Depictions of total chaos have emerged from Wuhan, China, the city where the coronavirus first started spreading. 60 million citizens are under curfew, schools across the region are closed until further notice, and authorities recommend avoiding any unnecessary contact with people, including shaking hands. The strange plague also quickly spread beyond China’s borders, causing worldwide panic.
If we look at this situation through the lens of the wisdom of Kabbalah, there is nothing new here. Everything is unfolding naturally. The egoistic line of thought embedded within us makes us imagine the world as fixed and unchanging, that only we humans move in our reality. We thus place ourselves at the center of the world and imagine the control we have over the system of nature with our short-sighted selfish nature. However, such outbreaks as the coronavirus come to show us that this is not exactly the case.
In our five senses of perception, we are unable to see that the shifts taking place in our constantly changing world are currently developing with a negative trajectory relative to us. In our ignorance, we have pitted ourselves against nature.
The raw matter of creation, termed “the desire to enjoy” in the wisdom of Kabbalah, is in constant growth. In humans, this desire is expressed with an additional egoistic quality, where we aim to fulfill this desire to enjoy at the expense of others. We thus become inflated with self-importance, mentally and emotionally detaching from one another. Due to the destructive tendency of the egoistic desire to enjoy at the expense of others, Kabbalists describe this quality as the “evil inclination.”
With such an egoistic nature, we find ourselves faced with a serious paradox: On one hand, by nature we want to enjoy, to be at rest, and to use anyone and anything in order to achieve whatever each of us pictures as enjoyable. On the other hand, if we fail to cover the evil inclination with a good one, with an intention to benefit others, then we set ourselves up for self-destruction.
The pace of the coronavirus epidemic’s expansion should be seen as a warning signal for us to realize that we are on the verge of facing unmanageable challenges from nature. Until today, the imbalance between the good and evil forces, i.e., between the desire to benefit others and the desire to enjoy for self-benefit alone, has surfaced slowly and gradually in small increments. At this slower pace, we have had enough time to develop antibodies to battle the mutations, even if only temporarily.
However, with the exponentially accelerating rate of change, we could be faced with a disastrous plague in the future unless we learn how to balance these qualities—our human inclination to live at the expense of all, and the characteristic of nature that demands altruistic connections between every aspect of the environment, humans included. At the moment, we foolishly pit ourselves against nature in a losing battle.
There is no cruelty here on nature’s part. Nature operates by fixed and absolute laws in order to develop us to a perfect, balanced and harmonious state. We thus need only work out what is our role in this nature, and seek how we can become an active and beneficial element in nature.
Our key role in the system of nature is to function as the essential component that brings balance to the world through realizing nature’s primary law, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, when we try to connect with threads of love, we align with nature’s positive force by becoming similar to it. By doing so, we cause a “love virus” to emerge between us, and it spreads through us to nature on all of its levels, the inanimate, vegetative, animate and human. In short, positive human connections where we each aim to benefit each other will balance all ills in the world.