“For the first time in human history, the entire world is focused on one problem.”
— Naval Ravikant
History is unfolding before our eyes.
For huge masses of people, Business-as-Usual has ground to a halt.
Many have lost their jobs.
Hospitals and medical systems are overwhelmed.
Grocery stores and supply chains have been disrupted.
Markets have taken a major hit.
Global travel has fallen off a cliff.
Millions of people are presently quarantined at home, by force or choice.
A great vortex of fear and panic has swept through the collective consciousness.
The whole world has just been reminded that reality can change overnight.
I think I speak for many when I say that this whole thing has been a sizable…
So what the hell is actually going on?!!?!
In this essay, I intend to take you down something of a Psychedelic Wormhole…
To peel back the layers…
To penetrate deeply into the heart of what is happening on Earth at this time…
And to perhaps bring you closer to the Heart of Reality itself.
If that sounds agreeable, crack a beer or kombucha and cozy up in your armchair of choice…
It’s time to take a few Red Pills.
(And maybe a high dose of Vitamin C for good measure.)
Once Upon a Time on Planet Earth…
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
— Charles Dickens
So, there we were.
The year was 2020 A.D.
We were humans.
Humming along in our mundanely futuristic utopian-dystopian civilization on Planet Earth…
When suddenly, a novel coronavirus is declared a global pandemic…
Soon after, ~650,000 cases are confirmed in ~186 countries, and over ~30,000 people die…
At first glance, the virus doesn’t look so intimidating.
After all, most cases (~80%) are mild, like a cold or flu…
~98-99+% of people recover just fine…
Most who die are elderly or already have other conditions.
However, the virus has exponential potential, meaning it spreads rapidly and could feasibly infect hundreds of millions of people…
In which case even a ~1% fatality rate would send millions to their graves…
And if medical systems get overloaded, the death rate could be substantially higher…
So, much of the world goes into a state of quarantine to slow the spread of the virus and #flattenthecurve.
Many businesses close, loads of events are cancelled, and countless people start ‘social distancing,’ either voluntarily or by governmental dictate…
It’s like a Great Pause Button has been pressed on human civilization.
This is (the most popular interpretation of) our present reality.
Dwelling in Not Knowing
“If you think you know what the hell is going on, you’re probably full of shit.”
— Robert Anton Wilson
“Not-knowing is true knowledge.
Presuming to know is a disease.
First realise that you are sick;
Then you can move toward health.
The Master is her own physician.
She has healed herself of all knowing.
Thus she is truly whole.”
— Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
A truly peculiar thing about the coronavirus (aka COVID-19) situation is that some of the wisest and most brilliant humans I know…
Wildly disagree about what is happening and what to do.
It’s astounding just how many spectacularly divergent narratives are floating around about what the hell is going on with COVID-19 and the panic surrounding it.
There’s something about this thing that is kind of like that viral optically-confounding ‘The Dress‘ meme from a couple years ago…
Except it’s The Dress^100, resulting in a fractal-kaleidoscopic multi-dimensional Rorschach Test…
Notice how the mind desperately wants to assert a coherent story or position on what is happening…
The mind craves the (false) sense of security provided by a dogmatic position.
But dogma sabotages Openness, Attunement, Fluid Responsiveness to new data and ever-shifting reality.
So it feels important, right away, to say that most fundamentally, I Do Not Know what is going on.
Not only that, it seems to me that no story constructed by a human mind can possibly contain the full complexity of what is going on.
Not now, not ever.
As Lao Tzu put it: “The way that can be told is not the eternal Way.”
The territory that can be mapped is not the eternal Territory.
Infinitely wiggly Reality chuckles at our attempts to pin it down.
We’ll dig more deeply into these koans later on, but for now I can simply say:
If you’re looking for certainty, you’ve come to the wrong place.
Now is a good time to become comfortable dwelling in Not Knowing.
With that being said, let’s tell some (inevitably reductive) stories…
Realizing Civilization is a House of Cards
“We are playing the Game of Thrones, and winter is coming.”
— Jordan Hall
One of the most important things to realize about what is happening is that…
The COVID-19 crisis is not simply about a certain number of people getting sick and dying.
Because our world is so deeply interconnected.
Notice the disruption of…
The global economic system…
(Food) supply chain networks…
Media and sense-making systems…
Public services and city infrastructures…
And many other systems/structures…
Notice how all of these are being disrupted and stress-tested by what is happening.
It’s vital to realize that all of these systems affect each other…
And that if any one of these systems substantially fails or breaks down…
This could cause a nasty Domino Effect, increasing the stress on all the other systems…
Leading to further disruption and further failures across the board…
Which leads to more stress…
Which leads to more failures…
To more stress…
To more failures…
A major breakdown of our present global infrastructure…
Leading to a sudden unstoppable decline in welfare for a sizable segment of the global populace…
Potentially leading to other undesirable large-scale scenarios (pandemonium, war, famine, etc.).
As a result of COVID-19, we’re already seeing what appears to be the beginning of a global economic recession, with the Dow Jones down ~30% and many people losing their jobs.
We’re seeing patterns of panic-buying leading to food shortages around the world.
We’re seeing hospitals overwhelmed by floods of people seeking treatment, leading to a need in some cases to decide who lives and who dies.
Such symptoms reveal the second-order civilization-stressing effects of COVID-19.
Coronavirus is waking many people up to the reality that our global systems are not nearly as sturdy as we like to believe.
In truth, they may well be a precarious House of Cards.
A House of Cards in a process of breaking down…
Jordan Hall certainly thinks so.
A luminous Santa Fe Institute intellect and co-founder of Neurohacker Collective, Hall has been tracking the ongoing Systemic “Meta-Crisis” for years.
He published a great piece a few days ago locating the COVID-19 crisis within the larger meta-crisis context.
Hall is far from alone in his observation of systemic fragility and breakdown…
Many brilliant people are seeing the same thing.
And with COVID-19’s obvious systemic effects, many more people are now waking up to this reality.
Realizing We Live in an Age of Global-Catastrophic Risk
“We are gaining the power of gods, but without the love and wisdom and care of gods, we’ll self-destruct.”
— Daniel Schmachtenberger
Ahem, in case you’re not already staring solemnly into the abyss…
Here’s another really wild thing to consider:
COVID-19 is a relatively minor pandemic.
On the grand scale of things, a ~1-2% fatality rate is not so high.
7.5+ billion humans will almost surely survive this.
Yet still this virus and the panic surrounding it are substantially stressing our global civilization.
It remains to be seen just how severe the fallout will be…
Now, imagine something with, oh, say, a 10, 20, or 50% fatality rate.
Far from unthinkable, this is well within the realm of what is possible…
You see, we are in an age of global-catastrophic risks.
We are now in an age in which ecological and refugee crises, bio-engineered pandemics, nuclear war, misaligned artificial intelligence, and runaway nanobot-replicators are no longer the substance of science-fiction…
Rather, these are (or are likely soon to be) real risks we face as a species.
As philosopher Daniel Schmachtenberger often points out, we have gained the “power of gods” through technology…
And unless we can also summon the “love and wisdom and care of gods,” we’re likely to mishandle this power and hurt ourselves in a big way.
Pondering global-catastrophic risk in an age of exponential technology is what prompted Buckminster Fuller to declare:
“Either war is obsolete, or man is.”
A lot of smart/wise people are researching global-catastrophic risks, how to mitigate them, and how to become more anti-fragile as a global civilization to navigate the coming decades, centuries, millennia.
These risks are so gigantic that they’re difficult to wrap one’s head around…
But the COVID-19 crisis is causing their reality to sink in for more people.
In hindsight we may well view COVID-19 as a kind of ‘fire drill’ that allowed us to level up individually and systemically.
Combine the reality of systemic fragility and breakdown with increasingly realistic global-catastrophic risks, and a rather unsettling picture begins to emerge:
A pessimist might say: A House of Cards laced with dynamite.
Realizing We Don’t Really Wake Up Until Shit Hits the Fan
“[COVID-19] is something that panics us all because it feels like it’s something that all of us could suffer from, not just ‘those people.'”
