Cut the Bullshit and Get Real: ‘Spiritual’ Reactions to COVID-19
People across the spiritual community are linking the coronavirus to many things, investing it with some sort of cosmological or political significance, and making claims about its so-called ‘meaning’. The virus also represents a golden opportunity for conspiracy theorists to invent fantastical assertions that challenge our political structures. Examples include:
· The virus is a catalyst for a global spiritual awakening
· The crisis represents how the governments across the world are brainwashing us through the media
· Billionaire philanthropists across the globe, who are using their wealth to research vaccines, are really doing it for money and control
· The virus is linked to Fifth-Generation technology
· The virus has been manufactured in a lab as a biochemical weapon
· The virus is not ‘real’
Groundless assertions such as these are remnants of a subversive counter-culture ideology which has its provenance in 1960’s. We’re not living in the 60’s anymore: it’s time to change the record, get real, and cut the bullshit. The virus affects us all. It does not herald a great awakening, nor is it part of a political agenda or conspiracy to restrict our freedoms and brainwash us. Such claims are divisive: they are rooted in fear, suspicion, and anti-establishment sentiment and serve only to perpetuate a mindset of fear and division at a time in our collective human history when we need hope and togetherness.
Since the onset of the virus, a plethora of self-professed spiritual gurus have crawled out of the woodwork, each claiming to know the ‘truth’ behind the coronavirus crisis, as if they have some sort of privileged knowledge. But the reactive spiritual fluff we see across social media is at risk of bypassing a very real global crisis at a time when human compassion and respect for science goes hand in hand: as well as togetherness we need balance between logic and intuition, which means integrating all our human gifts, both of the head and the heart. As within so without, and so anything else results in internal separation and, by extension, division between each other.
Assigning a cosmological, spiritual role to the virus in the ‘awakening’ of mankind is to deny the virus of its identity. The virus is simply that — a virus — and it does not give a shit about our collective awakening: its sole purpose is replication and transmission, and it is killing hundreds of thousands of people across our planet in the process. To suggest that this virus has originated as a gift to facilitate our ascension and bring humanity back into a place of love is rooted in extreme arrogance, self-centredness, and an anthropocentric view of the cosmos. The virus is not here ‘for us’ any more than Mount Everest or the common cold is here ‘for us’. It is natural, biological phenomenon and arose due to a series of completely rational and predictable evolutionary events, so much so that scientists have been expecting a pandemic of this kind for many years.
By refusing to engage with the reality of this disease, whether consciously or unconsciously, we are at risk of bypassing the truth of the situation. There is indeed a lot we can learn about ourselves from this crisis, but the pandemic has not arisen as a lesson in its own right. The lesson comes later, that is, in how we respond to it. And how we choose to respond to it says a lot about us, our values, our beliefs, and our preference for either fear or love.
For example, a number of people have reacted out of fear, professing that lockdown is an infringement of our human rights and freedoms. Yes, the directive to stay at home does curb our human freedoms, albeit temporarily and necessarily so, for without lockdown the disease would spread, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths. And yet some people are prepared to flout the rules and guidelines as a protest against the government, or in the name of personal liberation, or out of downright defiance and spite. To do so is to take a stance that is politically and selfishly motivated: such an attitude is irresponsible, grossly self-centred, and far from ‘spiritual’. Controlling the pandemic isn’t about limiting our personal freedoms: it is about saving lives. If you choose to interpret the situation of lockdown as an infringement on your rights, then it is your choice to frame your reality in such a way; a way that is rooted in fear and suspicion. And herein lies a blatant contradiction amongst many ‘spiritual’ people who promulgate the importance of choosing love over and above fear. We have the choice to reframe our perception of the situation and instead focus on lockdown as a measure of protection, not a measure of control. The virus isn’t about you and it does not revolve around you: it is about mitigating risk as part of our collective responsibility to control the virus and prevent death, for it affects us all.
