Reposted from AwakenInTheDream
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.
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. 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). Pointing at wetiko in its own unique way, The Gnostic Gospels says, “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. Covid-19 could potentially be the lens that helps us bring into focus and see wetiko.
Multiple Vectors of Transmission
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 more quickly, as it is exponentially 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 that is being inflamed by Covid-19—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. This is to say that the virus deeply impacts the underlying social matrix that fashions human culture, leaving no stone unturned in its effects upon our world.
Like a multi-headed hydra, the virus has a countless legion of effects. In addition to making people physically sick, some of whom die, the virus makes people afraid, creates enormous stress, changes governmental policies around the world, impacts the financial markets, inspires power grabs and profiteering from all sorts of unsavory people and institutions, feeds into and provides a pretext for totalitarian agendas, affects how often we leave our homes, influences what we think about, where we place our attention, what we wear when we go out in public, transforms the way we interact with each other and renders our future completely uncertain, in that it might either destroy our civilization or herald in a new historical epoch. Covid-19 has so gotten into our heads that it has even intruded, in one form or another, into many people’s dreams.
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. Like wetiko, Covid-19 is a field phenomenon, which is to say it doesn’t exist as an isolated entity that independently exists on its own, walled off from the environment, but rather, it exists in relation to and as an expression of the field in which it arises. When we get right down to it, the boundary between where the virus ends and the world begins becomes indistinguishable.
Even though on one level Covid-19 is a physical virus that has seemingly invaded our world, being a field phenomenon means that 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. The irony is that the effect of the virus’ subtle body in our world are anything but subtle. Encoded within the physical pathogen are hidden catalysts that trigger us in ways that are beyond the merely physical.
In other words, the virus triggers reactions within the human psyche to itself, reactions which are not separate from the virus but are part of the virus’ “operational body” (i.e., how the virus surgically operates on us). Just like the rays of the sun are not separate from the sun, but are its energetic expression, 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. 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.
For example, if the moon’s reflection appears in the ocean, the image of its reflection in the water can’t be separated out from either the moon, the ocean or the mind that perceives the reflection – they are all part of one whole quantum system. The moon isn’t causing the reflection any more than the ocean (or our mind) is – all of these interrelated factors are interdependently reciprocally co-arising with each other so as to produce the resultant effect (the image of the moon’s reflection in water that is arising within our minds). To think of them as separate parts interacting with each other is a cognitive error preventing us from seeing the deeper whole system that is openly revealing itself through their shared interplay. Or think of the ocean’s waves – the ocean isn’t in any way separate from its waves, the waves are its unmediated expression. The ocean isn’t causing the waves, the waves aren’t the effect of the ocean – the waves ARE the ocean.
The myriad effects on our behavior that the virus has activated throughout human global society are based on our reactions—both conscious and unconscious—to its presence in our world. Our reactions are, in turn, mediated through and shaped by the human psyche, which is the medium of operations for wetiko. This points to that the wetiko mind-virus, at least in part, is influencing our reactions and hence, our behavior—both individually and collectively—to the physical virus. Similar to how at the quantum level—which is to say at the reality level—mind and matter interpenetrate each other so fully as to reveal themselves to be indivisible, the physical virus and the psychological virus are not two separate things interacting, but are inseparable aspects of a greater whole unified quantum field in which mind and matter are one.
In other words, when we contemplate the bio-chemical, physical virus under the microscope of our mind from a whole systems point of view, it becomes impossible to differentiate the physical virus from the psychological virus, as they both reciprocally feed into and off of each other – it is thus impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins. In in-forming and co-ordinating our unconscious reactions to Covid-19, the wetiko mind-virus is like the stage manager behind the scenes, influencing our psychological state and thereby orchestrating our behavior from beneath our conscious awareness. Cloaking itself under the cover of the global pandemic, the wetiko mind-virus is then able to materially incarnate—taking on physical form—into our world by influencing our internal reactions to the physical virus.
The effects of the virus on our world can only be separated out from the virus in thought only, which is to say that the idea that the virus is separate from its effects is just that—an idea—with no basis in reality. The idea that objects exist separate from their effects is an expression of the same unconscious conceptual blind-spot that spawns our sense of self that thinks it exists separate from others and the environment. At the quantum level there is no difference between what something is (its being) and what effects it has (its doing), which is to essentially replace the world of material substances with a world populated by actions, events and inseparable processes in ever-flowing or constant movement.