We’re getting to the good news soon, I promise, but not just yet…
Another interesting thing about present-day Earth is that tens of millions of humans die each year…
~10-15 million people, many of them children, die of poverty, starvation, and preventable disease…
Tens of millions more die of other diseases and health conditions…
About ~1 million kill themselves each year.
~Hundreds of millions are depressed or despairing at any given time.
Yet, usually we barely notice or talk about these large-scale realities.
We don’t collectively freak out at all.
So why is coronavirus different?
The simple answer: Humans are self-focused and tribe-focused.
We’re deeply evolutionarily wired to care about ourselves and the ~150 people closest to us.
This is not a “bad” thing and doesn’t make us “bad” people.
It is as it is.
But as a result, we tend not to wake up and really give a shit about our global situation until it affects us directly.
Until the Reaper knocks on our door, or the doors of our closest loved ones…
In the case of COVID-19, it’s rapidly spread to 180+ countries.
People of every creed and color have died.
There is a collective sense that, “No one is safe from this. It could come for me and my family.”
Thus, everyone suddenly gives a shit.
We’re seeing what Vinay Gupta once called a “species-level panic response.”
Combine systemic fragility and breakdown with mounting global-catastrophic risks with the reality that we humans generally can’t be bothered to change our behavior till shit hits the fan and…
Yeah, you get the idea.
Waking Up to the Planetary Transition
“We are witnessing in our time the intensification of separation to its breaking point—the convergence of crises… that is birthing a new era. I call it the Age of Reunion.
— Charles Eisenstein, The Ascent of Humanity
It would be easy to look at the situation I’ve outlined thus far and be like…
“ZOOOMMMGGGGG WTFFFF WE FUCKED UP AND WE’RE FUCKED AND GODDAMN GODDAMN HOW DID THIS HAPPEN WE MADE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE WHERE DID IT ALL GO WROOONG AAARRRGGHHHH!!!——”
If you’re feeling a shade of this, take some Deep Abdominal Breaths, it’s going to be Okay.
Now, let me pose a few questions…
Simply allow these questions to melt into you, with an open heart and mind, to see how they feel…
What if the COVID-19 crisis is a Wake-Up Call?
What if it is a Mirror, helping us see our present situation more clearly?
What if it is an Initiatory Rite of Passage, helping us Become Who We Are, so we can navigate the waters ahead?
What if it has arrived at the Perfect Moment?
What if we are in a Living Intelligent Universe, where there are no mistakes and no accidents?
What if humanity is presently awakening from a millennia-long dream of Separation and entering an Age of Reunion in which we remember that we are all One?
What if our inherited systems and ways of being are based on a deep-rooted story of Separation?
What if these old structures, based on egoic separation, domination, and competition, are no longer sustainable, and are crumbling?
What if this is an essential process, clearing the way for a new story and a new global civilization to be born?
What if it is now time to birth anti-fragile, omni-win-win, decentralized, regenerative systems rooted in a story of Reunion and Interbeing?
What if we can Trust Completely in what is happening?
Perhaps pause here and simply allow those questions to land and marinate for a few moments.
“The Age of Reunion is… a return to the harmony and wholeness of the hunter-gatherer but at a higher level of organization and a higher level of consciousness. It does not reverse but rather integrates the entire course of separation, which we may begin to see as an adventure of self-discovery instead of a terrible blunder.”
— Charles Eisenstein, The Ascent of Humanity
I’ve spent years researching, thinking, and writing about the huge transitions we’re presently experiencing, as well as the global-catastrophic risks we’re facing.
It seems to me that humanity is presently undergoing a major phase shift to a higher level of collective intelligence and wisdom, in order to restore harmony on Earth and flourish into the far future.
In his incredible book, The Ascent of Humanity, seer-philosopher Charles Eisenstein goes into tremendous detail to illustrate how an Age of Separation has nearly reached its logical conclusion, while signals abound that an Age of Reunion is being born.
While working with Ayahuasca, the entheogenic Amazonian plant medicine, I’ve had profound experiences of communing with vast Intelligences in Nature.
In states of gnosis, I’ve been shown that we are at a pivotal transition point in Earth’s history, and that after a long (yet nonetheless Divinely Perfect) bout of forgetfulness, our species is beginning to remember the Oneness and Interconnectedness of All That Is.
This remembrance will transform our world.
Old systems and ways of being based on egoic competition, domination, and separation, are no longer sustainable, and are crumbling.
This crumbling is a necessary part of the process.
Destruction breeds Creation.
On both an individual and collective level, old structures and patterns must break down in order to clear a space for what wishes to be born.
Naturally, breakdowns are frightening, and we tend to resist them.
Yet the sooner we Surrender to Nature and trust in what is being born…
The sooner we align with the Flow of what is happening, begin to feel the Power we need to make it through, and begin to see the Beauty of the metamorphosis we are undergoing.
Humanity, at this moment, is like a caterpillar in a cocoon, or like a fetus in the womb…
Many of us have been quite cozy for a long time, going about Business-as-Usual, not anticipating the seismic shifts on the horizon.
When an infant leaves the womb, it is an intense and confusing process, and yet on the other side of it, a gorgeous child is born.
We are in the midst of a similar process, and naturally, the breakdown of the old ways is not going to be a walk in the park.
It’s going to be a bumpy ride, and it’s highly likely that the COVID-19 crisis is but a taste of more turbulent waters ahead.
The Intelligence of Earth and of Nature, is giving us what is needed to wake up—to shift into a higher paradigm of consciousness.
It is Time to Be Who We Truly Are
For many, the COVID-19 crisis seems to be another signal, another message, in an ongoing communication.
It seems to say:
Yes, it is time to remember your True Power.
It is time to remember, embody, and be Who You Truly Are.
You are needed here now.
We need you Sovereign, Spacious, Present, Trusting, Loving, and Empowered now.
As Marshall McLuhan put it:
“There are no passengers on spaceship earth, we are all crew.”
It’s time to activate our higher potentialities and become the Warriors, Magicians, Lovers, and Kings/Queens that we are.
Time to more fully activate the archetype of the Honorable, Anti-Fragile Samurai lying dormant within us…
It’s time to be the Resilient, Resourceful Leaders, Healers, and Innovators that we are, in order to steward Spaceship Earth through a Time of Great Transition.
And I know: This is a lot to take in.
It’s fucking intimidating.
There’s so much doubt, fear, inner smallness, and self-sabotage, to be released now…
So many layers of identity, distraction, and addiction to shed…
This shit ain’t easy.
But it is real.
And it is, might I add, epic.
If you were a Demigod on an out-of-balance planet within a crumbling civilization, what would you do?
You’d probably help save the fucking world.
This is our situation.
All of us.
It is time to focus on building a New Paradigm for humanity.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
― Buckminster Fuller
Coronavirus is a Rite of Passage, Sacred Mirror, and Wake-Up Call
The COVID-19 crisis, far from being an anomaly, is simply another manifestation of this planetary transition…
Coronavirus is a Rite of Passage.
A Wake-Up Call.
A Sacred Mirror.
In a world that has largely forgotten about initiatory rituals and rites of passage, Nature is providing one, on a mass scale, to catalyze evolution.
It is showing us to ourselves.
It is bringing all our unresolved emotional-energetic gunk to the surface.
It is showing us where we’re at and what we’re made of, on an individual and collective level.
So the question is: Who are we?
Are we cowards who will shrink in the face of our situation and “go gentle into that good night”?
Or are we Heroes who will rise to the occasion, summon hidden Powers, and “rage, rage against the dying of the Light”?
My money is on the latter.
Trusting the Unfolding Process
Like most people, I found the onset of this situation disorienting.
Many emotions—everything from primal fear, to premature grief, to a peculiar excitement—moved through my system in the first days.
The whole thing has felt surreal and difficult to make sense of.
A few days ago, though, I had a powerful realization.
I reconnected with the Space beyond the stories of my thinking mind—the Space of Pure Awareness—and the message was clear.
When I let go of all the words and stories of the mind…
My Soul tells me to Trust Completely in what is happening.
Disease and death appear dark and foreboding to humans.
To the All, to God, they are as waves crashing or flowers withering, so new wonders can form.
Disease and death are nothing new — perennial as an Iowa winter snowfall.
One day we are all going to die.
In deep entheogenic meditations, Life has shown me that death is nothing to fear…
That it always comes at the perfect moment…
That it is simply a transition to the next adventure…
And that ultimately death is an illusion, as our True Essence is infinite and eternal.
It is okay to Trust the Process.
It is okay to Trust the Wisdom of Nature.
What appears to us as pandemonium may appear to Earth as the birth pangs preceding a Beautiful Newness.
What appears as darkness may later be recognized as the moment before a marvelous sunrise.
Trust the Process.
Practice Spaciousness and Non-Resistance.
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If you feel overwhelmed, log off, slow down, meditate.
Whatever is arising, let it come up, feel it as fully as you can, see what it has to teach.
Take deep breaths, from your abdomen, far down, even below your belly button.
Breathe with your entire body.
Begin to accept and trust in what is happening.
From this place, you will have more Clarity and Sovereignty to then respond skillfully to reality.
Disease, death, and global transitions are nothing new.
Rather, they’re ‘par for the course’ on this planet and natural as a winter snowfall.
They’re essential aspects of an Infinite Process of which we are all a part.
There is an Intelligence in this Earth and in Nature itself that is immeasurably greater than that of the conscious monkey mind.
This Intelligence is within your own Consciousness, found in the silence of meditation, beyond the words and stories of the thinking mind.
Begin learning to quiet your mind to access this non-linear field of Intelligence.
As you do, you’ll begin to realize that there is nothing to fear.
Fear is not “bad” or “wrong”; it has its usefulness, though it also has its corrosiveness.
If fear arises, go into it, feel it fully in your body to release it, and see what it has to teach.
Gradually, if you rediscover how to listen to your inner sense, your intuition, your body, your heart, the Wisdom beyond the thinking mind…
You’ll dissolve your fear and come into a place of increasing Trust, Power, Clarity, and Sovereignty.
This is what is required of us, in order to navigate the waters ahead.
We are being summoned, individually and collectively, to level up.
Trust the Process.
“There are heights of the soul viewed from which even tragedy ceases to work its tragic effect, and if we gathered all the sorrow of the world into one sorrow, who could dare to decide if a glance at it would necessarily seduce and compel us to pity and thus to a doubling of that sorrow?”
— Friedrich Nietzsche
What Can We Do Right Now?
It may be that the COVID-19 crisis is a Sleeping Giant, and that we are not prepared for what is coming.
Already it is stress-testing our global-civilizational infrastructure, and already we are feeling and seeing the shockwave of this event on many levels.
Yet, even if this thing ends up being far less destructive than the worst projections, it is still wise to err on the side of prudence and do what we can to slow the spread of the virus, until we better understand what we’re dealing with.
Sober preparedness makes sense right now.
For me, for now, this roughly means:
(Update: As of ~mid-April 2020 my intuition began to tell me that it would be optimal to largely end all mandatory lockdowns, encourage vulnerable populations to be cautious, and shift back to a state of letting individuals choose their course. My sense was that the costs of the lockdown were outweighing the benefits.)
Encourage loved ones to stay home.
Take care of yourself to boost immunity.
Wash hands often.
Be mindful of social media (over-)use.
Be mindful of where I am placing attention in general.
And so on.
Beyond that, perhaps the most important thing to do is:
Sun Tzu put it nicely: “It is better to be a warrior in a garden, than a gardener in a war.”
For a long time, many of us have been in a walled garden, humming along, unaware how good we have it, blissfully ignorant of the emerging planetary transition.
Thanks to COVID-19, that is no longer the case.
After this event, far fewer people will be able to ignore what is happening on this planet.
When it really begins to sink in that more disruptions are on the horizon, one naturally begins to prepare and train.
This will mean something different to every individual; here are some ideas:
1. Educate yourself. Activate as a Student of Nature.
Plutarch said, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” Kindle the fire. However possible. Reactivate your childhood curiosity and follow it till you turn to bone dust. Rediscover the intrinsic motivation to learn, learn about whatever interests you, and let this impulse reshape your life.
Now is a good time to learn about the COVID-19 crisis and the broader civilizational context in which it is emerging. Later in this article I will include a list of the best links to learn more and make sense of what is happening. For now, this list I compiled of 25 Podcast Episodes That Taught Me More Than My Entire Formal Education is a good place to begin understanding the present historical moment.
2. Cultivate vibrant psycho-spiritual-physical Vitality and Well-Being.
Eat micronutrient-rich foods: Nuts, berries, vegetables, good-quality meat. Exercise. Do yoga. Meditate. Dance. Sing. Get as much sunlight as you can. Take vitamin C, zinc, turmeric, black elderberry extract, and other immune-system boosters. Wash your hands, try not to touch your face. Practice the Letting Go technique. Follow Jiro Taylor for a lot of great inspiration on cultivating vibrant health during this pivotal time.
3. Start thinking about the fundamentals of survival.
I’ve done a decent bit of homework in the area of survivalism, but I’m overdue on doing a lot more. I do not intend to do this from an energy of fear, but from an energy of curiosity and proactive skill-acquisition. I foresee myself undertaking more wilderness survival training and learning more about self-reliance and various ‘prepper’/survivalist methodologies in the coming times. For now, here’s a free 78-item prepper checklist to get the wheels turning. I also highly recommend this lecture by Jamie Wheal for more great ideas and insights.
4. Identify your Highest Joy. Share your Sacred Gifts. Do what makes you come Alive.
There is a peculiar way in which Life equips us with precisely the Gifts and Passions we will need to play our particular role in its Infinitely Unfurling Dance. I have noticed that what you are meant to be doing in this world will not deaden you within; rather, it will make you come Alive.
Carl Jung wrote, “What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits.” Begin identifying what brings you to Life, where you are naturally skilled, and invest deeply in these areas. For me, these areas are: Writing, creating, self-healing and liberation, rapping, speaking, making videos/courses, teaching/coaching/mentoring, learning, exploring. My course, Escaping the Rat Race (V2.0 launching soon), may be useful for you here.
5. Learn useful skills.
(Online) entrepreneurship. Martial arts. Cooking. Building/fixing things. Creating things. Basic medical skills. Growing food. Writing. Branding and marketing. Survivalism. Self-defense. Non-violent communication. Remaining calm in intense situations. Self-healing. And so on. With the Internet you can teach yourself virtually anything; see NoExcuseList.com.
6. Identify who/what you love most in this world and organize your life around those top priorities.
Coronavirus is an opportunity to get our priorities in order. It reminds us that tomorrow is never promised. Who and what do you love most in this world? Is your life centered around those people and things? If not, now is a good time to re-center it. Now is a good moment to start spending more quality time with loved ones.
7. Undertake a journey of internal healing, evolution, and liberation.
Read The Power of Now, When Things Fall Apart, and Letting Go. Start practicing meditation and the Letting Go Technique. Learn to hold space for whatever arises in your experience; learn to feel fully whatever you’re feeling. Do shadow work. Develop sovereignty. Learn about the archetypes of the mature masculine and feminine. Understand and utilize Ken Wilber’s framework: Wake Up. Grow Up. Clean Up. Show Up. Once more: Meditate. Find the Wordless Silence beyond the thinking mind in which All is Peace and all “problems” are seen to be mental creations. See that things simply are as they are. This is the key to non-resistance, holding space for whatever arises, holding space for others, and flowing with life.
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Meditate to discover the Peaceful Silence beyond the thinking mind. Now is the time. 🌿🦦
These are a few ideas.
Take what is useful and resonant; let go of the rest.
Ultimately you know best what you are being called to do at this time.
It is time to begin learning how to listen to the Voice of Truth in your own Heart and Soul above all others.
Place no one on a pedestal. Learn from all; follow none.
Ultimately I intuit and trust that all are doing their best in their present paradigm of awareness, in every moment, and that everything is always in its proper place.
