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The fundamental problem that we raise and address in this paper is the problem of understanding our relationship with our afflictions in ways that are uniquely shaped by such afflictions. We capture our need to shifting our attention from our dominant Western epistemology to systems thinking. In this article, we argue that systems theory and thinking
- reminds us of the pathologies of epistemology that may preclude learning from our relationship with Covid-19.
- offers us a way to examine the relationship between an uninvited guest like Covid-19 guests and hosts (human beings) particularly in the light of Rumi’s formulation of being human, namely, as being a “guest house”. While we may never get to a place where we invite Covid-19 into our lives, we can at least respect the fact that it will exist in our lives, as afflictions do, and with this awareness we can begin to find ways to co-exist with it, in the same way that we must do with all other creatures and nature on our only home – Mother Earth.
- opens us to telling a story about our afflictions in ways that are uniquely shaped by such afflictions. In this regard the authors examine several human responses (stories) to Covid-19 within the context of our system that continues to change and evolve.
- uncovers the need to recover from our state of addiction to a state of sobriety. The state of sobriety returns us to an awareness that we cannot just do one thing because each movement or perturbation necessarily resonates throughout the system.
- allows us to shift to an ecological rather than a solely political or economic view of Homo Sapiens. This ecological shift moves us into a moral/ethical realm (we use them interchangeably here) whereby humankind learns to abide by another law. It is a law that is itself punctuated by the distinction between control and restraint. The punctuation of this distinction enables us to become more aware of our attempts to establish a unilateral control over that which is multilateral. These attempts will not only fail, but they would also create different, and perhaps more serious problems. This development of another law to abide by, suggests that we surrender ourselves to being governed by the law of restraint.
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