One day after the Apocalypse

José López Guido

To envision what comes after the apocalypse, we need to know its origins and essence. The apocalypse is brought about by our human nature because our survival instinct drives us “to get everything that contributes to our wellbeing.”

The process of achieving wellbeing is carried out without concessions. We don’t care if we harm others in our pursuit for the pleasure we demand… Such has been the instinctive behavioral model that has prevailed for thousands of years. “The strongest overpowers the weak.” We’ve experienced this dynamic. We behave egotistically and, hence, people get hurt. We move from trial to trial… from error to error. We look after our own interests to get what we want regardless of the harm we inflict. As humans, we have cheated, betrayed, looted, tortured, enslaved, killed, and more… (everything that has been recorded—or not—in human history).

The above has been seen in politics; businesses have predators; and interpersonal relationships have shattered the lives of many. The source of all this devastation is our voracious hunger for satisfying our own needs, which speaks of our level of evolution. We’re not as advanced as we’d like to think, and mindlessness continues to be part of our lives. The current crisis is a call to examine our actions.

Seeking to meet our needs is not intrinsically bad. What’s bad is to harm the people around us to get what we want.

True evolution comes from awareness. We evolve when we become aware of our mistakes. “A better behavioral model is based on correcting the flaws we perceive.”

Abrupt and instinctive (primitive) behavior affects everyone. The thirst for power, for possessions leads to betrayal, jealousy, envy, resentment, hatred, and disease… and wars… and apocalypses.

The victims try to heal their wounds by taking what they lack. And in their hurry, they ride roughshod over others. “We’re the offspring of ancestral trauma passed from generation to generation.” This trauma is the source of problems in human interactions because it influences the way we think and the way we feel and act. Every move, every step is driven by the desire to get ahead as much as possible to achieve our own objectives.

But what comes after this climax? The effects of greed! In other words, what goes up must come down; what loomed large is actually small; what looked bright is dark; and what seemed important is insignificant. Old values crumble and new ones emerge.

Ideas and feelings will never be the same. “A mistake is a step that leads to new attempts to pursue perfection.”

When seeking to meet our needs, we cause ecological and social damage. The apocalypse we’re now living is an effect, and its cause is vicious human behavior. At the social level, we’re beginning to see psychological imbalances, family breakdowns due to losses or disagreements, financial ruin, irritability, rancor, vandalism, little tolerance to frustration and depression…

Clearly, things are difficult, and many perceive that there’s an imminent risk for tensions to increase.

How to handle it?

First things first. Don’t start anything until you’re absolutely clear about what you need. Clarity comes from analysis, and this process takes time.

Mental clarity

To have mental clarity, we need to identify what causes tensions. Tensions underline threats to survival. When we make decisions under threat, our choices are limited and confusing and may lead to poor outcomes. It’s important to examine each tension carefully.

Enumerate the areas of tension in order of priority.

Analyze possible solutions.

Identify the pros and cons of each possible solution or outcome.

Choose and embark on that which results in the least harm and the greatest benefit for you and the environment (to avoid guilt).

With the right decision comes certainty and with it, serenity. Plan what path to follow, specify what steps to take to reach the desired goals.

Use a calendar to write down the specific steps to take each day. Tick each step you’ve completed.

Think what alternate routes you can use in case of eventualities.

Look for other potential solutions in case you get adverse results.

Persistence will keep you on track until you reach your goal.

“Success is a tenaciously followed sequence of small steps.”

Stress may be present if we experience adverse conditions

It’s important to cultivate serenity by practicing relaxation techniques. In this state, we can restore our nervous system and harmonize the function of our entire body. In addition, we’ll be able to identify any danger and visualize solutions.

Don’t give in to provocation

Due to the current stay-at-home orders and restrictions, tensions in society may increase even more. The tremendous psychological deterioration caused by continued stress and accumulated tension can produce conflict at a moment’s notice.

We may overreact even to the slightest social friction. In this environment, conflict and violence may arise due to the little tolerance and the high level of frustration stemming from so many restrictions.

Keeping ourselves centered

Our center should be prudence. When experiencing intense emotions, we shouldn’t talk, argue, or make decisions. When we experience serenity, we should practice “high energy communication.”

When things get heated, we should make a pause and find our center again. If we speak or make decisions without serenity, we may regret it later on.

“Those who raise their voice lose the argument” and “When anger rises, think of the consequences,” Confucius reminds us.

Allowing someone to be right transforms an enemy into a friend. Maintaining we’re right could mean losing a friend and making an enemy.

We should live, as the masters said, “ready to change.” Change dilutes the egotistical self and materializes the “we.” Not taking others into consideration has led to the above outcomes during the current crisis. The behavioral model that masters and teachers of all time have proposed entails loving everything that surrounds us, and everything includes the planet where we live.

Today’s circumstances herald a change that can no longer be postponed. We have driven the planet and the human race to an alarming imbalance.

Either we rethink the way we behave or our civilization will perish.

Each one of us has a place in this world, the place where we were destined to live.

Are we the movement that facilitates or hinders evolution?

José López Guido