All my life I have gone to the heart of the matter. When I graduated from college, I volunteered to fly fighters because I felt that was the heart of the Air Force. My eye sight prevented me, so I joined the Infantry because I felt that was the heart of the Army. Then I became a Green Beret officer because I felt that was the heart of the heart of the Army. When I wrote about quantum physics, I reached for the heart of this new discipline so I could write a book about it without scientific jargon and give non-scientists like me a clear and understandable explanation of it. That book won The American Book Award for Science, I believe, because it did exactly that.
I have come to see the heart of everything that we do and experience, individually and as a species, as consciousness. Our consciousness. My consciousness. Changing anything in the world, including myself, requires changing consciousness. The only place I can change consciousness is in myself.
Now I come to the coronavirus. Like everything I see around me, I see the coronavirus as symbolic. It has a lesson to teach me, and in my opinion, it has a lesson to teach us. The coronavirus is real in that it kills, the world economy is crippled, hundreds of millions have no work or shelter or comforting hand to hold theirs when they are ill. The most difficult is yet to come in economically undeveloped countries and collectives.
At the same time, the coronavirus shows me what fear in my consciousness – anger, jealousy, resentment, feelings of superiority and entitlement, feelings of inferiority and need to please, and every obsession, compulsion and addiction – has created in me: distance from others, incapacitation, and indifference. I see fear in my consciousness contributing to the massive global experience that comes to us as the coronavirus. I also see love in my consciousness – gratitude, appreciation, caring, patience, awe of the Universe – contributing to a new human species of unimaginable constructive potential. We contribute to it each time we choose love instead of fear.
The coronavirus offers each of us – all eight billion of us – opportunities to choose love instead of fear in the same context at the same time! For example, we choose love when we isolate ourselves in order to protect others as well as ourselves. We choose fear when we isolate ourselves to protect only ourselves. “Social” distance becomes loving distance when we create it to protect others as well as ourselves. It becomes fearful distance when we create it to protect only ourselves. We are in love when we wear a mask to protect others from the virus that may be in us. We are in fear when we wear it only to protect ourselves from the virus that may be in others. We choose love when we leave the last package of pasta on the shelf for someone else to buy. We choose love every time we make the needs of others as important to us as our own.
The coronavirus is unlike any event in our history. It calls us to participate in a new and different human species that creates consciously with love instead of unconsciously in fear. It invites us into the sunlight for the first time.
I hold this reality close in my heart every moment, and I offer it to you to hold as well.”
The choice is always yours.