My TV got a new owner while I got a bunch of time I had no idea I disposed of. It’s only been a day but I noticed when and how frequently the urge to put on the TV arises and I get the craving to fill in the space in my mind with something that would take it away from what I have at hand in my own reality. Surprisingly, this happens in between the tasks when I actually am supposed to do something I had planned on doing. Since I did not notice these urges before, it means I satisfied them without thinking, automatically following the program that run me.
One can use and one can abuse, sure. Some folks own their TVs, mine owned me. I never really took a stand as to whether to have one at home or not, so I guess this is my attempt at making a conscious choice. In “Opening the hand of thought” Uchiyama writes that since the time we are born we spend our lives playing with toys. I got rid of one but there are others to look out for. And in what way are books less of a toy than a TV? Reading about Michael Pelin’s trip to Himalaya is to a large extend the same as watching his documentary on it in the way that it is still him who made the trip, I just let myself be entertained by another person’s wonderful experience.
Now I might choose the book but I also might install myself on an uncomfortable wooden chair in the backyard to watch an apple tree in full bloom against the evening sky changing color as the sun sets down and to listen to all those crazy with joy over the coming summer birds I don’t know names of. I might even pick up the book on the birds of Europe off my bookshelf and look them up, something I have been wanting to do for some time.