We are facing many problems as a result of COVID 19. Among these are the economic impacts of the political response, the loss of essential services and the estrangements of families forced to self isolate. But perhaps more then any other, it is the spiritual damage caused that will have the longest lasting effect.
I am not talking just about people with faith or religious convictions. Nor am I talking about religion. What I will say is that those with a faith or deeply held religious convictions are probably better placed to withstand the spiritual assault than many others.
I am talking about spirit in general terms. Meaning that essence that defines our lives beyond the physical. Some might call it consciousness or mind, other might see it as our spiritual likeness to the divine. A gift from God, Allah or Yahweh, perhaps even the enlightened path following the footsteps of Buddha.
Spirit means different things to different people. I believe there is only one truth and I am seeking it in my own way. I reject the idea that truth changes based upon your perspective. It isn’t relative in my view. But nor do I deny that we may each have a different way of describing it.
Our perspective cannot alter the truth but it can offer different paths to it. I make no judgement here regarding which is the correct path. I simply observe that there are many.
Fear of COVID 19 is entirely understandable. But the persistent pressure of living with fear has both physical and spiritual ramifications. We can see its effect whenever we go out.
People muzzled and afraid, averting their gaze, unable to express a warm smile, worried that anyone could be a plague carrier. I do not share this fear and so am able to see this effect from a detached perspective. But this itself is a great cause of alarm to me.
While I don’t think COVID 19 presents much of a risk, what it is doing to our collective consciousness most certainly does. We are losing our emotional connection with one another. Becoming guarded islands in the sea of consciousness.
Instead of connecting with the flow of natural reality we are instead trying to protect ourselves from it. In doing so we loose sight of it and become self referencing automatons. Existing only to exist ,without any care for meaning or truth. In every sense this is a soul crushing experience.
Regardless of the physical threat we cannot allow our spiritual selves to be obliterated. It makes no difference if a disease threatens your life if life is not worth living. We cannot allow those who claim to seek to protect us to do so by removing all of the elements which allow spiritual fulfilment and growth.
Love, devotion, family, friendship, happiness, fun, beauty, comradeship, awe, humour, intrigue and giving thanks are life. They are what makes life worth living. Simply abandoning all of these to stay safe is no safety at all. It is a living death.
We cannot disregard our spiritual health while defending our physical health. That makes no sense at all. So the question is, in the face of what seems to be ever more restrictions and a new way of living, how do we maintain spiritual health?
I suggest something has to give. We can’t simply follow all the protective measures and still expect to stay spiritually well. We will need to ignore some of these restrictions if we wish to carry on living as spiritual beings.
Gathering for weddings or christenings, visiting elderly loved ones, sharing a meal at Thanks Giving or Christmas, enjoying the Eid festivities or simply giving someone a hug, are essentials. They aren’t optional extras to life, they are life.
The choices we make today have never been more important. We need to face the real possibility that widespread disobedience to the rules is necessary in order for us to live as human beings.
The alternative is to exist as something else. I am not ready to stop being a human being yet. I hope I am not alone. That is why I say COVID 19 necessitates spiritual war.