It has been a year since the first lockdown and the pandemic has had an impact on individuals of varying temperaments. In some sense, everyone has been contemplating things. Hopes and the fears which stem from desire have taken the form of toning the physical, fine-tuning the mental, and perhaps simplifying the spiritual.
The more physical among us have made a survival statement by drawing up a list of desires to be fulfilled. It is not surprising that the priority is the comfort of the most basic need, food. Experiments with health foods, nutritional foods and foods made at home have never in recent times been more enthusiastic or widespread. Traditional flavours have been revisited with newfound respect and hope bordering on faith.
The cerebral population has turned to the mind. The powers of the mind are being viewed and challenged with awe. Language, creative arts, psychology and the fine arts are all being used as stressbusters. Mental health is no longer taboo. It is discussed openly. The fear of a doctor’s waiting room has given a chance to the mind to guide the body in healing itself. Hypochondria seems to have been put on the backburner.
For the spiritual, it is still mainly religion, but the ritual and superstition may be abating. The desire to assert moral superiority has been tempered by the forced realisation that both life and the world one lives in are not as stable or enduring as one assumes them to be. Such a realisation puts the focus back on day-to-day existence in a virtuous manner so that every minute becomes meaningful. Both hope and fear, which come from the mistaken notion that the world and life are enduring, shackle the freedom to live virtuously which is indeed the nature of the spiritual.
This freedom enhances not just the moral but also the physical and mental well-being of the individual. Actions, decisions and judgements made with such freedom and detachment from desire make life meaningful in itself. In such a scenario society would become a reflection of the individual: physically strong, mentally enduring and tolerant, and morally the conscience keeper of all.