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Greetings bums,

 

This topic is intended as a platform for providing alternative outlooks on the current pandemic wrecking havoc in various ways - but first and foremost in people's minds. Comprehensible as their concern for their well-being may be, little is it understood that the very focus on  apocalyptic scenarios  - powerfully reinforced by the messages governments and media are constantly giving out - can only contribute to their eventual manifestation.

 

It goes without saying that lots of people's hopes rest once again on conventional medicine coming up with a vaccine and/or cure for covid-19, when as a matter of fact methods that could treat it effectively have been known for a long time, but are woefully neglected by mainstream physicians and the general public.

 

We may well go into those methods in due course, but let's start this discussion by reviewing the words of Dr. Edward Bach concerning the nature of infectious diseases. Known today mostly as the founder of a widely popular method of treatment using flower remedies, it should be noted that Dr. Bach started his career as a successful bacteriologist and vaccinologist and was gradually lead to a metaphysical understanding of illness and health. Due to his background, we can assume that the man was talking from personal experience and observation when he wrote:

 

In this age the fear of disease has developed until it has become a great power for harm, because it opens the door to those things we dread and makes it easier for their admission. Such fear is really self-interest, for when we are earnestly absorbed in the welfare of others there is no time to be apprehensive of personal maladies. Fear at the present time is playing a great part in intensifying disease, and modern science has increased the reign of terror by spreading abroad to the general public its discoveries, which as yet are but half-truths. The knowledge of bacteria and the various germs associated with disease has played havoc in the minds of tens of thousands of people, and by the dread aroused in them has in itself rendered them more susceptible of attack. While lower forms of life, such as bacteria, may play a part in or be associated with physical disease, they constitute by no means the whole truth of the problem, as can be demonstrated scientifically or by everyday occurrences. There is a factor which science is unable to explain on physical grounds, and that is why some people become affected by disease whilst others escape, although both classes may be open to the same possibility of infection. Materialism forgets that there is a factor above the physical plane which in the ordinary course of life protects or renders susceptible any particular individual with regard to disease, of whatever nature it may be. Fear, by its depressing effect on our mentality, thus causing disharmony in our physical and magnetic bodies, paves the way for invasion, and if bacteria and such physical means were the sure and only cause of disease, then indeed there might be but little encouragement not to be afraid. But when we realise that in the worst epidemics only a proportion of those exposed to infection are attacked and that, as we have already seen, the real cause of disease lies in our own personality and is within our control, then have we reason to go about without dread and fearless, knowing that the remedy lies with ourselves. We can put all fear of physical means alone as a cause of disease out of our minds, knowing that such anxiety merely renders as susceptible, and that if we are endeavouring to bring harmony into our personality we need anticipate illness no more than we dread being struck by lightning or hit by a fragment of a falling meteor.

 

From: Edward Bach: Heal Thyself, ch. 7

 

I feel these words remain just as true today as when they were written down back in 1936...

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When Buddha saw tragedy fear and death, what did he do ?

He used the opportunity to renounce the world and its games and enter the path with intensity.

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In our neck of the woods, the virus is not a direct issue... yet.

But it's coming.  I'm working on the assumption that everyone will be exposed eventually, my family included.

So even though the virus isn't in our neighborhood impacting us...we are heavily impacted by people's reactions to it.

 

Out of our recent forays to gather supplies and help out a neighbor, we've had two altercations, neither violent, or aggressive, just two people not being aware, or acting selfishly and not paying attention.

 

The rest have been admirable, calm, helpful, aware... we're blessed to be in the neighborhood we are.  Plenty of immigrant families here.  Macedonia, Japan x3, Mexico x2, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia... just in our two buildings... Torrance is like a little United Nations and our Cul De Sac is amazing.

 

It's not just the bad and selfish in the reactions and it really never is...  My wife and I have increased our usual practices of 1) noticing when folks behave admirably and reaching out and telling them we noticed it and how much we admire it and appreciate it.  2) telling each other about such admirable acts when we get together and sharing it with friends and family when we reach out.

 

Reaffirm that yes, in extreme times, humans react more extremely... but in good admirable ways, not just in selfish, petty ways.  And if one pays attention, the good far outweighs the selfish and petty.  By a factor of hundreds.

 

The selfish petty acts usually get the lion's share of the attention... particularly when consuming the mental junk food of news.

