MEDIA, CULTURE, and the LANGUAGE of the HEART
It is time for us to wonder
about the way we use words and the degree to which the tender feelings
of the heart are separated from the words we use. It is also time to
take notice of the way in which our culture perpetuates the degree of separation that we feel from others....
Have you ever wondered why it is that someone dying in an automobile accident, through a gunshot wound on some city street, or in a massive explosion in a public square far away - why these are spoken of in news reportage in a factual way, an informational way? We tell ourselves that it is the way news must be reported. But our hearts ask a different question. Is it? Is it necessary to disconnect the heart when we speak of the death of others so that we do not bear their wounds and their suffering with us?
It is time for us to wonder about these things, about the way we use words and the degree to which the tender feelings of the heart are separated from the words we use. It is also time to take notice of the way in which our culture as portrayed through news media perpetuates the degree of separation that we feel from others, even while reporting about the plight of others.
We need to look at the way in which those who report to us via radio and television, especially, use words, since here, the sound of words used can go straight to our hearts or circumvent them altogether, aiming to access our minds that store facts, or aiming to claim our attention through shock or fascination alone, neither of which accesses our deeper hearts.
We must listen to the way words are used to avoid feeling, to avoid the recognition of our common humanity, to create a sense of intellectual intrigue, or fascination, or superiority, rather than an experience of love. What? How? Is it possible to create an experience of love while speaking of something else? Yes, beloved ones. It is the picture of reality that we hold that determines what energy our own words carry, and the energy of the words that reach our ears through mass media. We are living in a culture in which intellect and information are still valued above the values of the heart - the value of love, the value of oneness. And although this is changing now, we may hear this, still, in the way words are used if we listen.
Let us listen, then. Let us especially listen to our own words, to see where they may be lacking in love, to see where we are speaking to impress others, to feel intellectually superior, to make a point rather than to share an unfolding moment. We must listen for our heart that seeks to find expression through words, and we must learn to be silent.
Silence is important both for listening and for learning about the place within from which words may come. If we value our intellect above all else, then our words will come from our minds and will become disconnected from our hearts. If we are interested in 'making a point' above all else, then our words will be joined with our will instead of our desire to love others. Only if our words come from the deep desire to share the truth of love with others will the words we use vibrate with the energy of our heart.
It is very possible today, because of the secularization of language and culture historically, for people to have a discussion about spirituality itself without touching the resonance of the heart. It is possible to use words extensively about that which has few words if any.
What is the reason for this focus on knowledge, on showing how much we know, of putting everything into words that can claim attention from our minds? It is this, beloved ones, that we are so used to operating as if we are separated from the holy, from the divine sacred reality that we live in, that we do not even notice that it is being mirrored back to us in the way things are portrayed via the media that we listen to or watch. This is not the fault of any one person or reporter. Nor is it our fault for having grown accustomed to this way of being. Rather, it is a habit of attention to a portrayal of a reality that has been with us for a long, long time, one that we have been in and that has been in us.
Now, we must let go and are beginning to let go of this historical reality that separates us individually and collectively from the life of the heart. This life asks to be heard, now, as the voice of the sacred. We must let go in order to respond to the call that asks that the mind be only a part of who we are, and that asks us to return to our true being. When we can hear the dichotomy within ourselves between mind and heart, when we can hear the way we use words that are separate from our hearts, we will also hear it in others and will begin to yearn for something that is more true, both for ourselves and for those transmitting information via media. We will yearn for a way of speaking of those souls unknown to us who have died, whether in accidents, gunshot fights, or in the public marketplace of a distant land, as if they belonged to us, as if they were part of our heart. This is the change that is happening now and that life is calling us to, and it begins with our being able to listen to our own words with our hearts, rather than with our minds, so that we can return to the deeper roots of our being and speak from that most sacred place.
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