What is really real?  Do you ever wonder about that?

Last night, before going to bed I checked in with Twitter to see what was going on there. Yes, I know, Twitter is not the best place to go for a true reality check. However, I noticed two trends rolling by in the stream of tweets.

Twitter Trends to “Reality”?

One was a lot of comments about the so-called “deflate-gate” saga as the NFL had just taken action against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.  They were found to have apparently allowed footballs in a playoff game to be slightly deflated so that Brady could throw them better.  Is that really real?  Judging by the coverage in the U.S. news today, the media seems to think so as it is getting major coverage.

The other trend I noticed came from individuals who were apparently from Yemen and were tweeting about the Saudi military at that moment bombing the capital of Sana’a.  They were concerned for the loss of property, the loss of life and fear for their country.  Is that really real?  Judging by the coverage in the U.S. news today, the media doesn’t seem to think so as it is getting minimal coverage.

Of course, in the physical material world we all experience, both events “occurred” and in that sense of the word are “real”.  And, the fact that our media chooses to highlight one occurrence rather than another is not a major revelation.  Most of us if we are paying attention at all are aware that our mainstream media chooses what to present us with as “news” and hence plays a major role in the creation of what we believe to be “real”.

Media Monopolies

According to who you ask, you will find that either 5 or 6 corporations own over 90% of the major media outlets in our country.  Either way, there is a disturbing short list of corporations that are determining what to present to us as our external reality.  In theory, there should be competition among them to present us the most compelling stories and keep us informed as citizens so we can make wise political decisions.

Yet, the reality appears to be that instead of competing on real news and working to ensure we are informed on critical issues, the competition for our eyeballs is based on the news’s “entertainment factor”. Many see this as economic competition, plain and simple — the corporate news coverage is based simply on what “we choose” to want to see.  More of us want to hear about Tom Brady than we do about Yemen. Therefore, the news gives us Tom Brady, more of us watch and the “news” can charge their advertisers more money and ultimately turn a bigger profit.

Cynics see a more sinister cycle at play here.  The monopolization of the media can lead to collusion on what is presented to us as news.  If all of the media simply gives us the same stories that are supposedly driven by the economics of “what we want to hear”, then the result can be an “uninformed citizenry” that is totally clueless on major stories that should be reported.  Even worse is the concern that the mainstream media slants the coverage in way that controls popular opinion on an issue. There’s an old adage that “you don’t know what you don’t know”.  What is it we don’t know because of the homogenous and limited reporting of the corporate news outlets?  Where are we potentially being controlled in what we believe to be “real” when it is really a “dream”?  What can we do?

Steps to Transcending the Dream

One–be a conscious consumer of news.

Recognize that the mainstream media’s presentation of “reality” may really be just a limited perspective.  Always keep in the back of your mind that there may be other stories that are more important and other takes on the truth of the stories we are hearing about.  Question things more.

Two–seek out alternate news sources.

We humans can be creatures of habits and watch the same channels on TV, read the same newspapers and magazines, visit the same websites.  Vary it up a bit.  Challenge yourself and get outside your comfort zone.  Seek out sources that push you a bit and hear what they are saying.

Three–contemplate what is really real.

Take time to really ask yourself what is really real. This may push you even more out of your comfort zone, but ask yourself “how real is all of this news?”  Yes, on one level, as mentioned, these “things are happening” in the physical world.  But is there more to the world than all of these external experiences?  Is there another perspective that is even more real?  Don’t dismiss that thought, consider it.

Mystics and sages point to an inner world that they say is more real than the outer world of Tom Brady, the NFL, Yemen, wars and the media news.  They suggest that this outer world is simply a type of school house where we gather experiences, learn and evolve.  And, as we grow and evolve, we begin to understand that the “real reality” is this non-material world of consciousness where we sense and know that we are all one, that we are all connected.  They call us to break free of the dream of outer reality and all the importance we place upon it and to “taste” the greater world of love.

Isn’t it time we learned our lessons and broke free from this compelling dream of life out there and tasted our real world?  Isn’t it time to transcend separation and experience unity?

Mark Gilbert

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