Archive for June, 2008.

Maximizing Your Human Heritage – 10 Ways to Improve the Performance of your Human Body with Evolutionary Fitness

Written by Philip Walter on Jun 30 at 9:22 pm.

I recently came across Arthur DeVany’s blog, where he actively discusses his Evolutionary Fitness protocol. Art’s a 70 year-old guy who is in fantastic shape, weighing about 200 pounds at about 10% bodyfat. He’s really a picture of what any of us would want to look and feel like at his age. He’s been active for a very long time and is extremely smart. Over the years, his philosophy toward physical fitness has come to be informed greatly by the evolutionary heritage of the human species.

Now, I believe one of the greatest advantages of living in the 21st Century is our awareness of our own evolution. The baby-boomers are really the first generation to have wide-spread knowledge of the history of human development going back 40,000 years and beyond. The advantages this has to understanding your own personal development are huge, so when I stumbled upon Art’s work, I ate it up.

Keep in mind, I’m not a geneticist or evolutionary biologist, but I have done a fair bit of homework for this article. Even so, I welcome corrections from those who might have a more informed perspective on this subject. My general pattern when I come across an intriguing body of work is to consume as much of it as I can, digest it over a period of time, and spit it back out on this blog. Doing this helps me learn more about the particular system and internalize the core concepts, while making it my own at the same time. This article is my analysis of Art DeVany’s Evolutionary Fitness essay.

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Developing A Post-Modern Vocabulary of Enlightenment

Written by Philip Walter on Jun 21 at 4:58 pm.

Photo courtesy of

For those of you keeping score at home, it has been a bit over two weeks since the last post. One post a week was my goal when I started this blog 6 months or so ago, and up until now I have surprisingly been able to keep that pace. Now, however, work has begun in earnest on my book, I’m in training for a Prasara yoga instructor certification at the end of the month, and I’m working with my cameraman Robert to develop a 6-part Brickhouse Bodymind TV series chronicling his transformation from stressed-out, pot-bellied twenty-something to peaceful, hard-bodied heartthrob using the Brickhouse Bodymind Blueprint as it will be laid out in the book.

In the mean time, the amount of posts will probably diminish a bit, but rest assured that if you maintain your subscription, you’ll be among the first to be privy to the exciting new content coming later this summer. In an effort to keep some content flowing, I came up with the following post. It is an adaptation of a thread I started on the Tao Bums forum today in conjunction with some stuff I’ve been developing for my book. Hopefully y’all will get something out of it. As always, I encourage anyone to comment below if you have thoughts.

I believe we in the post-modern age, particularly those of us in the Western world, have done a wonderful job of compiling and translating ancient and foreign ideas about this thing called enlightenment. This is fantastic, but I fear that a largely borrowed vocabulary lacks enough relevance in the post-modern world to be as effective as it was all those centuries ago. These terms are more likely to make enlightenment seem like some distant thing than part of our fundamental nature. Let me be clear that I know the value of these ancient systems, and that I myself practice some of them, and am influenced by them. My purpose here is not to poo-poo these traditions but to frame their conceptual foundations in terms more familiar to those of us who have survived the Technological Revolution.

The terminology I’m talking about would be integral – both comprehensive and balanced – comprehensive in that it would take into account pre-modern, modern and post-modern sources alike, and balanced in that it would not leave behind any aspect of the individual (mind, body, spirit being the three major aspects).

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Dream Analysis and Audience Participation

Written by Philip Walter on Jun 5 at 10:11 am.

Photo courtesy of
Amy Walter

Anyone who owns a dog knows the amusement to be had when one of them takes off on a slumbering romp through dream-land. Even just five minutes watching their paws flutter in a sideways “jog-in-place” and their lips flap and furl in an attempt to pursue some imaginary squirrel beats the hell out of a whole night of American Idol. I find myself wondering what forest he’s sprinting through, what stream she’s swimming across, or what mailbox he’s pissing on.

Last week I was reminded of all this while listening to this story on NPR’s All Things Considered. The basic gist was that college students everywhere are awakened in the middle of the night by dreams of failing their last final and being unable to graduate, or of tripping on their way across the stage at their graduation ceremony, or of arriving at the show naked altogether.

This sort of dream, according to the story, seems to be stress-induced, triggered by anxiety surrounding the event of graduation, an event looked forward to and toiled over for many years. But these dreams don’t just pop up in the midst of the experience. They can show up years and years later. The theory behind this is that college in general and graduation specifically can be very stressful, so when we encounter stressful situations later in life, and our brains try to sort those situations out, our dreaming selves return to the images of college and graduation in an archetypal way.

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