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Yesterday, I quit watching TV.

Officially.

I got this great “communications” package a few months back from one of our local magnanimous Communications Giants.  Phone, internet and TV all for a ridiculous price.  How kind of them.

It even includes a “Personal Video Recorder”, which hums incessantly in the background of my apartment.  Apparently, you can use this device to record the little gems you missed on the 500-channel universe, while you were too busy wasting your time with other distractions.

So, a month into my Beautiful Discount Year, I turned on the TV to see what was what.

I surfed from channel to channel.  News.  Bad News.  More Bad news.   Sports.  Grown men crashing into each other to put a funny-shaped ball into a net.  Crowds, wild and drunk.  Crime and punishment.  Young men being held in vice-grips by police, another mute victory for Mankind.  Fake jewelry for sale.  Puppets, Muppets, Simpsons, Talking Animal Heads.  Passion, romance, broken hearts, cheat-and-deceit wearing new fluorescent raincoats.  Makeup for your pets.

After 10 minutes, I turned the TV off.

It stayed off for 3 months.

After 3 months, I thought, “well, I’m PAYING for this thing.  So many people sit and watch it every night.  Am I missing something?  Is there something important happening in a remote corner of Asia that is significant to my existence?

I turned it back on again.

Reality TV.  People shocked about their neighbor’s nose-pickings.  Celebrity ratings.  Who did who with what and what “they” think about, and what do “I” think about it?  I can register with their website, and let faceless digital popcorn-drenched throngs know what I “think” about something whose importance will fade in moments in my chaotic, multi-tasking, million-channel universe.

After 5 minutes, I turned it off.

And last night I turned it on one more time.  Climate-change protesters being hauled off by police.  The editorial staff chews on it.  What IS the right thing to do?  This is what our “experts” think.  This is what our blond with TV makeup thinks.  This is what the millionaires who control every word we say, think.  What do YOU think? (As if we care…).

The final straw was the the buxom DJ-news anchor saying, “we’re looking forward to seeing you next season…”

“Seeing me” …?  Can you really see me?  Like, through your television camera, you can “see” me?  You really give a @#$% about me?  Like, I’m really more than just a crudely gathered statistic of how many bored couch objects tune into your drivel every night?

“See you” later.

Much later.

Fires of Impermanent LifeWhew.

Media.

I’ve quit reading newspapers, also. But not officially.  I sometimes glance at headlines.  I occasionally dial “the funny pages” (which, incidentally, aren’t that funny any more: did anyone notice?).

I used to think that I needed to know about the state of the world, partly so that people would not classify me as “stupid”, but partly so I could carry on animated conversations about politics or current events with strangers I met at parties or in cafe’s.   In retrospect, all such conversations are a monumental waste of time.  All they do is re-confirm to your own ego, your own tentative and arbitrary position in a world make up of disguises, subterfuge and gimmicks.  Not only is this so-called “information” we’re receiving slanted, biased, always one side of a many-sided story… but it’s main purpose seems to be to “sell” us on something – inevitably to make huge money for people who already have huge money; people who’s main aim in life is to keep us distracted at our own expense.

NOTHING in the media speaks to me about who I truly am.  What I really came here to accomplish, to feel, to achieve, to savor – as a human being.  Nothing in the media reminds me of my own mortality, of time relentlessly ticking by – time irreplaceable and precious.

NOTHING in the media speaks to me about HOPE, about the trajectory of the human soul, about the true beauty, compassion and kindness locked into the hearts and cells and sinew and fabric of the deepest part of “us”.

NOTHING in the media speaks to me about the true potential of human beings: the potential to love and be loved.  The potential to access one’s own deep wisdom.  The potential to know that the sweetness of life is something to be experienced NOW, not after death, not after “god” descends from the clouds to save us, not after “enlightened politicians” sweep toxic garbage under the carpet and give us another tired version of “paradise”.

NOTHING in the media speaks to me about “me”.  About how the only true knowledge in the world, is knowledge of self. About how the problems that are so rampant “out there” are all rooted “in here” and about how we can change the world, permanently and irrevocably, by inner change, inner wisdom, inner consciousness, inner insight, inner delight.

NOTHING in the media speaks the truth.  The truth about my ‘insides’, what is steady, constant and fundamental in life.  All I get is the changing trends, the shifting weather, the crumbling investments, the disdainful promises, the transparent and pathetic packaging of products that give me nothing but short-lived fascination and lingering frustration.

This is why I quit watching TV.

Round Robin of the SunI have found one moment, one fragrance, one flower … that captivates my soul, and totally nourishes my inner self.

As Kabir says, once the swan has drunk from the Fountain, why would it seek the gutter any more?