Intuitive Openness vs Media Desensitization

May 9, 2012

A few weeks ago I rented the movie Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’d heard the book was great but hadn’t read it. Artistically the movie was exceptional, suspense, story-line and cinematography great. What struck me was that millions of people watched the violent scene of sexual abuse in the film. I am a believer in the freedom of expression. Yet I found the violence of some scenes psychically disturbing. They were more than just images and sounds, there was spiritual vibration attached to them. They stuck with me energetically for many days.

Cultivating our intuitive awareness increases our sensitivity to the energy behind everything including movies, television and music. Yet we live in a culture where we are expected to be okay with graphic images of violence and abuse. And culturally we ignore that they are contributing to the global consciousness through their vibration. There is a desensitization that occurs.

Staying present for a movie like this asks us to ignore our body’s response to witnessing sociopath behavior, to keep our eyes open and ears open and take it in. For those who are abusers this imagery feeds their imagination, gives them ideas. For those who are victims, this imagery reopens wounds and creates more fear.

My body’s response to the first violent sexual abuse scene in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was tightness in the stomach a slight nausea. I found myself closing my eyes periodically because I wanted to understand the story but not have the images in my memory. Movies, video and television tap into several layers of senses. This is why they are so powerful. They can make us laugh, cry and enraged. They shift our mood. We take them in primarily through sight and sound. But we also feel the emotions that these images and sounds activate. Emotions are what make us feel alive.

When we feel tightness in our belly (third chakra), it’s our intuition trying to tell us something. Third chakra is where we hold our personal power. My stomach tightness was telling me that I was witnessing something that was threatening to take my power, by activating fear through witnessing of sexual predator, violence and abuse.

Violence in the news, television and movies has desensitized us through repeated exposure. It has trained us to ignore the intuitive signals from our body. This desensitization has caused media to increase the raw and dramatic nature of the violent imagery in order to get our emotional response. When they get an emotional response they have an energetic hook into the viewer and can sell more of whatever they want to sell. They have succeeded in making us feel, even if the feeling is negative.

To cultivate our intuitive nature we have to undo the desensitization that we are conditioned with. We feel the world around us more intensely as those layers of desensitization are removed. It requires us to be conscious of the imagery that we are feeding ourselves because we feel the energy and notice how it is impacting our body and mind. When our body responds with tightness and withdrawal rather than openness and ease, we are signaled that whatever we are facing is not life giving but life taking. Positive emotions are life giving.

On the path to increase our intuition we are cultivating an openness that has us feel what we see on television and in movies. Re-sensitizing our self leads to a greater sense of aliveness but it changes what we choose to take in.

  • l0ve0utl0ud says:

    I am very glad to have read your post – because I experienced exactly the same thing as you after watching the film. The sexual abuse scene stuck in my mind and in my gut very strongly – it’s been over a month since I’d seen the film yet memories of it still re-surge now and again, causing a tightness in my stomach and throat. Just like you said – I feel like it is draining energy out of me or feeding negative energy. For this reason, I always usually choose comedy films as they give me positive energy.

    • Natalie says:

      l0ve0utl0ud thanks for sharing that my post hit home for you. I was somewhat hesitant to post this because the film was so popular but I felt I needed to make a statement from my heart about the ripple effect of this type of energy becoming so common and contributing to the violence in our minds and society.

      • l0ve0utl0ud says:

        You are right, and I am very glad you posted about it because I am happy to know that I am not the only one who is ‘sensitive’ to these kinds of things. Many people I know do not react energetically or emotionally to violence in films, whereas I do!

  • Sandy Paul says:

    Natalie, thank you for speaking out so clearly about the damage that viewing and listening to violence can cause to us emotionally and spiritually. When we become jaded by that kind of stimuli, we become less sensitive to the pain of others and to the voice of our own spirit and emotions. I’m afraid this is what is happening to whole generations of people who are hooked on all kinds of media and games that depict violence. Cultivating empathy and sensitivity is challenging in the world we live in, but it’s critical if we are to truly care about and serve the best interests of others -as well as take care of the needs of our own soul. I guess the best that can be said about seeing a violent scene in a movie is that it brings home how horrible and long lasting the experience is to those who are abused.

    • Natalie says:

      Sandy, My own inner conflict around the topic is similar. Its important for those who have experienced trauma to have a place to tell their story, be supported and feel understood. Yet I hope that we can learn to do that without proliferating the abuse energy and fear in the world.

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