It should get our attention that every person or group of people that have discovered what the Native Americans call wetiko disease unanimously consider it to be the most important topic—it’s been called “the topic of topics”—to understand in our world today. Wetiko psychosis—which can be conceived of as being a mind-virus—is at the very root of every crisis we face – climate change (and our lack of response and confusion around the issue), the threat of nuclear war, social injustice, political malfeasance, the threat of fascism, financial corruption, endless war, etc. Called by many different names throughout history, the spirit of wetiko renders every other issue secondary, for wetiko is the over-arching umbrella that contains, subsumes, informs and underlies every form of self-and-other destruction that our species is acting out in our world on every scale. If we don’t come to terms with what wetiko is revealing to us, however, nothing else will matter, as there will be no more human species.
The great doctor of the soul C. G. Jung was totally tracking wetiko (just not having the indigenous name), referring to it as “the totalitarian psychosis.” Being that totalitarian forces are creeping all over the world, it greatly behooves us to shed light on this totalitarian psychosis that is at the root of this process in the world.
A form of psychic blindness, wetiko is a psycho-spiritual disease that works through the blind spots of the unconscious and the projective tendencies of the mind so as to hypnotize us via our mind’s own creative power to shape reality. This mind-virus only has power over us to the extent it is not seen, however, which is to say that the way to heal it is to see how it operates, both out in the world and within our own mind.
We can better understand wetiko’s covert psy-ops by reflecting upon how this mind-virus works within an individual psyche, and recognize how this inner process is being mirrored and acted out in the world. When someone is taken over by the wetiko mind-virus, it is as if an alien, invading power gradually subsumes all of the healthy parts of the body politic and commandeers the executive function of the psyche so as to fulfill its own agenda, which is why the person taken over oftentimes acts in ways that are diametrically opposed to their own best interests.
In a psychic coup d’état, the wetiko bug can usurp and supplant a person, who becomes its puppet and marionette. Once the wetiko virus becomes sufficiently entrenched within a human psyche, the prime directive coordinating a person’s behavior comes from the disease, as it is now the one in the driver’s seat. As wetiko colonizes the psyche—centralizing power and control in the process—it eventually incorporates a seemingly autonomous regime that establishes a brutal hegemony over the healthy parts of the personality and becomes a parasitic autocracy within the greater body politic of the psyche. Once it gains a sufficient sovereignty, wetiko forms something like a totalitarian regime—what Jung calls “a shadow-government of the ego”—within the psyche which then dictates to the ego. This is why Jung, when referring to wetiko, calls it the “totalitarian psychosis.”
The internal landscape of the wetikoized psyche is mirrored in the external world through the totalitarian forces with its corresponding “shadow government” that comes along with it—with the ever-increasing centralization of power and control—that has infiltrated our democracy and is insidiously extending itself all over the globe. Both within our psyche—and in our alleged democracy—we are allowed our seeming freedom, but only so long as it doesn’t threaten the sovereignty and dominance of the archonic “ruling” power. An expression of its proclivity for wanting to usurp the executive function of any living system it inhabits, the word “archon” (the Gnostic term for wetiko) etymologically speaking, means “ruler.”
Unless we are lost in denial, it is clear that we are living at a time in which totalitarian forces (though in its less familiar form of “soft totalitarianism”) have re-emerged onto the political landscape. To quote Henry A. Wallace, Vice-President under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “Fascism is a worldwide disease” (Notice the similarity to psychologist William James’ words, “Evil is a disease”). There is something about the disease metaphor that so precisely maps onto what is actually happening in our world that indicates that it is not mere metaphor. Mainstream media has even been using the term “The Authoritarianism Virus” to point to the trend towards totalitarianism that is happening both in the United States and around the world.
In a nation—and world—trending towards totalitarianism, it gets harder and harder to discern truth from fiction. The disease of totalitarianism can only flourish when the boundary between fact and fiction make people lose their ability to perceive reality. The collapse of the distinction between truth and lies greases the skids for a totalitarian occupation of consciousness. A totalitarian regime is not merely an external situation, but can only take place if it has a corresponding internal referent within the psyche. A totalitarian state depends upon, psychologically speaking, people being coerced into lying to themselves, which invariably results in becoming inauthentic, out of integrity with their very souls - and hence, disconnected from their true creative power.
Fascism’s “greatest threat to the United States,” to again quote Wallace, will manifest “within the United States itself.” In other words, the greatest threat to our democracy will not come from external forces, but from forces originating within our own body politic. This is a mirrored reflection of how the greatest threat from wetiko disease—the totalitarian psychosis that threatens us all—is not from outside, but arises within our own psyche. “The totalitarian psychosis,” Jung writes, is “forcing us to pay attention to the psyche and our abysmal unconsciousness of it.”
If we don’t realize that our current world crisis—with its trend towards totalitarianism—has its roots within and is an expression of a process going on deep within the human psyche (which is to say, within each one of us), we will be doomed to unknowingly offer ourselves into its sinister hands. As if having a recurring dream, our totalitarian nightmare will then endlessly amplify itself in more and more terrifying forms, until we receive the message it is freely offering us.
We need to recognize that the totalitarian forces emerging in our world are reflecting—and both literally and symbolically revealing—to us shadow components of our own psyche, while at the same time, in a nonlinear, acausal process that happens both atemporally (outside of time) and over (linear) time, are in-formed and influenced by the very inner psychological process they are reflecting. This is to realize that the inner and outer are simultaneously co-arising and reciprocally co-evoking each other.
