TV changed our consciousness by shifting our reference from local family networks to the TV god in the living room. The TV screen became the center as ME. Through it one had access to the greater world, but the price tag was hidden.
I first saw TV in 1950 at a friend’s house. I watched Howdy Doody and a vegetable cutter ad. Howdy Doody is gone but the vegetable cutter ads remained as the search continues for the perfect vegetable cutter. Nothing is ever good enough. Tomorrow will always be a better way to cut vegetables. TV is ad delivery system, the psychological fuel that ran mass industrial consumerism.
The system is designed to create dissatisfaction with life and the need for products that will relieve the suffering. My antidote is Zen Buddism. The political ad says to “take back America” (from some imaginary hijacker) but Zen says take back your mind from cultural conditioning.
The truth in advertising is that we are Howdy Doody dancing on the string of subliminal messages. TV is the Maya or illusionary world of electronic forms we believe are true.
There is nothing wrong with TV when we can see through it and not be captivated by it. When TV becomes metaphor it can be used to restore your true center. Awareness must rescue your captivated mind and sense of self. Like the puppet Pinocchio we must become real.
We can break through the maya of TV and electronic media by asking the question: Is this true? Especially now with the proliferation of social media memes: is this true?
Media is the externalization of thinking. Medi is a collective mind thinking, and in Buddhism there is a Sanskrit word for the proliferation of thinking, Papanca:
“This term is used to describe the tendency of the mind to 1) spread out from and elaborate upon any sense-object that arises in experience, smothering it with wave after wave of mental elaboration, 2) most of which is illusory, repetitive, and even obsessive, 3) which effectively blocks any sort of mental calm or clarity of mind.”
Doesn’t that describe the electronic media. When something comes into the media camera, it comes into Media consciousness and then. you can watch the Papanca spread out like a ripple when a stone is dropped in the pond. What was a pebble becomes a rock. And with the outgoing ripple, an opposite backlash ripple is created. In a few minutes the pond once flat surface is churned into a broken mirror reflecting nothing but a Picasso painting.
Only by taking your center back from the Image screen can you restore clarity.