To news or not to news...

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DaRC
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To news or not to news...

Postby DaRC » 08 Jan 2015, 13:25

Splitting from the Hereditary Druid thread as this is a separate topic...
That was shocking - to blinker oneself away so far from the world. Our concern is that this is now affecting her mental resilience and she's becoming hyper-sensitive to mundane problems.
(this is probably for a different thread, but)I have mixed feelings about that...I think we are exposed to so much horridness that doesn't really effect our lives...even indirectly, other than through the news. The actual "horror" factor in my life, thankfully, is pretty much nil. I was close to the scene of a terrorist attack in my town a couple of months ago, and I think I've been so desensitized by news that the sight of swat teams and ambulances was more "fascinating" than "terrifying".
I just don't know if it is a healthy thing *not* to be upset by things like that. I just finished watching (my choice) video of an officer being shot in Paris...I am saddened, but it is still unreal. I got rid of cable TV a few years ago, so now the horror doesn't drone in the background all the time...I have to make more of an effort to seek it out. The statistical reality is that we (Westernets, at least, but probably in most of the World) are living in the most secure, well fed time ever. .
I agree with your point around the 1st world being currently a pretty safe & secure environment to live in.
Is hiding from the news similar to a meat eater hiding from the slaughtering process; not liking to eat meat that looks like it came from an animal?
Most dear is fire to the sons of men,
most sweet the sight of the sun;
good is health if one can but keep it,
and to live a life without shame. (Havamal 68)
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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby Whitemane » 08 Jan 2015, 21:17

Running away never solves problems.

I had a friend who eventually entered the Church of England and
was very happy as a curate.

Prior to entering the ministry he had been a happy kind of guy
who was primarily interested in his faith, home brewing, and
playing the piano. He was largely cut off from the everyday
world and decided he needed to get a better understanding of what
would be concerning his parishioners, so he started paying
attention to the news and it was a profound shock that so much
could be so wrong with the world.

Cutting yourself off from the rest of the human experience is
like being the boy in the bubble. You daren't let the world in.
I've done that on a personal level and it is psychologically and
emotionally crippling.

Like it or not, engagement is the only acceptable avenue. Not
necessarily in the sense of being a news junkie, but being aware
of the events and issues shaping the world. It can be practical,
for example, if petrol prices might be going up, you can think
about looking at how you get around, or get the car serviced to
improve fuel efficiency. Should I stalk up on non-perishables as
some food items are getting expensive? Or you can find that
solar power is practical and becoming affordable.

It can also bring you closer to friends and neighbours as you
learn about their concerns, and point you towards people who
share the same concerns. It can strengthen your moral compass
and give you the opportunity to work with others who share your
concerns and beliefs

So yes, news, but be careful. Start with not too much, and from
a responsible source. There are some out there, get a friend to
help explain and support you.
May the long time sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you,
Guide your way on.

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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby DJ Droood » 08 Jan 2015, 22:31

Is hiding from the news similar to a meat eater hiding from the slaughtering process; not liking to eat meat that looks like it came from an animal?
Similar...we need neither meat nor news for sustenance...both are consumed as luxury entertainment products that we generally have no hand in creating. If we lost access to either tomorrow, we would probably become healthier.

(edit after dog walk) To be clear, I follow the news...not as much of a junkie as I used to be, but I listen to radio news, read two newspapers and visit news sites daily. I'm not ill-informed about the news, I just don't know how valuable my knowledge is. I didn't need to know about the beheadings in Syria, or the shootings in Paris or a ferry on fire in the Aegean or a plane crashing...those events have zero impact on my life. I don't know the people involved, was never at risk, and have gained nothing but fear and sadness from exposing myself to it. I *need* the weather, traffic reports, information about taxes and laws in my jurisdiction, safety bulletins...the rest is just horrible "entertainment" and propaganda.

I would go further and say that much news is dangerous to my health. The last two "terrorists" who killed people in my country were just isolated, sad losers who were "inspired" by ISIS beheading propaganda videos that the networks delight in showing....they probably would have done something deadly and antisocial anyway, but the ISIS news ramped it up into something else entirely...primarily a debate on immigration. (despite the fact they were home-grown white converts)

(as for engaging with people on news topics, I generally avoid it....I'll discuss with my wife over the dinner table, but most people I seem to encounter are some combination of ignorant and stupid who either believe in left/right wing conspiracies or view events through their particular bigoted lens and hold forth profound opinions like "we should just kick them all out of the country", etc. )

I'm not making any sort of argument for censorship or banning or anything, I'm just not convinced my personal morbid fascination is doing me any good.
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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby DaRC » 09 Jan 2015, 12:08

