The virus as opportunity

Saturday, March 21, 2020

4 a.m. Guys, anything for us by way of advice on how to deal with this current hiatus in our normal lives?

Treat it just like that: as a hiatus. It isn’t the end of the world, but it is the end of a previous page. So take advantage of the pause. Be aware, and use that awareness.

Say more?

When you were under the infra-red lamp, it occurred to you to spend the few minutes not reading or day-dreaming but actively visualizing and aligning your chakras. A time of lessened duties and a lighter schedule allows anyone to take time for a progress report, and for routine maintenance, and for sight-seeing.

Interesting way to look at it. So we can experience greater mindfulness and can channel that mindfulness toward whatever in our lives tends to get neglected, so as to balance it.

That is one way to put it, yes. It can be a time of rebalancing.

Consider: How much responsibility do you personally bear for your society’s various intricate systems? Economics, politics, infrastructure in its various forms – how much do you as an individual contribute?

Won’t that answer depend on the person?

Of course it would, but it wasn’t poised as a question to be answered for anyone else: The point is to consider, individually, your situation. Then, balance.

Not yet sure what you are driving at.

That which you customarily neglect may now be given attention.

Now, look at that statement and reinterpret it several ways, each of which (not merely any one of which) is true.

You as one member of society. You as yourself a community. You as a representative of the greater you that is necessarily unseen.

  • As a member of society. You, Frank, are retired and by nature solitary anyway. You have no responsibilities comparable to a letter carrier, or a grocery store employee, or an electrical maintenance man, or an executive or functionary of a company. So, as a member of society, your contribution will not have been in those terms. Instead, like Jefferson and Adams at the continental congress, “you think for us all,” as their friend said. Not that we are puffing your place in the nature of things, but that we are using you as example of those whose contribution is virtual, solitary, unseen and intangible – but real. If you think, if you feel, if you meditate, if you visualize, all this has an effect on your shared subjectivity; that is, on the world around you. Some people’s contribution is physical: putting their physical presence on the line in one of the active roles we suggested above. Others contribute silently and no less effectively by what they are. Remember this.

I remember on Sept. 11, 2001, in the fifth weekly session Rita and I had, she asked the guys what she could do, and they said two things: hold your stability so that others could anchor to you, and be a beacon, radiating your values.

Yes, that is exactly the sense of it. Invisible contributions, not at all negligible contributions. If a phone call steadies someone and stops them from succumbing to fear, or if one’s personal example does the same thing, that is a real but invisible contribution.

The British people under the bombs in the Battle of Britain.

Yes. Calm resolute endurance, a pride in not panicking. If anything, a resort to understatement and humor as bolsters to self-defense. Every man, woman, or child who put up a stiff upper lip did add that bit of resistance to panic. The cumulative effect was immense.

A Marine friend of Hemingway’s told him he would have made a good Marine because the one thing a Marine was most afraid of was showing fear.

Can anyone deny that Marines are a formidable fighting force?

  • You as yourself a community. You have your own neglected constituent parts to consider here: physical, mental, emotional, and connective or spiritual. That which you customarily neglect, pay attention to it. If you have always kepi in good physical shape, now is the time to look at the other three aspects of your life and shore up whatever is weakest. If you are customarily a brain-worker, give time to nurture your emotions and your connections to your non-3D self. See what they need. Consider (feel) how giving them due attention can benefit you. If you relate to the world primarily through your feelings, consider whether you need to think more, or exercise more, or identify more with less obvious parts of yourself. And if your primary link in this life is to the non-3D, come back to a closer attention to mundane 3D responsibilities. In all cases, balance.
  • Yourself as 3D aspect of a larger being. Remember that your personal invulnerability is shared by one and all, whether or not they know it, whether or not they believe it, whether or not their external biographical circumstances seem to support it. As Seth said, you live in a safe universe. Only, remember this when you drown in a shipwreck. Regardless what happens to your body (or even, in a way, to the habit-system that is your 3D mind), you are safe because it is impossible for you ever to be not safe. Die? Become crippled in some way? Become destitute? Suffer something incurable? In terms of your 3D life, yes of course it matters, and yes of course it cannot be merely talked out of existence. If life were as simple as maintaining perspective and an even keep, it wouldn’t be a very challenging game. Nonetheless, in the larger sense, what happens to you in 3D doesn’t matter. What does matter is how you decide to react to what happens to you.

The three tiers of reaction you gave us. First tier, what happens to us. Second tier, how we decide to respond to what happens to us. Third tier, the cumulative effect of such decisions.

You will admit, it puts a different light on your life overall as well as moment by moment.

Yes. Very helpful.

So there is our advice to you on how to approach the current situation. And we will add – be joyous, not merely determined. It takes many a broken egg to make an omelet. Identify with the omelet and you will grieve less for the broken eggs.

Meaning, I think, this is one more example of the unsustainable old systems breaking down so that new ones may have space to emerge.

The ancient Romans were probably little inclined to welcome the Vandals and Goths and Visigoths that finished destroying what was dead-and-alive but had not the strength to die. Nonetheless you can see, those eggs had to be thoroughly broken if they were not to rot.

Culinary examples to the side, thanks for all this.

Your customary signoff may have different resonance in the circumstances, but it is certainly appropriate: “Be well.”

Yes. Thanks as always.


3 thoughts on “The virus as opportunity

  1. I’ve been considering the current situation in light of the vast impersonal forces. What is blowing thru us here and now, expressing itself? How was it that we needed it to express this way (as opposed to another, such as natural disaster)? And what is our opportunity here to deconstruct those things that are outdated, that no longer serve us, and replace them with something that speaks to who we are becoming? How can we create anew, create clearly, create what speaks to our collective highest good?

    These things I am meditating on. As I can, I will share with the group.

  2. Guidance’s quick response (on what’s expressing through just about everyone) is to consider my ‘position’ ”as a member of society,” the first bullet. This paragraph simply notes (Frank’s) life status; presumably we’re each invited to look at our own.

    TGU’s response (to Franks question ”Won’t that answer depend on the person? ” ) Is where guidance pushes me to work: this discussion “wasn’t poised as a question to be answered for anyone else.”

    In the second and third bullet TGU offers suggestions for behavior and action at the individual level. Guidance strongly resonates with TGU’s comments that this ‘hiatus’ is a time for me to work on/with/for ‘me.’ Giving it my best shot …

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