Questions on the flu
Thursday, March 19, 2020
4:30 a.m. Gentlemen, I am asked [on Facebook] to ask you two questions about the corona virus.
Forrest Aldrich: Was this viral incident intentional and if so, details of the goals involved and should we prepare for similar incidents in the near future.
Suzanne Gilbertson: Yes, and a follow up to Forest’s question, was this designed as an opportunity for growth, or is it just the consequence of our poor choices as a species?
[TGU]: As is often our way, we choose to answer these questions in a way that may be helpful, rather than in a way that would reinforce incorrect assumptions built into the questions.
Let us begin by answering Suzanne’s questions first, because easiest disposed of. Suzanne’s question builds in so many assumptions: “designed,” “poor choices,” and, most of all, the assumption that this is an either/or rather than two ways of looking at the same things.
Every situation is an opportunity for growth; that doesn’t mean “we” designed it, except in the largest sense of the word “we.” But those who have not followed the definition of “objective” as “shared subjectivity” may not easily follow this point. It isn’t that “we” here do something to “you” there. For one thing, we/you is a false separation; for another, so is here/there. For yet another, there isn’t really any separation in the universe; everything is connected in multiple ways, visibly and invisibly.
Is this an opportunity for growth? Certainly it is, but so was living with the results of the A-bomb at Hiroshima, or the Cold War, or polio epidemics. Every social and familial and individual situation is an opportunity for growth, and this is not merely playing with words. We’re saying something important here. Your current situation is the result, of course, of all your past decisions, poor choices and good choices alike. It always is. And a wide enough view would leave you in some doubt as to how to be sure a given decision was good or poor. So much depends upon context, and upon the values being served and expressed.
I’m not sure that is going to be as clear to everyone as to those who have been following our long journey.
Do you expect to be able to summarize 20 years’ worth of periodic instruction in a paragraph? And yet, it is not necessary to retrace the path. For some, it will be enough to hear the point of view and open the heart to recognize its accuracy. So, to put it into a nutshell:
- The interior world and the exterior world are the same thing, one experienced through intuition, the other through the senses.
- What seems to you to be “external, objective” circumstances are actually the living, continually refreshing internal subjectivity, in which all living beings share.
- Therefore – this may be intuited directly by those not closed off from it – there can be no coincidences, no accidents, no injustice or neglect or malign intent in the design of the world, regardless of how it appears.
- And therefore, everything is an opportunity, in that everything is rooted in what you are and what you have done and what forces are alive within you, individually and as part of levels of humanity.
“Levels of humanity” meaning, I take it, the various rings we are part of: family, neighborhoods, societies, nations, etc.
Yes and not in a hierarchical sense, but a more inclusive sense. That is, you form a part of many different subsets of humanity; to some degree you experience reality buffered by each of these subsets. However, this is a little theoretical for the moment. For the moment, the point is, you are all individuals, you are all part of collectives. Both, not one or the other. In so far as you emphasize one over the other, you will experience differently. This isn’t anyone “doing something” to you; it is you choosing, even if not consciously.
So, to answer Suzanne’s question, if you regard your situation as the result of poor choices, that may clarify your values. Your individual question becomes: How do I vote to decide differently? We do not, of course, use “vote” in this case to refer to political elections. You cannot vote for your whole species; you can only vote by your own life. If you do not express in your life what you would have society do, any words you may speak or any emotions you may feel are beside the point.
You see? You are not victim, you are not powerless, because you are responsible for you, yet “you” extends to all mankind. Exhorting others is well and good – what else are we doing here? – but what counts is what you make yourselves, day by day, by your decisions. As you see, this refers to far more than one virus or any one crisis or problem.
Thank you, that is concisely said. And Forrest’s question?
This is actually two questions, and not quite the questions she thinks she is asking.
Not sure it’s a “she.” But in any case –
The second part of the question “should we prepare for similar incidents in the future” does not depend upon a yes, no, or maybe to the first part. A moment’s thought should show you that yes, you should expect such incidents as continuing possibilities. If man-made once, they can be man-made again; if not man-made this time, they can be man-made another time; if never man-made past present or future, the fact that they exist now demonstrates that they can occur, therefore might occur. If man-made by accident (that is, if they are inadvertent side-effects of some process), still, what happened once may happen again. So, in all cases, yes, you may expect the condition to recur.
And how do you prepare for them? On one level, rearranging your lives to reduce risk. But is that very productive, really, ultimately?
Ultimately, I’d say it is a reminder that we’re all in this together, only some people’s lives are more insulated from it than others.
Have you ever thought that one reason you haven’t had a nuclear war is because riches could not buy safety? If that were true of hunger, or deprivation of any kind, we assure you, they would not long exist. This is not saying, Blame the rich. It is saying, it is always easier to relate to one’s own circle than to those beyond it; easier to see one’s particular needs than to realize that one’s needs extend invisibly to the rest of humanity in which they live and move and have their being.
Now, as to the first part of the question, we pose a counter-question. What good would it do you, as one individual, to decide that this situation was or was not intentionally designed? That is, how would having an opinion on it help you to give your best response, to be your best self in response?
We cannot see what possibly good it could do. In the first place, why should anyone believe us? If they didn’t resonate to what we said, they world, at best, say “Frank’s attention wavered there”; at worse, “Frank is part of the cover-up” or, alternatively, “Frank is getting paranoid.” They couldn’t rationally blame us, you see, because if we are lying about one thing, why not about everything?
“Falso in uno, falso in omnibus.”
Exactly. But the real point is, what good would it do for you to decide that “Someone did this deliberately”? Would it help you to prepare? Would it help you to remember that you are all part of one shared humanity? Would it encourage you to work on yourselves? And we remind you, working on yourselves is the only real work there is. That doesn’t mean, be selfish. It means, your life in the world is not the disconnected contingent thing you sometimes think it. Your life has meaning. Find it, deepen it, express it. and remember if you can, despite appearances, all is always well.
I don’t know how this will be received, but thanks as always.