Archive for September 10th, 2008

Living through television

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

QUESTION: Masters, I have become obsessed with and addicted to reality television. I can’t seem to get enough of shows like Survivor, Wife Swap, Supernanny, Biggest Loser, Big Brother, and The Amazing Race. I identify with contestants on The Bachelor, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and Who Wants to be a Millionaire. I will watch them in their time slots and record them if they conflict with something. What is my problem?

ANSWER: Your problem is that you do not like to face reality, at least your own reality. The time you spend glued to your television takes you into someone else’s life and away from the trials and tribulations of your own.

It is very easy to sit and identify with or criticize what the contestants do in reaction to the so-called “life situations” the programming throws at them. To the losers you say, “I wouldn’t have done that, you stupid idiot.” And to the winners you say, “You were just lucky; I knew all those answers or could have done that task even better.”

You use the various situations to pass judgment both on what you have done in the past and the comments that others have made concerning your behavior. You have not learned the lessons that have come to you in this life. You ignore them and don’t see them as having any effect upon you.

When you watch the shows, some of those hidden tests come and face you, but you still cannot see them as applying to you. You can evaluate the performance of others facing the same tasks.

Until you can connect these reactions you are experiencing during your television watching to your own life, play a “what if” game. What if that were me in there—why would I do what I see myself doing? How does the entire situation make me feel? After viewing the episode, what have I learned about myself?

Life presents you with innumerable ways of learning the lessons you chose before you incarnated. Use your compulsion to learn yours.