The magic of images – Part 1

After the time of the iconoclasms that raged in Europe in the past, now the time of the flood of images and actual image tsunamis has come upon us. As the stories, images or films capture our attention, they channel our thoughts and associations in certain directions. Do our thoughts still belong to us at all, or are we, in reality, "thought"?

The magic of images – Part 1

After the time of the iconoclasms that raged in Europe in the past, now the time of the flood of images and actual image tsunamis has come upon us. Over tens of thousands of kilometres, an event can be transmitted within seconds and can thus make millions of people all over the world cheer or cry almost simultaneously.

Various technologies such as recording devices, radio waves, transmission protocols and display devices work together. For millions or even billions of humans, these small or large screens are a window into a world of adventure. The faster information can be transmitted and distributed, the more up-to-date it is, and the more simultaneously it is perceived, the more effective it can be.

This development is not yet complete. Progress is developing through the research of quantum entanglement: Photons change simultaneously even if they are separated through long distances when the polarization or flight direction is changed by measuring a single one of the entangled photons. In the future this will probably offer the possibility to construct three-dimensionally calculated objects and at the same time make them visible elsewhere. To a change in one photon, others, entangled with it, react, even if they are millions of light years away from it. Since Einstein, the speed of light has been considered to be the fastest physical movement. However, in the light of “spooky action” of the photons, which takes place at least ten thousand times the speed of light, it loses some of its significance.

The globe is thus surrounded by the networks of information media and humanity has become one cultural area with just regional differences. Today, In view of the current flood of images and information, the millennia-old 2nd commandment in the 2nd book of Moses (Ex 20:4-6) seems to be quite lost:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, nor of that which is on the earth beneath, nor of that which is in the water under the earth: neither worship them nor serve them. For I, the LORD thy God, am a jealous God, which afflicteth the iniquity of the fathers even unto the third and fourth generation of the children of them that hate me, but showeth mercy on many thousands, who love me and keep my commandments.

The question arises: Why shouldn’t we make ourselves pictures or images? To say it clearly: Instead of looking directly at the divine being, the Gnosis, and thus immediately achieving immeasurable spiritual richness, we are magically stuck to thousands of images.

Why do we allow ourselves to be so miserably deceived? How does the deception happen?

Something is often overlooked: The tablets of the Ten Commandments say “Thou shalt not make thee an image”. It is about the individual and his development.

Directing us away from ourselves

The pictures or videos attract our attention and direct it away from us and our immediate surroundings. In this context, it is, for instance, actually irrelevant whether we are sitting in a stadium or 20,000 km away on the screen and participate in the events. Both times we are, as it were, “right in the middle of everything”. How is that possible?

We can look at it this way: We place our attention, our focus, in a “space of values and information” that attracts us. It comes to us and overpowers our consciousness. We enter – In modern terms – a “bubble”. It can be a very small bubble or a global one with contents from science, sports, religion or entertainment of all kinds. These bubbles are of a “subtle” matter, are vibrational spaces that are built and shaped collectively by all those involved.

We can wander around in these “landscapes”, which we create through our imagination, we can invent stories therein and shape them further. Physically the landscapes and the experiences we make there do not exist. And yet they have a direct influence on our material or physical reality. As the stories, images or films capture our attention, they channel our thoughts and associations in certain directions. We are then in this bubble. If, for example, a “pixelated figure” 20,000 km away does not approve a scored football goal, people can beat each other up or strangers can joyfully embrace each other.

Seen in this light, one can speak of magic mirrors, of something magical that attracts and captivates you. The medium is one factor, and the other, more decisive one, is the people who let themselves be captivated, who are “connected”, on a leash, “online”. In order for the media to develop this magical power, there must be a breeding ground, a need, and that is undoubtedly there.

In the English language there is the phrase “all happens in Mind”: “everything happens in our imagination”. Our mind is an interface of different influences. There we register thoughts, sensations, feelings, dreams, daydreams, meditations, stories, movies, games and so on. Together they form imaginations or “images”. Sometimes you are not even sure whether you have not experienced one or the other before or dreamed about it.

Stories, movies, news and so on are like “canned dreams” which, with a shimmer of pearl, have been inserted into computer drives in the past. Now they are streamed and, who knows, maybe in the future they will be beamed directly into our imagination. We are rushed from impression to impression, hundreds of stories, series and so forth populate our imagination – streamed dream cans warmed up again and again with “microwaves”.

Where are our own thoughts? Who are we?

Do our thoughts still belong to us at all, or are we, in reality, “thought”? Is there a hidden power pulling the strings, or are we ourselves the co-creators of all this?

It is not easy to answer this question. But instead of will-lessly inserting the next “can”, we could pause for a moment. Within us lies a “jewel of distinction”. We could use it at any moment. It does not require any effort, but only the desire to do so. Through the jewel of distinction, we can recognize whether something is being thrown into us and implanted into our consciousness, or whether our thoughts are the result of an active process on which we decided ourselves.

That is our power. If something we do not want tries to penetrate into our consciousness, we can “cancel” it. We can develop a sensorium with which we can distinguish: What corresponds to our ideals, what belongs to the next steps on our path of life? And what wants to whisper something into our heads to manipulate us?

Which of the information we receive do we want to integrate into our consciousness, and which do we throw out again? Which do we throw on the mental compost heap of useless, tormenting and undigested shreds of attention? It would be much better if certain “information” would be pushed off of our own bubble, never reaching us at all.

How can we keep our mind pure and clear and yet have a joyful and creative life? How can we avoid to “be thought”, avoid that our “mind” sinks into collective-quantum entangled identifications?

What can we do?

We can work in two directions. On the one hand, we can filter the influences by aligning them with our ideals and necessities. On the other hand, we can check our ideals from time to time to see if they still make sense. Already in ancient times philosophers said: If something is neither good nor beautiful, neither useful nor true, don’t regard it, don’t pay attention to it.

We are captured by the spiritual, psychological and physical circular flow of images that we activate, whether brought to us from outside or produced in our own imagination, through thoughts or feelings or driven by the habits of the body. So let us sharpen our consciousness in the midst of the waves of information in order to sort out the onrushing flood of images and information and let us filter them through the sieve of the philosopher, the sieve of beauty, truth, usefulness and necessity.

In this sense we read the old words:

A man came running to a philosopher and said: “Listen old man, I have to tell you this!”

“Stop!” the wise man interrupted him. “Have you sifted through the three sieves what you are about to tell me?”

“Three sieves?” the other asked in amazement.

“Yes, good friend! Let’s see if what you want to tell me passes through the three sieves: the first is the truth. Have you checked whether everything you want to tell me is true?”

“No, I heard someone tell it, and …”

“Well. But surely you checked with the second sieve. It is the sieve of kindness. What you’re trying to tell me, is it kind?

The other one reluctantly said: “No, on the contrary.”

“Hm …”, interrupted the wise man, “so let us apply the third sieve also. What you’re about to tell me, is it at least something useful?”

“Useful? – Well, you can’t say that …”

“So”, said the wise man with a smile, “if it is neither true nor kind nor useful, let it be buried and do not burden yourself and me with it.”

Considering all the impressions that come our way through different media it’s difficult for us to apply these three sieves. We probably will not succeed right away. But at least we will realize why sometimes we are confused and get stuck to magic images.

(to be continued in part 2)

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Date: December 8, 2020
Author: Swiss authors group
Photo: Simon Steinberger auf Pixabay CCO

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