This week Zoe is reading Dispelling Wetiko by Paul Levy, which explores the collective psychosis now gripping our culture and challenges us to look inside ourselves for answers. The name ‘wetiko’ comes from Native American cultures and refers to a spirit or wicked person who terrorises others through its evil acts. Wetiko is an archetype that arises from the collective unconscious, a psychic virus that represents the nightmare we’re all dreaming up together.
Paul Levy describes Wetiko as a psychospiritual disease of the soul. It functions through the shadow and operates through projection, revealing our blind spots by causing what is unconscious to manifest in the world or in our behaviour. Wetiko will play itself out in our relationships, our obsessions and compulsions, our fears, health crises, and dramas.
The fact that Wetiko works through the shadow is a clue to its origin. It comes from the experience of a separate sense of self, the dualistic thinking that puts a boundary between ‘me’ and ‘the world,’ or ‘me’ and ‘others.’ Levy calls this a disease and names it ‘malignant egophrenia’ or ME disease – which is pretty appropriate. Other names for it would be narcissism or an inflated ego consciousness or the false self.
“It is not a coincidence that the development of wetiko corresponds to the rise of what Europeans choose to call civilisation. The unsustainable nature of industrial civilisation is based on, and increasingly requires, violence to maintain itself. Genuine civilisation, in essence, means not killing people.”
ME disease then, is a disease of our malfunctioning civilisation, which looks less and less civilised by the day. This is caused by our one-sided intellect which reveres rationality but is disconnected from our roots in nature which destroys our ability to be truly empathic – and makes us strangers to ourselves.
This book takes an unflinching look at the nature of evil and asks challenging questions. We’re all complicit in this mass delusion – we all have an ego – and Levy doesn’t pull his punches. Other areas covered in the book include:
- our shadow and how projection works
- how the daemonic becomes demonic
- how we interdependently dream up our reality
- how we can free ourselves from the Wetiko nightmare
He doesn’t just hold up a mirror to our madness, he shows us how to overcome our blindness and become sane. This book is essential reading if you want to challenge yourself to wake up from the collective nightmare now engulfing the planet. I can’t recommend Dispelling Wetiko highly enough.
“The evil that is manifesting in our world is an expression that light is nearby, just as shadows are themselves expressions of light. A strong light is the best shadow-projector; in the source of light there is darkness enough for any amount of projections. We tend to think of shadows as the absence of light instead of one of its manifold expressions. Only when the full light shines in the darkness is the full intensity of the darkness made manifest. Joining the shadow with its light is, spiritually speaking, to be in possession of great wealth. A medieval proverb says, ‘Light over darkness is the Antichrist; Light through the darkness is the Christ.’ Light is ultimately revealed through darkness; it needs darkness, for otherwise, how could it appear as light? …
How amazing – the very thing that is potentially destroying us is at the same time waking us up!”
Read more on Paul Levy’s excellent website: Awaken in the Dream
More from Zoe’s Reading List