By Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
This year began like any other. Two months into it, we naively believed the pandemic meant an endurance test of a few weeks. Under lockdown, we convinced ourselves that if we locked down or locked up, masked up or paid up, the problem would go away.
We had no dramatic event – war, flood or famine – to blame for our misfortune. We had no conventional enemy to combat. Instead, an invisible microbe proved to be a deadly adversary, wreaking such havoc on our lives and livelihoods that it has left an indelible mark on an entire generation. As we reach the end of an unforgettable year, it seems increasingly evident that a post-virus era is a pipe dream. Covid-19, like so many infections, is here to stay. The onus is on human intelligence, ingenuity and resourcefulness to deal with it.
Soothsayers of varied persuasions have offered a spate of dire predictions. Medical experts have foretold a mental health and suicide pandemic, while astrologers are busy charting horoscopes for the virus, foretelling how eclipses and shifts in the Earth’s planetary axis will affect human and viral destinies.
The story grows more complex. Human biological evolution, we are told, was determined by our ability to integrate and even enslave foreign viral elements. Over half the human genome is composed of DNA sequences, possibly attributable to long-dead viruses. Given our ability to turn several viral infections to our advantage, is it possible that in time we will domesticate or even befriend this sneaky invader?
Spiritually, the virus has triumphed where all gurus have failed, offering humanity a crash course in stillness that no religious leader has ever been able to inspire on this scale! In the past, people outsourced their suffering to a million factors. Now, they have a single enemy. Since all needless physical contact and movement has been minimised, people have no choice but to stay put and deal with their own issues. Many are discovering that they aren’t very good company! The responsibility to craft more meaningful and joyful lives lies squarely with them. This move towards self-determination is the perfect start to any spiritual journey.
My intention is not to trivialise the immense suffering this virus has unleashed. But instead of being passive victims of the viral apocalypse, it is time to consciously craft a new destiny for all of us. The pandemic is a viral contagion; let us transform it into a contagion of consciousness that liberates us from within. If there is one truth to which this year has pointed us, it is just this: In is the only way Out. The writer is founder, Isha Foundation
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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