 

We, for years, as a couple have been actively cultivating... practicing noticing the wonderful actions of those around us and making sure to highlight them both to ourselves and those involved.  Creating a locus of reflection that does not allow our minds to fall into the easy trap of assuming that it's 'us against the world'... 'grab all you can when you can'.

 

The benefits of the noticing game are profoundly beneficial... i highly recommend it.

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2 hours ago, rideforever said:

When Buddha saw tragedy fear and death, what did he do ?

He used the opportunity to renounce the world and its games and enter the path with intensity.

Yes, he became an ascetic.  Then after 6 six years he left that path to found his middle way. 

 

If healthy one of the best things we can do is help others.  Particularly neighbors who are elderly.  Make sure they're fine, help'em picking up groceries if needed.  A little conversation even if its by phone is immensely important for those self isolating.  Trying times work out best when we all work together.  

 

This gives us reason and opportunity to reach out to friends and family we haven't talk to in a long while. 

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30 minutes ago, thelerner said:

Yes, he became an ascetic.  Then after 6 six years he left that path to found his middle way. 

 

You missed out the bit where he got enlightened.  Only then did he stop his search, that is the most important thing.

The middle ground was a teaching to monks about not being too ascetic.  End of.  It's not a guideline for general living, because a monk seeks enlightenment.

 

Jesus helped anyone who came across his path, but he also told them not advertise his healing powers because he was there to teach enlightenment and not some temporary extension of material life.  He said "the poor will always be with you.".   Indeed in the UK there are now 170,000 charities. 

How many do you need ?  One per person ?  How ridiculous can it get?
A friend told me yesterday that we needed to "support each" other.  

What the fuck does that mean, he is a 50 year old man in good health.  People like him went to the fucking moon, they climbed mountains, he is sitting in pajamas wanting hand holding.  Shame.

 

All this do-goodering ... from a spiritual perspective can be seen as insincerity, ignorance, and laziness. 

How will you help people with dollars ?  And for how long ?  Will you stop them dying?
Perhaps if you don't "help" them then they will seek the path, after all that is why existence is making them suffer.

Society is so desperate to protect itself from the reality of things.

They help each other continuously so they do not see the truth and then they perish together.

 

Perhaps if they loved each other and stopped helping. 

Nobody needs your help, they are not disabled.

The obese need to get off their ass it's not good for them.

 

But the question is do you know what love is?

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45 minutes ago, thelerner said:

Yes, he became an ascetic.  Then after 6 six years he left that path to found his middle way. 

 

If healthy one of the best things we can do is help others.  Particularly neighbors who are elderly.  Make sure they're fine, help'em picking up groceries if needed.  A little conversation even if its by phone is immensely important for those self isolating.  Trying times work out best when we all work together.  

 

This gives us reason and opportunity to reach out to friends and family we haven't talk to in a long while. 

This point has been driven home repeatedly lately in the satsangs my wife and I listen to daily together.

 

There is no one Middle Way...

 

We each of us, are a locus of resistance.  Our awareness experiences reality/maya from the center of our own awareness.

 

My middle way is unique to the extrems of my local awareness.

 

I love how you wrote that the Buddha woke up from the dead end side paths of asceticism,  to discover his middle way.

 

We all have our own middle way, there is not one middle way for all.

 

as i experience it at least...

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2 hours ago, silent thunder said:

In our neck of the woods, the virus is not a direct issue... yet.

But it's coming.  I'm working on the assumption that everyone will be exposed eventually, my family included.

So even though the virus isn't in our neighborhood impacting us...we are heavily impacted by people's reactions to it.

 

Out of our recent forays to gather supplies and help out a neighbor, we've had two altercations, neither violent, or aggressive, just two people not being aware, or acting selfishly and not paying attention.

 

The rest have been admirable, calm, helpful, aware... we're blessed to be in the neighborhood we are.  Plenty of immigrant families here.  Macedonia, Japan x3, Mexico x2, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia... just in our two buildings... Torrance is like a little United Nations and our Cul De Sac is amazing.

 

It's not just the bad and selfish in the reactions and it really never is...  My wife and I have increased our usual practices of 1) noticing when folks behave admirably and reaching out and telling them we noticed it and how much we admire it and appreciate it.  2) telling each other about such admirable acts when we get together and sharing it with friends and family when we reach out.

