Corona - the crowning of the human stupidity or the great catch-up (24/03/20)
Corona is all over the news and many people are afraid. I'm not going to talk about numbers and predictions here, but let's take a look at what is moving under the surface and in what direction, and how it can benefit humanity.
Apart from the difficulties with the disease itself and the inability to visit each other and other painful situations - which I absolutely do not want to minimize here - I would like to talk about the perhaps positive turn this brings about in our society.
Humanity had gone too far in its megalomania. Far was not far enough. Much was not much enough. Intense was not intense enough. There had to be more adrenaline, more sensation, more stuff, more travel, even further, higher, stronger, brighter, more intense and above all more more more… until it exploded.
What exactly explodes? The " hubris " of man. His immeasurably recklessness.
In the dictionary we read that hubris means "overconfident and brutal self-overestimation against powers stronger than you. In Greek mythology and tragedies, the word is used for audacious hubris, in which man, often prompted by Zeus, transgresses a limit or norm by self-conceit, thereby challenging fate or a world order established by the gods. It usually ends with that person being ruthlessly punished for his pride by divine intervention. "
We find an example of this in the story of Icarus. Because Icarus and Daedalus are being held captive in Crete by King Minos, Daedalus devises a way to escape: he builds wings from a wooden framework, covered with feathers in an arch secured with wax. Because the wax can melt, Daedalus warns Icarus not to fly too high and close to the sun, but also not too low, because the wings would become too heavy from the sea water. In his enthusiasm, however, Icarus becomes reckless; he flies too high so that the wax melts and he crashes into the Aegean Sea.
The story of Icarus is typical of the theme of hubris, which is common in Greek mythology; in this, a person is punished for his pride or exaggerated self-confidence. - Wikipedia.
Icarus does not listen to the good advice of Daedalus and has to pay for it with his life. Nor do we as humans listen to the laws of nature that command us to relax after we exert ourselves and to take the golden mean. Oh no, we keep on doing, we don't rest, we keep going further, we always want more and more and more and we always reach higher and higher ('the sky is the limit')… until we burn our wings and crash.
Man's disease is his arrogant hubris, his refusal to conform to the laws of nature, his inability to be satisfied with what he has, his inability to enjoy what is there (his own home, his own garden, his own family members ...). Man's basic discontent has made him sick. Man suffers from a severe form of FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. We will now feel this fear to the bone, because we are in lockdown (even if it is a soft version, but we can not continue as before, that is a fact).
For years I have been looking with sad eyes at the people around me who have so much, have traveled so much, visited so many countries, own so many things, get all the latest gadgets, have had so many experiences and are still looking for thrill because they still feel dissatisfied. The whole in their inner self is still not filled. All their evenings and weekends are packed with trips, brunches, activities, friends' visits, city trips, baby showers, birthday parties, trips to New York or Mumbai, parties of this and that ... because they can't be alone anymore. Their houses are filled to the brim with belongings and their lives with experiences and plans. You cannot get an appointment with them in the coming months! They have everything and do everything at a tireless pace. And buy even more. And more and more. They can’t stop…. Until they are stopped from the outside!
And this is what is happening now: it is finished. It had to explode, that exponential way of life. Because if you always reach further and want to go further, where does that end? We are experiencing that now. It stops. All that megalomaniac hassle of always being away from home to always discover the latest sensation or the latest concert or restaurant or café or trip has now been stopped.
What humans could not or did not want to do from their own consciousness, a virus has managed.
f you are always AWAY, how can you be close to yourself? That is not possible in a busy airport, a jam-packed plane or an overcrowded hotel. That is not possible if you run from here to there, like a chicken without a head. That is not possible if your weeks are filled with traffic jams, workload, deadlines, children who have to be raised and a household that has to be run. That is not possible if your evenings and weekends are packed to the brim with friends, parties, restaurants, drinks, activities and groceries. And then you also have to exercise, oh yes, I forgot! Because you also have to look good and sleek! What a pressure, people, what a pressure. And now the pressure can finally be released. Ouf! And you can rest again, at home, with yourself, in yourself.
Because if you are always AWAY, then you are far AWAY from yourself.
Man is obliged to catch up by the corona. He now has to stay at home. What's so bad about that? Why does everyone pretend it's a punishment? I love being at home. Home is the place for me, of all places in the world, where I feel the very best. I feel 100% good in my house. It is cozy, neat, beautiful, comfortable, warm and comfortable. I have everything I need there: light, air, water, electricity, fun, entertainment, a garden, a terrace, and people I love. Going away now and then is fun to broaden your horizons, but it shouldn't be so wide that you can’t get home anymore! An open mind is good, but do not overdo it because if your mind is too open, all kinds of junk can blow in. Getting to know other cultures is fascinating, but do you know yourself? Do you know your own culture? Exploring other countries is broadening, but do you know your own region? Do you sometimes go for a walk in your own neighbourhood? Nature is beautiful everywhere, and it is free at home.
I think people go way too far, way too far away, way too often, way too much. They buy too much, they stow their houses and lives full of everything that they even cannot take to the other side. Why does a person do this? Why does a person get so busy in his life (to complain that he is too busy?).
