Thursday, June 25, 2009

Truth, Reading, and TV

When we got off the plane in Philadelphia we followed the signs to baggage claim. No problem finding it. In baggage claim we saw ten conveyor belts with luggage on them. We looked for the one with our flight number and waited for our baggage to come up the chute onto the belt and around to where we were standing. After a while of checking a number of pieces that looked like ours, I decided, on an instinct, to go to another belt to see If I could find our luggage. My wife thought I was crazy since we were standing at the one that listed our flight number. Sure enough, four belts down, I found a black Samsonite bag with our name circling the belt. How could it be there when our flight was listed on another belt? You can't believe everything you read.

A friend of mine was telling me a story today about her writing. She said that she had written down her two main issues in life. They happened to be getting older and learning to be single. She felt that the act of writing them down had given her greater clarity into herself and her life situation. It was as if before she had written them down they were not as real. We give tremendous credibility to something when it is written.

Whenever my father wanted to make a point to me he quoted a book or article he read. Matter of fact I was just reading one of the Wellness letters he sends me every month. Did you know that "chewing gum after intestinal surgery reduces the time it takes for normal bowel function to return." Normal bowel function has always been an important subject to my father. It seems though after ninety-six years he should be an expert on the subject without having to read about it.

Much of what we believe about life comes from thoughts, ideas, remembrances, and stories that are written down. When something is reduced to paper and ink it assumes almost a magical quality. The same can be said about television. Many people believe that if something is shown on television it is true, especially if it supports what they already believe.

I am not trying to say that we should not read or watch television. I am trying to say that we need to be aware of how we have formulated our opinions and beliefs. I think it is important to recognize that not everything that is written or stated on TV can be given the same level of credibility. We need to be able to discriminate between higher and lower level sources of information and reporting. What is written down or observed can be the result of the observations, opinions, and conclusions of someone who is objective and motivated by a quest for accuracy or by someone who has an agenda to promote.

In addition there are those who have developed a higher level of consciousness or awareness. Their opinions and viewpoints carry more weight than someone with an average level of consciousness. If we are committed to understanding life and its meaning and purpose we should not rely solely on what we read or are told. I believe that a serious spiritual seeker will benefit from developing an ability to 1- take in all information without judgement, 2- search out written materials from higher level sources, and 3- work on developing their own consciousness. The consequences of doing these things on an ongoing basis is valuable to improving the quality of one's life and increases the possibility for success and happiness.

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