Uncertainty, fear and anxiety are the agents of massive contagion when people face a sudden and drastic shift like the one we now experience with the coronavirus pandemic, but the outbreak is actually a prelude to a profound positive change. The word mashber (crisis) in Hebrew means “the place of birth.” This breakdown actually signals the beginning of something new.

Similarly, in the works of Hippocrates, the term “crisis” was applied to the end of an illness. Although in order to experience a new beginning, we need to overcome a transition period that might be painful and dramatic, as with labor pains. The world is coping with strong contractions set off by COVID-19 in every possible area of human society, as the planet can no longer put up with the person’s attitude toward nature.

“The crisis is helping us attain that level of awareness—where we start feeling as parts of a single system, one mechanism. Within the circular structure in which we exist, only together can we give birth to a new reality, to a higher, positive degree of humanity.”

The Purpose of Creation 

Creation’s plan is to elevate humanity to a new level of existence. Thus, the blows currently affecting humanity are in fact tremendous forces from nature to protect and heal itself, showing us what we do wrong: caring only about ourselves to the detriment of others—a misdirected human ego. We will understand its message by trying to become an integral part of the ecosystem—to which we all belong—instead of misusing and sabotaging it.

What we now perceive as an unbearable situation is, in fact, an accumulation and intensification of numerous crises on multiple levels we have been amassing for a long time, not only ecologically, but also financially; between couples, families and people; in every aspect of our lives. The epidemic did not arrive by chance; it serves a purpose: to cure our disconnection and imbalanced relations that harm nature.

Rethinking Our Priorities

We have built our world in such a way that we have become modern-day slaves, working 12-hour days, commuting back and forth. Children hardly spend time with their parents. The governments have printed money and created debt, and society has created piles of unnecessary products. The virus’s appearance has forced us to scrutinize what we have in this world and ponder the question: What do we live for? Is it to make money? Or is it to have children and die? We have to go through a process of appraisal in order to find answers.

It would be naïve to think that the transition to a new reality would be light and easy, but the passage must take place. Thousands of lives are being lost while the global economy might be doomed to collapse. Thus, it is hard in these circumstances to foresee light on the horizon. Already thousands of years ago, the wisdom of Kabbalah referred to this time as a special one, a period when important changes would be revealed after we exceeded our egoistic development, a time finally leading us to a remarkable renewal. As Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) wrote: “The mind sees what it has been through, and corrects its future conducts” (“The Writings of the Last Generation”).

What will be the outcome of the current crisis? It is my hope that we will grow wiser as we will see what really matters in life more clearly. Also, I hope that we will arrange a new and more balanced world in which we will feel no fulfillment in taking advantage of others for personal gain and harming the environment, because of the realization that, at the end of the day, it will have negative consequences for all. This positive transformation will require a gradual process of adaptation to this new reality, and it will demand from each of us that we actively engage in the building of a society that is entirely connected. How? By studying and replicating the attributes of nature, where everything is interdependent, existing in homeostasis and reciprocal relations, where all the parts exchange the nutrients and information needed for the well-being of the entire system.

The crisis is helping us attain that level of awareness—where we start feeling as parts of a single system, one mechanism. Within the circular structure in which we exist, only together can we give birth to a new reality, to a higher, positive degree of humanity.

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