The other day I met at a cafe, in person, with a friend for tea/coffee. It was the first time in over a year. I have to say it felt a bit weird—in a good way. The positive nuance of social connection, hidden in the digital world, is unmasked in person. There is a warm palpable energy unavailable on the computer screen. I wonder about folks who have most of their relationships online. So much is missed.
I imagine, sometime in the future, our various health sciences will come to the conclusion that there is an energy of personal connection, an invisible ‘vitamin’, necessary for human health. This vitamin is only available through presence. I think our species will go extinct without ‘vitamin presence’ (Vitamin P?). Perhaps the virus among us is more a sickness of separation than it is a disease. Maybe Covid-19 is an opportunistic infection that preys upon our ego’s need to separate self and other. The virus spawns more divisiveness until we kill each other and the virus no longer has a host.
But it need not go that way. Coarising with the pandemic is an invitation to dissolve our differences, to come together for the benefit of all beings equally. The current experiment is to discover which way we will collectively go. Samsara, being what it is, will always skew one way or the other as long the dualistic mind remains. My prayer is for a middle path where we find a way to recognize our ego is the source of all our divisions. Knowing this, we have the opportunity to at least embrace our differences and go out for a beer, coffee, or cup of tea.
My primary religious studies professor often used the German word, gemütlichkeit, which means warmth, comfort, friendliness—that cosy feeling of connection. He said something to the effect, “It is possible to have an argument as one of many ways to connect, rather than disconnect. Then, after a heated debate, you go out and share a beer to celebrate natural gemütlichkeit. Agreement is unnecessary to celebrate our humanness together.” Maybe Vitamin P is gemütlichkeit. When this pandemic subsides, may we all take a megadose of Vitamin P and celebrate a new healing balance for the planet and all beings.