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Heart Ki

How TV Can Be Bad For You

kid looking at tv screen

First and foremost, I’m not here to suggest anyone to abandon watching TV. Some people have indeed done that choice, and it’s up to them how it works in their lives. In my case, there are a few television programs I do watch and enjoy, and I find that if I give up entirely on certain things, I’m starving my own Spirit of some light and entertainment. So this article is not necessarily about giving up on anything.

What I would like to get across is that TV in general is not a neutral tool in your environment, and its effects are not small or negligible. I’m writing to raise awareness about this.

TV serves the interests of many things, all of which intend on manipulate you in some way, none of them intent do serve your highest good, or share positivity. The form by which you are manipulated goes from the slightly naughty and witty yet innocent, down to the pure (literally) evil. And when I say evil, I mean placing certain images, sounds, and the frequency (rate of appearance) and timing of those images and sounds, to purposely bend your discernment and free will.

Some want to make you buy things. Some intent to bend and influence your perception on, say, politicians and their choices. Some intent to make you take certain viewpoints about certain things (make you look at the bad things about a situation, for example), and sometimes, to make you believe in certain things altogether.

You may think this isn’t that important. Actually, it is that important. TV molds your mind, and your mind is the part of you that thinks. Your mind is highly adaptable and dynamic. And influenced. You then take your mind to work, to raise your children, to speak to others, and to make decisions. Some of those decisions are small, some are not so small. The decisions of which house or car to buy, the decisions to date and marry someone, the decisions to help or not help someone, if and how and when, all of those are decisions. They have emotions in them, but the decision takes your mind into account. Your mind also creates emotion by what it believes. You in your entirety are akin to what you think – without knowing about it. TV has a much greater impact than your mind is capable of realizing right in this moment. If you’re under a blanket, you can’t see.

Your brain and emotional system is still developing well into your teens and early twenties – and is very soft and permeable. If an adult is influenced, a young one is imprintable. He’s literally formatted by television.

It’s by no chance that much of TV programming and media in general is directed at either children or young adults.

None of this is particularly important if you watch TV very occasionally and selectively, to see a show or two of your liking. But do you?

TV is addictive. Why? If you have an habit of watching TV in a certain time period of your day, say, from 6 to 9, if you don’t do that, notice how you’ll feel a sense of void, a sense that something is missing. A vague anxiety that you should be doing something.  It’s not physically painful, and it’s not glaring, but it pulls you to it with a certain amount of strength.

TV is programmed to grab you, and keep you there. And then there’s another thing. Your mind is so adaptable and malleable, that it gets used to receive the stimuli during those TV times. So when “TV time” comes, your mind is already open, craving it, and completely receptive to whatever things it takes from TV.

It therefore works by habituation. It’s a marriage between a part of you that is addicted wants more input (your mind) and something that wants an open and receptive mind to give that input into – an input that is self-serving, not well-meaning, as I’ve said.

The habit turns into a downward spiral – albeit a subtle one.

What your mind is thinking right now at this moment was influenced by TV, media, and other people, in a way you don’t understand or had a saying about. Your mind is malleable. The way you’re thinking might not be entirely yours at all.

The News

If you’re into the modern day alternative, awakened views about society, you’re probably aware that the news media blatantly convey a certain viewpoint when it comes to politicians and political options, because the mainstream media itself, regardless of how “independent”it says it is, is funded by others. This is not innocent or “how it should be”. The moment it’s funded, supported, or otherwise in contact with someone else who has money and certain interests, it becomes inevitably so.

The news media also inevitably and repeatedly massacre you with negative news, and with negative views about social and economic subjects (only sprinkling here and there a few touching, yet relatively meaningless, positive news).

It’s not that the news should be all fluffy and ignore negativity. However, the repetition of the words “crisis”, “austerity”, “deficit”, and the “[name-of-the-month] plan/package” places you in a mindset of “crisis”, “austerity”, and “deficit”.

Now, you create your personal reality with the way you think. All the population does. Do you understand how serious it is?

Furthermore, you should be aware that the “crisis” and”austerity”, regardless of your personal circumstances and hardships which I am in compassion with – because I have and have had hardships of my own – are bogus concepts. The “crises” and “debts” and “deficits” of the world are never going away as long as the economy creates money out of debt, the banks control the economy, and the average human is kept slave to paying debts and interests, and taxes which are blown out of proportion because of said debts. These debts are created by banks and corporations, yet it’s the population and the state who pay them. It doesn’t make sense. Yet you see no politicians addressing the issue at its core, only invariably creating “stimulus packages” and methods of “reducing debt”, therefore running in circles attempting to deal with the situation, rather than truly fixing it.

But why is this not clearer? The media brainwashes you into a certain pattern of thoughts.

