I suggested earlier that we all help the planet out and voluntarily quarantine ourselves for two weeks. (1)
Well, here we all are, voluntarily and involuntarily quarantined, in a laboratory experiment in isolation and social distancing.
You’re free for the evening, right? Humor me then. Let’s pretend we’re sociology students.
I’m exploring what the impact of being in a “pandemic” is. Some things it brings up we regard as “problems” that “need solution” (speaking sociologically). Other things are merely interesting and some even helpful. What is it bringing up for me?
As I look at myself, I see what is proving to be the hardest thing to handle is the degree to which the pandemic obliges me to take “the outer” into account.
I get to see just how introspective I really am: The degree is thrown into stark relief by the necessities of these events. You can’t argue with a pandemic. You could lose your freedom.
I think that everyone has a certain preference for how much time they want to spend in the outer vs the inner; how much in contemplation and reflection and how much in action and interaction. (2)
I have a young friend who seems always on the go. She’s very much focused on the outer.
Meanwhile I’m almost entirely focused on the inner.
I notice that my friends are introspective, self-aware. We spend a lot of time just being. Not much to talk about. Not very exciting to an active person.
Prior to the pandemic, I was spending a vast amount of time on the inner – contemplative, introspective. Now Coronavirus obliges me to break habits and stay focussed on the external, etc. I need to be aware. I need to watch out. Don’t touch this and don’t touch that.
Have you washed your hands?Please don’t hand currency to me; use plastic. Stay six feet away from me, sir. What? Are you trying to kill me, dude?
The level of drama appears to be high and a lot of deep, deep issues seem to be arising on the wave of fear that cries of “pandemic” bring. All of this is what I’m noticing.
It’s like getting multiple electric shocks to a contemplative to be out in the world right now.
But that’s not the only external demands made on my essentially-introspective nature. And now I switch from the sociologist to the problem solver.
Everything has shut down. No restaurants. No coffee shops. There aren’t even any bathrooms open. This also calls for rapid adjustment on my part, wrenching my focus from the inner to the outer. I can’t ignore this one. (3)
That means I get no break from my own cooking. Mother, this is torture. Get me outta here.
So I’m now going to take my “free time” (my non-work time, the time I have to play with) and create a distinction between (1) the time within it I’m allotting myself to be introspective and alone (i.e., to write) and (2) the time I’m allotting myself to be externally-focused and self-aware in the midst of a pandemic.
To do this, I need some kind of structure. So I’m going to create it myself. Here we go.
What I mandate, what I decree is that, in the time I spend outside my apartment in my “free time,” I will be externally-focused and self-aware. When I shut this door and go outside, I am externally alert and personally responsible.
I decree that the time I spend inside my apartment, I can set aside the outside world and “settle into being,” as Pandit Ravi Shankar put it. When I shut this door and go inside, I am internally-focused and self-aware.
I agree with myself to keep the two worlds separate – one is my public, interactive world, so to speak, and the other is my private, writing world.
This in itself will be another major shift for me and I could fall back into unconsciousness. (4) I don’t want to. This is important.
I personally need this kind of structure to remain balanced and relaxed, awake and alert in an unstable situation such as we commonly face today.
(1) It stops the spread of the virus. But it also gets all of us out of the way for the takedown of the cabal, which I think is happening “behind the scenes.” Everyone locked down means no false-flag fatalities, no school shootings, etc. It gives the positive military the opportunity to “drain the swamp.” We get out of their way.
(2) Hindus will recognize this as the distinction between the sattwaguna and the rajoguna, the pure and contemplative and the busy and accomplished.
(3) My prostate operation in 2016 left me needing to get to washrooms with fair dispatch. No bathrooms open limits my range of mobility. Now I’m really isolated, I think to myself.
It’s not a problem. I just get to see what arises as we continue our laboratory experiment in voluntary quarantine and social distancing.
(4) My short-term memory is again undependable.