For reasons beyond my comprehension, I’ve been exposed to various types of crises for a long part of my life. Career crisis – going from a radio journalist to a self-made entrepreneur, and then back to being “just a coder” – relationships crisis (too many to mention them) or even identity crises, I know them all. And, even in the bleakest of times I always had this distinct feeling that the suffering I was going through was coming from some sort of friction: the friction between the current “me” and the rough walls of a portal which was about to take me to the “next me”.
It was never pleasant. On the contrary. It was painful, frightening and frustrating. And yet, at the end of the process, the “next me” was well worth it. The only problem was that I was never able to get a glimpse of what my “next me” would be. That’s what a portal is, after all: a radical entry into a world that cannot be seen, or even imagined. If the next world would have been more familiar, we would have simply used a road, not a portal. Much easier.
But no, we use portals specifically because what’s on the other side is so hard to contain in our current views, that it must be completely separated from this world.
The Coronavirus Crisis
This one is slightly different, though (at least in my opinion). Let me tell you why.
For the last 3 weeks, our world, as we know it, stopped. It was literally brought to a halt and everything we used to consider familiar, or predictable, disappeared. We’re confined in our houses, with minimal social interaction, without escape, forced to face our own companionship for an indefinite period of time. We retracted inside a very small cocoon, where the main goal is survival.
And here’s where this crisis portal lies: inside us. The outside daily pressure disappeared and whatever was pushed down inside us is now trying to get out, seeking closure. Without the pressure to contain it, it’s naturally propelled up, moving in a direction we wouldn’t even consider a month ago.
Another difference is that, this time around, the crisis is generalized. It’s not like I’m going “through a phase” while everybody around me carries around. Everybody is going through enormous changes, at the same time. Facing yourself, without make up, without the excuse of a job, without the social peer-pressure, is difficult enough, but when everybody is doing this, completely separated, it’s a whole new world emerging.
Putting these two characteristics together is enough to get an idea about the extent of the crisis we’re going through right now. Every one of us is experiencing the friction of their own inner portal and every one of us is doing it at the same time.
This may sound a bit unusual, but I personally think this is the opportunity of a lifetime. Scratch that, I think humanity never had this opportunity ever: it’s a unique event at the scale of an entire civilization. It doesn’t seem as spectacular as the fall of the Roman Empire, or the World Wars, or even the Ice Ages.
But in its silent, almost annoying way, it is forcing us to re-evaluate, to re-arrange, to re-start our lives, in areas where we thought everything was ok for a long time. Well, turns out it was not ok at all since we are so forced to face it – and we now have to deal with it for good.
The virus itself (as dangerous and as hard to contain as it is) is just a pretext. The real portal opened inside.
Inside each and every one of us.
Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay