Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

Viruses are nothing new. Flu is nothing new. Diseases of mankind are nothing new. So why is the world so shaken by this particular virus? It has to do with the auspicious times in which we live. We humans have made a mess of things and we don’t know how to repair the damage we have wrought in our relationships with each other. Coronavirus brings hope. The slowing down of the world is exposing our most broken parts and revealing the prevailing goodness that resides within us.

In 2012 a movie was introduced called “Crossroads: labor pains of a new world view.” Its producer, Joseph Ohayan, makes the case for the potential for hope and positive change embodied within the chaotic, dangerous and egoistic world of the 21st century. Now, eight years after its production, this film’s relevance stands out as a robust explanation of the presence of COVID-19. It powerfully describes the elements of the nature of man that have taken us to this place in time and how we can respond if we understand what we are dealing with. Renowned scientists and other astute observers of the world present their thoughts and views.

The image of labor preceding birth can’t be ignored. In childbirth the last stage of labor is called transition, the final, most painful and most dramatic stage that heralds imminent delivery. Speakers in this film describe in many different ways that we are suffering through a stage of global transition and that what we birth depends on us. Here are some highlights from the film.

  • The World Economic Forum publishes regular risk reports and this map is demonstrating more dramatically as time goes on how connected the world is. A relatively small crisis in one area resounds throughout the world.
  • We cannot separate what’s happening in the world from what is happening within people. We’re not just in a crisis of politics or economics. Human beings are now in crisis with themselves.
  • Newtonian physics convinced us that we are machines. Biology reveals that we may be machines, but with competition because we fight for our survival. So our higher values are important only if the promote survival. There is not much other impetus for the human being.
  • Theologies have created separation, a cosmological way of looking at things that ways everything is separate from everything else. Out of this has come a separation sociology in which those with differing beliefs feel justified to harm and kill those who disagree.
  • Research has shown clearly that the environment drives genetic behavior, rather than the other way around. Other research has discovered that within our environments, our behaviors affect those close to us, as well as those close to them, them close to them, and so on. A happiness map dramatically showed clusters of happiness radiating out from one happy person up to the sixth degree.
  • The theory of evolution is based on the individual, not community. Newtonian physics tells us that only visible things are relevant. Quantum physics, based on energy, sees emotions as expressions of the energies of love, beauty and harmony. The research is so interesting on this, that if you ask college students what they aspire to, they talk about money, but if you ask them what the best thing was that happened to them in the last month, they mention experiences with other people. They never mention possessions.
  • And…we made it all up. Gold is precious because someone said it is. Fuel costs what it does because someone declared it. When enough people agree, the values of common things are inflated.
  • After the end of WWII, an economist named Victor Lebow proposed this:  “Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption. We need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate.” And thus was born the world of consumerism. The modern advertising industry has become masterful at making us feel unhappy with what we have so we will buy what is being sold.
  • What we call problems today are not problems, but questions. Who are we? Who do we really choose to be? How do we choose to relate to life itself? How do we choose to relate to all the different elements of life—the environment, the planet itself, obviously the people? Why are we here and where are we going from here? What is the meaning of my life? 
  • From the very most ancient bacteria to more recent species go through a juvenile phase of hostile competition to establish themselves and then they discover the economics of cooperation. When they find that it is cheaper and more efficient and more beneficial for everyone to feed your enemy rather than fighting them, then we are on the way to the new civilization we’re all looking for. 
  • All major institutions are failing and we need to create change, because the knowledge we are buying into, of who we are and why we’re here, turns out to be archaic beliefs that are not supporting our survival.
  • Just imagine what would happen if we changed our environment completely. What if we would constantly hear in the news through art, entertainment, advertisement that we are all interdependent, that we are all interconnected as one integral system? What would our world look like? How would you relate to all the others in that system? 
  • You would suddenly begin to feel that you relate to others as somewhat close to you and be less concerned about how do I take advantage of others. You would have some affinity towards the others like they belong to you and start considering them just like you think about your children or your family. This is where the basic change must be and to achieve it, we must create the environment in which it plays out.
  • Scientists have found that when just ten percent of the population is deeply committed to an idea, their idea will always be adopted by the majority of the society. Their mathematical models shows that it’s like a spontaneous leap, that  below ten percent there is no visible progress, however above ten percent, the idea spreads like wildfire. 
  • We’re at a crossroads and it’s not going be decided by fate. It’s not destiny. We are at the point where the future of humanity is going to be decided by how people think about it today and how they behave. Awareness and awakening will drive how we change, because change is coming, whether we like it or not. The only question is whether it will drive us or we will drive change. That is the unprecedented task of the generation now living. 

If you’re still reading, it’s probably because these ideas spark something in you. Consider this. The issue is not so much that we are destroying the earth but that we are damaging the nature of man. Our illness is ego—the self-serving manner with which we relate to others. It is being represented on a global scale by COVID-19. It turns out that we humans are the doctors and the treatment is attitude change.

Simplistic? Impossible? Not really, but the actions are not marching in the streets, legislation, voting or any such action. It always had been and still is an inside job. The separation brought about by this virus is teaching us that our good relationships with each other are more important than anything else. As this virus stubbornly refuses to recede—and we are told this is happening—we have a spectacular opportunity to develop deep within us an attitude of altruism, of putting concern for others above our own, of loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Nature is telling us in no uncertain terms that we are hurting her and that she will prevail. She will continue to do so until we figure out how to be in alignment with her. This fact is as predictable as was the appearance of COVID-19.

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