A final note on training:
If you train for something and use it, good. You were prepared.
If you train for something and don’t use it, good. You still reaped the rewards and joys of training.
Going Meta and Self-Deconstructing: Poking Holes in My Own Narratives
“If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re missing the best joke of all.”
— Ed Latimore
All right, now let’s get a bit weird and meta.
I like what I’ve written so far.
It resonates deeply with me; at one point while writing I even burst into tears due to a surge of pathos.
But does it have its blindspots and limitations?
Inevitably, yes. Absolutely.
Recall what I said at the beginning about how no map can contain the Territory…
I’ve been writing this piece for several days, and I’m finding it difficult to finish because I am continually updating my maps and stories as new data comes in.
Also, my deep in-touch-ness with the Infinite Space beyond all stories, maps and positionalities constantly reminds me of the insufficiency of all narratives, now and always.
Thus I hold all these narratives very loosely as lenses, as potentially useful frames, archetypal orienting mechanisms, sense-making apparatuses.
I still feel compelled to publish this essay, as I suspect it will help some people feel less alone in their thought process and make sense of what’s happening, while also rendering others less dogmatically certain about what is happening.
So, what are some of the limitations of what I’ve written?
What are my core unresolved questions about what I’ve presented?
What alternate considerations have I not yet mentioned?
1. Overall I make it all sound a little too neat-and-tidy. The true complexity of what is happening on Earth in 2020 (and always) boggles the mind and is far beyond the conscious comprehension of any individual ape-brain, including those of the experts and scientists.
2. In re-reading what I’ve written I sense how a certain frequency of fear shaped some of my mental sense-making / narrativizing (over the years). Perhaps there is a way to wisely integrate both fear and trust here, but I am wary of spreading fear, as there already seems to be more than enough of that to go around. I know that in my body, mind, and soul, when I am on a frequency of Trust, I feel deeply aligned with Truth Beyond Description, the Infinite Intelligent Mystery that transcends all human maps.
3. What I’ve presented has been shaped strongly by the general ‘Game B’ sphere—a group of (online) sense-makers of which Daniel Schmachtenberger and Jordan Hall are prominent figureheads. Game B’s blindspots may be an excessive (potentially self-fulfilling-prophecy-fueling) fixation on worst-case collapse/global-catastrophic scenarios, an overemphasis on the conscious, linear, ‘rational’ mind, and perhaps a tendency to operate more from a frequency of fear than trust. The Game B sphere is far from immune to human bias, and I’m wary of a certain trap of blowing this thing out of proportion early on because it fits nicely into reality-tunnels that are fixated on catastrophic risk/global collapse, and then that out-of-proportion narrativizing becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy as fear/trauma spreads and people start to panic or manifest/amplify symptoms due to the power of mind/belief.
4. Elaborating on the previous point, I have a deep sense that our ‘external’ reality is nothing more than a faithful mirror of our ‘internal’ reality. On a profound and deep level, we create our reality. Thus, if you whip up billions of people into a panic about a pandemic, overwhelmed hospitals, and global catastrophe, you should not underestimate the power of that collective fear and belief to manifest or amplify the very worst-case scenarios you mass-broadcasted. The same could be said of overly fixating on various possible global catastrophes.
5. Related question: Are the second-order civilization-stressing effects of COVID-19 coming more from COVID-19 itself or from the mass-lockdown reaction, (unconscious) fear/panic-mongering, total disruption of the status quo, and urging billions of people to feel and believe we are experiencing a life-or-death global catastrophe?
6. Regarding the virus itself and the response to it, my narrative has thus far seemed generally aligned with the mainstream narrative / line of reasoning. Yet, the mainstream narrative is the same one that has resulted in a massive unprecedented global lockdown, which has sewn seeds of panic and hysteria (which are traumatic) in millions of people. Who can truly assess the infinite unforeseen implications and consequences of these sweeping global decisions? Who can truly say that the long-term psychological, physical, spiritual, biological, and economic consequences of these decisions will be “better” than if we had acted far less dramatically, or taken some other course, such as focusing on instructing the elderly, those with symptoms, and those with pre-existing conditions to self-isolate? Can you? I surely can’t.
7. Extending the previous point: This virus, this infinitesimal piece of genetic code, is out there now, along with billions of other viruses and microorganisms that we’re constantly swimming in. Are we all now supposed to ‘socially distance’ and ‘self-quarantine’ indefinitely, for fear of becoming ‘super-spreaders’? How long do we keep this up? Who can say what the long-term consequences of this sudden traumatic dissolution of normalcy will be, and who can know how much more severe those consequences become, the longer we continue this ‘rational’ practice of hiding at home?
8. There’s a certain dystopian flavor to what is happening in the response to COVID-19: Suddenly governments are flexing a rather authoritarian muscle to impose mass lockdowns, huge numbers of people are unquestioningly obeying these dictates (and not questioning whether they may be sacrificing rights and freedoms in the process), and huge numbers of people are shaming anyone who questions that this is definitely the best course of action. Something feels off—something-something related to dogmatic groupthink, madness of crowds, ideological possession. It’s sinking in more deeply for me that the fear of death is the ultimate access point for mass manipulation, and that huge numbers of people, when infected with fear, will simply rapidly and unquestioningly obey external authorities. I’m unsettled by this state of affairs and thus not convinced that the best thing for me to be doing is vocally supporting the dominant ‘quarantine everyone for a long time’ narrative.
Note: I am still socially distancing, and of course, many are socially distancing and taking precautions to try to #flattenthecurve and save lives. Yet still, what has unfolded has demonstrated to me how fear can be used to mass-manipulate people.
9. In recent years I’ve gone back to first principles to look deeply at the nature of health, healing, sickness, and biology. Research and experiences with entheogenic plant medicine have led me to perceive tremendous holes, blindspots, and dysfunctions in the current materialist orthodoxy of Western medicine. It is beyond the scope of this article to dig deeply into this, but suffice to say that I have fundamental doubts about our understanding of sickness and healing. My present sense is that most or all sicknesses have a deep psycho-spiritual root, that chronic fear/stress cause much/most sickness, that on some level we choose/create our sicknesses, and that ‘sickness’ itself may (often) be a misnomer for our body’s intelligent attempt to heal itself of some deep bio-psycho-spiritual conflict/trauma. To go deeper, watch this video, read this, and read this tweet-storm of mine.
10. There are a lot of valid questions arising about how official COVID-19 statistics are being generated, the reliability of the testing procedure, and how the statistics might be misleading. For instance, Johns Hopkins epidemiologist Amesh Adalja has pointed out that ‘severity bias’ is a huge factor in the numbers: That is, only the more severe cases are tending to seek medical treatment or testing; we have no idea how many millions of cases there may be that are mild or asymptomatic, which would drastically reduce the fatality rate. We don’t know the denominator. Adalja himself estimated that the fatality rate is 0.1-0.6%, far lower than many numbers being thrown around. This only scratches the surface of such questions but indicates the nature of the problem.
11. Naturally there are tons of ‘conspiracy theories’ about what is happening. Current popular ‘rationalist’ orthodoxy urges us to basically flat-out dismiss ‘conspiracy theorists.’ Yet when you look into something historical like, say, MK-ULTRA, it becomes clear that sometimes there actually are giant fucked up behind-the-scenes operations conducted by powerful people and thus it doesn’t make sense to blindly trust the global elite. Personally I can’t quite shake a certain subtle feeling that this whole COVID-19 panic has been on some level orchestrated or at least enflamed for complex hidden purposes by nefarious actors—anyone else? Whoever made this meme knows what I’m talking about:
12. Are we experiencing a Great Transition from an Age of Separation to an Age of Reunion and a phase shift to a higher level of collective wisdom? Quite possibly. Yet I see that this too is just one reality-tunnel, one narrative, and inevitably reductive. Now, humanity needs story and mythology to orient itself in the world, and as such I think this story of a Phase Shift and Great Transition is about as good as it gets when it comes to a unifying mythos that helps us make sense of where we’ve been, where we’re at, and where we’re going in the 21st century. Yet, if you want to drill all the way down, make no mistake: It too is another story.
