It is a strange time we live in, these pandemic times. While existence has been kind to me and my family there are many people who are struggling to keep their homes, their jobs, their sanity and in some cases their lives.
For my young children the pandemic worked just fine. My daughter hated school with the bullying and my son was happy camper just exploring the trees in our yard. But for my friends on FB the pandemic has been hard. My friend in India lost her manager who struggled to find an available COVID ICU bed and lost his life while finding one. Another friend who arrived to the US with a job all lined was left stranded when the job disappeared during the lockdown.
But the one thing that troubled me the most was how so many of my “love and light” yogis have started supporting politics that denies our humanity and our interconnectedness. How can a community that claims spirituality have started hating Dems, liberals, chinese, islamists and BLM activists. How can these people have been so indoctrinated that they refuse to take simple steps to stop the spread of this virus. Or even worse use the position of respect and leadership they have to encourage non-compliance of safety protocols.
I struggle to find words to describe the actions of many in yogic community who refuse take even the smallest action to save lives in ways that are not judgmental. It is hard not to do so.
To me nothing is more troubling that people who also refuse to follow recommendations and mandates from professionals to keep society at large safe. A bulwark of these resistance is based on conspiracy theories that spread even faster than COVID-19 through social media networks.
In the initial stages of these pandemic these conspiracies were focussed on the virus being a bioengineered germ developed in a biological warfare lab in Wuhan to destroy America and its economy, bring down Trump, force everyone to wear a mask as a form of mind control, get western women used to wearing a hijab and of course force everyone to take a COVID vaccine (funded by Bill Gates) that would also contain a RFID tracking chip
There were other variants that outright denied the virus and pandemic too.
The common theme among all of them was the need to explain why the pandemic was happening. How could an event of such astounding order just emerge out of the chaotic soup of probability. Surely there has to be some darker explanation for it. No different than the need to create an external Satan.
At the core it is our human need to explain the emergence of this virus arising from the banal chaos and randomness of the Universe. But it’s not a virus of any kind that needs such an explanation. It’s a virus that has changed how we live and die dramatically. The Ebola virus didn’t create a conspiracy at such a scale. That negative outcome of this virus’ relentless march is a significant factor in the creation of these conspiracies.
For example let’s say instead of Pandemic there was some weird virus that infected all the chickens on the planet making them double in size in two weeks thus solving most of the world hunger problems. Would that have generated a conspiracy?
For the religious they would have considered this as a sign of God or some benign super natural power. For others this would be a thing to study and replicate in other livestock. But at no point would this have raised the specter of a dark conspiracy and shadowy forces working so hard to destroy our rather cosy way of life.
Events with a high magnitude of order but negative consequences generate conspiracies in all of us. That is because we find it hard to believe that existence could be so cruel or so brilliant. It is hard for us to hold the entirety of the universe’s evolution in our heads. At the same time we overvalue the capabilities of human intellect.
We find it hard to comprehend that given time some pretty amazing shit will happen on its own and no great intellect or planning is required aka the evolution of humans and monarch butterflies (unless of course one is a creationist).
We know that life emerged from a primordial soup on earth and perhaps in many places in our universe several trillion times because the elements that create that condition for the event to happen are all too common across the universe––water, carbon, nitrogen, some form of energy and enough time.
But not all of those instances (at least the ones that happened on Earth) did not evolve into life as we know in its complexity. In fact more often that not these sparks of life came to nothing except for the ones that did.
The emergence of order (like the human mind) from the chaos of the big bang was both nothing special and special as many masters say. Amazing stuff happens given time, in this case ––13.77 billion years. That we are here today on this little blue green rock on the outer branch of the nondescript galaxy is both amazing and mundane.
But then what of our beautiful but deadly coronavirus, a bunch of RNA wrapped in a globule of fat. Why does it need deep machiavellian intellect to cause this Pandemic why can it not just have happened.
In fact viral outbreaks happen every year most fizzle out to nothing. This time however it did not. But why blame the ChiComm for it and minimize the virus as a hoax or as faeries, why not our greed, God’s judgment or action reaction of the karmic web.
For is it not unbridled capitalism, the destruction of natural habitats that helped this virus reach human populations. Is it not our global reliance on China for cheap goods, our need for fast travel, the reluctance of politicians to act that let this virus quickly make its ways around the world. And is it not the lack of public health infrastructure, the lack of people to work as one and the inability of society to support those with less resources so they could stay at home that keeps this virus circulating.
Is it not in some way just a consequence of our human ways or if you prefer just God’s message. Why do we need to explain bad shit using the ChiComm and George Soros.
Or why not that shit happens! And it happens so often and it happens indiscriminately.
Why do we believe that only a combination of high intent and high intellect can create things with a high magnitude of order why not the slow plodding roll of time and the expanding universe moving from Big Bang to Big Crunch and back again. Nothing special about that bat or even a mad Chinese scientist in an underground lab (if that is what you would like to believe). It was an inevitable consequence of our consumption, our consumerism and the randomness of the universe.
I say forget the conspiracies. We have a few more months until vaccines roll out completely and even if you choose not to take it (too avoid Bill gates RFID chip) most people will and COVID-19 will have less vectors to work with and hopefully will fizzle out.
In the meanwhile it is also useful to see all the great stuff the pandemic has bought about. No more commuting to work, more cooking and eating at home, no more bullying in school, a huge reduction in air travel and recreational consumption, less traffic, less accidents, more time with family and more time for introspection are just few of good things that came out of it.
This is probably the trillionth pandemic post the evolution of viruses on our planet. Nothing special about it.
In that hope please wear a mask, practice social distancing, keep yourself and others safe, and when you feel pandemic anxiety or the need to post a conspiracy try to meditate on 13.77 billion years.