Multidimensional food for thought...
It’s delicate confronting these priests of the golden bull
They preach from the pulpit of the bottom line
Their minds rustle with million dollar bills
You say Silver burns a h@le in your pocket
And Gold burns a h@le in your soul
Well, uranium burns a h@le in forever
It just gets out of control.
~What if we told you that humanity is being driven to the brink of extinction by an illness? That all the poverty, the climate devastation, the perpetual war, and consumption fetishism we see all around us have roots in a mass psychological infection? What if we went on to say that this infection is not just highly communicable but also self-replicating, according to the laws of cultural evolution, and that it remains so clandestine in our psyches that most hosts will, as a condition of their infected state, vehemently deny that they are infected? What if we then told you that this ‘mind virus’ can be described as a form of cannibalism. Yes, cannibalism. Not necessarily in the literal flesh-eating sense but rather the idea of consuming others—human and non-human—as a means of securing personal wealth and supremacy.
You may dismiss this line of thinking as New Age woo-woo or, worse, a lefty conspiracy theory. But this approach of viewing the transmission of ideas as a key determinant of the emergent reality is increasingly validated by various branches of science, including evolutionary theory, quantum physics, cognitive linguistics, and epigenetics.
The history of this infection is long, strange, and dark. But it leads to hope.
Viruses of the Mind
The New World fell not to a sword but to a meme.
~ Daniel Quinn
One of the most well-accepted scientific theories that helps explain the power of idea-spreading is memetics.
Memes are to culture what genes are to biology: the base unit of evolution. The term was originally coined by the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene. Dawkins writes, “I think that a new kind of replicator has recently emerged… It is still drifting clumsily about in its primeval soup, but already it is achieving evolutionary change at a rate which leaves the old gene panting far behind.” He goes on, “Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperms or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain, via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation.”…
Of course, similar notions of how ideas move between us have been around in Western traditions for centuries. Plato was the first to fully articulate this through his Theory of Forms, which argues that non-physical forms—i.e., Ideas—represent the perfect reality from which material reality is derived.
Modern articulations of the Theory of Forms can be seen in Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s idea of the Noosphere (the sphere of human thought) and Carl Jung’s Collective Unconscious, where structures of the unconscious are shared among beings of the same species. For Jung, the idea of the marauding cannibal would first be an archetype that manifests in the material world through the actions of those who channel or embody it…
The Wetiko Virus
We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and the winding streams with tangled growth as “wild.” Only to the White man was nature a “wilderness” and only to him was the land infested by “wild” animals and “savage” people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery. Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved was it “wild” for us. ~Luther Standing Bear
Many spiritual traditions, including Buddhism, Sufism (the mystical branch of Islam), Taoism, Gnosticism, as well as many Indigenous cultures, have long understood the mind-based nature of creation. These worldview’s have at their core a recognition of the power of thought-forms to determine the course of physical events.
Various First Nations traditions of North America have specific and long established lore relating to cannibalism and a term for the thought-form that causes it: wetiko. We believe understanding this offers a powerful way of understanding the deepest roots of our current global polycrisis.
Wetiko is an Algonquin word for a cannibalistic spirit that is driven by greed, excess, and selfish consumption (in Ojibwa it is windigo, wintiko in Powhatan). It deludes its host into believing that cannibalizing the life-force of others (others in the broad sense, including animals and other forms of Gaian life) is a logical and morally upright way to live.
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 this false separation of self from nature that makes this cannibalism, rather than simple murder. It allows—indeed commands—the infected entity to consume far more than it needs in a blind, murderous daze of self-aggrandizement. Author Paul Levy, in an attempt to find language accessible for Western audiences, describes it as ‘malignant egophrenia’—the ego unchained from reason and limits, acting with the malevolent logic of the cancer cell. We will use the term wetiko as it is the original, and reminds us of the wisdom to be found in Indigenous cultures, for those who have the ears to hear.
Wetiko can describe both the infection and the body infected; a person can be infected by wetiko or, in cases where the infection is very advanced, can personify the disease: ‘a wetiko.’ [Donald Trump] This holds true for cultures and systems; all can be described as being wetiko if they routinely manifest these traits.
In his now classic book Columbus and Other Cannibals, Native American historian Jack D. Forbes describes how there was a commonly-held belief among many Indigenous communities that the European colonialists were so chronically and uniformly infected with wetiko that it must be a defining characteristic of the culture from which they came. Examining the history of these cultures, Forbes laments, “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.”
