Sunday 15 March 2020

Plague and Death

I have nothing to contribute on the subject of the coronavirus scare as far as its spread and seriousness are concerned. I don't know if it is being used by governments to see how easily the populace can be controlled though I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. But it may have taken them by surprise and they are reacting as best they can with no motive other than to protect their countries (as well as look good so they can be returned to power later on). So I don't have anything to say about it from a political point of view and, not being a doctor, obviously not from a medical one. On the other hand, I believe I can say something about it from a spiritual point of view.

To begin with, I don't believe, as some have said (as they always do on such occasions), that it is a punishment from God for our wicked ways. It may be a consequence of our behaviour but it's not sent by God to chastise us. God does not punish, he teaches and he generally teaches subtly so that the lesson is learned at a deeper level than that of the emotions. Turning to God at a time of pandemic may be better than nothing but it does not really show how you will be when times are good and your panic has passed. But God does send us experiences and this could be one. How do we react in the face of a threat like this? With self-concern and fear or with an equanimity that accepts what is while in no way just succumbing to it? Trust in God and keep your powder dry is wonderful advice that applies to most situations and certainly to this one.

The real issue, though, is death. At a time like this the reality of that comes closer to all of us. The modern world is very good at shutting death out. We in the West live lives of unimaginable security and luxury compared to any previous generation. We are insulated from the harsh nitty gritty of life by our advanced medical knowledge and readily available healthcare. We have easy access to food, energy sources and good quality shelter. We turn on taps and out comes water whenever we want it. We press a switch and hey presto, light and heating are there. We are in danger of becoming spoilt and assuming that all that we have is somehow our natural right. But when something comes along that disrupts our regular life then we are posed certain questions.

For those of us who say we believe in God, the first question is do we, do we really? If our primary reaction is fear then our belief is not as it should be. Fear is natural but it should not be primary. We know that God is always there, "closer than breathing" in Tennyson's words. Now is our chance to put our belief into practice and perhaps that is the lesson that these crises help bring about. They show us or can do that there is something more than everyday material existence. They put things in perspective. Who are we? What are we? Just animals crawling about on the surface of the globe, looking to fulfil basic instinctual needs and desires or is there something more to us, and, if there is, how important is it? Could it be all-important, the actual purpose of everything else?

Well, all readers of this blog know the answer to that! We are spiritual beings on the earth to learn the lessons that will help us grow as spiritual beings. A time when the fundamentals of existence are brought to closer attention than normal is a necessary part of that growing process. Humanity today has completely forgotten what it is and what it is meant to be doing with itself in this world. A situation like this can, if we react to it correctly, call us back to our true nature. It can call us back to God.


Adil said...

Many Christians will have swallowed godless assumptions. That is, believing in linear, one-dimensional cause and effect of clashing "billiard ball" particles, blind laws of nature and statistical probability of mere chance events.. But no synchronicity or sense of divine intervention. Fear and a desire to control future outcomes takes precedence, based on the scientific mind of 'prediction', like governments 'planning' to reduce traffic accidents to zero in year "x", looking to "save" human lives in the process.

During the real plague, the pagans ran away from the sick and buried them alive while the Christians took care of them, because love of martyrdom came before fear of death.

edwin faust said...

"Humanity today has completely forgotten what it is and what it is meant to be doing with itself in this world."

I am reminded that the Greek word in the Gospels that is usually translated as "truth" is "aletheia" - which literally means "not forgetting."