KAMPALA – This is the 5th and final part in my COVID-19 pandemic series. I hope the other four have been useful. If you haven’t read them, please visit my blog at https://www.drkasenene.com/blog to read and also share them.
In this final part, I want to move away from the main COVID-19 topic but to something I hope COVID-19 will make us all reflect on a bit more often: our existence as human beings and our purpose for being alive.
I believe this is important and so I urge you to read till the end. To have a better reading experience you can read this on my blog using this link: https://www.drkasenene.com/post/the-covid-19-pandemic-part-5-of-5 or you can continue reading the article below.
You can also opt to listen to it via audio using this link: https://www.drkasenene.com/covid-19-pandemic-part5of5-audio
I want to start by stating that, some of the issues I will discuss here often generate a lot of debate. Please understand that these are my reflections and thoughts that I believe can be of value to you and that can hopefully inspire personal reflection for us all. I will base some of my reflections on the Bible, but I am mindful that we may not all believe in the Biblical view of life and faith, so please bear with me as you read on. This is not meant only for Christians or people of a particular faith but for everyone. I also want to clarify that I am not an authority on all the different topics I will be sharing on and so where I err, please disregard and forgive me. Ultimately if this information can be useful to you, I will have achieved my objective.
In part 4 of this series, I asked us all to reflect on the fact that, ultimately, we will all die and that what matters most is our love and concern for each other. I know many of us to some extent know this, but to get a deeper appreciation of this, I want to ask two fundamental questions.
Who are you?
If you’ve never really thought about it, take a moment to reflect on this. Many of us associate who we are with our gender, age, nationality, profession, culture and such attributes. So, you may think of yourself as a 40-year-old Ugandan male medical doctor. But is that who you truly are?
Human beings are more than just the body that we are afraid to let go of in death. All humans actually have a body, mind, spirit and soul. Some will add the heart as well. The keyword is “have”. One example where this is made clear is in the part of the Bible that tells us that you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength. Mark 12:30
Why am I highlighting the word have. Because what you have is not necessarily you. It may be a part of you, but often it is merely yours but isn’t you. Just like the clothes you wear, the electronic device you are reading this on and the many other possessions you own are yours; they aren’t you. And there are also some things that are a part of you and contribute to who you are but that you can’t say are you and will not take away from who you are even if you separate them from you. Think of your finger. It is a part of you but it isn’t you.
So who or what are you?
I may not have the most accurate answer, but once again, the Bible tells us that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. Simply put, whatever God is like, so are we. We may have different ideas of what God is like. But whatever that is, so are we. And, since we are like God, it must mean that just as God is divine, we too are divine in some form. The word divine has many interpretations, sometimes suggesting being sinless, but in this context, I’m referring to the dictionary definition of divine, which states coming from or connected with God.
We must begin to recognise that fundamentally we are like God, whose essence and nature I believe is spiritual. We are therefore primarily spiritual at our core. At the point of our conception, we all receive a bodily incarnation and together with all the other aspects of our nature, we become human.
While on earth as human beings, we still have this core spiritual nature but also, have a body, mind, heart and soul. At the point of death, we will live behind all the earthly attributes of our human nature and return to our divine like nature.
Why are you here on this earth?
Many of us ask this question often. And I don’t know if I can give a conclusive answer, but it is clear that our earthly experience is only but part of our journey. On this journey, we all have needs and desires. In his book, The Master Key System, Charles Haanel states that health, wealth, happiness, love and the desire to live a self-directed and fulfilling life are universal human yearnings. I think most of you may agree with this.
But, if you carefully assess these desires, you will realise that health and wealth are only for the body; happiness is for the mind while love and self-fulfilment are for the spirit and soul. Ultimately the yearnings that mean most to us are those that relate to the spirit and soul.
Unfortunately, many of us often find that we place significant emphasis on health and wealth. That’s why we are so concerned about COVID-19. We begin to see ourselves mostly from the lens of body and mind, and for some, we even think that is who we are. But we are much so more.
In Part 2, I explained how we could take care of our body during this time of COVID-19. But, as we are more than bodies alone, self-care involves much more. Worry, anxiety, fear, and all kinds of negative stress affect our mind and mental health. The number of people in need of support to restore emotional wellbeing in this time of COVID-19 is at an all-time high. I did explain how gratitude, deep breathing and forgiveness could help with our emotional wellness, but sometimes it may be necessary to get additional help.
If you feel like you have been overwhelmed or suffered emotionally due to a sense of loss, physical stress, even excess worry, I would like to recommend that you seek help. If you live in Uganda, the Uganda Counselling Association is a wonderful resource. Visit their website, https://ucaug.org/, for more information or to get in touch.
