Contemplating the Apocalypse
Dr. Anthony Fauci and I have a few things in common. We were both born, between the Great Depression and the onset of WWII, in Bensonhurst, a South Brooklyn neighborhood, home mostly to children of immigrant Sicilians and Jews. We are both second born siblings, he from Italy, me from Bialystok. We have something else in common. When we were kids in Bensonhurst, the accepted vaccine model was to visit your sick friends. When a kid came down with measles or the mumps the network of moms on the block organized bedside visits. Almost always we, too, would become infected. And in turn entertain other kids at our bedside.
Things are different now, Masks, social distancing, deeper knowledge of molecular biology etc. And there are many differences between Fauci and I… but none more significant than expectations. A medical scientist, Fauci believes a vaccine will be found that will end the corona virus plague and return life to its normal pathways. A science writer and kabbalist, I believe there can be no vaccine against Apocalypse. The breakdown of systems had progressed too far.
I have no doubt we will survive this COVID-19 plague. The combined efforts of our scientists and the sophistication of our analytical molecular equipment will produce the vaccines and the meds that will bring us through. For now. Despite the anti-Vaxers and the conspiracy covidiots we will prevail. But underlying this attack are all the prior attacks, the wave of future attacks and the combination of environmental insults and human greed that has brought us to this point of Apocalypse. In the many days of enforced isolation a vision of that cataclysmic event emerged. Whether it is true or false, inevitable or reversible, we cannot know with certainty. But currently, as Greta Thunberg said, ” We are burning the boat.”
It took the entire history of mankind to reach the first one billion population level by the beginning of the 19th Century. When Fauci and I were born, 140 years later, the population had doubled. Today, at the dawn of the Apocalypse, there are eight billion people on Earth
The morning after the Apocalypse the Sun will rise on the black cinder of Earth still spinning 1000 miles per hour, still circling round and round its star at 10,000 miles every minute. Strangely silent under its lattice network of numberless tiny satellites glinting in the reflected light of the rising Sun, the lifeless planet will be bombarded by electronic signals that find no receivers.
The occasional astronaut launched before the first nuclear explosions will look down on a dead planet from one of those tiny doomed satellites. His Report will be read by no one for there will be none to read. He may write it anyway to construct a shelter of words to inhabit in his last days, a silent scream of sorts. A message in a bottle tossed into the sea of Eternity.
The Gaia Hypothesis
That the Earth is a living system, a self-regulating organism of living beings, was sensed even before the Gaia Hypothesis was published by James Lovelock in 1979. Despite growing activity and exploding populations of species, Earth’s temperature remained relatively constant over billions of years as the planet adjsuted for CO2 levels with ice ages and drought and tucked carbon waste safely under rock, ocean and earth. Vast virgin forests converted carbon to life sustaining oxygen.
The balance tipped in the 20th Century as human populations soared geometrically, as water and air supporting these hordes became contaminated by waste and the carefully sequestered carbon accreted over millennia was ripped from the earth and from beds deep in the ocean for fossil fuels to power progress while raising global temperature and rousing the seas from their boundaries. The resulting wildfires and global warming, drought, floods and hurricanes preceded the ferocious assault of the corona virus.
This microbial assault was inevitable. With so much available meat to feed on, with so much free floating DNA compiling and recompiling, so much crowding, so much poverty, the viral and bacterial feast has been proceeding for centuries before the eruption of corona virus. Influenza, Zika, Ebola, H1N1, MERS, AIDS, SARS…and countless unnamed variations ate their way through the living populations of bacteria, mammals, fish, birds and plants.
But the scope and speed of the current massed integrated Corona Virus attack surpassed any expectation. COVID-19 jammed the gears of economic activity, left jet liners on the tarmac and ships at sea, sabotaged health care facilities and emergency field stations, piled up unburied bodies in refrigerated trucks and private bedrooms, and drove whole populations to cower in corners of isolation across the globe. This shape shifting invisible infinitesimally small organism with only 30,000 nucleic bases on its single-stranded RNA has overwhelmed global human populations and set the stage for a cascade of disasters. Beyond sickening and killing humans effectively The SARS‑CoV‑2 Corona Virus has triggered a great famine and recession, divided classes and tribes, pitting the hungry unemployed and menial workers against the masked privileged who receive checks by mail and food packagers by courier and post.
Despite its unquestionable success, because it is unable to breed or long survive without infecting another organism, Scientists generally consider the Corona Virus was not fully alive.
Is it inconceivable that the complex biologic machinery necessary to signal, penetrate and infect cells while evading native immune resources could be operating mindlessly? To hijack a human cell, colonize its reproductive capabilities and breed so prodigiously that nothing that breathes is immune to infection speaks to a high level of intention and intelligence..
