Monday, March 23, 2020

Coronavirus and Near-Death Experience

Is the world having a near-death experience? The Coronavirus is forcing us to be creative in unexpected ways. Yesterday I got in my mail a photo of a proud-looking bowl of what looked like pasta primavera. The veggies were numinous with olive oil, the pasta happily ensconced in the veggies. My friend had sent me ocular proof that he had discovered his Inner Cook.  All the restaurants were closed, thanks to the pandemic, so he discovered the pleasure of mustering a good meal for himself.

What has united the minds of almost everybody is the sudden palpable presence of a possible killer in our midst.  Any one of us could be carrying this and passing it on to others, adding to the viral invasion.  Suddenly, it’s literally correct to say, we are all in a real sense quite possibly near death.   

Now it’s a fact that when individuals have close brushes with death they often have profound experiences. The near-death experience (NDE) is a great challenge to science. People report that they see and feel extraordinary things, and are transformed by the experience.  They have out of body flights, encounter a mystical light, meet deceased loved ones, watch their whole life flash before them, and often emerge with new psychic powers.  All this has been repeatedly been proven by scientific studies of NDEs. 

Even thinking anxiously about the proximity of death sometimes ignites similar explosions of creative consciousness.  Meanwhile yogis and mystics through meditation, solitude, and ascetic practices attempt to achieve states of mind that are like being near death.  But why should being near death do such transformative things to our minds?

One thing seems clear.  Being near death pulls our consciousness away from all the things we normally fixate on.  It breaks up our routine habits and perceptions. It forces our whole mind in a new direction, away from the outer toward the inner world.  In the space we create by turning away, we see the crack in the cosmic egg, and a door comes ajar where light can now pour in.

Something like that is happening to people everywhere, we’re being told to distance ourselves from others, which is a kind of little death.  As a result, we’re forced back into ourselves.  Ripped from the normal rhythm of our lives, we’re given a chance, a breather from our daily routines, to see new things and to see old things in new ways. 

The essence of the near-death experience is that a person’s attention is torn away from one’s external world and driven inward.  Being suddenly driven inward often results in making contact with realities normally inaccessible. Veteran explorers of consciousness understand this, and by methods of mind control and radical forms of social distancing explore our spiritual potential.  How the transaction plays out is always a unique story that has to be lived through by each person.  Most of us aren’t shamans or yogis. Often it’s some accident like illness that stirs the inner depths and sets us on a path toward spiritual expansion.

Well, it seems as if nature has forced our hand so that we are all suddenly halted in our tracks.  Was it a pure accident or is it a contrivance of some enigmatic Mind at Large to stop the world?  To halt economics, our petty wars and hatreds, to stop our own bodies from moving about and freely interacting with other bodies?

Is something trying to force us to think, meditate, create, and come together as a species?  Are we being given a chance to discover the “Inner Cook” that we had neglected for so long?

The challenge is not only how to survive the pandemic but how to retain the spirit of cooperation after the present plague is part of history.  Perhaps we’ve been given a chance to muster the creative genius of the species to come out a better kind of humanity.



Tim said...

This pandemic is the polite warning. Humankind needs to either learn to live in harmony with other life forms, of face its doom.

Michael Grosso said...

Yes, I agree with you Tim,but we don't want to live in harmony with a deadly virus like the one we're dealing with now.

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