Those of you fortunate enough to be reading this have managed to avoid becoming a death from Covid-19 statistic.

That is no small feat considering the status quo.

It is not in dispute that DANGER is the tagline of today. The best response is not fear, but preparation and carefulness. But to downplay the reality is to bury our heads in the sand.

To a large extent, this is a test of our appreciation for the quality of life.

To survive a pandemic, one needs FAITH, plain and simple. And the greatest faith is that your life matters, that if it is not to your liking presently, you can improve it.

So, quality of life. I will purposely leave a discussion of happiness for later—maybe way later.

If you think or feel your life does not matter much, then why would you expect others or, for that matter, the universe, to care much?

If, on the other hand, you value your life and behave in ways to honor that concept, then it might be said you have more of a right to quality.

This may be a restatement of sorts of the Law of Karma. We reap what we sow. Our thoughts lead to actions compatible with those thoughts. It is said in gambling circles never to bet more than you can afford to lose. Yet millions worldwide continue to roll the dice, make unrealistic decisions of risk vs. benefit, and generally throw caution to the wind. They politicized mask-wearing*, decide that spending a holiday with friends and relatives is more important than the risk of not being alive a year from now when the same holiday comes around again.

Speaking of double-edged swords, I am staring at two empty cigarette packs—one shows an impotent, naked guy, the other a guy (presumably not the same one) with a toe missing and black gunk next to it.

Maybe that is what the pro-mask folks need to do—show photos of the lungs of Covid-19 patients. Seriously!

But the lessons that humans often behave in ways that 1) do not reflect an appreciation for the quality and sacredness of life and 2) need help out of the miasma are very clear.

I can appreciate an addiction to nicotine as well as the ‘benefits’ of smoking. But when it comes to wearing masks to be safe during Covid, I find it unbelievable so many do not. Are there negative side effects beyond a temporary mark on our faces?* Is there some addiction to freedom involved (the biggest scam going)? Does it bother me that people keep calling me Zorro? I stopped wearing black masks* and now do not cover my eyes.

[*Editor's comment: it is good to be informed about the positive and negative side effects of prolonged use of masks, from different sources, because the narrative and the original protocol of the WHO (World Health Organization) and the official news showed to be a bit out of place to say the least and induced more fear. You don't have to believe everything the official media tells you. Yes, yes, yes, it is important to use the mask correctly. But do your research, think, meditate, read between the lines, and use your common sense. Not everything is what it seems.]

And the shade that is being thrown on the truth is literally killing us. Public safety measures that have been known and practiced since the last pandemic—102 YEARS AGO! —are being politicized, sacrificed for the almighty dollar, peso or rupee, and we are left holding the bag, empty as it is.

Forty years ago, Shree Vasant used to say in lectures that one problem with medical schools is that 50% of what is taught is wrong.
The second problem, He said, is that we don’t know which 50% is right, and which wrong.

So, it seems today. Between media with agendas, online purveyors who measure success by numbers of clicks (which equal dinero-money), and politicians who have either sold their souls to the devil or simply deny they have one, if we are not aware, we will be up shit’s creek without a paddle.

Most fortunately, regardless of which creek we find ourselves in, we have several paddles—5 to be exact.

Yajnya, Daan, Tapa, Karma and Swadhyaya, the five aspects of the Fivefold Path of Vedas—and the core of Homa Psychotherapy—have been arrows in our quivers for decades for some of us. For others as well, they represent a way out of the physical, mental, emotional and, yes, spiritual tests that Covid-19 have put on our plates.

Are there reasons for alarm? You betcha. But, as it is said, the Divine does not present us with more than we can handle.

We have been reminded that the predicament faced by today’s world was predicted very long ago by texts associated with many religions. And when Shree Vasant taught us Agnihotra in the early 1970s, He spoke of POLLUTION, but He also spoke and wrote of future, unprecedented destruction of the planet, and though He may have not uttered the words, CLIMATE CHANGE, the implications were there, the writing was on the wall.

As this series of articles is meant to focus on Homa Psychotherapy, let us go back and look at our MINDS, that tool that does our thinking, willing and feeling.

Now the double-edged sword aspect of thinking, is that there is rational, realistic thinking and there is what is called in the 12 Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous STINKING THINKING.

Stinking Thinking comes disguised as rational thinking until it is put to the test of time and experience. For example, if I decide that I shall experiment with recreational marijuana, first of all, best I remember the two 3 1/2-year runs I had with the drug in my youth which resulted in 1) a serious suicide attempt and 2) a second journey into the rabbit hole of clinical depression.

Stinking Thinking, on the other hand, may delude me into a false reality that goes something like this: “My problem with weed was not that I was smoking it; it was the extent to which I was indulging. So perhaps an experiment into disciplined, scheduled smoking might be just the impetus I feel I need now to deal with stress and anxiety and other negative aspects of Covid lockdowns and such. Besides, it can be fun!”

Sounds reasonable doesn’t it? So did appeasement of Adolph Hitler sound to Lord Chamberlain in 1939. How’d that work out?

So, it is with stinking thinking. So, it is with the state of the world today. So, it is with the unprecedented challenges we face.

With faith, and with use of the tools at our disposal that we have been gifted, we can not only survive these times, we can indeed thrive.