The Coronavirus Contains Its Own Medicine
By Paul Levy
The coronavirus is a living revelation that is dying to show us something about who we are and our place in the universe. What it is revealing to us is crucially important for us to know. Our very survival depends upon receiving its message.
We have never lived in more uncertain times. There has clearly been something out of whack in our world for as long as any of us can remember, but up until the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic many of us could still afford to be in denial, looking away, avoiding what is more and more insistently staring us in the face. Most of us have been going on with life as normal, pretending—as if playing a game of make-believe—that everything is fine, thank you very much. Anyone who thinks otherwise is labeled crazy, a conspiracy theorist, overly paranoid or otherwise marginalized in any number of ways.
In the most simplistic terms, our world has been out of balance, and we have been ignoring its messages, which—just like a recurring dream—serves to guarantee that its messages will become more amplified and harder to ignore until they reach catastrophic levels. As if the veil is being lifted, the coronavirus pandemic has shown—in no uncertain terms—how thin and flimsy the walls are between a seemingly well-ordered and predictable world and utter chaos. The unconscious ways we have been living—as well as our illusions—have become unsustainable and are breaking down at warp speed. The meaning of the word “catastrophe” in ancient Greek is “a turning point.” We have reached a point of necessary transformation in the evolution of our species.
An invisible specter in the field, the coronavirus is creating havoc in our world, disrupting business as usual as it ripples—both in our world and within our psyches—throughout the globe. To quote the doctor of the soul C. G. Jung, "Everything could be left undisturbed did not the new way demand to be discovered, and did it not visit humanity with all the plagues of Egypt until it finally is discovered." The coronavirus can be envisioned as a modern-day plague of Egypt. It is a living revelation that is dying to show us something about who we are and our place in the universe. What it is revealing to us is crucially important for us to know. Our very survival depends upon receiving its message.
It would take something truly radical—for example, to let the imagination run wild, an invasion by evil aliens from outer space—to snap humanity out of our collective spell of thinking that we are separate from each other so as to inspire us to join forces with each other (adversaries included) to be able to successfully deal with a collective existential threat to our very survival. It is an archetypal idea that forces that would do evil invariably wind up catalyzing a greater good. Regardless of its origin, the coronavirus can be conceived of as being the novel form that the forces of disease and destruction are unwittingly taking to fulfill the function of helping our species recognize our interconnectedness with each other and all of life.
We literally depend upon each other for our very well-being and survival. When seen as a dream symbol laden with a message, the coronavirus reveals to us that instead of fighting each other, we can recognize the indisputable truth—we are all on the same side. We can unite as one so as to overcome our common enemy, which on one level is the coronavirus, but on a deeper level is our ignorance of our connection with each other. In other words, the coronavirus is the medicine that can help us get over ourselves and realize that the most vital and urgent task for humanity is to see through what Einstein famously calls an “optical delusion of consciousness”—the illusion of the separate self.
One of the major symptoms of the coronavirus is that it induces fear, which is known to weaken the immune system, thereby allowing the virus to more easily propagate itself. When fear is collectively mobilized, due to its psychically contagious nature, it takes on a seemingly autonomous and independent life of its own, feeding mass panic that easily turns into a collective psychosis. To see through the illusion of the separate self is at the same time to take away the power that fear has over us (as well as to empower ourselves), for the experience of separation and fear (of “the other”) mutually co-arise, reciprocally reinforcing each other. Genuine compassion (which strengthens the immune system) is the result of this realization.
It is of the utmost significance, however, that the coronavirus is a quantum phenomenon, in that it contains within itself both death-creating poison as well as its own medicine. Encoded in the virus is its own vaccine; as interdependently connected cells in a greater living organism, each of us is being demanded by the coronavirus to realize how we can synergistically co-operate together so as to resist and overcome its invasion. Though itself continually mutating, the coronavirus is, when push comes to shove, forcing us to mutate—to expand our consciousness—or else! As such, the coronavirus is a powerful catalyst for human evolution. How this pandemic will ultimately manifest depends upon—in true quantum style, potentially—whether or not we recognize what it is revealing to us about ourselves.
We clearly haven’t yet been able to sufficiently, as a species, see through the seemingly intractable and persistent illusion of the separate self and recognize our collective interdependence. Seen as a dreaming phenomenon, we have collectively dreamed up a global pandemic, a modern-day plague of Egypt, an invasion by a seemingly alien microbe from which no one is immune so as to help us dispel the primary illusion of the separate self and assist us in facing the reality of who we are in the greater scheme of things. As Jung reminds us, a “new way”—which he likens to an undiscovered vein that lives within the greater body politic of humanity that connects us all—is demanding to be discovered. We will be complicit in creating a tragedy of historic proportions if we miss the hidden, golden opportunity that is encoded within the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus is helping us realize who we are relative to each other—one human family—thereby inspiring us to come together as one. This is the gift concealed within the disease that not only helps us to heal the disease, but heals us as well.