Physical Issues Require Physical Solutions: What Prayer Can and Can’t Do to Help Us

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Coronavirus or Flu virus - Microbiology And Virology Concept

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A couple of months ago I finished a series of posts about the dangers of magical thinking. It’s more important than ever to understand how prayer and ritual can, and can’t support us. This month I’ll be looking at the misunderstandings that are happening regarding corona virus.

In a very disturbing speech the president of Tanzania, an impoverished African country asked his countrymen to flock to churches and mosques to pray away coronavirus claiming that the outbreak is a satanic attack. Despite powerful evidence some American mega-churches remain open bussing people in to fill seats. As Easter approached it looked like this kind of foolishness was going to create a significant spike in infections and deaths.

It is no doubt helpful for us to pray and otherwise work with spirit to assist us in dealing with this unprecedented crisis. But, we must understand the limitations of these actions. In Ifa we believe that Olodumare (God) operates in partnership with all his creations. As intelligent beings we are expected to act rationally. Then we can work with spiritual energy to support our well being. This approach is even more critical during these times.

This pandemic is caused by a virus. While we may be uncertain of its exact origin we can be sure that it evolved naturally because of physical circumstances. Exactly how, or where, is not entirely clear. It is certainly not some satanic action, nor punishment from God. Perhaps it is a message from nature letting us know that we are going too far. That, while more rational, is still only an opinion.

Physical issues require physical solutions. All of the things we are being told to do as preventative measures are based on facts about how this virus spreads. One critical strategy is physical distancing. Separating ourselves from others has been proven to prevent the spread of this deadly virus.

A large congregation in close contact with each other, particularly when engaged in loud prayer or singing, is a perfect storm for transmission of the disease. No amount of prayer or ritual is gong to change that. If we are going to gather we must be responsible in the ways we do it.

Virtual gatherings can be effective and powerful vehicles to reach for spiritual support right now. In fact the other weekend I joined a gathering of practitioners from all over the world to work with the energy of Nana Buuken, who rules over all disease and pestilence, to guide us to the most positive outcome possible in our current situation.

Science is a gift of our evolution and in my mind a gift from our benevolent Universe. We can only ignore that gift at our own peril. We have the intelligence to understand the things we need to do in order to protect ourselves from coronavirus. it is our obligation as responsible Ifa practitioners to do them.

Prayer and ritual can help lift our spirits, create energy to positively impact the global burden of the crisis. and assist those who are ill. They cannot prevent infection, nor cure it. That is a simple fact. It is irresponsible, and frankly criminal, for any religious or political leader to suggest otherwise. Such leaders will soon have a great deal of blood on their hands. Their actions are creating unnecessary hardship and death. Turning our backs on our god-given intelligence, and the gifts of science, is our surest path to maximizing the devastation of this pandemic.