The Or Belief Systems; and, The And Belief Systems

Susan Corso
7 min readMay 12, 2020

The notoriously close-knit Hasidic Jewish communities have been hard hit by the coronavirus. Even so, many of them, celebrating their newly-restored health in spite of their grief, have driven long distances to donate blood plasma, “rich in the antibodies they generated when they were sick with Covid-19.

“[P]ublic health data suggests that the Orthodox and Hasidic community may have been affected at a rate that exceeds other ethnic and religious groups, with community estimates placing the number of dead in the hundreds. … [T]housands have donated blood plasma, which public health officials believe may be used to help treat people suffering from Covid-19.”

The chief Liar-in-Chief cut short and stomped out of a press briefing when “a Chinese-American reporter pressed him on why he suggested she ‘ask China’ to respond to her question on coronavirus death rates.” He accused her of asking a “nasty question.”

Watch it at the peril of your own blood pressure.

Then there’s New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. He said in yesterday’s briefing, “We start a new chapter today in many ways.”

Hasidic Jews, rigorously marginalized, recover and give what they have to humanity.

Donald Trump, shockingly adulated, refuses to dignify a real question with a real answer.

Andrew Cuomo, both liked and vilified, owned the ‘we’ that is starting anew.

Metaphysicians maintain that what we believe — deep down believe, not what we randomly think, but repeatedly think — matters. Belief informs our daily thoughts, words, and deeds. There are all sorts of belief systems. Some of them are religious. Some are political. Some are philosophical. Some are ancestral.

It is belief systems, a sort of underlying, subconscious scaffolding for all our outward behaviors that are in conflict at this time.

Deeply religious Jews understand that to give out of one’s own suffering redeems the suffering by giving it meaning.

Donald Trump understands that he has the power to refuse to acknowledge the power of anyone else.

Andrew Cuomo understands that if we aren’t in this reopening business together — and by that I mean worldwide — then we risk everyone the world over.

Belief systems reflect what we understand about the world.

Here’s a personal example so you see how disparate they can be, how huge, and how small they can be as well.

My dad was killed in a plane crash when I was five. It changed my life, and all the lives in my family. Fast forward to twenty-five years later the week I got married. A friend gave me a book she’d loved to celebrate the moment. The day after the wedding I had a moment’s quiet so I picked up the book and dug in.

It was about a woman whose husband was dying of a brain tumor. About a hundred pages into it, I was sobbing on our futon. My new husband heard me and came running from his studio. “What is it?!” he said.

I looked up at him and wailed, “I’m afraid you’re going to die.”

Ordinarily, because painting is such an absorbing activity for him, he’s a little spacey when he first stops. “What?”

A much longer conversation ensued but the gist of it, when we finally got there, was that when my daddy died, I ended up with a belief system which went: The men I love will die.

Utterly illogical in the light of day, I know, but still, and nonetheless, there and operating at full tilt until I was able to unearth it, examine it, and reject it as untrue. It isn’t true. I have loved plenty of men in the intervening years, and so far, including that favorite ex-husband, they’re all alive and well.

Belief systems.

“Three top public health officials have chosen to remain isolated for a period of time — Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Dr. Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration; and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.”

All of them are testifying in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today via video conference. Convened by Senator Lamar Alexander, he will be chairing the meeting from self-quarantine in his home in Tennessee.

Drs. Fauci, Redfield, and Hahn were exposed to coronavirus. Their belief systems insisted they self-quarantine. Senator Alexander’s as well.

The Trump-Pences have decreed that White House staff now all need to wear masks, but they themselves are exempt. Their belief systems say they’re above the contagion.

Here’s Bret Stephens in his weekly Conversation with Gail Collins. Belief systems all. “Trump managed to screw up this crisis in at least six catastrophic ways.

“He failed to take the Covid threat seriously.”
Belief System: If I minimize it, it will go away.

“He presided over a fumbling bureaucratic response.”
Belief System: If I throw it a few crumbs, it will go away.

“He embarrassed himself in his press conferences.”
Belief System: If I lie, I lie. So what? Lying doesn’t matter. I’ll lie again tomorrow.