Apoptosis the herald angel of Apocalypse
Apoptosis — the continual recycling of dead and useless cellular material in our bodies — marks both the end of that cell’s life to make way for something new and the regeneration of new life as all its elements are recombined. The Corona Virus is an agent of apoptosis
The Corona Virus may be just the harbinger of Apocalypse, the opening round. Even as the plague decimates Nations, freezes economic activity and sends human populations into separate, isolated cells, the rising thundercloud of Apocalypse blackens the horizon. Severe shortages of food and water drive refugees into lands already bereft of resources, feed long-standing tribal and ethnic hatreds and swell into local, regional, religious wars. Many populations and affected parties have nuclear weapons capable of tearing open the crippled cities.
One worst case scenario would have a circle of poisonous mushroom clouds erupting across all continents and oceans triggered by mindless defense systems. And though the incinerated Earth would no longer be visible under its massive cloak of dust and vaporized life our once blue Planet would continue its elliptical parade around the Sun, whirling and spinning preparing its rebirth..
Beyond hope, a new day.
Planet Earth is seething with consciousness, visible and invisible, below the oceans in the air, in and under the earth. Living, sentient beings too innumerable to be uncounted, too unnamed to be approached.
Can this Earth, this Planet think and feel? Can the Universe of which we’re a part think and feel? And act? Would it not be arrogant beyond measure to believe that only humans — this late arriving ape like creature, with its naked skin and hairy body, freakish brain, grasping thumbs and complex consciousness — alone among all living beings can think and feel? As a product of the universe, as part of the universe, we can indeed think and feel. But the part cannot be greater than the whole. That we can think and feel is proof enough that, to an infinitely greater and more complex level than we can grasp, so too can the Cosmos.
The Gaia Hypothesis presumes the collective will of all living beings on the Planet conspire to preserve a living stasis, a balanced survivable environment. Could the intelligence that created that conspiracy have supported the apocalyptic attack of the corona virus?
Who gave that order? Who drives the attack. Who, in fact, created the Corona Virus, placed its 30,000 RNA bases in the precise order necessary to create the genes to produce the proteins to execute the successful campaign that the combined forces of all humanity’s murderous generals in all generations of our bloody history could not equal. To blame a random roll of the cosmic DNA dice would deny the complexity and beauty of our biologic processes.
It is in that question, looking for the Source of this attack, the architecture and launch of the lowly corona virus, that lies the path to restoration of faith in a new day, a future in which we share.
There is something consoling in that thought. It doesn’t resolve any mystery but does provide the abiding sense that the Universe is powered by Will and Consciousness. That this pandemic is not a random act. We are simply and justifiably under attack.
It may be the Planet Earth itself rising in righteous anger that is upon us.
We are hardly innocent. Mea culpa, Nostra culpa.. We have wasted and despoiled. Blown tops off mountains drilled poisonous wells deep in the earth, emptied oceans of life with giant trawler nets, poisoned plants with toxic fertilizers and devastated fields through over production. And everywhere everywhere we lay down our cement dead skin over the living Earth our fiber optic cables over ocean floors do we suffocate and destroy. We kill, maim and torture, we imprison and enslave. Lay minefields and bomb villages. We overheat the planet, destroy the atmosphere, pollute the air and waters, decimate species.
That the Earth should rise up in revulsion in a tsunami of destruction to wash away the cancer of the Anthropocene is an act of survival that purges the Planet for healing and renewal
The virus, the agency of apoptosis, legions of invisible, shape shifting, DNA drones lofted on a breath of air, encased in a droplet of fat fly freely across plains and oceans, ships and planes, fields and factories. It is a creation of pure genius. To attack the universal pulmonary life line of every human being, to evade complex human cellular defenses and immune systems, the Natural Killer and T Cells, the Major Histocompatibility Complex, the biochemical signaling and inflammatory systems while hijacking the reproductive machinery of the invaded cell itself is proof, if further evidence is required, of the will and consciousness, the strategic intelligence behind this attack.
COVID-19, to us the sky blackened with the dreaded flying monkeys of the Wicked Witch of the West. To the Earth, a flight of liberating angels, the Cavalry arriving on hooves of thunder with blaring bugles and flags flying the Crown of the King…COVID-19, biochemically the drones of Apoptosis. Mythically, if not actually, they appear to be emissaries of Shiva the Destroyer.
And then theres the time of renewal
There is another human face beyond grasping and hoarding, beyond exploitation and power. A compassionate, loving spirit drawn from the great reservoir of being. Since we love and feel compassion so too must love and compassion lodge in the universe of which we are a part.
After the incendiary days, after the fire and floods, will inevitably come peace, new growth, renewed possibilities, green fields. A time of new birth.
Everything changes. Constantly, Nothing is utterly destroyed. E-MC squared. All our parts have been assembled from materials in the cosmos. Our breath arrives and departs in the ocean of ruach, of breath. All our spirit is infused from universal spirit. The assembly and disassembly of living creatures – just as the creation and breakdown of the cells within our bodies – is a transient and continually evolving process.
We are home. Breathe. We are alive in a time of Apocalypse. You, me and Anthony Fauci.