We have not finished dealing with one virus, and another one comes along. Monkeypox, a usually mild cousin of the deadly smallpox virus, has been around since 1958. However, until now, it was mostly endemic in Africa. Now, like everything these days, it has become a global menace. According to the latest update from the World Health Organization (WHO), “There are now a total of 131 confirmed cases of monkeypox … in 19 countries.” However, the WHO also says, “While the outbreak is unusual, it remains ‘containable.’”
I am not sure if this is the beginning of a new pandemic, although experts do not think it is. Either way, if not this menace, then another peril will come from nature to heighten our sensitivity to how it treats us.
Nothing is more powerful than nature itself. In that regard, the great 20th century thinker and kabbalist Baal HaSulam writes in his essay “The Peace” that God and nature are synonymous. So, what does God, or nature, want from us? Why is it punishing all of humanity with the same blows at the same time, and why is it happening specifically now?
The answer to these questions comes from our own behavior. The fact that so many people are asking these very serious questions is exactly what nature “wants” to achieve, if you can put it that way. But why is nature imposing all those limitations on us? Why is it making us afraid to approach other people for fear of being infected? It is precisely because when we are not afraid of approaching one another, we do so in order to harm or use one another, or both.
Nature will continue to lash out unexpected blows until we realize that the root of the problem is not in the animal kingdom, but in the social ills of human society. Our alienation and hatred for each other are sickening our bodies, our minds, and the world around us. This is the great lesson that nature is trying to teach us through its plagues.
Because the world is one connected system, everything we do, say, or think affects the entire world. The alienation and aggression that dominate human relationships permeate the rest of nature’s levels and produce negative effects. They produce not only new diseases, but all kinds of natural disasters. Nevertheless, they are actually reflections of our adverse attitude toward each other and toward nature, since they are influenced by the only sick element in the global ecosystem: humankind.
If we want to prevent future plagues from haunting us, we must deal with the root of the problem—the damaging relationships between us, and between us and nature. If we stop harboring such negative thoughts about each other, we will stop emitting negativity into the global ecosystem.
To achieve this, we should not focus on the negativity of our thoughts, but on creating a positive and supportive atmosphere for all people. If we focus on seeing the contribution of each nation and each person to society, and if people use their skills and talents for the common good, we will change the atmosphere around us, which will stop the constant oozing of malevolence into the world. This, in turn, will stop the production of ill-willed products from nature toward humans.
Photo Caption –
Test tubes labelled “Monkeypox virus positive and negative” are seen in this illustration taken May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic