A New Normal?

The global crisis generated by the Covid-19 virus has caused suffering for hundreds of thousands and disrupted life for countless millions, even billions, of people throughout the world.   Much thought has necessarily been given to understanding the possible causes of this deadly pandemic, but careful consideration also has to be given to world conditions as and when the humanity emerges, gradually, out of this pandemic. 

As some have noted, it’s as if a “pause” button has been hit regarding human life as we know it.  Now, we wonder what will be the conditions following the lifting of restrictions?  Will there be a return to “normal”?  And if that were possible, is that what we want?  Many thoughtful people think that the world condition, as it was before the virus struck, was exhibiting many signs of dysfunction.  The growing materialism, superficiality, and increasing isolation—to name just a few problems—were seen as signs that we were heading in a wrong direction.  If so, that suggests that a return to “normal” would mean the resumption of some outmoded patterns and relationships which did not and will not contribute to world betterment.  If this view is correct, then a return to the familiar “normal” could have tragic implications because it would suggest that humanity had learned nothing in terms of wisdom or gained vision as a result of the profound loss and suffering imposed by the pandemic. 

It’s been said that we should “never let a good crisis go to waste”.  Such situations, stressful and potentially destructive as they are, can also be opportunities for creative change.  But for this to be possible, intelligent human minds are needed, as is affirmed by esoteric teaching which links human intelligence to adaptability.

Interestingly, the Oxford dictionary offers insight into the opportunities of adaptability.  It can be the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions, but it can also signify the capacity to be modified for a new use or purpose.  In a practical application, the dictionary gives plastic as an example of this second definition, but there are spiritual implications for human evolution as well.  Looking back over only comparatively recent history, the Great Depression presented circumstances so dire that, in the United States for one example, new social programs were generated which benefitted the environment, labor, and the arts in ways that continue even today.  The World War was a global crisis which made possible the end of colonialism; it forced the purging of outmoded ideologies and social patterns that rendered a return, when the war was finally over, to “the good old days” impossible, and thankfully so. 

Similarly, the crisis caused by the current pandemic affords humanity an opportunity to create a “new normal”—if we will it to be so.  Already, in the midst of this crisis, some people are finding the enforced inactivity of “settling in place” Is bringing a new quiet.  For too many people this is deeply lonely and stressful, but it’s also an opportunity for reflection and, if possible, for imagining what they hope to return to when the more stringent measures are lifted.  More time for families and other close relationships (albeit at a distance) is available, as well as a greater appreciation for community ties, and most importantly, a recognition of the common humanity we human beings share.  “We are all in this together” is the realization of the present times.  The countless selfless acts of service demonstrated daily by the medical personnel, the emergency medical technicians, the workers who maintain and clean the public spaces, the public transportation workers, the people who keep the grocery stores and pharmacies functioning, and the many delivery personnel who spare many others the need to venture out of their safe havens—all demonstrate a remarkable commitment to the greater good of society.   

The writings of Alice Bailey warn of the dangers that crystallization can pose to our thinking processes, attitudes and expectations, particularly during a time of transition such as the present period.  The present cycle is a transition between an “old age” conditioned over the past 2000 years by energies now on the wane, and a “new age” which will be qualified by entirely new spiritual energies which we can sense only dimly as yet.  Her writings remind us that, with the commencement of a new era comes a period of much disruption until the forms have adapted themselves to the new vibration.  The need, Alice Bailey wrote, is, by loving all, to work at the plasticity of the astral body.  “In love of all that breathes comes capacity to vibrate universally, and in that astral pliability will come responsiveness to the vibration of the Great Lord.” 

By holding such an expectant vision, welcoming the opportunity to create new patterns for living, and letting go of that which no longer can be retained, the “new normal” might be a cycle for renewal and the creation of a more secure spiritual foundation.



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