Watching the Covid drama and it’s many themes is like watching a blockbuster movie. Emotions flow through us quickly reflecting the drama we’re seeing.
But this isn’t a movie. It’s real life human drama. All dramas have twists and turns. Great dramas have enormous twists and turns that somehow also make human sense. Great dramas connect us to a transcendent dimension and to the simple truths of being human. The outcome of the action is linked to the character of the protagonist. There’s an inevitability to how things work out in the end. It’s the opposite of the “God from the machine,” the deus ex machina that was a feature of the lesser Greek dramas.
So here’s a question.
Is it possible that what we’re watching right now is a Great Drama and that it’s about us? Could all this be a drama about our character and our imagination? Ours individually and collectively?
It’s a tricky question that can’t be answered logically, step by step. G.K. Chesterton, a pre-eminent social critic in the early part of the last century, shows a way of approaching this kind of question: “Logic, then, is not necessarily an instrument for finding truth; on the contrary, truth is necessarily an instrument for using logic—for using it, that is, for the discovery of further truth and for the profit of humanity. Briefly, you can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.“
Chesterton suggests that how we answer the essential question depends on something in us.
Each of us will answer differently according to what we’ve experienced and felt to be true. Rather than something black and white, perhaps the answer lies in opening to a different imagination, a different realm of experience than what we’re used to.
My own imagination has been informed by many conversations, private and group, in which we’ve shifted to a deeper sense of possibility for ourselves. As is the case in the great dramas, something unmistakeably greater than ourselves has repeatedly opened up and shown itself.
Many or most of us have been touched by the presence of that higher and transcendent meaning.It’s quite beyond the polarities.
Awakening to it is the most interesting and compelling thing in this Covid space. I suspect it’s the source from which our answers will come.