As this pandemic has unfolded around us, perhaps you have felt afraid at times, or at least concerned. You have probably had to reshuffle your life in some ways that are good or difficult, or both. Maybe you have put yourself down for getting worried or tried not to think about things that are scary.
As I have been contemplating my own feelings in this situation, I have come to think that both fear and love have a place. If a mac truck is barreling down on you, you get a surge of fear and jump out of the way. The body reacts to protect itself automatically. This pandemic seems to me to be a kind of mac truck that our bodies react to trying to protect us. If fear makes you wash your hands and saves your life, it has its place.
Let us pray for those who are suffering at this time and offer their welfare to the shelter of the Lord of Love, the Divine Mother, the Infinite presence. Om shanti, shanti, shanti.
The situation in the world today is one of shift and change. The more dynamic the change, the more resistance to change occurs. Change that brings transformation is not easy.
That which has existed, the status quo, wants to continue to exist. This is true in personal life and in collective life.
So, in a true transformation, be it personal or social, involving many people, there is always the dissolution of what has been, in order for the new paradigm, the new level of functioning to exist, and so, this old level of functioning, this old way of being does not simply perish without resistance.
There is always resistance—in you—to change; and in the collective of people, there is resistance to change. Change is frightening. It is the unknown coming to exist. And people want to avoid that fear: the uncertainty of something new, something they haven’t experienced before. They want to return to what is safe, what is known.
And, so, many times there is a reversion before there is a transformation. And in the world today you see many countries, many people attempting to hold on to their heritage, hold on to their local identity, hold on to their—to what they consider to be their days of greatness for their society.
There is backward-looking psychology that wants to find some glory in the past that is safe. But naturally, the past is gone and can never be replicated. What was, will not be again; but what will be even more dynamic, more fulfilling. But the path there may be perilous.
You notice the great reaction to the so-called world government. People want their national autonomy. People want their racial autonomy. People want them—want to return to the way it was. And so there is a great wave of conservatism in the world today.
Many people hope that in this they can find shelter from impending change, which they sense, but they cannot define. As there’s more and more talk about the impact of climate change, pandemics, situations that affect the global community.
Rather than jump to global solutions, many people want to find shelter in ideas and beliefs that no longer serve. They were meant for a society with a much smaller population, where there was no international travel and cell phones, and people were not so interwoven and interconnected. In today’s society, what affects one country will affect everyone, economically, health-wise.
The world is like a spaceship. It is one, one home, and we have gone far beyond the point of being able to return to our small and isolated societies that have relatively little impact on the globe. Now, we have the capacity to destroy ourselves in multiple directions, and the population of human beings is very large. Nature will right herself. And these are not easy times that lay ahead.
It’s a time when people—various assaults will come because of the imbalance in the world, because Dharma, which brings harmony and peace between all beings is not fully established. It is lost, the Prema; the balance in society has been disturbed. The balance of the world has been disturbed. The balance of the planet has been disturbed. And so, nature will right herself, and balance will return. In these times, what a person can do is the real question. What can you do personally, individually, to protect yourself and your family, to survive these times, and to help the society at large?
I have said many times recently, it is not the time to bury your head in the sand because soon the sand will be swept away from under you. This is not the solution. It is time to wake up and to take action. Both for your own well-being and those around you, and for the collective of humanity. This is a time to act.
What you can do to support those who would support the ideas that help to ease the burden of this change, that help to ease the pain and suffering that will occur in this time of transition—those are the individuals who must be brought to power. It will happen, sooner or later. The desire to return to the golden days in the memory of people—that psychology which thinks that solutions of the past will work in the present—that will fade as the situations become direr and people demand attention and solution to the existing problems of the day.
So, to help promote the change,the addressing of the changes as early as possible, those actions will be beneficial. And for each personally, as various threats come, whether it be the threats of illnesses that spread across the globe; the threats of storms and fires, and floods; or the threats of political reactions causing extreme hardships—in all of this, maintaining your Sadhana, maintaining your balance when people are in fear, not giving way to fear, but recognizing that the divine Brahma is in all things and that life itself is transitory. Whether that transitory nature is shown in one way or another, all societies that have existed in the past have faded away.
Change is a part of life. And great transitions require great changes. This is a positive transition in the end. But the time of deconstruction of what has been and the building and reconstruction of what will be is a difficult time for humanity. Transformation is not easy. Having your spiritual base, finding your balance, mental balance there; doing work in the world that brings Dharma and as much harmony as possible…
No one is immune to these changes, so, to try to hide from these changes, find your safe little corner—it really won’t work. Everyone is on the front line of some of these changes. Even if you are the most powerful king or president or queen, you are not immune to diseases. Even if you are the most powerful person, you will not be immune to the changes on the planet. They affect everyone, poor and rich. Though those with fewer resources may have less ability to cope with them, in the end, everyone is fully impacted.
So, be practical, be logical, do what you need to provide practical resources for yourself in potential times of difficulty, and work for Dharma, and try to give people spiritual calm and peace, spiritual understanding, in a time of great transition. Practical steps and action are what is required during these times.
As for whether this particular virus that hit the world so concerning will spread wide and far and how many will be lost to it, that is yet to be determined by the actions of human beings. If human beings take significant action, it can change the situation. If human beings take no action, then the situation will be different. The same is true for the climate.
Remember to check out Dharma for Awakening and Social Change to find out how you can personally have an affect on supporting the changes we would all like to see in our world.
Maetreyii Ma: a teacher of yogic wisdom & practices