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A Message From the Virus, or Our Ancestors?

Nature is giving us another chance.

Charlie Russell, used with permission.
Source: Charlie Russell, used with permission.

In a recent ode, An Imagined Letter from COVID-19 to Humans, Kristin Flyntz eloquently captures the profound psychological and existential amber in which humanity finds itself today.

She evokes the sense and sensibilities of eminent psychologists such as William James, C.G. Jung, Jerome Bernstein [1,2,3], and their contemporaries who embodied the idea of an earth-centered psyche, Henry Thoreau, Charlie Russell, and Derrik Jensen.[4,5,6] Their writings expound extensively on life and intelligence beyond the merely human.

Now, neurogeneticists concede that the humble virus may be responsible for human consciousness.[7] Hence, Flyntz's "imagined" message from the coronavirus may be speaking more of human psyche than poetry.

In short, the virus offers us another chance. The chance to learn how to live by Nature’s rules:

An Imagined Letter from Covid-19 to Humans
By Kristin Flyntz

Stop. Just stop.
It is no longer a request. It is a mandate.
We will help you.
We will bring the supersonic, high speed merry-go-round to a halt
We will stop
the planes
the trains
the schools
the malls
the meetings
the frenetic, furied rush of illusions and “obligations” that keep you from hearing our
single and shared beating heart,
the way we breathe together, in unison.
Our obligation is to each other,
As it has always been, even if, even though, you have forgotten.
We will interrupt this broadcast, the endless cacophonous broadcast of divisions and distractions,
to bring you this long-breaking news:
We are not well.
None of us; all of us are suffering.
Last year, the firestorms that scorched the lungs of the earth
did not give you pause.
Nor the typhoons in Africa,China, Japan.
Nor the fevered climates in Japan and India.
You have not been listening.
It is hard to listen when you are so busy all the time, hustling to uphold the comforts and conveniences that scaffold your lives.
But the foundation is giving way,
buckling under the weight of your needs and desires.
We will help you.
We will bring the firestorms to your body
We will bring the fever to your body
We will bring the burning, searing, and flooding to your lungs
that you might hear:
We are not well.
Despite what you might think or feel, we are not the enemy.
We are Messenger. We are Ally. We are a balancing force.
We are asking you:
To stop, to be still, to listen;
To move beyond your individual concerns and consider the concerns of all;
To be with your ignorance, to find your humility, to relinquish your thinking minds and travel deep into the mind of the heart;
To look up into the sky, streaked with fewer planes, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, smoky, smoggy, rainy? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy?
To look at a tree, and see it, to notice its condition: how does its health contribute to the health of the sky, to the air you need to be healthy?
To visit a river, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, clean, murky, polluted? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy? How does its health contribute to the health of the tree, who contributes to the health of the sky, so that you may also be healthy?
Many are afraid now.
Do not demonize your fear, and also, do not let it rule you. Instead, let it speak to you—in your stillness,
listen for its wisdom.
What might it be telling you about what is at work, at issue, at risk, beyond the threats of personal inconvenience and illness?
As the health of a tree, a river, the sky tells you about quality of your own health, what might the quality of your health tell you about the health of the rivers, the trees, the sky, and all of us who share this planet with you?
Notice if you are resisting.
Notice what you are resisting.
Ask why.
Stop. Just stop.
Be still.
Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well.
We will help you, if you listen.


[1] James, W. (2007). The principles of psychology (Vol. 1). Cosimo, Inc.

[2] Jung, C. G., & Pauli, W. E. (2012). The interpretation of nature and the psyche. Ishi Press International.

[3] Bernstein, J. S. (2006). Living in the borderland: The evolution of consciousness and the challenge of healing trauma. Routledge.

[4] Thoreau, H. D. (2015). Walden and Civil Disobedience. Xist Publishing.

[5] Bradshaw, G. A. (2020). Talking with Bears. Conversations with Charlie Russell. Rocky Mountain Press.

[6] Jensen, D. (2004). A language older than words. Chelsea Green Publishing.

[7] Letzter, R. (2018). An ancient virus may be responsible for human consciousness.

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