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Namah Journal

Integral health

Another dimension to the current pandemic

Dr. Alok Pandey

The matrix of health and illness

There is a medical way of looking at life and death, health and illness. It is largely based on an understanding of the material processes and forms of life. Valid in its own field, it has its own advantages as well as its own limitations.

So too, there is an occult and a spiritual way of looking at the same phenomenon which is again valid in its own domain. The different views do not cancel or contradict each other as was erroneously thought in our recent past. Rather they complement each other and can come together to make our life better and more beautiful. It is also very often a question of semantics. Thus, for example, all illness is a form of disequilibrium. Medical science says the same thing but in a different way.

It looks for material and hence mostly external causes for the disruption of balance whereas the spiritual looks at the inner and subtler causes of the same. Ultimately however, it is only realism that we have little control over outer causes but the field within our immediate hold is our inner being. It is in this matrix where our unique biology and psychology meet, where the material and the spiritual and all other forces come together that we have to find the means of restoring our equilibrium. Isolation may be good and helpful as a temporary measure but it cannot be the last word. It can neither be ever complete since there is a double contagion that we experience. There is the contagion of matter and organisms that we are aware of and which we can stop by physically isolating ourselves. But there is another contagion, the contagion of psychological and occult forces, the contagion of fear and panic that invades our mind-space much more rapidly with its devastating effect on the immune system, which is what must eventually fight and take over the siege. The final remedy has to be found within us or else we shall only change diseases and the names of viruses.

The forces of nature and the outer form

After all what is a virus? It is a strange kind of life, almost like a living death or rather death waiting to come alive. The virus cannot exist outside a living form for long. It survives by feeding upon the life-energy of other living organisms. Being closer to the state of original unconsciousness whence matter came into existence, we can safely presume that its natural affinity and food is the disintegrating vital energy released from the body as it breaks down. The virus in turn becomes a further force of disintegration, what we would call in Indian thought as tamas. Could it then be that a more sattvic, more compassionate and innately harmonious way of life would not be a ‘tasty’ or life-giving ‘dish’ to a virus, especially those viruses that are adapted to feeding upon the dark animal energy, say of bats and snakes and whatever else? The first solution therefore lies in adopting a sattvic way of life, deliberately and consciously. A life of balance and harmony attracts forces of harmony, whereas a life given to fear and excitement attracts forces of disintegration and disorder. It is very simply a law of affinity and attraction. Perhaps the virus has come to tell us something or rather Nature is telling us something, to change our lifestyle, our approach and attitude towards earth and its creatures. It is also a reminder of our fragility. With all our achievements, we remain fragile before the forces of Nature. We need to find a way to make our body and matter secure against all invasions of the forces of disintegration. That can only be done by the change of the very matter of which our bodies are made, a change that is possible only through an evolutionary leap of the human body into another dimension of working wherein it becomes impossible for any kind of forces of disruption and disorder to enter and disturb the more secure and elevated balance.

This of course would lead us to a different subject, the Yoga of Transformation pioneered by the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Suffice it to say, that the final answer lies there and not in a multiplication of drugs and vaccines except as a temporary measure. Whatever it be, the fact remains that so far the world has faced several kinds of menaces and attacks from physical and occult forces. Perhaps it will survive until mankind discovers and fulfils the great evolutionary purpose for which it has emerged out of the animal. After that it will depend on whether the old scaffolding to which we are presently so much attached, will stay, though much changed, or else will be wiped out in a similar way as other link species before us. Our hope lies in hastening this evolutionary leap towards which nature is preparing us.

Restoring health

Meanwhile we must do what we must to navigate through the complex mesh of forces through which our life moves and the various dangers and challenges we encounter of which the virus is one of them.

