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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our Craving For Stimulation - Any Stimulation

The TV was on over lunch and it was tuned to one of the international cable news channels. Another attack in another Middle Eastern country which caused yet another number of unnecessary and tragic deaths. We see this every day. But what caught my attention was the television anchor cautioning the listener that the images we were about to see would be disturbing.

Disturbing? Because they will show us what they probably would not / could not show us if the deaths had occurred in a Western nation? Disturbing because - as opposed to a violent movie - these were going to be scenes of a real death, not a movie death?

But what struck me more than everything was the fact that they placed such attention on letting the viewer know what was about to come. It was going to be disturbing.

Wouldn't it make more sense that they merely state the facts without showing the blood, gore and dead bodies? Wouldn't that be less disturbing? But they know perfectly well that they will pull the viewer in with those words. We know we will be seeing real death and destruction. And because our adrenalin - just like the Romans when they watched Christians getting chewed up by lions - still revvs up when we hear words like those pronounced by the TV anchor.

Why do you think we like horror movies? (I know, not all of us, but many). It's the adrenalin rush. It makes us feel. And why do we need to feel? Because in many instances our feelings have been numbed, by life, by drugs or prescription medication, by lack of another, healthier kind of stimulation, and by a lack of awareness of the richness of the self. That is why some crave stimulation - any stimulation ...

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