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The Role of Human Consciousness in Epidemics

Corona virus

With the Corona virus running like a wildfire across the continents, denial and ignorance are slowly turning into fear and panic. As many times before, people seem surprised and cling to the behaviour that stems from the belief that they already know the cause and the way out of the crisis.

The human ego, that wants to reestablish a sense of safety at all costs, finds different justifications for the occurrence and spread of every new infectious disease. However, since the ego is incapable of comprehending the whole picture and is guided by misperception, it offers strategies that are only temporary successful. Namely, when the conditioned mind is confronted with problems, it acts through two main strategies: "run-away" or "fight". But, regardless of the strategy and the level at which the problem apparently manifests itself (body, society, environment), when the strategy is driven by the ego rather than conscious mind, people may either “refuse to see” the threat despite imminent danger, or they “see the threat” also when there is no danger at all. Even when the risk does indeed exist and is assessed as such, the proposed solutions are often only symptoms-oriented, and their causes are sought on the surface. This is especially evident in times of crises, such as the recent viral infection that is turning into a pandemic.

It is widely believed that a lack of knowledge, poor hygiene and a high level of poverty, which have been the main causes of epidemics in the human past, are no longer a threat today. However, recent infections such as SARS, MERS or Corona show that not even an excessive amount of collective information is sufficient for deeper understanding and managing of the infections, and that a poor hygiene habits have not yet disappeared. All the more, the mobility of modern humans leads to a much faster spread of infectious diseases and over longer distances. People constantly fly from one part of the world to another, and in doing so, not only they burden the environment with increased carbon dioxide emissions, but also distribute various pathogens and other living organisms from their original location to different parts of the world. This not only significantly disrupts local ecosystems, but also creates new diseases and opens up new pathways for their spread. Therefore, all living creature are constantly exposed to new pathogens to which no immune response has yet been built.

This shows that causes of epidemics are actually rooted much deeper, namely in the ignorance, which arises from a low level of human consciousness. The higher the level of collective unconsciousness, the greater the level of ignorance. Due to technology that makes information accessible to everyone, people mistakenly believe that they already know everything, thereby paving the way for even greater ignorance, what inevitably leads to suffering and a misconception of the way out of it. In fact, people assume that only the intellect alone has the answer to all problems. However, history shows that despite efforts, unless intellectual solutions are imbued with wisdom, this path is doomed to failure and brings only a brief consolation or further suffering. Yet, the intellect itself does not lead to failure, but rather a lack of consciousness that enables the intellect's transcendence into wisdom. In fact, the stronger the intellect, the higher the level of consciousness must be.

Unfortunately, one of the intellectual creations, technology, evolves much faster than human consciousness, causing new threats to be ignored or go unnoticed until their effects become apparent through unwanted manifestations. The negative side of technological development is manifested through the creation of imbalance in all of existence. This is not only the case with advanced technologies, but also with some seemingly trivial innovations that are widespread in today's world. For example, filters on conventional air conditioners have become the breeding ground and cradle of various microorganisms. The likelihood that some of these microorganisms are pathogenic is also increased due to modern working culture and ego-driven understanding of how high performance is achieved. This forces people, either directly or indirectly, to continue their office work, even when they are highly contagious.

Due to egocentric focus on the world, people view all life forms from this perspective and therefore ignore that the generation time of microorganisms is only a few hours or days long. For most bacteria, this is only as long as 20 to 30 minutes, which means that about 60 to 70 generations of bacteria can develop in a single human day. Besides, given that microorganisms are of low complexity and undergo an evolutionary process corresponding to 1’500 to 1’800 human years in a single day, it is obvious that not only their mutation rate is high, but also the likelihood that one of these mutations can lead to the formation of new pathogenic strains. Since filters are never exchanged at the rate at which microorganisms develop on them, a simple technological innovation as air conditioner becomes an incubator for the pathogens and accelerator of the infection.

Unfortunately, the low level of consciousness causes many aspects of modern society to also turn into an amplifier for new infections. Even in high-standard-of-life countries, infections are easily transmitted: we are often served by waiters who have a severe colds and flu infection, in restaurants, the food is prepared by employees who don’t wear face masks; in pastry shops, despite gloves, money and bread are handled with the same hand. Even in places that require maximum hygiene, such as hospitals, dental offices, or genetic laboratories, the infection is often transmitted by the very people who should prevent it.

