The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Fourth Horseman Rides Again; the Fear Factor

'Again; I am not a scientist!' The best or worst I, or any of us can do is to do our research, taking the word of those who are accredited scientists, or else, those we trust who have, in their turn, done their research. From what I have heard, this particular 'coronavirus' ( COVID-19 ) is a bit more insidious than the 'normal' flu virus we are used to. Without trying to get into all the intricacies of the virus, unless we are scientists ourselves, we seem to have no choice but to take 'their' word for it: either way, we have a choice, give into the Fear Factor, or not. We should take necessary precautions, yes, but 'shouldn't we be doing that anyway?' ( especially around this time of year )

'No, I'm NOT saying there is nothing to be concerned about', that if we can somehow get past the fear, it ( 'coronavirus' ) won't affect us - like as not, some who are now exhibiting flu-like symptoms are infected, if not with the 'terrifying' COVID-19, with some form of the coronavirus. Taking the necessary precautions, such as doing what we can to keep up our immune system, washing our hands as often as we feel is necessary & generally staying away from large crowds, especially if there is much coughing or sneezing & sniffling going on, are several ways to safe-guard against contracting  anything, much less the 'dreaded' coronavirus ( COVID-19 ). 'Should we be worried, though, about what may come?' 'If we worry about it, does that necessarily mean that we've given in to the 'Fear Factor'?' Well, actually, 'yes'! Worry causes stress & stress is one of the biggest causes, if not the biggest cause, of dis-ease! One doesn't have to be a scientist to know that stress weakens the immune system. It's been proven to cause heart conditions ( palpitations, etc. ) When we stress about certain factors, the factors themselves, real or imagined, tend to become a reality. This would explain much of what is going on in the world today!

'Fear or Faith', especially among Christians, has become somewhat of a catch-phrase. During times like this, in particular, the tendency is to Fear, whether it's the impending demise of our humanity or the unknown ( ? ). Faith ( whether in Someone or Something outside themselves to save/protect them, or in their own ability, as far as that goes, to protect/save themselves )  is not necessarily the opposite of Fear. Faith, at its most basic, is belief. If one believes that this or that 'God' will protect them, it can be rather comforting, but on the other hand, to have that same faith in one's own ability to protect themselves, while it can also bring a certain level of comfort, it can bring an almost overwhelming sense of responsibility as well!

In this day & age, particularly here in the good ole' U. S. of A., the majority of Americans don't seem to do very well with responsibility. Take the seat belt law, for instance, How much sense does it take to wear a seat-belt if you're traveling at 70mph at night through an area known to be populated by deer ( or other wildlife )? For that matter, how smart IS it to be traveling at 70mph through an area known to be populated by deer?! Speed limits themselves are another proposition. The list could go on, but the point IS, the reason we have such 'laws' is that so many have given up their responsibilities. With responsibility, of course, comes freedom, or rather, vice versa; so then, when responsibility is given over to someone else, the federal government, for instance, freedom naturally follows!

Coming full circle, so to speak, how much sense does it take to exercise the usual precautions? We should be washing our hands, keeping our immune system up, etc., etc. anyway, but especially during 'flu season'! Because of the carelessness of people ( AKA, 'irresponsibility' ), we have what we now see, not only throughout the 'civilized' world, but in our own country. Not only is the CDC telling us what we can/should or can't/shouldn't do, but some areas of our own country are seeing indications of martial law! Certain other countries are in even worse situations. Intercontinental traffic, to whatever extent, has pretty much been stalled & there has even been talk of closing borders. We're hearing of mandatory vaccinations & some businesses are being forced to close up shop. All because of irresponsibility: if people would simply exercise responsibility themselves ( which some do, to whatever extent ), we most likely wouldn't be seeing the federal government taking the measures they are, or even the spread of the 'coronavirus' itself!

As before, conspiracy theories abound as to how this virus 'escaped'! One such story is that it came from eating an incorrectly cooked bat ( ? ). One might hear phrases like 'biological warfare' being bandied around! However this viral outbreak came about; the actuality of it is that what is happening because of it & the natural Fear it engenders around the world has brought much of the business world to a veritable standstill. Though this might prove to be devastating to financial markets around the world ( it's already had quite an effect ), the overall effect that it will likely have on the world's economies, to say nothing of our own, could in fact be beneficial.

With quarantine, mandatory or not, families are almost being forced to interact with each other! Yes, Facebook feeds ( (Instagram, etc. ) are still being blown up - my own feed, for a while, was at least 90% taken up by some sort of 'coronavirus' news or joke - but many people are taking refuge, not in work, but in each other. The effects of this 'outbreak', depending on one's overall health, may be detrimental, especially to the elderly, but in spite of this unsettling fact, they may, in actuality, positively affect personal responsibility.

'As above, so below'; the heartening realization that we are More than simple human beings, itself will bring an amazing degree of Freedom! Although the effects this novel 'coronavirus' might have on our human biology are definitely a concern, the Fear of losing oneself is no longer there. Since we are not just biological machines, the very notion that any mere 'virus' could kill US is rendered ineffectual. WE cannot be affected by this, or any other 'virus'! All they can do is kill the body, they cannot kill the 'soul'!

Again, since WE are in this biology for a reason, let's take reasonable care of our biological vehicles. Whatever one may think of their reason for being here ( or not ), if we begin to exercise more responsibility for our own actions ( health, etc ), Freedom will surely follow. With Freedom comes Responsibility & so, with the exercise of Responsibility, comes Freedom. Freedom puts Fear out the window, so to speak & vice versa. When Fear is not present, Freedom flows!

Namaste' & Blessed Be!
Charles Haddon Shank

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