Time to celebrate Pandemic Pandemonium! 

Certainly, I’m not suggesting we celebrate the persons who are ill and suffering.  To all of them, I send love and light.  There are, however, positive aspects to the shift in thought and behavior the virus has initiated throughout the world.   

When our priorities get out of whack, the universe has a way of realigning them for us whether we like it or not.  This would seem to be one of the benefits of the recent turmoil surrounding COVID-19, at least with respect to our core values.

I hearken back to the international financial collapse of 2007/2008.  Most of the world – including major corporations and world leaders – succumbed to fear, closing their doors, releasing employees assuming the worst.  Others saw the deflation of property values as an opportunity which they exploited for great financial gain.  At ground zero, millions of people worldwide felt the financial impact of the overnight evaporation of their accumulated wealth.  To many, this forced belt tightening, living a smaller, less materialistic lifestyle, revisiting the role and importance of money in one’s life, and a re-dedication to family and important human relationships.

So, was the worldwide failure of the financial system a disaster, or an economic boon?  Did it represent a collapse of a key aspect of social structure, or a resurgence of family values?  Depends on how you chose to interpret it, emphasis on chose.

Like what happened in 2007/2008, we now have a choice as to how we wish to respond to what’s happening in the world.  We can choose fear, anxiety, panic, and sadness, or we can approach the situation with curiosity, trust, peacefulness, an openness to consider the potential benefits, and to otherwise search for the hand of God in the unfolding events.

For example, as the pandemic began to spread, I was struck how the first social institution to collapse was athletics.  According to a creditcard.com survey, in 2017, Americans spent $100 billion on sports, including $56 billion on attending live sporting events.  Being springtime, the American news is chock full of stories of the insane salaries commanded by MLB baseball players and NFL free agents.  Truly, the astronomical budgets of most professional sports teams and even big-time college sports programs staggers the imagination. 

With almost all athletic competitions from professional down to high school and grammar school canceled, I can’t help but wonder if we are seeing the purposeful refocusing our attention and energies away from something essentially superficial to something more heart centered such as helping and supporting each other through this crisis? 

I’m reminded of the Roman Coliseum, one of the last remaining vestiges of a great culture which at its peak ruled much of the civilized world.  Constructed as a venue for sport and the entertainment of the masses, it is now a crumbling relic standing as a poignant reminder of a culture which eventually collapsed under the weight of its own self-aggrandizement, arrogance, and unrestrained self-gratification.

So what are the positive benefits of a worldwide pandemic?  Perhaps this is an opportunity for us to change the course of history and avoid the fate of the Roman Empire?  Civilization is being kicked in the ass, thus presenting a great opportunity to shift the consciousness of mankind.

This period in history has been described by many seers and modern-day prophets as an era of great change.  The experience of this pandemic will change how we think about life.  It will reframe how we decide what’s important.  It will separate us from each other now so we may come back together in a new way. 

Holding on to old ways, past ways of doing things was a key ingredient in the fall of the Roman Empire.  They ignored the call to evolve, to change. 

We must remember the universe in which we live is founded in balance.  From the perspective of our duality, all reality is based on the principle of contrast.  For us to understand pleasure, we must also feel pain.  We need to feel sadness in order to give joy dimension.  Dark/light, hot/cold, good/bad, peace/turmoil, yin/yang – all polarities which to truly understand requires our experience of its opposite. 

The extreme contrast we are experiencing now is no doubt a call for extreme change.  When we resist change, life has a way of stepping in and reprioritizing our lives.  As is evident at this time on our planet, resistance is futile.  It seems our only course of action is to embrace rather than fight back against what is happening, and see what life looks like on the other side.  Like a ship passing through a storm at sea, we push forward, confident of calmer waters awaiting us beyond the squall.

Mark Layne



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