According to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother behind the physical entities there is always a play of occult forces, especially elemental energies, that are thrown out of the dead. It is quite likely, as is being already proposed, that this viral illness and some previous ones originate when animals are kept in miserable conditions prior to slaughter and later killed inconsiderately, possibly violently, In such conditions, the atmosphere of an animal throws out a lot of fear and rage which settles into the atmosphere and environment of such places where these animals are sold or slaughtered. It is this ‘amorphous and dark vital soup’ that helps breed what we later recognise as a virus. It then throws itself with as much violence upon human beings, almost like a crystallised fury. The attack also throws into the human system a lot of fear leading to a cascading effect. Nature supports this backlash of the animal kind upon a greedy humanity that has gone on a rampage to destroy all kinds of life for its own petty satisfaction. After a while the ‘Fury’ abates and the recovery starts. Behind these movements of nature there is almost invariably the force of Kali at the level where the drama is unfolding. But what we should remember is that she too is the Mother and if we remain unperturbed by her dangerous dance then we will remain untouched even in the midst of the worst.

This is the inner reason for the epidemic. Well, the first thing to remember is that fear attracts the feared. It acts like a magnet to draw the thing that is feared.

While it is reasonable to take suitable precautions, such as washing our hands and avoiding crowded places, which are in any case breeding grounds for forces of illness, fear and panic and to be specifically avoided. Staying away from crowded places such as a bazaar where people gather centred around ‘desires’ is anyway a good idea as it opens doors within us to all kinds of dark forces. On the other hand, to remain in a state of inner quietude, cheerful trust in the Grace, filled with optimism and positivity is one of the best ways to keep all such forces of illness away. From the occult point of view, a good psychological state reinforces the subtle envelope which is the body’s natural protection against attacks from illnesses, etc. On the other hand, it helps boost our immune system which greatly benefits if we are in a cheerful state and goes down when we are depressed.

To this a yogin or a sadhaka adds an implicit and unfailing trust and confidence in the Divine, a completest possible surrender to Her Will. Without fear of any kind from this or any other worlds, he goes about doing the work given by the Mother, fully assured of Her Protection and Her unfailing Grace. All other things will come and go but this abides forever and it is only these things that are of eternal value and the abiding truth that we must remain concentrated upon, rather than on passing transient appearances that come and go according to an inner logic of creation. Life and death weave the chequered march of man but to those who have turned towards the Divine, both of them are part of a single plan and eventually instruments of a higher Will and Wisdom that uses all things, even the most seemingly contradictory and shocking, to our limited sensibility for the greater divine purpose in creation. We have to look beyond both and see in the bright and the dark, the glad and the terrible, the one face we love, the face of our Divine Mother in countless forms. An inner state of peace and trust in the Divine Grace, a quietude in which the forces of disintegration are paralysed and become ineffective, a state of calm and strong will that refuses to give up and pushes every danger away with courage and confidence and an inner isolation that one achieves when one lives surrounded with beautiful thoughts and a good humour and cheer born of trust are the best psychological conditions to be in to keep the virus away.

The lesson of the epidemic

It is also necessary to look beyond the present attack, beyond the virus so to say, and learn the lesson of the epidemic. It forces us to come together as one humanity. It needed a virus to teach us that the world is one and if instead of fighting our illusory battles for dominion and control, we could come together to fight the real issues and real battles that man encounters everywhere, then we would have taken a big leap in our consciousness. These real battles are ignorance, greed, lust, wanton ambition and above all our deviation from a state of oneness and harmony with creation and all life around us to a state of division. Cutting ourselves from the great current of life that moves all earth as a single unit, we have created walls within walls and hiding behind these we think we are invulnerable and the whole earth is meant only for our joy and pleasure. It is this attitude of arrogance, the attitude of the devourer who ends up devouring himself in the end, that we need to change. In short it requires nothing less than a change of consciousness, a change in our attitude towards all life where love and respect dominate over greed and lust. It is this change towards which the great Mother Nature is pushing us. Her instrument is the virus that brings to us her fury and her wisdom hidden behind the fury. If we learn the lesson, the fury abates. If not she will strike again and again until at least a considerable number of humanity wakes up and pushes towards the needed change. Let us hope that the change is going to be here and now and with less pain and suffering or devastation. Therein lies our wisdom and our humanness.

All the rest is merely a passage that will be soon forgotten like other crises that have come and gone. But the lesson of this crisis must not be forgotten. It is the wisdom that adversity brings, and the inner strength that is born when our outer means fail and fall. The moment of death is also a moment of rebirth, the chaotic dance of death that we are witnessing today can be also a harmonious song of immortality if the music of each life is in harmony with the whole instead of emphasising its own separate note.

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