To view the virus from a whole systems point of view is to recognize that the virus and its eco-system (which in our case happens to be the whole planet) are one seamlessly interconnected whole quantum system with no separable parts anywhere to be found. This is to say that the virus and its myriad effects in our world and within our minds, when all seen together as interrelated aspecrts of a greater whole, are both literally and symbolically the revelation of something deeper. This something deeper is the wetiko mind-virus.
Topic of Topics
Imagine if we are somehow able to completely eradicate Covid-19 from the universe and life would return to “normal” and we would return to “business as usual.” We shouldn’t be under any illusions – the world we lived in prior to the advent of the coronavirus pandemic (“the good old days”) was a world gone mad, riddled through and through by wetiko psychosis. It was just easier to deny this, as our madness had become normalized. Wetiko had rendered us oblivious to our own madness, compelling us to act against our own best interests in a self-destructive way. It was a world, due to our wetiko-inspired madness, in which we were enacting collective suicide on a mass scale (for example, destroying the biosphere, the life support system of the planet), rushing as fast as we could towards our own self-destruction.
The emergence of the coronavirus into our world can be just another distraction from the deeper, more deadly wetiko mind-virus that has forever plagued our species, or it could be recognized to be the very revelation of this mind-virus, finally exposing it to the disinfecting light of day. How it actually manifests depends upon whether we recognize what it is potentially revealing to us or not.
It should get our attention that every person or group of people that have discovered wetiko (by whatever name we call it) unanimously consider it to be the most important topic (it has been called “the topic of topics”)—there’s not even any competition—to understand in our world today. Wetiko is at the very root of every crisis we face – climate change (including our lack of response, our confusion around the topic and the hidden agendas attached to it), the threat of nuclear war, social injustice, political malfeasance, 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 seemingly uncontrollably in our world today on every scale. The less wetiko is recognized, however, the more seemingly powerful, and dangerous it becomes. 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.
Both the coronavirus and the wetiko virus share a similar evil genius as far as how they covertly operate. Just like a physical virus isn’t really alive by itself, but needs to hijack and colonize living cells to replicate itself in order to take on a semblance of life, the same is true for the wetiko mind-virus. Wetiko, like a vampire, can’t live on its own vital force, for it has none. Instead, it takes on a seeming life of its own through feeding on the fear and sense of separation it elicits in people. Once someone falls under wetiko’s deadly spell, they become the unwitting purveyors of this virus of the mind to the world.
In his recent article, “Searching for the Anti-Virus: Covid-19 as Quantum Phenomenon,” Martin Winiecki writes, “Wetiko – often referred to as a mind virus – propagates the deep-seated illusion of seeing oneself desperately confined to the cage of a separated ego. From this perspective of isolation, others appear either as competitors or as prey. In a worldview in which fear is the basic condition, fight and exploitation seem rational, empathy ridiculous and sentimental…. Wetiko has numbed our hearts, blurring our ability to perceive both the sacredness and the pain of life, both outside and inside ourselves. Innumerable beings are perishing due to this chronic inability to feel empathy.” On one level our common enemy is Covid-19, but on a deeper level our shared adversary is our unconscious ignorance of our inter-connectedness with each other. It is this very ignorance and the fear that accompanies the physical virus that is the food for the wetiko mind-virus.
Before finding the name wetiko, I had been tracking this seeming entity and realized it was a self-perpetuating aberration of the human ego, so I called it “Malignant Egophrenia” (a.k.a., “ME disease”). The essence of ME disease is to mistakenly identify with a fictitious identity, a false version or imposter of ourselves, through which we become an impersonator of our true self (this is why wetiko is referred to as “the counterfeiting spirit” in The Apocryphal texts of The Bible). If we fall under the thrall of wetiko/ME disease, we unconsciously use the creative genius of our own mind to imprison ourselves into a limited, constricted identity in which we think—and compulsively recreate and endlessly reinforce the illusion—that we exist as a “separate self” that is alien to the rest of the universe. We then grasp onto this false identity, defending it at all costs, and yet, this “self” that we are protecting doesn’t even exist in the way we’ve been imagining it does. In essence, we are then investing—and wasting—our life-force in contracting against and obstructing our own light due to something that has no actual existence except in our imagination. This is simultaneously the cause and the effect of wetiko psychosis.