But let me focus on what I think matters most: your spirit and soul. Only these will exist beyond your earthly human life. Most of us already have an idea of this. Even Jesus, at his death, said to God, “Into your hands, I commend my spirit”. The Bible also implies that your soul is more important than all earthly possessions. In Mark 8:36, we are asked, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet lose their soul?”
Our real purpose on this earth must, therefore, have a significant focus on the part of our being that will last forever – our spirit and soul. And like already mentioned above, what the spirit and soul yearn for are love and self-fulfilment.
I want to put emphasis on love and show you that actually love is the essence and basis of all existence and that the universe and everything in it live only for love.
Chemistry and quantum physics, the sciences that describe the physical and non-physical realities of our existence illustrate this well. (I’m assuming you have some basic knowledge of chemistry, but even if not please read along, I will try to keep this simple). Chemistry tells us that everything that exists is made of some form of matter, constructed of atoms.
It may be appropriate to look at an image of the structure of an atom on the internet if you aren’t familiar with them. It will help to make the next few sentences clearer.
All atoms such as oxygen, calcium and iron are simply small energy substances made of electrical units called electrons, protons and neutrons. To simplify this explanation, consider electrons as units that orbit the atoms like the planets orbit the sun.
About 96% of our bodies are made of oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen atoms. And so although you look solid, you are merely a mass collection of atoms. Atoms are energy units, and so you too are a mass or aggregation of energy. If you looked at your skin or cells under an electron microscope, you would realise this.
But the nature of atoms is that they are unstable on their own and seek stability by the sharing, donation and receipt of electrons from other atoms. All atoms strive for stability in this way. Atoms like oxygen require two additional electrons for stability while hydrogen requires only one extra electron for stability.
If you take an electron away from oxygen, and yet it actually desires two more, it becomes very unstable (or unhappy so to say) and seeks to replace the one taken away. As it does this, it acts as if it’s gone crazy and may knock and destroy many other atoms in its path, causing more damage than you can imagine. Such oxygen atoms are called oxygen free radicals that we know are one of the leading causes of cancer.
On the other hand, if you give oxygen the two electrons it desires, you show it true love, and it becomes stable. Usually, this is achieved by sharing and exchange of electrons between atoms. Since hydrogen needs one electron to be stable and oxygen needs two, what happens is that two hydrogen atoms come and bond with oxygen, each bringing the single electron they have and sharing them with oxygen. In the process, hydrogen also accepts the offer to share an additional electron that oxygen offers in return. The end result is a perfect reaction where one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms come together to achieve their common goal. This perfect reaction is an act of deep love between oxygen and hydrogen that now produces water (H20).
What the individual atoms lacked was provided when they shared. Water that sustains all forms of life is the result of a beautiful love reaction or interdependence between one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms. The same happens between sodium and chloride to form salt. The truth is all atoms are looking for this kind of love through giving, receiving and sharing. Because everything by nature is made of atoms; everything that lives does so only to give, receive and share love. The plants, the animals, your cells, everything lives only for love.
We also know that God is love. Therefore, everything that lives, knowingly or not, is seeking to experience and know God. This is perhaps what most people are searching for that they sometimes haven’t fully understood.
Quantum physics (the physics of the unseen) makes it even more interesting. There is a concept of quantum entanglement that states that once two particles or things are connected, they will always stay in contact no matter if they are physically separated. This is even stronger if love was the binding force. That is why the love connection between a mother and child can never be broken even when physically apart. This is also the concept of the “great mystery” of “the two shall become one”. Once connected, they will always remain so. That is why it is said that what God has put together let no man put apart.
Love is so important because it is all that we have that is eternal. In human terms, love can be described as the action of living to be part of something beyond and often bigger than yourself. It isn’t merely about an intense feeling of deep affection or sexual connection. All other yearnings, desires and possessions aside from love come to an end at the moment of our death. Love is eternal because it comes from God who too is love and eternal.
Most of the people I have shared this with have understood the concept of love I describe here, but some say that God who I am describing as love, doesn’t exist at all. They don’t believe that there is a God who created us but believe that the universe, as well as our earthly existence, is all that there is. And so they don’t agree that we all are seeking God who I describe as love.
And yet others say that although they do not believe in God as Christians and other faiths do, they believe that there is some form of a higher power in the form of a universal presence, universal mind or cosmic energy field that pervades our universe that we are all somehow connected to. And that what I describe as love, is merely a part of this concept.
As I said, this can be a long debate. However, many who doubt the existence of God, do so because of two major reasons. First is that some modern scientists do not agree that the universe, the living creatures and the earth as we know it was created by God. Even some Christians silently doubt this. Instead, they assert that the universe as we know it came into being many millions of years ago through some cosmic events widely described as the big bang, and all living things came into being as a result of a long evolutionary process. This, they assert, casts major doubts that God did indeed create the universe as is described in the Bible.
