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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Machney

Splendid Isolation

Joseph Machney

It is incredible how the world has changed over the past month. The coronavirus that has been at the top of every news feed throughout the planet has demanded everyone’s attention. Life as we know it cannot return to what it was before. The economics of the world are crumbling. Most every country is asking its citizens to self-isolate to curve the infection and spread of the disease. Humanity is being asked to close the door to the outside world, to go inside themselves.

When one has a spiritual awakening, it often begins with a period of enlightenment. This was my experience, anyway. Shortly after that, a Dark Night of the Soul follows. During this period, one is confronted with who they are, or who they perceive themselves to be. How they interact with the world outside of them begins to change, and through that, their reality changes. This change can only occur through inner reflection and self-isolation.

Over the past hundred and fifty or so years, the world has been taught to look outside for entertainment. Now that the business world is basically closed, society is being asked to face itself. Who has it become? How much of it was influenced by external sources? Collectively, people are hard-wired to bond and be with other people. While they are, a level of vulnerability seems to creep in that manifests as peer pressure. Peer pressure can make it challenging to stand on your own. As I said, people want to belong. People are naturally either extroverted or introverted. These are dispositions and not judgments. The world that has been orchestrated over the past hundred and fifty years is more or less geared towards extroverted people. This orchestration has caused an imbalance. Having spent time in Asia, I was able to see that there was a spiritual purity to them that I could not sense in the western world. Yet, people there were striving to be more like the westerners. It was sad to see.

Over the past month the world as a whole is being asked, Who am I? What do I want? Companies across the globe are asking their employees to work from home. Children and parents are finally able to spend time together and just be with each other without a timelimit. Couples have the opportunity to express the love and nurturing attention that they may not have been able to do in the past, due to obligations. Is this not what people have been wanting? If it hasn’t been, then why not?

Have we been trained to watch the news and the events of the pandemic unfold throughout the world? Does that change the course of what the outcome will be? I understand that a certain degree of awareness must be cultivated, but is it out of balance with this rare opportunity that we collectively have right now, at this moment? We are human beings, not human doings. Maybe it’s time for us just to Be? Mother Nature is getting a break from the pollution that we have created; perhaps we should as well?

The Dark Night of the Soul is very personal and very painful. Your ego has built a mask that you have been wearing, which you thought was who you are. Now it is starting to break apart. It will convince you that it was necessary to survive. This is what I mean by very painful. As the Dark Night of the Soul unravels, who you thought you were begins to separate and another aspect of your identity starts to emerge. This is the awakening process that you had glimpsed before the Dark Night. The multi-dimensional identities of which are the totality of your collective identity begins to downstep into your consciousness. These could be seen as levels of new self-awareness. Each door that opens so to speak breaks down the ego a little further. Remember, the ego is who you thought you were. It is a metamorphosis that, once started, cannot be stopped. What are you losing? What are you afraid to lose?

This period of isolation is the perfect time to allow these other aspects of who you are to knock at your door. You have nowhere to go, so why not let them inside? What’s the worst that could happen?

Self-reflection is about determining what has defined you in your life. Being forced to stay at home gives you the chance to see what you have placed in your mind, your emotional body, and your physical body. It is your inner temple, where your spirit resides. For some, this is uncharted territory.

As we collectively are being asked to self-isolate, the theaters, the bars, the restaurants, and social gatherings that we have been taught to see as a regular part of everyday society have all ceased. An opportunity to look deep within ourselves to see who we are and what we want with our time here has come to our front door. Are we able to take an honest look at our patterns and where we have been living on autopilot? Can we be real and authentic with ourselves as layers of who we think we are fall away?

The world is experiencing a collective Dark Night of the Soul, an alchemical transformation to become a better version of humanity. The light at the end of the tunnel has never been outside of you. It has been inside, waiting to emerge from the shadows. These are the false realities that we must face while in splendid isolation.


Confusion consumes me, as the person I use to be no longer resides here

This new person seems like a stranger to me

I haven’t met him yet

I haven’t had the time to talk to him

He’s just dragging me along without stopping to answer my questions

And I am left in a daze

I have changed too quickly

I need time to catch up with myself

It all seems like a blur to me

I need to slow down and rest for awhile

Really reflect on what has happened, and is happening

Before I crash and burn

I need to sit down by a babbling brook and hear the water

As it gently flows over the rocks and feel the cool breeze lick my skin

Bringing with it a deeper understanding of life and why I am here

States of peaceful tranquility, as the birds sing so elegantly to me

As everything is put into focus I am given the chance to talk to my new acquaintance

Who I can now call my friend

I am about to discover a beautiful relationship of realization, awareness and happiness

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