Many people are pooh-pooing the Coronavirus, saying it’s an overblown scare. What if it could end up being humanity’s greatist gift? Let me explain. Has there ever been a time in your life when have you wished you had paid attention to a suggestion to change something about your life earlier, when the suggestion was gentle, only to be forced into changing something by a traumatic event? I fully believe this is what the COVID-19 event is all about.
We say it’s too costly to change our economies to combat climate change, and that the existing power structure will never change. We say that structural change in our political, social, and economic systems has to be incremental, and will take a long time, so we can’t work for sweeping, immediate changes. Well, in two short weeks of February 2020, China cut their carbon emissions by 100 million metric tonnes because of quarantine conditions due to COVID-19. That’s nearly the amount that Chile emits in an entire year. How’s that for fast? Mother Nature has the entire Universe at her disposal to force a course correction, and She does not hesitate to use it when the time is upon us. Airlines have cut flights because people have stopped traveling for fear of catching it. Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and F5 have all closed their buildings in the Seattle area and their employees are working from home. I-5 is usually a parking lot in the rush hours, and now traffic flows freely. Northshore School District closed their 33 schools and the students are now learning via the Cloud.
People are dying all over the planet in far greater numbers for a variety of reasons. People who are discounting the urgency and the need for COVID-19 preparations are citing the fact that way more people die from flu and distracted driving. Will we make these COVID-19 deaths meaningful? Will we use them to chart a better course for all of humanity? Will we take this opportunity to seriously contemplate every aspect of how we conduct our daily lives? I believe we can, and I hope we do.
I think we would be wise to question every metric of how “success” and “happiness” is measured by us and our peers. To put it bluntly, we’ve been lied to all of our lives. The things we’ve been told to strive for will not bring us happiness or security. New Thought and New Age teachings have been twisted to teach consumerist spirituality, ala The Secret. This is a distortion. Science of Mind has always taught that we do not really want the thing we think we want; that we want the sensation we think the thing will give us if we obtain it. This is similar to Nonviolent Communication and Landmark Education’s teaching of distinguishing between the want or need and the strategy we think will obtain it for us.
We really don’t need the shiny red convertible (or whatever that is for you) we put on our vision boards, we want the feeling of success and freedom we think will accompany this thing. It’s the wind blowing through our hair as we flip off the 9 to 5 drudgery job as we live our lives on our own timing, according to our own values, that we really crave. We may think we will die without a romantic partner sharing our lives, but what we really want is the feeling of being loved and accepted for ourselves. Consumer culture teaches that we need the fashion, the makeup, the cosmetic surgery, the latest home furnishings, the newest appliances, and more to achieve these feelings. I’ll let you in on a secret. Nothing outside of yourself will deliver what you seek. That is an inside job.
I live my life largely outside of the mainstream pressures and constraints of materialism, and I have never felt so wild and free in my entire life. When we break free of our chains, the dominant conversations lose their hold on us, and we are free to experience the joy and security of being loved unconditionally, sourced within ourselves. If we are to achieve any sort of longevity as a free species, we must learn this lesson, and sooner rather than later.
So, how do we do this? We have to 1.) Disrupt the conversation, and 2.) Be willing to look within and experience the deep satisfaction of finding what we’ve been looking for all along inside of ourselves. One must have the experience for themselves before they will have the will to shift their behavior. Consumer spirituality knows people are catching on to this, and is now promoting self-care experiences and vacations to try to keep their talons in us It still requires travel to the tropical location or the props, and the financial outlay that comes with all that, so you must slave away to save up enough to treat yourself. Ballocks, I say. This is just more of the same; don’t fall for it.
The only way to experience the deep, unconditional love and acceptance we all crave is by connecting to the larger pattern that connects everything in the Universe, and the way to do that is through the channel that exists within ourselves. Some people call this spiritual practice. Some call it contemplation. Some call it mindfulness. Some find it though physical activity. Some find it through song. Some find it through creating something, be it cooking, drawing, writing, or inventing. It doesn’t matter what you call it, or how you find it; the very nature of our being is sitting there, waiting to be recognized every second of every day, and it is beyond name and form, so it couldn’t care less about the words used to describe it. Being closer than our breaths, it is available to us at any time, in any place.
Will we be lucky enough to experience being forced to shelter in place due to quarantine for weeks at a time, and be driven within by boredom due to a hyped, overblown scare? I truly hope so. I pray that we are forced in that direction by a scare and not a full blown pandemic with an unfathomable number of deaths. Will it be disruptive to those who have capitalized on the old conversations about lack and need? Absolutely. That’s OK. It’s an opportunity for growth and creativity to live more in harmony with nature. People will adjust.
So, what will it be? A gentle nudge, or a full blown disaster? We have such a gift of an opportunity being presented to us right now, and it’s totally up to us how we use it. What will we choose? History will tell the tale.