I would like to tell you why they are, in fact, wrong. God did create the world. And here is why I say so.
Even the scientists who don’t believe in God agree that there was a beginning. And if there was a beginning, there must have been a “before the beginning.” And something cannot have come from nothing. There must have been a creator.
But in addition, the scientists who don’t believe in God explain their theory of creation through quantum physics. But the same quantum physics recognizes two important aspects of our nature that are important you understand. The first is that time is relative and is not absolute. The experience of time varies according to the observer. The second is that quantum physics also acknowledges that the way that things are formed is very uncertain and cannot be easily explained. It acknowledges that there is a mysterious mechanism through which the unseen can become seen and what was not can suddenly come into existence. And that this mechanism intelligently works at the instruction only of a form of energy produced when someone decides to think and speak. It is through thought, and the result of thought (feelings and words) that the unseen becomes seen and what was not, comes into existence.
Interestingly, the Bible does not contradict this. The Bible says in both the New and Old Testament for example in 2 Peter 3:8 that with the Lord, one day is like 1000 years. This shows that the Bible is clear that what is a few days to God could be thousands and millions to us. The Bible also says that God made the world through his words. But all words come only after a thought. So, when God said, Let there be light, he was communicating his thoughts and feelings of love, which then were the spark that quantum physics will show led to the invisible becoming visible most likely with a huge explosion of life that many call the big bang.
If the world came into being through a big bang, that was the mechanism through which the creator chose to make the world. Is it possible that something came from nothing? No. There was a creator, and many blindly fail to recognize that whatever science wants to call the creation, it was created by someone or something.
But what is interesting is that quantum physics also reveals something that many scientists cannot explain. The universe has intelligence and magnificence. So did the universe create its own intelligence? No.
Whoever created the universe did. Only something that is already magnificent and intelligent can pass this on to something else. And the creator did this while purposefully putting love at the centre of this magnificence and intelligence.
This intelligence and love puzzles many scientists to this day, who even though can’t find any possible explanation for this, continue to deny the existence of God, in the hope that one day they will find the answer.
I wonder why this bewilders scientists, considering that many of the great teachers who lived many centuries ago, in the times when there was no quantum physics knew and perceived these universal truths and the origin of the creation.
Many of them taught about God and how He was the creator as well as how we ought to relate to God. And for many of us, our concept of God is shaped by what these teachers taught. They must have had more wisdom from the creator than the scientist of today.
But of all the great teachers, one was different. Because on top of all He did, he also said that he was actually the son of God and one with God. His name was Jesus Christ. While I cannot hope to even start and conclude this discussion here, anyone who makes such a claim must likely be a fraudster or insane unless they are actually God!
Here is a man who performed all kinds of miracles in numbers that no one has ever done, saying that he did those things to show that he had come from God and was God. The creation, according to the Bible, even obeyed his commands, such as when he quietened storms. He is the only person who has been able to defy the laws of nature in amazing ways such as walking on water. You can only do this if you control them and most likely if you made them.
And yet still many will say he was just but at a special man or just a prophet. But considering the things he said and the things he did isn’t it extremely likely that he was who and what he said he was? I would conclude he must have been God.
Some have contended that Christianity, which is based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, is only a tool used by the colonialists to oppress and control people all over the world. This is the second reason why I said earlier that many also don’t believe in God.
But it is what Jesus stood for that shows He wasn’t like any of the other great teachers that lived. It was his kindness and love to all together with his message of love and repentance that were what he was about. He never asked us to bow down at his feet. He only asked that we love God and love our neighbour. This is what we all relate with deep in our hearts. No one needs to be told this; we already know this inherently and experientially. We all deeply want love and we all feel best when we love or are loved. If you realise this, you will see that Jesus was essentially about what we all long for most. If can you relate with love, don’t let anyone suppress your inner desire for love and God.
While Christianity, just like anything else, can be used for wrong motives that doesn’t make it wrong or evil. Don’t let those who misunderstand, misrepresent or misuse Jesus’ name make you miss out on his love. Jesus came not to oppress but to free all from oppression. Luke 4:10
Personally, it was through my reading of science (and especially the more complicated quantum physics) that I finally began to see the truth about who we are and why we are here. It was through science that I finally began to understand what love really is, that the universe is made out of love and has intelligence given to it by God the creator. It was through quantum physics that finally Jesus’ teachings of love finally made sense, including the ones that teach to offer your other cheek when slapped or to give your shirt to the one who takes your coat. Because ultimately true love is about giving yourself, even if it is at your expense.
But my biggest realization was that Jesus Christ already knew all the quantum laws and science at his time that many are just “discovering” today. He also spoke quantum physics many years ago in simple ways we can all relate with today. This “special man” could only have known and done this if he surely was the author of life and creation just as he said. It became very clear that Jesus was God, sent to earth to show us love that would lead us back to God the Father. This is what I hope you too can learn from this.