Firstly apologies I forgot to include Heddwen's post into this thread
As far as 'sheltering yourself away from the news' is concerned, its not all 'love and light' on the path. Part of the way forward deals with the acknowledgement of the shadow. Just like the Ying Yang we are made of light and dark and it is common to have many dark nights of the soul along the way. I couldn't envisage not watching the 'news'. Its important to know whats going on in the world. Part of the druid path encompasses our 'service'...to the planet, our deity/ies, our friends and family and to ourselves. How can we achieve this without a clue about the outside world?
Most dear is fire to the sons of men,
most sweet the sight of the sun;
good is health if one can but keep it,
and to live a life without shame. (Havamal 68)
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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby DaRC » 09 Jan 2015, 12:19

I didn't need to know about the beheadings in Syria, or the shootings in Paris or a ferry on fire in the Aegean or a plane crashing...those events have zero impact on my life. I don't know the people involved, was never at risk, and have gained nothing but fear and sadness from exposing myself to it.
I disagree.
As Whitemane says I think we need to get a perspective on the news but as we live in modern democracies (or more accurately from an ancient Greek perspective an oligarchic tyranny) we need to have a view on this. As voters in some of the most influential countries in the world I think it is our responsibility to keep an eye on world events.
Whilst it might not directly impact my life, my government is likely to directly impact the life of the people involved.
It's not about what I get from the news but, particularly in this modern world where communication by social media has power, what I can do to understand & influence the news. Sometime it does mean challenging the reactions and woldviews of my work colleagues, family & friends.
For me it links back to P-C-G's Anchors of Light thread (sorry only viewable to OBOD members):
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=25892
Most dear is fire to the sons of men,
most sweet the sight of the sun;
good is health if one can but keep it,
and to live a life without shame. (Havamal 68)
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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby DJ Droood » 09 Jan 2015, 12:36

It's not about what I get from the news but, particularly in this modern world where communication by social media has power, what I can do to understand & influence the news. Sometime it does mean challenging the reactions and woldviews of my work colleagues, family & friends.
Fair enough.
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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby Heddwen » 09 Jan 2015, 15:27

No need to apologise, DaRC. I'm following this thread with interest.

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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby Oakapple » 09 Jan 2015, 16:58

I agree with DaRC about needing to keep up with whats going on so we can have some influence. It does sometimes seem that our influence is very tiny though.

Also some news programmes seem to wallow in bad news and are unremittingly negative - that's not good for us!

I do wonder if we get news overload, our ancestors would have hardly heard of the far off countries but we are bombarded with graphic images of the horrors there.
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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby Heddwen » 09 Jan 2015, 17:58

Yes I agree Oakapple and I find that the facebook experience for me, is not always pleasurable one. I like to be informed with the news but sometimes some very graphic images grace my screen and can shock. I tend not to share them as I have youngsters as friends there. Images of animal cruelty and human hangings have touched me enough to sign petitions but I would have done it anyway without the need to post these pictures. I am concerned as I like my fbook experience to be joyful rather than distressing . The petitions do have power, they can work so we can feel that we are doing something small that can help in the long run.

The news on the whole seems to be full of doom and gloom but I feel that the better informed we are then the more of a difference we can make in this world, in this lifetime either individually or together...people power :grin:

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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby Sciethe » 09 Jan 2015, 21:12

Yes I agree Oakapple and I find that the facebook experience for me, is not always pleasurable one. I like to be informed with the news but sometimes some very graphic images grace my screen and can shock. I tend not to share them as I have youngsters as friends there. Images of animal cruelty and human hangings have touched me enough to sign petitions but I would have done it anyway without the need to post these pictures.
Agreed, though I tend to report images that are shocking. If they shock me then that's what the report button is for. I do sign petitions, but I don't tolerate being shown stuff that is graphic. If campaigners want me to join in then they need to avoid abusing my good nature. I can read after all. Oakapple is right, graphic images are bad for the head. Our own mental health and well-being is one of our first responsibilities, and no-one has the right to insist that we look at things we don't want to see however "good" their intentions. None of us is invulnerable, and all of us are different. As an illustrative aside I have no tolerance for pornography for instance, let alone hangings, although a number of friends I'm fond of seem to think that's odd. :)
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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby Heddwen » 09 Jan 2015, 22:10

Yes its that lack of self awareness thats the problem. I report the shocking pictures and prose too. The trouble is, that once I've seen it then its too late.

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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby elementalheart » 11 Jan 2015, 15:38

This is an interesting question that I have been working with for a while now.

I gave up watching news, reading newspapers etc a year or two ago because I found it was giving me an unduly negative world view and as a result felt unable to find the optimism and faith within myself to engage or do more than add negativity to all the negativity out there. It was horror feeding on horror like an ouroboros and I wanted to disengage the cycle.

That approach worked for me, personally, as I was able to immerse myself more in everyday positive experiences, local people doing helpful things, living everyday lives that showed me a more favourable side to humanity.

Sometimes I do now seek out a news programme, partly because I feel ready to re-engage with the bigger world and as I do so, my ignorance of current affairs appears to make me seem uncaring of global issues such as poverty and war, which I am not. I simply knew I couldn't do anything but harm within myself in response to it at the time, and once I felt rebalanced inside, I could begin to consider the outside world and expand a little bigger Some days, but not every day, not even now. I still can't respond skilfully to all that is thrown at me be it on news, through social media use of people I am connected to etc. But mostly I can currently manage not to just react, either to join or condemn the wave of anger or fear being pushed in my direction. I had got to the point I didn't want to hear people's rage, however justifiable, because I couldn't take it.

