Wetiko Worldwide

Dive into the profound insights of author Paul Levy’s groundbreaking work on the mind-virus called “wetiko.” In his book, “Wetiko: Healing the Mind-Virus that Plagues Our World,” Levy unravels the essence of this contagious psycho-spiritual disease, urging us to eradicate it on a global scale.

Wetiko, as Native Americans have termed it, operates insidiously, exploiting the unconscious blind spots in our psyche. This mind-virus renders us oblivious to our own madness, compelling us to act against our own best interests. It engulfs our consciousness, veiling the underlying assumptions that frame our perceptions of the world and ourselves.

Wetiko Worldwide - Frontier Forever



“A contagious psycho-spiritual disease of the soul is currently being acted out en masse on the world stage via an insidious collective psychosis of titanic proportions. This mind-virus—which Native Americans have called “wetiko”—covertly operates through the unconscious blind spots in the human psyche, rendering people oblivious to their own madness and compelling them to act against their own best interests. Wetiko is a psychosis in the true sense of the word, “a sickness of the spirit.” Wetiko covertly influences our perceptions so as to act itself out through us while simultaneously hiding itself from being seen.

Wetiko bewitches our consciousness so that we become blind to the underlying, assumed viewpoint through which we perceive, conjure up, and give meaning to our experience of both the world and ourselves. This psychic virus can be thought of as the “bug” in “the system” that informs and animates the madness that is playing out in our lives, both individually and collectively, on the world stage.

Before being able to treat this sickness that has infected us all, we have to snap out of our denial, see the disease, acknowledge it, name it, and try to understand how it operates so as to ascertain how to deal with it—this is what my book Wetiko is all about.

The Normalization of Wetiko

A few years ago I ran into a friend whom I hadn’t seen for a while. He asked me what I had been up to. I answered that I was writing about the collective psychosis that our species had fallen into. His response was telling. He asked me what made me think there was a collective psychosis going on. His question left me speechless; I literally didn’t know how to respond. What made him think there wasn’t a collective psychosis going on, I wondered. Could he give me one piece of evidence? Our collective madness had become so normalized that most people—my friend was extremely bright, by the way—didn’t even notice.

Many of us have become conditioned to thinking that if we were in a middle of a collective psychosis it would mean that people would be doing all sorts of “crazy” things such as running around naked and screaming, for instance. This ingrained idea, however, gets in the way of recognizing the very real collective insanity in which all of us are—both passively and actively—participating. If we want to envision what a collective psychosis could actually look like, it might be a real eye-opener to realize it would look exactly like what is happening right now in our world.

What Is Wetiko Really?

Wetiko is a cannibalizing force driven by insatiable greed, appetite without satisfaction, consumption as an end in itself, and war for its own sake, against other tribes, species, and nature, and even against the individual’s own humanity. It is a disease of the soul, and being a disease of the soul, we all potentially have wetiko, as it pervades and “in-forms” the underlying field of consciousness. Any one of us at any moment can fall into our unconscious and unwittingly become an instrument for the evil of wetiko to act itself out through us and incarnate in our world. If we see someone who seems to be taken over by wetiko and we think they have the disease and we don’t, in seeing them as separate we have fallen under the spell of the virus ourselves.

Wetiko induces in us a proclivity to see the source of our own pathology outside of ourselves—existing in “the other.” Wetiko feeds off of polarization and fear—and terror—of “the other.” Seeing the world through a wetiko-inspired lens of separation/otherness enlivens what Jung calls “the God of Terror who dwells in the human soul,” and simultaneously plays itself out both within our soul and in the world at large. Wetiko subversively turns our “genius” for reality-creation against us in such a way that we become bewitched by the projective tendencies of our own mind.

Falling under wetiko’s spell, we become entranced by our own intrinsic gifts and talents for dreaming up our world in a way that not only doesn’t serve us, but rather is put at the service of wetiko (whose agenda is contrary to our own). Our creativity then boomerangs against us such that we hypnotize ourselves with our creative genius, which cripples our evolutionary potential. To the extent we are unconsciously possessed by the spirit of wetiko, it is as if a psychic tapeworm or parasite has taken over our brain and tricked us, its host, into thinking we are feeding and empowering ourselves while we are actually nourishing the parasite (a process which will ultimately kill its host—us).

In wetiko disease, something that is not us surreptitiously, beneath our conscious awareness, takes the place of and plays the role of who we actually are. Shape-shifting so as to cloak itself in our form, this mercurial predator gets under our skin and “puts us on” as a disguise. Miming ourselves, we become a copy, a false duplicate of our true selves. We are then truly playing out a real version of the imposter syndrome.

The Sickness of Exploitation

Wetiko is powerless to control our true nature, but it can control and manipulate this false identity that it sets up within us. When we fall under the sway of wetiko’s illusion, we simultaneously identify with who we are not, while dissociating from and forgetting who we actually are—giving away our power, not to mention ourselves, in the process.

Disconnecting from our own intrinsic agency, we open ourselves to be used, manipulated, and exploited by outside forces. Indigenous author Jack Forbes, who wrote the classic book about wetiko entitled Columbus and Other Cannibals, refers to wetiko as “the sickness of exploitation.” Wetiko can be conceived of as being an evil, cannibalistic, vampiric spirit that inspires people under its sway to take and consume another’s resources and life-force energy solely for their own profit, without giving anything of value back from their own lives. Wetiko thus violates the sacred law of reciprocity in both human affairs and the natural world as a whole.

