Humanity has found itself in quite a situation. Because of an invisible threat, almost the entirety of our society has been shut down. People have been told to stay at home, travel has been suspended, the economy has ground to a halt. Despite all this, the information about this virus has been and remains very vague – from varying reports of its lethality and effect in regard to different age groups, to its ability to mutate, its possible avenues of spread and now it seems (according to the WHO), even about its conferred immunity.
Whether you believe the novel coronavirus is a man-made illness created in a lab, or nature’s way of reminding humanity who’s boss, the result is quite similar. The illness is here and though finding its root cause will be important in the years ahead, it is now crucial to remain present and deal with the situation as it arises in our external world, as well as the internal world of every individual. And the internal world is precisely where the greatest battle is being fought.
Fear, Fear Is the Mind Killer
This virus has seemingly poisoned our society, but the real poison it has inflicted is far more subtle, though expressed very visibly in our actions – it has poisoned our individual minds and through it our collective consciousness. A very large portion of humanity has responded in fear, ranging from a background anxiety, all the way to full blown panic.
The reasons for this are multilayered. Though it is easy to point fingers and blame the gigantic media apparatus that uses misleading headlines and sensationalized articles both to increase its revenues, as well as to serve the purpose of its billionaire owners, it is also crucial to note that humans themselves hold a responsibility both for what they consume and for allowing this toxic environment to arise.
The majority of people do not know how to deal with fear, anger, inner pain, loneliness, sadness… or indeed their inner worlds in general. They are mostly cut off from their emotions (and their body as well), which are usually repressed until they manifest as an illness, or they boil over in a fit of panic, rage, or destructive actions towards oneself or others.
Crucial practices like meditation, contemplative and introspective practices…as well as other methods of emotional integration and the knowledge of navigating our inner worlds in general (that could all serve as pathways of bringing back clarity, peace and insight), are not taught in the vast majority of schools or educational institutions (something that can be seen as the result of ignorance or almost likened to a conspiracy to keep people pacified and easily controllable).
The responsibility for the emotions people experience is not taken by those that experience them, but is instead thrown onto others and the world around them. Though it is true that the world, the people and situations around us and our upbringing do much to shape our inner world, it is our reactions to that which is external that shape our inner state, as well as who we are and how we live life. Without taking responsibility for our inner state it is wholly impossible to change it or indeed to change our lives in general.
Thus, except by those that seek their own ways to inner peace, our inner worlds remain largely neglected and misunderstood – and the mirror image of that is so clearly visible in the society we live in.
It is clear that the effects of this is are far more impactful than the rapid spread of mental health issues. In the case of significant external disturbances, disasters or difficult situations such as the one we face now, it is far more visible than ever and has consequences so far reaching it is hard to fathom.
The core of this neglect shows itself in fear – and the consequences of keeping oneself in fear and not facing and resolving it can be dire, especially in a situation like this. In the current pandemic, fear is not only a major and crucial cause of a highly weakened immune system, but can also become a precursor to social unrest, acts of selfishness, a promotion of separation (distancing far beyond the now recommended physical) and the ignorant welcoming of a truly Orwellian society. When one is in fear, the ability to either make sensible decisions or to see through lies and deceit is greatly reduced.
Panic, Snitching and Welcoming Big Brother With Open Arms
We are living in a world situation that has brought out great fear in us all. Not only fear for our health, but perhaps even more widespread fear of what economic impact this may bring. This fear is much like a virus itself – fueled by the media apparatus and spread by those it infects and cannot immunize themselves against it through awareness.
The situation this fear has already created is readily apparent and can be seen quite quickly when one ventures online, or even outside (depending on your location). Often completely unproven scenarios of the worst possible outcomes, as well as exaggerated and apocalyptic information, both health and society-wise are spreading like wildfire through social media. The wearing of safety gear and masks often becomes nonsensical and done without thought, such as when people wear protective masks in areas with nobody in sight. Even in terms of the restrictions imposed by governments, many make little sense and could not have been made by a sound mind, but are merely done to appease a sense of inner unease the public may feel (an example would be a restriction that was first made and then rescinded in my home country, where gloves were first a requirement in all shops and stores, while later the medical establishment agreed that the infected gloves could spread the virus even further and were replaced by necessary hand disinfection). Not to mention that because of the virus people’s anxiety has increased greatly and already present mental health issues have become exacerbated.
This panic also causes people to overestimate the virus, almost likening it to a plague, even though the estimated infection to fatality ratio (IFR) is lower than most people even realize. According to recent studies, the IFR and thus the actual death rate is around 0,5% (as per a study in France) or perhaps even lower.
But perhaps the greatest issue that can be brought about through our collective fear is that of being gradually eased into a society quite unlike what we’ve known so far. In the name of this unknown invisible threat, rights and freedoms previously taken for granted can be easily stripped away. The surveillance state can be ramped up without anyone blinking an eye, while privacy breaches could be welcomed with open arms and even hailed as necessary by some (the article I linked is sadly not satire). Not only that, such fear can even create a truly unbelievable situation where people snitch on one another to the authorities. All of this in the name of eliminating an ever-changing, unknown and invisible threat.
