“Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, sea-shores, and mountains; and thou too art wont to desire such things very much. But this is altogether a mark of the most common sort of men, for it is in thy power whenever thou shalt choose to retire into thyself. For nowhere either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble does a man retire than into his own soul, particularly when he has within him such thoughts that by looking into them he is immediately in perfect tranquillity; and I affirm that tranquillity is nothing else than the good ordering of the mind. Constantly then give to thyself this retreat, and renew thyself; and let thy principles be brief and fundamental, which, as soon as thou shalt recur to them, will be sufficient to cleanse the soul completely, and to send thee back free from all discontent with the things to which thou returnest.”

Marcus Aurelius 

We are being told worldwide to self-isolate and to keep our distance from others.  Fear spreads through the world, which is even more destructive to the psyche than the virus is to the physical body.  Fear serves no purpose in this situation and it has been proved that fear lowers the body’s immunity to such diseases.  There is an old saying, often used, that “the only thing to fear is fear itself”. This may be an expression used ‘ad nauseum’, but it is nevertheless a true one.

A Theosophical Master stated that a wise man does not fight misfortune in advance and to fear something that has not yet happened to us individually merely causes us to panic or paralyses our rational view of the situation.  Far worse, it is like the moon reflected on a turbulent ocean, the clarity of our thoughts and the ability to tune in to our intuitions is shattered.  Whatever is to happen will happen, whether we approach it in fear or with calmness.  The only difference is that fear will render us unable to see the situation in perspective, but calmness will enable us to do just that.

Fear may turn us against our brothers and sisters, thinking only of our own survival, as in cases of panic buying and hatred against those we think responsible for our misfortune.  Fear and hatred are two sides of the same coin.

In the midst of all this are acts of love and devotion by those treating the illness, or ordinary people who prove themselves heroes by kind actions and even sacrificial ones.  In times of great difficulty, always the goodness in the hearts of many arises and proves that the Spirit in us is unquenchable.

The “Diamond Sutra” in Buddhism states:

“Thus shall ye think of all this fleeting world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream;
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom and a dream.”

People on a Spiritual journey are very aware of the transience of life and that, as HP Blavatsky informs us; “death is ever a friend and deliverer”, and so they do not cling to ‘life’ with as much tenacity as do those who have no knowledge of the immortality of the soul or reincarnation and karma.  Yet in times of crises, even the Spiritually minded may be swept away by the current of thought that prevails, instead of helping to provide stability for those who are suffering in ignorance of their true nature.  Fear is more contagious than the virus unfortunately, it magnifies the problem and fills the imagination with the ‘worst case scenario’.  Let’s feed the imagination with love, hope and optimism!

Of course, self-isolation is much different than it was years ago. Now we have the internet, Skype, Facebook etc., so we can still keep in touch in many ways. But nothing beats the face to face relationship!

We are here for only a few decades, and this “veil of tears” is the worst phase of our pilgrimage back to the Source.  We move on to much more wonderful and beautiful planes of being, so there will come a time when all our suffering will end.  But here we work out karma, for all the harm we caused other humans and the planet itself.  True Spiritual seekers know this and have a much wider view of the situation and are able to sit serenely at the centre and provide a haven for those who need guidance and comfort in such times. Well in theory at least and hopefully many can live up to this to the best of their ability.

Love is the most beautiful and powerful thing we possess at such times and we must remember these words from the “Voice of the Silence” by HP Blavatsky:

“Let thy Soul lend its ear to every cry of pain, like as the lotus bears its heart to drink the morning sun.
Let not the fierce sun dry one tear of pain before thyself has wiped it from the sufferer’s eye.
But let each burning human tear drop on thy heart, nor ever brush it off, until the pain that caused it is removed.”

This may seem a little too lofty for some, but we can all do acts of kindness in these difficult times, remaining cheerful as much as we can and trying to throw a little light into the darkness.  We can try to do as Pythagoras stated and “take heart for the race of man is divine.”  It’s like archery, you always aim higher than the target, to allow for the trajectory.  Let’s just do what we can, whenever we can.  Positive thought can work wonders. Listen to the still, small voice within.

This is the key, we are Divine Beings in reality, not the temporary personalities that suffer.  We should certainly try to dispel fear in ourselves and others and help in whatever way we can, on all levels of being.  We must keep it uppermost in our minds that we are ONE in essence and not lose sight of this in these troubled times.  Remember whatever we think affects everyone else, for good or for bad.

The world may never be the same again after this, but who knows; it may be better.  Let’s believe in that and spread the magic!

So in these times of isolation, when for a while we are free from the rush of our normal day to day lives, let us think more deeply and meditate upon what we truly are in essence and take the time to ‘recharge our batteries’ and rediscover our creative self. Every situation, no matter how bad it seems on the surface, can be an opportunity to understand who or what we really are.  Everything can be helpful if we have the right attitude.  Even seeming adversity can be of use on our journey through life.

Today the sun is shining, birds are singing. I even saw the first butterfly winging its way along. Flowers bring colour to the landscape and buds appear on trees, awakening from their winter slumber.

Everything in nature is as normal.  Spring is here and with it fresh inspiration; time passes and hope is renewed.


Written by

Wayne was born in Farnworth nr Bolton, Lancashire. He worked for 20 years as a gardener. In 1973 he joined the Theosophical Society in and has been President of the Bolton Lodge for about 25 years. Wayne is also the joint Vice President of the North-Western Federation and editor of the North-Western Federation Journal. He is a national speaker for the Theosophical Society and also contributes articles to the Theosophist and other Theosophical magazines. He also rites poems and stories and enjoys music, art, nature and literature.

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