A Symphony and a Virus
I hope that during this virus pandemic all of us will take time to reflect. Maybe we should think about the way we treat others, animals, the planet, and even ourselves.
I’m glad that I’m not hearing many religious explanations during this crises, for any kind of religious logic would be absurd. There is no point in praying since God obviously “allowed” this virus to spread in the first place. Is God going to now protect the ones who pray the loudest and most frequently? No, he will not. We are all chained to our own fate, and the virus doesn’t care what you say or believe, or how rich or poor you are.
If anything, now is the time to admire evolution, which created the pesky coronavirus that is now spreading like wildfire around the world.
On a purely mathematical basis, the next two months will be extremely difficult for us humans. We try desperately to keep our economy going, for that keeps the poor fed and the rich wealthy. But so much of our economy requires human interaction and when that’s taken away our civilization howls and screams hopelessly into the night.
Living cells and viruses have fought with one another for millions of years. Our cells know how to fight for their lives and have defenses against viruses and bacterias. Better yet, in the early days of our evolution our cells joined together as a team and created multicellular life, complete with immune systems. This took hundreds of millions of years to develop, but by golly we did it. Life will always be a struggle and we will always be at war with something, whether it be each other, ourselves, or microorganisms.
If the little corona mutates into something less effective it could just die out. Or, it could mutate into something more deadly. Early detection through testing and quickly sealing off “hotspots” is one way to control it. But, like we have in the past, the United States responded slowly and haphazardly to the threat, and our government now wants to send us all a check to make up for the disaster they allowed to happen. The reaction is so typically American.
The Loss of Rational Thinking
My latest epiphany is that I used to blame religion for “dumbing down” the population and sucking away humanity’s ability to think critically. Religion and conspiracy theories are part of the brain’s desire to take “shortcuts,” in order to save calories. Your brain only weighs 3 pounds, yet burns 327 calories per day, so if all those pink cells inside your skull can figure out a shortcut, it might just take it. So, instead of your brain trying to understand the evolution of viruses, it’s easier to say, “it’s a sign of the end times,” or “it was developed in a bio lab.” I’m sure the ability to believe conspiracy theories evolved with us.
Religion is the result of social evolution. Judaism was influenced by neighboring nations and nations who invaded the Jews. While the religion was adapted from a Canaanite god, it was later impacted by Babylonian Zoroastrianism and even Greek Hellenism. Then, the Jewish community influenced the Roman Empire, and in particular one splinter group known as Christians began to take the spotlight. Eventually, the Romans adopted Christianity and Roman Catholicism dominated much of Europe for a thousand years. Around the 1400s some theologians began to challenge the Roman Catholic Church, and for that, a few of them were burned at the stake. By the mid 1400s science was born — hurray! By the early 1500s Martin Luther led the protestant reformation, and 26 years later the Scientific Revolution began to pick up speed.
Over the next five centuries the protestants splintered into many denominations, which, in turn, splintered into more denominations. Today, it’s estimated that there are 47,000 Christian denominations in the world. And, lucky you, because the one you were born into just happens to be the “correct” denomination, right?
So, let’s give the little virus a break when it’s constantly mutating into something else because religion does the same thing.
Ludwig van Beethoven
I’ve always loved Beethoven, Brahms, Bach, and Mozart. The passion and energy they put into their music is amazing. For a moment I want to share the story of Beethoven. He was a tortured soul and these types of people make the best music. What a nightmare it was when Beethoven, a top Vienna musician, began to lose his hearing. It was horrible. There was also political upheaval, the French military invasion, and lost loves and broken hearts. Then there were more physical ailments. Yet, through it all Beethoven persevered. Why, because he had things inside him that he needed to get out.
Beethoven created the most beautiful love song, called Moonlight Sonata. He made a powerful political statement with his Eroica Symphony, and he went on to compose more symphonies, piano concertos, string quartets, choral works, and operas. And even when deaf he continued his work. He was driven by a powerful force within his soul. He wanted to create; he wanted to leave his mark on the world.
Just a few year before his death he composed the greatest symphony of all time, known as Ode to Joy: Symphony №9. The symphony pulled out all the stops and even included a chorus at the end. He had made his grand statement and three years later the brilliant master died. In his last days he said, “Plaudite, amici, comoedia finita est,” a Latin phrase that translated into: “Applaud friends, the comedy is over.”
Originally published at http://secondsunblog.blogspot.com.