Corona virus is an opportunity for healing

The Covid-19 crisis is an opportunity to witness the fears that plague our minds — individually and collectively. The crisis may act as a great catalyst, an agent of transformation.

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“When we’re afraid, half the battle is lost” — Sri Chinmoy

Our attention is at present almost exclusively occupied with the fast-spreading SARS-CoV-2 virus. The economy is freezing up, countries are beginning quarantine procedures, and people are starting to panic. Some more, others less. Beyond taking the necessary steps to limit the spread of the virus, there is another dimension we must shine a light on.

The crisis we find ourselves in is a chance to examine our fears and to test our human-ness. To see where we stand individually and as a society. It is a mirror showing us our level of awareness.

How are we going to react as the pandemic worsens? What are we going to do with our neighbours? We don’t particularly like them in normal circumstances, so what happens when we believe our existence hangs in the balance? Are we going to go beyond our fear-based reactions, or will madness drive us to finality?

Presently our reactions are extreme — either outright panic or denial. It’s essential to understand that extremes are in fact, two sides of the same coin. They share the same core. In this instance, it is fear. In a panic response, one is afraid of death and makes moves to ensure survival. When the situation is ridiculed, fear is still present, but it is covered up by denial and ridicule. The first perspective takes extreme action, while the other extreme inaction.

Action must be taken from the point of equanimity. That is, following the middle way, a perspective that takes the entire spectrum into consideration — a pandemic scenario, where millions die, and a scenario that ends up with much milder consequences.

My primary purpose with this essay isn’t to speculate on the probabilities and possible outcomes. I’m not educated enough, nor equipped to do so. I write to pose questions that may do us well to introspect upon in these troubling times.

What does the situation at hand show you, personally? What is the mirror reflecting back at you? What is it telling you of your compassion towards others? This is a chance to face fears that are usually buried in the back of your mind, left unexamined.

Choices matter. They arrive out of our state of consciousness. What we choose to do and how we decide to act in extreme situations, such as these, show us much that is hidden, lurking in the deep recesses of our minds. Programs that lie undetected and run our lives when we’re not looking. Autopilot mode.

Beyond taking outer action, this crisis is a gateway to explore our inner contents. To catch our insanity, so to speak. We can grab it by the horns and take it for a ride if we’re brave enough. If we dare stare into the abyss long enough for it to stare back.

I want to bring this point home. The present situation is a reflection of the collective state of mind. It shows where humanity, as a whole, stands. We may now observe our minds to see the sheer amount of fear we hold on to. We see the effects constant bombardment of fear-based information and our mental massage has on us. Be it through films, music, news, books or any other collective devices of mass hypnotism.

The outcome of the crisis will primarily be determined by our inner responses, as opposed to outer action. No matter how many masks and hand sanitisers you may purchase, it is the inner world that will make a difference. Remember, the next crisis is just around the corner. There will always be outer events that will seem all too important and will seemingly justify all our actions. They do not.

The world is asking us a question we can’t ignore much longer.

Are you going to go deep enough this time to find out the things you’ve been shying away from? Will you witness the angst within? The little shrivelled up monster? Will darkness swallow you whole, as you fight tooth and nail over the last cans of beans with your neighbour?

All in the name of survival? Nay. We simply cannot justify physical survival beyond certain actions. In moral decay, we are worse than the worst of imagined beasts.

Can you trust the universe to take care of you, as it has up to and including Now? Can you move into abundance and go beyond lack? Can you see that there is the light of all things even when darkness swallows the world whole, and people scream in agony?

Can the restless monkey mind be put in its proper place — to serve its master, not to play King?

Can you observe within yourself both the madness and the light that engulfs it? Will madness prevail and triumph over light, once and for all?

Or will light crack you up like a wall-nut?

Will you trust that all is well, just the way it is? Even if food is scarce, and the birds sing no more?

Will you see the chance to heal yourself, and thus, the world, when all around you fades to black?

The world asks. How do you respond?

Serenity now.

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