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Wetiko: Healing the Mind-Virus That Plagues Our World
by Paul Levy and Larry Dossey


This book explores the concept of "wetiko," a Native American term for a destructive, cannibalistic force that manifests as a "mind-virus" plaguing humanity. Levy argues that wetiko is responsible for the rampant greed, violence, and self-destruction seen in the world, both on an individual and collective level.

Here's a summary of the key ideas presented in the book:

What is Wetiko?

  • A contagious psycho-spiritual disease of the soul, a parasite of the mind that operates through unconscious blind spots, driving individuals and societies to act against their best interests.
  • It manifests as insatiable greed, a thirst for power and control, and a disregard for others and the environment.
  • Wetiko thrives on separation, polarization, and fear, often manifesting as hatred and scapegoating.
  • Though not objectively existing, its "virtual reality" can exert a powerful influence, shaping events in the world and our perceptions.

Roots of Wetiko

  • Spiritual Traditions: Levy explores various wisdom traditions that describe similar phenomena:
    • Kabbalah: The "kelipot" are broken shards of divine light that imprison spiritual sparks, representing the potential for evil.
    • Hawaiian Kahuna: "‘e‘epa" are mind parasites that mimic and deceive, resembling the Gnostic "archons."
    • Sri Aurobindo: "Hostile forces" are powers of darkness in revolt against the light, seeking to keep the world in ignorance.
  • Psychology: Levy draws heavily on Jungian psychology, particularly the concept of the shadow, the darker side of the personality that we project onto others. He also incorporates ideas from Freud, Laing, and other psychoanalysts.
  • Contemporary Culture: Levy analyzes how wetiko manifests in modern society through capitalism, consumerism, war, and the rise of totalitarian forces.

Overcoming Wetiko

  • Consciousness and Awareness: The antidote to wetiko lies in becoming conscious of its workings, recognizing its presence in ourselves and the world around us.
  • Integration of the Shadow: We need to face and accept our own shadow, the darker aspects of our personality, rather than projecting them onto others.
  • Reconnection with the Self: The ultimate remedy is to reconnect with our true nature, the divine spark within, and cultivate compassion for ourselves and others.
  • Creative Power: Utilizing our creative potential is essential in resisting wetiko, as it seeks to stifle our ability to envision and create a better world.

Covid-19 as a Wetiko Revelation

  • Levy explores the coronavirus pandemic as a symbolic manifestation of wetiko, highlighting its physical, psychological, and social dimensions.
  • He argues that the pandemic can be seen as a catalyst for collective awakening, forcing us to confront our interconnectedness and the illusory nature of separation.

Overall Message

"Wetiko" is a powerful and thought-provoking book that offers a unique framework for understanding the challenges facing humanity. Levy urges readers to confront the darker aspects of themselves and the world, ultimately advocating for a collective shift in consciousness toward compassion, love, and creative expression.

The book is both unsettling and hopeful, reminding us of the immense power we hold to shape our reality, both individually and collectively.