Covid-19, a heretical perspective

Wartime Emergency Hospital, Kansas

An non-physical personality channeled by Jane Roberts in the late 1970s sheds light on viruses and epidemics

The Covid-19 virus is killing people and taxing medical systems with alarming speed worldwide, but the pandemic is as much a rampant half-baked theoretical construct as it is a physical event. We don’t know how widespread the virus is compared to other seasonal flu eruptions. Social distancing may slow the contagion, but we don’t know if the strategy will change the number of afflicted people in the long run. At any rate, and for better and for worse, our response has been to bring much of the world economy to a standstill.

The reaction to covid-19 is based on partial understanding. We know what the virus looks like; we know what it can do to the cellular structure of the human body. We understand that it can spread through water droplets ejected from the nose and mouth. But we don’t know why, for example, some people seem resistant to it while others are not. Some people die from pneumonia triggered by the viral infection, some recover, some have only mild symptoms, and an unknown number may remain asymptomatic for the duration of the pandemic.

There is widespread belief that, because covid-19 is a “novel” virus, our immune systems are not fully prepared to fend off its attack. While we frantically search for a vaccine, we, the self-proclaimed reigning species on the planet, feel oddly united in our sudden vulnerability.

From the outside looking in

There is information available that sheds some light on the situation, and it comes from a source foreign to scientific enquiry; from outside the framework of day-to-day awareness, in fact. This makes the material somewhat heretical. The material was channeled by the intuitive writer Jane Roberts who, over the course of a decade beginning in 1970, entered a trance state to dictate a number of books authored by an entity named “Seth”. A non-physical personality no longer focused in space-time, Seth lived many lives on earth, one of them self-described as a “politically minded, crooked old Pope” in 300 AD. What the long gone pope says about viruses is clear and direct:

“The viruses in the body have a social, cooperative existence. Their effects become deadly only under certain conditions. The viruses must be triggered into destructive activity, and this happens only at a certain point, when the individual involved is actively seeking either death or a crisis situation biologically.” [1]

Statements like these are challenging for those of us who seek comfort in prevailing beliefs about life, death and victimhood. They nevertheless have a certain quality that may ring true to the open minded reader; we want to hear more. Obligingly, Seth goes on to list various characteristics of viruses that escape scientific scrutiny. For example, viruses:

  • are social,
  • react quickly and knowingly to stimuli,
  • are responsive to emotional states,
  • can revive after centuries of inactivity,
  • have extensive memory patterns, and
  • can multiply by the tens of thousands within seconds. [2]

We are told that legions of viruses dwell within each of us, and that those viruses have a symbiotic, responsive relationship to our bodies. Viruses are in fact an essential element of biology and play a key role in maintaining overall health. We are unaware of them until they manifest destructive behavior.

We also learn that when people are under great stress and highly alarmed, their bodies can eject harmful viruses into the environment as a means of defense, much as a skunk throws off spray from its scent glands. A sort of “biological aggression”, such responses will occur at times of deep social crisis such as wartime and rampant injustice. At a more immediate level, ejecting viruses is also a way of ridding the body of unwanted stress. [3]

Seth also had this to say about epidemics:

“To a certain extent, epidemics are the result of a mass suicide phenomenon on the parts of those involved. Biological, sociological, or even economic factors may be involved, in that for a variety of reasons, and at different levels, whole groups of individuals want to die at any given time – but in such a way that their individual deaths amount to a mass statement.” [4]

These, of course, would be meta-mass statements, deeply psychological – “spiritual” even – and of a different order than the online petitions and street protests commonly used to provoke government action.

Through selfish neglect, humans have a way of allowing wretched conditions to take hold in the social order: extreme poverty and inequality, senseless warfare, indifferent and flagrant abuse of the natural world. The conditions are eventually “normalized”, but some part of the human psyche refuses to accept them, and sooner or later the psyche responds, erupting en masse into the social environment in a most direct and dramatic way. Society as a whole is shocked into recognition. Yet these are not straightforward events, where everyone in the path of destruction gets mowed down. Seth cites historical events to illustrate:

“Even in the days of the great plagues in England there were those smitten who did not die, and there were those untouched by the disease who dealt with the sick and dying. Those survivors, who were actively involved, saw themselves in a completely different light than those who succumbed however: they were those, untouched by despair, who saw themselves as effective rather than ineffective. Often they roused themselves from lives of previously unheroic situations, and then performed with great bravery.” [5]

Moral, psychological and social triggers

The way Seth describes viral behavior and pandemic events suggests that we are not passive victims in the path of a microscopic predator. There are far more interactive, subjective and personal dynamics at play. Some may find this far-fetched, even heretical. It is certainly “unscientific” because the source of the information is unverifiable and the statements cannot be proven.

Nevertheless, there are interesting correlations.

Who remembers having the flu as a child, staying at home in bed (away from the stress of school), and being cared for by their mother, who did not get sick? Why did she not get sick?