We would presumably all agree that behavior of the European colonialists in North America can be described as cannibalistic. Their drive for conquest and material accumulation was a violent act of consumption. The engine of the invading culture sucked in lives and resources of millions of others and turned them into wealth and power for themselves. The figures are still disputed, but it is safe to place the numbers killed in the tens of millions, certainly one of the most brutal genocides in history. And the impact on non-human life was equally vast. Moreover, it was all done with a moral certainty that all destruction was justified in the name of ‘progress’ and ‘civilization.’
This framing belies the extent of the wetiko infection in the invader culture. So blinded were they by self-referential ambition that they could not see other life as being as important as their own. They could not see past ideological blinders to the intrinsic value of life or the interdependent nature of all things, despite this being the dominant perspective of the Indigenous populations they encountered… This is not an anti-European rant. This is the description of a disease whose vector was determined by deep patterns of history…
Memes can spread at the speed of thought but they usually require generations to change the core characteristics of cultures. What we can say is that the fingerprints of wetiko-like beliefs can be traced at least as far back as the Neolithic revolution...
This early form of wetiko-logic received an amplifying power of indescribable magnitude with the arrival of Christianity. “Let us make mankind… rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground,” said an authority no less than God in Genesis 1:26… it was driven across Europe at the point of Roman swords in the two hundred years after Christ’s death. It is no coincidence that, in order for Christianity to become dominant, the existing pagan belief-system, with its understanding of humanity’s place within rather than above nature, had to be all but annihilated…
Wetiko Capitalism: Removing the Veils of Contex
I don’t know who discovered water, but I can tell you it wasn’t a fish.
When Western anthropologists first started to study wetiko, they believed it to be only a disease of the individual and a literal form of flesh-eating cannibalism. On both counts, as discussed, their understanding was, if not wrong, certainly limited. They did, however, accurately isolate two traits that are relevant for thinking about cultures: (1) the initial act, even when driven by necessity, creates a residual, unnatural desire for more; and (2) the host carrier, which they called the ‘victim,’ ended up with an ‘icy heart’— i.e., their ability for empathy and compassion was amputated.
The reader can probably already sense from the two traits mentioned above the wetiko nature of modern capitalism. Its insatiable hunger for finite resources; its disregard for the pain of groups and cultures it consumes; its belief in consumption as savior; its overriding obsession with its own material growth; and its viral spread across the surface of the planet…
Looking through the broader contextual lens, we must also account for the self-perpetuating nature of complex systems. Any living network that becomes sufficiently complex will become self-organizing, and from that point on will demonstrate an instinct to survive. In practical terms, this means that it will distribute its resources to support behavior that best mimics its own logic and ensures its survival.
In other words, any system that is sufficiently infected by wetiko logic will reward cannibalistic behavior. Or, in Jack Forbes’ evocative language, “Those who squirm upwards [in a wetiko system] are, or become, wetiko, and they only perpetuate the system of corruption or oppression. Thus the communist leaders in the Soviet Union under Stalin were at least as vicious, deceitful and exploitative as their czarist predecessors. They obtained ‘power’ without changing their wetiko culture.”…
The question, then, for anyone interested in excising the wetiko infection from a culture is, where is it? In one respect, because it is a psychic phenomenon that lives in potential in all of us, it is non-local. But this, though ultimately important to understand, is not the whole truth. It is also true that there is a conceptual place where the most powerful wetiko logic is held, and that, at least in theory, makes it vulnerable…
So what is this deep logic of the global operating system?
It comes in two parts. First, there is the ultimate purpose, which we might call the Prime Directive, which is to increase capital…
Then, there is the logic for how we, the living components of this system, should behave, which we would summarize with the following epithet: Selfishness is rational and rationality is everything; therefore selfishness is everything.
…We are pitted against each other in a form of distributed fascism where we cocoon ourselves in the immediate problems of our own circumstances and consume what we can. We then couch this behavior in the benign language of family matters, national interests, job creation, GDP growth, and other upstanding endeavors.
Put these two parts of the puzzle together and it’s easy to see why the banker who generates excess capital receives vast rewards and is labelled ‘productive’ and ‘successful,’ almost regardless of the damage s/he causes… Nurses, mothers, teachers, journalists, activists, scientists—all receive far less reward because they are less efficient at obeying the Prime Directive and may even be countermanding the ‘self-interest’ operating principle. And as for those who are actually poor—well, they are effortlessly labelled not just as practical but also moral failures.