Making your life unnecessarily busy and stuffing it with unnecessary stuff and experiences has only one goal: to escape the emptiness. That is understandable, but should it really be exaggerated? The economy takes advantage of this. Personally, I get discouraged when I am perplexed at those hundreds of different kinds of yogurt jars. I only want one kind! It makes me tired to find my way between all those racks that are full of stuff meters high. Why so much?
The corona will bring us back to simplicity. A car is now made with parts from 40 different countries, I read today. Is that really necessary? Our clothes are made in China or elsewhere "far AWAY". By that we mean "far from our bed", so we shouldn't have to worry about the fact that the cheap clothes we get in the store are made on the back of innocent children who don't deserve a life like that. We know and yet we don't want to know. We act like ostriches and stick our heads in the sand. Oh that one blouse, it only costs fifteen euros/dollars, and that one coat looks so nice on me for only fifty euros/dollars. We appease our conscience that screams that this is made by child labour by throwing some money into the beggar's bowl when going out.
We know that this system of child labour from China and the Far East and cheap labour from the Eastern Bloc cannot and should not continue. And yet we participate. Until we are stopped. Not by our conscience, as it should be, but by a virus. The corona. Corona means "crown" or "wreath". Man has reached the top with his arrogant hubris. The corona is the crowning glory of man's work. And it has to stop here.
We all have to go back home. Literally and figuratively. Come back. Back inside. Just like the Prodigal Son who realizes that the home is actually not that bad. The corona movement brings balance back where man has completely gone wrong. Mothers take care of their own children again (crazy hey!). But that's the way nature intended it! Couples stay home again in the evening and rediscover each other, instead of drinking themselves to sleep, with or without the neighbours, every night because they can't take the stress anymore. Those who have a secret relationship behind their partner's back cannot continue because of the lockdown. Funny, right?! I think the corona brings many unbalanced matters back to normal.
People are given time again and because they can no longer lose themselves in excessive consumption, they may finally start asking existential questions. Questions such as "where will my next holiday go" and "what dress will I put on that party" and "what is the next car I will buy?” make way for “who am I, what am I doing here on this planet, what is my fundamental contribution to this world, what is the ‘track’ I want to leave when I go, how can I be of service, how can I help , what can I do to make someone else feel better? ” The answer to that question is: by offering your specific talents to others, to the world.
People act like hamsters in a cage: they keep running and don't even know where they are heading. They have no direction, no purpose, but they do run their souls out of their bodies. They don't even notice that they are not going anywhere and are not moving forward in the wheel. However, the hamster's wheel has now stalled. The hamster will be dizzy for a while because he was used to run. He will be lost for a while because he has been taken out of his normal routine. But then, sitting quietly in the sawdust of his unproductive run under his stalled wheel, he might wonder if he wants to get back on the wheel. Perhaps he had dreamed of doing something else all his life. Live his own life. More in line with his true inner values. Maybe he's tired of running for a job he hates and finally has the courage to choose what he really likes to do. He could now choose to live in accordance with his real values and make a fundamental contribution to the world by offering his real talents. In harmony with himself. In harmony with the environment.
This is an opportunity! Corona is not only a wreath but also an opportunity! Grab it!
This is the chance to return inside. To come back home. A time of turning inwards. Like Icarus, we have flown too far, strayed too far from ourselves and the right values, and have now been brought back, thrown to the ground of reality and hopefully the shock will shake us up enough to make awaken conscious choices from now on. Too close to the sea is not good, too close to the sun neither. In between. The golden mean.
And for people who love to travel, every place you go is all about the feeling you have there. The feeling you have is the same everywhere: that ‘wow’ feeling, that sense of awe for the incredibly beautiful nature. You can also have that feeling in your own environment, even in your own garden. You don’t believe me? Look at a child! Children who do not yet know the existence of airplanes constantly have this ‘wow’ feeling because they make discoveries all day long with their open mind. For them, a sky bug on their own windowsill is as captivating as an ant on the ground in faraway Bali or an elephant on an expensive safari trip in Kenya. They don't ask to be that far away. They want to be close to the one they love. Maybe we should do that again, and the corona is a huge catch-up manoeuvre, a global correction, to teach us to be happy again where we are: at home, with ourselves, with our loved ones. Occasionally traveling is like eating pepper. But the pepper shouldn't become the main ingredient of the meal. Corona puts everything back in its correct proportions. And will force us to consume more locally again. Why does it always have to be that far and come from that far? Isn't it good enough here maybe? We are now going to experience it for ourselves, and this is a good thing.
Hopefully there should not be too many catastrophies before man learns again to be satisfied with what he has, before man learns to look at what is and before he returns to what really matters in life. And that is not how much you have and where you have all been, but how much love and care you can give to yourself and your fellow man. Stay in the Here and Now and enjoy what and who is there. Cure yourself from FOMO and return to JOMO: the Joy of missing out. Let’s all heal from the audacious hubris. As soon as we will have learned this and return to simplicity, the corona can disappear again, as a 'life lesson'.
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