As COVID-19 became part of our experience, we were in disbelief. We slowly realized that this was inherently beginning to dismantle our way of life, our perceptions, and our ego investments. We fought it and used denial as a means to cope but to no avail. We then decided to approach it differently and shelter in place as a means of controlling the virus and re-engineered our “attack”. However, COVID-19 wasn’t through and began to dismantle and destruct our economy and our capitalistic way of interaction. We bought masks and decided to re-enter society, focusing on getting our economy growing again and holding on to our ego investments and prior narratives regarding self-determination. However, it may again be to no real avail. Protests, violence, and political discord are all primed and sharing space with COVID-19. We are still “tripping” about whether we’re tired or scared or uncomfortable. So here we are looking for something to hold on to, looking for some firm ground… let’s find it together.
We’re in It for the Trip
Fighting It: Ego Battle
This is where it starts to get real and real interesting. So here we are with this trip just starting to unfold and morph, while our egos are locked and loaded and ready to take on this “annihilation threat”. If we choose the ego path, the most readily available and “western” option. We dig in hard and attempt to cut COVID-19 off at the knees. We challenge our opponent, facing it head on with a conquering mentality. This inevitably works (although we still don’t “win”) because we will make it work. We will force it to fit into our narratives at any costs utilizing rationalizations, denial, and illusionary perspectives as battle scarring. And, yes, our ego just may be satiated, but it comes at the cost of stagnation, greater ego frailty, and perfectionistic control. “Locked and loaded” is not expansive energy; it’s constrictive.
However, we may just see our coping strategies evolve if, instead, we pursue the alternative strategy of “opening” to this abyss, allowing our ego to loosen its grip, soften, and let go.
Furthermore, through this process, we may come to realize that we are indeed more than our identities, our jobs, our relationships, our various roles, our ethnicity, our plans, or our power. The truth is that all of these iterations of “you” will all fall short as the COVID-19 trip continues to shift, entangle, and encapsulate our lives. So, how do we stay safe while also creating expansion? Our hallucinogenic allies give us a bit more guidance. What if all of those roles are simply clothes that you can put on and take off or even throw away? What if safety is created by actually going deeper into ourselves using COVID-19 as the conduit. Furthermore, what if there lies deep within incredible collective wisdom and inner knowledge that our ego attachments hinder? What just might be waiting to arrive if we continue to peel the layers back, acknowledge the fear, breathe and continue to let go?
Bliss and Transcendence