Entertainment

I have a simple experience to suggest to you.

Take any modern entertainment show, say, a competition, a contest, in any shape or form, where the competitors are hustling and busting with a certain time limit to achieve a certain goal. It could be singing, cooking, shooting, talking, anything at all.

Now watch it, and try to count the average duration of each shot in that show (a shot is the time before the focus of a camera switches to another camera).

You’ll see that in many shows (western-based and especially North American) the average shot is around 3 seconds or less (I haven’t got a formal study to you, it’s just my own experience).

This is a brainwashing technique. Quickly skipping past many different short-termed images or camera shots. It makes your mind try to adjust to the high speed of the images and switching, but in doing so, much of the details are absorbed by your brain directly into your subconscious mind. Much of modern entertainment and competition shows have this kind of editing.

You may then notice the music and sound effects that are edited and accompany the footage. The vast majority of these sounds are not pleasant and “positive”, they are designed to cause anxiety, discomfort, risk, and danger,to mirror the feelings of those participating in the competition. If you then add these sounds to the fast skipping of imagery, your mind is absorbing it all. And liking it.

Then, it becomes the norm. You see a show with another kind of editing, maybe slower, and it feels “weird” and outdated.

Probably the specific director of that specific show doesn’t have “brainwashing” on his mind. He’s just following the trend of the industry, trying to be hip and do a successful show. Probably. Yet, when your realize these things are fostered at certain levels, and things being this way is not a coincidence, the reality of it may impact you. It’s negative, invasive, and destructive, so just because not everyone is actively trying to be “evil”, there’s no reason to subject yourself to it.

American shows are relevant because they have a huge influence in the whole world, whether you like it or not. They set the stage for world culture. Obviously with more influence in some areas than others, but still, America carries a huge cultural influence in the world today.

If all these small things are left unchecked and treated as the “normal” way, what isn’t? Where is the frontier? There isn’t. Not really.

Competition and Elimination Shows

Another thing I have a peeve about is the notion of competition, and more specifically, about eliminations. Many of the aforementioned TV shows feature a group of people who compete on an episode-by-episode basis, and when there’s the elimination of one person at the end of each episode – typically the one who fared the most poorly in the competition – until in the end only one remains. Again, there’s a variety nowadays for these shows, featuring modelling, cooking, survival, popularity, singing, etc, but the structure of competition, judgement, and elimination is about the same.

Have you noticed that at some point in the show, after the “pruning” of the elements whom are much less talented or experienced, or clearly don’t belong there, the “quality” or value of contestants in the group is roughly the same?

While there may be a few in this mid-show group who may be more talented, there’s usually not one clear-cut , “deserving” winner. Much like a well-balanced sports team, most of the contestants at this stage are talented and very capable in their own right.

Also, when you watch the show, it is my contention that you already know who’s the most talented, the most disciplined, the most consistent, the most reliable, etc. The viewer know this, the contestants themselves know this. Also, because these are elimination rounds, a person who’s more talented may be eliminated because of an off day, including in the final. How many times does the runner-up goes on to have a more successful career in the “real world” than the winner?

So, my contention is: why the eliminations?

Why the need to define who’s the best, and eliminate everyone else?

Why couldn’t the  contestants go on for the rest of the show as a group, performing and gathering points, and maybe have a podium or a prize of some sort for the best, or the best ones, at the end of it? They could this way showcase their talents and their skills along all episodes, all the while improving and evolving along the way, much like students in a classroom – without eliminations.

All of them would have about the same exposure, hence the same opportunity and time to showcase themselves to life after the show. Plus, and this is key, within an environment of showcasing yourself, yet without the stress from elimination, each contestant would be in a prime environment to be at their creative and core best. Even if at the end someone is crowned champion, that would be secondary for their growth and personal process.

I’ll tell you the reason for eliminations.

The eliminations work much the same way money in the economy. In a given moment, there simply isn’t enough money for everyone (actually there is, but the system is broken). So what this does is to keep everyone is fighting and competing to stay at the top of the pile, or at least away from the bottom. Who stays at the bottom goes into poverty, experiences foreclosure, bankruptcy, etc. This is the energy of not having enough for everybody.

The same way, contestants know that at the end of the round there aren’t enough places for everyone: one (or more) is leaving at the end of the episode. This leaves everyone on edge, nervous and anxious, knowing they are competing with each other for places, rather than simply exploring their unique and individual potential – as it should be.

This is a negative energy. It is the opposite of Spiritual Truth. When you are pressured to survive, you tend to fall prey to fear, and steer farther away from your benevolent  spiritual Essence. You feel there isn’t enough to go around for everyone – when there is. It’s just a lie. It’s the same with working for money, or doing something unaligned with your Essence for the sake of earning money. You yourself feel an energy of dirtiness, of selling out (selling yourself out), the opposite of being proud, because you’re selling your-Self to get money. But you’re only enslaving yourself, giving away more and more of your true Spiritual identity, for the sake of survival. And serving the negative system in the process. That’s the system’s intent.