This infection is so far advanced that the system now requires exponential capital growth… It took us from the dawn of civilization to 1970 to reach $2 trillion in global GDP, and now we need that just in the differential so the entire house of cards doesn’t crumble. In order to achieve this rate of growth year-on-year, we are destroying our planet, ensuring mass species extinction, and displacing millions of our brothers and sisters (who we commonly refer to as ‘poor people’) from around the world.
So when people tell us that the market knows best, or technology will save us, or philanthrocapitalism will redistribute opportunities (pace Bill Gates), we have to understand that all of these seemingly common sense truisms are embedded in a broader operating system, a wetikonomy, with all that that means. And the more they are presented as ‘unchangeable,’ the more often we’re told, ‘there is no alternative,’ the more we should question. There is actually a beautiful irony in the fact that, when we know what we’re up against, such statements are our signposts for where to look.
It is not that we are against markets, technology, or philanthropy — they can all be wonderful, in the right context—but we are against how they are being used as alibis to excuse the insanity of the wetiko paradigm that they are inseparable from. We are reminded of Jack Forbes’ heavy words; “It is not logical to allow the wetikos to carry out their evil acts and then to accept their assessment of the nature of human life. For after all, the wetiko possess a bias created by their own evil lives, by their own amoral or immoral behavior. And too, if I am correct, they were, and are, also insane.”
Seeing Wetiko: Antidote Logic
Launch your meme boldly and see if it will replicate—just like genes replicate, and infect, and move into the organism of society. And, believing as I do, that society operates on a kind of biological economy, then I believe these memes are the key to societal evolution. But unless the memes are released to play the game, there is no progress. ~Terence McKenna
A key lesson of meme theory is that when we are conscious of the memetic viruses we are less likely to adhere to them blindly. Conscious awareness is like sunlight through the cracks of a window.
Thus, one of the starting points for healing is the simple act of ‘seeing wetiko’ in ourselves, in others, and in our cultural infrastructure. And once we see, we can name, which is critical because words and language are a central battleground. To quote McKenna again:
The world is not made of quarks, electromagnetic wave packets, or the thoughts of God. The world is made of language.. Earth is a place where language has literally become alive. Language has invested matter; it is replicating and defining and building itself. And it is in us.
His last line is critical for exploring our own agency in the replication of wetiko. We are all entangled in the unfolding of reality that is happening both to and through us. In place of traditional certainties and linear cause-and-effect logic, we can recast ourselves “as spontaneously responsive, moving, embodied living beings—within a reality of continuously intermingling, flowing lines or strands of unfolding, agential activity, in which nothing (no thing) exists in separation from anything else, a reality within which we are immersed both as participant agencies and to which we also owe significant aspects of our own natures.”…
Forbes reminds us that we cannot ‘fight’ wetiko in any traditional sense: “One of the tragic characteristics of the wetiko psychosis is that it spreads partly by resistance to it. That is, those who try to fight wetiko sometimes, in order to survive, adopt wetiko values…
However, once we are in the mode of seeing wetiko, we can hack the cultural systems that perpetuate its logic… we can organize our lives in radically new ways to undermine wetiko structures. The simple act of gifting undermines the neoliberal logic of commodification and extraction. Using alternative currencies undermines the debt–based money system. De-schooling and alternative education models can help decolonize and de-wetikoize the mind. Helping to create alternative communities outside the capitalist system supports the infrastructure for transition. And direct activism such as debt resistance can weaken the wetiko virus, if done with the right intention and state of consciousness.
By contracting new relationships with others, with Nature, and with ourselves, we can build a new complex of entanglements and thought-forms that are fused with post-wetiko, post-capitalist values.
We have to simultaneously go within ourselves and the deep recesses of our own psyches while changing the structure of the system around us. Holding a structural perspective and an unapologetic critique of modern capitalism—i.e., holding a constellational worldview that sees all oppression as connected—serves our ability to see the alternatives, and indeed, all of us, as intricately connected.
