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We live in a world that is evolving quickly in terms of media and personal media devices. Oasis TV is the premier global Body, Mind, Spirit programming service on all media platforms. Its mission is to help make the world a happier, healthier, and more peaceful planet by delivering entertaining and inspiring content, from holistic health and spirituality to cutting-edge technologies and entertainment.
Gerald Levin is a media pioneer, and Vision Magazine was fortunate to speak with him. Starting in 1972, Levin pioneered the creation of HBO and helped develop the modern cable industry. From 1992 through 2002, he served as Chairman/CEO of the media conglomerate Time Warner. In addition to his role at Oasis TV, Levin is currently the Presiding Director of Moonview Sanctuary, a holistic mental health institute in Santa Monica, California, and a partner in Connectivity, a consultancy devoted to helping entrepreneurs and start-ups.
Vision Magazine: How do you see Oasis TV affecting people’s lives?
Gerald Levin: I think that is the value of having a service that is available on lots of platforms. Taking advantage of digital distribution, mobile distribution, as well as television, cable, and satellite, is to be able to dig in and answer questions or attend events remotely by video that speak to your daily life and what’s important in terms of mindfulness, health, and spirituality. To have access to something that might be taking place around the world, but I can bring it through the instrument of new media, I think is a great thing.
VM: How do you see the role of new media changing our society?
GL: What is admirable about Oasis TV is that instead of becoming a traditional network, whether that is the old broadcast TV system or a regular channel on multiplex cable, the intention is to serve every form of digital distribution, and it is developing so quickly with social media and mobile applications. Through the iPhone or Android or the iPad, people will be moving away from their desktops into getting information and transacting as they go about their daily lives. I think this is a terrific turn that the Internet is taking, and Oasis TV is ready to ride that wave because it’s not just starting a channel; it’s a multi-platform service that will enlighten people with what is going on—news, events, seminars, and workshops in the area of holistic healing.
VM: Where is visual media, in your opinion, headed?
GL: It will always be true that the best way to tell a story is not only with words, but also through visual images and basically sight and sound. The fact that citizens as well as professionals can now distribute video, short form and long form worldwide is a tribute to the power of both the Internet and the distribution of video digitally. So, I think it is, has been, [and] will continue to become the media of interaction, that is the operative word now, the interactive video. It can bring people closer together when they don’t have the ability to physically be somewhere.
VM: With Oasis TV, how do you see it specifically benefiting people from the different multiple platform deliveries?
GL: Part of the vision that Robert Schnitzer [founder and CEO] has is to make Oasis TV the premiere place where you can find out what resources are available, where events are taking place, and what discoveries have been made in the area of wellness and spirituality and the interplay between the body, mind, and spirit. So it really is a resource [that is] easily accessible [for people] to deal with what everybody confronts—their personal growth, natural health, their relationships, taking care of the environment, connecting people one to another, where it is happening, who are the leaders bringing those people through the network and digital channel, so that instead of speaking to a group, their expertise will be available to everyone, and Oasis TV can be the mediator for that.
VM: How did you come to create Moonview with your wife?
GL: I have to give my wife 100 percent of the credit. This was her belief and her vision. She started out in the entertainment business as a talent agent and a movie producer. With the death of her mother, she had a transformational experience, went back and got her doctorate in clinical psychology, and then had the vision. Right after that as she went into practice, [she opened] up a holistic mental health institute that would draw upon the mental health pain with not only traditional expertise and professionals, but also a big dollop of spirituality and a belief in wanting to heal people. Particularly in individuals who may have taken a tumble. So I came along as she was developing this vision and helped her with it, but it is clearly hers. Probably the best part about it is that we fell in love and got married.
VM: Can you tell me a little bit about her book, “God, the Universe, and Where I Fit In”?
GL: Her book is a memoir, which not only details the trajectory and journey of her life, but also illustrates with humor a lot of the intuitive experiences she had, which led her to a belief in life after death and that we are all protected and guided. So it is a message of hope and connection, but it also is a very profound book dealing with something that everyone can relate to, that is, where do you fit in and what is your purpose, and a very inspiring view of life after life.
VM: What would be the most important daily practice that you have right now?
GL: I think it is meditation, something that in the midst of a very active and aggressive business life I didn’t take time to do. We meditate every morning and every evening, before we get up and before we go to sleep. It is an important touchstone to getting in touch with deeper resources and understanding your role and your purpose. It also is more than just a spiritual exercise because it informs your entire day abouteverything that is happening. If you take the time to pause and consult your higher self, which is what my wife teaches, you will probably make better decisions and also be congruent with what is right for you as a individual and as a person connected with everyone else.
VM: What were some of the important teachers that you have had in your life or that currently affect you?
GL: Again, I have to start with my wife who really brought her belief system to me, which gave me peace and resolution and understanding for daily practice. In my business life I have been fortunate. I started out at a very early age working with a man named David Lilienthal, who was a major person in the Roosevelt administration, around the atomic energy commission. I worked with him in a company [in which] we trained Peace Corps volunteers and did work around the world for economic development. His philosophy was two-fold, one that management is a humanist art, which I thought was in the rough and tumble of business a very important message, and he also believed that companies should operate not only in the interest of shareholders but in the public’s interest. That is something that I tried to carry over into most of what I did.
VM: What would you want your legacy to be?
GL: I have difficulty with legacy; yet if you asked me how I would like to make an impact, it would be simply to help put my life’s experience at the service of others so that there may be something that will help them, resonate with them. [In] my family we have a lot of teachers and I have lost a son. He was a teacher in the South Bronx and the quote that is on his tombstone is one that resonates with our entire family: “To teach is to touch a life forever.” So, some factor of being of service and teaching others is the way I would like to practice my daily life and be remembered.
VM: Where do you believe new media will be in five years?
GL: I think TV and Internet will come together more dramatically than some of the efforts now. So that what we use to call TV programming and the videos and the searchable material that is on the internet right now will all be indivisible and available on every instrument that we can think of, so at home and at work and most particularly on a mobile basis.
VM: How do you think that is affecting people? Is it a negative?
GL: These are arguments that we heard in the early days of TV, that somehow people, the heart, and the home becomes a screen. We are losing personal touch, either with ourselves and/or others. It is an understandable comment, but if you look at not only the under 30’s, but [also] the under 10’s and the under 5’s and how they are being raised now so that they still get a mothers touch, they still play, but they’re introduced into technology not as an interference in their lives but as a facilitator. I worry less about [the idea that] it’s desensitizing our connection to one another and believe more powerfully that it will bring the world together. It is such a metaphor, the notion that someone who’s 5 years old can put a video up on YouTube and it will go around the world. It is actually a beautiful metaphor. No central control, this Internet is available to anybody, at anytime and it is basically worldwide.
VM: How do you think each one of us could live a more fulfilled life?
GL: I think it is a matter of paying attention to ourselves and the world around us and the people that we love, and to love everybody. There is this sustainable movement for the environment; we should have a sustainable movement for each of us. If we worry about the ecological system—our bodies contain the most magnificent ecosystem every realized—with the care of that ecosystem, the nutrition, what’s circulating in our minds, the interaction between mind, body, and spirit, and the prescription for a really healthy life is right in front of us. It’s a spiritual understanding of who we are, what our purpose is, living a life of love, feeling protected and guided, eating the right things, taking care of our bodies, and somehow understanding the deeper meaning of life, so that the normal stresses—which cause all these physical and emotional negative reactions—we can somehow deal with. To understand that sleep is important, that [it] is a time where spiritual activity can actually take place and to get a sense of personal fulfillment, rather than all the little things that seem to nag and push us. To live above all that with a sense of love and light.
VM: Where do you see our global community headed?
GL: We appear to be living in a very dramatic time with clashes of cultures, violence, and terrorism. I honestly believe that we are going to get through that and that there will be a transformation and an understanding that we are all the same we are all connected. We have an obligation to Mother Earth. I will give you an example of something I witnessed earlier this week. On Monday there was a press conference [about] an organization called The Art of Peace where Sheriff Baca and Chief of Police Beck collected 1000 guns from gangs in LA. [The guns] were melted down and turned over to a woman named Lin Evola, who is a sculptress, to make the shards from these guns into a peace angel. At the end of the conference they played John Lennon’s, “Imagine.” We have to go through this dark period to get to the year of light.
VM: How do you see Oasis TV growing over the next three to five years?
GL: It has to go through the normal process of getting financed to be able to expand and have a 24-hour format and be able to get broad distribution. I see it occupying a unique position that isn’t otherwise available. It is an interesting phenomenon that there really isn’t any 24-hour sustained source for mind, body, spirit activities where things are happening, what’s new in life practices. There are lots of sources, but there isn’t a source that is determined, and this is Robert Schnitzer’s vision—to take advantage of all the platforms that are reaching people now and deliver that content. It is most needed when things are tough. To have a service showing you what resources are available—that is really helpful.
What has been very helpful for me is to work here at Moonview, where there really is a belief in the importance of the interaction between mind, body, and spirit and to combine with traditional therapies, a lot of ancient wisdom, and a spiritual take on some of the things that are characterized as mental disorders or issues of addiction or depression—that, in fact, you can get underneath those and help people find their spiritual center. We do all forms of psychology. We have digital technology; we do bio and neuro feedback on a very advanced basis. There [are] also a lot of spiritual and holistic practices as well. It really is an attempt to bridge Western and Eastern practices and ancient and modern technology—to bring all of that together.
