In this blog I give you 5 alternative ways to look at the COVID crisis, three having a systemic view on the crisis. It helps you to broaden your mind and to become more resilient.
The COVID-19 virus has spread all around the globe and its impact is enormous. Everyone’s life is impacted in one way or another. The very base of our existence has been threatened causing fear and irrational behavior. At the same time our interdependence is more clear than ever, causing people to help each other, become more creative and find solutions to all kinds of new problems.
You might be overwhelmed by information from news stations, social media, friends and family and our leaders. You are confronted with many stories, narratives that point out certain information, trends, ideas and concepts. When I consume all this information, I miss the more holistic, systemic and contemplative narratives. That is why I would like to share five narratives that focus on the deeper layers of this crisis. My goal is to place the events and what is happening in a broader perspective for you to be able to create more space in which you can move. This way I hope that you will be able to take the steps that will lead you to a better future for yourself, for the people around you and for the planet.
- The down to earth narrative
- The deeper meaning of the disease narrative
- The Evolutionary Force narrative
- The rebalancing by mother earth narrative
- The excluding of death narrative
1. The Down To Earth Narrative
This first narrative is not an alternative one, but I would like to start with the basic narrative we all hear and read in the media and invite you to look at it from an alternative perspective.
It is the story of a virus that originated in bats in China and was transferred to humans on a local food market. It is very contagious and spreads quickly. It can cause severe breathing problems and many people end up in the hospital and even on the ICU. In a few months it has spread around the world causing many countries to take drastic measures locking down countries in order to slow down or stop the virus. This causes an enormous impact on the economy.
Besides this basic information that is about the same all over the world (as far as I can tell) there is a lot of information, advises, statistics and views from scientists that are difficult to check if they are true or not. Let’s look at the statistics for example that are produced every day. They give you some idea about the impact and spread of the virus, but also give you a blurred view of what is happening. Most graphs show the absolute numbers of cases and deaths, which doesn’t say anything about how bad it is in a country. That would require the number of cases and deaths per million. The number of cases is also not a good measure, because different countries test in different ways and if you don’t test someone, he doesn’t show up in the statistics. Finally the number of deaths is also not relevant, because we don’t know how many of these people had another disease that might have caused their death in one or two weeks or maybe a month anyway.
Another issue with the so called facts is that we don’t know how these numbers are measured. If somebody dies of pneumonia but also has COVID what is written down as the cause of death?
Finally the facts we are presented with and the conclusions that are drawn, are based on a certain view of the world, a paradigm. They reflect the ideas of some experts and politicians and their beliefs. Why, for example, don’t we see any daily numbers about the number of bankruptcies or the number of excess suicides (more than normal), or the amount of CO2 in the air. These numbers also measure something and if you see these every day you might take different actions.
But the media, politicians and many other people use the chosen figures to have an opinion about what is happening. It gives a sense of simplicity and control, a sense of that we know what is happening and know what to do.
There is also a lot of information about what to do and what not and how to prevent yourself and others from getting sick. Advises range from washing your hands to leaving your shoes outside and from keeping 1.5 meters distance to drinking warm water. Eating garlic supposedly kills the virus and if you can hold your breath for 30 seconds you don’t have it. Fortunately there are many fact checkers that distinguish what is true (keep your distance and wash your hands) from what is false (eating garlic, leaving your shoes outside, drink warm water or holding your breath). Fortunately, at least in the Netherlands, the government gives clear information about what you should and should not do. But even then, we are still not sure if it works. We have never faced a pandemic like this in our lifetimes, we have just a little information about the virus and the spread of it that we can use. There is just little research which is not complete or whatsoever. There is for example a big controversy about if wearing a mask will help or not and now it becomes clear that the virus might mostly spread through aerosols and not in droplets.
If you would like to broaden your perspective, even challenge this down to earth narrative. When confronted with numbers, experts and repetition of information, we tend to see these as facts. I invite you to question them and to see them as information that might be true and might not be. This is a good attitude in any situation by the way, not only now.
If you challenge all the so called facts, what is left? What is really true? What can you believe and what not?
This will lead you into the space of not knowing. We don’t know! You don’t know!
Of course we would like to know, we would like control and know what will work and what not, but we don’t.
This space of not knowing can be scary, confusing and breath taking (in both meanings). If you surrender to it and allow yourself to not know and not wanting or having to know, you will create freedom and space in which you can connect to a deeper knowing. You will be able to rest in the emptiness and stillness. That is where you will find your pure intuition, your inner voice that is able to provide you with guidance. Following this inner guidance will help you to take decisions about what to do and what not to, about what to do with the information and also about when to look at information and when to ignore it and go for a walk in the woods.
2. The Deeper Meaning Of The Disease Narrative
This narrative tells the tale of a disease that is not just physical but that has its roots in your psyche and consciousness. COVID-19 in this narrative is a reflection of problems your mind, the way you handle things and even beyond that in your energy or subtle vibrations. From this perspective we can look behind COVID-19 and see what the psychological roots are.
In her book “The Key To Liberation Of Yourself” Christianne Beerlandt describes the psychological roots of many diseases. For infections and immunity in general she writes that this has to do with not being fully present in your body. You don’t acknowledge your autonomy and you are under pressure and stress. She writes that if you are more oriented on the wellbeing of others than your own, your immune system will suffer. A virus can infect you when you are not fully owning your authority and not being your true self and living your life fully. “The virus will take the chair that you left empty … Be true to yourself; nobody can do that for you… Place the authority back in yourself and let yourself be healed”
About lung diseases in general and pneumonia specifically Beerlandt writes that these have to do with being sick of living a ‘not-real’ life. You will have to free yourself from what others think and expect of you. You have to choose your own direction. “Don’t let the traces of the past, a partner or a medicine determine you… Pull your roots out of the old earth and plant them somewhere else”. She advises to acknowledge your true self and to focus your beliefs differently so you will attract joy and happiness and new paths open up for you.
This narrative invites you to go inside instead of looking outside. It reminds you of the power that you have inside and your ability to heal yourself. This is something we haven’t learned in school and our society is also focused on searching for outside solutions. This means that looking inside requires an effort, a movement against the main stream. You will also have to find the tools to go inside. How does this work? What do you have to do? Fortunately these days there are many ways, methods and tools available. People during the Spanish Flue in the beginning of the 20th century didn’t have access to these methods.
So take this time to move your attention inwards. Go for a walk in nature all by yourself. Sit for a while and observe what is going on inside of you. Slow down, embrace the silence, the stillness and be curious what you find inside yourself.
If you want to transform beliefs and patterns, go find online coaches, therapist or healers. If you feel like it, I can help you with this transformation and there are many others. Follow your own intuition and your own path.
3. The Evolutionary Force narrative
The next three narratives are based on the systemic wisdom that has emerged from working with family, business and all kinds of constellations. The evolutionary force narrative takes us to the three consciousnesses that Bert Hellinger, the founder of constellations, has distinguished.
The first two relate to the survival of an individual in a group and to the survival of the group as a whole. The last consciousness is called “Geist” by Bert Hellinger, or spirit mind. Others name it evolutionary consciousness or evolutionary force. This force creates movement in order for societies and human kind to develop as a whole. It creates and destroys without judgment . This force works beyond duality of good and bad, dark and light. Jan Jacob Stam describes it as “a vector with an impulse and a direction”. The main idea about the evolutionary force is that it shakes up large systems and destabilizes them. This is when existing patterns and structures can be undone and rebuilt.
This narrative sees the COVID pandemic as an act of this evolutionary force. It is a way to destroy and recreate. Apparently it was time to destabilize what we have created in the world. If you follow this narrative, the systems that we have set up like the financial system, the food system, the health system, the system of countries, the industry system and many more are not longer fitted for the world we live in. It is time to let them disintegrate and see what we have then. Then we can start creating new systems with new patterns and new belief systems that are better suited in these times.
On the internet you find many articles and opinions about what we should change and what we should leave behind. This is again a way for people to take control and to try to understand what is going on and what will happen next. Just like in the first narrative where you will have to enter the space of not knowing, this evolutionary force narrative also invites you to surrender. This force is very powerful and doesn’t distinguish between what we call good or bad. So all ideas we have about what will or should change are projections of our belief system which has been shaped by the very systems that are now being destroyed.
This narrative invites you to surrender. First we will have to surrender to the destruction and the not knowing. Things will change (they always do) and we don’t know what it will look like in let’s say 1 or 2 years. That means we also have to surrender to what Goethe called the emerging future. The future that will come at us whether we want it or not. We can tune into this emerging future by using our pure intuition. We will be able to sense fragments of what is coming, but because everything is shifting and changing right now we will not get a clear picture of what it will be like after COVID.
So again, endure the not knowing, endure the lack of control, endure everything that this triggers in you and surrender. There is a bigger force at work.
4. The Balancing By Mother Earth Narrative
This narrative is based on one of the principles from the systemic work of Bert Hellinger and others.
One of the principles that Bert Hellinger has found in systems is that there should be a balance of giving and taking. Every system interacts with its surroundings. This is a dance of giving and taking. In businesses for example customers pay a price and get a product or service. When this is balanced everything goes smooth and there are no issues. As soon as there is a imbalance in giving and taking, the larger system will start working to rebalance the exchange. Sometimes this rebalancing is very clear when for example customers don’t buy your product anymore because it is too expensive for the value it adds. Sometimes it is more subconscious and there is a time delay. For example when a theft in the South African mint rebalances what the English and Dutch took from the South Africans long time ago.
