Editor’s Note | Higher Journeys
While many individuals are walking around completely oblivious to the psychological implications that have emerged within and by the so-called “pandemic,” one man has, in my estimation hit the nail on the head when it comes to distilling its significance in our collective psyche. It’s called “wetiko” – roughly defined as a virus of the mind or what author Paul Levy has referred to as “malignant egophrenia.”
When I interviewed Paul Levy back in 2016 to discuss his then latest book, Dispelling Wetiko – Breaking the Curse of Evil, little did either of us know that only a few short years later, the externalization of this otherwise internal and unconscious “virus” would rear its ugly head. Alas it has. Question is, now that it’s here, what do we do about it?
Read on to discover the striking parallels between wetiko and the pandemic, and why he says that in order to heal the virus, we’ve got to all face the fact of where it’s really coming from and we are all involved.
BY PAUL LEVY | Awaken in the Dream
For almost twenty years I’ve been writing about an invisible, contagious death-creating virus that no one is immune to that has been insidiously spreading and replicating itself throughout the human species. This deadly disease is a virus of the mind—the Native Americans call it “wetiko”—that literally cultivates and feeds on fear and separation. A psycho-spiritual illness, it is a psychosis in the true sense of the word, “a sickness of the spirit.” The origin and medium of operations of the wetiko virus is none other than the human psyche. This mind-virus acts itself out through our blind-spots in such a way so as to hide itself from being seen – keeping us in the dark, so to speak. A collective psychosis, wetiko can be envisioned as “the bug” in the system that has been ravaging our species for as long as anyone can remember.
I first learned about the word wetiko from Professor and indigenous author Jack Forbes in his classic book Columbus and Other Cannibals. Forbes writes, “For several thousands of years human beings have suffered from a plague, a disease worse than leprosy, a sickness worse than malaria, a malady much more terrible than smallpox…. Tragically, the history of the world for the past 2,000 years is, in great part, the story of the epidemiology of the wetiko disease…. This disease is the greatest epidemic sickness known to man.”
It is a true game-changer to recognize that the coronavirus is literally a materialization in our world—a REVELATION—of the immaterial and heretofore invisible wetiko virus that exists deep within the collective unconscious of humanity. Seen through the eyes of symbolic awareness, the world-wide coronavirus pandemic is symbolically reflecting—just like a dream, where the outer dreamscape is an expression of the inner state of the dreamer—an unconscious and destructive process (the wetiko virus) that is happening deep within the human psyche. This is to say that what is playing out in the Covid-19 pandemic (with all the various political, social and financial reactions to it in our world as well as what it brings up inside of our minds) can help us to begin to see the deeper underlying and more dangerous wetiko pandemic—a collective psychological infection—that has been plaguing humanity from time immemorial.
Wetiko is a unique form of mind-blindness that renders us blind to our blindness (i.e., we don’t realize we are blind, but fancy ourselves as clear-seeing). To quote The Gnostic Gospels, “The darkness comes to anesthetize the intelligence and spread the cancer of mind blindness.” Seeing how the wetiko mind-virus surreptitiously works—both out in the world and especially within our own minds (which is the only place it can be confronted and potentially dissolved)—is its worst nightmare, for to see it takes away its raison d’etre, which is to perpetuate itself. Seeing wetiko simultaneously dispells its power over us while empowering ourselves. This is why healing the “cancer of mind blindness”—and seeing wetiko—is of such importance. A (dis)guised form of its revelation, Covid-19 could potentially be the lens that helps us bring into focus and see wetiko.
It is a limited and overly one-sided materialistic viewpoint which thinks that Covid-19 is solely a physical virus. Having multiple facets of operation and channels of influence, the virus is multi-dimensional in its impact – it is affecting our world in practically every way imaginable. Besides its obvious physical aspect, Covid-19 also has a psychological vector of transmitting itself into our minds (via our unconscious reactions of fear, stress, anxiety, etc.). The ‘mental’ vector of the virus spreads much quicker, as it is way more contagious than its biological counterpart, propagating itself through the channel of our shared unconscious blind-spots and fears. In other words, the contagion of fear—the fuel for the wetiko mind-virus—spreads faster than any physical virus is able to.
Like an entity with many tentacles, in addition to its physical and mental components, Covid-19 also has an interpersonal, behavioral vector of transmission. In other words, in affecting our minds (and thus, how we think and feel), Covid-19 impacts our behavior, which in turn influences how we interact with each other and the world around us. The virus deeply impacts the underlying social matrix that fashions human culture, practically leaving no stone unturned in its effects upon our world. Recognizing that Covid-19 has multiple vectors of transmission opens up our vision to begin to see how—just like a symbol in a dream—the virus is revealing something deeper than itself.
Covid-19 doesn’t exist as an isolated entity that independently exists on its own, walled off from the environment, but rather, the virus exists in relation to and as an expression of our world. It greatly behooves us to step out of our dualistic mind-set, expand our limited and fragmented vision and see the actual true nature of the virus from a more wholistic perspective.
Even though on one level Covid-19 is a physical virus that has seemingly invaded our world, all of its myriad effects and repercussions throughout every area of our lives are not separate from the virus itself. The virus has an energetic body that extends itself out into the world, and its effects in our world are its expression, the spore prints of its subtle body, so to speak. All of the virus’ ripple effects into our world—and within our minds—are appendages of the virus’ nonlocal energetic body that are continuous and co-extensive with the virus itself. This is to say that the virus and its myriad effects in our world and within our minds, when all seen together as interrelated inseparable parts of one whole quantum system, are both literally and symbolically the revelation of something deeper. This something deeper is the wetiko mind-virus.
This is to say that the virus and its myriad effects are both literally and symbolically the revelation of something deeper. This something deeper is the wetiko mind-virus.
Seen through the eyes of symbolic awareness, the world-wide coronavirus pandemic is symbolically reflecting—just like a dream, where the outer dreamscape is an expression of the inner state of the dreamer—an unconscious and destructive process (the wetiko virus) that is happening deep within the collective human psyche that it greatly behooves us to become conscious of. The continual survival of our species might actually depend upon it.
Read a longer version of this post at awakeninthedream.com
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. Among his books are The Quantum Revelation: A Radical Synthesis of Science and Spirituality (SelectBooks, May 2018) and Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil (North Atlantic Books, 2013). He is the founder of the “Awakening in the Dream Community” in Portland, Oregon. An artist, he is deeply steeped in the work of C. G. Jung, and has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for over 35 years. He was the coordinator for the Portland PadmaSambhava Buddhist Center for over twenty years. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org; he looks forward to your reflections.