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Undreaming Wetiko: Breaking the Spell of the Nightmare Mind-Virus (Sacred Planet)
by Paul Levy

Goodreads

Paul Levy's "Undreaming Wetiko" is a deep dive into the nature of a collective "psychic disease" he calls Wetiko, drawing heavily on the work of psychologist Carl Jung and indigenous wisdom, particularly from the Cree tribe. This "psychic virus" preys on our unconsciousness, manifesting as greed, selfishness, and the drive to dominate and exploit others for personal gain.

The Heart of the Wetiko Virus:

  • A psychic parasite: Feeding off fear, separation, and negativity, Wetiko thrives in unconscious minds, driving us to consume more than we need and act against our own best interests and the wellbeing of others.
  • Blind to itself: Wetiko operates in our blind spots, making us unaware of its influence. This makes it incredibly difficult to combat as we often end up projecting our own shadow (unconscious negative aspects) onto others.
  • Shapeshifting and contagious: Wetiko adapts to any culture, belief system, or individual, mirroring and amplifying existing shadow elements. It spreads through psychic epidemics, infecting individuals and entire societies.

Recognizing Wetiko's Grip:

Levy provides various indicators to recognize Wetiko in ourselves and the world around us:

  • Chronic dissatisfaction and insatiable desire: Never feeling content, constantly seeking more power, possessions, or control.
  • Dehumanization and exploitation: Seeing others as objects to be used for personal gain, lacking empathy and compassion.
  • Divisiveness and conflict: Creating and perpetuating divisions between individuals and groups, fueling hatred and prejudice.

The Path to Undreaming Wetiko:

Levy suggests that the antidote to Wetiko lies in conscious awareness and cultivating specific qualities:

  • Shadow work: Facing our own unconsciousness, acknowledging our shadow self, and integrating it into our wholeness.
  • Cultivating compassion and empathy: Breaking free from self-serving desires and genuinely connecting with the suffering and experiences of others.
  • Sovereign individuality: Developing a strong sense of self, independent of external influences, and resisting the urge to conform to unhealthy societal norms.
  • Embracing the dreamlike nature of reality: Recognizing the illusory nature of the separate self and our perceptions, opening ourselves to a more interconnected and fluid understanding of reality.

The Importance of Undreaming Wetiko:

Levy argues that recognizing and addressing Wetiko within ourselves and collectively is crucial for our personal and collective healing. By understanding this "mind-virus," we can begin to dismantle its grip on our psyches and create a more compassionate, just, and sustainable world.

Critique:

While lauded for its insightful analysis of human behavior and societal ills, "Undreaming Wetiko" has also been criticized by some for potentially pathologizing societal problems and placing the burden of change solely on individual responsibility.

Overall, "Undreaming Wetiko" serves as a powerful wake-up call, urging us to confront the destructive forces operating both within and around us. It offers a path toward individual and collective healing by embracing conscious awareness, compassion, and a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings.