The current Coronavirus is providing a fascinating insight into human nature.
What we are witnessing is the human response to entering the unknown and losing control. If we don’t understand something we get scared, and when we get scared we seek to control. That is the unconscious human pattern.
Humans are not good at interpreting risk, and we get worse the more stressed we are. A leading infectious disease expert said today “People are really overreacting to this. We need to restore some balance here. In Australia we produce more food than we can eat because we are a net exporter of food. You’re not going to run out of food!”
Stockpiling toilet rolls and ready meals may seem sensible to a stressed person when in fact there is no likelihood of a shortage at any time soon. In reality all that results is a rise in panic and suspicion in the community and less collaboration in response to the situation.
From the Vedic perspective this is all business as usual, just with the volume turned up. We may like to think we are in control but the fact is that things are unfolding as they will and all we can actually control is our response to them. Coronavirus is simply that writ large.
As always there is a dance at play of light and dark, of creation and destruction. Our challenge is to bring the balance referred to in the above quote. Destruction is rising and with it the reactive feelings that it stirs up: fear, anger, self-interest and a scarcity mindset. Our role is to bring the balancing qualities of clarity, stability, adaptability, unity and perspective – even humour.
It was Charles Darwin who said that it is not in fact the strongest or most intelligent of the species that survives, but the one that is most adaptable to change. Adaptability is the ability to live in the present and respond to the demands and changes of the moment. That may involve following advice not to touch our faces or shake hands, cough into our elbows or buy an extra packet or two of Panadol. But if you remain present you will be surprised how rarely it involves worrying, acting out of fear or at the expense of another.
With love and JGD