“He tried to throw money at the problem without effectively administering the funds.”
Belief System: I’ll do the toss-it-a-few-crumbs approach again.

“He demonstrated near-zero empathy with the victims of the disease or their families.”
Belief System: I don’t need to care. To care is to be vulnerable, and my people don’t want that.

“And he never really articulated a sensible alternative to the lockdown strategy.”
Belief System: People can’t think for themselves. They don’t care what I say either.

Belief systems, all.

So the far more important belief system in your own life is yours, Beloved. That shouldn’t surprise you.

Have you noticed what Bret Stephens and Gail Collins have?

Bret: One thing I’ve noticed, Gail, is the conversation — our own and the country’s — is getting to be less about Covid and more about the world into which we’re moving. It seems so awfully bleak. Other than Trump’s troubles, what’s making you hopeful?

“Gail: Part of it goes back to that mask-wearing. Every time I walk outside I see my neighbors working together, accepting some discomfort for the common good. And almost everyone I talk with — or Zoom with — is thinking about great things to do as soon as we turn a corner.”

And this is how belief systems change. One person has one thought about the future. That one person tells another one. They get excited together about going to see the Egyptian Wing at the Met Museum or going to hear Madama Butterfly at the Met Opera or hang-gliding or touch football or community gardening or going to the theatre or you fill in your own blank.

Eventually, because one person dared to think one something new, and dared to share it with one other, eventually, and inexorably, change begins to gain momentum. This is how change has worked since time began.

It always starts in the individual. And because we are all holograms on a spiritual level, all of our consciousness is part of all of consciousness. Ideas jump from person to person. Sometimes directly, and sometimes via dreams, and sometimes via newspapers, and sometimes via Western Union.

I think what Mr. Stephens and Ms. Collins are noticing is that many of us are turning to new ideas for a new future.

That means statements like this one have less and less Velcro to stick to in the collective. “Mr. Trump also declared victory over the pandemic, saying that ‘we have met the moment and we have prevailed.’”

Sadly, and, strangely, gladly, he has not prevailed. Nor have we, but we do have a chance to prevail if we’ll take it. Here in New York, most places are still in lockdown. Wherever you are, take some time, Beloved, make some time — even better — to conceptualize a new world.

How would it be if we all embraced a new kind of belief system, a belief system that would ferret out and exhume by the roots the belief system so well-evidenced by our Fearful Leader. Yes, I meant what I wrote.

A powerhouse of a Chinese-American reporter for CBS News, “Weijia Jiang asked Mr. Trump why he had made a ‘global competition’ out of stressing that the United States had done far better than any other country in the world on testing its citizens for coronavirus. ‘Why does that matter, if every day Americans are still losing their lives and we’re still seeing more cases every day?’”

This is the belief system that must be obliterated by its roots: global competition.

Can you imagine how we could replace global competition — because we can’t just obliterate it, we need to replace it with something equally powerfully motivating — with global cooperation?

Another way we might phrase this is, how can we replace Or with And?

Buddhist nun Pema Chodron has written a beautiful reminder. “You are the sky. Everything else — it’s just the weather.” I want to answer her with Noel Coward’s famed non sequitur, “Isn’t it lovely we’re having weather?”

It is. The weather has been singularly disturbing lately, especially the weather to be found in the news media, and even moreso in the White House Rose Garden. We had three snow squalls on Mother’s Day this past Sunday! Snow in May in quite a rarity, but it gave me hope.

If it can snow in May, I’m betting we can weather this weather whether we feel like we are, or can, or not, and if we’ll dig deep into those belief systems that help some at the expense of others and root them out, those Or Belief Systems, and install in their place new And Belief Systems, we can create a whole new world. And what a relief that would be.

Dr. Susan Corso is a metaphysician and medical intuitive with a private counseling practice for more than 35 years. She has written too many books to list here. Her website is

© Dr. Susan Corso 2020 All rights reserved.



Susan Corso

Dr. Susan Corso a metaphysician with a private counseling practice for 40+ years. She has written too many books to list here. Her website is