There is inconclusive evidence regarding the national origin of the 1918 “Spanish flu” pandemic, but there is no disputing the fact that it erupted in military bases in various locations during the later stages of World War I. In 2000, one team of researchers found evidence of an acute respiratory illness at a base in Etaples, France, in the winter of 1915-16. Noted virologist John Oxford, a member of the research team, observed that the Etaples base, one of the largest ever built and equipped with 22 hospitals, housed a minimum of 100,000 soldiers on any given day, with over a million men passing through over time. Oxford described the camp as the “perfect breeding-ground for influenza viruses, because so many young men of different nationalities were mixing under fairly strenuous circumstances.” [6] “Fairly strenuous circumstances” is surely an understatement.

Later, in a book review, Oxford alluded to the horrors of war. “I believe,” he wrote, “that from the gas-ridden, overcrowded trenches and nearby hospitals of already ruined Europe, filled with enough pigs, chickens and ducks to feed 2 million troops each day, arose a 10,000-nucleotide beast surrounded by a fragile lipid sphere. It seeded itself around the world while its biological clock ticked to ring at midnight on 11 November 1918, when it exploded worldwide.” [7] The used and abused troops were coming home and spreading some very bad news.

In contrast, covid-19 is thought to have emerged in a wet market that sells wildlife in Wuhan, China. Wet markets offer fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats much like farm markets in other parts of the world. But in China, living, sometimes exotic animals (alligators, peacocks, snakes, bears, for example) are brought into these public markets, kept in cages and slaughtered just prior to being sold. According to Christopher St. Cavish of the Los Angeles Times, the buyers subscribe to a traditional Chinese belief that eating certain wild animal parts confers wealth and status, and enhances health and vitality. However, sale of these meats is poorly regulated, so sanitary conditions can be correspondingly slack, to put it mildly. [8]

The animals face brutal conditions, no better no worse perhaps than the general conditions we routinely impose on the natural world – and sometimes on each other. Because the caged animals at the Wuhan wet market doubtlessly felt unbearably stressed, it is not unreasonable to conclude that they retaliated the only way they could: with a biological weapon. Time will tell just how effective that weapon will be.

Will we be shocked into recognition? That would be the best outcome.

Photo: Soldiers ill with Spanish flu at a hospital ward at Camp Funston, near Fort Riley, Kansas.

References

[1] The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, p 184, Jane Roberts, 1981, Amber-Allen Publishing

[2] Ibid, p 185

[3] Dreams, Evolution and Value Fulfillment, p 264, by Jane Roberts, 1986, Amber-Allen Publishing

[4] The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, p 19, Jane Roberts, 1981, Amber-Allen Publishing

[5] Ibid, p 21

[6] Flu epidemic traced to Great War transit camp, Steve Connor, The Independent, January 8, 2000  https://bit.ly/39CuVdF

[7] Nature’s biological weapon  The 1918 flu pandemic killed 50 million people — and it could happen again. Nature, Vol 429, May 27, 2004, www.nature.com/articles/429345a.pdf

[8] No, China’s fresh food markets did not cause coronavirus
www.latimes.com/food/story/2020-03-11/coronavirus-china-wet-markets

Two billion points of carbon dioxide pollution

lawn mowers

We stop GHG pollution by replacing energy conversion devises that burn fossil fuels

Fossil fuel providers have been taking the brunt of public frustration over climate change. However, the corporations that mine, process and deliver fossil fuel are one step removed from fossil fuel combustion, the source of carbon dioxide pollution, the primary driver of climate change. Carbon dioxide pollution occurs when humans operate some sort of fossil fuel-powered mechanical device.

Worldwide, an estimated two billion internal combustion engines propel a global inventory of automobiles, locomotives, ships, aircraft, stationary power generators, lawnmowers and hand-held tools. Tens of thousands of industrial boilers drive steam turbines that turn electric generators in electricity plants, and hundreds of blast furnaces and kilns produce steel and cement. Millions of oil furnaces heat homes. Millions of gas stoves cook food.

For the carbon dioxide pollution to stop, humans obviously have to stop using what can justifiably be called “greenhouse gas pollution devices”.

The ways to do this are known, and are making their way into public policy in some progressive societies. The state of California is heading for 100 percent greenhouse-gas-free energy by 2045. The city of Vancouver, in the province of British Columbia aspires to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

California and British Columbia can entertain such ambitions because both jurisdictions have enormous renewable energy resources available to power their respective electric grids. California, the world’s wealthiest sub-national economy, with a GDP roughly the size of India, has a wealth of solar, wind and geothermal energy. British Columbia’s grid is already 95 percent powered by hydro electricity.

On the other end of the spectrum is Poland, with relatively modest renewable capacity. However, in 2019, it reversed a long-standing dependence on coal and initiated moves to meeting 15 percent of its gross final energy consumption with renewables by 2020. To go further, Poland may have to embrace nuclear energy, or become part of a low carbon European electric grid.

While technological solutions are readily available to correct what is essentially a technological problem (carbon dioxide pollution), the main difficulty is whether the solutions can be implemented fast enough. At present, zero carbon energy targets are only achievable when wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, or small nuclear are available and affordable.

