(The Dreaming Media . . .)
Arnie Mindell expands the meaning of the word “dreaming” to include many of the behaviors we do unconsciously while we are “awake” during our day to day activities. Thinking in POP terms, I realized after listening to Keillor’s monologue, that he was “dreaming” as a part of the collective field. From that awareness has emerged this new protocol, a structured way to deal with media-related emotional issues using this new HBLU therapy model. Without going into the details of the structured protocol, let me present what underlies the “Dreaming Media.”
The “Dreaming Media” We are living in the information age. We are bombarded constantly by information in all manner of different and insidious forms. Some of this information we actively seek. But other information which influences us is less intentional. Such information is essentially like any other form of pollution: we get contaminated by it, leading to profound consequences for us, both personally and societally.
The most pernicious element of the pervasive influence of media pollution on our lives is that it generates an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness by portraying ever increasing violence to people and to the earth. Even more importantly, energetically and emotionally, we end up experiencing a profound feeling of lack of safety. This becomes true in many different contexts: in our body, our school, our neighborhood and, sadly, in our relationship with the archetypal stranger. More than any other theme repetitively promulgated by the media, this message, that we are no longer safe in our world, continues to present itself to us as “news.”
Theoretically, the media is dreaming because it has become the channel or vehicle for what Arnie calls the unconscious “collective information float,” that is, those parts of us which each of us disavows and judges as negative or bad. We are uncomfortable with these parts of ourselves because they are primitive, powerful and highly charged emotional energies. This is what C.G. Jung called our “shadow.”
Violence and sex are becoming more graphic and in your face via the media because of some fundamental lack of acknowledgment of these primitive parts within us. What this suggests is that we are not constructively dealing with our sexuality and other primitive impulses, such as anger and rage. In all probability, we were told when young that our sexuality was not beautiful and natural, and that our angry responses to frustration were not acceptable. So, from a very young age, because we were taught and conditioned to believe that these basic and essential aspects of ourselves were bad and inappropriate, we have, in turn, conveyed these same messages to our own children. Hopefully, more aware and caring parenting practices are growing, but I question to what degree these more “enlightened” views are actually integrating into the culture at large. This, too, worries me.
I do want to acknowledge that it cuts both ways in regards to the media, and this concern of mine addresses only the shadow side of the disavowed parts of ourselves. We just as quickly and unconsciously split off parts of ourselves that most people would characterize as “positive:” the heroic, the Divine and the lover, to name just a few. Great art (through all forms of media) has always inspired us to acknowledge and to aspire to these most uplifting aspects of self. But this article concerns itself with a discussion about how our own personal difficulties in dealing with “undesirable” parts of ourselves end up contributing to a larger, more threatening collective shadow which is becoming more powerfully expressed through all forms of the media.
Since we are all part of the collective field, we are all channels for disavowed or split-off emotional material from others, often very dark and shadowy. To give you an example, in a process-oriented group, it may happen that the person sitting next to me is very uncomfortable with his anger. He does not like to get angry nor does he like anyone else getting angry. Anger is scary for him. Psychologically, he disowns his “angry part.” Strangely, a person on the other side of the room will soon find them-selves becoming very angry. This person has become a channel for the emotional energy of the person who disowns his anger. The expression of that anger is often strong and threatening, exactly what the first person is so uncomfortable with. This is a phenomenon of the collective unconscious group field. And it is happening on a global scale with each one of us participating “unconsciously” and contributing to the collective group field.