We all know that we have to be careful about what we eat, because everything that goes in our mouth will have to be processed by our body. But we tend to forget that what we consume through our eyes and ears will also have to be processed. Beware of your cultural consumption.
Watch my video on this topic here.
Every song you hear, text you read, image you see, film you watch, performance you attend – what I call your cultural consumption –affects you, for better or for worse. You somehow have to process that influence. It may affect your behavior. For example, heavy metal music might make you feel angry or physically agitated. Romantic songs and movies may cause you to feel that you need to find an idyllic romantic partner. Documentaries might make you think harder about something. If you listen to baroque music, you might feel calmer. If you listen to mantra chants, you may feel more spiritual or relaxed. And if you hear devotional music, you are more likely to feel peaceful and remember God. It all affects you and shapes who you are and how you think.
Knowing this, you should be careful about your cultural consumption. It should become a means to make your life better, a tool to chisel out an improved version of yourself, not an anchor to the version of you that you’re trying to transform. You have to be aware of what aspects of your nature your cultural consumption is stimulating. Is it stimulating your desire for the fantasy paradigm, or to be more selfish, violent, or greedy? Or is it helping you become a better person?
In yoga terms, what is the prevalent guna of your cultural diet? Just as cultural consumption in sattva makes you feel better, healthier, more peaceful, and fully able to grow spiritually, cultural consumption in rajas, and especially in tamas, will have a negative impact on your overall well-being.
Sure, we should have fun; it’s part of our natural dharma. But the kind of entertainment you choose will have an impact on you. It’s like eating. Once in a while, you may want to eat some kind of junk food. But your body will have to process it long after the fun is over. It’s the same with what you consume with your eyes and ears. The more sattvic your cultural consumption, the better off you’ll be.
In the book, “The 3T Path” (http://3tpath.com/books/), you can learn other crucial lifestyle tips to change the quality of your life and how your brain works, and how those choices fit into a wider program of massive self-improvement and self-realization.
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