Usually, “viral Zen” would suggest the process of the pursuit and propagation of Zen practice as analogous to that of epidemiology in general: The notion that there is something being transmitted that is below or beyond the threshold of perception; that it requires a carrier host, and face-to-face transmission to its next victim, etc. In order to understand the analogy a bit better, I looked up viruses on the Internet and found the following:
Can viruses reproduce on their own?
A virus is a microscopic particle that can infect the cells of a biological organism. Viruses can only replicate themselves by infecting a host cell and therefore cannot reproduce on their own. ... It has been argued extensively whether viruses are living organisms.
What are the characteristics of a virus?
Viruses are infectious agents with both living and nonliving characteristics. Living characteristics of viruses include the ability to reproduce – but only in living host cells – and the ability to mutate.
So viruses may be said to be by definition a kind of boundary phenomenon, somewhere between the living and the non-living, at the intersection of organic and inorganic chemistry — which of course are categories invented, or discovered, by humankind. The dominant focus on the new coronavirus epidemic is indicated by the line showing the scope of the search engine’s survey: About 11,880,000,000 results (in 0.68 seconds). Thinking about this situation, two things immediately came to mind — my recently developed model of the four contingent spheres — the personal, social, natural and universal — and certain teachings of Zen. Boundaries between the spheres do not separate them from, but join them to, each other:
Any two-dimensional representation of an n-dimensional reality will obscure as much as it reveals. What is not apparent in the chart illustrated is the intricate interconnection of all four spheres. It seems to suggest that the personal is far from the universal, but actually all four interpenetrate each other on intricate and intimate levels. The vectors of interaction go both ways, our personal actions effectuating influence outward, but the outer dimensions exerting consequential causes and conditions inwardly, upon our individual personal spheres.