Our planet is engulfed in a novel coronavirus pandemic and many have wondered why. Convinced that there must be more to this disaster than just suffering through an unbelievably painful medical crisis, I began to look for signs of its deeper meaning. Starting from the premise that no matter what happens in our world, there is always a bigger, spiritual picture at play, the name of the disease soon came to mind: Covid-19. Could epidemiologists have unwittingly chosen a name that contains some sort of hidden meaning?  Breaking the word down into its component parts and searching an online dictionary, an interesting message suddenly came into focus: “Together see oneness.”  [See photo.] Is that what the problem represents from the standpoint of soul growth?

None of us could have imagined a mere six months ago that by early 2020—in the twinkling of an eye—the entire world literally would shut down as country after country took a pause from life as we once knew it. Conditions did feel novel, almost as if a new world order had come crashing down on our heads out of nowhere, hitting the planet like a ton of bricks. With surprising force, the new normal compelled people across the globe to step back from the busyness and distractions of the outer world by staying home. Whatever its origins, the current pandemic has shaken the human community out of its comfort zone and, as the mystics might say, pushed us to “Go within.”

A mountain of scientific data can tell us what causes a pandemic, how it spreads, who may be most vulnerable, and the number of victims the virus might claim. But science is only able to illuminate what a disease like Covid-19 can teach us on a physical level. While the technical knowledge gleaned from the coronavirus will no doubt aid physicians far into the future, the unprecedented circumstances we’re living through might also teach us some profound lessons about ourselves.

Perhaps one of the more esoteric reasons Covid-19 arrived at our doorstep was to demonstrate in a very graphic manner that we are one world. The irony is that the enforced social distancing keeping us apart has also made us more keenly aware of how inextricably linked we are as a human family. The process of containing the virus has opened our eyes to the precious bonds that exist between us and the care and support these relationships provide along life’s journey. Simply realizing how many of our brothers and sisters around the world are experiencing the same dynamic at the same time doesn’t necessarily make staying inside any easier, but it does reinforce the notion that we’re all in this lifeboat together. It’s comforting to know that as members of a worldwide family we share a similar burden, and that by joining forces and working together as one we can defeat the common enemy.

In many ways the coronavirus has become the great leveler. A pandemic doesn’t recognize borders drawn on a map. Nor does it discriminate based on race, nationality, political party, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, status, or creed. Whether genius or fool, rich or poor, powerful or weak, the virus imparts an inescapable lesson. There is no human being who is better than any other, because no one is immune. The scourge’s stealth attack on people of every nation has not only humbled us but stripped us naked to reveal our collective humanity. That said, if there’s an unearned blessing in this tragedy, it is the opportunity to better understand not only our physical similarities but our true heritage as living souls. We are spiritual beings—equally valued by a loving Creator—and here to fulfill a sacred purpose in the earth. For the divine spark inside each of us is a ray of the same eternal sun.

In a curious twist, Covid-19 has also exposed our oneness with the natural world—by our absence from it. Ever since we retreated from what used to be called normal life, the polluted skies over major cities are clearing; rivers and streams are running cleaner; and wildlife are returning to spots they had formerly abandoned. These striking changes carry a vital message for the human race: Remove people from the picture and the earth begins to heal. Obviously, human beings are not going anywhere nor should they. We are part and parcel of the great circle of life on this big blue marble we inhabit. But the question the pandemic has laid at our feet is how do we live in unity and harmony with the earth that sustains us? The answer to that question should lend weight to every action we take going forward.

Sadly, the crisis has also dealt a major blow to the global financial order. With alarming speed, the pandemic demonstrated what can occur when the links in the chains of our economic interdependence break. It appears that no person, institution, company or government has been spared the agonizing repercussions of the worldwide shutdown. Whatever we have understood about marketing and selling the past does not serve us now when customers are confined to their homes and travel among cities and international destinations has virtually dried up.

The pandemic has shown us that that we reside in and belong to a social ecosystem. It is impossible to ignore the disparities in wealth, education, health services, and a basic standard of living that this virus has brought into stark relief (a second tragedy hidden in plain sight).Just like a forest or wetland, if only a small portion of an ecosystem receives a disproportionate amount of the nourishment needed to sustain it, while other areas are deprived of those life-giving nutrients, the system as a whole will eventually fail. The as yet unstoppable coronavirus is a lesson on the critical ways in which we are all connected to and dependent upon one another not only to survive but to thrive. This unprecedented emergency is shining a light on the unsung heroes among us who keep society going when the going gets tough: first responders, farmers, bus drivers, postal workers, health care professionals, grocery store personnel, trash haulers, and the crews who keep the electricity flowing.

The Covid-19 crisis has taken a tremendous toll on our world. But its underlying message implies that this is not the time to sit idly by in fear. Rather it is a call to stay awake and centered, assimilate the lessons it offers, and help those who feel lost and afraid. Strange as it may seem, this traumatic period in human history may be the birth pangs of a bright New Age. And while the idea of better days ahead may be difficult to imagine in the midst of the raging storm, Edgar Cayce’s admonition to keep the faith is a powerful reminder of why we here at this particular moment in time.

Be glad you have the opportunity to be alive at this time, and to be a part of that preparation for the coming influences of a spiritual nature that must rule the world. These are indicated, and these are part of thy experience. Be happy of it, and give thanks daily for it.  - Edgar Cayce reading 2376-3