What does the coronavirus crisis teach us about ourselves, Nature, and the world? How to interpret the Covid-19 epidemic in terms of philosophy and spirituality?
The coronavirus crisis is upsetting our lives and our minds. Stopping the economy, panic movements, deregulation of habits, and uncertainty about the future: the pandemic crisis reveals the non-control of what we thought to control.
Humans, animals without predators, are rediscovering that they can be threatened on a large scale by a virus, a living form that uses the cells of other living organisms to feed and replicate.
The appearance of the coronavirus shows the extent of the spiritual crisis blindly facing our society. In the midst of dread, the role of the philosopher is to show a new path of thought and action in the face of a large-scale ordeal. Indeed, the fight is also waged in the privacy of our psyche, related to how to overcome fear.
The coronavirus “crisis” leads us to question ourselves, the meaning of life, and that of humanity.
Let us try a philosophical and spiritual approach to this pandemic.
The first reaction to the arrival of the coronavirus is fear, which is media conveys and amplifies. The latter repeat alarming information over and over, as a brain affected by post-traumatic stress disorder would do. Fear sets in, therefore: fear of illness, of death, fear of seeing everything called into question, fear of losing your job, your savings, your habits, and your loved ones.
Fear is a normal reaction, linking to the primary desire for security. The survival instinct (one of the components of Freud’s “it”) is anchored in our reptilian brain. He pushes us to see the virus as evil, as the absolute enemy. It leads us to take drastic individual measures: withdrawal, building up reserves, distrust of others, and rejection of anything that may constitute a risk of being infected.
Fear is not bad in itself; it is one of the elements that can save us. But modern man is more than an aggregate of instincts and automatic conditioning; his conscience pushes him to look further.
The interesting thing about the coronavirus crisis is that it falls outside the concepts of good and bad. Indeed, the coronavirus has no moral, no political project, no evil intention. It is simply a living form that seeks a path to develop.
Viruses are also present in number in our organism: for the most part harmless, they develop by the billions to infect the bacteria present in our digestive tract, promoting the general balance of our vital functions. In other words, viruses play a crucial role in our internal ecosystem.
It is also estimated that around 8% of our genome is derived from viruses and retroviruses, which means that we are somehow related to viruses, or that viruses have largely participated in our evolution, very many viruses’ pathogens having become “collaborative”.
Viruses, like us, are living things that are first aggressive and they tend to become collaborative. They describe the mysterious mechanism of life, this phenomenon that feeds on its own internal struggles to promote its development and overall fulfillment.
We are beginning to understand that the crisis is not that of the coronavirus, but indeed that of humanity, in the sense that man develops a biased relationship with Nature and the world, and therefore with himself. Panic shows that we live in illusion: the illusion of the permanence of things, illusion of knowledge and mastery, illusion of immortality, the illusion of freedom, the illusion of being loved by our soulmate, and the illusion of our superiority over the rest of the living.
It’s about us; it’s about us, our conscience, and our relationship to reality.
Forgetting that he is a living being among others, man has too long considered that he could understand everything and master everything. He erased God (defined as “universal law“) from his memory, replaced him to set his own rules. He forgets his deep nature: that of a living being evolving in a complex ecosystem, where everything holds a connection, where everything is constantly evolving, where life feeds on itself. Thus, the coronavirus crisis prompts us to refocus to rediscover the essential: the mechanism of life, our condition of being alive equal to other species, as well as the great laws of Nature.
The main thing is certainly to accept the evolution, the test, the game.
Acceptance is a path of love, serenity, and happiness. It is the recognition that things are as they should be. It is the renouncement of judging everything for good or for bad. Also, it is the abandonment of our false ambitions. It’s letting go. It is also an incentive to hope, to help, and to show solidarity.
For humans, the coronavirus is synonymous with death, seen on the physical plane as a dramatic and negative event. Now, as we have seen, death is above all a means for life to go further. Beyond personal and family tragedies, the coronavirus announces a renewal, a new world.
It is not only the effect of the law of natural selection but a “renaissance” of humanity. Indeed, the crisis could well change behavior, bring new questions, new perspectives, and new humanist ideas.
On a more intimate level, the virus allows us to know ourselves better. Our deep being reveals beyond illusions. Mentally, we will also have to die of several dead to finally see the reality: it is death to our illusions.
There is certainly a lot to learn and understand from the coronavirus crisis.
The main thing is to get out of any form of good-evil dualism. The coronavirus crisis involves good and bad, drama and discovery, tears, and future joys. It may allow humanity to refocus to go further, in harmony with Nature without losing the relationship with others.
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