As the pandemic recedes, we are all looking forward to reclaiming something like the life we once knew. But could one of the purposes of the pandemic be to direct us to a life better than the one we knew? While many people hope the world returns to normal, that could be the worst of our new choices. We now stand at a critical crossroads that will either plunge the world into deeper darkness or elevate it to the light.
When my mentor Hilda Charlton received a student who had just been healed of a dire disease, Hilda would ask that person, “What will you do with your life now?” We might ask the same question of ourselves after moving through the long, dark tunnel of this planetary disease. What have we learned that can make our lives more meaningful?
A Course in Miracles tells us, “All things are lessons God would have me learn.” This is true on a planetary level as well as a personal level. While many of the results of the coronavirus pandemic were tragic, we were also bestowed with life-changing experiences. We connected with our families and came to appreciate them far more. We had unprecedented time to delve into spiritual studies and practices. We quit going to toxic office environments and retooled our careers, working from home. While many people hid in fear and protection, others reached out and helped people who were hurting. For the first time in history, all of humanity came together for the common purpose of healing.
When a student asked the spiritual teacher Bashar what was the spiritual reason behind the pandemic, Bashar answered, “There are always organisms in nature that could be detrimental to humanity if they were allowed to proliferate. But humanity is generally immune to them. When humanity drifts from nature and lives contrary to the natural order, physically and spiritually, humanity’s immunity drops and the world becomes vulnerable to diseases to which it would otherwise be impervious.”
The pandemic was not a random event or a punishment from God. It was a wake-up call for each of us as individuals and humanity as a whole to make necessary course corrections and live as our natural selves rather than deny them. If we go back to working insanely and wedging in little or no time for the people we love; or neglecting our physical well-being in favor of stress; or fighting over trifles; or dropping into national or racial divisiveness; or becoming selfinvolved rather than reaching out; then the pandemic will have served no purpose. Sadly, some similar or even more dire nightmare will come around until the voice for healing gets our attention. Let us avoid the need for another twoby- four whack, extract the blessing from the challenge, and make it work in our favor.
When I studied organic gardening, I consulted with lots of resources to find out how to keep bugs and diseases from destroying our crops. While the books and experts gave various tips and remedies, they all came to the same conclusion: when a plant is grown in healthy, nutritious soil, it maintains a natural immunity to pests and diseases. Here we have a magnificent metaphor for all of our lives: When we are well-rooted in our spiritual nature, the slings and arrows of the world cannot harm us.
As we drop our masks, become more social than “distant,” return to offices, and go back to parties, concerts, and public gatherings, let us remember Hilda’s question: What will you do with your life now? If we establish and maintain a higher quality of connection with ourselves, each other, and the universe, the pandemic will have taught us well. We have worked our way out of the nightmare. Will we now stay awake?
Alan Cohen is the author of the bestselling A Course in Miracles Made Easy and his newly-released inspirational book, Soul and Destiny. Join Alan and musician Karen Drucker for a transformational in-person ACIM-based retreat in California, Into the Light, December 6-10, 2021. For information on this program and Alan’s other books, recordings, and trainings, visit alancohen.com.