Absolutist Thinking on a Pandemic Scale
AT 🕑pm TODAY, May 24th, MY 14-DAY COMPULSORY “QUARANTINE” CAME TO AN END, which began when I returned from Switzerland to Greece on 10th May. The journey was a highly interesting experience, as I will elaborate below. However, I want to write about this in a manner which would seem to go against the warped grain of so many posts I see on social media. Dear friends, I’ve never been interested in bandwagons or fashions or fads or extremes; and there are many of those around at the moment, which have come into being because of a misplaced absolutism. Let me explain what I mean by that…Normally, the word “absolutism” refers to the application of absolute government, tyranny, totalitarianism, despotism. And that is definitely afoot in the bid to successfully bring about a one-world government in such a stealthy way that people imagine it is a great and wonderful thing for their well-being and security. That is what I would call “dark” or “heavy absolutism”; and the world is moving towards that at an increasing rate. However, it is also extremely easy to get into what I call “light absolutism”, which is the other side of its darker counterpart. It is when, for example, those who fear or rightly apprehend the dark form of absolutism then go on to make blanket condemnations of anyone who doesn’t follow their current perceptions and understandings (i.e. who doesn’t toe the absolutist “woke” line). One could even call it “absolutism lite”, in a play upon words 😉.
Let me explain even more… For example, there are those who “wear the mask” who blanket condemn all those who don’t. And there are those who “refuse the mask” who blanket condemn all those who do. I have worn a facemask (one which is marked on the box as “high filtration”) in certain situations. One of those situations was when I had to follow a rule or not be allowed onboard the plane recently and, on a few occasions, they were when I chose to do so when I was going to be in close proximity to others in a crowded public place. My body, my choice. 😉 And before you reach for your sharp-shooter from the hip firing a YouTube video made by some earnest unknown geezer in Croydon about how pathogens are only a tiny micron-measurement in diameter, I can assure you that I’ve read all the literature. I know the possibilities and limitations of facemasks. But I am not an absolutist in these sorts of situations. You are free to do whatever you like, and I am also. I have seen people driving vehicles alone who were wearing a mask and my first thought was, “How silly and pointless”. But then I realised that maybe they were just going from one shop to another nearby and couldn’t be bothered removing it. Their body, their choice. Heaven preserve me from any form of absolutism!
And, out of my desire to have no part in the blanket condemnations of the lighter form of absolutists (or “absolutists lite”), here is an account of my journey from Zurich to Athens, for I think it highlights some important considerations in this matter. I had wondered if my journey would be hedged about with that sterile kind of military precision and facelessness and was mildly apprehensive (but ready for anything). I arrived at Zurich airport which was eerily empty. I checked in at the only open desk. I was asked no questions. I reached the gate and found myself in a huge crowd waiting to board the Airbus A330-300, which holds nearly 300 people in rows of 2-4-2! I already knew that there would be no free seats. I had a seat reserved in the economy section but as I went through the gate, miraculously I was told I had been upgraded free of charge to an isolated seat in business class! That was a welcome relief. On the plane, we were handed a form to fill in which would be given to the General Secretariat for Civil Protection in Athens. It had fields asking for flight number, seat number and the address we would be quarantining at in Athens. It was not what I would call intrusive. It did not ask for date of birth or passport number. On arrival at Athens, we were divided into groups of 50 and escorted to various parts of the airport. On arrival at the gate of entry, we had to fill in another form with our names and stating our very recent travel history. No problem. Then we were escorted to booths where we were quickly tested with swabs from the throat which were placed with our forms. Then we were escorted to collect our luggage and then onto a coach. Everyone was very professional yet helpful and friendly (as Greek people are). We were then taken to a 4-star hotel in central Athens (amusingly one that I had passed a few times before as it is right round the corner from a recording studio where I had been working with musicians early this year). We checked in as normal at the hotel and then went to our rooms. It was pleasant enough with a little balcony in the sun. Meals were brought to our doors by hotel staff and we had to remain in our rooms until the results of our tests were known, which we had been told would be at noon the following day. All this was paid for by the Civil Protection service. At 10:00 the next morning, I got a phone call from a guy at Civil Protection (who spoke to me in English) saying my test was negative and I could leave. I actually had a little chat with him and thanked him for the politeness of everyone. I wanted to sound him out. He was proud of his work and said, “We are a country with much financial hardship, but we want to make your experience as comfortable and acceptable as possible”. I believed him. So I went back to my apartment by taxi and have been here solidly for the past 14 days. (I should add that this 14-day quarantine in Greece will stop being enforced from 31st May as only one person out of many thousands of passengers has tested positive in the last few weeks). In any case, it’s not really a burden for me as I spend a lot of time writing and I have a huge sunny balcony. (And have you noticed that time seems to go HUGELY quickly these days, or is that just me?). I was not allowed to go out to the shops (leaving the apartment risked a €5000 fine) but was happy to order online from a supermarket (which I think I will keep doing as shopping is a hassle!).
