Who would have guessed even four months ago that we would see the planetary changes that we have witnessed in recent weeks? For the first time in a generation people in India can see the Himalayas from hundreds of miles away. People in China can step out of their homes and see a blue sky for the first time in their memory. Turtles are storming the empty beaches to lay their eggs, lions are lazing in the deserted highways of South Africa, fish are frolicking in the clean canals of Venice.
With the cessation of human activity, the crust of the Earth has even grown quieter, and seismologists have a chance now to detect the Earth’s natural movements, like a doctor with a stethoscope finally able to hear the subtle nuances of a heartbeat.
A Moment of Clarity
We are experiencing, globally, a moment of clarity, and the clarity isn’t only what we are witnessing in the natural environment. We are also experiencing a growing clarity in the mind—clarity that we are interconnected in ways we can’t even begin to fathom, clarity about what is essential and what isn’t, clarity that we humans have been so consumed (consider the word) by the world we had fashioned that we had lost touch with who we really are or what we really desire.
And now, in the stillness, we are like those seismologists, finally having the chance to listen deeply to the stirrings of our own souls, stirrings that had been obscured by our incessant busyness. We have been given a rare and precious opportunity to ask the deep questions about our lives, about our values, about the world that we want to create together.
All of this, of course, has been brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. This pandemic, although it is causing great suffering, is also a catalyst for a great healing of the human mind, and the healing of the human mind is what the Earth desperately needs right now.
For it is the human mind, and the story of separateness it has entertained and enacted, that has wrought such devastation on the planet. It is that story of separateness that has led to the clear-cutting of entire forests, and left oceans teeming with plastic. That story has even resulted in changes to ocean currents, weather patterns, and sea levels that have left no area of this globe untouched.
This story of separateness is a fictitious story if ever there was one. Reality is an interconnected whole. Nothing can or does exist in isolation from the All.
Nonetheless, the human mind has lived in the quiet terror of believing itself to be on its own, cut off from the rest of life and from the Source of its being. In this state of terror it has believed itself to be responsible for its own existence, and so engineered a life and a world that bears little resemblance to the mutual reciprocity that is a given in the natural environment.
This has been an exhausting feat for the mind to undertake: to construe and maintain its illusion of separateness, construct a world based on that fallacy, and then try to survive as a separate self within it. It’s no wonder we’re tired.
Blueprints for Paradise
A dear friend of mine, watercolor artist Sara Steele, often says that Nature is providing us with blueprints for paradise if we would only look carefully. If we suspend our belief in our mind’s story of fear and separateness, if we stop thinking it’s on us to make the world work, if we step away from our drafting tables and flow charts and strategic plans and instead sit at the feet of Nature with wonder and curiosity, we will be astounded by what we see and the possibilities it reveals.
We will discover how elegantly and naturally life sustains itself, how interdependence isn’t weakness, but strength, how life is conspiring to support us if we let it, how the effort and toil we humans take as a requirement for our existence is not only unnecessary, but detrimental to our wellbeing.
If we pay attention to what Nature is revealing to us, we will see that we do not have to strive to realize our true Self, any more than a stream has to strive to reach the ocean. We simply need to stop resisting it and allow ourselves to be drawn to it.
Nor will we have to engineer a new world any more than an oak tree has to engineer its own growth. When we relinquish the story of separateness the mind will join a Love vaster than we have ever known, a Love that will guide us into its elegant expression in the world of form.
A Story’s Extinction
For some time I have realized that, were humanity to become extinct, it wouldn’t be the result of an asteroid. It would be because of our illusory story of separateness.
But now we are watching something extraordinary happen. Deep changes are occurring in the human mind, and, hastened by this virus, we are seeing more clearly what a fallacy we had been living out, pretending that we could ever exist apart from the All. Of all the casualties this pandemic is claiming, the most astonishing one is the story of separateness.
That story is gasping for breath now, and although many people, out of fear, are frantically trying to keep it alive, its prognosis isn’t good. As for myself, I am keeping vigil, gently witnessing that story when it arises in my own mind, holding it in absolute Love and compassion, reassuring it that it has completed its purpose and can let go now, finally, to rest in peace.