13. Tens of millions of people die on Earth each year from disease. As of March 28, official numbers say ~30,000 have died from COVID-19 (and most of these people had one or more other sicknesses). Yet the fear-permeated shockwave and/or mass lockdowns of COVID-19 have affected billions. Is this out of proportion? Not knowing the true number of COVID-19 cases, we really have no idea how fatal it is. Yes, there are anecdotes of hospitals being overwhelmed; what percentage of earthly hospitals are presently not overwhelmed—98%? What percentage of earthly hospitals are overwhelmed normally at any given time? I’m seeing an over-reliance on anecdotes from doctors at the most overwhelmed hospitals and not enough sober analysis of numbers.
This list is not comprehensive, but it provides a good general synthesis of some of the key potential blindspots, limitations, alternative considerations, and unanswered questions swirling around in my mind.
It is a highly useful exercise to poke holes in your own narratives, to realize what they leave out and overlook, and thus to develop greater philosophical humility.
What this process has re-affirmed for me is the vital importance of connecting to and dwelling in the Wordless Silent Space of Pure Neutral Awareness that lies beyond all stories of the chattering monkey mind. Therein one finds a Peace that no mental story can possibly provide.
At the same time, stories, models, and maps serve a pragmatic function in the world, allowing us to orient ourselves and make decisions about how to respond to certain situations.
Thus in this essay I’m giving you an (at times koan-esque) map of some of the key models, narratives, feelings, senses, perceptions, and considerations that are factoring into my sense of what is happening.
It’s important to note that much of what I am expressing in this essay has arisen from the intuition—what David Hawkins called a “knowingness“; what Osho called the “inner sense“—of the body, heart, and of Consciousness itself, which I consider a far older and more powerful form of intelligence than that of the conscious, reasoning mind. Reason has also played an essential part, but for me intuition, feeling, sensing, flowing, meditating, mystical/entheogenic gnosis, and direct seeing are more primary. The latter capacities constitute my most fundamental Compass for navigating this world.
Many-Dimensional Mystical-Metaphysical Weirdness
“No belief is true.”
— Jed McKenna, Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing
“But my dear man, reality is only a Rorschach ink-blot, you know.”
— Alan Wilson Watts
Well, we’ve already gotten into the non-truth of all stories of the mind, so may as well dig even deeper and become even more esoterically unintelligible…
“No belief is true,” Jed McKenna observes. All beliefs are reductive mental stories that help us create something humanly intelligible out of fractal-kaleidoscopically many-dimensional reality. This includes all ‘scientific’ and ‘expert’ beliefs.
We do not see Reality as it is, we see it as we are. We see a faithful reflection of our beliefs, stories, biology, values, traumas, indoctrination, conditioning, and so on.
Reality is a Sacred Rorschach Test.
On a deep, deep level, we are creating and choosing our reality constantly, through what we are being and believing. Reality is simply constantly showing us What We Are, individually and collectively, though most can’t see this.
No one is "insane"
Each person simply lives in his own unique reality-tunnel
In all likelihood _none_ of our Earth ape reality-tunnels grants us more than a tiny taste of Absolute Reality
We're all wandering through our own Dreams
Each man is a self-created Universe
— ryokan the fool ࿊ (@_jordan_bates) November 1, 2019
Example: A broken-down car situation would appear completely different to someone who is primarily on a frequency of a depressed victim VS an enlightened sage on a frequency of Silent Peace. The same event would for the first person appear as a terrible crisis confirming one’s bad fortune, while for the latter it might be a funny or fascinating occurrence; it would be seen to be simply as it is.
Another example: A disease sweeping a planet and killing a small percentage of the hyper-dominant species on the planet appears to many members of said species as an awful life-shattering tragedy. To the Biospheric Intelligence of the planet it may appear as a beautiful cleansing process or release, in which the planet is re-aligning / re-harmonizing itself.
Final example: Coronavirus appears as a frightening threat to most humans. For some who have done deep spiritual work and exist at a high frequency, there is no fear; there is trust in the intelligence of the body, even in the healing/clearing purposes of ‘sickness.’ I would go as far as to say that I suspect many high-level mystics are basically invulnerable to coronavirus and all disease, if they wish to be. A wise man once told me: “A true shaman is one who chooses the moment of his own death.” Yet most humans are not in this reality-tunnel and have not begun to wrap their minds around our True Power, and thus the ‘coronavirus is contagious and deadly’ narrative is true for them.
Reality is far less fixed and far more multi-dimensional than we commonly realize. My present sense of the human world looks less like a rock with billions of people on it and more like a fractal-labyrinthine conglomeration of billions of partially-overlapping self-created universes, with the area of greatest overlap being our consensus reality.
In some of these self-created universes, vastly more is possible than is possible in the consensus reality, due to the shedding of limiting beliefs and deeper remembrance of our Truly Infinitely Powerful Nature. With my own eyes I’ve seen miracles in this world that most would consider impossible, so I’ll say this: Never underestimate how deep the rabbit hole goes.
“Since we all create our habitual reality-tunnels, either consciously and intelligently or unconsciously and mechanically, I prefer to create for each hour the happiest, funniest, and most romantic reality-tunnel consistent with the signals my brain apprehends. I feel sorry for people who persistently organize experience into sad, dreary and hopeless reality-tunnels, and try to show them how to break the bad habit, but I don’t feel any masochistic duty to share their misery.”
— Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger I
It’s possible to choose between different frequencies or reality-tunnels, through attention, intention, action, and ritual, if one has realized sufficient depth of Awareness.
We each live in a universe of our own creation. We are so powerful that we create our own universe, but most of us have forgotten this.
Fascinatingly and beautifully, again, our self-created universes apparently overlap with countless other self-created universes, and somehow these innumerable universes are co-existing and melting into one another in an Unfathomable Fractal-Labyrinthine Dance within what we might call a Most Legendary Dream in the Mind of All That Is.
Is there such a thing as a single 'objective reality'?
— ryokan the fool ࿊ (@_jordan_bates) March 20, 2020
Reality ultimately transcends all binary categories, including ‘subjective’ and ‘objective.’
When you plunge sufficiently deep into the Silence beyond your ‘self’ and all its stories, you begin to realize there is only One Consciousness in all existence, containing this manifest world of form, and extending infinitely far beyond it as the Unmanifest.
Awareness is all there is. When you go beyond mind, you discover Mind, or no-mind, a Space of Formless Impartial Awareness in which all things arise and fall away. This Light of Consciousness, this Space of Awareness, is the fundamental substrate underlying all of our self-created universes. This is the Light shining through the eyes of every being you will ever encounter: The Light of the Sun of the All-Mind, your True Nature.
“All judgment is self-judgment.” All hatred is self-hatred. You cannot meet a being who is not You in another disguise. (Yes, including Donald Trump, Adolf Hitler, etc.) Your True Essence is the same as All That Is. Thus, to become truly Whole is to integrate all of existence—to remember that none of it is separate from you. This is the next-level-deep Shadow Integration Work that most people have not done and have no idea of.
Most people don’t actually want to deeply remember their Truest Identity. They’re enjoying Maya—the veil of illusion, the world of apparently separate objects, what Jed McKenna calls “the amusement park”—too much. It’s quite a rip-roaring theatrical spectacle to create a world of Good VS Bad, Us VS Them, Good Guys VS Bad Guys, Right VS Wrong, and so on. It’s a damn lot of fun. It’s highly dramatic and emotionally charged. You forget that “all the world’s a stage,” you identify completely with your illusory character (who consists of all the stories you tell your ‘self,’ with ‘self’ also being one of the stories), and you go on all sorts of wild adventures trying to avoid pain, find pleasure, defeat the villain, save the princess, find the treasure, and so on.
“The great way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.”
