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  • Sprinting to Enlightenment
  • Once more, with barely any feeling
  • You’re not intuitive, you’re lazy
  • Now this really bugs me
  • Homicidal Homeopaths!
  • 98-pound positive thinking weaklings
  • Oh, and let’s be prepared for 12/22/2012
  • Add this to my 11 year history of alien abduction
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  • Mantra power from Sweden
  • Start watching TV, Maitreya is coming, Maitreya is coming!
  • I’m not leaving, but I am moving… ish
  • Oh, those wacky Buddhists…
  • How to be successful in anything… finally, the truth revealed!
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  • Who you are really… AS IF!
  • Buddha the Internet Marketer
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    Why is this the "Anti-Guru" blog?

    It doesn't mean that I have some dislike or aversion to gurus (though, admittedly, I'm more than a bit suspicious of most). What I'm saying, in a way that's hopefully a bit provocative, is this:

    First, this site is about learning to think for yourself, to be your own guru... even if that means asking someone a question, or reading a book, or finding some help for whatever you're doing.

    And, second, I am not interested in becoming a guru even though I sometimes teach meditation and applied financial psychology. It's too awkward to have brunch with your "students" -- let alone "disciples" -- when they attribute magical qualities to you (qualities your spouse may not agree you possess). And I really like having brunch with people.

    What follows is, simply, my favorite conversation. I hope you enjoy it. And if you think you benefit from it in some way, that's okay too ;-).


    Sprinting to Enlightenment

    March 30th, 2011

    I was recently asked why I haven’t done much with the Anti-Guru blog lately. My answer was, “I think I’ve said everything… at least twice.” I’m not that interested in beating the same horse, dead or alive, over and over, repeatedly, time and time again, ad nauseum, once more.

    So, it’s a rare occurrence that something pops into my brain and bounces around my cranium loud enough and long enough that I feel the need to write about it.

    This is one of those times, apparently.

    Let me start here: I’m an unusual person.

    I don’t mean that I’m better/worse than others. And I don’t mean it in any “we’re all special” way. I mean it as a statement of fact. I can do a few physical things that a small sub-set of other humans can do. There aren’t a lot of All-American gymnasts or All-American sprinters out there… and an even smaller group that are both. I’m one of them.

    I say this not to toot my own horn (beside, if I could toot my own horn, I’d never leave the house… oh, wait, different joke), but to let you know where I’m coming from when I launch into the following:

    Sprinters are born, not made. Sprinters are different than non-sprinters. Non-sprinters have no clue what real sprinting (running at 23 mph+) is, but sprinters can and do know what long, slow running is like (and we HATE it). Running as fast as you can… if you’re not a sprinter… is NOT sprinting.

    So what? you may ask.

    And what does this have to do with the personal development biz? you may wonder.

    I’m getting there.

    What set me off on today’s diatribe is the straw that broke the sprinter’s back, the umpteenth time some fitness “guru” said, “If you want to be lean and muscular, look at sprinters!” implying that if YOU want to be lean and muscular, all you need to do is the same thing that us sprinters do. Simple.

    And it sounds like it makes sense.

    Until you go back to my “sprinters are born and not made” argument.

    These fitness guys have it backwards. You don’t look like a sprinter because you sprint. You sprint because you’re one of those people who can/does look like a sprinter (and there are those who have the same look who can’t sprint).

    The direction of causation is upside down, or backwards, or inside out, or reversed… it’s WRONG.

    Sprinters look like sprinters, not because they sprint… but because they’re born sprinters (and because they sprint, which brings out the best in their body).

    Oh, the other thing about those buff sprinters — they do a lot of weight lifting. REALLY HEAVY weight-lifting. That’s an even bigger reason they look the way they do. AND, the weight lifting has the muscle-building effect it does, NOT because weights make you lean and buff, but because weights make born-sprinters lean and buff. How big/not-big you get from lifting is also genetically limited.

    By the way, this whole conversation about lean, buff sprinters is really only relevant for sprinters in their 20′s and 30′s.  Go to a masters track meet and look at the sprinters in their 40′s, 50′s and beyond… the number of really lean and buff people plummets (and those that are still packin’ on the muscle are often also packin’ in the “supplements.).

    Okay, what’s the connection between sprinting and spirituality?

    If we can accept that some people are different — sprinters — and that non-sprinters will never achieve what sprinters can do (did I mention that, at 48, I’m still faster than most high-school runners?), then why do we think that it’s any different for other aspects of our lives, like: the ability to meditate, your general outlook on life, whether you’re “grounded” or “ethereal”, how well you function in relationships, your willingness to take risks, whether you’re entrepreneurial… shall I continue? (I won’t, so don’t answer that).

    Why do people believe the classic self-help guru — or guru guru — pitch: “If I can do it, you can too!”

    Why don’t we see those people, and their professed state of whatever, and, assuming they actually do have what they claim (most — maybe all — do not), think “sprinter”?  IF they’ve achieved anything special (and, again, that’s HIGHLY arguable… as I’ve done throughout this blog), then let’s just chalk it up to something other than whatever technique they’re teaching. Perhaps, in fact, the only thing that sets them apart from the rest of the pack, is the ability to convince large groups of people that they’re special… maybe THAT is their version of being a sprinter.

    That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice and enjoy running as fast as you can (meditating, or whatever)… but maybe you’ll cut yourself some slack if you don’t become “enlightened” because you’ve gotten causal direction correct (meditating doesn’t make you enlightened — whatever that is/isn’t — but people with a natural propensity toward that state — whatever it is/isn’t — also tend to meditate).

    Back in another 4-6 months when something else has gotten my goat… perhaps.

    Once more, with barely any feeling

    December 1st, 2010

    I just realized I’ve been overlooking the most blatant example of bad thinking I could possibly hope to find.

    It’s been right under my nose and, in the past, on my calves and hamstrings, too.

    I’m talking about homeopathic arnica remedies.

    That’s right, in the past I applied homeopathic arnica with the expectation that it would reduce inflammation, eliminate muscle soreness, and generally help my body feel better. In my mind, arnica was like topical aspirin.

    I say “in my mind” because it never did a thing to my body. Never. Ever. A thing. Nothing.

    But here’s the joke (and that bad thinking example I mentioned):

    1. Homeopathy is based on the idea that to CURE something, you give the patient a small dose of something that usually CAUSES the same symptoms
    2. So if you want to reduce inflammation/soreness, the homeopathic treatment should be something that would normally cause those symptoms
    3. Arnica, in it’s non-homeopathic form, has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and soreness (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnica)

    Do the math here, folks.

    Applying a homeopathic treatment of arnica should make you MORE sore and MORE inflamed!

    And, in my experience it does exactly that. I was pretty sore and inflamed after spending all that money and all that time (applying it 5x/day) on a treatment that didn’t help me a bit.

    Q.E.D.




     

     

     

     

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