Life After the Virus
We recently had a meme posted that deserves a dispassionate examination. It was originated by the author Brene Brown and reads as follows:
“We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was never normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack. We should not long to return, My friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature.”
This thought embodies the idealist side of humanity’s thinking. On the other end, we have many wanting most aspects of the old normalcy to return.
Which wing represents the most sound thinking?
As usual the truth is not found in either extreme but a some point in the middle.
Le us start here by analyzing the other side of this quote. It makes it sound like all the norms that existed prior to the endemic were very bad things. It makes me wonder what kind view of the world Brene had, to see only the negative around her. As for me I saw many good things from the past that we certainly do not want to eliminate. Here are a few, speaking from the view of one who lives in the United States
(1) Fee speech. Even though many have been attacking this freedom here in the USA I can still speak my mind without fear of repercussions. However, since the virus hit free speech has been curtailed. Many voicing opposition to establishment protocol or experimenting or recommending anything beyond that approved by the establishment and Big Pharma are attacked. Some have lost their jobs, been sued or prosecuted. Others have been banned from social media and Youtube.
I recently listened to Dr. Simone Gold on Coast to Coast describe how her freedom to prescribe FDA approved drugs has been curtailed and any action not approved by the media establishment deserves discipline.
Here is the link to her Coast To Coast interview: LINK
And here is an interview on her website in case you do not have a Coast to Coast membership: LINK
I could cite many other examples but do not want to write a book here.
(2) Not having to wear a mask wherever you go. Just questioning the value of a mask here can bring on personal attack whereas numerous countries that do not require masks are suffering fewer deaths and infections than the United States.
Everything that happens in physical reality has symbolic meaning. What is the symbolic meaning of wearing masks? There are several, but the main one is that the mask covers the mouth, representing speech. Since the mask has dominated, free speech has been curtailed correspondingly.
I certainly would like the normal of not wearing a mask to return.
(3) Public Gatherings. We miss beng able to go to restaurants, ballgames and social gatherings without concern of infection or other people being closer to you than six feet. I do not know anyone not looking forward to returning to the norm in this area.
(4) A return of people to their jobs. The closing and curtailment of small business, and some larger ones, has caused widespread unemployment and human suffering. Some argue that it has caused more suffering than the virus itself.
Now let us examine the things from the quote that are said to be the norm before the virus which are hoped to not be the norm afterwards.
(1) Greed. I do not think that greed has been the norm. Most people I know are fairly generous and willing to share. Think of people you know. Is greed the norm with the majority of them? Probably not.
Could each of us be a little more generous? Probably, but that doesn’t mean we are sinfully greedy.
Many associate greed with businesses, but businesses are composed of people like you and me. Most of them are just trying to make enough money so all involved can make a decent living. A handful seek to take more than they should but most are providing an honest service, especially the small businesses.
(2) Inequity. There are many inequities and not all are bad. After all, who wants the same size fitting all in appearance, dress, type of work, belief system, friends, etc.? Variety is the spice of life. Negative inequity such as unfair treatment socially or under the law is somthing many nations are working on but we often shift the unfairness around rather than correcting it. Greater fairness in equality is a slow process to achieve and it is unrealistic to expect a miraculous change because of a virus. Then too, in some cases a change in perception is needed. Many people see themselves as victims when their reality is of their own making as is taught in most advanced spiritual disciplines.
It is interesting that many have pointed out that the virus itself is not fair. For instance, someone my age at 75 years is 220 times more likely to die of the virus than a person between the ages of 18-29 and a person in the 5-17 year age group is 16 times less likely to die than the18-29 group. LINK
There is also a difference by race. Blacks suffer more deaths than any other race. In the United States as of Aug 18, 2020 they have 88.4 deaths per 100,000 Latino Americans fare better at 54.4 deaths while whites have only 40.4. On the other hand, Asians do best of all at 36.4 deaths per 100,000. LINK
Part of this inequity is caused by racial history of our ancestors being exposed to different viruses in the past, giving partial immunity, and part due to social and work conditions.
(3) Exhaustion. This is an odd point in the list for I do not know of anyone complaining of this. Probably the main cause of exhaustion is overwork and some will continue to push themselves in the future as in the past.
(4) Depletion and Extraction. I assume she is talking of a depletion of resources. Because of the genius of humanity any depletion is temporary. If we get short on one resource we will develop another that will be even better. For instance, with energy there are a number of alternatives that should supply abundance clean energy within the next fifty years. Just nuclear fusion alone has the potential to supply unlimited clean energy.
Because of many lockdowns we are using fewer resources but this is likely to be a temporary thing. Fortunately, technology is leading us toward unlimited resources of energy, if we do not self destruct first.
(5) Disconnection. Not sure what type of problem she was referring to before the virus, but during the endemic we have suffered a disconnect of Biblical proportions. People dying in nursing homes are not permitted visitation from family. Because of various lockdowns many are restricted from seeing loved ones and friends. Groups are hesitant to get together socially and when they do they often refuse to give each other a hug or even a handshake.
The old norm here looks pretty good compared to the disconnect during the present virus.
(6) Confusion. This is an odd ingredient in the list as many have suffered confusion in the past; it continues in the present and confused people will be with us for the foreseeable future. The fog of confusion will be slowly lifted as the consciousness of the people is raised and this will be a gradual process.
(7) Rage. There is always a certain amount of rage in society and that is not likely to end soon. Then too, we have cycles where the enraged express themselves aggressively, such as during the Vietnam War and the present reaction to George Floyd’s death.
At this point it is important that we promote goodwill as much as possible along with the realization that we are all brothers and sisters on the same planet, belonging to the same human race, and need to focus on unity rather than division. This will require the better angels of our nature to surface and the solution will involve a lengthy struggle. There will be no magic bullet on this when the virus gets under control though all certainly hope things calm down.
(8) Hoarding. Didn’t see much of a problem with hoarding before the virus, but when it became a threat we all saw hoarding like we’ve never seen before. Toilet paper, tissues, disinfectants and many canned goods just disappeared from shelves by hoarders. Fortunately, the supplies in many areas are returning to the old normal and most figure that is a good thing.
(9) Hate. There was a certain amount of hate before the virus, during the virus and it will exist after the virus. Again, we must spread goodwill and brotherhood. The words of the Master are apply:
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matt 5:44-45
We must resist using accusations of hate as a weapon for many good and loving people are falsely accused of hating just because they have differences with the accuser. Let us focus on seeing the best in our neighbor, not the worst.
(10) Lack. Poverty is a problem humanity has worked with from he beginning of civilization. What is not realized by many is that the world war on poverty has been a great success story. They figure that extreme poverty is living on $1.90 or less in today’s money. In 1800, 81% of the world lived in this state of poverty. By 1990 only 44% were in such poverty. But since then success has increased so that by 2018 less than 10% of the world live in extreme poverty.
Since the virus hit many throughout the world have suffered an increase in poverty, so in this case the goal should be to get back to where we were and then move ahead again from there.
Brene ends with this statement: “We should not long to return, My friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature.”
As pointed out there are some things we want to return to such as less poverty, less rage, less disconnection, less hoarding etc. And I agree that we should take every opportunity to improve our situation, but in her short thought she doesn’t present any specific goals. She does seem to think, along with many others, that the crisis of the virus is presenting us with a great opportunity for positive change.
The problem is that many of the good and spiritual people of the planet are just sitting back waiting for someone else to make this happen and the effect is that power hungry politicians and some large business are seizing the moment which could result in much greater control by the powers-that-be over our lives.
A positive move forward always takes time and a lot of focus and energy. Promoting an ideal alone does little to alter reality.
The writings of Alice A. Bailey give excellent advice to idealists:
“Their (The idealists) dreams and ideas deal with projects for which the world of today is not ready and will not be ready for several thousand years. It is an easy thing for them to present impossible Utopias which have not the faintest relation to things which are needed today and which could be made possible. The name of these people is legion, and at this time they constitute a definite hindrance. A vision of the impossible is not the type of vision which will keep the people from perishing. Because of an inability to compromise and to face up to things as they are, these people and those whom they influence are landed in despair and disillusionment.” Externalization of the Hierarchy, Pages 459-460
Comment: This problem, caused by an attachment to the ideal, is causing many difficulties today. Many form an ideal in their mind of how the world, government, human relations should play out and if things are not moving fast enough they will march, attack, riot etc. Many an idealist acts as if there is an unlimited supply of money in the hands of government and the rich and they should be forced to give it up, even if it should cause an economic collapse.
The wise merely look to the next step to be taken and do not try to take ten steps at a time.
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1 thought on “Life After the Virus”
“Everything that happens in physical reality has symbolic meaning.”
Everything? This notion sounds like it gives free license to project whatever beliefs or agendas one wants onto anything. How about there is no symbolic meaning to wearing a mask?
The examples you gave of free speech being curtailed have nothing to do with free speech. You can express whatever opinions on mask wearing and of treating the virus all you want, and others have the freedom of speech to express their contempt if they find your speech to be in the wrong. Being banned from social media is not a free speech issue because the servers that these sites run on are privately owned and they can decide what content they want to host on them.