The War of the Worlds (In Our Heads)

Radio is such a powerful medium. Its main attribute is its ability to entertain us via our own use of the imagination. A few days ago, as I reflected on how great radio creatives make use of the mind as the magic component for any good audio show (or any story for that matter) to come alive, I thought of how our lives are also impacted by the stories we so creatively generate via our use of Thought. 

In my radio broadcasting classes, about 20 years ago, I was introduced to the historic broadcast of a radio drama called The War of the Worlds. The show was an adaptation of a novel directed and narrated by Orson Welles that aired in 1938 over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. The show aired a series of news bulletins about an alien invasion interrupting what sounded as regular programming. The production was so realistic that the program supposedly caused mass panic and later widespread outrage in the media. 

A Spanish-language version aired in Ecuador over a decade later had similar, but more devastating effects. Police and fire brigades rushed out of Quito to engage the supposed alien invasion force. After it was revealed that the broadcast was fiction, the panic transformed into a riot. The riot resulted in at least seven deaths, including those of the producer's girlfriend and nephew.

Our Thoughts Create Our Reality

Without the need for a radio drama playing along, our constant stream of thoughts are continually interpreting what our senses inform us about the world out there and creating our live, local and very personal reality show.

When we mistake our thoughts as real, just like the listeners who believed the Martian invasion played out over the radio on The War of The Worlds was a real event, we won't "enjoy" the show and can't help but get caught-up in the drama. If we believe our thoughts of drama and distress we suffer. 

When we don't mistake our thoughts as real and understand that our reality is caused by feeling our thinking in the moment, we can simply relax, get caught up when we do, realize it's only our thoughts we're feeling, and enjoy the show!


Fernando Perez