Medium published my new article “Covid-19 — the Next Stage”
We’re entering a new stage in our “relationship” with the coronavirus. We’re pretty much done with the denial stage and people are beginning to accept that it is here and there is nothing we can do to chase it away. Although we seem to be deep in the stage of anger, and it could still create a lot of damage, we are also beginning to tire of the war and give up. We don’t have much to look for. We search for the old ways to have some fun, to get something, make some profit, compete, but there is none of it. We’re just going aimlessly from day to day. This aimlessness is not as passive as it sounds. In some, it arouses anger and aggression; in others, it causes apathy.
We search for the old ways to have some fun, to get something, make some profit, compete, but there is none of it. We’re just going aimlessly from day to day. This aimlessness is not as passive as it sounds. In some, it arouses anger and aggression; in others, it causes apathy.
Worse yet, the frustration and hopelessness can stream from the personal level to the social level and lead to social disorders, revolutions, and disintegration of societies and countries. From there, the hopelessness can spread to the international level and lead to clashes between countries, which, seeing no future for themselves or the world, might lead to an all-out world war where they will strive not to win, but to destroy one another. If matters come to this, it will be a nuclear world war, humanity’s worst nightmare.
It’s not as if our lives were so meaningful before Covid-19, but prior to the pandemic, we could camouflage our emptiness with trips, shopping, careers, frequent relocation, frequent change of partners, and Netflix. Now all we have is Netflix. But with the dying movie industry, even Netflix seems more like a monument to a past life than a nice pastime in the present. It’s as if the virus has choked our previous ways of enjoyment and left us gasping for air, seeking desperately for a new way to find vitality, to find a reason to live.
When we are at that stage, we can really start building something new. Only when we give up entirely on finding ways to please ourselves, we will begin to look more favorably at pleasing others. This is where Covid is leading us, because when it comes to pleasing others, there is no end to what we can do, and what others can do for us.
Humanity is heading toward mutuality of a kind we’ve never known. Until now, we were used to thinking of society, friends, and even family as sources of benefit and pleasure for ourselves. The coronavirus is making us invert our attitude to the people around us and begin to see them as opportunities for giving, and in the giving itself find new meanings to our lives, new sources of pleasure and enjoyment, new vitality and energy as we engage in reciprocity rather than in self-absorption.
The transformation will not happen overnight. We are still at the very beginning. The plague is very “young,” only a few months old, but we can already see the trend. Little by little, the virus will make us similar to the rest of nature: giving and receiving, balanced and harmonious. It will make us conscious individuals who feel as part of a great and grand design that nature has created and that manifests in the reality around us. Instead of constant emptiness from seeking pleasures, we will celebrate life. Instead of draining and depleting our social and natural environment, we will become like open faucets, springs that always satiate yet never run dry.
In striving to give instead of receive, we will find more than a reason to live; we will find the meaning of life! We will discover that true joy and satisfaction exist in creating life, not in extinguishing it. In the process, we will unearth the integral nature of reality, where everything is connected and evolving. We will feel as parts of the common reality rather than as distinct units whose existence ends as soon as their physical life expires.
By robbing us of our past-life toys, Covid-19 isn’t punishing us. It is rather making us raise our heads and see where real pleasure lies. Had it not taken away our former lives, it would have taken us decades of human suffering, wars, and mutual annihilation to finally look up and see where real pleasure lies. Despite the toll, Covid is the least painful means that nature could employ in order to show us the way to a happy and sustainable existence. The sooner we follow its lead, the less we will have to ache before we find happiness and meaning in life.