There’s a lot of fear going around these days about the coronavirus. In response, there are actions being taken, and some frantic, knee-jerk reactions taking place. And… there’s a fair bit of acting-out going on as well. As a society, this thing is making us crazy.
It’s become my practice to find a way to step back from topics that makes me crazy and let my heart ask for a broader perspective.
I have come to recognize that broader perspectives are wonderful because they allow me to feel better about things.
Now, it’s important to realize that seeking a broader perspective is a different task than looking for the “right” answer. Trying to find out correct answers to our questions is so deeply ingrained in us that we can hardly approach a situation like this in any other way. Should we wear masks? Should we visit family and friends or go to the grocery store? Are we washing our hands enough? Will this be the new normal? Will this permanently devastate our economy? The quest for the correct answers goes on 24/7.
I can see in my own experience the imperative to be right about my opinions. With respect to the virus, “If I can’t know what the perfect response to this thing is, the perfect things to to keep myself and my loved ones safe, at least I can justify to myself why what I’m doing is the most prudent thing I can do.” All that is my ego, trying to protect me by shoring up my sense of being-in-the-world.
Being right, or having the right answer, implies knowing the “truth”, or at least more of the truth than the other guy.
In general, being right turns into a competition.
And the payoff from this competition somehow never yields the desired experience of satisfaction. The other guy will always try to regain the upper hand, which I feel I have to counter, and so on. By contrast, seeking the feeling that results from a broader perspective doesn’t have to be defended, because it’s not a competition.
So I’m convinced that it’s worthwhile to seek a broader view when the one you have doesn’t feel very good. What, then, might present itself as a broader view of the coronavirus and the way the pandemic and social isolation are impacting most of us these days?
It seems clear to me that much of what goes on in the world, and in my own life, is beyond my control. I have seen over and over that keeping faith and trust in my heart is more powerful than any action I can take to rid the world of any of its problems. It’s more powerful than way in which I can try to rid any of its human inhabitants, including myself, of heartache and misery.
Now this is not an argument against taking appropriate precautions. But when I look from that perspective at the coronavirus, I have to conclude that the viewpoint from which the pandemic is a menace, something worth going to war against, is just too narrow to allow us any real power. I have seen it demonstrated over and over that anything we resist will just cause that thing to persist, or to crop up again in some other form, or in some other place.
Well, how else could we look at this pandemic?
I have suggested previously that we look at what’s going on in the world these days as the equivalent, in our time, of the asteroid that caused the passing of the dinosaurs and the resulting rise of the mammals. It rings true for me that Earth is going about ridding itself of another species. This time it’s homo sapiens, a species which has proven itself to be a major hindrance in the progression of our world towards what we, and Earth, would all like it to be.
Now the last thing I want is for that idea, that homo sapiens may be on its way out, to instill more fear than is already out there. I’m not talking about our race being wiped out. Instead, I’m suggesting that we humans must become something different.
I’m suggesting that we have to change the way we think about who we are and our relationship to our planet.
Now, it’s not hard to imagine why Earth would wish to rid herself of the current crop of humans. Homo sapiens, it seems to me, is unable to rid itself of the compulsion to compete, to fight each other and to protect ourselves, or to abuse our planet and its other inhabitants in order to maintain or enhance our well-being and our financial successes. I suggest that this compulsion is due to our commitment to the idea that we are separate creatures, with no connection to one another except the relationships we create, and to the idea that the earth is not much more than a convenient source of limited resources to be harvested at will.
The effort we need to expend in that competition is such that we spend our lives in stress and suffering even when there is no menace like the virus that we have to contend with. And it appears that the collateral damage from all this competition is immense.
However, I know in my heart that it is possible for each of us to evolve beyond homo sapiens into a kind of human that is willing to live in harmony with one another and with Earth. While that required evolution takes place largely in the opening of the human heart and the resulting expansion of consciousness, it may well be that changes in the human genome are also needed.
It has been suggested that the coronavirus is involved with these upgrades of the human form, perhaps in contributing new DNA sequences. That may be hard to imagine, so perhaps a metaphor will help.
I spent many years doing IT work. I was asked many times, for example, to perform operating system upgrades, most recently from Windows 7 to Windows 10. It turned out that some computers did well in this upgrade, and some did not. In those latter cases, I would advise clients to abandon that machine and purchase a new one. In the case of Mac computers, the operating system won’t even try to upgrade itself if the hardware isn’t up to it. This seems to me a useful metaphor for thinking about the upgrades of the human body.
Those upgrades could be in the areas of our immune systems, our resiliency to changing climate, and maybe even our rates of reproduction.
Some of us can handle these upgrades, though apparently with widely varying degrees of physical discomfort. And others of us simply don’t survive the upgrades in physical form. However, it is my belief that those folks always have the opportunity to make their transition back to non-physical and then return to physical form with new DNA that’s better suited for the new kind of human.
That’s a broad perspective, for sure. It may not be comfortable for people who are committed to being right about their fears for themselves and others. It may be very uncomfortable for those who have lost a family member or close friend to the virus. I don’t want to cause anyone any unnecessary emotional suffering. But the fact remains that for some of us, a view like the one I’ve just described does carry the possibility of making us feel better.
Several episodes back, I invited listeners to pretend they were dinosaurs the day after the asteroid impact. I did that to help people sense the eventual end of an old “normal”. This time I invite you to pretend you’re a computer running Windows 7. How will you handle the need to upgrade to Windows 10?
Can you accept the idea that this physical existence of ours isn’t all there is to us?
Can you accept the idea that we have all lived other lifetimes and that we will continue to do so? Can you accept that no one ever ceases to be, and that every death, every leaving of the planet, is a choice made by that eternal being? If so, then you are one of those humans who has evolved beyond homo sapiens. And your DNA is being upgraded to the new version of hardware so that it can support the new operating system, a system predicated on well-being and oneness. These will be the humans of the future, those that Earth has been waiting for.
If you look at the current pandemic from that viewpoint, we’re mounting enormous resistance to the very process by which our biosphere is being transformed into one we would all love to inhabit. And resistance almost always prolongs that which is happening anyway. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. But leave the fear and the resistance behind. There really is a new age dawning. Be brave. It will be worth it.