Thursday, October 29, 2009

NEGATIVITY PART 4: Ultrasensitivity and Fragmentation

Part of what's got me thinking about dealing with negativity in its various forms is the fact that I seem to be unwilling to "take in" crass, hurtful, violent, sarcastically hurtful, or just-plain-mean input, whether it be from the news, books, reality TV, or even highly touted movies. I fast-forwarded through most of Slumdog Millionaire, Valkyrie, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and Kite-Runner, for example. Yes, they were powerful reminders of humanity, and well-crafted films, but now I am stuck with images of what it's like to have "locked-in syndrome" and to scramble around over the rubble in India's slums looking for food, or finding punishment at the hands of power-hungry people. I don't really want those feeling states right now, as they distract me from trying to stabilize into my own "home frequency." Reality TV shows, where it's cool to cruelly "dis" the other participants while egotistically pumping yourself up, actually seem revolting to me now, where in the beginning, they were oddly fascinating.

To add to it, the stimulation levels in my local community, or wherever I travel, seem more and more over the top. I am especially affected by noise pollution: I find a quiet corner to sit at the airport to await my flight, and within minutes some insensitive, loud-mouthed executive walks over, stands almost directly over me, and speaks aggressively into the air on his nearly invisible cell phone, which must be implanted in his head. Riding to the airport on the airporter at 5 am, there's always a self-important person who must interrupt the peaceful, sleepy silence by calling their friends and colleagues and loudly reporting the blow by blow of our journey: "Now we're passing the Civic Center; now we're on the Golden Gate Bridge, now we're entering the airport turnoff. . ."

When I go to a restaurant, café, bakery, or mall, the background music is so loud I cannot actually hear the friend I'm sitting with because the decibel level is equal to the level of the other person's voice: BACKGROUND music? No, it's more like a concert. There's NOWHERE now that's free of music of someone else's choosing. I feel like I'm being programmed by Big Brother, or hypnotized into submission so I'll behave myself. Of course, I can try to combat it with my own ipod. . . Pump up the volume!!!

The October 2009 issue of Smart Money magazine has a great piece on the last page, called "Stop the Music," by Anne Kadet. Here are a few quotes edited from her article (my emphasis in bold):

"Muzak rival DMX says its programs play in school cafeterias, funeral homes, hospitals, and auto dealerships. Doctors play music in waiting rooms to reduce perceived wait times; convenience stores blast it at the gas pump. You can even hear it—yes—at the library. . . .Muzak still cites studies claiming that music leads to lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety, positive service evaluations, increased productivity, higher sales, and more satisfying conversations. But these ulterior goals are no longer the point. These days it's all about reinforcing the brand image. Businesses now contract with music providers to design customized playlists that evoke the lifestyle and emotional tone they want consumers to connect with their brand.

"Backlash, of course, has ensued. Pipedown, an international advocacy group devoted to the elimination of piped-in music, includes 2,000 paying members who distribute the organization’s five types of preprinted protest cards to offending shopkeepers. . . . Perhaps the best folks can do is seek out the few venues that remain music-free. Ted Rueter, founder of Noise Free America (motto: "Respect the quiet"), promotes an ambitious 53-point plan to reduce noise at the federal, state, and local levels. “It’s good to dream,” says the Albany, N.Y., political science professor, who picks his chiropractor, supermarket, and restaurants based on background noise. Among his favorite stores: Target. The stylish discount chain stopped playing music 15 years ago in an effort to provide a calm environment. And while it reviews the decision every year, it's sticking to its guns. Wouldn't you know, the store says, there has never been a protest from customers wanting to hear music."

In Frequency, I address the subject of our growing ultrasensitivity, due to the increasing vibrational level of our bodies. When our personal vibration goes up, we're capable of picking up more pre-verbal data directly from energy itself, and that means we're being flooded with information that we don't really know how to decipher, sort, and process. "Background" music, it seems to me, is an effort to cover over the agitation we feel deep-down in our body, yet it actually prevents us from processing the information we're receiving. We are coping with severe overwhelm.

Superfluous music, just like all the little animated ads and moving lines of type at the bottom of our TV screens, makes us fragment our awareness to try to multi-task even more than we already are. I don't know about you, but it's driving me nearly insane. Could this be why negativity is having a greater impact on us than ever before? Why we either try to numb ourselves by "going unconscious" or just start pulling back from the amount of blatantly obvious and subliminal data we encounter each day? The irony is that we often use the very sources of overwhelm and fragmentation, like music and television, to try to "medicate" ourselves from the unconscious stress of "vibration-overload."