 

Reaffirm that yes, in extreme times, humans react more extremely... but in good admirable ways, not just in selfish, petty ways.  And if one pays attention, the good far outweighs the selfish and petty.  By a factor of hundreds.

 

The selfish petty acts usually get the lion's share of the attention... particularly when consuming the mental junk food of news.

 

We, for years, as a couple have been actively cultivating... practicing noticing the wonderful actions of those around us and making sure to highlight them both to ourselves and those involved.  Creating a locus of reflection that does not allow our minds to fall into the easy trap of assuming that it's 'us against the world'... 'grab all you can when you can'.

 

The benefits of the noticing game are profoundly beneficial... i highly recommend it.

 

It must indeed be comforting to experience such acts of solidarity in the face of an impending crisis. The downside is that they serve to reaffirm the apparent inevitability of the latter. Thus shifting the probabilities in less than favorable ways.

 

Walking the Middle Way can mean treading a thin line at times...

 

Out of our recent forays to gather supplies ...

 

Don't forget to stock up on toilet paper! It has already become a rare good in a number of countries for some weird reason. (Talk about self-fulfilling prophecies.)

 

Best wishes to you and your family, old friend! :)

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, thelerner said:

Yes, he became an ascetic.  Then after 6 six years he left that path to found his middle way. 

 

If healthy one of the best things we can do is help others.  Particularly neighbors who are elderly.  Make sure they're fine, help'em picking up groceries if needed.  A little conversation even if its by phone is immensely important for those self isolating.  Trying times work out best when we all work together.  

 

This gives us reason and opportunity to reach out to friends and family we haven't talk to in a long while. 

 

Yeah kinda agree with rideforever here. The "do goodering" he references often does more harm than good, especially if it comes from a place of others telling you you "should" do it. Ive already seen tons of this on the internet , this weird dictator like admonishment coming from people "telling" others what to do to "help". Engaging others in their panic attacks over this isnt healthy either and its easy to get sucked into the vortex .

Edited by bax44

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1 hour ago, rideforever said:

But the question is do you know what love is?

That's not the question for me these days.

Rather its, does my neighbor need help or a friendly word? 

If so, get up and help them.

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8 minutes ago, thelerner said:

That's not the question for me these days.

Rather its, does my neighbor need help or a friendly word? 

If so, get up and help them.

 

God. People suffer horribly every day with no notice of it from other people, and often derision. Now that theres a "crisis" we have to pretend to give our neighbors a friendly word. Fine if youve been doing that all along, but if not it comes off fake as F***. 

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Posted (edited)

I can't do much about world suffering**, but we try to be close to our neighbors. 

 

<I don't love my neighbors but will go out of the way for them, cause thats being neighborly.  I wish all neighborhoods had block parties, where you got to sit down and eat with together> 

 

in my book, god bless those 'fakers' who go out and help there neighbors during the crisis.  need is need.  you don't have to be perfect or have perfect motivations to lend a hand.   

 

 

 

**this may rile up some folks but we give to Heifer monthly in the hopes of relieving some hunger.  imperfect but.. its what we do.

Edited by thelerner
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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, thelerner said:

I can't do much about world suffering**, but we try to be close to our neighbors. 

 

in my book, god bless those 'fakers' who go out and help there neighbors during the crisis.  need is need.  you don't have to be perfect or have perfect motivations to lend a hand.   

 

 

 

**this may rile up some folks but we give to Heifer monthly in the hopes of relieving some hunger.  imperfect but.. its what we do.

 

yeaah. sure if I see someone having a hard time I will help them, and I will be kind, but that has nothihng to do with this virus thing. This may sound harsh, but observing human behavior and knowing at least90 percent of the species would probably kill me for their survival for a roll of toilet paper, sorry I dont share this sunshine and roses attitude even at this "critical" time.

Edited by bax44
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Just now, bax44 said:

 

yeaah. sure if I see someone having a hard time I will help them, but that has nothihng to do with this virus thing. This may sound harsh, but observing human behavior and knowing at least90 percent of these humans would probably kill me for their survival for a roll of toilet paper, sorry I dont share this sunshine and roses attitude even at this time.

you're kidding right.  You think 90% of humans would kill you for a roll of toilet paper?  That's pretty dark.

even I wouldn't kill you for less then 3 rolls of TP and bottle of Purell.

