinct.
Outer vision does that.

And so we profess that "my location,"
is where I am seen,
and is the perspective from which I see,
according to the location of "I" in the world.

But the sense of individuality is more than
the sense of seeing or being seen.

It is the agglomeration of memories
that we label as "I", myself.

Those memories may come from inside ourselves
(as surfacing imaginings and dreams)
or from outside ourselves
(as impinging circumstances, which happen before we know them for what they seem to be)
or both at the same time.

Without that answer,
we can't know the source of individuality
-- and in fact, to the degree that the memory-of-self
comes from outside
we have no individuality.

And yet,
we act as if we exist as individuals in control
(or out of control).

"Dog wagging the tail"
is "Our lives are controlled by something bigger than ourselves."
"Tail wagging the dog"
is "I am in control of my life,"
both very popular perspectives.

If we really pay attention,
we can't really tell if the dog is wagging the tail
or the tail is wagging the dog
whether our individuality is true, unitary, and independent,
or the changeable result of forces greater than ourselves
summarized as our memory of the belief in ourselves
and our impulses to "be something".

Moments of Balance with Fred and Ginger

The reason Fred Astaire
was such a consummate dancer,
and the reason his partner,
Ginger Rogers,
was such a dynamic match for him,
was that they had a consummate sense of balance.

Fred Astaire knew where his moment of balance was with every step, leap, landing and turn.
He landed with the economy and grace
of an Olympic diver.

Ginger was his magnificent match,
without ever seeming like she was keeping up with him,
always keeping with him
with the grace of a horse jumping a high gate.

Their balance was both dual and individual :
dual/relational -- balancing off each other
individual -- having a sense of where the moment of balance is while moving.

Their dance,
such a beautiful expression of physics,
goes beyond physics
to metaphysics.

Fred and Ginger,
their consummate sense of balance
and their feeling where the moment of balance would be with each stop or turn,
enabling them to play with each other
without concern for their footing
in the rhythm of the dance.

And remember:

Everything Fred did, Ginger did
-- backwards in high heels.

 It's a moment of balance
    and again,
     and again.

To Know Self Totally Is To Disappear (urp)

as body embodying mind
am soma.

Whoa, hold it right there, partner.
Better get that one before moving on.
Take your time.

as soma
can never be completely known.

To know myself in totality as soma
equalizes attention in all directions
so nothing stands out
except a kind of equilibrium
indistinguishable from 'no knowing'
no known place
no certain time

So "I"
as soma
can never completely be known.

Which means that the meaning of this stanza
can never completely be known,
for this stanza
is about being soma.

Being soma, I am somatically
embodied mind.

I am soma,
somatically embodied mind.

What I am
can never completely be known.

Thus, I am continuous with rested mind.

Who I am
can never completely be known.

Whatever I am
is who I am

To know myself thus fully,
is to spread myself in all directions
to encompass all.

Spread so thin
my center disappears
and with it

I am a lump of butter
spread on the bread of life
only it's an enlarging slice.

as soma
can never completely be known.

Never mind.

Never known.

Now, since we don't know what that is,
know neither soma or mind
in any summary or complete sense

nor the meaning of this stanza, altogether.

And that is its meaning.

Despite all that,
we can have memories of things
even aggregate memories of similar things
and so seem to know things
and yet
it's approximate knowing of what IS
only approximate.

Life is Not What We Think It Is

Life is only approximately what we think it is.

Our ability to think is based upon memory
and only then extended as imagination.

Life is never exactly that, however close we may be.
Life is a moving target.

To believe otherwise is to believe the dream
of memory

to enact life as dreamed in memory
sparring with dreamed others

who are not exactly what or who we think them to be.

To believe otherwise leads to misunderstandings
stemming from our memories of self and of experiences,
acting as if they are now exactly that way.

But life is only approximately what we think it is
and even only approximately what we feel it as.

The same is true of all other people.
Even the "hard and fast knowledge" of science
is statistical
and variations occur in each individual case of experience.

We have to allow for the possibility of unexpected change
and for being wrong, or "off"
and for course-corrections.

