Television Is An Hallucination

by Frank Martin DiMeglio

Television is only possible because this disintegration, reconfiguration, contraction (i.e., compression), and extension of visual sensory experience occurs during dreams. Accordingly, both television viewing and dreams may be said to include (or involve) reduced ability to think, anxiety, and increased distractibility. Television thus compels attention, as it is compelled in the dream; but it is an unnatural and hallucinatory experience. Hence, television is addictive. Similar to the visual experience while dreaming, television compels attention to the relative exclusion of other experience. Television reduces consciousness and results in a flattening of the visual experience as a result of combining waking visual experience with relatively unconscious visual experience. Television involves the experience of what is less animate, for it involves a significant reduction in (or loss of) visual experience. This disintegration of the visual experience (as in the dream) also results in an emotional disintegration (i.e., anxiety). That television may be so described (and even possible) is hard to imagine; but this is consistent with the fact that it took so very many different minds (and thoughts) of genius in order to make the relatively unconscious visual experience of the dream conscious. Since the thinking that is involved in making the experience of television possible is so enormously difficult, it becomes difficult to think while partaking of that experience. Television may be seen as an accelerated form or experience of art, thereby making someone less wary (or less anxious) initially, but less creative and more anxious (as time passes) as the advance of the self becomes unsustainable. The experience (or effects) of television demonstrates the interactive nature of being and experience; for, in the dream, there is also a reduction in the totality (or extensiveness) of experience.

Thought involves a relative reduction in the range and extensiveness of feeling. In keeping with this, dreams make thought more like sensory experience in general. Accordingly, both thought and also the range and extensiveness of feeling are proportionately reduced in the dream. (This reduction in the range and extensiveness of feeling during dreams is consistent with the fact that the experience of smell very rarely occurs therein.) Since there is a proportionate reduction of both thought and feeling during dreams, the experience of the body is generally (or significantly) lacking; for thought is fundamentally rendered more like sensory experience in general. Thoughts and emotions are differentiated feelings. By involving the mid-range of feeling between thought and sense, dreams make thought more like sensory experience in general. The reduction in the range and extensiveness of feeling during dreams is why there is less memory and thought therein.

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