Expand the Observer to think objectively
Coronavirus has taken over the attention of the human mind like none other. The fear of unknown has sent the world into a vortex of anxiety. The rate of mortality of Covid 19 is less than many others. However, the rate of spread and the absence of knowledge on the cause and cure are creating concern and anxiety. As a race, we have experienced and successfully reduced the spread and impact of many diseases such as plague, small pox, SARS, polio, HIV aids, malaria etc. The advent of each disease caused fear and panic and then, as the scientists continued with their research, solutions emerged.
Death is a certainty that we are born with. Beyond disease, there are so many causes of death, like accidents, old age, war, etc. The inevitable is a fact of life; the only unknown is timing and cause. Then why do we avoid this topic or resist the reality? I am saddened to see that so many people feel they can control or avoid death. On the evening of January 18, 2008, my mother suddenly went into coma. Three hours before, while chanting single pointedly, I had experienced a surge of energy.
On an instinct, I called my mother and told her that I am sending energy to help her heal. Soon after, she went into come. I could not reconcile with the turn of events and my possible role in the eventuality. Traumatised, I spoke to Swami Swatmananda of Chinmaya Mission and immediately he responded, we cannot control death, you simply made it easier for her to transition. Thinking objectively, I realised that I was over imagining my powers in an event that is totally controlled by Nature.
We cannot determine when and how we will die. There are so many other ways that death could occur, we have to learn to live with uncertainties. We can however, choose how we live. For instance, in the case of Covid-19, I appreciate the need to not hug indiscriminately and wash our hands more frequently, which are anyway good hygiene practices. In everyday living, we follow rules regarding crossing roads, on a flight, personal boundaries and hygiene is an added dimension that has been introduced. In the Indian culture, Namaste is the form of greeting. It symbolises respect for another soul, respects cultural and gender differences by maintaining physical and emotional boundaries and is hygienic.
Fear is such a strong negative emotion that it reduces our ability to think rationally. The irrational mind simply assumes that it will be the unlucky one and loses the ability to support oneself or another. Also, fear reduces our immunity because our inherent nature is happiness and when we disturb our inner balance, our body become more susceptible to infections and diseases. Also, have we considered the probability of getting the coronavirus or possibility of avoiding the coronavirus. How long can we stay indoors or survive on the face masks and sanitizers. We come in contact with so many foreign objects every moment, it is not possible to avoid contact of all kind. We can be careful and observe hygiene, but we cannot lock ourselves away from life. The more we lock ourselves away from life, the higher are the chances of depression, suicide and other mental illnesses.
The fear of unknown creates a need to seek a sense of belonging and safety. We run helter- skelter or withdraw or arm ourselves with guns and weapons. While I understand the need to be cautious and protect ourselves, however, panic and hoarding don’t serve us at all. In times of fear, the thoughts and emotions arising from the fear act as a veil and inhibits our ability to listen to our inner voice. Our inner voice is the true guide that serves us to deal with unknowns When we control our emotions and think calmly, we can discern what to do or not. Human
beings are the only manifestation of Universal Love, who have the ability to observe and be aware of their existence. When we live with awareness, we can choose our state of being in any moment and embrace every facet of life fully, including unknowns.
As I am writing, I am asking myself, if we are so scared to die, then why are we not living. What a paradox! Our fear of death even prevents us from living. I have experienced two near death accidents and it was only then, that I learnt that I was not honouring the gift of life because my life was filled with fears. The best way to counter fear is to live life to the fullest. Let’s embrace life and develop a relationship with our inner voice to confront our perceptions and release the deep seated attachments to fear. When we anchor our emotions, in that state of calm, we can listen and act in alignment with our inner voice. A blessing in disguise, the coronavirus is forcing us to withdraw from all external distractions and giving us the time to question our choices. It’s a time for reflection, a time to reconnect with our loved ones, a time to rebuild our health, a time to grow as human beings and above all, a time to be grateful for
the gift of life.
The play of life is designed to provoke us turn inwards, reconnect with our source of life to expand the observer. Living with awareness paves the way to living a successful multifaceted life. There are an abundance of opportunities and experiences available for us to explore. When we get attached to the fear of unknown, we limit our ability to experience life to the fullest. Whereas, when we question our perceptions and assumptions, we are able to confront and release our fears. I was very inspired by the story of an entrepreneur who was ill with cancer. When advised by the doctors to not work, she turned around and said, my body is sick, not my mind. Let’s conquer the fear and repossess the power to observe and live life with awareness. When we live with faith in the possibility of life, life serves us with abundance.
Originally Published in the Speaking Tree