Meanwhile, the All is constantly in a state of Perfection. We only choose to see otherwise because we wish to—because we have chosen on a deep level to explore the possibilities of forgetfulness, of the illusion of separation. We are God, the All-Mind, playing a Divine Game of Hide and Seek with itself, as the ancient Hindu myth says. If humanity is indeed phase-shifting, we are moving out of the phase of hiding/forgetfulness and into a gradual remembrance of Unity Consciousness, in which all is seen to be the One. In this Space one sees no enemies and thus creates no war. Only in Unity Consciousness can lasting Peace be realized on Earth, if Peace is a dream we wish to choose at some point.
“Do you want to improve the world?
I don’t think it can be done.
The world is sacred.
It can’t be improved.
If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.”
— Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Some humans wake up within the amusement park, within the dream, within the Divine Game of Hide and Seek. Then they are in the world but not of the world. Their physical form persists in the world of apparently separate objects, yet they see that this is all a Dream, a Game, and that fundamentally nothing can ever be wrong, regardless of ‘external’ appearances. There is nothing to fear, including the energetic texture we call ‘fear.’ This is not an intellectual realization but a direct seeing that occurs in the Silence beyond all words, stories, significations, meanings of the mind. The Absolute is trans-meaningful, beyond all meanings.
“We are all on The Path—and the road leads upward ever, with frequent resting places.”
We are all on The Path, always. And it extends on infinitely beyond this lifetime, through endless upward-spiraling cycles—of forgetfulness and remembering, sickness and healing, delusion and enlightenment—always leading back to God, to Who We Truly Are. As we remember Who We Are, death is seen to be an illusion, a magic trick, a poof! into another form, another adventure of the One Self that is you and I and All.
“Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. And between the two my life flows.”
― Nisargadatta Maharaj
And yet “form is emptiness, emptiness is form.” Our Truest Nature is not merely the formless Absolute that lies beyond this phenomenal world, it is both. Thus many great teachers did not simply leave this world or meditate in a cave till death, but integrated the heart, felt compassion for all, and heeded a Sacred Call to generously give of their Gifts, for the upliftment and liberation of all beings. They remained grounded here on Earth, attuned to the happenings here, and honorably chose to assist mankind. This is the archetypal bodhisattva, a realized being of great inner nobility who elects to remain incarnated to compassionately assist all beings.
And so it goes, on and on, infinitely, eternally… Hallelujah, Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Trans-Narrative Phenomenological Space-Holding
In a marvelous podcast with Sayer Ji and Charles Eisenstein called Beyond the Coronavirus, there’s a wonderful moment in which the two discuss a kind of trans-narrative practice of Charles’ of holding space for many possible narratives / reality-tunnels:
Charles Eisenstein: So here’s a narrative. And these other narratives… And the standard narrative too. And minor variations on the standard narrative… So, I like to hold them, and see who I become as I inhabit those narratives, and how I see the world. Do I feel helpless? Do I feel activated? Do I feel defeated? Do I feel despair? What view of human nature does it induce in me to hold these different narratives?
Sayer Ji: You remind me of Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass, where he says, “I contain multitudes.” It’s sort of an orientation to experience, or being, or being human… which is one of the modes you’re talking about: We can potentially inhabit all these different narratives and feel them. I really appreciate that. Because there is always latent within each thought-form an entire dimension, a whole world of feeling… I like what you’re talking about, it’s kind of phenomenological.
As a microcosm, if you’re able to hold multiple perspectives, and not only just tolerate them but feel them out and see who you are… I want to know more about that honestly. Where does that come from? When did you come to that?
Charles Eisenstein: … Usually I only go deep into that territory in small groups, or maybe I just haven’t fully developed it yet. It’s hard for the modern mind to grasp that reality isn’t an objective thing outside of ourselves that can be verified or rejected through an impartial process of matching theories to evidence. You know, that, “Reality, it’s out there. I can believe one thing and you can believe another thing, but only one of us is right. Or none of us is right. But we can’t both be right, if we’re in contradiction.”
What if we don’t have to synthesize all the narratives we encounter into one cohesive whole?
What if we don’t have to assume that there is one ‘correct’ or ‘objective’ reality-tunnel?
What if we can be the Space in which the narratives dance and intermingle, choosing to empathically occupy various reality-tunnels as we please, to find out how we feel and who we become within wildly different reality-tunnels?
What if we can discover that we have enough Space to contain all the possible narratives, and we can allow them all to be as they are, without clinging to any of them or pushing any of them away?
What if we notice that the character we’re playing will still need some kind of narrative/reality-tunnel to orient in the world, but that we do not need to identify with this narrative/reality-tunnel either—that it can likewise be yet another of the innumerable narratives for which we are holding Space?
What Charles Eisenstein is pointing at here seems to me to be a fundamentally non-dual capacity that most humans have forgotten: The recognition of the Space of Unmoving Impartial Awareness that transcends and includes all the stories of the mind.
Within this trans-narrative exploration, one can then determine which narratives/reality-tunnels resonate with one’s Soul, bring one to Life, activate one’s higher potentialities, and feel enjoyable to live within.
Are all narratives / reality-tunnels created equally?
On the deepest level, yes, nothing is ‘better than’ anything else. All reality-tunnels are true within their own context. Yet, it seems that some individual reality-tunnels overlap more fully/deeply with our collective reality, the sum of all our earthly self-created universes—what Don Miguel Ruiz calls “the Dream of the Planet.” Some are more tuned in/responsive to what is happening in the collective. Thus some narratives / reality-tunnels appear to be more pragmatically useful or accurate than others, when it comes to making sense, taking action, making decisions, or determining how to address certain apparent ‘problems.’ Different reality-tunnels have unique features and unique bugs; this appears to render some more valuable than others (and on a relative level, it probably does).
This is only an appearance, though, as ultimately no being or story or atom or elephant in Absolute Reality is more or less essential than any other. All are essential expressions of the All, fulfilling their unique essential role in the Dance of Being. No mistakes, no accidents.
Top 25 Links to Make Sense of COVID-19
“My technique is don’t believe anything. If you believe in something, you are automatically precluded from believing its opposite.”
— Terence McKenna
In the spirit of trans-narrative exploration, I am presently holding space for all narratives about COVID-19, one of which is my own constantly shifting map/narrative/synthesis.
I’ve personally explored many wildly different narratives about COVID-19, and here I’ve prepared for you a smorgasbord of links for trans-narrative exploration.
Note: It’s good to be deliberate about how you learn about this thing.
Aimlessly scrolling social media for hours is likely to corrode your sovereignty and sense-making capacity. Use social media very prudently during this time (and in general).
I recommend spending very little time aimlessly scrolling feeds but rather checking the pages/profiles/sites of individual creators/thinkers who are especially strong at sense-making.
Also, don’t be too quick to latch onto a story or position about what is happening, including the story I’m putting forth here.
Again: I don’t believe my own story.
I hold it loosely as one ever-refining map that inevitably cannot contain the Territory of Reality.
The mind desperately wants to cling to a story or position to create a false sense of control and security.
However, dogma sabotages responsiveness.
By dwelling comfortably in a space of Not Knowing, both now and in general, you remain open to new information and can continually refine your maps and approaches.
All right, with that being said, here are the links I find most useful for understanding what is happening, while also holding space for many different perspectives.
Treat this as a buffet of rabbit holes and pursue the ones that seem most likely to challenge or add nuance to your current map. Do beware of info-overload; take a step back from researching COVID-19 if you’re at capacity.
Again, take what is useful and resonant; let go of the rest.
And don’t fall into the trap of dismissing a given thinker simply because you disagree with one of their points.
Here we go:
1. Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now by Thomas Pueyo
This Medium essay is widely lauded as one of the best synopses of what is happening. It went viral, amassing 40+ million views so far, due to its comprehensive synthesis of a large amount of data and research on the COVID-19 situation. It’s easy to understand and provides a wealth of helpful insight and information. I also highly recommend reading the follow-up.
2. Beyond the Coronavirus — with Charles Eisenstein and Sayer Ji
If I could choose just one conversation for the world to listen to, to supplement their current understanding of what is happening, it might be this one. This is a high-frequency, paradigm-shifting conversation that will likely challenge your views and show you that reality is not . It expanded and opened doors in my understanding of health, biology, sickness, healing/medicine, science/scientism, metaphysics/ontology, and epistemology. I also recommend Eisenstein’s essay, ‘The Coronation.’
