I want to tell you that I see you, and you see us. Being so tiny, you're immensity.
There is something sacred, powerful, incomprehensible in the smallest. Corona Virus I want to call you Diminute Star. To talk to you, I don't care if you are alive or dead, if you are something or you are nothing. Even if you were nothing, you'd be something like my son says. We name you: you are. Even if you were a microbe that brings sickness -life that brings death-, I sincerely do not resent you; is this another irresponsibility of those of us who are not at war with you?
Could it be that with these words we can break the illusion that objectifies you, that labels you as an object located on the Cartesian plane of (supposed) reality?
Paradoxically, our scientific culture tends to reduce all the phenomena of life to the explainable, to the intellectualizable. However, how could we reduce you if you are the smallest star in the universe? The wonderful big, adult star of our solar system has got us used to pointing out what is day and what is night, what is good and what is bad. Everything written about you must necessarily distinguish what is good to do, and what is bad to do. But in this conversation with you, you do not talk to me about right and wrong. Nor do I try to come to conclusions about what is "right" to do and what is "wrong" to do. Thank you for the tremendous work you've done to stop us. Stop our routines, stop our perception. It's really unprecedented and precious. I'm sure I have no words to do justice to how valuable this civilizational disruption has been. Thank you for interweaving us all humans. In this moment as never before we feel connected by you, every human being with every human being anywhere on the planet. I can't believe it.
Divine little piece of divinity, for you are nothing other than that. We fear you because you are capable of atrocity. It would be too foolish and irresponsible not to protect us from you. We must take you seriously; take drastic measures the sooner the better.
If we lose everything
However, here in Chiapas, southern Mexico, it is hard to imagine quarantines, empty streets and five feet of social distance... Here we are not so educated by adult global knowledge. For various reasons, the prevailing narrative is alien to us (and at the same time, we own it). We could lose what we value most, our loved ones or life itself (how valuable to realize how much we appreciate our life). And then, what would we be? If we lost everything, wouldn't we be what we really are? What we have, our loved ones, our children for example, are so precious in our hearts. Don't think that I am proposing to accept the loss of what we love. No, let's not. But perhaps we can look forward to the loss of the illusion, the loss of all that we are not. Don't think that the proposal is not to fear. No! On the contrary, let's fear. It's beautiful to be fearful! The problem would be precisely "not having" the fear that we do have. How rude we are to ourselves, without feeling what we feel. We have been cruelly rude to our own soul and our own feelings for centuries. In other words, we would not be living. I mean, that's our cultural illusion. To be inert. Inert like a virus or a fragment of deoxyribonucleic acid. Just a "thing". I'm not here emphasizing the distinction between life and non-life, in fact not even a stone is inert insofar as it has movement, insofar as it is seen and insofar as it is relational.
The hidden stones
Respected Diminute Star, you are part of us, the same as the polluted airs, the retreating forests and the missing animals. Same as the hidden stones of our inner being. When you appear, you make people sick and dead, but with your brightness the brightness of life returns. Perhaps some animal reappears out there, perhaps the airs are cleared and the mountains regain their clarity. The birds return. You gave us the gift of stopping the routines, the slowing of the rhythms, and you let the unfathomable stone of doing appear inside me. Even when I stopped doing, my inner self kept on doing, as if there was an unpayable debt. Diminute Star, I can't go on like this anymore, eternally trying to do everything on my "to do list" for an unreachable peace. It doesn't let me be with my children, it doesn't let me be with myself, with my love and with life.
The Agony of Separation
With my colleagues at the Holistic Assembly for Chile (see Beloved Chile, The Everything of you, my english essay about the social revolt in Chile) we felt called to honor the patriarchy by seeing its death. We held its funeral on last December's solstice. And, consequently, we declared ourselves in grief. This mourning, symbolic and real (the distinction is not so great), involves serious losses. The loss, for example, of the certainty and sense of security that the civilization offered us until recently. I am not ridiculing this security, but rather I am honoring it, thanking it. We glimpse it can lead to serious, terrible changes... Curiously, at the moment that some of these feared and unprecedented changes occur, it also happens that we are ready... Suddenly, we breathe and we can live.
As if nothing happened when the most absolute opposite-of-nothing has just happened... In agony and in mourning, everything becomes one.
What beautiful wounds patriarchy -the culture of separation- has left us. A beautiful wound of fear. I am happy to meet fear again in a friendly, loving way. Finally, it doesn't bother me at all that other people are afraid, worried or full of adrenaline. It seems to me totally fine, not only are they absolutely right but their expression is very healthy.
Freedom inside a nut
I thank the governments and health authorities for their speeches, implemented measures and decisions on the pandemic crisis. Not that I would do anything differently. It's not that. The decisions of the authorities, even the restrictive ones, do not restrict me, do not harm me. I feel that they do me good: for example, they make me flow towards stopping, towards changing the pace. Thank you for being human like each one of us. I feel so similar to you. Thank you also for protecting us, for trying (and surely succeeding) in making the pandemic spread much more slowly and with less damage than it could potentially do. Thank you especially for being part of the disruption of civilization, for this paradoxical movement of stopping where whole new worlds become possible. Not being at war, not participating in the fever of adrenaline and cortisol makes us worry about being judged as irresponsible. Am I irresponsible for being calm? Could it be that if I let my son ride his bicycle through his grandparents' compound I am being co-responsible for the spread of the disease? It is not that I am in rebellion against the various measures taken by the authorities. I hear them, I don't deny them. With much gratitude, I have no need to be against any rules. It seems to me that with the simple flow of life there is not so much room to be irresponsible. In other words, I effortlessly follow the rules around me without even trying. It happens. I am tempted to think that the world around me has a lot to do with my inner world. There is no great way that there can be dissonance between me and what surrounds me. How nice to see it that way. I no longer feel threatened by possible judgments, and suddenly I find that no one is judging me. The entire freedom is hidden inside a nut.
They say the only thing to fear is fear itself. Culturally it is a way of saying that what must be done is not to be fearful, and what must be avoided is to be afraid. Now I find myself accepting my fear. How could one not be afraid as one is? Isn't that absurd enough? Perhaps by having the fear that I have (accepting it, feeling it), it becomes completely natural for me to accept the fear of others. The illusion of the separation between good and bad disappears. There is no "better" thing to do than what you are doing, just as it is.
Medicine for the wound of science
I wonder, Corona Virus, if you would help me in my desire to shatter the exaggerated confidence in the dogmas of science. It seems that it still hurts me because otherwise I wouldn't be worried that it would hurt my brothers and sisters, making them believe that they must be "realistic", that the reality around them must be taken seriously, with the truth of Reason. That facts must be accepted as inert matter devoid of spirit.
Especially when the emergency is pressing, we must go to our Patriarch, Our Lord Science. We believe that if our doctrine is to believe in the facts we observe, we shall keep ourselves free from all unreality. But little have we observed in ourselves that which observes. For that, we must feel. Too much have we concluded that reality is alien, physical, Cartesian.
The dogma of science wounds us because it determines that the human heart is not enough, and consequently it diverts us precisely from the central thing: the universe which occurs entirely in the human simplicity of our heart. As long as reality is an external reality, composed of external facts, decisions and circumstances, our heart will always be weak, powerless, and our happiness could never depend entirely on oneself (or the only happiness available would be that of accepting a halfway happiness). I believe that a much more interesting mystery of life awaits us than we imagine.
Perhaps, dear Mr. Science, you protected us from the pain we would feel if we felt everything. Perhaps you have been the compassion we ask for to open our hearts little by little.