Of course I have to write about it– too many folks have asked.
Whispers faintly: **The coronavirus**
Danger! Fix, plan, solve, do!
Quarantines. Plummeting retirement funds. Closed schools, canceled planes, shuttered stores.
Feel the fear? If not, it’ll come eventually. Because we humans love fear. We wouldn’t miss this great opportunity for a bunch of it.
Unlike my cat, for example, who sits in the sun and only gets scared when and if the occasion merits. She doesn’t waste a good fear on something that hasn’t happened yet.
Whereas humans seek fear out. We plan in advance, anticipating death and various not-happened-yet problems, making sure we have “done everything”…
…Sanitizer. Hand washing while singing 20-second songs. Shopping runs on Costco. Masks. Vitamins. Water. Zinc. Disposable gloves…
All in an attempt to avoid whatever existence has in store for us.
Nevermind that whether we do everything right or not, It does what it wants.
We wash our hands and never leave the house and drink apple cider vinegar, and still pick up a soup can that has had some little germ sitting on it for the last 7 days, since the stock boy- who felt fine with no symptoms and had no idea he carried the virus- loaded cans onto the shelves and boom- hello, not feeling well.
Or maybe the mailman sneezed on our mail. The terror is that we don’t know. Coronavirus lives for up to 10 days on surfaces. There’s no practical way of stopping it.
Luckily for our time management, stopping a virus, if it wants to come, is not up to us.
After all, what do we think, “I’m not the doer” means, in real life?
This is what it means. It means if it’s time to get sick, we’re getting sick.
Existence has got its own mind.
How wonderful for us that we are provided this excellent reminder of a common and supposedly important spiritual truth.
Of course, this is not to say don’t take reasonable precautions. I mean, why wouldn’t we? Maybe it helps, maybe it doesn’t.
What surely doesn't help is grasping for control we don’t have. There is nothing in that but frustration and fear.
What doesn't help is fretting about death and how to make our selves safe from it.
Because all we want is to make this life indefinitely longer.
I mean, it’s probably not news that death is coming. For most folks, the panic is about when.
We think we’re owed 70-100 years. We even call dying before that, “premature.”
Because the self is what matters. The self must go on.
But when it’s time to go, it’s time to go.
Now of course we don’t ever have to accept this. And I’m not going to tell anyone to not be afraid.
It’s just that, ironically, all those efforts to prolong the self may actually make its available time here unhappy, back-burnering peace, fun, and contentment.
Which seems kind of crazy, that we might diminish the quality of the very life we want to hold onto so badly, simply in order to get it to last longer.
Because if quality was more of a priority to us than extending this self's existence, we might focus on enjoying living these lives, as they are, in peace.
We might still follow any prescriptions for dealing with an epidemic, and perhaps also go to the dance, take the vacation, hug the friend.
What a concept, accepting existence as it is and not having a tantrum about it. What a concept, surrendering instead of fighting to hoard more minutes.
So is coronavirus coming to a neighborhood, school, hospital, ball park or airplane near us? Pretty likely, yes.
Will it affect things, close things, bring loss and other things no one wants? Also pretty likely.
Disruption of our human plans is probably a given.
We don’t have to like it.
It is what it is anyway.
Despite our pre-cautions
And our constant yearning
and ever so important
Click here to get your Mind-Tickled every week.
"Thought breeds fear. " --Nisaragdatta
"You can’t live at all,
Unless you can live fully
Now."-- Alan Watts