In this “self”-created and endlessly self-perpetuating process—which is both an expression of and results in not knowing who we truly are—we then try to find answers to our self-created problems that are the result of our disoriented viewpoint by looking outside of ourselves. This takes us away from both the source and solution of the problem, which is within ourselves. When this plays out not only within the individual, but collectively as a species, the whole thing becomes madness on an industrial scale, as we see evidenced all around us in the world today. The whole benighted project(ion) is not just sponsored by wetiko, it is the revelation of wetiko for those who have eyes to see.
I first learned about the word wetiko from Professor and indigenous author Jack Forbes in his classic book on wetiko called 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.” In his foreword to Forbes’ book, author and environmental activist Derrick Jensen asks the question, “Why is the dominant culture so excruciatingly, relentlessly, insanely, genocidally, ecocidally, suicidally destructive?” Oftentimes, the most important thing is to ask the right question. Make no mistake, Jensen’s question is the right question. The idea of wetiko helps us get a handle on how to answer it. The idea of wetiko—with its new way of envisioning what is happening in our world—has a real benefit and utility, helping us wrap our minds around the current madness that is overtaking our planet.
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 back of value from their own lives. Wetiko thus violates the sacred law of reciprocity in both human affairs and the natural world as a whole.
Forbes refers to wetiko as “the sickness of exploitation.” When people are infected with the wetiko-mind virus, instead of entering into relationship and sacred partnership with the world, they think of the world as an object separate from themselves to be used and exploited for their own benefit, a perspective which simultaneously turns them into objects as well. This results in them losing awareness of their inter-connectedness with the web of life. To quote Alnoor Ladha and Martin Kirk from their article called “Seeing Wetiko: On Capitalism, Mind Viruses, and Antidotes for a World in Transition, “Wetiko short-circuits the individual’s ability to see itself as an enmeshed and interdependent part of a balanced environment and raises the self-serving ego to supremacy.” It is thus particularly dangerous when those who are taken over by wetiko are in positions of power. To quote Forbes, “if we continue to allow the wetikos to define reality in their insane way we will never be able to resist or curtail the disease.”
Though unfamiliar with the indigenous name wetiko, C. G. Jung was well aware of this pathology, referring to it in many different ways (for example, oftentimes referring to the dangers of psychic epidemics, the germ of evil, totalitarian psychosis, imperialistic madness, counterfeiting spirits, powers of darkness, the demon of sickness, etc.). The spirit animating the wetiko mind-virus has been creatively symbolized in as many ways as can be imagined by many great artists, scientists, thinkers and philosophers, and certainly by every spiritual wisdom tradition known to humanity.
Like a cancer of the mind that metastasizes, in wetiko disease a pathological part of the psyche co-opts the healthy parts to collude in propagating itself while concurrently draining its host. When wetiko colonizes and commandeers the executive function of a psyche, it forms a “shadow government” of the psyche that dictates to the ego. If left unchecked—which means we don’t become conscious of the hostile takeover that’s happening within our minds—wetiko will transform us into one of its unwitting instruments to spread and replicate itself in our world. We then become made in the virus’ image – a zombie, one of the walking dead. What happens within an individual psyche that has fallen under the spell of wetiko can be a looking glass through which we can re-cognize how this mind-virus is acting itself out in the world at large, as both the microcosm (the individual) and macrocosm (our species) are reflective iterations and expressions of the same deeper fractal pattern.
The wetiko mind-virus has the unique ability to extend itself out into the external world where it is mysteriously able to influence, in-form and configure events in the outer, physical world so as to synchronistically reflect—and reveal—the internal state of the psyche that is under its thrall. This is to say that wetiko, though originating within the human psyche, reveals itself via the medium of the outside world. The world-wide coronavirus pandemic is reflecting—just like a dream, where the outer dreamscape is a symbolic expression of the inner state of the dreamer—an unconscious process that is happening deep within the human psyche.