So my view is that it is neither 'to news' nor 'not to news' but cautiously to engage with news only when prepared internally for the receipt and processing of a large amount of pain and suffering in a way that is helpful rather than adding and reflecting the energy back into the world as yet another source of negativity.

Knowing the day and when/how to engage, that's my current area of learning, get it wrong and I'm swallowing more than I can digest, or else cutting myself off as a potential resource for that work.
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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby DJ Droood » 11 Jan 2015, 16:43

So my view is that it is neither 'to news' nor 'not to news' but cautiously to engage with news only when prepared internally for the receipt and processing of a large amount of pain and suffering in a way that is helpful rather than adding and reflecting the energy back into the world as yet another source of negativity.
Elegantly said...I think that is what i was blathering on about, too.
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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby DaRC » 12 Jan 2015, 13:31

So my view is that it is neither 'to news' nor 'not to news' but cautiously to engage with news only when prepared internally for the receipt and processing of a large amount of pain and suffering in a way that is helpful rather than adding and reflecting the energy back into the world as yet another source of negativity.
Elegantly said...I think that is what i was blathering on about, too.
Ahh I think that's what I do - I gave up on mainstream media /newspapers many years ago when I realised how manipulated and filtered their news is. So I@ve tried to focus on the source of news e.g. Reuters and (as I work in I.T.) somewhere like the Register where they actually attempt to keep their integrity.

I don't Facebook (but do Google+ & Twitter which I focus on particular areas not the news) so I don't get subjected to the sort of visual horrors that you mention.

This digital world can overload you with information and sifting the wheat from the chaff or the signal from the noise is a skill that is probably harder for us non-digital natives to acquire (modern western kids are referred to as digital natives).
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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby Welsh Mythology » 05 Feb 2015, 09:04

I used to follow the news avidly. Particularly BBC Radio 4 which I believed to be reliable. But as I've got older I've come to see that this isn't news. Its a perspective, invisibly defined by a context that isn't explicitly stated. This is a point Russell Brand very often makes and one which I agree with. Take a look at his 'Trews' on Youtube. As valid as any other source of information, as limited and context defined as any other.

Communication is at the heart of what we are as human animals. We have evolved with a need to work within wider networks of meaning. Spending time in certain networks means they become part of us, they define the kind of traffic that constitutes us as extended, connected individuals. These networks (media, Twitter, Facebook, BBC) can seem omnipotent in our lives for long periods of time, but when we find out they re limited, (which they always are) it can be a shock to our system. Suddenly the traffic of communication that we've attached ourselves to becomes untrustworthy and there is a sense of betrayal.

I think this is a part of our evolution. Apologies for going all grandiose in three paragraphs but I really think its that fundamental. The traditional networks of meaning (family, talking, community, village, even factory floor and classroom) have become tangled and infused with new tendrils of charged media (literally and symbolically). We're still getting used to those new tendrils that we have taken into our extended bodies (language is an extension of the self), so a bit of pruning every now and then is just good personal hygiene.
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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby Reuils » 05 Feb 2015, 12:02

Here in France our lunchtime TV news seems to strike the right balance.The first part relays the world news, good or bad,but the second part is always about something positive eg. craft apprenticeships ,forgotten skills being kept alive,art ,books .So that when the news finishes you are aware of the horror and pain that is affecting our world( and no, I don't think you can ignore it and say it doesn't affect you ) but you always come away from watching it uplifted by the good things that are still happening.

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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby DJ Droood » 05 Feb 2015, 13:02

I don't Facebook (but do Google+ & Twitter which I focus on particular areas not the news) so I don't get subjected to the sort of visual horrors that you mention.
I kind of like FB...my "news feed" is tightly controlled, and I don't subscribe to any pages that would upset me, or have "friends" who post dumb racist stuff (ok, there is this one woman...workmate...lovely, polite woman at work, but she posts these bizarre, non-nonsensical conservative memes..."Support our Veterans and Not illegal immigrants" type stuff...very odd)...but generally, I find I can actually get some local information from people and topics I am interested in...a bit of a time waster, but more valuable, and more under my control re: content, than "The News at 6" .
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Re: To news or not to news...

Postby illion » 06 Feb 2015, 05:55

I'll have to say that I agree with you regarding FB, Treegod.

I mostly see posts from interesting groups and friends that normally post things that I find uplifting for me in my news feed.
My favourites are history groups, research groups, environmental groups, writing groups and some pagan groups.

I sometimes like to chime in on discussions that are important to me, like protecting wolwes and so on. I don't think FB is av very good place for discussions, but I have to speak my mind when I see that arguments are made without backup in research and documented facts. I always try to be nice, at least before I get attacked by the opposers :grin:


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