Everything Is A Distraction
As much as I am hesitant to admit it, I am a mad Downton Abbey fan (just the way I expressed that should be enough of a clue hehe). I don't think there is much reason to deny or dismiss it, but whenever someone I don't know that well finds out, they tend to give the 'oh...ah okay' in condescending tones. Good for me that there are no tones in blog world, and if there ever are I'll be long gone from this space. Just imagine if instead of comments, people left recorded messages...yikes! But I am getting distracted, just the thing I am choosing to discuss today. So right to the point (I swear bringing up Downton had something to do with it).
In an episode of the show I watched recently, Carson (the Butler) made the comment that (ruffly quoting here), "in the end that's all we have, memories". I had a bit of a light bulb moment, as a voice inside of me went, NO! We have the present dopey!! While I love Downton Abbey and the wonderful characters within it. Through this comment and many others about "being happy", I have come to realise that it is not very, actually scratch that, not at all supportive of 'living in the present'. After reading the Power of Now, I have come to approach those "unconscious" people, experiences, situations and entertainment with more "consciousness" then ever before. Having this approach is the balance that ultimately our society can achieve. I believe that, because if we banished all slithers of unconsciousness in the world, then people would perhaps be utterly lost. The world would be too different and I don't think that's ever achievable.
Anyhoos, through finding this balance with what I already have in my life (aka enjoying the odd TV show once in a while), I am most content. I am more conscious of how it effects me and how I need to limit such watching before I become jittery and way out of whack. Through noticing the effects and what makes you feel good, you can tailor what works for you and what doesn't. The only rule being you must keep on top of it, and actually follow through. For heavens sake, if you are not following through with the patterns and behaviours that makes you feel good and doing the complete opposite, then I can assure you that you'll be full of guilt and unease - which isn't fun.
But this aside, there still is the basic fact that all the entertainment and stimulation in our society is not "conscious". Story lines are fueled by the gossip, grudges, drama and rumors - all unconscious things. Perhaps the closest thing to "conscious" television is a David Attenborough documentary, featuring sweeping landscapes and birds mating. No entertainment in the television industry at least, appreciates the present, because it just wouldn't be interesting. A man doing the dishes then turning around the camera and stating "you know, I'm not happy, but I do have inner peace", would be more of a comedy then an interesting Friday night episode.
Yet does it all have to be present?
Coming back to the balance that I've happily found, if we forget about the messages given in entertainment and think about the process then everything can be. The idea of the show may have come to a writer whilst meditating, or on a road trip while he was breathing the view at the top of a lookout. That's being present. Then the crew and every producer involved could have been so present in the making of the show that the art work created was so convincing and filled with minute details that make the audience smile. That's also present. Then when it's being shown to the public, if they remain conscious throughout the viewing and aren't totally gullible by messages like "we only have memories to make us happy", or "I'll be happy when I've married this man" then I think the whole process is okay. In fact it can be positive.
Whilst everything in the entertainment world speaks of distraction, it doesn't have to be. It's up to you and how you view it.