Coronavirus, for whatever its suffering and tragedy, its vast economic devastation and physical alienation from each others’ touch, at least it has given us silence. It is one of the bitter ironies of this last one+ year that human beings needed disease and death in order to experience the thing that nourishes us – – and maybe even the ecosystem! – – the most: a long pause in the mindless running helter-skelter, a slowing down, a forced cessation of the blind commitment of personal energy and natural resources and attention — limited attention! — to the mad pursuit of empty sports league happenings, celebrity culture events shoved under our noses, jittery travel-bug movement and its unseemly over-consumption and desecrations.
Have you noticed? The near-total absence of mass sports events being projected out of televisions in restaurants, in homes, blared to us in public spaces whether we like it or not, all of it fueled by corporate sponsors employing an effective attention-sucking vampire-vehicle for shopping their brands into our thinking-space. Not having news about Messi or Ronaldo or this star athlete or that, shoved in our faces; no false news alarms screaming “Brad Pitt’s latest release is at the top of the box office this week!, where it knocked out Johnny Depp‘s latest big film!, and now we can see his value after his controversial court case!, meanwhile the big film festival winner in Cannes had this terrible scandal that you NEED to know about!, and the big director So-and-so once said THIS shocking thing when he was younger!, or that abusive relationship is finally revealed! Big big REALLY-BIG! story after a word from our sponsors!! You won’t want to miss it!! Stay tuned!“
One thing that has been joyously apparent, in the midst of the coronavirus suffering, is this emergence of a kind of pervasive silence that we have never experienced before in our lives, and might not ever experience again. Some scientific research has revealed that perceptible levels of birdsong have actually increased, as the level of ambient noise from traffic and pointless human movement and false-busyness has been radically reduced. This imperceptible virus has hit the “mute“ button on the remote control handset. And finally, there is the chance to taste a very special, unique, and completely medicinal silence.
Even the birds are overjoyed at this clearer, more open space of Being.
So, how will you use it?