Life: a 24-Hour Endeavour
Swadhyaya—self-study—the 5th step of the Fivefold Path, is a 24 hour a day job, we’ve been told.
As Covid-19 containment is also a 24-hour job, the concept of constant vigilance, thus, is not new to us.
Also, since the advent of 24 hour food stores, 24 hour McDonalds, 24 hour gas stations and several drug dealers, we are somewhat accustomed to the nonstop concept (though it still feels a little unnatural to be in a store that never closes).
If we are careful six days a week with pandemic protocols, we may be tempted to cheat a bit and go maskless on the 7th day.
Viruses don’t take weekends off, and they also have been known to go to church, so ….
We humans, having endured 15 months of restrictions, lockdowns and general disruption of life as we knew it, may be excused if ‘Pandemic Fatigue’ arises. At least four of the steps of Fivefold Path give us help in getting through this phase—Yajnya, Tapa, Karma, and Swadhyaya.
Swadhyaya fatigue might seem safer than Covid Fatigue. In any case, it is at our own risk—and the risk of others as well—that we let our Covid guards down.
As forewarned is forearmed, keeping our guards up and continuing personal evolution with the planetary equivalent seem to be wise.
Risk assessment and cost/benefit analyses are not easy. When compounded by data we receive which may be diluted by political and economic agendas, using our inner intuition as a guide may be very helpful. That most advice we receive has fine print at the bottom indicating WE REALLY DON’T KNOW all about this virus, drives home the need for going within even more.
Between the current pandemic and probably future ones, climate change and the intractable worldwide problems of racism and economic inequality, it is likely that the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth we are awaiting might not manifest all that quickly.
However, there is the Faith component. With Grace of Almighty, all is possible. That Grace must be earned must not be forgotten.