Remember from the previous post, “the test is in living it”? The testing continues…
I and my beloved are slowly recovering from new variant “UK” Covid-19. That’s eleven months after catching and recovering from the original variant.
We didn’t get very seriously ill, but quite ill enough: my beloved spent a week in hospital with a very high level of inflammatory response. My oxygen levels were borderline for a while.
So, to the point. Illness, sickness, and fear. As already noted, this liberation I live is not liberation from sickness, disease or physical death.
But there was a point when the disease was really digging in when, for one moment, there was the option of fear. It attempted to creep in.
And allowing fear in — as against reasonable caution — is feasibly the entry point for deadly disease.
It also raises another point: waking up is to life, not the dream. It does not erase all history and habits, it’s a form of rebirth but with luggage.
The testing that happens is, perhaps, to test the level of attachment to the luggage. Have I made my history historical? Is it released, fully? Well, let’s test it and see! Can fear enter? Can fear be attached to the disease? Well, not here, no–but what would happen if it did? Why are so many dying of Covid-19? Could fear have a role in such deaths? Perhaps.
Many readers will know what a placebo is. Briefly, it is a neutral substance that, when taken while believed to be a medicine, has genuine therapeutic effects.
The nocebo is much less well known. Can you guess? It is a neutral substance that, when taken while believed to be a toxin, has genuine negative physical effects. This has been demonstrated in trials, where people take a sugar pill that they have been told produces negative side effects. Although the pill is just sugar, some 20% of subjects showed the negative side effects.
This is not because the subjects are stupid or gullible. It is a demonstration of the power of belief in the individual, just as the placebo effect is, but with opposite polarity. It is in a way related to the effects of hypnosis, which can have major effects through suggestion that is accepted. It also is related to what can happen in cults, sects, or extremism.
There’s a branch of psychology that developed to study what was once regarded by mainstream psychologists as improbable phenomena: the effect of beliefs on the capacity of the body to handle, or succumb, to disease.
This is the field of psychoneuroimmunology.
Mind, body, cells?
“Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of the interactions among behavioral, neural and endocrine, and immune processes.”Reference 6
It’s interesting how ideas once regarded as bizarre fantasies have entered the edge of the mainstream. This study is now reputable, and has demonstrated the interactions of beliefs and behaviours on the apparent functioning of the fundamental apparently physical systems of the apparent body. Gosh, what a surprise.
We are not going any further into this, because the whole of this domain is essentially that of the false self, the mind, belief–which is not gnosis.
Covid and fear
The massive and unrelenting reportage across all the mainstream media of covid infection rates, hospitalisation rates, deaths and hiccups in vaccines feeds the mind’s fears. It’s inescapable. This together with being effectively jailed for long periods stokes generalised fear for the populations at large.
The worldwide outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) raises concerns of widespread panic and anxiety in individuals subjected to the real or perceived threat of the virus.Reference 4
It may be the case that in some suggestible individuals, this environment taken together with beliefs fostered by social media may lead to a nocebo effect working on that individual. As one review said:
The Verdict: If you believe a treatment won’t help you, it probably won’t — and vice versaReference 6
Awakening to covid-19
Being awake does not mean that waves of emotion reflected off fears and memories formed in the prior unawake existence do not arise.
It does mean that there is nowhere for them to lodge, to bind, to trigger an attachment. They pass like a gust of wind and are gone.
But if you have not yet awakened, note how you can be subjected to convincing though false arguments that fear is a valid response. The “fight or flight” adrenaline stress response triggered by fear can be most useful if you have to run from an aggressive dog, jump from in front of a tram, or resist a robbery.
If you are in lockdown in a small flat in a big city (or even in more expansive circumstances), that adrenaline stress response triggered by unending mostly bad news will ruin your immune system — if you can’t run it off.
But if you can’t run it off, you can also sit and dissolve it, feel it, let it go.
Don’t die through fear — die to fear.
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7573456/#:~:text=Our findings suggest that most,confidence in hospital IP practices.