Gerald Levin is Senior Advisor and Chairman of Oasis TV as well as the Presiding Director of Moonview Sanctuary, a holistic mental health institution in Santa Monica, CA. www.moonviewsanctuary.com. For more information on Oasis TV, please visit www.oasistv.com or e-mail info@OasisTV.com.
This article was first published in 1977 and while important for its time, is probably more meaningful now given the current zeitgeist where possessing psychic abilities is not only much more accepted, but also considered more possible.
Two counselors define the ways of dealing with people’s psychic problems.
All of the turmoil of the times and the debilitating economic distress play havoc with our psyche. Not only are we dealing with real stressors, below the surface the new trauma serves to also re-ignite old traumas, betrayals, rejections and terrors of deficit, which were never fully resolved into adulthood. Now, more than ever, we need those tools which perhaps were never taught or sought. Our reactions, our feelings place us in a zone of overwhelm. In addition, we may be a caregiver for others who are suffering, and, in fact, just being around those who are enduring hardships and difficulty makes us a potential bystander for vicarious intensity. In light of all this, why has there been a downturn in psychological help?
The economy seems to be a major culprit. Dr. Ronald Hunsicker, President of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, has indicated that “the self pay market is much softer than most of us realized; about 60% of what we thought was self pay, was really credit. People were paying for treatment on credit cards, lines of credit and second mortgages. Demand is not down, but the ability to pay is down.” Jane Eiger Mintz, national interventionist officed in Ohio, took an informal poll of associates, psychiatrists, psychologists, adjunct practitioners, and treatments centers across the nation, and found that uniformly they were experiencing about a 30% to 50% drop in their private practices and at their centers. Marcus Leaver, CEO of Sterling Publishing,a subsidiary of Barnes and Noble, has put this in context by noting that despite the downturn in general book sales, the “self-help market is surprisingly healthy, people are still hungry for knowledge.” Certainly, a book, at any price, is much more modest than psychotherapy treatment.
So, for those hungry for transformation, here are some hints to get started using only your wits and your heart.
When the trajectory of your days feels all consuming and overwhelming, stop in your tracks, breathe deeply and ask “how can I transmute the dark internal states, perseveration of thoughts and emotions, getting the best of me into acceptance and light?”
If your first answer is from blame, if-only-the-other-person hadn’t…, or from denial, when-will-this-go-away, stop the invasion of those thoughts, exhale, slow your breathing and ask again “how can I transmute the dark to light?” This is about you, what you can control, what you can do for yourself, what you can be. Blame means the other person is out of your control, and if they are “after” you or “judging” you, this is more about what they would do if they were in your shoes, which is still about them not you. And denial is usually a half-hearted evasion from confronting your demons.
You can prevail over the dark and difficult internal states by DEMANDING to be surrounded by the light of acceptance and trust. You can demand out loud or by silent invocation, whatever works for you, to be in a place of love and light. You can be anywhere and at any time to pause, breathe, demand and wait. In the pause, you will feel a shift and enjoy being practical and spiritual at the same time. It is the implicit aggression of the word DEMAND, which I call DEMANDMENTS™, that can get us through the normal states of fight, flight or freeze. If we simply wish, wonder, or intend, we will be caught on the treadmill of just wanting, needing or longing rather than attaining our goal of peace and calm. The whole secret of “intention” gives false hope, since it is always in the future. If we demand, we are ready to receive right now. The signs, however, may be subtle at first…listen for cues or be open to unexpected sources. You may have a body knowing, a gut feeling, a waft of energy; and then be on the lookout for resonance from a lyric, a dream, a photograph, etc.
In the act of demanding, you are actually open to the light that illuminates your being, that inspires your outlook, and enables you to predominate in “positive” expression. Dark feelings, dark forebodings bring on contraction, defensiveness, panic and defiance, with “negative” expression and paralyzing dread. Slowing your breathing and listening for internal cues lights up your parietal lobe putting your being into a higher state of consciousness.
Now explore what is coming forward. How are you feeling? If negativity still is coming forth, self-talk. Tell your heart, your gut, your emotional centers that you have learned a great deal from them. Assure yourself that you will never un know what you already know, but that you are ready for an expansion beyond your patterns for more understanding.
Transmuting the dark to light may seem both simple and daunting, yet since it is in our control, it is ours for the asking. We need not depend on others or any external intervention. DEMANDING, like any muscle, is strengthened by continuous use and practice so that over time it becomes effortless and natural. When money, time and resources are at an all-time low, maximize your highest self as your greatest re-source.
Dr. Laurie Ann Levin is a licensed clinical psychologist, founder and CEO of a medical, psychiatric and transformational institute called Moonview Sanctuary in Santa Monica CA. Dr. Levin’s work in life after life has introduced a new, spiritual psychology called SOUL COMMUNION™, in which DEMANDMENTS™ are an integral foundation. For more information visit www.moonviewsanctuary.com .