So you see, the sight of eliminations of any kind, in TV shows or any other, is to me the same as contemplating the monetary/economic  system of man, which is made to enslave him and nothing more. People are made to work for survival instead of bringing forth their natural light and purpose as Soulful beings.

The same way, the contestants in the TV show are pushed into fighting and competing with each other, egos clashing and always on edge – because there aren’t enough chairs when the music ends.

It makes for good drama, yes, but also for an horrible spiritual experience.

From Numbness to Awareness

All of this which I’ve said, and I haven’t even mention explicitly ads and advertising. Nowadays ad time is either constantly interrupting the show, or the duration of ad periods is gigantic, at least in primary networks. Repeating commercials over and over is yet another brainwashing technique, especially effective when your mind is already basking at every little loud and flashy stimulus it can get.

I noticed that the though-forms and mental patterns of TV programs keep circling in my mental space for a long time after the TV-watching has ended, far longer and more insisting than anything else. To me that signals that the energies of such programs, and of TV itself, have exactly that energy with them, they are meant to “invade” your open and vulnerable mind, and stay there.

TV is meant to foster numbness in you. The energies of its though-forms, and the effect it takes on your mind, and the physical and emotional space it occupies in your life, all of that takes space. And, quite simply, TV brings your focus to a constructed image, and to the energies of others (the outside), rather than to your own here and now. If nothing else, you’ll be constantly being bombarded with a viewpoint, or viewpoints, that aren’t necessarily your own. Imagine if you grab someone randomly in the market, and then ask that person to speak to you for straight 24 hours about its opinions, without you saying anything yourself, just listening passively.

And you liking it.

Now, I said “if nothing else”, but there’s really much more to it than meets the eye.

For this reason, I watch TV nowadays more like as going to the cinema, that is, in a more punctual, sporadic way, or to see specific things, rather than having it as a habit in my life. Simply because I need to keep space and time to focus on the me, and the me alone.

How many times do you watch TV because you have nothing to do? In that mindset, you won’t be selective about what you watch, you’ll be zapping the remote and watch what it comes on. It’s precisely that state that your mind will be open and vulnerable to start absorbing stuff indiscriminately.

Because you had “nothing to do”, you went to fill that space with TV. It’s about the same with internet, facebook, and similarly addictive situations.

But you’ll notice that, if you leave that “empty space”  of boredom and having nothing to do, let it be what it is, and not fill it with the stimulus of TV, you’ll soon find out that your creative self will start occupying that space.

It might take a little while, because your mind is addicted, hence you might experience some form of stress and withdrawal. Plus, you don’t have to go cold turkey. TV itself is not evil. No need to throw it out the window. Simply be attentive to your habits. It’s the habit where the peril is, because it’s in the routine and habituation that your mind is more relaxed and vulnerable.

If you kick out the habit, and the occupying that space where boredom is, and make a decision not to fill it, your creative self will start speaking to you, in the form of inspiration, enthusiasm, new ideas and thoughts. New things will happen.

Energy exists and it’s there. What’s happening in the backstage can’t be neglected. If you desire to open space in your life, space that was being occupied by TV – which can become a lower, stagnated, and numbing energy – then better things will occupy that space, things of better energy. Not better energy according to “the universe”, but by your own standards.

The vast programming in TV is not actually real. News programs are not unbiased, and reality shows are about drama – but I’m speaking about fictional productions now. Movies and TV series are fiction, both because the stories are fictional in themselves, but also because characters and people do not behave like real people in real everyday lives. They simply don’t. Yet, your mind doesn’t really make a distinction between what is real and what’s not, and absorbs it all anyway.

As you watch TV, you’re inevitably absorbing great quantities of drama, concern, stress, anxiety, preoccupation, problems, and worries – most of which from fictional characters, or people in reality shows – which aren’t yours at all! You’ll feel anxious and troubled simply because of the energy you’ve seen, which is designed to push your buttons and mess with you… but not necessarily because any of it concerns to you.

So you’ll find that one of the immediate effects of not watching TV, or watching it selectively and with awareness, is that you’re simply more emotionally stable, and serene.

Whatever issues and challenges you have in your personal life, they are enough. There is no need for any more drama. Your serenity, your peace of mind, have no price. And it’s up to you to nurture them, to care for them, and for yourself.

Serenity and clarity are priceless, because how you feel and what you think generates your reality. And whatever the subject at hand, you really want to be handling from a standpoint of clarity, always.

Be mindful of your use of TV. That’s all the protection you need.

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