Medium published my new article “COVID-19 and the Futile Race for a Vaccine”
Throughout the world, companies are racing to find a vaccine for COVID-19. They are hoping to be able to abolish the pandemic, restore the capitalistic, over-consumerist way of life we’d had before the virus took over the world, and make billions of dollars in profit in the process. It is a hopeless pursuit. There will probably be no vaccine and no cure for the virus. Even if one is found, soon after, another, stronger pestilence will ravage humankind.
We are positioning ourselves against the whole of existence, claiming entitlement that we are not entitled to claim, and feel deprived when we don’t get what we weren’t supposed to get in the first place.
If we want to cure the coronavirus, we have to do it where it begins. The appearance of the virus is itself a symptom; it is not the illness. The illness is our bad relations with each other. Our relationships with one another are sick, and that sickness manifests in various ways, such as divorce rates, depression rates, substance abuse, obesity, violence, and recently, a pandemic.
We cannot treat the virus as a stand-alone crisis because everything in reality is tied and connected to everything else. We already know that about the rest of nature, and even about our own bodies, but we conveniently exclude our psyches from the rule. We shouldn’t; it is destroying our lives, our livelihoods, and now our entire civilization.
In fact, it makes no sense to think that our ill spiritual state, namely our ill-will toward each other, has no bearing on our bodies. If we can treat depression with antidepressants, or take pills that make us feel friendly, why do we think that a bad disposition will not have a negative impact on our health?
Moreover, since our bodies, minds, and spirits are one system, and since we are a part of all of nature, our ill-spirit negatively affects all of nature, again, because it is all one system. And when all of humanity suffers from ill spirits, the impact on the rest of the world becomes massive.
Wherever you look at nature, it is a balanced and harmonious system. On the mineral, plant, and animal levels, animals and plants feed on one another and thereby preserve the health and balance of the ecosystem. Within our bodies, too, homeostasis is maintained as the body continually generates new and robust cells and kills old and weak ones. This keeps us healthy and strong.
The only part where nature does not run on autopilot is our psyche. Our spirits are free to choose whether to be united as one system or run solo. So far, we have chosen to go solo, but we see the costs. We are positioning ourselves against the whole of existence, claiming entitlement that we are not entitled to claim, and feel deprived when we don’t get what we weren’t supposed to get in the first place.
If we want to be healthy, strong, and happy, we first need to learn how all of nature works. We need to recognize that the whole system is integral and interconnected, that all parts support one another in an interdependent network of pieces that promote each other’s well-being. The apparent competition in nature is only a misinterpretation of our self-centered mindsets. Species support one another and strengthen one another since they are all interdependent.
Once we know that, we will understand how we can become similar to nature, and therefore truly happy. We will realize that people who hold different views are not our foes, since without them we wouldn’t be able to define ourselves, our views, our thoughts. It is exactly the conflicts and contradictions in our lives, the things we disagree with, that make us think, grow, articulate, and become more complete human beings.
In the end, the human ecosystem should resemble the rest of nature, create a network of different and opposing views, colors, races, religions, nations, personalities, and cultures that together make a beautiful whole, as diverse as nature itself. We all love and appreciate nature’s diversity, so why not love and appreciate our own? Just as we love nature because all the pieces in it make a beautiful whole, we should learn to love humanity because all the different pieces of us make a beautiful whole, of which we are all equally important parts.