This video is in Italian, please find here below the English text.
Ho piacere di proporre uno spunto di riflessione che invita ad andare oltre il fare umano e diventare più essere umano.
La vita ci sta chiamando…
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Life is calling on us
It was way back in 1985 or thereabouts when Stevie Wonder sang “What I’m about to say could mean the world’s disaster. It’s that love’s in need of love today.” Now I do not wish to sound so tragic, but I want to say that I am experiencing moments of fear. Maybe it’s the fear to which Dante was referring when he spoke about being lost in a dark wood. It is a fear of the unknown, but also a sense of unease seeing and hearing about all the sick and suffering around. This is the moment when, according to Alice Walker, we need to engage in a furious dance with the demons. And who are the demons in this case? Coronavirus? I’d say no. The demons are what’s causing corona virus? Maybe yes, except that we do not know what’s the cause. Demons are those entities, according to the metaphor of the Hero’s Journey, that block our path. So how to dance with the demons? We will wash our hands a lot, we will keep a safe distance from others, we will observe and suffer the solitude and silence outside. These are ways of dancing with the demons.
But to engage the demons, on the contrary to what is being said “the city never stops,” my invitation is that this is the moment to stop. Not in the sense of switching off our engines, but to stay on hold and ask ourselves “What does life want from us?” It is a profound question to which we may never find an answer. And some other questions, that I quote from a book (page 230 of the Italian version of 50 Reflections for a better life by Arthur A. Sackrule, Armando 2020) are “What is this demon, this moment aiming to teach me, what is being born inside of me, what beliefs can I get rid of, who may I become?”
I’d like to invite us all to ask ourselves these questions. It is nice to see posters outside saying that “Everything will be all right” but all will be well if we ask ourselves a few questions. If we do not learn from this experience, I fear that everything will be just the same as before.
So what is this moment aiming to teach us. I have a suggestion. It is that this moment wants to teach us that we are inter connected at a level that is much, much higher that we ever thought till now. This connection is not only in the present moment of contagion, but when all is passed, we will still be interconnected. We will have a greater sense of a whole. I see lots of initiatives about how to spend the time now that we are confined at home, and a lot of emphasis is about what the individual can do. Again it is all to do with the self. Even though we are isolated, we can still think of a collective whole, “Us.”
When we will be allowed to go out and meet people, we will not hug them only with our hands and arms, but we will figuratively touch their hearts. When we meet others, we will be able to see them as humans as we greet them.
The doctors are doing a splendid job, and I would like to invite those of you who have a doctor friend to pass on this message, that when the emergency is all over, to continue loving their patients. We sometimes think that doctors are more interested in the clinical case than in the person, today this may not be the case, especially with regards to those who are dying. We would like to be able to connect at a higher and more intimate level with all forms of life even when we are in good health.
I think that if we were to realize that the tragic moment now is our doing, we created it, we don’t know how, where or when, but we do know that it isn’t something that was thrown into the universe from above. It is we who have generated it. So how can we learn, can we ask a few questions, so that the situation does not repeat itself, or if it does repeat itself, it will be in other forms, maybe? We can maintain this connection, not only at a biological level, but at a more spiritual level. Can we surrender to this sense of oneness, even in times of peace.
Sometimes as I walk the streets, I greet people I don’t know, and they don’t return the greeting. I’d like to see such behaviors change.
In this moment of unrest, I spend my time thinking not only about myself, but about those who are suffering or dying. I send out good wishes for a speedy recovery, or for those who are dying, for a peaceful death. I think that doctors too can act in a similar way, not just clinically.
I also hear people saying how busy they are, again highlighting the self, it seems that they want the world to know that they are busy. A synonym for busy or busy-ness may be self-importance. Can we can begin to leave this attachment to the self and embrace this community of human beings? Can we be proud not of being Italians, but of being citizens of the world? We can see how senseless it is if only Italians get well, if the same is not happening across the borders, those dividing lines that are political not geographical. We can consider ourselves citizens not only of Europe but of the world.
Before concluding I’d just like to point out how we are bombarded by a certain form of language, the media and sanitary personnel speak about waging war. We know however that in any war, who is defeated does not lay down arms, but waits for a comeback. Instead of spending so much energy to defeat the enemy, would it not be more useful to speak instead about strengthening our own organisms, about being more in harmony inside? Not an easy thing to do in the light of the picturesque language of journalism. But we need to be careful, because the fear that gets instilled, whereas on the one hand will keep us away from sources of infection, on the other hand will tend to weaken our immune system, leaving us more vulnerable to viruses and other agents.
Yes, it is a moment of suffering. Dostoyevsky said he hoped to worthy of the suffering he was forced to undergo. I hope that we too will be worthy of this suffering. Worthy means that we will be up to it, and that we will be able to convert it. As the Tibetan prayer goes, may we be granted enough suffering so as to reawaken in us wisdom and compassion.
Thank you for listening/reading this.