The Coronavirus pandemic is assaulting our health, disturbing our peace of mind and forcing us to question values and priorities. For some it will challenge their core beliefs.
Among the many news items that hit my inbox today was an article urging everyone to get out in the sunshine to absorb some vitamin D and brighten our mood, in anticipation of a possible lockdown, confining us all indoors for a while. In fact I shared a story on social media last week titled “Coronavirus and the Sun: a Lesson from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic” (read the article HERE) which included the line, “sunlight is germicidal and there is now evidence it can kill the flu virus.”
The Coronavirus has also given many of us pause to take stock of our life values. When faced with our mortality, we tend to reflect on our spiritual beliefs and re-examine those non-material goals that we may have said we’ve been too busy to follow through on, up until now.
I see on social media today that a number of New Age teachers are proclaiming this virus as the advent of a new awareness, while others fear it heralds an apocalypse. The pandemic affects both rich and poor alike – though there are concerns the gap of inequity could actually widen in its aftermath.
We each ask our own existential questions: Why has the virus come at this time (particularly for those of us in Australia who have just been through bushfires, droughts and then, for some, floods). Or, how can this be happening to me? Who or what is responsible for creating the problem, and why?
Then comes the uncomfortable inquiry into our authentic selves. Were we truly fulfilled and inspired by what we hitherto considered to be ‘normal’ life? How much time have we been spending doing what we love? Have we repressed our inner passion, getting caught up in the hectic and often meaningless pursuits of modern life? Have we given away too much power to negative forces?
At a time when many are doing physical exercises to stay fit while cooped up indoors, and others find activities to relieve the mental tedium and depressing circumstances of isolation, some of us turn to ‘spiritual exercises.’ The main point I would like to make in this blog is that it is never too late to pursue the path of self-realization.
Sure, if you’re getting on in years, the chance to become a lifetime devotee of a particular mystical or spiritual discipline may have passed you by; but recently it has become increasingly evident to me that the average person instinctively understands they have an inner self or, if you prefer, a higher part of the self. I say this because we all talk about following our heart; our heart of hearts; the bottom of our heart; heartfelt intentions. Most of us, when we refer to ourselves in conversation, automatically point to our heart. (As a side note, I have always been intrigued that Thai people use the term kow jai to indicate understanding – it literally means to enter the heart.)
People have, for a long time, spoken about the separation of head and heart. But lately, everywhere I look I see new age articles about how to reconnect with your heart, and the consciousness of the heart. Ever since reading a book called The Division of Consciousness in the nineties, I have been exploring how our innermost, intangible beings have become divided, causing us to feel a constant tug of war going on inside between the “angel and the beast” within us.
Then a few months ago I was blessed with the opportunity to read the book, The Secret of the Golden Flower, translated by Richard Wilhelm with commentary by Carl Jung, which incorporates ancient Chinese wisdom. With the primary intention of getting the concepts of it straight in my mind, I wrote down my own interpretation of it in a brief article on one of my websites. Following are two excerpts from that piece.
The Hebrew tradition, not to mention other apparently unrelated cultures around the world, has left us with legends of Fallen Angels, the Fall of Mankind and a Great Flood. On the subject of the Fall of Mankind, I became intrigued many years ago by the premise of a book titled The Division of Consciousness by Peter Novak. Could the Fall refer to our descent to the Earthly plane from a higher realm, resulting in a division of ‘Self’? When you stop to think about it, many (if not all) of humankind’s woes are caused by separation and division among people, and by competition – which is drilled into us from a young age and presented as being good for us.
Following the same line of thinking, it can be said that each person is divided within themselves. Which may be why the words inscribed at the Temple of Delphi exhorted us to ‘know ourselves.’ And why Jesus stated in the evangelical gospels that we need to be ‘born again,’ and in the Gospel of Thomas that we need to make the ‘two into one.’ And why mystical orders teach us of the need for an ‘alchemical marriage.’
Six months ago I published a blog called Mending the Divided Self in which I wrote about how we search for the part of our self that is ‘separated.’ The first thing many will think of in this regard is a split between body and soul, or even between the left and right brain. I have been studying various religious teachings, mystical orders and esoteric techniques for most of my life, and particularly in earnest over the past 25 years, so I have formed, under guidance, my own approach and practices. Since joining Cosolargy 5 years ago, I have come to realize that the Sun and its Light play a much greater role in our lives, both physically and spiritually, than I had hitherto appreciated.
The Secret of the Golden Flower identifies our two divided parts like this:
The first is called Human Nature but also referred to as Consciousness. Jung called it the personal Logos and, if you like to think in terms of the divided Yin & Yang symbol, this is the Yang. It is connected with what the Chinese called the Heavenly Heart, said to reside in the ‘one square inch’ between the eyes. It may also be identified as Spirit.
The second component is known as Life – the Vital Breath (and many will be familiar with the Oriental terms Chi, Qi and Ki – the Vital Life Force). Jung called it the personal Eros. It is Yin and equates to Soul.
[End extract. For the entire article click HERE]
The whole point of the Golden Flower technique is to circulate the Light within your Self and reconnect the two inner components that have become separated. As my readers would expect, the Sun plays an integral part in doing this and generating your Light Body.
For readers who are feeling the impact of home isolation and perhaps suffering from an unfamiliar sense of loneliness, an important part of the Golden Flower work is that the elusive ‘ideal partner’ you may have been searching for over the years probably represents that inner part of yourself. You might be looking outwardly for the qualities you already posses within, and your inner heart may well be the perfect complement to your outer consciousness.
There is abundant evidence that the world is changing forever, right here, right now. ‘Preppers,’ who exist in greater number in the U.S., are claiming vindication for their way of life, while a number of respected financial commentators are predicting the economies of some countries will collapse completely. The main concern then would be maintaining law and order. That in turn would be a test of whether humankind chooses to follow the Light, or the Darkness.
It is not my intention here to make predictions. When I started publishing my online magazine Australian Esoteric three years ago, it was in the belief that the time would soon arrive when the world would undergo drastic changes, and I felt that some of us ought to light beacons now that might guide seekers through a period of darkness, and ensure that certain truths survive once the storm has passed.
We are living in an uncertain age. Our spiritual practices can help us evaluate and prepare for the impermanence, decay and inevitable death of our earthly existence. To quote the Desiderata, “No doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should.” The Sun is central not only to our solar system but also to human life itself.
I will write more in my next blog about practical ways to attune with its frequency.