In it one particular discussion is about the role of television in our lives, and I reference some ideas about television from A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.
I think these ideas are of such importance that I will cite here the full text on television from his chapter entitled The Discovery of Inner Space:
"Watching television is the favorite leisure activity or rather nonactivity for milllions of people around the world. The average American by the time he is sixty years old, will have spent fifteen years staring at the TV screen. In many other countries the figures are similar.
Many people find watching TV "relaxing." Observe yourself closely and you will find that the longer the screen remains the focus of your attention, the more your thought activities become suspended, and for long periods you are watching the talk show, game show, sitcom or even commercials with almost no thought being generated by your mind. Not only do you not remember your problems anymore, but you become temporarily free of yourself - and what could be more relaxing than that?
So does TV watching create inner space? Does it cause you to be present? Unfortunately it does not. Although for long periods your mind may not be genreating any thoughts, it has linked into the thought activity of the television show. It has linked up with the television version of the collective mind, and is thinking its thoughts. Your mind is inactive only in the sense that it is not producing any thoughts. It is, however, continuously absorbing thoughts and images that come through the TV screen. This induces a trancelike passive state of heightened susceptability, not unlike hypnosis. That is why it lends itself to manipulation of "public opinion," as politicians and special-interest groups as well as advertisers know and will pay millions of dollars to catch you in that state of receptive unawareness. They want their thoughts to become your thoughts, and usually they succeed.
So when watching television, the tendency is for you to fall below thought, not rise above it. Television has this in common with alccohol and certain other drugs. While it provides some relief from your mind, you again pay a high price: loss of consciousness. Like those drugs, it too has a strong addictive quality. You reach for the remote control to switch off and instead find yourself going through all the channels. Half and hour or and hour later, you are still watching, still going through the channels. The off button is the only one your finger seems unable to press. You are still watching, usually not because of anything of interest has caught your attention, but precisely because there is nothing of interest ot watch. Once you are hooked, the more trivial, the more meaningless, it is, the more addictive it becomes. If it were interseting, thought provoking, it would stimulate your mind into thinking for itself again, which is more conscious and therefore preferable to a TV-induced trance. Your attention would, therefore, no longer be totally held captive by the images on the screen.
The content of the program, if there is a certain quality to it, can to some extent counteract and sometimes even undo the hypnotic, mind-numbing effect of the medium of TV. There are some programs that have been extremely helpful to many people; have changed their lives for the better, opened their heart, made them more conscious. Even some comedy shows, although they may be about nothing in particular, can be unintentionally spiritual by showing a caricature version of human folly and the ego. They teach us not to take anything too seriously, to approach life in a lighthearted way, and above all, they teach by making us laugh. Laughter is extraordinarily liberating as well as healing. Most of television, however, is as yet controlled by the ego, and so the TV's hidden agenda becomes control of you by putting you to sleep, that is to say, making you unconscious. Yet there is enormous and still largely unexplored potential in the medium of television.
Avoid watching television and commercials that assault you with a rapid succession of images that change every two or three seconds. Excessive TV watching and those programs in particular are largely responsible for attention deficit disorder, a mental dysfunction now affecting millions of childern world-wide. A short attention span makes all your perceptions and relationships shallow and unsatisfying. Whatever you do, whatever action you perform in that state, lacks quality, because quality requires attention.
Frequent and prolonged TV watching not only makes you unconscious, it also induces passivity and drains you of energy. Therefore, rather than watching at random, choose the programs you want ot see. whenever you remember to do so, feel the aliveness inside your body has as you watch. Alternatively, be aware of your breathing from time to time. Look away from he screen at regular intervals so that it does not take possession of your visual sense. Don't turn up the volume any hightr than necessary so that the TV doesn't overwhelm you on the auditory level.Use the mute button during commercials. Make sure you don't go to sleep immediately after switching off the set or even worse, fall asleep with it on."