At the beginning of the third year of the Covid Pandemic the point can’t simply be that once a cure is found, everything goes back to normal. After two years of the pandemic, the uncertainty about it persists and may even continue to grow. And we can be seen to be riding up and down on waves of information in a topsy-turvy world where everything can seem uncertain and everything can change in an instant.
The breaking of the current cycle involves breaking the spell of normalcy itself. For an important realization at this point in the history of the world is that there cannot be a return to normal; that everything has already changed and that uncertainty may have to be accepted as a conscious element of reality.
The pandemic, and all of the uncertainty that surrounds it, can be seen as a demonstration of how the “information age” is not simply conducive to good information. New technologies make it easy to collect information and data and distribute it rapidly. However, assessing information and especially understanding it still depends on old fashioned human judgment. Information can go viral and be available in an instant; but actual knowledge and true understanding take much more time to develop.
Genuine knowledge comes from reflection and patience; but also requires that we accept the presence of uncertainty. An ancient idea states that maturity in the human psyche means an increased capacity to hold opposite ideas at the same time. The ancient Greeks called it being double-minded or even many-minded. The point is that if a person only holds a single idea, it's like seeing the world with one eye. And seeing with only one eye can bring a person closer to becoming blind to what's going on.
We could say that the thread of life is leading us further into the tension between all that we used to believe was so certain and the increasing waves of uncertainty that are penetrating all levels of the world right now. Part of finding our way in the midst of all the trouble involves being able to see the world differently and learning to hold contradictory ideas or competing notions at the same time.
The point becomes not so much about what happens in the end, as much as how to be present in the midst of the dramas, tensions and challenges. The real danger is losing the natural human capacity to hold a creative tension until life changes and renews itself. The point becomes how to hold our attention long enough to recognize the unseen third thing that is trying to emerge from the increasing tensions and polarizations of life on Earth.
The real risk in this world has always been becoming one's true self amidst all the uncertainties of existence. The “little self” or ego self feels that it can’t handle life’s uncertainties. Yet, the soul or deeper sense of our self is never simply defeated by the confusions of life. The knowing soul within us knows why we came here, and what we are intended to live for. Learning to live the life of the soul aligns us with paths of true meaning. While we are on those paths, we not only can survive the tensions of life, but we find ourselves able to contribute to the healing and renewal of life.
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On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we send you peace and blessings in this New Year and we thank you for your support of our work.