1.The week in which the pandemic was declared and Europe became its epicentre, we spent in Madrid.Meetings scheduled long ago included one that we could not cancel: with Federico Mayor, author of “Warning to Humanity” and the Earth Charter.And we witnessed an unprecedented Europe, which no one had ever seen before.Stopped at full speed.You got the feeling you were walking along a sunny spring street and suddenly understood that, like in a submarine, airtight bulkheads — state borders, social ties, cafes, theatres, parks, schools, terraces, offices, airports —were slamming down behind you, closing tightly.
Civilisation closing down, winding to a halt, collapsing...
Everything that made up the familiar, established life has ceased to exist. Temporarily?
Stand by. Humanity on pause. As if someone pulled the emergency brake while at full speed.
When a squirrel that has almost driven itself to death running in a wheel is not able to stop, only one possibility remains to save it: to stop the wheel.
A STOPPED WORLD. A gift available to shamans and film heroes who destroy the matrix... Now you can slowly examine each detail. Look into the gaps between passing carriages. Walk between raindrops. Examine a flying bullet from all sides. Make everything that used to be blurred and hasty, precise and sharp. Honest and explicit.
Suddenly, time began to be directed at what it was not available for before. At one flick of a switch attention moved from what seemed to be of value to what was outside the daily to-do list.
Children previously handed over to the education system have remained at home with their parents. And suddenly it turned out that this is the real education system: not standards of a curriculum approved by someone, but parents communicating with their children.
Work distanced itself together with the office and became ghostly virtual, and it suddenly became clear that without it —without constant feverish strategic sessions, marketing strategies, corporate-minded colleagues — it is not only possible to exist, but also... at minimum useful.
And in the resulting “emptiness” it suddenly became clear that it is not just permissible, but also necessary —in the literal sense of the word, vitally necessary —to be attentive to what and how you breathe... To who is next to you. About what and who you care. What is really important in life...
A colossal reassessment of values.
Freedom from hasty blurring, veiled by the rush of “urgent affairs.” Liberation from both them and their surrogate meanings. A change of scale: life can depend more on the touch of fingers to a face than on an economic summit. Economies, industries, corporations, sectors: everything that is proudly listed in reporting presentations, was not capable of surviving the change in status. Medicine, bureaucratic commissions, stock exchange enthusiasm, entertaining tourism, culinary delights: all of this today has nothing to do with your “zones of proximal development.”
All further progress in these spheres was of such a dead-end nature that it did not make sense to continue to develop them in their previous form, even from the perspective of masters of business administration. Now it has become very convenient: everything can be attributed to force majeure circumstances. A systemic crisis: it is due to them, otherwise we would have managed... These days have blown the scum of propaganda from the achievements of society, exposing the vulnerability bordering on helplessness, of each of us and all together...
The challenges of the Anthropocene are a hot topic for high-profile statements and forums. What people have done to the planet has put it on the brink of survival; how else could it even catch its breath?
Enterprises are not working, planes are not flying... A holiday from humanity, which is still here, but doing almost no harm... Artificial intelligence, global warming – everything that seemed to be the main challenges of the era, suddenly paled and faded into the background. And it became clear that all this was and remains, not a challenge, but a consequence. A result, a reckoning for a single reason: for what we did to ourselves, limiting ourselves through our chosen way of life and worldview. For an anthropological disaster that occurred not in 2020, but during the decades of the pandemic of dehumanisation. And the only genuine challenge is overcoming this catastrophe, healing from this flattening.
Perhaps, when this passes, many will return to their usual way of life. But, honestly, not all. And certainly without the previous zeal... Without the previous confidence in landmarks, markers, “goals,” road signs...What is happening is the ultimate warning. If we can become conscious of it, there will be a way out of the suggestions of our agreed reality. A few weeks outside of the daily bustle can create new synaptic connections. Those who awaken, having come to their senses, although perhaps experiencing withdrawal symptoms, may turn out to be impossible to hypnotise again.
In the past people came together during difficult times. Now the conditions are different: everyone is going through this story only with those closest to them or alone. This is an extreme anthropological singularity. It has finally become clear that a person who invites people into halls to share his great wisdom with them is literally dangerous for their health.
The most important test is to end up alone with yourself. People have forgotten how to do this. The skill has been lost. To avoid it, many will hide from themselves on social networks. And yet they will have to at least think... At least doubt ... At least for a moment TO REGAIN CONSCIOUSNESS.
In just a few days, we all learned how to greet each other differently. Before that, there were handshakes and hugs at meetings; now only eyes are left. And it turned out that when patting each other on the back, we could fail to notice each other, and suddenly now we see. This is an expensive acquisition. And it turned out that we are in fact, not in the highest spiritual sense, but simply on the mundane plane, inextricable.
This Earth turned out to be a small ball and we all spin together. Nobody can get away. “Social distancing” makes you go out onto the balconies to sing together. We are one being divided by bulkheads. Was it really necessary to insert all of these bulkheads in order to bring us to our senses?
They say that sometimes, in order to finally make a person look at the Sky, God is forced to lay him on his back.
This state of emergency is not for a month. “Disease outbreak — urgent measures — triumphant victory — return to the same rails” — it will not be like this. It will be harder, because those rails have finished. There are no more. Different paths and means of movement are needed.
“Coronavirus.” A brilliant name for humanity in the era of consumption, which many have called a planetary virus. The self-proclaimed Crown of Creation... has received his crown. What will it be like, life after the virus? After the Crown...
Quarantine is translated as “forty days.” This year, it coincides with the forty days of Lent. And the meaning of these two, so different before, is one this year. For Lent, the penance of house arrest has been chosen. Purgatory? No, it's just “involuntarily freelancers...” Consciousness is the ability to choose the future. While alive, starting a new life from Monday is easy. What is difficult is for it to really differ from the previous one.
This season, Madrid’s taxis have the inscription “free NOW.” This is not a philosophy, but an app for calling taxis. The future “on call” — in any direction of the given NOW.
Stay safe, we wish you strength and health.