Day 303: Using TV shows to get to know your own mind

So an interesting thing that I’ve noticed in watching TV shows, is that wherever we experience what the character is experiencing; like if the character is in a situation where they are having a positive experience or a negative experience or reacting to someone or something – if they’re having this experience ‘on screen’, and we’re also having this experience with them as if we’re in that situation, and we can really relate to what they’re going through, and we’re feeling that ‘up’, or that ‘down’, or that reaction = what that’s showing us is how that emotional design, or that feeling design, or that reactive design, or pattern, is existent within ourselves. Because I mean we’re only seeing a picture on a screen wiht words being spoken, scenarios playing out, and it’s as though we were actually ourselves in that scenario. It’s the same trigger points as if we were in that situation and ‘that person’ was saying that same thing to us, or this or that thing that’s happening on screen, was happening to us = we would react the same way as the character is reacting.

If we’re watching a character on screen experience something, or go through something, and we’re experiencing emotions, thoughts, reactions, and we’re kind of feeling as though we ARE that character, that’s only showing us what exists in ourselves, in our own minds as designs and constructs of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Because, it’s not like some kind of ‘universal thing’, where if you see someone in that situation, or experiencing this or that circumstance happening to them, like we do watching TV and movies, that it just ‘makes sense’ that we will experience through the characters what they’re going through – as if the scenario itself ‘contains’ a feeling or emotional experience that we’re ‘tapping into’. When, it’s not like that actually. The scenario itself does not contain an experience of feeling, emotion, reaction, fear, desire, thoughts. Like, no matter how bad or horrible of an event is happening to the character, or no matter how good and positive an event is happening to the character, that scene itself, that scenario being depicted does not contain the power to influence and create an experience inside yourself. The experience exists in ourselves, as how WE OURSELVES would react, or feel, or think, or behave in that situation. Which is why different people will relate to different characters. If we find ourselves ‘getting behind’ and supporting a certain character more than another, it’s because they are aligned to some personality or self definition that exists in ourselves. Like, you can see wherever you find yourself taking the ‘side’ of a particular character over another.

This is especially easy to see in watching shows that are very much based on like, ‘real life’ relationships and dramas. You know, you spend many episodes, many seasons watching this main character of the show going through all kinds of stuff. And, you find that you are wanting things to ‘work out’ for the character. Like, if the character is facing some adversity, or perhaps another character has abused them, or has deceived them in some way, or is wanting to harm them — and you’re FEELING like you want that main character to get out of that situation. You want them to ‘get back’ at the other character for instance – you want them to WIN, and you want the other characters who are going against your character’s interests — to LOSE!
It’s like, when you experience any form of a DESIRE for one person to WIN and the other to LOSE, or for events to go in the direction of supporting one character’s interests over another character’s interests. That’s showing what YOU would experience in that situation. You would be experiencing that anger, or that frustration, that desire for revenge, for instance. Or you’d be experiencing that love, that feeling, that relief, when things work out and the character gets what they want.

It’s like everything you experience about what’s happening on the screen is showing where there’s a personality design, a behavior design, a reaction design, a feeling design, an emotional
design that exists in your own mind.

So what I find really interesting is to, when I’m watching a show and I’m seeing within myself that experiences are coming up in me about what the character is going through, and I find myself like ‘rooting’ for the character’s goals and interests, and wanting to see the other character’s interests not fulfilled. You know if I’m like ‘backing and supporting’ one of the characters and wanting their line of interest to come out on top, wanting to see one character ‘win’ and another ‘lose’, what is that showing about me? It’s showing where I still have judgments, desires, self definitions, where I still have points where I would blame another for something, where I still have points where I would react emotionally in that situation if that were to happen to ME.

A the end of the day, or rather – at the end of the episode, lol — what I judge and who I judge and what I experience of and toward the characters and scenes on the screen – is what I experience in fact in ‘real life’ toward real people and within real circumstances. Or for instance when I really like a show because the character is like, living out ‘my fantasy life’ of maybe a particular career, or relationship, or status – and I use the show to stimulate myself to ‘live that life’ through the character — that’s showing me that that ‘fantasy’ still exists in me — even when I’m not watching the show.

And so watching TV shows and movies can be quite supportive as a tool for identifying where there are still personality designs, reactive designs, emotional designs, fantasies, desires, comparisons, points of blame, points of judgment, points of wanting revenge, points of wanting to win and see another lose. It’s very supportive in showing where such points exist in me, even down to the specific trigger points of words, actions, circumstances. And, in becoming aware of this, I can then in the moment as I see these kinds of things coming up in me as I’m watching, I can stop for a moment and take a look to see – oh okay there’s this design I’m accessing here, this judgment, this desire, etc, and this is why I’m experiencing apparently ‘what the character is experiencing’. So then I breathe, I apply self forgiveness within myself, or make a note of it and write it out later, I let go of that point. And then I look at the scene again from an equal and one starting point. Meaning, what does this scene, this scenario look like, how do I see this differently when I’m not invested in the interests of one or the other character? When I’m rather looking at the whole picture, all the characters, all the different personalities of the characters, and I look at it not from a starting point of judging one character as deserving to win and another character as deserving to lose, but rather looking at each character as myself, standing one and equal with the whole scenario. What I find interesting in this is that I start to see more of what’s shaping each character’s behavior and decisions, and looking at why is this situation playing out? How did this scenario come to manifest? What is the starting point acceptances and allowances and self definitions of each of the characters, that’s creating this dynamic of this ‘drama’? I’m able to look at the scene and the characters objectively, considering for example what kind of background and education and upbringing did the characters have that influenced who and what they’ve become?

Like, most shows have a ‘good guy’, and a ‘bad guy’ character. And the show is written in a way where the goal is for the viewer to become ’emotionally invested’ in the good guy, and to judge the ‘bad guy’. And I mean this is only possible through utilizing the personality designs, wants, desires, hopes, and self definitions of the viewer.

But what if you let go of that emotional investment? What if you stop wanting the main character to ‘win’, and the ‘bad guy’ to lose? Well to do that is interesting because it actually puts you in a position where you have to take responsibility for your own mind, your own interests, wants, hopes, fantasies, judgments — and change yourself, to start looking at the story from a starting point of understanding each character, rather than using the characters to fuel and generate energy experiences used as entertainment. Like for exampe you can now look at the ‘bad guy’, and ask yourself – hmm, how did he come to be how he is? What acceptances and allowances and self definitions are directing his behavior, his decisions?And, with self honesty and self forgiveness, this is possible. I can use the story as an opportunity to identify where I still have points of self definition where I can change myself and remove those designs, to be able to stand one and equal with the different characters and view everything without judgment, investigating the relationships and understanding the behavior, the decisions, and the factors that shaped each character’s mind and inner processes. So TV shows and movies offer an opportunity to simulate scenarios, relationships, circumstances, behaviors as if we were experiencing them ourselves, and get to know the details of our own minds through working with whatever experiences come up inside ourselves toward the pictures we’re watching. Try it out. Change your starting point within entertainment! Use it as an opportunity to get to know your own mind and change yourself without having to actually experience the scenario in ‘real life’. Happy watching!

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