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If people want to take this occasion to reach out to help the elderly and call up long-neglected friends and relatives, what´s the harm?  I don´t find stories of such behavior condescending or fake a bit.  I find them inspiring.

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Posted (edited)

The derision of reaching out when folks are at their lowest as 'fake'...

 

Rings to me with the old rather witless derision of "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

As if good intentions were without use.

 

Intentions are to me, the empty point of stillness about which all actions rise, pivot and cease.

 

Reaching out, when you're not feeling it is perhaps one of the hallmarks of High Skill in my experience.

 

It's nigh on effortless to reach out when everything is peachy, on a daily basis!

Low hanging fruit.

 

When I'm stressed, pinched, fearful, uncertain?  Being able to reach out then?!  High Skill.

 

Loving all Humanity is simple, effortless.  Loving individual humans requires skill and effort.

Living and loving an individual human?  well for many, that's just not even possible (consult divorce rates globally).

 

Being able to reach out in times of crisis is to me a hallmark of the achieved and a marker that your cultivation is bringing actionable fruit to daily life when its needed most.

 

Because yes, The Road to Hell may indeed be paved with Good Intentions.

But ya know what?

 

So is The Road to Heaven.

 

And if you don't at least start out with good intentions?

 

then you're fucked from the get-go.

 

Good intentions.  Reaching out.  Comforting.  Verbally appreciating.... For the Win.

Edited by silent thunder
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9 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

If people want to take this occasion to reach out to help the elderly and call up long-neglected friends and relatives, what´s the harm?  I don´t find stories of such behavior condescending or fake a bit.  I find them inspiring.

 

I’ve reached out to a number of folks I’ve been out of touch with for a while. It’s wonderful! One nice side effect was a get together with a group of guys so used to teach taiji with. We met in a park today, caught up, practiced some qigong and taiji. It was really special. I also opened a bottle of port last night from 1970. I was saving it for a special occasion. That is now. This pandemic is one of the greatest teachings we could ever receive - impermanence. I’ve got some comorbidities and could certainly be a statistic before this is over. No more time for silly bullshit and petty squabbles. No more time to put off things that are meaningful.

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39 minutes ago, steve said:

 

I’ve reached out to a number of folks I’ve been out of touch with for a while. It’s wonderful! One nice side effect was a get together with a group of guys so used to teach taiji with. We met in a park today, caught up, practiced some qigong and taiji. It was really special. I also opened a bottle of port last night from 1970. I was saving it for a special occasion. That is now. This pandemic is one of the greatest teachings we could ever receive - impermanence. I’ve got some comorbidities and could certainly be a statistic before this is over. No more time for silly bullshit and petty squabbles. No more time to put off things that are meaningful.

 

That´s beautiful!  I´ve got some comorbidities too and have also been dealing with fear.  Do you notice when media reports come out about a death, they are quick to point out a person´s advanced age and "underlying conditions."  Is that supposed to be reassuring?  Just once I´d like to hear a different kind of report: Joe was 82 with diabetes and a heart condition but pulled through just fine.  Anyway, I am touched by your openness and strong vulnerability.  

 

I made a rare phone call to my brother and floated the idea of going in together to buy our 77 year old mom a bidet.  

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1 hour ago, liminal_luke said:

 

That´s beautiful!  I´ve got some comorbidities too and have also been dealing with fear.  Do you notice when media reports come out about a death, they are quick to point out a person´s advanced age and "underlying conditions."  Is that supposed to be reassuring?  Just once I´d like to hear a different kind of report: Joe was 82 with diabetes and a heart condition but pulled through just fine.  Anyway, I am touched by your openness and strong vulnerability.  

I have read of elderly patients with comorbidities making a full recovery.

 

1 hour ago, liminal_luke said:

 

I made a rare phone call to my brother and floated the idea of going in together to buy our 77 year old mom a bidet.  

Beautiful that you called your brother!

No better gift right now than a bidet.

Thought of installing them in my house.

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, liminal_luke said:

 

Don't even need a full bidet.  There are add-ons for regular toilets that install in 15 minutes with no plumbing required that perform well.  My wife's Aunt and Uncle got one a few years back.  They are in their late 70's.  They rave about it. 

Edited by silent thunder
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Focussing on loving kindness (as some like to call it) activates the heart chakra which in turn boosts the immune system via the thymus gland. This video is in line with that and also with Dr. Bach's thoughts I shared above: 

 

This guy (Burke) offers daily videos and public meditations to assist people dealing with this issue.