And what about the various criticisms — and indeed outright blaming — of governments across the world? And even more ridiculous, assertions that the virus is a man-made biological weapon? Such claims are not grounded in the pursuit truth, but rather smack of self-righteousness. And once again, we see an underlying hypocrisy amongst ‘spiritual’ communities who profess that a blame-orientated mindset is un-spiritual and antithetical to a fifth-dimensional consciousness. But do these government detractors balance their hyper-emotional response to the crisis with reason, logic, or even basic common sense? Rarely. For example, why would governments consciously and collectively create a mass recession that will detrimentally affect economies across the globe for decades to come? They wouldn’t. Claims to the contrary lack basic common sense. Moreover, some people see the virus as portending the end of Capitalism; but Capitalist countries would not intentionally create a virus that would signal the demise of its own socio-economical lifeblood. The virus is not a nefarious government plot to control us, for if it is, then which country is trying to control us? All of them? Are all governments across the world in collusion as part of some mass mind-control agenda? No. Such illogical and absurd claims smack of conspiracy theorising and fear mongering. The virus is a global phenomenon. It affects each and every government. It does not care about political power or allegiance. The virus simply is.
Some ‘spiritual’ people even claim that government slogans — such as ‘stay at home’ or ‘stay safe’ — are instilled in us to ‘prime’ us into submitting to certain mindsets and behaviours as part of a mass global agenda to control our minds. This is not unique to the virus or unique to the government, if we believe that advertisers have been ‘priming’ our minds for decades in exploiting our fears and desires. And here’s the rub. Self-help and spiritual gurus are as much a part of this so-called priming as any other sector in the marketing world. Scroll through your social media feed and you will see a multitude of memes and mantras posted by spiritual gurus and their followers to instil in us certain beliefs, values, attitudes and practices as a means to tout their wares or plug their ideology. They are not selling us the ‘truth’: they are selling us a belief system, and we buy it. Herein lies yet another hypocrisy: spiritual communities denigrate the government for priming, and yet they belong to the very communities that do the same: the tools and tactics are the same; the only difference is the ideology they sell.
If we believe the media is lying to us and controlling us, and if we choose to invent unfounded conspiracy theories to escape from the reality of this virus, then our mindset is firmly rooted in fear, suspicion, and bypassing which serves to add more shit to an already steaming pile. This is not only unhelpful but grossly hypocritical, and so if we want to rise above the lies and the bullshit then we must stop contributing to it. A number of ‘spiritual’ people are jumping on the bandwagon of various, spurious, ludicrous conspiracy theories in order to make the coronavirus seem more significant, most likely in order to justify their claims that this must be the great awakening; but what if this isn’t the great awakening after all? What then? It is as if some ‘spiritual’ people are so desperate for this event to be the great awakening that they are trying to make it so — or make it seem so — by inventing all sorts of wild and wonderful claims, and by inventing all sorts of conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact or reality. But why?
Since the start of their spiritual journeys, ‘light workers’ have been waiting for this moment in our human history: the paradigm shift, the shift to fifth-dimensional consciousness, the great awakening or whatever we choose to call it has been instilled in us in the books we read, in the YouTube videos we watch, and in the spiritual groups we interact with, so wouldn’t it be awesome if we actually got to experience this event and, what is more, play a key part in it? After all, isn’t it the Age of Aquarius, which is when the Great Awakening is supposed to happen? That is assuming it actually is the Age of Aquarius, because the thing is, no one can actually agree when the Age of Aquarius started, plus it lasts for 2160 years. If the great awakening does indeed take place in the Age of Aquarius, then the chances are anyone reading this will not be around to witness it.
Moreover, mass, global, cultural change takes generations to take effect. To put it in perspective, to change the ‘culture’ of a medium sized organisation of around 6,000 employees, it takes over ten years, and that is with limited effect. Therefore, even if this coronavirus crisis were the catalyst to our great awakening, then once again we will not be around to see it. So perhaps our focus should instead be on the lessons we can learn for ourselves and for our world right now.