One reason for such ignorance lies in an excessive trust that people put in own senses. This leads to disbelief that the information they record with their senses is immeasurably small compared to the information that cannot be recorded. And although this “non-captured” information is partially visualised using technology, the human system stores this new information differently than if it were based on direct experience. This means that pathogenic organisms that are invisible to the naked eye, are classified as “semi-real” and come from the shadow of ignorance only when their activity manifests itself through infection, pain and suffering.

Human ignorance also penetrates the ways we govern society, so even health, well-being, prosperity or harmony, are therefore regulated by prohibitions, rules and controls. This conditions the mind to adhere to actions based on temporary cultural or historical views about what is right and what is not. But, in their nature, rules are always static and never follow one of the essential principles of existence, namely the constant change. As a result, the unconscious mind, that is governed by rules is rigid and unable to adapt optimally to the new conditions. Contrary, the conscious mind exists at the moment when the conditions also arise for which it can act flexibly and in accordance with the situation.

Although this suggests that the development of consciousness is of great importance, people are thought from a young age only about the norms of social behavior while, on the other hand, the development of their consciousness is neglected. For this reason, people remain blind and unable to see that problems cannot be solved by further strengthening the rules, but rather by increasing the level of consciousness. Also experience has shown that a purely rule-based approach does not yield lasting results and ultimately fails, not because of our intellect that is capable of memorizing any rule, not even for the ego that encourages the use of rules for its own benefit, but for lack of deeper understanding that comes from a low level of consciousness.

Moreover, until global consciousness is elevated to a higher level, society will try to maintain harmony by taming the mind through conditioning based on the principles of “sugar and whip”. Yet, the unconscious mind is like a circus tiger who only listens instructions when subjected to "punishment and reward" and returns to its wild nature as soon as the conditioning stops. Similarly, as soon as the ego feels safe and not observed, the rules are dropped, which enables the manifestation of behaviour that corresponds to personal consciousness. Unfortunately, when this level is low, people behave in a manner that is below the standards of contemporary culture. Furthermore, since level of consciousness is not always positively correlated with education, social status, or wealth, “risky” behaviour, such as poor hygiene during a pandemic, may occur likewise on the street corner, in the CEO office or at WHO meetings.

The fact that misconduct is distributed through all social layers is ignored because people are conditioned to believe that a higher level of consciousness is ultimately derived from a higher social status or intellect. This assumption is based on the nature of the intellect and the ego, which are actually mental formations whose growth is easier to assess and measure than the level of consciousness that is inherently formless. But like any other form, mental formations are restrained by boundaries that can only be expanded within a predefined range. However, when maximum limit is reached, any challenging situation is a means of creating the first cracks through which a formless consciousness penetrates and paves the way for a deeper understanding. The shift in perception that takes place in such moments allows one to see the manifestations of existence as they truly are, inseparable, inter-depended, in constant interaction, just like a vibrating cosmic body, parts of which can only exist together.

Only this shift in perception can lead to the right measures in situations such as a pandemic or an environmental crisis. In fact, only conscious mind can take mindful measures that go beyond treating symptoms, fighting outbreaks or preparing for new ones. Namely, the conscious mind deals with epidemics holistically and considers causes and symptoms that go beyond manifestations at the level of human health. Furthermore, it brings upon actions that are rooted in deeper understanding than intellectual knowledge and whose effect permeates all levels of existence simultaneously. However, such actions can only arise from the wisdom that teaches us that the overall wellbeing of humans can only be achieved in a healthy environment (natural and social) based on the dynamic harmony of all existence.

Unfortunately, mankind is not yet on an evolutionary level that enables a harmonious existence, and therefore we will continue to face adverse situations until natural balance is restored. Nonetheless, the greatest risk to our species is not catastrophic events, pandemics or climate change, but the unconscious mind. And only when we recognize this risk and try to understand it, will our perception shift from symptoms to root causes, which will allow us to act wisely whenever we face problems that affect us as individuals and species.

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