Posted on August 13, 2020 | Link to original
Dear Friend and Reader:
Tuesday, I was the beneficiary of a two-and-a-half hour conversation with a virologist working on the Covid issue. It is unusually difficult (verging on impossible) to find sources on this story. Every other major story I’ve worked on, it’s been possible to identify and contact people on various sides of the situation and start to assemble a picture of what is going on.
In the digital age, particularly for Covid, this has been replaced by YouTube videos of people who are rarely personally accessible, so a dialog is not possible, and a dialog is what is necessary to gain understanding. So speaking to a virologist and microbiology professor with personal knowledge of Covid was the next best thing to front row at Radiohead.
He also has specialties researching the virology issues I’ve taken the most interest in (HPV, SV-40, and natural immunity). So we had a lot to talk about, here beside the rising tide.
He gave a response to every question I could think of, giving me the other side of the story on several issues I’ve been investigating. You could say that he explained the official position better than the people you see on TV. I now have sufficient information to formulate questions for future interviews with other scientists. These are breakthrough moments in journalism: the one source who sets you up to talk to future sources, and who you can run things past along the way. By about halfway through the conversation, I was falling in love with virology.
Medical Responses Prevail over Self-Care
The conversation provided reassurance that some scientists are sincere in their effort to make progress on the issue rather than being driven by fame, profits and grants. We are aware many scientists are reluctant to speak up about what they know for fear of losing their jobs or their status. However, one takeaway from Tuesday’s conversation is that at its best, science is interested in cure more than it is interested in prevention. I would count as cure anything that has a medical response, including a vaccine, which will have medical repercussions. There are also social repercussions, as some think it’s “patriotic” to make the vaccine mandatory.
After five months of tracking this complicated matter every day with much help, I have a long list of issues that do not add up, of data categorizing and reporting problems, issues with genetic sequencing, issues with both kinds of tests, and immunology issues. There remains the critical question of where SARS-CoV-2 came from, which is not going away.*
The public deserves answers about all of these matters and many others. We still must demand the truth, and not just assume we know it. This is so basic it would seem to go without saying, but not in 2020.
There is a human side to all of this, one that your grandmother would understand just fine. Public information sources (such as cable channels) are more concerned with the pronouncements of powerful government scientists than interviewing those who can teach people to better take care of themselves, particularly their immune systems. Nutritional discussions are treated with derision in the public media, as if they are some kind of diet fad, or affront to science.
Whatever pathogen or illness is going around, and whatever the government may say about it, and whatever measures may be taken, your first and best line of protection is your immune system. This means going from passively observing and waiting for some kind of solution to be imposed, to actively being involved in your self-care and that of your family. This is not about Covid. If the current situation is a ruse, the thing it’s covering for is thousands of other potential problems and a diversity of environmental issues that people have been warning about for many decades on end.
In our follow-up email discussion, I wrote to him: “The body, cells, immunity, sentience to me are all the most astonishing natural phenomena. Part of why the U.S. is so vulnerable is that our society is so overmedicated, and poorly fed — very little natural gut biome remains intact. There are many vaccines in the schedule, given too young, and not enough attention to how they are made,” or the actual health impacts that they have.
The resounding message of the Covid crisis is: we must learn to take care of ourselves. This is the ounce of prevention that is worth the pound of cure, or more like the gram of prevention and the kilogram of cure.
In the credit card business, people who pay off their balance every month are called deadbeats. In the medical industry, deadbeats are the people who consciously look after their physical and emotional health, who are interested in nutrition and who focus on preventing problems rather than curing them. They know their body contains the actual healing power.
Think of it this way: after a surgeon has performed an operation impeccably, it is finally the body that mends and heals itself. Nothing else can do that. Medicine can help, but it cannot do the actual work of healing. Only you can do that.
Self-Care is Part of Self-Actualization
The astrology of our moment involves Mars getting ready to go retrograde, now mixing it up with Pluto and Eris. This is part of the Mars retrograde process, which begins Sept. 9 and is now well into its warmup phase. We’re now experiencing Mars square Pluto and Mars conjunct Eris, which I wrote about Monday.
To me this astrology vibrates with the theme of self-actualization. This is one of many ideas we would benefit from retrieving from the memory hole. That is the conscious process of self-becoming, which is the result of actively embracing life and personal healing. There is no spiritual decoration to self-actualization. It is a secular concept.
The term was invented by Kurt Goldstein (1878-1965), a German neurologist and psychiatrist. Kurt was one of the first theorists in the Gestalt Therapy movement, and one of the original modern holistic thinkers. His clinical work involved studying the relationship between the mind and the brain, in brain trauma patients. Gestalt puts emphasis on the mind-body connection. Holistic theories emphasize personal unity and integration as expressed through our natural human tendency to grow and mature.
Self-actualization was then put into popular use by a psychologist and author named Abraham Maslow (1908-1970). Maslow emphasized the innate curiosity in humans (which is true for many other critters, by the way). He honored self-actualization as a drive or motivation that he believed fueled all our other endeavors. For him, that was the prime mover — not survival or competition.