Quantum physics strengthened not weakened my faith. I wonder why science often draws people away rather than closer to God.
The love with which we are meant to live our lives is the life of God within us, the divine indestructible core of our being.
We must all, therefore, strive to love as Jesus taught us to. And he summarized this as love God, our neighbour and one another. Mark 12:31-32.
But how shall we love?
Jesus said that on the day of judgement, love will be evaluated by what you did for your neighbour. He will say to those who loved, For I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Matthew 25: 34 – 36
Jesus goes on to say, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine (who he often describes as your neighbour), you did for me.” This is what real love means.
And who is my neighbour?
This is what Jesus may have said today. There was once a terrible disease called COVID-19 that caused many to become sick, go hungry, become homeless, suffer great emotional stress and suffer as a result of a global lockdown to try and control it. One day you had a chance to make a difference. Did you help? Did you do what was right for all? Or did you look by and pass the other side rushing to take care of yourself? Are you a neighbour to those in your circle of influence today?
As I come to the end, I want to remind you all that ultimately this earthly journey is to prepare us for the next.
But it would be wrong for me to end without letting you know that God is not only about love. God is purity as well. And I believe we must be pure to see God. Although love helps us to purify ourselves, that alone is not enough because, by essence, our nature is sinful.
Sin (even now) can separate us from love and therefore from God. And sin is really any action or inaction that makes us “fall short” of God’s intention for us or that which you inherently know in your heart is right. All of us have sinned and most likely have felt how sin separates us from love, even without anyone telling us.
That’s where we can understand the reason Jesus came to earth. Our sinful nature is constantly separating us from God. But Jesus, who is God, is pure and free from sin. He shows us that the way to the Father is not only through love but equally so through repentance because love cannot be pure unless we repent and turn away from our sins.
We have an obligation to repent and ask forgiveness for our sins. When we repent and are truly sorry, we always begin to feel the love of God restored in our lives. But remember, before we ask for forgiveness, we too must first forgive.
If God were only about love, there would be no need for Jesus to come. But because we are constantly sinful, God sent his son Jesus to earth, as a free gift, to save us from sin which threatens eternal separation from God after death.
But Jesus says that to be saved from sin we need to recognise our sinful nature, repent of our sins, forgive those who have sinned against us, turn to Him and love one another.
If you really want to find love, all you have to do is seek Jesus. When you do you will also find salvation. He is always ready to love you.
And even after he left the world, Jesus never left us alone. He left a part of himself, the Holy Spirit to be a helper and guide. He specifically left the Holy Spirit to teach the disciples all things and to remind them of everything He taught, so that when we read the bible that they wrote, we have a reliable set of truth from Jesus, about who he is, and how to know Him and love Him.
I would like to remind you that you too are spirit and so you too will be able to receive help from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings to each of us unique gifts that allows us to express our uniqueness in the best way possible. It is meant to also help you find your purpose and give you the courage to live your life to the fullest.
The Holy Spirit can and will be your guide too on your journey in this world and on to the next after your death.
If you would like to get a bit more information on the life of Jesus, I encourage you to take time and read His word from the Gospel of John (the one who Jesus loved most) even if you have read it before. You can use the notes in this link to help you get started.
After reading the Gospel of John, please read the book of Revelations. It is also written by John. It is an account of what the creator of the world says will happen towards the end of the creation. If there is a beginning, there must be an end.
The book of Revelation begins by saying; Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it because the time is near.
In conclusion, I want to urge you to live your life with love, repent, forgive and more importantly, to take time and genuinely seek Jesus, the creator of life and the source of love. This is the true meaning of life and what will truly matter if anyone will lose their life to COVID-19. The reality of death has become ever clearer to us all with Covid19, so we need to pay attention to this.
I would like to thank you all for journeying with me in this COVID-19 pandemic series. I will be happy to receive your comments and any questions you have about COVID-19 and especially if you want more information about health, love or anything else. You can reach me via my website, on social media @drpaulkasenene or by email email@example.com
Finally, I want to leave you with a prayer that you can use to call on the help of the Holy Spirit, to guide you to know and love Jesus, to find your purpose in life, and to help you to genuinely love your neighbour, now and until the moment that we leave this world.
Come Holy Spirit, enlighten my heart, to see the things which are of God,
Come Holy Spirit into my mind, that I may know the things that are of God,
Come Holy Spirit into my soul, that I belong only to God,
Sanctify all that I think, say and do, that all will be for love and for the glory of God.
The writer, Dr. Paul Kasenene, is a qualified medical doctor specialising in Nutritional, Functional and Lifestyle Medicine.