So the transition to a zero carbon energy production is an economy-wide proposition. The automotive, electricity, industrial and building construction sectors need to ramp up efforts to stop carbon dioxide pollution as quickly as possible. Electric propulsion in the automotive sector. Wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, tidal and fourth generation nuclear energy in the electricity sector. The international community will have to lend a hand to countries that do not have adequate natural or financial resources to take the necessary steps at the speed required.

runner and cyclist vancouver seawallPeople can take action.  Individuals and organizations that own fossil fuel-dependent energy devices, can stop using them. They can walk, or take a bus. Enterprises that build fossil fuel-dependent energy devices for any purpose can build substitutes. This is happening the world over, but things need to pick up speed. The collective consciousness needs to focus on these solutions and push hard for accelerated diffusion and adoption.

Fossil fuel providers may be enablers, but they are also a distraction. If you like to sign petitions and join street demonstrations, tell the builders and users of carbon dioxide pollution devices – auto manufacturers, electric power companies, steel plants, gas furnace and stove manufacturers – to cease and desist as soon as practical.

Energy transition – it’s not that complicated

no fossil fuel combustion

Political discourse regarding the global transition to a low carbon economy often presents competing strategies: system change, wind down fossil fuel production, usher in a Green New Deal, block oil pipeline construction, implement carbon taxes, de-grow the economy. There is an unsettling lack of focus and practicality. However, common to all points of view is the undeniable necessity of energy transition. and while energy systems are indeed complex, and replacing them on the fly is a singular challenge, the principles underlying energy transition itself are fairly straightforward. Here are some key things to remember.

1) Energy transition is how we stop GHG pollution

Carbon dioxide accounts for up to 75 percent of anthropogenic greenhouse gases and is produced almost entirely by the world’s inventory of coal-fired electricity plants, gasoline powered automobiles, cement plants, steel mills, home oil furnaces, gas stoves, and gas powered hand tools.

We end carbon dioxide pollution by replacing these technologies. The replacements, largely powered by electricity, are mature, proven, and rapidly becoming cost competitive.

While energy transition aims to stop carbon dioxide pollution, the cleanup part is equally important. A number of technologies are in the works for “negative emissions” – that is, ways and means to remove accumulated CO2 directly from the air. One of them is at the demonstration stage. Another, the STEP process is in development in a lab at George Washington University, and may be capable of capturing and disposing of carbon dioxide at the volume and speed necessary to prevent catastrophic warming of the atmosphere.

2) All energy transition strategies have a common goal: replace fossil fuel-based energy conversion devices

It’s early in the game, but zero carbon outcomes are being pursued now in four energy-intensive sectors of the global economy: electricity generation, transportation, heavy industries (such as cement and steel manufacturing), and building/home operations. To stop carbon dioxide pollution, each sector is taking steps to replace the specific technologies that produce said pollution. For example, the automotive industry is replacing internal combustion engines with electric motors in the aggregate fleet of about a billion motor vehicles worldwide. One innovative company is offering retrofit electric drive systems for existing vehicles. Grid operators around the world will eventually retire several thousand coal, oil or natural gas-fired steam turbines, along with the facilities that house them. They are to be replaced with wind turbines, solar arrays, geothermal plants, or fourth generation nuclear reactors.

The guiding principle is to replace energy conversion devices (ECDs) that emit carbon dioxide pollution with ECDs that do not. Complex infrastructure, transmission systems, and processes built around all such devices are added, replaced or modified accordingly.

3) Industrial initiative is at least as important as political will

Energy transition policy is formulated in board rooms and factories as much as in the offices of government. Automobile manufacturers build electric propulsion systems. Electric utilities install solar panels and wind turbines designed and built by multinational corporations. The role of bureaucrats and elected officials is to work with these private sector entities and do everything possible to foster industrial initiative, innovation and market diffusion of their zero-carbon energy devices and systems.

4) Energy transition is a phase out / phase in process

Energy transitions have happened before. In the last century, internal combustion engines replaced horses, and diesel-electric locomotives replaced coal-fired steam engines. Such transitions were spontaneous and occurred at their own pace, with little or no social disruption, and were usually confined to one economic sector.

The 21st Century rendition of energy transition is different to the extent that it reaches into all energy-intensive sectors in all industrial economies. At the same time, it is sharply delineated, aiming specifically to replace the deeply rooted, fossil fuel-based devices that power the modern world.

There is a time element involved, a phase-out/phase-in process taking place. This requires careful management of energy systems so they there is energy available to effectively carry out transition. Energy supplies must be maintained for the outgoing system as well as the incoming system. For a while, pipelines will coexist with EV charging stations. It looks bad, but it’s not.

The role of government

Governments that design policy to support private sector energy transition can be confident they are on track. China, the UK and a few other jurisdictions have already set dates for phasing out internal combustion engines in automobiles. The state of Oregon changed public utility regulations to allow the sale of electricity at roadside EV charging stations. If industry doesn’t take the hint, governments may have to go further. Phasing in zero-carbon ECDs at the maximum possible speed may require the kind of direct industrial control that occurred during mobilization at the outset of two world wars. Whatever happens, sustained clear-headed cooperation among government, the people, and the globalized private sector is necessary.