It is amazing how many people are asking about the message of the corona epidemic. In forty years of practicing I never have experienced this question being asked so frequently and so sincerely. It feels like it is in the air, that this pandemic is special and that it really has to tell us something.
Let me try an answer from the point of view of healing.
When I deal with a patient with the intention of helping her/him heal, then I have to ask myself what is being expressed in the disease. Three aspects can give hints for an understanding:
- What needed healing in someone’s life before the illness began? What provided the soil on which a disease could grow? What got the patient out of balance and made him/her susceptible for the pathogen?
- What does the disease do with us, how does it affect us and what does it make us change in our lives? How do we react? Where does it guide us?
- What is the message of the main homeopathic remedies that are being used successfully?
Let us look into these three areas of the coronavirus pandemic.
1) What was the soil that the coronavirus grew in?
In the healing arts, we focus on the acute symptoms of a patient but we always include the time before the disease manifested itself. Often, the real problem shows itself there, and the disease can be understood as nature’s way to correct what went wrong before. On an individual level, we might for example get sick when we move out of alignment with our life’s purpose and the sickness brings us back on track. Epidemics and pandemics also have a message. In a pandemic we need to look at what was going on, indeed, going wrong on a global scale, before the outbreak. So, what might have been the problem before the onset of the spread of the coronavirus that required our attention?
In my understanding, the global problem before the outbreak of COVID-19 was climate change and species extinction. Well, this is not quite true as many solutions were available that would change the situation drastically. So the problem was not really climate change and species extinction, the real problem was a cumulative collective apathy, indifference and even denial of the global problems of climate change and species extinction. Billions of people seem to think, or act as if, these problems do not affect them, or that somebody else is supposed to do something about them. In the face of global warming and the ongoing loss of diversity of life, this is a completely inappropriate attitude. I would say it is a collective mental disease. As we were not willing to listen, as we were not getting the severity and urgency, Nature, Grandmother Earth, needed to say it louder. So she sent the coronavirus. Maybe it is a global wake-up call initiating us into the necessity to come together as a global community and to get active. All the suppressed fears needed to rise out of their subconscious prison in order to be held in our awareness, in order to make it clear what is at stake and in order to make us work together.
2) How do we react?
There are two different kind of reactions: an immediate reaction which is a symptom of the disease that needs healing, and a more gradual response which is a healing movement.
When its severity was clear, the immediate reaction to the pandemic was fear, a very appropriate reaction given what is at stake. Those of us who were overwhelmed by the fear reacted according to the individual structure of our psyche. Some of us went numb, others started racing and getting into all kinds of hurried activity, others simply denied it, the next one got angry and started blaming who or whatever. All these are very understandable but not helpful reactions. These reactions are part of the problem, they are part of what needs healing.
A little later we saw more grounded responses. People started to connect on the internet and by phone, started to communicate, to care for each other. Parallel to social distancing many people moved closer together, using all the methods modern technology can provide. We even came together to act unified globally, many nations cooperated, many politicians acted amazingly fast. In a short period of time things were possible that seemed impossible when we dealt with the global threat of climate change and environmental degradation.
We already can see two things: We can see what needed healing and we can see how the virus is guiding us to accomplish that.
– What needed healing is our apathy. The virus surely woke us up.
– What needed healing was our procrastination. The virus got us to act.
– What was needed was working together: In no time global cooperation was possible. Things got done even though there was so much that we did not know about the virus. This time there were no excuses like the call for more research before an action would be possible.
– What was needed was compassion, feeling with those who are suffering. The virus opened our hearts so we reached out to each other and are supporting each other.
3) What are the remedies effective in the present pandemic telling us?
I cannot go through each one of them here. However, daring to summarize I would say:
- The remedies teach us to integrate fear.
The strong fear reaction to the pandemic is not just caused by the virus; the virus also brings fear to the surface that was hiding in our subconscious. (If you have not, you may want to read my last newsletter as it deals exclusively with this topic: https://vancouverislandhomeopathy.com/being-seen/ ).
Fear comes from former painful experiences. When these traumatic experiences stay undigested, then we stay in a state of fear that something similar would come again.
- The remedies help us to deal with old traumatic experiences. As such they set a process of integration into motion in which fear can be held in our awareness and give way to grief which mostly is the final step of integration. In grief we can relax and then there is space for a future.
Compassion, feeling with and for each other, is a major quality needed if we are to tackle our global situation. We need to widen our hearts so that we resonate with the suffering of others, not only humans, but also with the tremendous suffering of the natural world. In this way the element Phosphorus and the homeopathic remedy made from it might be the answer to this viral, and vital, challenge. The remedy Phosphorus teaches us to feel, to feel our fears, but also to feel with each other. Phosphorus is the great teacher of compassion. For those of us who will have lived through the acute stages of this infection, Phosphorus might be the last step of integrating the experience and promoting the development of a mature compassion with all forms of life, including Grandmother Earth herself.
I believe that the message of the virus is an important one. Once we understand this, then we can work together with nature, together with the virus, and not against it. When we bow down to the wisdom that speaks to us through the virus and through the remedies that heal us, then we can move through life with less friction, and the pandemic will need less to hit us so forcefully on the outside.
Indeed, the real arena of our work is inside. Once, a bee told me: “It is only when you resist being touched on the inside, only when you close your ears towards the whisper of nature, that you have to be touched harder from the outside.”
Goethe, the greatest of the German poets, once wrote in a letter to his friend Eckermann: “What I love most is to communicate with nature because I know that she is always right and the error is always on my side.”