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Truth and entertainment during these Covid times

Dan (Denis) Capdeville


Although Truth and entertainment might, at first sight, appear irreconcilable opponents, in their purpose as well as in their practice, they are in fact deeply interconnected. Furthermore, they may be of great help and support to one another in fulfilling our spiritual goal with meaning and happiness.


From a Western perspective, seeking Truth and spirituality have always been associated with suffering. Several sentences in the Bible state that spiritual outcomes can only be obtained by enduring pain. I recall very clearly, thirty years ago, during a discussion on spirituality with a very close friend of mine, I suddenly shouted out, “But, please, understand! If I am not suffering, I don’t have the feeling that I am progressing!” Expressing spontaneously such an unconscious pattern seemed appalling to us both. A very insightful moment, indeed!

This pattern of ‘reward for hard work’, also conveyed by our modern societies through their workaholic attitudes and ego-cultures, pushes everyone definitively against any kind of casual entertainment. Life is not a distraction, and even less a spiritual one. Since entertainment and distraction are meant to divert us from our goal in life, they have a bad reputation and do not match our societal requirements of seriousness and achievement in work, etc.

However, during these repetitive periods of confinement and isolation, the loneliness and inactivity we might feel can often bring unforeseen mindsets and emotions, not to mention physical pain, sometimes through Covid symptoms.This unexpectedness can also stimulate alternative ways and means, not only to address specific Covid-related issues, but also our entire life. Whenever we know and feel something new, our whole life is impacted.

We have to endure very tough situations and events over long periods of time, in which our ordinary practice, tools and self-confidence are not strong and powerful enough to make us pass through this Covid time as if everything is fine. We are compelled to imagine new possibilities to surmount these new circumstances. Both ‘usual’ entertainment and ‘casual’ Truth, are not satisfactory any more. We need to re-shape our habitual practice and knowledge, as well as the interconnection between Truth and entertainment. Possibly, by finding a way to reconcile them.

In fact, the intensity of the challenge contains in itself a proportional number of insights, knowledge and probable rewards. Life only proposes to us what we are capable of handling, as there is also interconnectedness between us and the Universe.

Entertainment and Truth are not separate any more. They push for the same goal within us.

Truth and entertainment

Truth: “Take Truth for your force, take Truth for your refuge (1) “The truth is in us, we have only to become aware of it (2).” “Cling to Truth (3)”. Only those who are perfectly truthful can be my true children (4).”

Entertainment (5) is from the old French word ‘entretenir’, meaning to ‘hold together’ or ‘support’. From there, it came to mean amuse or distract. Thus entertainment is an amusement or distraction. Distraction (6) comes from the Latin, dis, ‘apart’, and trahere, ‘drag’. So distraction is when you’re dragged away from your task or from your worries.

Entertainment during confinement

One of the most efficient means of handling long isolation is entertainment. In fact, at first sight, everything that can distract us from this uncomfortable situation is welcome. Furthermore, distraction can also be used to deal with physical pain, to the extent that it can also make the pain vanish. There are numerous instances in hypnosis when distraction is used to alleviate or make pain disappear. That is why hypnosis is such a beautiful tool that is more used and combined with or as anaesthesia, during surgeries. A lot of positive side-effects are recorded when hypnosis is employed, such as less bleeding, conscious participation in surgery, reducing times of hospitalisation, absence of anaesthetic consequences, etc.

One day, in Malaysia, I was stung by a jellyfish and I endured a strong allergic reaction. Even after receiving an anti-histaminic shot in hospital, my level of pain still increased, reaching an unbearable peak at the middle of the night. All my exercises of self-hypnosis proved ineffective. At that time, I used to play Tetris for distraction. As an experiment, (due to an inability to sleep), I took my cellphone and started a new game. I focused more and more on the game because, as you may know, the more you advance the faster it becomes. I reached a level I had never reached before! At some peculiar instant, the pain totally disappeared. I stopped a few seconds and asked myself, “Oh, what happened? I do not feel anything, where is my pain?” At that very moment, the pain rushed back into me, just as strong as before!

Psychological suffering is similar to physical pain, though on different levels. Therefore, the same tools of entertainment and distraction can be used to reduce psychological suffering and, from a broader perspective, address mental issues. When one experiences mental challenges during isolation, looking for any possible means that can distract us from this former stage, is welcome. Depending on one’s specific inclination, listening to music, watching videos or a series, making physical exercises, etc. can distract and, temporarily, relieve the mental exhaustion.

What truly is entertainment: the inter-connection between Truth and entertainment?

However, when confinement and isolation last too long, we may also reach the limit to our external capacities of entertainment. We may reach a point where nothing can distract us anymore. So what do we do next? At that stage, we could use this exhaustion to get a clearer view of what entertainment truly is, and how, consciously or not, we have the capacity to use it to change focus, not just during lockdown but in our entire life. Due to the confinement, when every possibility of entertainment has been explored, we might find ourselves naked — a true discovery — giving us at least a glimpse of our inner Truth.

