The human impulse to seek truth is like a plant’s impulse to grow towards the sun. It’s innate, part of our DNA. But what represents the sun? What are we instinctively drawn towards? It’s our true nature, the Self residing not in the sky, but in the soul.
Self-isolation. Lockdown. Quarantine. Social distancing. The buzzwords of 2020 symbolise forced separation in a world so connected yet so far apart. Seeing loved ones is no longer a given, physical touch is restricted, and many are unable to visit the people they care for the most.
Now is a time of global emergency. But this isn’t cause for despair. Emergencies require urgent attention and often cause panic. Yet emergencies offer opportunities to learn, evidenced by the Latin etymology of emergere: to arise, or bring to light.
Our collective response to the current coronavirus pandemic has the potential to drastically alter the future of humanity and lead to lasting change. What is brought to light emerges from the shadows, and at a time of collective crisis, a spiritual emergence is possible.
I’ve died many times. It’s a strange thing about depression. At least, a strange thing about how my mind works: from a young age, I’ve been presented with worst-case-scenarios in technicolor, painting a picture of catastrophic what ifs. More than once, I’ve lost everything I’ve loved. My world has fallen apart without a brick crumbling in real life.
There are similarities between depression, philosophy and spirituality. Each seeks to understand the existential. I’m fortunate I discovered a spiritual practice which offers refuge from existential anxiety. Thanks to my practice, the context of these mini deaths has shifted — I don’t see them as depressive dysfunction but powerful markers of growth.
If you believe in nothing else, if God does not satisfy your taste, if the fate of humankind feels bleak, if the world makes your heart ache and you question reasons why, if life feels unpredictable and chaotic and uncertain and unknown and faith feels far fetched and spirituality superficial and religion reprehensible, if, if, if you believe in nothing else…
Believe in beauty. The beauty of a moment, the beauty of human connection, the beauty of human resilience, the beauty of the search for meaning, the beauty of a smile or a flutter or skipped heartbeat or people you love being right here right now or random acts of kindness or songs sending chills down your spine or memories that make you cry happy tears or future visions that propel you forwards in times of darkness or films that make you see the world differently or books that shake you to the core or Spotify playlists that remind you of yourself or the really silly things that aren’t silly because they make you feel something.