WE ARE ALL ONE...YES INDEED!
This is Franci. Like most of you, I have been listening to the exploding news about the coronavirus with a cacophony of emotions including fear, disbelief, and a generalized disorientation. Just three weeks ago I was visiting friends in Palo Alto and having a wonderful time. Now that city is on quarantine, along with the whole San Francisco Bay area.
Flying home from San Jose was an uncomfortable experience as I was vividly aware of all the coughing and sneezing around me, emitted by individuals who were totally preoccupied with their smart phones and largely oblivious to the impact they were having on others in the cramped plane environment. I couldn’t wait to return to the safety of my small town in the Colorado mountains away from any large city.
However, shortly after my return I learned that a tour group of several young people from Australia had visited Aspen a few days before and spent several days there having fun. One of them, after returning to Australia, tested positive for the virus, and now, just two weeks later 13 of her group are quarantined in Aspen and have all tested positive for Covid-19. Yesterday, the first case was confirmed in my town of Glenwood Springs, some 40 miles away from Aspen. The victim was a young woman who went to hear a band perform in Aspen that several of the visiting Australians also attended. Upon reading the news that the Australian woman had tested positive, she tried to get tested right away, but it took her several days to finally convince someone to give her the test. And there you have it!
In the last few days, most schools in Colorado have been dismissed, all public gatherings banned, ski areas closed, all athletic clubs and hot spring pools closed, and yesterday the Governor of Colorado announced that all restaurants would be closed except for some take-out! Very strict “social distancing” guidelines are in place which are largely being respected. In only a few short days, I have watched my community go from largely scoffing at the restrictions, to disappearing from the streets. Like most places in the country, toilet paper, disinfectant, and similar items are nowhere to be found. Entire aisles in the grocery store are completely stripped as people are engaged in panic buying and stockpiling a month of food supplies.
The S&P 500 fell over 20% in fifteen trading days, which is twice as fast as happened in 1929. As they say in the conventional reality, “all bets are off.” Almost instantly entire industries were shut down: airlines, cruise ships, shipping, restaurants, sports, live entertainment, and conventions, to name just a few.
Today several states are supposed to have primary elections where voters choose a candidate to run for president. But people, especially the elderly, have been told not to go out in crowds, so there is much consternation regarding if, when, and how people will vote. In the midst of all this, our country is trying to go forward with a presidential election in November, but do so without rallies, public gatherings, or shaking hands, which heretofore has been standard fare.
During my many years as a practicing psychotherapist, one of my favorite theoreticians was Kazimierz Dubrowski, a Polish psychiatrist and psychologist who developed the Theory of Positive Disintegration. Unlike other theorists, such as Abraham Maslow, who felt that levels of human development were hierarchical building blocks, Dubrowski surmised that tension and anxiety were the drivers for human growth and development. This stress led to a complete disintegration of the person’s previously held worldview, and from this disintegration, a new integration emerged, sort of like the phoenix rising from its ashes.
It seems to me that this process of positive disintegration is well underway on a societal level, as our current understanding of boundaries, healthcare delivery, financial well-being, individuation and interconnectedness, and even safety are all up for major redefinition. We are all witnesses to the disintegration, but not yet sure where this whole process of evolution is headed. These “liminal” (from the Latin word limen) times can be quite frightening, especially when our everyday life is changing so rapidly, with no assurances whatsoever about the future.
Personally, I am being grounded at this time by Master’s Meditation for a New Age. I listen to it first thing in the morning, and also just before going to bed. I also find the mantras that Master recently gave us to be incredibly soothing and often play them in the background during my work. I would like to extend special thanks to Swami Chidrupananda for providing us with links to sung versions of these mantras, which I find truly helpful.
I feel so incredibly grateful for the years of training that I have had as Master’s student, which are truly helping me maintain equilibrium during all the chaos. We truly are “the fortunate ones,” as Master instructs, “who have come seeking liberation for humanity.” Let us all dedicate ourselves to creating a healthy planet where there is safety and security for every living being. We truly are all One experience.
President & CEO,
Vajra Flame Foundation