The main channel of wetiko’s transmission is relational. It exists through our relationships with ourselves, each other, and the world at large. Like a vampire that can’t stand the light of day, the wetiko virus can’t stand to be illumined. However, in seeing how it covertly operates through our own consciousness, we take away its seeming independence, autonomy, and power over us, while at the same time empowering ourselves. The way the vampiric wetiko covertly operates within the human psyche is mirrored by the way it works in the outside world.

Jung never tired of warning us that the greatest danger threatening humanity today is the possibility that millions—even billions— of us can fall into our unconscious together in a collective psychosis, reinforcing each other’s madness in such a way that we become unwittingly complicit in creating our own destruction. When this occurs, humanity finds itself in a situation where we are confronted with—and battered by—the primal, primordial, and elemental forces of our own psyche.

The Internal Origins of Wetiko

The most depraved part of falling under the thrall of wetiko is that, ultimately speaking, it involves the assent of our own free will; no one other than ourselves is ultimately responsible for our situation. There is no objective entity called wetiko that exists outside of ourselves that can steal our soul—the dreamed-up phenomenon of wetiko tricks us into giving it away ourselves.

People under the sway of wetiko are implicated in and willingly subscribe to their own enslavement. They do this to the point that when offered the way out of the comfort of their prison they oftentimes react violently. They symbolically—and sometimes literally—try to kill the messenger who is showing them the path to freedom. Ultimately speaking, in wetiko disease we are not being infected by a physical, objectively existing virus outside of ourselves. Rather, the origin and genesis of the wetiko psychosis is endogenous; its roots are to be found within the human psyche. The fact that wetiko is the expression of something inside of us means that the cure for wetiko is likewise within us.

If we don’t understand that our current world crisis has its roots within and is an expression of the human psyche, we are doomed to unconsciously repeat and continually recreate endless suffering and destruction in increasingly amplified forms, as if we are having a recurring nightmare. In my language, the inner situation within ourselves is getting “dreamed up” into materialized form in, through, and as the world.

In waking life we are continually dreaming right beneath the threshold of consciousness, especially when we are under the influence of our unconscious complexes. In other words, when we are “under the influence” of our activated unconscious, we will unknowingly recreate our very inner landscape via the medium of the outside world. What can be more dreamlike than that?

What is happening in the world today is reflecting—and both literally and symbolically revealing to us—something unknown within our own psyche. At the same time, in a nonlinear acausal feedback loop that happens both atemporally (outside of time) and over (linear) time, events in our world are informed and shaped by the very inner psychological process they are reflecting. The inner and outer are simultaneously co-arising and reciprocally co-evoking each other. This is to say that what is happening within us and what is arising in our world have a mysterious interconnection; the inner and the outer are ultimately not separate nor separable.

Recognizing the correlation between the inner and the outer, between the micro and the macro, is the doorway into being able to see wetiko and wake up to the dreamlike nature that wetiko is simultaneously hiding and revealing depending on our point of view and level of awareness. Recognizing the connection between what is happening out in the world with what is taking place within our minds becomes a channel or secret doorway that leads beyond our merely personal psychological issues, empowering us to deal with the essential problem of our time.

Dreaming Wetiko

The wetiko psychosis is a dreamed-up phenomenon, which is to say that we are all potentially participating in and actively cocreating the wetiko epidemic in each and every moment. Like a collective dream, the wetiko epidemic is the manifestation of something in our shared collective unconscious taking on material form. Wetiko is literally demanding that we pay attention to the fundamental role that the psyche (the source of our dreams) plays in creating our experience of ourselves and of the world.

Forgetting the crucial role that the psyche plays in creating our experience, we marginalize our own intrinsic authority, tragically dreaming up both internal and external authoritarian forces to limit our freedom and mold our experience for us. Never before in all of human history has our species been forced to confront the numinous, world-transforming powers of the psyche on so vast a scale. Even with the ongoing multiple catastrophes that are converging in our world, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the darkness that is emerging today might become the soil out of which a regenerative age and nobler culture arise.

Although the source of humanity’s inhumanity to itself, wetiko is at the same time a potential catalyst for our evolution as a species. Recognizing the dreamed-up nature of the wetiko epidemic can become the impetus for us to awaken to the dreamlike nature of the universe itself.

In a circular process without beginning or end, we are being dreamed up by the universe while dreaming up the universe at one and the same time. To see this not only demands that we have an expansion of consciousness, it is the very expansion itself. The less wetiko is recognized, however, the more seemingly powerful and dangerous it becomes. Wetiko can only be seen when we begin to realize the dreamlike nature of our universe, step out of the illusory viewpoint of the separate self, and recognize the deeper underlying field of which we are all expressions, in which we are all contained, and through which we are all interconnected.

These are interrelated insights of the same multifaceted realization. The energetic expression of this realization, and the wetiko dissolver par excellence, is compassion. Connecting with the compassion that is our nature we find ourselves in very good company. Being the unmediated expression of recognizing the dreamlike nature, compassion reciprocally co-arises with lucidity. In other words, if we’re genuinely awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality, both lucidity and compassion will be inseparably united components of our experience.

As if an instrument of a higher intelligence, wetiko literally invites—make that demands—that we become conscious of and step into our intrinsic creative power and agency, or suffer the consequences. Instead of mutating so as to become resistant to our attempts to heal it, the wetiko virus forces us to mutate—to evolve— relative to it. Wetiko is a quantum phenomenon, in that it contains within itself the potential to be either the deadliest poison or the most healing medicine. Will wetiko destroy us? Or will it catalyze our evolution and wake us up?” -



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