Before Youtube, Twitter, and Netflix, before the internet, and even before cable TV the only streaming media was regular broadcast television.
Where I grew up, my programming options were limited to just three VHF and two UHF channels. And the often-poor reception quality was a function of the antenna on the roof and your distance from the transmission tower.
We knew of no, nor envisioned any, better alternatives. And thus we consumed our media rapt in front of a stationary, small screen. Program after program - unless we heard the following:
“We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this breaking news.”
This was how important messages were communicated. An annoying break right in the middle of the show. Often containing news of inclement weather or some other such seeming triviality to our juvenile, immature ears. Hence we often tuned them out as worthless guidance.
But I’d like to propose a redux of the “program interruption” - one that can greatly assist us on our spiritual journey.
Consider all the drama in what we call life: the needs and desires of our body, our relationships with others, all our grievances, ambitions, fears, and everything else that captures our attention - think of all of that as our “regularly scheduled programming.”
Day in and day out, all the goings-on of the world and our body - that’s our personal live-stream, broadcasting 24x7 to our spellbound selves.
We firmly believe that happiness is dependent on the quality of “programming”. If this relationship improves, then I’ll feel better. If my body problem gets fixed, then I’ll breathe easier. If my bank account goes up to this level, then I’ll be at peace.
And so our attention is glued to these “life” programs with our energy focused on eliminating the bad shows and adding more of the good ones.
Without ever realizing that the programming is not the issue. No matter how many inferior programs we succeed in eliminating, nor supposedly superior ones we add - none will ever bring us true happiness.
As we read in A Course in Miracles, worldly initiatives we undertake “will never bring peace to anyone.”
However, there is a source of blissful, unconditional, joyful peace that is also continuously broadcasting. And it’s sending alert messages on our channel: “We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important news.”
But rather than tuning in to the message and switching to the alternative source, we ignore it.
Because we think our programming is so much more interesting and engaging. It’s all about ME. My body. My relationships. My issues. My drama. My life.
And thus we miss out on the opportunity to experience the outstretched, welcoming arms of peace.
But we can learn to pay more attention to this benevolent program interruption and heed its comforting counsel - where all programs are instantly transformed into brilliant masterpieces.
Join me in Thursday’s class where we’ll explore tuning in to this other channel and the transcendence of pain that follows. I look forward to seeing you then.