As we grow in our consciousness, there will be more compassion and more love, and then the barriers between people, between religions, between nations will begin to fall. Yes, we have to beat down the separateness.
– Ram Dass
In the earliest days of the COVID-19 outbreak, it appeared that Ram Dass’s words were becoming a reality. Wars between nations seemed to no longer matter, as the virus itself became the common enemy of humankind.
For a hopeful moment, it appeared as though divisions along the lines of sex, class, race, religion and politics would dissolve overnight, as the pandemic did not discriminate in choosing its victims. For the first time in a long while, the attainment of a collective higher consciousness was a real possibility.
Of course, one of the chief aims of all spiritual traditions is to directly experience this greater connection that all beings share. Call this mystical life-force energy that connects all things with God. Call it the TAO. Call it the One. Or, call it the Great Mystery. In the end, whatever name you call IT doesn’t matter. What matters is the knowledge that such a state of unity is possible for humanity to achieve.
Unquestionably, the early days of the pandemic brought us infinitely closer to recognizing the heavenly state of such oneness. Everywhere, people began to acknowledge their universal humanity. The ranks of volunteers who served at food banks grew, despite the heavy risks involved in not social-distancing. Younger people came to the aid of their elderly neighbours, groups were organized to provide shelter to the homeless, and many began honouring overlooked ‘essential workers’ like grocery store clerks and food truck delivery drivers.
So close, yet so far away
However, as the period of social distancing wore on, the world gradually fell back into the old programmed patterns of fear and separation, along lines of association—especially in America.
Barely three months into the pandemic, armed protests against the shutdowns emerged; massive urban demonstrations and riots broke out in response to the latest police killing of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota; military rule at home supplanted any notions of democracy and the rich continued to peddle their political influence to extract what little wealth remained from the desperate poor besieged by runaway unemployment.
How could the achievement of world peace feel so close, yet also so far away? After all, for many, COVID-19 was perceived as a watershed event that revealed humankind’s potential to transcend the illusion of separateness. But, as they say, old habits die hard. The oneness that we all know is possible, deep within our souls, remains unfulfilled.
Yet, this pandemic has already had the effect of helping us grow in our consciousness, just as Ram Dass said. Just weeks before the outbreak of the virus, little on the surface appeared to unite us. But following its emergence, we have begun to awaken to see our common humanity.
Look past all divisions
No matter our differences on the surface, we have all gone through this period of hardship and suffering together. And, because of that, we will grow stronger together.
At this moment, most of us know someone who has been severely impacted. Some of us have a friend or loved one who has fallen ill with the virus. Others know someone who has lost their job during the pandemic. Whether we want to admit it or not, all the attention our politicians and news media give to our supposed lines of division is intended to deliberately stoke our fear of each other. Why?
So, we turn a blind eye to the very serious abuses of power that are taking place. What’s more, if we can still our minds and go beyond the egoic mindset of our own leaders, we will see that we are not all that different in the end.
Such demarcations like the colour of our skin, the region of the world we happened to be born in and the religious traditions we were exposed to growing up are all out of our control. Or, as my friend Alex likes to say, are all ‘a cosmic fluke.’
When we meet a cat or dog, do we discriminate against it based on the colour of its fur? Do we decide whether to pet it or not, based on the place it was born and the manner in which it connects to living spirit? Of course we don’t! So why do we do this with humans?
In the end, it is my hope that this experience we have shared with COVID-19 will help us see past all the divisions and acknowledge the inherent soul connection we have as beings of loving awareness.
«RELATED READ» WE HAVE TO BE BETTER: Less hatred, better humanity»
Image 1 Image by Eukalyptus from Pixabay 2 Image by Mabel Amber from Pixabay