In 1930, Bernard Iyot, a French astronomer, invented an instrument called a coronagraph. This instrument was used to observe the sun’s corona, the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere.
The corona is usually hidden by the bright light of the sun’s surface making it difficult to be observed without using this special instrument, the coronagraph.
The sun’s corona can, however, be viewed with our naked eyes only during a total solar eclipse, which is a rare event occurring somewhere on earth every 18 months on average and lasts between one second and seven minutes.
During a total solar eclipse, the moon passes between the earth and the sun. When this happens, the moon blocks out the bright light of the sun giving way to a glowing white corona that can be seen surrounding the eclipsed sun. During the solar eclipse, the sun’s corona can be viewed.
The corona ‘virus’ is symbolic of a ‘human coronagraph’. It has invaded the world at such a time when humanity is so absorbed in the pursuit of external sources of power such as jobs, money, fame, relationships, beauty and undermining our true source of power - love.
Our invasion by the coronavirus has frozen all sources of external power and this is being manifested through countries closing their borders, closure of offices, businesses, curfew and forcing people to stay at home with their loved ones. This reaction is an indication that there comes a time just like the total eclipse of the sun when everything will seize to have meaning apart from love.
There are two very strong opposing forces in the universe: Love and Fear! However, whichever force we choose to guide our lives, always leads us home to our true essence which is divine love. The Corona ‘virus’, our wake-up call to authentic love, has invaded the human race through the fear lense.
It is a fear-based pandemic that causes panic. The World Health Organisation, responded to the pandemic by issuing more fear-based guidelines such as social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and masking, among others. The coronavirus is indeed a dangerous virus to which none of us is immune. We, therefore, need to pay keen attention to the guidelines, but in doing so, we also need to be mindful of our individual intensions behind the practices we adopt.
When we protect our loved ones from contracting the virus, the intention is authentic love. When we wash our hands to prevent passing on germs, that is authentic love. When we avoid holding hands and hugging others with the intention of avoiding spreading the virus, that is authentic love. A love that is open, truthful and unattached.
Authentic love goes beyond the confines of the five senses, it is multi-sensory. We not only express love through touch, but also through feelings and deeper meaning and connections. We can still have deeper connections and express love while social distancing!
Lastly, drawing back to the corona of the sun, astronomers tell us that there is a profound mystery surrounding the nature of the sun’s corona. The corona of the Sun is the outermost layer of the sun’s atmosphere, but surprisingly, it is 100 times hotter than the sun’s surface.
The heat intensity of the sun’s corona is symbolic of the intensity of love energy in human consciousness. Ideally, as we allow ourselves to be continually obstructed from authentic love by our external pursuit of power, the tougher and more scary life becomes.
When we take a moment to freeze and have a deeper reflection on what matters most in our lives, we will realise that love is still the silver lining behind the dark clouds. Love burns and melts down every fear and negativity in our lives allowing us to settle into that blissful state that allows us a clear sense of our true nature as loving beings.
In conclusion, Michelangelo one of the greatest Italian painter said, “the best way to judge the essential elements of a sculpture is to throw it down a hill and the unimportant pieces will break away.” Sometimes life is like that.
It tosses us down a hill and when we reach the bottom, only the important things are left and that is when our vision clears. That is when we hold on tight to what we know, while hope stirs inside us. It’s a matter of perspective.
Ms Ssentongo is the head of programmes, the Hunger Project Uganda.