In the world of print media, newspapers, magazines and the like, circulation has been steadily falling for around 20 years, more or less since the turn of the millennium in fact. The reason is obvious. Computers and the internet. Whenever figures come out they are always down from the previous year. Year on year - x%, year after year. It's a case of managed decline.
There is a parallel with the world. If some authority were able to produce figures on the spiritual state of humanity this too would show a steady decline. And if you compared, say, 40 years ago with today the difference would be marked as many older people would be sure to tell you. This is even taking into account the human tendency always to see deterioration from the good old days when they were younger, life was new, the mind was fresh, hope was buoyant and they had fewer aches, pains and emotional scars.
Of course, many others, probably many more, at least before the coronavirus scare, would tell you that things were getting better but what is their yardstick? To the spiritual eye, it is totally materialistic. We have more and better technology but that separates us from our natural selves. We have greater physical comfort and wealth but remember what Jesus said about the rich. We have a fairer society but what if fair in this sense just meant a quantitative levelling out at the expense of quality? The real point is our disconnect from God is greater than at any time ever. And as we lose connection to God so we lose connection to our real selves and identify with false aspects of our being, seeing the lower, which has its place in the totality of what we are, as either higher or all there is. We are contracting and shutting out the light.
This is what happens at the end of an age. Matter becomes more dense so that the spiritual world is increasingly obscured. Can you not feel that the quality of consciousness is becoming more self-enclosed? If you could weigh it, it would be heavier. If you could see it, it would be darker. How should we react to this? By accepting it as real and going along with life as it now appears to be? Or by holding fast to the truth within, to our inner knowledge of the reality of God which may be obscured but is not obliterated by this thickening of the psychic atmosphere?
Clearly, the latter. This is the test of the present time. Who succumbs to the darkness and who resists it. The world is once again killing God as it did 2,000 years ago but he will rise again in the human heart though only in those hearts who have left a space for him. The virus is part of the test. We can give in to the fear that it engenders and which most of the media are doing their best to spread or we can adopt a more mature attitude towards it, taking precautions where necessary but not allowing it to dominate our minds or overwhelm our faith in God. It is part of living in a fallen world but we have always lived in such a world. Sin and death are always there, try as we might to deny them, and the remedy to them is the same as it always has been. Turn to God with a humble heart.
The spiritual darkness will increase. That is an inevitable part of the process of an age coming to its natural end. The quality of human civilisations will continue to decline. Evil, spiritual evil, will spread. But, unpleasant as this is to live through, it should not alarm us unduly. We are privileged to be living at a time when God is giving those who hear his voice a great opportunity to make strides forward in their spiritual growth. All we really have to do is see through the lies of the world and lift our minds above its darkness to the clear vision of the holy heights.