The Original Design
If we look at the original design plants are designed being at one place their whole life and mainly do photosynthesis, animals at the other hand are designed to go here and there and organize their food, and in the process remain vigilant so as not to become someone else’s food. Hence, animals are designed to move for food and safety.
Distinct from other animals humans somehow caught the idea of making life more comfortable, and with this came the whole nuisance of work, which took us into the trap of making the life in place of living or celebrating the life. Even now many tribes find idea of making the life incomprehensible when one could live or celebrate life.
Civility people on the other hand kept marching on the glorious path of development and have reached here – nuclear weapon, hi speed internet, artificial intelligence and much more. Although it’s not clear if modern human is even a bit happier than his cave ancestor was. Price paid in term of environmental collapse is another issue. It looks as if we have been keeping the accelerator fully pressed, but the car remained in neutral gear, creating lot of noise but not taking us anywhere.
In this making the life process we have slowly been bringing separation between body and mind and siding more with the mind, and now we are fully in our mind. And our mind has insatiable quest for consumption and attention.
Our body is made of many muscles and muscles by design are self-adjusting, if you need more of them they would become stronger, and if you don’t use them they start vanishing. Our heart, intestine and diaphragm are also muscles. Hence, the strength of body lies in using it, if you don’t use, body starts vanishing. It is primarily for this reason why workout is needed.
Workout is also needed to keep the mind quiet. If you don’t do physical work your mind becomes super active and super confusing. Only way to keep mind in order is by regulating its energy supply by diverting energy to the body. You got to release a substantial amount of energy through your hands, your legs, your shoulders etc. to quieten the mind. Moreover, when we use our body body and mind become one and start working in synergy, and it is for this that we actually are designed for. Wild animals are always in synergy, their body and mind are always one.
Since we have outsourced our food and safety needs to agencies, and we have given all the physical work to machines, there is hardly any bodily work left with humans. We are mostly into mind work, and with the advent of artificial intelligence we are at the verge of losing even the mind work. Just imagine the ghastly situation if all the work is vanished.
Nonetheless, we have been inventing fake or semi fake alternatives – exercise, gym, yoga, meditation, games and much more. Just look at the logic of tread mill – we have a machine to make us run! What an intelligent invention!!?
I like dividing workout in 3 categories:
- Resource Positive: It is when you are mindfully spending body energy to create something that you like and need and which is not much harmful to others e.g. growing your food, cleaning your home, walking to meet someone etc.
- Resource Neutral: It is when you spend energy but you don’t create anything e.g. walking, running, exercising.
- Resource Negative: It is when you consume energy even to spend your energy e.g. running on a treadmill.
Our body and mind and everything around get synchronized when we are resource positive, and it is in this that real strength and coherence is attained. Resource neutral and negative are in real sense not the workouts, as no work comes out of them. Also, they lack synergy and coherence, hence, soon become mechanical.
Anybody having an enjoyable physical work would undoubtedly be a healthy and happy person. Gandhi never let anything become hindrance to his daily physical chorus, nor did Vinoba.