Monday, September 13, 2010

Piercing the Media's Fearful Illusions

Our belief in the media is driving us crazy. Every hour the electronic buzz crackles us another outrage to get worked up about. But the view of the world presented by the screens and the radio is only a pinhole view of a vast reality. The wider world is much more sane, peaceful and loving. The narrow scope of the media view has one purpose—sell advertising time. For that, it needs a big audience. Conflict stirs our biological reaction to danger. It gets our attention and keeps us glued to the latest drama waiting to be told on the other side of the commercials.

What I see and hear on the media screen doesn't match what I encounter every day. Does it reflect what happens in your day? There are countless realities at this moment. The fearful horror put forth by the mainstream media is only one version. There is a universe of other stories to follow and live.

Reports of book burnings, war, and environmental disaster wound our collective soul again and again. How we react determines whether these are flesh wounds or deep gashes that cripple our psyches. Responding with dread and hatred to what we see only deepens the wounds. Speaking wisdom to this ignorance helps awaken the collective mind and heal its pains of duality.

The fearful story put forth by the media is not a conspiracy by any one group. It's the universal archetype of Illusion, the play of Maya enacting the same mind-deluding tricks it has played throughout time. Our task is to see through this primal pattern and find the light of consciousness shining behind the trickster veil. This Illusion is not dispelled with another Illusion, but with unconditioned, silent awareness seeing its unity shimmering on the other side of Illusion.

Those caught in the media's illusion making machine are conflict addicts, hooked on duality. They get off on the adrenaline rush of crisis. They fly high on savior fantasies of swooping in to rescue the world with actual solutions or insightful commentary. These conflict addicts thrive on the belief that the dramatic divisions weakening us are real. As long as the collective body appears to be in the trauma unit, they have a purpose an a way to make a living.

Notice how the media puts forth the same stories everyday with different names filling in the blanks—war, poverty, disease, chaos... You know the rest. Yet, the public buys the same dramas again and again. The core media illusion is the belief that we are safer in familiar limitations and conflict than in freedom and dynamic harmony. This core illusion speaks to the ancient, reptilian part of our brains. As long as that little lizard is threatened with the illusion of danger, it will keep running back to its hole in the rocks. Expanding beyond this controlling force is the true evolution that will allow us to survive in this age of global community.

The media is mostly a circus that entertains our reptilian brains for the sake of income. Beck, Limbaugh et al don't believe what they say. They are entertainers out for ratings. Allowing their words to shape our worldview is like believing that distorted funhouse mirrors are giving us a clear picture of the world.

Certainly there are dangers to deal with, but the greatest danger is selling illusion for income. How we see the world shapes the world. Seeing through the illusions of conflict & fear to unity and compassion shapes the world toward greater health and abundance.

In this regard, the power of art is its ability to show us how forms of illusion can be used to liberate consciousness from illusion. The art of being a patriot is not to reinforce illusions of fear and conflict, but to dispel illusions with understanding and insight. The art of leadership points the way through illusions of division and hatred to unity and love. The art of living dispels illusions by living your truth.

So, when the next news alert flashes across your screen telling you the world is falling apart, remember the voice that hums in the hollow of your heart. Listen to its timeless reminder—what appears to be divided is one life flowing on its mysterious course through illusions of itself on its long journey home.


  1. "The core media illusion is the belief that we are safer in familiar limitations and conflict than in freedom and dynamic harmony." I couldn't agree more. I've had to stop watching and listening to the news almost altogether. The negativity was overwhelming. Thank you for this piece!

  2. I adore this post. Your wisdom is a welcome "callback" from relentless, unwelcome distractions to the reality of peace. This needs to be widely distributed!

  3. Thank you for this. Especially the last paragraph.

  4. Exactly why I choose not to watch television or read the paper. My political-junkie parents are horrified that they managed to spawn such a reprobate, but I became a much happier person when I unplugged. :)

    Have you read Jerry Mander's Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television? I read it in college and it's an old book at this point (dating myself), but the principles still stand. He discusses the issues in your post, and more. You might enjoy it.