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Spiritual Meditations

My mother believes that God and the Chinese Communist Party will defeat the novel coronavirus. “Pray for Wuhan. Pray for China,” she urges me, referring to the capital of Hubei Province, where the outbreak started. It is early February, a week and some since Wuhan was placed under lockdown….

Coronavirus Is Asking Us to Open the Box of Our Inner Lives
Valson Thampu
Coronavirus Is Asking Us to Open the Box of Our Inner Lives
Swami Agnivesh and Valson Thampu

Historians tell us that the Great Plague, which killed a third of Europe’s population in the 14th century, was transported from Asia to Europe by “trade, travel and improved means of communication”. To globalise trade and traffic is also to inflate epidemics into pandemics.....

 

“We [human beings] are the origin of all coming evil”? Or can we reproach Mahatma Gandhi for being an utterly impractical idealist when he said, after America dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, “Unless the world now adopts nonviolence, it will spell certain suicide for mankind”?...

 

Once signed, make sure a copy of the will is in the hands of family members or friends. Place one in your bank safe deposit box if you have one, and one in a safe place in your home and friend. In case the house gets burned down. Let it be in two envelopes, medical will to be opened immediately, and the other will to be opened upon death....

 

He warns us in the books of all three great religions against transgressions, zulm (cruelty in its many forms), and lack of faith and shirk (making other deities/personalities partners in His kingdom). There is no sharing of power with Him as He is the only Omnipotent, Omnipresent and the All-powerful....

 

What shall we do? How shall we respond to this peril? Respond, we have to. Even refusing to respond is also a response, the response of denial. On occasions like this, it could help to recall how such calamities were faced in the past. The Plague—or the Black Death—that ravaged the world in the 14th century offers an instructive case study....

As the old proverb goes, “Every dark cloud has a silver lining.” The ongoing COVID-19 crisis, too, has a silver lining as it has given the environment the much-needed break from the relentless   degradation and exploitation by mankind....

 

And I am never watching movies about pandemics, which I had previously thought fantastical, again either. There is no need to turn to either of these as this 21-day-long lockdown to contain COVID-19 spread has made our life imitate art in a very disturbing way....

 

How we would happily sacrifice all of this for some hospital beds, some ventilators, some masks, some simple hand wash to fight the germs which have forced us back into our caves. Without these things we feel helpless…

I admire those pastors, and religious leaders of all denominations, who, for the sake of their congregants, have been cautious, and clear about why we must find new ways to worship. I worry some about how much more easily ignored the Zoom alarm is or how effortlessly I can be distracted from one YouTube video by another….

 
Defending Humanity Against the Elite Coup
Defending Humanity Against the Elite Coup
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

‘It won’t happen’, you might say. And perhaps you are right. But my own long and extensive study of the global elite revealing the progressive manner in which it is endlessly consolidating and expanding its power is also matched by others who share my interest in this subject. So I invite you to consider the evidence presented…

‘For the first time, you are realising that I am the Almighty. You tried to capture me in the closed doors of edifices that you called temples, churches, gurdwaras, mosques, etc, and visited me just for a bargain – for your personal need and greed.’...

 

The question is how to carry this on after the crisis of Covid-19 passes. Your life will be more meaningful if you contribute to meaningful solutions that reach far, far beyond the rampage of this virus....

 

This pandemic will change us, change our economy, our culture, our priorities, our personal lives. That we cannot avoid. But let’s remember: One day we will tell our grandchildren how we lived, how we loved, during the Great Pandemic....

Religion by itself is common sense – created to build cohesive societies where every human feels secure about his/her faith, ethnicity, culture, race, and other uniqueness. The idea of religion was to bring peace and harmony to society in general....

Moreover, as one doctor has reported after researching the data on Italy, where the greatest rate of COVID-19 infection has occurred: ‘80% of the deceased had suffered from two or more chronic diseases’ and ‘90% of the deceased are over 70 years old’. In addition, ‘Less than 1% of the deceased were healthy persons’ defined, very simply, as ‘persons without pre-existing chronic diseases….

Nature is a great experimenter, known to discard species that cannot adapt to its environs and contribute to the “Whole”. I believe that as humans, we have not evolved enough to realise that we can only survive if we harmonise our species’ way of living with life in totality....

But there is a difference between the motivations of the superstitious and the faithful even though their actions may be interpreted as similar by many. Some leading religious scholars are recommending offering prayers to seek divine help against the pandemic....

 

When choosing between alternatives, we should ask ourselves not only how to overcome the immediate threat, but also what kind of world we will inhabit once the storm passes. Yes, the storm will pass, humankind will survive, most of us will still be alive — but we will inhabit a different world.  Many short-term emergency measures will become a fixture of life….

As through the lens of coronavirus, I interrogate the self-perception of modernity, I need not be misunderstood as a pessimist with eternal despair and defeatism. Instead, as I wish to argue, this crisis is also the occasion to redefine the art of living and dying in a more meaningful way….

 

It is only an arrogance cultivated in us by those narcissists who have risen to power through their own destructive egotism that blinded us to the necessary mix of humility and awe we ought to feel as we watch a drop of rain on a leaf, or a baby struggle to crawl, or the night sky revealed in all its myriad glories away from city lights….

Today my thoughts are with all those battling the virus, with the families of all the victims around the world, and also with the doctors, paramedics and health officials and all others who have put their lives at risk for the rest of us....

There is a thoughtful word in Sanskrit, ‘Ekamevadwitiya’, to describe a defining attribute of god. It means One and only One, with no second. Come to think of it, does it only describe god? Doesn’t it also connote an important characteristic of every individual human being?...

 

The opening aphorism sets the tone for an inquiry into the cause of this material-temporal world, by asserting that the Aum principle lies at the root of not only this manifest universe but also at the heart of the cosmic rhythm itself….

The simple act of consuming more than we actually need drives the world’s governments and corporations to endlessly destroy more and more of the Earth to extract the resources necessary to satisfy our insatiable desires….

 
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