The reason I am sharing all this is because it made me think a lot about different people’s various roles in all this. It would be easy for me to blanket condemn everyone involved in this strange fiasco. But I cannot in all conscience do that. The reality is that while there are those who are covertly working to take advantage of this situation (who could very easily even have initiated the situation from a laboratory) in order to wield control and tighten their Orwellian stranglehold on society, a great many peripheral people are acting in the simple good faith that they are preventing what has been presented to them as a potential disaster. One may want to question their naivety regarding the overall situation, but that doesn’t negate their good intentions. Civil Protection authorities do a huge job in times of national disaster, such as major aircraft incidents, explosions at chemical plants, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and so on. They just get on with whatever it is. That includes pandemics. The people I came into contact with were not consciously aiding and abetting the formation of a one-world government! They were simply trying to stop their country being poleaxed by what they have been told is a pandemic. In Greece, there is much more of a “look after one’s elderly parents at home” rather than dump them in a care home, such as happens in countries such as the UK or Sweden. So there was a feeling that they didn’t want to sacrifice all the Yia-Yias or Papous at any cost. Thus, very many people have done what they have done simply because they wanted to do good.
I think that this distinction between evil culpability and honestly innocent activity is an extremely important one. The kind of holier-than-thou blanket condemnations that I’ve seen coming from so many obsessive online “keyboard-conspiracists” are misplaced here and to me are spiritually and morally unacceptable. I have seen a number of these folks on social media claiming that they would never take a test as they believe it is designed to give people the virus. Well, guys, I’m still standing after 14-days along with the other tens of thousands who have been tested on entering Greece during the past 2 months. Of those tens of thousands who have entered Greece in the last couple of months and been tested (as all are until the 31st May), only 4 have tested positive (3 of them flying together from Stockholm). These are facts. So please don’t get into all that totally paranoid “conspiracy narcissist” nonsense (of which there is a lot of it about). Things will one day get much worse, but we are not there yet. I have even seen some “conspiracy absolutists” claiming that the sort of Civil Protection and medical people I encountered at the airport are the equivalent of Nazi camp guards who claimed to be “just doing their job”. That is an outrageous comparison. Guarding people who were numbered, dressed like clones, experimented on, imprisoned and plainly becoming as thin as a stick before being exterminated is totally different to carrying out your job in which you believe that you are enhancing the health of a community. If those Civil Protection and medical people were pinning people down so as to force them to have a vaccination, that would be different. Then they would be forced to face their consciences. But that time has not been reached yet. Currently, they are acting in good faith. So to accuse them of being the equivalent of “Nazis” is a gross slander. Really, the so-called “Truth Movement” has now turned into a ridiculous caricature of itself and I will not have any part of it.
For me, there is also a spiritual dimension which cuts across the exercise of “absolutism lite”. I must constantly hold in mind that everyone is potentially an awakened soul who could be called as a disciple of the Christ — even the most apparently dastardly character. Even if people are so malevolent that one might reasonably assume that they have damned themselves, I have to bear in mind that there have been astonishing transfigurations in the history of this world and even monsters have become models of Christlike love. True, they are not commonplace, but it can happen. Thus, I will be polite when dealing with authorities, even the fractious and bellicose ones; for I am speaking as a representative of the Christ. I will still call a spade a spade if it is necessary and I will not compromise the Truth, before them or anyone else. But all of this prevents me from ever wanting to wreak vengeance on someone, which I have seen much of recently. For example, there is a meme going around social media which shows a smug human face and the caption underneath says something like “Me when I’ve run over someone but realise it’s only Bill Gates”. Really, this is a twisted way of thinking and brings one onto the same level as the power-elite criminals who are trying to railroad society at the moment. This is why I could never take up arms against government agents hellbent on assassinating me. I will keep my hands clean of all blood. So many talk about taking up arms and the right to bear arms without realising the hell that they are creating. (They are also playing right into the hands of the powermongers who have infinitely superior weaponry beyond your worst nightmares). The spiritually-awake person has no need for guns or swords. My words are my only weapon and I will use them forthrightly in the power of the Holy Spirit who is my only “military advisor” in this spiritual battle of which we are in the midst. The pen really is mightier than the sword.
Those are my thoughts today as my quarantine ends. I hope that they have resonated with you.
One valedictory note: My only physical exercise in the last two weeks has been jogging around my apartment and balcony 100 times each day (a total of 4000 steps!). So, tomorrow I shall be celebrating by taking a walk to Vyronas Forest on the side of the 1000-metre Mount Hymettus and indulge myself in nature, with my trusty binoculars and camera. Apart from the more than 100 species of birds, there are apparently skunks and porcupines there. I will keep my eyes open. Maybe some photos will be forthcoming if I spot anything of interest. Till then, love to one and all…
© Alan Morrison, 2020