3. Early Thoughts on a Pandemic — with Sam Harris and Amesh Adalja
One of the most enlightening pieces I’ve found on coronavirus. In this podcast, Sam Harris interviews Amesh Adalja, an epidemiologist (disease/pandemic expert) from Johns Hopkins. Highly illuminating for me was Adalja’s assertion that the death rate for those who get coronavirus is likely 0.6% or less, far lower than a lot of other numbers being thrown around. Still, though, if the virus spreads exponentially, even a 0.6% death rate could kill millions globally. Adalja also asserts that the panic around coronavirus could be much more destructive than the virus itself. It’s really worth your time to listen to this.
4. Situational Assessment: Right Now by Jordan Hall
I already linked this fantastic piece a couple times at the beginning of this article. It’s the best synopsis I’m aware of that looks at COVID-19 in the context of the larger Systemic Meta-Crisis we’re experiencing. Jordan Hall, a katana-sharp seer, has been tracking the meta-crisis for years. If you want to understand the larger systemic implications of COVID-19, read this. I also highly recommend following Jordan Hall on Facebook for ongoing updates, as well as joining the Game B sense-making community on Facebook (co-birthed by Hall).
5. Covid 19 Situational Assessment, Risk Landscape, and Possible Solutions — with Daniel Schmachtenberger
In my estimation, Daniel Schmachtenberger is one of the greatest sense-makers and visionaries of our age. In this interview with Rebel Wisdom, he lays out one of the world’s most nuanced high-level accounts of what is happening. His Facebook posts, like this one and this one, have been excellent ongoing high-signal reflections on what is happening. I also recommend this thread he started for considering alternative narratives on what is happening. ‘Mind Viruses During a Pandemic‘ is another great short article he wrote on the various fallacies and cognitive biases that are clouding people’s discernment when it comes to making sense of COVID-19. I highly recommend following Daniel Schmachtenberger on Facebook.
6. Processing the Grief of COVID-19 by Mike Gilliland
Mike Gilliland of the Future Thinkers is a brilliant, clear-seeing, high-sovereignty thinker who is worth paying attention to. Here he writes an important piece reflecting on the emotional effects of the crisis and how to deal with them. I highly recommend following Mike Gilliland on Facebook and Twitter, joining the Future Thinkers Facebook group and Discord community, and checking out the Future Thinkers’ courses on shadow work, sovereignty, and personal evolution.
7. COVID-19: The Basics You Need to Know by Euvie Ivanova
Euvie Ivanova of the Future Thinkers, like her husband Mike Gilliland, is a razor-sharp, high-sovereignty thinker/seer who is worth paying attention to. Here she writes an excellent short piece succinctly outlining the most fundamental need-to-know information about COVID-19. I highly recommend following Euvie Ivanova on Facebook and Twitter, joining the Future Thinkers Facebook group and Discord community, and checking out the Future Thinkers’ courses on shadow work, sovereignty, and personal evolution.
8. A Message to Help Dispel Fear by Kelly Brogan
Now for a curveball. Warning: This video will likely challenge your cherished beliefs. Kelly Brogan is an unorthodox, renegade psychiatrist whose worldview was turned upside down when she discovered German New Medicine, the body of work of the late Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer. I don’t presently align entirely with Kelly’s map here (as evidenced by some of my suggestions in this post), but I find a lot of what she says deeply resonant, and I encourage you to watch this with a wide open mind and let it marinate for a while.
I first learned of German New Medicine from one of the greatest healers/teachers I’ve ever met. Based on her explanations and my own research, I see German New Medicine as containing profound insights into the nature of health, sickness, and healing that massively undermine many fundamental assumptions of modern Western Medicine. I highly recommend exploring more of Kelly Brogan’s work; this essay is a good starting point.
“Too much civilization makes sick animals.”
— Carl Jung
9. Resilience in Time of Crisis — with Jamie Wheal, David Fuller, et al.
I highly recommend following Rebel Wisdom, a sense-making/filmmaking outlet that has rapidly become one of my favorites online. They’re already producing a lot of great coverage of the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, including this film with the ultra-lucid Jamie Wheal, as well as this one on sense-making coronavirus, and others.
10. Coronavirus: Do Not Fear the Bogeyman by Bruce Lipton
Bruce Lipton is a widely-admired renegade biologist whose work seems to keep finding its way to me, via people I trust. Here he lays out a fascinating perspective on coronavirus, noting that the fear of the disease may be more deadly than the disease itself, and that stress is responsible for up to 90% of illness.
11. Claim Your Birthright to be a Wild Being Thriving on Earth by Jiro Taylor
I love Jiro Taylor: A lucid seer and katana-sharp intellect, he has his fingers to the pulse of the zeitgeist and has been dropping deeply resonant truth-bombs consistently since I first found his work ~1-2 years ago. All his recent Facebook updates about coronavirus are worth reading: Start with this one, this one, this one, and this one. I also recommend joining his Facebook group, FlowTribe. Also, definitely watch this other amazing high-frequency video he dropped a couple days ago.
12. Stay Conscious. Stay Sovereign. by Juliet Tang
Juliet Tang has rapidly become one of the humans I’m paying the most attention to. She is a deeply embodied, highly intuitive entrepreneur and psychonaut who is truly in tune with this moment in our planetary history. Her main focus is on mentoring conscious, mission-driven entrepreneurs to step into their power and level up their businesses and impact, so a lot of her content focuses on that dimension of who she is. This powerful post, though, is purely about remembering our power and sovereignty during these uncertain times. I highly recommend following her on Facebook. I also recommend watching this podcast she and I recorded on how to stay Sovereign during these times of great change.
13. A Channeled Message From the Coronavirus by Jeff Vander Clute
This beautiful short read is purportedly a channeled message from the coronavirus itself. In recent years I’ve read and listened to a lot of channeled messages and have found in many of them profound and useful insights. So whether or not you ‘believe in’ channeled messages, it’s worth reading this with an open mind and heart to see if it resonates.
14. About the Coronavirus — An Ascended Master’s Perspective by Adamus Saint-Germain
When someone sent me this link, I had not heard of Adamus Saint-Germain, and I do not know if he is an ascended master. In any case, this is another fascinating mystical take on the potential higher purposes of the COVID-19 crisis. Worth a listen.
15. Coronavirus: The Real Risks and Human Biases Behind the Panic by Mark Manson
Mark Manson is a sharp thinker and a generally funny, good dude. I’ve followed his work for years. Here he wrote a great analysis of the fundamentals of COVID-19 and some of the human biases at play in our response to it.
16. How Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg sees the current Corona pandemic
This punchy 10-minute video succinctly presents some key questions and considerations that challenge the standard view on what coronavirus is and how we should respond to it. Excellent food for thought. To go deeper, check out: 26 Questions to Ask About Coronavirus and 12 Experts Who Question the Coronavirus Panic. And if you’d like to go super deep down the psychedelic-occult-coronavirus-skepticism rabbit hole, read Corona Fear Virus and the Forces of Illness.
17. Message from White Eagle, Hopi indigenous on 03/16/2020
This is a powerful short read from a Hopi indigenous tribesman on understanding these times of Great Transition and how one can either “fall into a hole” now, or “step through a portal.”
18. Finding the Middle Way When a Global Pandemic Strikes by HighExistence
Three of the wisest and smartest humans I know—Jon Brooks, Eric Brown, and Mike Slavin—sit down and have a great conversation about COVID-19, spirituality, and other topics.
19. Note to the World: This Virus Could Save the Planet by Samuel Austin
Sam Austin, another wise and razor-sharp friend, is the founder of Live Learn Evolve (highly recommended) and wrote a great piece on the world-saving opportunity presented by this Great Disruption of normalcy.
20. Coronavirus Infographic Pack by Information is Beautiful
This is a great set of infographics that nicely capture a lot of the fundamental official data about COVID-19.
