She Hates the News

 Fox news. 12 hours a day. No escape. From sunrise to sunset, it blares. Every word an attack. Every word propaganda.

In that two bedroom home she feels smothered. No car. Nowhere to go. No, there’s the computer room. Her reprieve. That place where she holes herself up for hours. Headphones on, eyes inches away from the monitor, she tunes into a different dimension, shut off from the world. The hours melt away as she explores in near infinite possibilities on Amazon.com, listens to a seminar with Eckhart Tolle, or exchanges a few words via Facebook to friends and family.

But the seclusion inevitably ends. Hunger strikes or duties demand attention. Her mind, unable to distract itself any more, hears once again the day’s day-long repeat of angry arguments and slander. The water runs down her wrinkled, blistered hands as she stares at the TV, her pain bodies caught and manifesting as she over-washes the plate with the sponge.

Let it go, I say. Surrender it.

But she can’t. The news anchor’s words are like the siren’s call, seducing her. Her mind twists, tumbles, and turns, thinking how wrong and outrageous their words are. But her words would only result in a fight. So she keeps it inside, for the most part, though a few words of disgust bubble out. Cortisol levels rising, she’s one angry comment away from three shots of tequila. She returns to putting the clean dishes into the dishwasher.

Though the ideas brought her suffering, she was right: there is so much hatred in the news it can easily sicken someone. Being in the room felt like standing on another planet. The atmosphere thick, gravity cranked up to some barely bearable multiple.

Yet the truth was, and we both knew it, that the problem was not what happened in the room, the problem was us disagreeing with it. Our dissonance with what is.

Even as I did my best to offer words of encouragement, to let her know she was being ensnared in the pain body manifestation, even though I felt great about my ability to surrender, the pain still seeped into me. Every now and then I would feel a great burden by something one of the news people were saying or doing.

They shouted at each other. There was never a discussion, only interruptions for each separate story to manifest. So much hatred. There was nearly nothing that I agreed with. And that hurts, being silent in a discussion where you feel everything is against your values. Being part of a society which is spoon-fed this sort of information. How I wished it were different.

Just letting go of this identity that was suffering and disagreed with the news was proving difficult. The heaviness demanding that I beat a hasty retreat to another room was a testament to that. I needed to change, to do something different, to use a stronger technique to nullify this powerful pain-body which chomped at the bit whenever the Fox wagged it’s tale.

When the dissonance gurgled up through my being, I didn’t fight it. I let it moan its woeful story. It wanted to make enemies, to slice up sharp and painful divisions. I heard it, I listened, and then I did my best to feel joy for those would-be enemies.

A new thought squeezed through the defensive line of this intransigent pain-body. Of course they are behaving this way. Immersed in an imaginary world, they suffer because they believe their thoughts. With a gulp of air and a taste of compassion my anger stumbles and chokes. And with the space provided by that small insight (or trick!), the vice-like grip upon my being is lessened. Dissonance subsided into a lasting moment of peace. I was able to feel good about it even without rationalizing it.

We have the power to control our experience with the universe. Yet most of us passively accept the various states of being that the universe throws at us. We go from happy to sad, from attraction to repulsion. Our passivity sabotages our happiness. We can’t sit still, relax, or just enjoy being. We see the ones we love the most and yet our pain and problems bubble up in our mind. We posses and achieve great things and yet we thirst for more. Dissonance always arises and with it our love for life and all its manifestations are forgotten. Restless and unhappy with what is, we are constantly seeking and doing, hoping to end this dissonance through a roller coaster ride of desire that continues to fail us. We have become blind to our true nature and our real problems. In that blindness we have created enemies and suffering.

The solution, the only sustainable solution, is for us to transform. For mankind to take an active role in shaping our relationship with the universe and to realize our higher potential. When humanity realizes we have this power, stops externalizing our problems, and surrenders our dissonance with what is, we will transform to something far greater than we have ever imagined.