Pessimism and Optimism

Hey, guess what?

It’s Good news Friday.

Some Good News to start out your day in addition to all the nice-ness of Spring:

paper this week in the journal Nature found Immune cells active against COVID remain detectable at least 11 months after infection, and counting.

Couple that with research from Columbia University which has constructed models showing exactly what we have known all along: actual cases likely have been 10 x what was being reported. It means lasting naturalimmunity is quite possible for a huge portion of the population (40-50-60?%)! Hooray. That’s even before the vaccine: robust, antigen-specific, long-lived, natural immune response in huge numbers of people.

Yes, add in the vaccination numbers and, even accounting for a ton of overlap, we have immunity in 60-70-80% of people.

Want more good news?

There were only 24 new cases in the county these last 7 days!

Massachusetts is averaging only 200 cases per day!

Pessimism and optimism

A headline from this week: “New COVID cases tally more than 16,000 today in the US.”

I thought, “What? That’s all you’re saying?”

The context was missing; it seemed a little pessimistic. My headline would read: “Last week’s continued improving national case count of 30,000 daily new cases (7 day average) was cut in half (!) some days this week (!!) and is averaging 23,000 cases per day signaling continued steady decrease country wide.”

My question: Why the missed opportunity to scream the positive momentum from the rooftops? I’m confused.

Are the headline producers concerned I’ll do something rash if I discover the case count is so low? Do they want to protect me with cynicism?

I can reassure the cautiously pessimistic powers out there that even though cases have declined, I promise not to lick half eaten hot dogs at Memorial Day BBQ’s to which I haven’t been invited.

Even though cases are better, I can still maintain the advice that masks are smart inside public buildings especially when crowded, regardless of vaccination status. Even though cases are better, we can continue to acknowledge that outdoor, properly spaced social scenarios are really protective.

This headline is just one small example. In general, what I have observed in the media these last months seems rather disrespectful. The use of fearful headlines and ‘pessimistic’ perspectives (like projecting a worry that immunity after infection is somehow not a foregone conclusion) to influence behavior rather than education seems like a losing approach. It’s not just pessimism, of course. For me, that type of journalistic tone is to be aggressively checked. The healthy people I meet have good strategies to limit their intake, not just of hotdogs.

Speaking of pessimism and fear…

Do you ever think about your inner game?

I mean really think about it and how to care for it?

Anthroposophic Medicine (built on insight from Rudolf Steiner’s holistic viewpoint) says there are only two games in town. The first one is out therein your surroundings. It’s in the spatial world of matter. It’s your outer life. It’s Nature. It’s your physical body.

The second is all that occurs in your inner Soul life of thoughts and feelings and impulses. These two separate areas make up an amazing polarity.

Outer, material, spatial on one hand(Body)

Inner, non-material, non-spatial on the other. (Soul)

Polarities are a huge element of life.

Let’s look closely inside our inner game: like was said, there are no spatial components to your inner world. No one could tell you the dimensions (height x width x depth) of ‘positivity’.

Our experience of the present moment occupies the center of our soul life and a constant peeling of memories are shed to the periphery like molting snakeskins.

Moreover, Soul life is characterized by fluidity and continuous movement. Our thoughts and feelings and self orientation expand when we are in a concert hall listening to a great (think Beethoven) symphony. And they contract when we feel overwhelmed by a challenge.

Forms take shape within the movement- non-spatial forms. They take shape as a result of the movement. They take shape then dissolve.

I like to think about our Soul life, a lot. I once heard the idea that the position gold has amongst all the other metals is the place that thoughts of God have amongst all the other thoughts. In this context, thinking about our Soul life and non-spatial reality is the equivalent of a special gem in the mineral world.

Next week I’ll write about Body, Soul and Spirit in holistic health and the protection working with wholeness gives against burn out and disillusionment and illnesses.