21. Humanity’s Phase Shift — with Daniel Schmachtenberger
Shifting now into the deeper context around COVID-19, this 30-minute podcast is a stunningly lucid download from Daniel Schmachtenberger on where we stand as a species and why we must ‘phase shift’ to a higher level of collective wisdom to meet our present challenges. It’s time to birth a regenerative, anti-fragile, omni-win-win global civilization.
22. 25 Podcast Episodes That Taught Me More Than My Entire Formal Education
For more deep context to understand the present global transition, of which COVID-19 is one puzzle piece, here is a list I compiled of 25 of the most illuminating and educational podcast episodes I’ve ever found. Including more from: Rebel Wisdom, Future Thinkers, Daniel Schmachtenberger, Jordan Hall, and Sam Harris, as well as Charles Eisenstein, Pema Chodron, Eckhart Tolle, David Hawkins, Ken Wilber, and Dennis McKenna.
23. Jordan Hall Explains Why Humanity Might Be on the Verge of Global Collapse
Here’s a piece I wrote in which I introduced Jordan Hall’s framework for understanding our present situation and excerpted a long passage from one of his interviews with the Future Thinkers. And here’s one more piece I wrote—The Ultimatum of the 21st Century: Why Humanity Must Level Up or Self-Destruct—to articulate our present global situation. Both of these pieces contain long lists of links for going further down the “save the world” rabbit hole.
24. Collective Sensemaking in an Age of Existential Risk — with Jamie Wheal
Previously a members-only lecture, Rebel Wisdom just made this one public yesterday, and goddamn, it is a humdinger. Amazingly insightful, humorous, eloquent, pragmatic, and more relevant than ever now, in light of COVID-19.
25. Existential Risks: Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards by Nick Bostrom
If you’d like to take an ocean-deep dive into the domain of understanding global-catastrophic risks, Nick Bostrom is probably the most canonical, comprehensive thinker on the subject. This paper will pry your eyes open to the way in which we are truly “playing with fire” at this high-tech moment in human history.
Bonus: In mid and late 2020 I made two rap videos addressing C-19. Find those here and here.
Thank You For Being Here
“Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?
The Master doesn’t seek fulfillment.
Not seeking, not expecting,
she is present, and can welcome all things.”
— Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Whew, all right, ~11,000 words later and we’ve arrived at the near-end of this monster.
Thanks for coming along for the ride.
One thing seems clear: We’re living through a Major Disruption of Business-as-Usual—or a “major liminal event,” as Jordan Hall called it.
This is jarring, though it is also ripe soil for testing our global Resilience, stepping into our Power and Sovereignty, and finding the many other hidden opportunities that undoubtedly exist within this transition.
Destruction breeds Creation.
Rather than giving in to panic or floating away in spiritual bypassing, it’s time to integrate these polarities and find the Middle Way of Sovereignty.
What we are witnessing feels like some sort of quantum leap to a new paradigm.
The pace of change is dizzying and many people are getting sick with it.
There’s nothing to hold onto, and there’s no floor either, so we fall…
Or we swan dive gracefully…
Through the Abyss.
Always it is this way, but usually we don’t notice, spending our lives hiding from the realities of groundlessness and impermanence.
Until something un-ignorable comes along and smacks us awake.
That is what is happening now.
When I drop back from all the human stories and infinitely-reductive mental maps…
When I drop back into the Silence beyond all this monkey-mind chatter…
I feel the presence of God, of an Infinite Intelligence in Nature that dwarfs the conscious monkey mind as an Ocean dwarfs a puddle.
And when I feel that Presence, I know that all is unfolding precisely as it needs to be, now and in every moment, here and forevermore.
And when I channel that frequency, dropping all the stories of the mind, I feel a Trust and Strength and Universal Love in my system that no mental story has ever given me.
A Trust and Strength and Love that will allow me to do whatever I need to do, in my context, in the coming times.
Above all, for me, transmitting that frequency to others is what feels most important at this time.
I am not presently afraid of what is happening.
I am surrendered to it and trusting the wisdom of Nature.
We have been living in a Time of Great Transition for many decades.
This truth is now much more apparent to the great mass of humanity.
I feel Strong, Sovereign, Adaptive, In Flow, ready for whatever comes.
Thank you all for being here and holding space for me, for each other, and for yourselves, as we navigate this odd chapter of human history, in this ever-surprising Dance of Life.
Sending a lot of Love to everyone.
We will make it through this, and we will learn a hell of a lot in the process.
If this essay/book resonated, subscribe to my newsletter and see what else I’ve been up to lately.
Bonus: In mid and late 2020 I made two rap videos addressing C-19. Find those here and here.
About Jordan Bates
Jordan Bates is a Lover of God, healer, mentor of leaders, writer, and music maker. The best way to keep up with his work is to join nearly 7,000 people who read his Substack newsletter.
Thanks for writing this.
You’re welcome, Manu! Thank you for reading. : ) <3
Jordan, my brother & teacher, thank you for the best shit I’ve read in a long while. Lol. No man, seriously, this should be REQUIRED READING, brother. Beautiful! I see that the Universe speaks to you, for you & thru you. The plants have given you the words, I salute you. I must read it again …. Namaste, J. We can do this! Opening the eyes of the blind is difficult, but all things are possible with Love.
Paje, thank you so much for the kind and beautiful words : ) <3 I'm deeply glad that the essay resonated... all our eyes are opening wider and wider with perfect evolutionary pacing... Namaste : ) <3
Thank you Jordan 🙏🏼😚
There is this super talented beatboxer called MC Xander, he has a song called Spaceship Earth which makes for a lovely accompaniment to your words ✌🧘♀️x
You’re very welcome : ) <3 A good friend recently introduced me to Xander but I don't think I had heard this track... loving it <3 (For anyone else who wants to listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Mg2deSkgoE)
That’s so cool, I know him personally, we met in Berlin, at a park, got me wild dancin’ haha
<3 <3 : ))
This is fantastic Jordan. Love your work!!
“What if it is a Mirror, helping us see our present situation more clearly?
What if humanity is presently awakening from a millennia-long dream of Separation and entering an Age of Reunion in which we remember that we are all One?
If you were a Demigod on an out-of-balance planet within a crumbling civilization, what would you do?”
“There are no passengers on spaceship earth, we are all crew.”
You’re welcome. Thank you much George : ) <3 <3
thx for the breadcrumb : )
Jordan! I truly appreciate you sharing your wisdom and talent in formulating such a cohesive message that doesn’t come to any conclusion. I discovered you about a year ago and you pretty much nail every mark on the board: An eloquent style combined with intellectual inquiry that is predicated on the ancient teachings rooted in mystic ideals. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Your writing gives me chills, and it is this feeling that keeps me coming back for more. Keep it up!
You’re welcome, Matthew, that means a lot. Thank you much for reading and savoring <3 <3
Brilliant, Jordan! Much resonation <3 So many links to explore now haha. Thanks for your words and wisdom and for sharing this beautiful many-faceted rabbit hole of your own 🙂
You’re welcome, Ben, thank you for reading and appreciating <3 <3 <3
Thank you for the links and words to help all of us think in reaction to this crazy time and for the reminder to remain open to all possibilities! I loved many parts of this essay and will be coming back to it for months I’m sure!
Fyi, the link for #2 is bringing me to the Tomos Pueyo article. Here’s the link for the podcast episode I believe you meant to post:
Thank you again, Jordan! <3 <3
bates,thanks a lot,,my life changed when I got you through hiexistence blog,,how can I share this and let more people know,
Excellent!! Thank you for your superb writings and many excellent links ~~ what a treasure 💜😃🌴
Fantastic stream of consciousness article. This is a can of wisdom you wrote here. You keep caressing the Tao throughout. All the great minds of my path converge here somehow. It was well worth a read and please keep sending emails!
Love and Unity,
Bookmarked for life.
This is beautiful. There is deep truth in this piece of writing. The situation with the pandemic, politics and the global economy has progressed some since you wrote this article. We are almost a year into this process. We’ll see how it continues to unfold.