It has gone so far that the CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki has responded to the virus by outright censoring anything on their platform that goes against the guidelines of the WHO (who, if we recall, categorically denied the possibility of human-to-human transmission of this virus in the beginning of this year), including videos that promote alternative viewpoints (or conspiracy theories) and indeed alternative healing modalities for this virus (according to her, that includes ingesting Vitamin C and Turmeric – here is the video).
Does any of this sound familiar? A similar event, though felt mainly in the US, happened on the 11th of September 2001. After the WTC collapsed and American (and to a degree international) society was injected with an appropriate amount of fear through the media, the following wars and the dissolution of freedom and privacy brought about with such legislation as the Patriot Act, were left unquestioned by the majority of the populace. It was needed to “fight and win” the “war on terror”. A war that has only created more of that which it was supposedly fighting against.
It is not hard to see that event as a major turning point in international history, from the rise of the surveillance state, to the following wars and destabilization of the Middle East, to all the economic and social consequences stemming from that (millions dead and displaced, a major rise in terrorism, the refugee crisis…).
Will we see a repeat of events of a similar basic nature on a grander scale, or will awareness and clarity prevail?
In both cases the situation was labeled as a “war” – before it was one against terrorism, now the enemy is a virus. Terrorism and the virus may be real threats, but how far will we go to protect ourselves from them and what is their true danger relative to the measures that are taken against them? Could the “cure” in fact be more damaging than the disease? And who are those that could benefit from this global panic and the resulting measures the most?
I do not claim to have definitive answers to any of these questions, but it is asking the questions themselves that is crucial – in the current situation, they need to be asked fearlessly and the answers examined critically. For only in a society engulfed in fear are such questions thrown to the wayside, those that ask them remain ridiculed and shamed, while every drop of the narrative is gulped down into one’s subconscious without a second thought.
The Way Forward Is Inward
It is crucial to understand that none of this means you should reject or deny your fear. It is completely normal to be afraid and to feel fear. But the key difference is that of awareness – of feeling fear or being in fear, possessed by it fully. When you allow yourself to be aware of the fear, as well as all the corresponding emotions and thoughts in relation to it, including the fear based ego identity, the suffering self you have created, you have already started to break free from its grasp.
When you allow yourself to be aware and feel what you feel, to observe your self, your thoughts and question your beliefs… clarity returns, your decisions become better, more productive and others’ ability to deceive you and use your panic to their advantage is significantly weakened. If the fear is made aware of, integrated and understood, appropriate and truly positive action can be taken.
The key is in every one of us. It is now more crucial than ever to not only spread quality information and awareness, but to help people understand how to navigate their inner worlds and deal with the emotions, including fear, they are experiencing.
I cannot tell you exactly what information about this virus (or indeed in general) is true and what is false, for in the digital age we are literally living in a sea of conflicting information, misinformation and disinformation – and in the current situation, this is more apparent than ever (there are so many contradicting accounts, from doctors and scientists praising the quarantine and current measures, to epidemiologists taking a very different position).
This is why it is even more crucial to have one’s critical thinking faculties, sense of discernment and intuition primed, as well as find that inner foundation from which you cannot be so easily shaken – and this can only be done through the integration and dissolution of fear and the rest of one’s inner fog.
Whether you believe thoughts and emotions have a subtle effect on our reality beyond the physical or not (as many esoteric and spiritual teachings confer, a slew of studies on psychic phenomena suggest and a variety of modern interpretations of quantum mechanics point to), it is absolutely doubtless that all action in our reality is preceded by thought and created from a certain inner state and level of consciousness.
And even if you do not believe that humanity shares a collective consciousness on a level beyond the immediate physical and your thoughts, emotions and behaviors impact that of others beyond your physical reach (discussed in various esoteric teachings and in modern science especially well researched and described by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake through his theory of Morphic Resonance), it is doubtless that your inner state affects the state of others through your actions, words and itself spreads like a virus, especially to those you are close to. Though in a world as interconnected as this one, that spread is far wider and more rapid.
If that inner state is healthy and infused with awareness, then actions can be productive, relationships can flourish, creativity booms, people can govern themselves with clarity and responsibility, while the body and immune system remain strong.
Without awareness the body remains weak, the mind fatigued, novel ideas become scarce, power and control is given away readily to those with often unsavory intentions, selfishness and separation between people becomes common, love and compassion die, while actions become confused as clarity becomes lackluster.
Which of these worlds do you wish to be in? Which of these worlds are you helping to create through the inner states you are residing in the majority of the time? What state are you residing in now? Through awareness, a new world can be born, one based on peace, love and wisdom, not on fear, separation and ignorance.
You may think this is only a disaster – but it is also a major opportunity for positive change. Every personal and global calamity can be a road to hell, or a catalyst to a genuine and massive awakening.
It is in the hands of each and every one of us, our individual responsibility for the response to this calamity to lead in a conscious direction.
Will you be a part of the solution?
More discussion about this article can be found on Reddit, here: