Humanity is faced with a series of self-made, interrelated crises, from the environmental catastrophe to poverty, inequality, the absence of peace and an unprecedented level of displaced persons, among other pressing issues. All have been brought about by the negative behaviour of mankind, by the pervasive modes of living, the corrosive values and ideologies that dominate all aspects of contemporary life.
The latest crisis is the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the potential resulting collapse of the world economy. It is a collective crisis the like of which we have never seen before. Whole populations are being forced to change behaviour, to stop travelling, to withdraw, stop shopping, stay at home and to support others in the community. It is forcing people to shift their focus and slow down, to simplify and re-examine their lives. Worrying and unsettling in the immediate term, but potentially liberating, providing the space in which to be quiet, to reflect and look within, and good for the natural environment.
With crisis comes opportunity, the possibility for growth and realignment with purpose; for change to take place — change that inculcates harmony, allowing for that which has hitherto been inhibited to be to be expressed.
There is a natural order to life and certain fundamental laws that underpin all manifestation. When this rhythm is inhibited — individually or collectively — stasis takes place leading to dis-ease, and a crisis of some kind occurs. The greater the resistance the more inevitable and intense the crisis becomes.
Current modes of living are disharmonious, the socio-economic and political systems are totally unjust, favouring the few at the expense of the many; driven by divisive materialistic values and the reductive ideology of greed they sit at the core of most if not all of our problems. Ecosystems have been disrupted by self-centred human activity, weather patterns completely altered by the poisons daily poured into the atmosphere, leading to disharmony within the climate. Huge numbers of people recognize these facts and the need for a new way of living, but resistance among governments and corporate power is fierce; attachment to the status quo deep; fear of loss of power and privilege, intense. And so the required changes are consistently blocked; the natural order, which forever moves towards harmony for that is its inherent quality is consistently blocked, creating further inflammation.
The Coronavirus is beyond the control of governments, institutions and corporate bodies of power. It is causing widespread chaos and this will intensify and broaden in scope, affecting not just public health but social order and will devastate the consumer-led economy. As stock markets tumble, businesses fail, global supply chains fracture and nations are forced to turn within, governments (predictably) talk about the ‘fundamental strength of the economy’ and the ability of the markets to ‘bounce back’ quickly after the crisis has passed, returning to business as usual. The ‘usual’ however is the problem: the ‘usual’ has poisoned the planet, created enormous levels of inequality, set one against another, nation against nation, sustained widespread exploitation of the vulnerable and encouraged a pernicious value system fuelling all manner of social ills. It is of the past and must now come to an end.
As the world faces the Covid-19 crisis, a coordinated response to the health demands and the economic impacts are needed; community service and simple acts of kindness are essential, as is sharing. This is a global crisis and a united response is called for, enough of competition and tribal nationalism — America first, China first, India first, etc., humanity and the planet first. Unity, cooperation, tolerance and understanding, these, together with sharing are the hallmarks of the time and must guide our thoughts and actions, now more than ever.
The pandemic will be overcome, and, if we embrace the opportunity this crisis offers there is a real chance that afterwards life could be fundamentally changed forever and for the good. A chance to re-imagine how to live, to introduce new modes of living that encourage the good, that cultivate unity, peace and natural happiness and allow the space in which to be.