My car moves better than me
When reading test results of a new BMW i8 that was just launched to the market, I noticed an obvious and worrying trend. The automotive technology progressed whereas people’s efficiency of movement and their self-awareness decreased. Efficiency and reliability of a car have become inverse proportional to the same traits of a person.
Only 50 years ago, people have been active even in their old age and moved effortless and efficient. They needed medical help if they got injured at work. The cars of that era have been noisy, uneconomical and unreliable and their owners also doubled as mechanics. Managing a car demanded experience, knowledge, intuition and thinking. , Also back, neck or shoulder pain, sciatica and headaches were not usual topics of conversations then. And the knowledge about these conditions was not so widespread. Today, it is just the opposite. The cars are more reliable and have a sealed casing so a non-professional cannot tinker with it. Consumption and noise levels in cars are decreasing while their comfort and amount of equipment are increasing. Managing a car requires less and less knowledge, intuition, experience and thinking. By contrast, people in their old age are becoming stiffer and slower. Their movements are stiff and often don’t seem enjoyable. Muscle pain has become their regular companion.
Hospitals, health care centres and physiotherapy clinics are crowded. Waiting lists for hip replacements, spine and neck surgeries, and breaking up of calcium deposits have never been longer. There are many new magazines and manuals on how to improve our health and body, train better and live a healthier lifestyle in general. People are losing their innate knowledge and are more dependent on artificial intelligence and outside sources of energy. we have increasing number of chronic pain conditions and illnesses without a clear diagnosis.
What is the secret of developing better and more efficient cars? A good observer will be able to draw parallels between a car and human organic systems. In the last 50 years, there are ten times more sensors than before and these send an increasing number of data into the brain. As a result, artificial intelligence can adapt the functioning of the car to the current demands of a modern driver. Today’s car is more versatile than ever before while its driver adaptability is inversely proportional to this. But even though sitting and driving in a car became more comfortable, the need for the driver to be involved in the traffic and control the car increased. As portrayed by the leading manufacturers in the automotive industry, cars will become even more automated in the future.
There is nothing wrong with progress. Of course, it is good. There are fewer accidents with heavy injuries, less petrol is consumed, less harmful emissions are pumped into the air and we are more mobile. But, as always, progress has its downsides. We are less active and our movements are becoming repetitive. We are becoming less aware of our body and don’t understand its functioning as well as before. We only realise something is wrong when it’s already too late and we cannot repair the damage. We don’t know how to recognise bad habits and change them. We are not aware of incorrect movements and posture. We seek help in experts but forget to look for it in ourselves. We don’t even try to understand what is happening to us during treatment.
Describing our feelings and pain to a therapist somehow seems more important.
We, AEQ teachers, are starting to notice that people cannot connect different aspects of their body. And that means they cannot gather and sum up information that is important for their health. Yet, when it comes to their car, they make up for this lack of knowledge – they would recognise irregularities in the purring of its engine in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, they know much less about what is happening to their body. Since our life has become so automated, we started using the conscious part of our brain less. But the organ, which we developed through evolution to survive and prevail, is the conscious part of the brain* (cortex). As a result, we cannot adapt to the changes in ourselves and our environment as well as before. The number of our daily tasks and decisions is increasing and technology helps us by making our life easier.
AEQ exercises are welcome addition to our life. They will help us restore awareness and increase the control over our body. In this way, we will improve our innate abilities and, at the same time, use accessible technological advancements to our benefit.
An efficient system protects the car from wear and tear and provides more reliability and enjoyment. The same holds true for our body and human beings should strive for their physical, personal and spiritual development. This is the thing that will help us keep our body efficient and reliable well into our old age.
*According to the research of Dr. Yuri Yatsko, inhabitants of western countries consciously think only three minutes a day on average.
Aleš Ernst, teacher of AEQ method level 5