INFORMAL EXCHANGE WITH INDIAN FRIENDS
At the time of writing the text below, covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic was beginning to shake the whole world, and the psychosocial landscape was rapidly becoming rarer.
Because of the close ties that bind me to friends in India, I thought it appropriate to share with them some of my individual and joint experience in critical situations, with the intention of contributing to overcoming this moment.
This is not an "operational manual" or a "treatise", but simply a possible encouragement in terms of attitude, inner placement and mental direction. The style and scope fit the addressees and the juncture.
Fernando A. García, Parks of Study and Reflection Punta de Vacas, April 17, 2020
You are aware that the present crisis is neither the first nor the last. As Silo foretold throughout decades, it is another harsh aspect within the critical transition from the old world to the new one that is dawning.
You know that, in these times, the School is meant to become a guide, a beacon.
Therefore, it is the time for rising to the occasion, jointly and individually.
It is a very good opportunity to grow as a positive reference for society.
Hope you don’t mind if I share with you just a few points from my experience in critical situations. I am sure you know many of them, and that you may add your own.
1) Something basic, but true: Let Silo’s teachings be our main guide. Let us stick to them.
2) During crises, usually the average psychosocial atmosphere tends to deteriorate, e.g., there is an increase in external and internal violence, dimmer awareness, poor judgement, individualism, lack of empathy, panic, fear, frenzy, desperation, irrationality, doomsday thoughts, etc. Let us beware of darkened inner states in ourselves and others .Let us try not to become an easy prey of that atmosphere.
3) Let us never remain stunned by sudden unfavourable circumstances, just enduring them passively, just reacting. First, let us take stock of the situation and make a plan to face the crisis; then, act proactively with determination to carry it out.
4) Let us make our action plan based on “giving” and helping others.
5) Let the welfare of many be the target of our plan, not just ourselves and a few ones,
6) Let us never indulge in sorrowing or pitying ourselves, assuming the attitude of victims. Let the “centre of gravity” of our thoughts, feelings and actions be within ourselves, in our intentionality.
7) Let us be action-oriented activists. Crisis is not a time to entertain full-time onlookers, armchair self-opinionated characters, whiners, defeatists, etc.
8) Let us focus our mind on what we can do, instead of suffering for what we cannot do in these circumstances.
9) Let us focus on what we are doing, instead of focusing on what others are doing/not doing, have/have not done, should/should not do, etc.
10) As Silo suggested, proposals rather than criticisms are the need of these times.
11) Let us see the glass as half full rather than half empty.
12) Let us see advantages and opportunities in adversities.
13) Let the strong aspiration to a better future be our compass and our driving force.
14) Let us distinguish between need and desire, choose need, and act accordingly.
15) Let us distinguish between important and secondary, choose important, and act accordingly.
16) Let us distinguish between high priority and low priority, choose high priority, and act accordingly.
17) When all of a sudden we lose something we were used to, we may realize and comprehend the function it fulfilled in our lives. We may draw very positive consequences from this reflection.
18) Let us never remain drawn internally or externally for long periods. Let us make daily use of our resources to regain our “centre of gravity”; e.g. relaxation, experience of Force, the “Asking,” the inner guide, catharsis, etc.
19) Let us seek coherence, internal unity, from our valid actions for higher or greater purposes. Let us not expect pleasure, reward, or recognition to be the confirmation of our valid action.
20) In trying times, let us never isolate or draw ourselves apart from the rest.
21) United we face it. When joint unity is necessary, like now, let us never cut off others, or promote divisions, discrimination, quarrels amongst our friends, etc.
22) This crisis is an opportunity to increase our wisdom, kindness, and inner strength –not a justification to lower our standards.
23) Let us take from the spirit of older times: a) “To immediately re-establish contact in the event of a catastrophe”; b) “To reconstruct the Order and the School assuring their continuity in case of unavoidable events”; and c) “Never echo the feelings of the mob.” From “Norms of organization and functioning of The Community” - Ceremonial - II. Ceremonies of promotion – Entrance to the Order –January 1, 1980.
If we take advantage of this opportunity, we will come out of the crisis being wiser, kinder, and stronger –individually and jointly as well.
Best wishes of Peace, Force, and Joy to you all!