Everything Happens Before We Know It

Why Your Feet Hurt You | - or - | Zee Foot Pad of Your Foot -- The Support of Your Sole

I will tell you a little story about Zee Footpad.  You will like it.  It's about your foot, both of them.

Zee Footpad is the tootsie of the foot -- the soft part that makes contact with the ground.  It's not a device that you install in your shoe.

It's next to "the ball of your foot" (big toe joint) under the weight-bearing arch of the foot, which consists of the big toe and the two neighboring toes, which together form a heel-to-toes arch.  It's a soft cushion for bearing weight on that arch.

Soft is important.  We like soft.

But more importantly, Nature likes soft.

A nice, soft pad makes it pleasant to tread upon the earth.  It's good for the physiology, good for the psychology.

And yet.

Some of us have hard, bony feet that hurt as we tread upon the earth, feet that meet the ground on-edge (literally -- turned so that weight goes through the inner or outer edges more than through the proper weight-bearning center), feet that are stiff, but painful.  These so-called, "tender tootsies", so misnamed, are tough tootsies.  Yes.  Tough, but sore.

Tough tootsies would feel much more comfortable if they rested on zee footpad and were otherwise less hard on themselves.

But there is more riding on the foot than just the foot, yes there is.  Because what affects the foot (both of them) affects everything else above the foot (both of them), balancing like a Toppling Towers Act, namely, you.

Because Zee Footpad is so important, our internal balancing system reads how weight is passing through Zee Footpad and adjusts everything, accordingly.  The Toppling Towers Act goes higgledy-piggledy and looks like bad posture -- the slumping stooper, the short leg leaner, the slovenly slob, the awkward walker, the clumsy lumberer.  You get the picturer.

An "ooch" factor may cause us to shift weight off Zee Footpad -- and that is unfortunate, when it happens, because it leads to the postural changes mistakenly thought to result from "aging" and to feet that ache.  And ache.

We are so sensitive to Zee Footpad that putting too much weight on it, or off-center weight, changes the shape of our spine.  Most of our weight (about 61.8%) is over our heel, about 33% through Zee Footpad, and the rest goes through our outer arch (outer 2 toes).  A weight distribution other than that makes us unstable, off balance, and slow.  You can see it in the wear pattern of your shoes.

Wanna know?  Try it yourself. Stand up and come to steady balance, or the steadiest balance you can.  Now, sway forward over your feet.  Notice that your back-curve deepens.  They call that, "swayback" (not to be confused with zweiback, which is a Swiss cracker).  Sway your hips around in circles.  Feel how your spine changes shape.  Get it?

Zee footpad is situated right in the center of the main weightbearing arch of the foot.  When we stand with our weight through it and our heel (33% / 61.8%), the rest of us likes it.  We tend to straighten up, which means we come out of excessive curves, while maintaining flexibility.

Tight hamstrings often cause a twist of the lower leg at the knee, which, in turn, changes the position of the foot and how weight goes through the foot.

Tight lower leg muscles cause the foot to rock to the inner or outer edge, putting us on edge.

Tight back muscles cause our weight to sway forward over the fronts of the feet, making them tired, sore and tired.

Tight abs also cause our weight to sway forward.


Tight side muscles or uneven hips cause our weight to sway to the side, making us turn our foot out to provide a wider base of support, so that when we walk, too much force goes through our big-toe-joint, leading to bunions.  Yes, bunions.  They're from how you walk.

So orthotics are not the answer to foot problems.  They may "bring the ground up to the foot" in exotic, odd ways, as if you're walking on a hill, but they don't correct the problem or direct weight properly through Zee Footpad.

Here's a little exercise that can correct some foot problems.  Use it to straighten your feet and to direct weight through Zee Footpad.

Here's a little pair of exercises to free your hamstrings.  You may know something about hamstrings -- and there's something more.  Free hamstrings preserve your knees.  Read the article.

Finally, to correct sway back, you may do this program (there's a "preview" link on that page).  If you don't correct swayback, the front of your feet have too much burden, and your feet get tired -- and there's nothing you can do to your feet that corrects the problem.  Correct your swayback.

Other exercises are needed to correct the tightness variations named above.  You'll need to ask  to find out which one(s).  (Click "ask".)

Don't just sit there.  Step on it.