Whether a great, global awakening nor not, it appears that the majority of people within the spiritual community welcome some form of change following the end of the pandemic. They do not want to see a return to ‘norm’, the way things were, because for them it was the ‘norm’ — our behaviours, our beliefs, our perceptions, our habits — that was the problem in the first place. For me, this sweeping perspective does not do the human race justice. For many, a return to the ‘norm’ is welcome: a return to spending time with friends and loved ones; a return to their livelihoods; a return to routine and structure; a return to wellbeing and security; a return to our basic freedoms such as being able to go to the park, a restaurant, a café, or the gym. As things are, the police cannot focus on tackling many crimes as they are deployed for crowd control; healthcare workers are overworked and at the point of burn out; the economy is heading for certain doom with the threat of a subsequent recession that will impact us for years to come. With this in mind, was the ‘norm’ really so bad? For me, the awakening attendant upon the pandemic is simply a lesson in gratitude, for it makes us appreciate what we had: it enables us to appreciate the very ‘norm’ that so many people are resistant to. For this reason, the awakening is more a matter of remembering, and it is not so ‘great’, for it simply serves to valorise what we had before the pandemic, and it helps us to better appreciate it. Gratitude, then, becomes the foundation, the basis, for building something better for the future, whatever that may be.
For those people who do not want to return to the ‘norm’, then they might want to question why. For example, what is it about their lives that they are afraid of returning to? Perhaps some people are so dissatisfied with their existing reality that they welcome the idea of a reborn society, for it provides a different reality than the one they currently have.
The idea of a great awakening, paradigm shift, or beginning of a New Earth — based on flimsy conjecture and with nothing real or robust to back it up — is a less noxious example of the fake news currently being spread by a number of conspiracy theorists who profess to be ‘spiritual’. Put simply, someone invents a wild theory that has no basis in reality or fact, shares their unfounded opinions, which then gains traction on social media, subsequently attracting many like-minded but easily led people to believe it as some sort of ‘truth’; but in reality, their theory is an opinion at best, nothing more: it is purely subjective and is not validated by objective data or fact. Other people believe in it without asking questions and, on a larger scale, we soon find that the invented fictions are more popular than the actual facts of a situation: the news we watch on the television is more ‘real’ than the fake news we read about in spiritual groups; but it is the very people who oppose the mass media who are inventing and disseminating that fake news. It is hypocrisy par excellence.
There is an inherent danger, not to mention a sheer lack of responsibility, in making unfounded claims. Let’s take the recent conspiracy theory about the link between 5G wireless technology and COVID-19: many people have fallen for the fake news and, as a result, a series of arson attacks have taken place across the globe whereby fanatics have burned down 5G phone masts. Consequently, vital calls to the emergency services could not get through: perhaps someone had suffered an accident, or had witnessed a crime, or was reporting a fire; but their call for help was in vain, leaving people vulnerable, or even at risk of death. Therefore, these insane and irresponsible arson attacks inadvertently posed a real threat to people’s lives, as if the threat of the pandemic wasn’t enough. When conspiracy theories, which are often invented and disseminated in the name of ‘spirituality’, lead to crime, mindless vandalism, and a threat to life, can we really believe that this is the ‘great’ awakening, when the very people who foretell the awakening are the catalysts for so much unnecessary social disorder, vandalism, and even death? What has it come to when the so-called prophets of the New Earth are inspiring unlawful violence? If this is the awakening, then it is not great. Actually, it is shameful. Arsonists and the like are people who are predisposed to violent, disruptive behaviours, and the conspiracy theory simply gives them an excuse to behave in such a shameful manner.
What is more, some so-called ‘spiritual’ people are highly judgmental of anyone who does not buy into their claims: rather than provide any robust evidence for their theories, they simply brand the unbeliever ‘ignorant’, ‘un-awakened’, or even accuse them of being part of the conspiracy itself. Does that not sound like the ego-centred mindset of the very authorities they claim to undermine and expose? Anyone who claims to be a spiritual person, light worker, starseed, or whatever else must do so with an understanding that people who are lost and searching for answers will look up to them, follow them, even emulate them. For this reason, there is a huge responsibility attached to the claims that we make about the world; but are our claims more about us than about the world itself?