One feature of Truth is that it remains the same, regardless of circumstances. On the other hand, due to our capacity for memory and weariness, one constantly looks for other ways to get excited, for more sophisticated means of entertainment. Entertainment needs to constantly shift, otherwise it is not entertainment anymore. Meanwhile, Truth silently observes the succession of various entertainments happening within a lifetime.

Repetitive periods of isolation compel us to exhaust our possibilities of entertainment. When the confinement started, everything that offered us an opportunity for distraction was welcomed. We enjoyed a new opportunity for resting, focusing on ourselves or making new choices in life, etc. At first, we were happy to be forced to quarantine.

However, being truthful, up to what extent? After months of the virus and several isolations, where are we now truly? When the confinement lasts too long, is entertainment enough to handle those periods of loneliness and inactivity? Probably not. Evidence can be found in the numbers worldwide suffering from depression, violence and mental-related issues.

Truth during confinement

Auroville is the city of Truth, and most of us come to Auroville to seek the Truth. So how could isolation better fit our commitment than to be here? What could lead us to behave in an innovatively spiritual way, compared to life in the outer world?

In fact, exhausting our capacity of entertainment may lead us to two opposite outcomes. One may lead us to a deep boredom and depression or to eventually become prey of incarnated adverse forces, such as fear, anger and other low energy forms. Another possibility might enhance our commitment for inner work, leading us to foster the Truth to reveal itself. At the very least, it may unmask the invisible strategic antagonism between truth and entertainment. As spiritual seekers, if we are to suffer isolation due to Covid, we can always try to remain tranquil and faithful, not get overwhelmed by unexpected insights or emotions and observe the extent to which this unique period can help us to distinguish entertainment from Truth.By obtaining a new understanding of the mechanisms involved in our daily routine, we may gain the opportunity to sweep away the confusion of our existence. We might discover unexpected and true new rules, not related to entertainment and favouring a new lifestyle to be implemented once lockdown is over.

We all may know those ‘do-holic’ people who constantly need to do something, whatever ‘doing’ might entail. In fact, if we dig a bit deeper into our routine, we can measure how uncomfortable ‘doing nothing at all’ may be. Very few among us can actually manage doing really nothing, be it for even a short period of time. Doing ‘nothing’ can become an authentic daily practice, like prāṇāyama, meditation, physical workout or even gardening or dish-washing. The practice of simply ‘sitting and observing’, when it lasts more than just a few minutes, without any kind of entertainment or distraction, may reveal a lot of spontaneous patterns of thinking that move us away from our natural ‘Truth’. We understand why our usual ‘entertainments’ do not satisfy us anymore. In the end, they leave us frustrated and more desperate than ever before. Seeking the Truth becomes worthwhile. Something has definitively changed. Entertainment no longer remains the ultimate way to face any kind of frustration.

Once this period of isolation ends and there is the possibility to get back to our previous life-habits, as if nothing has happened, we might figure out how much we have gained form this period of forced confinement. The experience may give us the best possible opportunity to implement a more conscious life.

Entertainment in the Truth during confinement

Entertainment is helpful, when used smartly as a tool for changing focus during specific times of exhaustion. However, over-distracting ourselves may lead to the opposite result, such as covering a truth that is constantly available. Like always, a balance of behaviour is probably the best attitude.

Some personal enquiries, while we entertain ourselves:

• What is entertainment for me? Do I have the tendency to entertain myself frequently? What is its purpose or goal? To allow time to pass? Fantasy? Procrastination? A fear to act?

• Is it possible to shift from my compulsory need of entertainment and raise my vibrational level (e.g. by reading the Works of Mother and Sri Aurobindo) or just by ‘sitting silently’, allowing unexpected emotions and insights to arise from the subtle planes?

• How to bring more sense to what I am doing?

• How can I make my research of Truth more entertaining?

• Would it be possible to address certain aspects of my life from a meta-level perspective, and substitute some obsolete and needless patterns of entertainment?

• How to promote a constant and silent observation, as a natural Truth-entertainment? Are there ‘subconscious’ entertainments? Are there morbid entertainments? Such as fear, needless concerns, gossiping, procrastination, etc.?

Seeking Truth as an everlasting entertainment

Krishnamurti once said, “To seek truth is to deny it (7). “

In the psychology of human behaviour, denialism is a person’s choice to deny reality as a way to avoid a psychologically uncomfortable truth (8). Denialism is an essentially irrational action that withholds the validation of a historical experience or event, when a person refuses to accept an empirically verifiable reality.

Since ‘Denis’ and ‘deny’ in French have exactly the same pronunciation, when people used to call me by my given name, the two words were frequently mixed. As I didn’t want to appear any more as a ‘Deny’, I decided to change my name from ‘Denis’ to ‘Dan’. This change of name invited me to approach my inner Truth with entertainment.


1. The Mother. The Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 14. Cent ed. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust; 1980, p 205.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid., p. 206.

4. Ibid., p. 204.

5. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 12th June 2021].

6. {Online] Available from: [Accessed 12th June 2021].

7. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 12th June 2021].

8. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 12th June 2021].

Dan Capdeville lives in Auroville. He practises spiritual hypnosis and NLP at Santé and through BEING, an activity of the Auroville Foundation.

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Psychological suffering