Imagine this. I have in front of me a large sheet of white paper on which I have drawn a black dot in the middle. I show it you and ask, “What do you see?”
What do you think would be your reply?
Chances are you would say – “I see a black dot.”
Why is it that we see the black dot but not the white paper?
News only becomes news because it is out of the ordinary – it is the black dot in the middle of the white page.
War and violence are only worth commenting on because our normal state of living is peaceful.
Crime only makes the headlines because most of us live upright and law abiding lives.
Corruption and dishonesty only makes the news because most of us live honest lives.
Bad news is only news because so much of life is good.
It is the extraordinary that captivates us not the ordinary. Because of this we end up giving large amounts of our attention to what is wrong in the world while paying very little attention to what is good.Many of us literally become hooked on drama and are unable to function with it!
What we give our attention to becomes our reality because our thoughts are powerful magnets that attract into our lives whatever we are placing our focus on. By the energetic law of attraction the universe relays back to us the things that we focus most intently on.
If we concentrate on the black dot then we will see a world that is black. If we concentrate on the bad news we will see a world that is bad. If we focus on terror then we shouldn't be surprised when we experience terror in our live's in the form of fear, unease, distress etc.
And it’s not just the news that portrays the black spot. Reality TV, soap operas and drama all play their part too. In fact it never ceases to amaze me how we can be enthralled by violence on the big screen and yet abhor it when it turns up in our own back yard! Still we somehow manage to stubbornly refuse to see the connection.
Even adverts have a power all of their own – they give out the message that there is something that we need in order to be happy, healthier, richer, more popular etc. Adverts focus on lack and greed and so have the power to attract these into our lives. Much of popular TV works on our desires for more – more money, more experiences, a new home, a better home, a home in the sun, a better body, a new romance....it goes on and on!
It's a great marketing tool – but we need to be aware of which market we are buying into!
We should not underestimate the power of the TV to influence our subconscious mind and our thoughts. We take in messages subliminally all the time and we are all susceptible to this programming. What is needed is the ability to reprogramme our minds and loosen the power of the subconscious, habitual thought patterns that keep us bound to a way of thinking that is keeping joy at bay.
How do we do this? It’s simple. We need to begin to shift our focus from the black spot to the white page! When we are focused on the black spot we are operating from the ego that has Edged God (Goodness) Out.(Read my blog 'Keeping ourselves right by making others wrong' for an explanation of ego)
When we do this we are at the mercy of the lower energies of fear, mistrust, cynicism, doubt, futility, despair and depression. When we begin to choose to notice what is good and beautiful in the world we shift to operating from an ego that has Embraced God (Goodness) Openly and we become open to trusting in the higher energies of love, peace, joy, kindness, beauty, compassion and hope to guide us and define our lives.
To make a significant difference in our lives and in the world around us we need to do more than give a passing attention to goodness we need to dwell on it, to be curious about it, to investigate it, to wonder at it and to rejoice in it. Noticing the good needs to become our default station so that everywhere we go, whatever we see and whatever we experience our vision is always coloured by the truth.
In the Bible the book of Phillipianshatever offers us this sound advice:
'Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right
Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
If anything is excellent or praiseworthy THINK on these things'
If we do this we then may our viewing habits altering but even if they don’t we may find that we can watch TV with a clearer set of eyes. We will not be fooled into thinking that the world is bad, that people are bad, that the world is lacking or that we are lacking. We amy find that we no longer need the endless stimulus of darma to keep us entertained. Perhaps we will begin to view the world through more compassionate and curious eyes. "What is making the world this way?"we may ask. "How I can help?" we may say. We may become more compassionate and our answers will come from a place of love rather than a place of fear, anger and despair.
Breaking news will become about breaking hearts not bruising ego's. To explore further the necessity for our hearts to be broken please read my blog 'Feeling our way to a brighter future'.
In the end we may all do well to heed the advice of Marrianne Williamson who suggests that we make the daily news our daily prayer list........in this way we at least send out positive, healing intent to the world rather than polluting it with further anguish, dismay, fear and judgement.
The opinions I express here are my own. However I offer them with the word 'syat' next to them. 'Syat' is a word used by the Jain Tribe in India which means 'To the best of my knowledge SO FAR.' In the spirit of openness I invite comments from anyone whether you agree with my point of view or not. In this way we can all learn and grow together. Thank you.