Recognizing this correlation and instantaneous reflective quality between the seemingly disparate outer and inner worlds opens up a pathway within us which expands our consciousness and helps us to wake up to the dreamlike nature of reality. This realization unlocks previously unimaginable “creative” (in contrast to “destructive”) powers within us that we didn’t know we had. This is the very process that dispells wetiko’s hold over us, putting in our own hands the very creativity-generating tools we need to start to dismantle the totalitarian psychosis within our world. Our world depends on it.
About the Author
A pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence, Paul Levy is a wounded healer in private practice, assisting others who are also awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality. He is the founder of the Awakening in the Dream Community in Portland, Oregon. Paul is the author of The Quantum Revelation: A Radical Synthesis of Science and Spirituality (SelectBooks, May, 2018), Awakened by Darkness: When Evil Becomes Your Father, Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil and The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis. His upcoming book is Seeing Wetiko: Healing Our Mind Blindness. An artist, he is deeply steeped in the work of C. G. Jung, and has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for over thirty years.
Please visit Paul's website www.awakeninthedream.com.
EXTRACT FROM PAUL LEVY'S FORTHCOMING BOOK ON WETIKO
Our true nature is impervious to wetiko. Wetiko can’t take over, possess or have any effect on our true nature, which is not an object that can be possessed by wetiko (or anything else, for that matter). For this reason, wetiko’s strategy is to set up a substitute, counterfeit version of ourselves that it tricks us into identifying with. Wetiko has no creativity on its own, but it’s a master impersonator; the apocryphal texts call it “the counterfeiting spirit.” It literally masquerades as ourselves.
This counterfeiter plugs into our own innate creativity to conjure up an image of ourselves as being limited, wounded, having problems, etc. This snake-oil salesman then presents to us, in a compellingly convincing way, that this limited, fictitious version of ourselves is who we actually are. If we are not awake in that moment to that we are being sold a bogus bill of goods, like putting on a garment, we step into—buying into—wetiko’s fabricated and circumscribed representation of ourselves. In so doing, in one fell swoop we have given ourselves away, identified with who we are not, and disconnected from our creative power. We have then become an outpost for and minion of wetiko.
As soon as we identify with this false self, we are a goner, as then, with wetiko’s help, we will create experiences for ourselves that will confirm our limited identity in a self-reinforcing (and mind-created) feedback loop. To say this differently – we will create an experience of ourselves that is problematic. This, in essence, is one of the fundamental aspects of the Buddha’s realization – that our situation is not problematic in the way we’ve been conditioned to imagine it is. Wetiko has fooled us into thinking that a seeming appearance—a display of our mind—a fictitious identity that literally has no actual reality is the real thing. We have then stepped out of our (right) minds and have identified with the mind that wetiko has forged for us, unknowingly becoming its hand puppet. We have then been deposed from the throne that rightfully belongs to us as part of our inheritance. A usurper has then assumed the throne.
Once under wetiko’s thrall, there are a couple of ways we can go. If we are unconscious of the coup that has just taken place within our soul, we identify with—and then protect and defend—the wetikoized version of ourselves that has been installed within us, even potentially fooling ourselves to think that we have never felt more ourselves (but this self is not who we actually are). Conceiving of ourselves in this way is inspired by wetiko, who behind the scenes is manipulating us by pushing our buttons and pulling our strings as if we are its marionette so as to reinforce who it wants us to think we are instead of us thinking for—and creating and simply being—ourselves.
On the other hand, we can realize that we feel out-of-sorts, not one with ourselves, as we can (if we tune into our experience) subjectively have the experience that it as if a part of ourselves is taken over and possessed by something other than ourselves. In amplified form, we can easily feel that we have a big problem (which, to the extent we’re unconsciously identified with our state, we do, but it is happening with our collusion and agreement). We consciously experience ourselves being caught in a mind-created double-bind that is utterly maddening. We then struggle to get out of our bind, which simply reinforces the seeming reality of our experience of being stuck.
This diabolical process—and infinite regress without a seeming end—can tragically capture our creative life-force and go on for our entire life. This is a description of a life that’s been taken over and colonized by the vampiric wetiko mind-virus. Sadly, some people struggling in this state eventually feel so helpless that they go belly up, check out, and simply try to make the best of their bad situation, which is to sell themselves short and give up on themselves and on life. Wetiko, however, perversely rejoices when this happens, for it has claimed another victim and captured another soul.
And yet, though this state seems as if we are truly cursed, it has hidden within it a real blessing. For once we become conscious of our seemingly damned state, we find that we have become a problem to ourselves. We then are at a fork in the road where we find ourselves with a choice – of either living out our lives in this state (which would be tragic), or inquiring into the nature of the problem we have found ourselves in. I would like to suggest—and this is what this book is about—that our experience of feeling stuck has encoded within it a revelation of the highest order – having to do with discovering who we are. For there is a world of difference between subjectively experiencing that we are stuck (who can argue with that? It’s our experience) and actually being stuck (which, as previously mentioned, our true nature can never be). Whatever part of us that feels stuck—that seems to be gripped by wetiko—isn’t the real us. To see this is a liberating experience. To say it from another angle: the part of us that’s struggling with wetiko isn’t us. As always, it comes down to who we think we are in all of this.
Wetiko – Exploring the Alarming Rise of Narcissism