Two years ago, on the eve of the first pandemic lockdown, I said, “God has at His fingertips many means for changing the outer shell of Creation and its inner levels in the twinkling of His adorable eye.” This truth may account for the puzzled surprise of the scientists now studying the highly contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus that has developed so quickly and spread so rapidly around the world. Researchers have discovered that Omicron’s extremely rare mutations go against the normal understanding of viral evolution. It appears to have developed “a number of mutations that are harmful to the virus on their own but beneficial to it when combined.” In trying to unravel the puzzle, one scientist observed, “Nature is certainly doing its part to keep us humble.”
And so we see God, working His wonders, firsthand.
In Part I of this message, I noted how the forceful processes of transformation, now unfolding through the instrument of the continuing pandemic, are helping to lay the foundation for the New Man by targeting the separative self in all its forms, even, it seems, the physical tissue mediating the ego itself, the brain, sensory system, and individualized faces. On a global scale, the virus presents a continuous existential threat to the expression of individuality, preference, selfishness, distinctions, and differences. None of those qualities can accompany us into the miraculous new world that is now being born around us and within us.
Because the current variant is so contagious, we are all once again wearing protective masks almost everywhere we go. The mask offers much more than protection. By covering the nose and mouth, the mask constantly frustrates the ego’s ability to satisfy its cravings through habitual behaviors like snacking or smoking. We have consequently seen a rapid worldwide weakening of such personal cravings. And the mask brings other benefits. Unnecessary speech is increasingly curbed while wearing it because the mask makes it muffled and incomprehensible to others. Once accustomed to this, many discover the refreshment of silence and the renewed energy it brings to life.
Perhaps the mask’s most significant benefit is this: When I walk downtown, masked like everyone else, I look like everyone else. Racial and ethnic differences are erased, gender differences are minimized. A recent small scientific study in England found that people now regard others as more attractive when wearing masks than formerly. Anyone and everyone can look attractive in a mask!
Masked like everyone else, one is free to let go of all the illusions that ever defined them. Increasingly it becomes impossible to hold the self apart from others, to maintain a separate identity or align with a special, privileged group. Our common humanity is brought to the fore. In this way we are given a foretaste of His miraculous new world – a glimpse of our real home.
Meher Baba said (in “his language”) that with the breaking of his silence, three-quarters of the world would be destroyed. With three-quarters of everyone’s face concealed by a mask, what do I see? Their eyes – the “windows of the soul”. Their light shines bright, sparkling with unconscious mirth as they witness the spectacle of this grand divine comedy. Filled with wonder, they see reflections of the beautiful birth of His miraculous new world as it opens in joyful bloom to embrace the Sun.
In His Showering Grace,