One of Jung’s primary monikers for wetiko was “totalitarian psychosis.” The internal landscape of the wetiko-ridden psyche is mirrored in the external world, for example, through the disturbing and undeniable trend towards totalitarianism—both in the United States and around the world—with its ever-increasing centralization of power and control. When we are not in touch with our intrinsic creative power, the external power of the state is more than happy to pick up our unconscious agency for us and use it against us for its own ends. If we marginalize our own internal authority, we dream up external totalitarian forces to limit our freedom and create our experience for us, as we see throughout the world today. In other words, there is a direct and immediate correlation between what is going on inside of our psyche and how our experience of the world manifests.
Covid-19 as Symbol
In the coronavirus pandemic the formless spirit of the wetiko virus has taken on corporeal, full-bodied form and become visible. Analogous to the shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave, the physical outbreak of the coronavirus is like a lower-dimensional shadow projected into our world cast from an archetypal or higher-dimensional realm. Studying the shadow (the coronavirus pandemic) within its proper context—i.e., relative to what it is an emanation and re-presentation of—helps us begin to understand the deeper higher-dimensional process (the wetiko virus) that is revealing itself through the pandemic.
In his recent article, Winiecki asks, “What if Covid-19 weren’t a danger independent from our minds and souls … [something] we’ve collectively summoned into existence? An embodiment of something buried deeply in the realms of the collective subconscious that we haven’t, so far, been able to comprehend? A living symbol of a much deeper infection?” What if, as Winiecki suggests, we have unconsciously called forth and summoned—”dreamed up”—Covid-19 as a symbol to potentially reveal the much more dangerous underlying infection (wetiko) that exists within the collective unconscious of humanity that we as of yet haven’t been able to see because it is taking place deep within the dark depths of our unconscious. Symbols—which are an emanation of, and the doorway to, something deeper within us—are the language of dreams. It is notable that recognizing that the world is speaking symbolically (i.e., just like a dream) is the viewpoint that literally connects us with a more fundamental level of reality.
Winiecki wonders, “How has the specter of Covid-19 been able to haunt 7.5 billion people and bring the world to a standstill in no time at all? Because the narrative massively resonates with something latent that is both teeming and deeply suppressed in people’s subconscious.” Similar to how a symbol in a dream resonates with, speaks to and invokes something in the dreamer, it is not an accident the “specter of Covid-19” has been able to “haunt” humanity. It is only able to have this profound effect on us collectively because it is touching something that is alive and actively at work deep within our unconscious.
Winiecki’s article came out the same day that my article “Quantum Medicine for the Coronavirus” was released. This synchronicity got my attention; we were clearly thinking along similar lines. To quote Winiecki, “Much more than just a difficult trial for humanity, the Covid-19 outbreak also holds the possibility for collective healing from the predatory mass infection of Wetiko. We can make sense of it as a global somatization – or symbolic simulation – of the underlying wetiko disease.” In other words, Covid-19 is a symbolic yet also full-bodied re-presentation on the world stage of the underlying immaterial wetiko mind-virus that is playing out behind the scenes.
The paradox is that wetiko, in its mercurial and trickster-like aspect, uses and exploits the projective tendencies of our mind to hide itself, and yet, it is through its symbolic projections and emanations of itself into our world—such as the coronavirus—that it paradoxically discloses and reveals itself. And yet, even though wetiko is literally staring us in the face via Covid-19, this mind-virus induces a psychic blindness within us—an occlusion in and to our consciousness—such that we don’t recognize its revelation. Left unseen, wetiko wreaks untold havoc in our world. It can’t be emphasized enough – the beginning of the cure for wetiko is to see it.
It is not a question of trying to convince people that they are not seeing clearly—this rarely seems to work—it is more a question of teaching people the art of seeing. There is a way of “translating” our experience of the global pandemic—with all its multitudinous effects—so as to help us see the wetiko mind-virus that is at the root of the pandemic that, if left unseen, will continue in its devastating effects upon both our world and our minds. Jung spent his whole life arguing for the profundity of what he calls “symbolic awareness” – which is based on recognizing that this universe we live in is an unfolding revelation, a living oracle that is continually speaking symbolically, just like our dreams at night do. When seen as a living symbol of a much deeper infection, Covid-19 opens up both our eyes and our minds to see this deeper infection – the wetiko mind-virus.
