Wetiko: The Deceptive Mind-Virus of the Psyche with Paul Levy

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There is a Native American concept of a seemingly malignant spirit called wetiko and it’s known by many other names in many other traditions. It’s a psychological force within the unconscious mind that predisposes us toward unwholesome impulses such as the thirst for power and control, greed, and jealousy. It can manifest itself in selfishness and a lack of empathy. And, in a materialistic culture such as the US, where there is a deep denial of the nonlocal quality of consciousness, we often get blindsided by it. It feeds off of polarization, fear, and terror of others. It cripples our evolutionary potential and has a vampire-like spirit that will take energy for its own profit without giving anything of value back. It’s like a collective nightmare whose roots are found in the human psyche. The good news is that the cure is also found within us. Levy describes wetiko in this way, “It offer us a version of ourselves as limited and wounded and then can manipulate and control us. But it can't touch us, as long as we remember who we actually are. Wetiko can't steal our soul but it tricks us into giving it away so that we disconnect from our creative agency. Wetiko is a collective psychosis and the origin of it is to be found within the psyche. It's at the bottom of the madness that we're playing out.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms). 


Paul Levy is a pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence and is also a certified art teacher teaching both painting and drawing for a handful of years to people of all ages. He considers himself a wounded healer and is in private practice, assisting others who are also awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality. He has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for more than 35 years and is the founder of the “Awakening in the Dream” community in Portland, Oregon. Along with these activities he is deeply steeped in the work of C. G. Jung. 

Paul Levy is the author of several books including:

To learn more about the work of Paul Levy go to www.awakeninthedream.com. 

Topics explored in this dialogue include: 

  • When and how Levy first discovered this malevolent energy
  • How Levy survived the misdiagnosis of mental illness and several psychiatric hospitals
  • Where did the term wetiko come from
  • How Justine discovered her own internal sense of racism
  • How wetiko is an inner blindness
  • How, when infected by wetiko, it feeds off our life like a vampire or a tapeworm
  • How the original series of Star Trek depicted such an energy feeding off separation and polarization
  • How, when we have a reaction and judgment that we don’t bring to consciousness we become a vector for wetiko
  • How we become an echo chamber of our limited truth
  • How recognizing the disease of wetiko is only the first step. The second step is spiritually informed action
  • How wetiko is actually helping us to wake up
  • How we are actually being called to participate in our own evolution
  • How the global pandemic of the Corona virus is connected to wetiko
  • Why psychiatrist Stanislav Grof said, “The global crisis is a radical psycho-spiritual crisis and spiritual transformation of humanity is not only possible, but it is already underway”.
  • How when enough of us awaken we can collectively unlock the creative human spirit
  • What physicist Max Planck says about consciousness as being fundamental and at that bottom of everything
  • How artists help reveal truth directly to the soul
  • How the true nature of humans is cooperation and collaboration as revealed by the six Tonga youths stranded on an island for 15 months
  • What is Levy’s “Awaken the Dream” community and why coming together is important in releasing our collective imagination 

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 12/15/2021   Program Number: 3748

Music Playlist

From Album: Prairie Runner
Artist: Jeff Ball
2002 Red Feather Music #RFP 7007-2

Opening Essay: Track 03 Red & Blue
Music Break 1: Track 04 Eye of the Storm
Music Break 2: Track 05 Awakening
Music Break 3: Track 10 Burn