In this narrative mankind have taken too much from the earth. We have consumed too many resources, killed flora and fauna and have polluted the air, the sea and the earth. We have acted as if the earth were a resource we could just use until it was empty. The way we run countries, companies and even the United Nations is all rooted in the paradigm of us being superior to everything else on earth and the paradigm of growth and making money. These paradigms have caused us to focus on profitability, efficiency and growth models. By doing so we have used the earth and many creatures and organisms that live on it for our own benefits.
We can all sense that there is a great imbalance in giving and taking between humans and the earth. Of course there are people that have given love and care to the world, but overall we have taken much and much more than we have given.
This narrative tells the story in which the COVID-19 outbreak is a way of balancing the giving and taking between mother earth and mankind. It causes the economy to slow down, the pollution to stop, growth to change into decline and it reduces the number of people on the earth. When will it be enough? When has the account been settled and is giving and taking balanced again?
This narrative raises the question what is needed to live on this earth in a more balanced way. In order to live sustainably on and with mother earth we will have to change our habits, our actions, but most of all we will have to change our paradigms. We will have to adapt a paradigm that we are connected with everything on earth and that we are part of it. We will also have to change the paradigm of (financial) growth as a way to measure success into one where success is measured by the wellbeing of humans, flora, fauna and the earth itself. Only then will we be able to automatically take the actions that will honor the balance of giving and taking with our planet.
5. The Excluding Of Death Narrative
The last narrative is also based on the systemic wisdom that emerges from working with constellations. One of the life giving forces in systems is that they want to be complete. Systems want to include everything and everyone that belongs to the system. As soon as members of a system exclude someone or something, the system as a whole will make sure that this excluded part is included again.
Including everything doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to like it or that we have to allow it to influence our lives. It simply means that we say ‘yes’ to its existence. In the COVID-19 crisis and the way we handle it seems to me that we are excluding some parts of the system.
First of all we want to exclude the virus. It is called an enemy and we are fighting it. I even read that in one country the word COVID or Corona is forbidden! What I have seen in my work when people fight something, it will backfire in some way or another. By wanting to exclude something that is part of our system, we act against the natural laws of systems. As I said, you don’t have to like it, or allow it to kill millions of people. You have to acknowledge that it is part of our world, just like butterflies and financial institutions are. What would happen if we include the virus? If we allow it to be in the world, just like influenza, HIV and Ebola. What actions would be different? Which ones would be the same?
Secondly we exclude the not knowing as I have mentioned one of the other narratives. We just don’t allow the not knowing to be part of our lives. We have reached a point as humanity where we understand almost everything around us. Scientists have researched the smallest particles and the largest spaces. We know so much more than, let’s say, 100 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, it is great what we have discovered and what it has brought mankind. This extensive knowing has also pushed the not knowing to a dark place, to our shadow. We almost don’t allow ourselves to not know something.
The media want answers to their questions. Politicians that say that they don’t know are weak and incapable. Sometimes, I see the not knowing seeping through the cracks of the “we are in control” façade.
Finally we are excluding death. In all the stories that are told, death is something that we want to get rid of, want to minimize, that we don’t want to face. Sometimes this excluding is very obvious, for example if people get all upset if there are bodies on the street. It is better to have the dead in a body bag or in a nice coffin with flowers. Then we don’t have to face the mercifulness and roughness of death.
In other instants the exclusion of death is more subtle. For example the wish to flatten the curve. This is necessary to prevent ICUs to become full and doctors having to tell some people that they can’t be treated anymore. Of course this is a painful situation, but do we have to avoid it at all costs? The main purpose of a doctor is to keep someone alive and healthy. From this perspective we need to do everything to avoid dying. At the same time, people do die. What is it worth to save one year of living?
What would happen if we include death? If we look it in the face and say “yes, you belong here. You are part of life!” How would the decisions we take in these Corona times be different?
This narrative invites us to face the finiteness of things, processes, organizations and people. What would happen if you allow something to end? What would happen if you include death in your life?
It doesn’t mean that parting from something or someone hurts, or that endings cause sorrow and pain. It only means that we don’t try to do everything to avoid it.
Extra: The Conspiracy Narratives
Finally I would like to add one more narrative, or actually a group of narratives: the conspiracy narratives. These narratives challenge the main stream story of the virus. They come up with different starts of the virus, different main characters and different reasons behind the actions that are taken by the governments.
The stories vary from Bill Gates who ordered the virus to be spread from a lab in order to make lots of profit through his shares in medical companies that provide vaccins to the Corona crisis being caused by the outroll of 5G. The COVID crisis might be caused to give governments reasons to pass laws that give them totalitarian powers. It might be a distraction from controversial plans of governments like deforesting the rain forest. Some even say that the goal is mass manipulation by injecting nano technology into humans through a vaccine.
I invite you to look at these narratives with an open mind. They invite you to flex your world view, to broaden your perspective and to allow an alternative paradigm to be true. I don’t say you have to believe them or to act based on these stories (I don’t). I just say that you should be open to different vantage points. It helps you to stay flexible and resilient.
Maybe you have another narrative that you would add. Please tell me about it in the comments.