Seeing wetiko instantaneously changes it, ourselves and everything else as well. Being a mind-virus, wetiko’s channel of operation is through our awareness, or lack thereof. When we become aware of wetiko, however, the light of our awareness neutralizes wetiko’s primary power over us, which derives from operating within the shadows of our mind outside of our awareness. Once we become aware of how this mind-virus affects our awareness, it can no longer work its black magic through our awareness in the same way. Of course, we have to continually cultivate a clear and mindful awareness capable of seeing wetiko’s malign influence so as to inoculate our own mind from this stealthy and continually shape-shifting plague of the mind. Our awareness of wetiko becomes the vaccination against the disease.
The Power of Dreaming to Our Rescue
Our night dreams—which are clearly a manifestation of the unconscious—can teach us how to proceed. When we are unconscious of something, the unconscious content will literally become symbolized and get “dreamed up” in our dreams again and again in a variety of (dis)guises (oftentimes in a series of recurring dreams), until we begin to recognize what the symbol is re-presenting and touching within us. In psychology speak, we can then own this content as belonging to us, integrating within ourselves what it is reflecting to us, thereby expanding our consciousness and enlarging our sense of self.
For example, when we are unaware of an unconscious content—such as the part of our mind that is under the thrall of wetiko—it hides in identification with us, or to say this differently, we become unconsciously identified with it. In other words, when we aren’t seeing wetiko, it has taken on our form such that it becomes the lens through which we see the world, which renders its existence invisible to us. People who are afflicted with wetiko have no idea there’s anything askew within them – wetiko inspires people under its spell to project their inner situation outwards and see the problem (as well as their own shadow) as being outside of themselves. Once we turn our attention away from the source of the problem, which is always within ourselves, however, this mind-virus can then act itself out through our blind-spots without restraint.
The good news is that when an inner, unconscious and destructive content of the psyche such as wetiko gets dreamed up and appears in the outer world in physical, objectified and encapsulated form—such as in its revelation of itself via the Covid-19 pandemic—something is becoming available to us that, if recognized, can free us from the tyrannical hold the previously unconscious content (wetiko) had on us. Once we become aware that the manifestation of the physical virus in our world is mirroring back to us a more fundamental underlying mental virus, we can self-reflectively put our attention on what within us is being reflected by the external virus. By doing so, the unconscious energy that was bound up (as if being held hostage) in the compulsive re-creation of the mind-virus becomes available to be channeled constructively and expressed creatively in a way that, instead of keeping us stuck, serves our individuation and continual evolution.
Realizing the correlation between the Covid-19 outbreak and the wetiko mind-virus is to begin to recognize the dreamlike nature of our predicament, where, just like a dream, our inner situation is actively mirrored by and reflected through the outer world. Recognizing the connection between the inner and outer dimensions of our experience sheds light on the crucial and active role that the psyche plays in the creation of our experience. 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.
Recognizing the role of our psyche in all of this isn’t a passive realization, however, but, being a realization that takes place within the psyche itself, simultaneously activates and unlocks the very creative nature of the psyche that we are recognizing. In other words, this realization isn’t abstract, intellectual or theoretical, but rather, is a felt-sense that directly connects us with and helps us access the enormous creative power each of us—knowingly or unknowingly—carries within us. This insight by itself is just the beginning, however, for we are then called to carry and embody our inner realization into the outer world in our own uniquely creative way.
Our world has become surreal beyond belief. Who would have imagined—in their wildest dreams—that our world would have changed so dramatically in so short a time? In his recent article, Winiecki concludes, “if there’s one thing that Covid-19 has taught us, it is that dramatic shifts of collective behavior can actually occur overnight.” Seen through the eyes of symbolic awareness, Covid-19 reveals to us just how fluid, impermanent and malleable the underlying structures of our world are, as well as how unpredictable and dreamlike our ever-changing experience of the world really is. Seeing the dreamlike nature of our universe helps us to realize that it is not just the coronavirus that is revealing the more fundamental and dangerous wetiko mind-virus, but in addition, the entire universe is itself a continuous living revelation offering us everything we need in order to wake up, if only we have the eyes to see.