When therapy works, it’s because each of us has an innate ability, a kind of tropism, that leads us to want to become who we are and express ourselves fully. Maslow’s concept was about embracing human potential, and he was one of the fathers of a movement by that name.
To some degree self-actualization is about learning how to take care of oneself, and having a conscious relationship to one’s wellbeing. This is driven by the desire to live well, and that, in turn, must have an element of conscious curiosity: the desire for self-knowledge. A portion of that is understanding your body and healing any alienation you may have from it.
Part of this curiosity is standing up for yourself with medical professionals. Most people verge on terrified to make doctors explain themselves. Curiosity must extend into researching issues for yourself, so that you have the basis for making decisions based on informed consent.
Mars and Aries Represent the Study in I AM
Mars describes the energy source in the human personality. It’s about desire, self-awareness, assertion, and the drive to conquer. It describes one’s desire nature as well. Mars can express itself in ways that are peaceful or violent, frustrated or flowing or somewhere between, though with Mars, there is always the urge to become.
Mars is going to be retrograde in Aries, the sign of “I am.” Before the retrograde begins in September, Mars will hold the square to Pluto and the conjunction to Eris for many weeks. This is a call to awakening, to awareness and to action.
It is not merely that the term “self-actualization” has fallen out of use; rather, the whole concept has disappeared, as if our culture has lost its notion of personal development as an internally driven factor, rather than something adopted from the outside.
One form through which people seek their identity is by acting with aggression, violence or hostility. This includes wars, and it includes interpersonal violence, whether full-on aggression or the bumps and grinds of daily life. Mars will challenge others, and that is part of identity seeking. [Side note, the McLuhans have long taught this idea. Wednesday, watching this debate between Marshall McLuhan and Norman Mailer, McLuhan credits the idea to Ray Bradbury, author of the 1950 novel The Martian Chronicles.]
I think this whole process is going to be in full force with Mars in its retrograde mode, beginning with the aspect pattern to Pluto and Eris.
Of Sex and Work
Monday, I discussed how the quest for self through violence and aggression (Mars) can also manifest through sexual exploration. Yet note that this is taboo, where violence and aggression (though whined about) are encouraged.
That said, Mars in aspect to Pluto and Eris is describing an urgent need to violate taboos, engage consciously with guilt and repression, and let some of that energy out. This is an essential factor in self-actualization, though it’s not so popular to say that now. There are few wholesome models for how to do this. American society in particular tends to politicize sex, and thereby kill it, and leave aggression and conquering as the only remaining venue for innate Mars.
Everyone needs to define for themselves a concept of legitimate, pleasurable sexual expression — that is, define on their own terms. This will take some awareness building. Remember that sex is the topic about which everyone is an expert and few people have read a book. Here are my reading recommendations.
Then there is work. Work could be a fantastic venue for self-development, except that usually it is not. Children are allowed to have all kinds of dreams of what they want to be, though those rarely survive high school. By the time one goes to college, educational choices tend to be made on investment value and not self-development, artistic development, personal growth or exploring the world.
This is why so many people are miserable in their work, and feel unworthy of doing something exciting that engages them. All of this Capricorn (Saturn conjunct Pluto, Jupiter conjunct Pluto, and more) represents the economic crisis perpetuated by society’s inability to handle a health crisis responsibly. This is leading to many people rethinking their ideas about work.
So now would be a good time to make work part of your self-actualization process, if you have not already done so. If you’re in a position where you need something to do, try doing the very thing that you want to do the most.
All Heading for Aquarius
On Dec. 21, Jupiter and Saturn form a conjunction in Aquarius, having entered a few days earlier. That this takes place on the Capricorn solstice is for added emphasis; the solstice points are amplifiers, as they connect to the Aries Point.
As I have said before and will come back to, we have approximately until then to decide what kind of society we want to be. Between now and the U.S. election, and in the weeks after the election, there will be a crystallization effect, and certain features in the psychic, social and technological landscape will become fixtures.
Under Aquarian reality, consensus becomes overpowering, including the power of false or manufactured consensus. This happens largely through technology, which will become more powerful under Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, and go into overdrive during Pluto in Aquarius (2023-2044).
The only antithesis is people who are strong individuals being willing to speak honestly from their point of view. Aquarius is the sign of groups, and groups are gatherings of individuals. In the coming age that is already upon us, self-actualization is the heart of meaningful participation. This is the ability to be who you are in the presence of all kinds of pressure not to be. It is not necessarily easy, though it is possible.
Footnote: The study linked is suggesting that the kinds of molecular change observed in SARS-CoV-2 do not usually happen naturally. They usually happen on chicken farms (which are not natural environments) or in lab cultures. Here is a salient quotation from the study: “More generally, despite the fact that not all serially passed viruses have demonstrated an increase in pathogenicity, the fact remains that every highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, defined by having a furin cleavage site, has either been found on commercial poultry farms that create the pseudo‐natural conditions necessary for serial passage, or created in laboratories with gain‐of‐function serial passage experiments.”