Conspiracy theorists take great umbrage at being called a ‘conspiracy theorist’ for they believe they are the bringers of light and truth; but what truth? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, and it is robust, sound, empirical evidence that is so often lacking in validating the conspiracy theorist’s subjective fictions. And so why do conspiracy theorists feel the need to invent such false realities? What psychological, emotional, behavioural, and socio-economic factors determine how they perceive and react to certain events? The recurring theme amongst the majority of conspiracy theories is a desire to expose some form of corruption amongst the powerful, the rich, and the elite: the general theme that there is a mass cover-up, or the authorities are out to get us. Therefore, we might ask ourselves: do we have some kind of unresolved trauma, fear, or experience relating to a person or persons of authority from our past? Perhaps there is an unresolved feeling of powerlessness attached to an early-life experience that makes some people interpret quarantine — which is essential for saving lives — as some form of entrapment, or breach of their human liberty. Unresolved issues from the past can manifest in various ways, and sometimes in the form of conspiracy theories. It is incumbent upon us, therefore, to be mindful of whether the false facts and fictions we invent are to do with the coronavirus, or more to do with ourselves.
Indeed, government regulations are enforced to protect us, not imprison us. How we react to lockdown says a lot about our mindset. If we choose to see quarantine as imprisonment, or a lack of self-empowerment, then it is rooted in a mindset of fear and disenfranchisement. Most likely, people who adopt such a mindset have longstanding issues with authority figures and feel disempowered in their personal lives. We may also feel trapped in a situation, which leads us to react to any sort of infringement on our liberty — such as the government trying to save lives through lockdown — with such self-centredness. This deep-rooted mistrust and fear of humanity, which serves only to divide us, is not ‘spiritual’. As light workers or whatever, aren’t we supposed to have faith in humanity? Yet it seems spiritual reactions to this very real crisis are either rooted in fairy tale fantasy (the virus heralds a great awakening way of thinking) or flagrant falsity (as in the case the conspiracy theorist fear mongers). These reactions are divisive and escapist. They point to a tendency within spiritual thinking per se to bypass any sort of concrete reality we find unsettling, scary, or even life threatening.
Spiritual communities claim that the governments and the media, across the entire planet, are lying to us. Once again, self-professed spiritual gurus claim to have access to some kind of privileged truth about the nature, origin, and impact of the virus without any reference to the actual facts or the leading scientific consensus. Their so-called ‘truths’ are invented as a means of creating an alternate ‘reality’ whereby the virus is something it is not, which is tantamount to spiritual bypassing. What is more, the relentless battle that many spiritual people seem to have with media is in turn promoting a lack of trust in the government and its guidance, thereby resulting in people flouting the lockdown rules. Some spiritual people are even defying the rules outright in the name of personal liberation or anti-establishment protest, or out of sheer ignorance. Is it ‘spiritual’ to break the law in the name of personal freedom and potentially infect someone else with a life-threatening virus? It isn’t spiritual, it’s downright selfish. Such people may not have the disease themselves, but they may be carrier of it. But then many ‘spiritual’ people would claim, irresponsibly, that the virus itself isn’t ‘real’: it has been created by the government, or the media, leaving us once again in conspiracy theorist territory. Such attitudes are simply a means of shirking responsibility in the name of ‘truth’.
I’m not naïve enough to claim that the media does not influence us, or that the government is free from corruption. But that is nothing new. Our lifestyles, opinions, and even our beliefs are influenced by the messages we consume on a daily basis, largely through social media, and ‘spirituality’ is as much a part of this ideological matrix as everything else. What makes the spiritual memes, documentaries, channelled messages, and anything else we subscribe to more ‘truthful’ than any other system of belief or ideology? Spiritual gurus use the same marketing and subliminal tactics as other business owners to tout their wares. We just seem to be blind to the fact, because the ideology they sell is dressed up in ‘spiritual’ jargon.
If we truly believe in the ascension of humanity, then it’s time to trust humanity. Stop blaming. Stop shaming. Especially those who are trying to manage the situation. Yes, they have power and authority as leaders of the world. That is their job, and most have been elected to lead us. If they don’t get us through this crisis with their power, financial resources and influence, then who will? Let’s get real and cut the bullshit. Let’s see this virus for what it is: a virus; not a great awakening, or a worldwide conspiracy. Let’s foster trust and togetherness, not fear and divisiveness.
Fear and mistrust divide us. Faith in people unites us. You choose.