 

https://www.theartofseclusion.com

 

I have only seen this one video from him so far, but a friend of mine is a huge fan. Sharing this as some of you may find it helpful and wish to explore it.

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5 hours ago, liminal_luke said:

 

That´s beautiful!  I´ve got some comorbidities too and have also been dealing with fear.  Do you notice when media reports come out about a death, they are quick to point out a person´s advanced age and "underlying conditions."  Is that supposed to be reassuring?  Just once I´d like to hear a different kind of report: Joe was 82 with diabetes and a heart condition but pulled through just fine.  Anyway, I am touched by your openness and strong vulnerability.  

 

I made a rare phone call to my brother and floated the idea of going in together to buy our 77 year old mom a bidet.  

A lady in China, maybe 102, recently made a full recovery. 

 

Had thought of responding to bax44, but you guys rocked with your replies. Im touched. _/\_

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2 hours ago, Michael Sternbach said:

Focussing on loving kindness (as some like to call it) activates the heart chakra which in turn boosts the immune system via the thymus gland. This video is in line with that and also with Dr. Bach's thoughts I shared above: 

 

This guy (Burke) offers daily videos and public meditations to assist people dealing with this issue.

 

https://www.theartofseclusion.com

 

I have only seen this one video from him so far, but a friend of mine is a huge fan. Sharing this as some of you may find it helpful and wish to explore it.

 

While these sort of talks are good, I prefer to stay loyal to the source from where they borrowed their thoughts. 

The Four Sublime States is a wonderful reflection for anyone interested. And all four of the essences were warmly and eloquently felt at the heart of this thread. Thank you all! 

 

 

An extract from a teaching on The Four Sublime States: 

Quote

 

These four — love, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity — are also known as the boundless states (appamañña), because, in their perfection and their true nature, they should not be narrowed by any limitation as to the range of beings towards whom they are extended. They should be non-exclusive and impartial, not bound by selective preferences or prejudices. A mind that has attained to that boundlessness of the Brahma-viharas will not harbor any national, racial, religious or class hatred.

 

But unless rooted in a strong natural affinity with such a mental attitude, it will certainly not be easy for us to effect that boundless application by a deliberate effort of will and to avoid consistently any kind or degree of partiality. To achieve that, in most cases, we shall have to use these four qualities not only as principles of conduct and objects of reflection, but also as subjects of methodical meditation. That meditation is called Brahma-vihara-bhavana, the meditative development of the sublime states. The practical aim is to achieve, with the help of these sublime states, those high stages of mental concentration called jhana, "meditative absorption." The meditations on love, compassion and sympathetic joy may each produce the attainment of the first three absorptions, while the meditation on equanimity will lead to the fourth jhana only, in which equanimity is the most significant factor.

 

 

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10 hours ago, C T said:

 

While these sort of talks are good, I prefer to stay loyal to the source from where they borrowed their thoughts. 

The Four Sublime States is a wonderful reflection for anyone interested. And all four of the essences were warmly and eloquently felt at the heart of this thread. Thank you all! 

 

 

An extract from a teaching on The Four Sublime States: 

 

 

Thanks for sharing, C T!

 

While I appreciate your preference for original sources, I believe Burke is to be commended for interpreting these on a daily basis in light of what amounts to a psychological and/or physical crisis for lots of people right now.

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29 minutes ago, Michael Sternbach said:

 

Thanks for sharing, C T!

 

While I appreciate your preference for original sources, I believe Burke is to be commended for interpreting these on a daily basis in light of what amounts to a psychological and/or physical crisis for lots of people right now.

 

Any help can only be good. But commendation is not important. 

 

The purity of the Dharma needs no commendation.

Apply if useful; discard if not.  

Its quite pragmatic like that. 

And simple. 

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so if one doesn't know for sure if they are infected or not yet acts as if they are not and then goes against basic health protocols to "reach out"  to others how wise is that?   All the spiritual stuff and having invincible chi is great but only relative masters are in the know about such while most of are not and could be increasing risk to others.

 

Went to post office this morning and everyone was keeping 5'-6' distance.  I wonder how much longer before the postal workers insist that packages are left at the door instead of them having to have personal interaction with people.  Most banks are using their pull up's and shooting the plastic tubes back and forth. 

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