Plato believed that ideas are the ‘eyes of the soul.’ Now that the veils obscuring wetiko are starting to be lifted, let us give birth to, and become, living antigens, embracing the polyculture of ideas that are challenging the monoculture of wetiko capitalism. Let us be pollinators of new memetic hives built on altruism, empathy, inter-connectedness, reverence, communality, and solidarity, defying the subject-object dualities of Cartesian/Newtonian/Enlightenment logic. Let us reclaim our birth right as sovereign entities, free of deluded beliefs in market systems, invisible hands, righteous greed, chosen ones, branded paraphernalia, techno utopianism and even the self-salvation of the New Age. Let us dance with thought-forms through a deeper understanding of ethics, knowing, and being, and the intimate awareness that our individual minds and bodies are a part of the collective battleground for the soul of humanity, and indeed, life on this planet. And let us re-embrace the ancient futures of our Indigenous ancestors that represent the only continuous line of living in symbiosis with Mother Nature. The dissolution of wetiko will be as much about remembering as it will be about creation.
*read entire essay @http://www.kosmosjournal.org/article/seeing-wetiko-on-capitalism-mi...
~I can’t overemphasize the significance, & the truly transformative potential that this corridor of the Rabbit H@le contains, Ashtar Massive… I know, I know, we’ve been down this road before.. But make no mistake about it, this subject is worthy of being repeated as often as possible. Like Carlos Castaneda, I’m inclined to consider Wetiko/Archons/Flyers/Annunaki (only a few of their countless guises) to be “the topic of topics.” On par with the vital, spiritual task of decoding language, & the means & ways it has been employed by the cultural engineers to maintain the mental shackles of duality. Within this arena ‘one’ can excavate nuggets of Alchemical Gold that can actually morph into keys for unlocking the doors of the shitstem… of duality... rightsizing ‘UFO’ & our Galactic Brethren & Sistren as ultimately, small pieces of a more profound picture that is finally coming into focus. One where Humanity is honored as sovereign, co-creators of the Earth-School, rather than servants to creator-god’s, or ET’s ‘acting’ as saviors etc. … in the grander scheme of the works that are being unveiled, that’s all folly, anyway. Yep, ALL of it. So, stand strong! Because while this stuff is quite challenging to our perception of ‘realty’… it is actually why we all agreed to be present in this exact time & place. To be of service to this Divine mission of remembering who, & what, we really are. Infinite Possibility; Spiritual Beings having a Human experience. Not for the faint of Heart, as it requires ‘free diving’ into deep, uncharted waters. The above essay is a powerful addition to the evolving narrative of authentic Awakening, including meaningful steps to enhance one’s full Self-Realization, by moving through the illusory obsticles presented by wetiko. For those who real’eyes’ that half measures will avail us nothing… for anyone disheartened by the absurd amplification of mainstream everything’s ‘Trump Show’; Know this: As a cartoonish representation of a full blown wetiko, Trump actually serves a higher purpose. His globally broadcast, overt mental dis-ease is adding to the growing clarion call for Humanity’s Awakening & full emancipation from the Time-loop. ~TemetNosce247
*To dive even deeper into this multidimensional topic, as I’ve already done many times on ACC… I highly recommend reading Paul Levy’s book, ‘Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil’. It’s beyond worth the time. Here’s a valuable excerpt:
“…As people who are becoming wise to the wiles of wetiko collaboratively help each other to step out of the illusion of separation, a psychic alchemical container that is greater than the sum of it’s parts gets created. This holy grail-like vessel of collectively shared lucidity is reciprocally conjured up through our shared realization. This higher-dimensional mystic container is forever stimulating lucidity, as well as stabilizing and strengthening itself in a positive, “over-unity” feedback loop. The system is “over-unity” in the sense that more comes out of then goes into the system. This “breakdown” of the illusory was of separation is at the same time a”breakthrough” into a world of shared recognition, which gives birth to a constant outpouring of abundant, radiant energy, evoking, and being inspired by the creative spirit. This jewel-like higher-dimensional entity composed of the crystalline force of consciousness itself is a lucidity generator that is tapping into the zero-point energy of the mind, a form of higher-mind technology that attracts and dreams the universe into itself. This is to say that the open heart of lucid awareness incorporates itself in the world, while at the same time incorporating the world into itself. “Lucid” (a word which etymologically speaking, is related to “light”) awareness is the polar opposite, energetically speaking, of what a “black hole” symbolizes. Instead of “disappearing” and imprisoning energy like a black h***, lucidity’s enlightening energy non-locally “appears” throughout the field, offering it’s stimulating gifts to whoever is ope to receive it’s liberating effects. As compared to a black h***, lucid awareness is like a “white hole” or rather, a white “whole,” omni-directional and non-locally emanating radiant awareness throughout the entire field of consciousness. Liberating experience to spontaneously unfold creatively, lucidity is a truly creative act in that it is actively participating and consciously engaging in the co-creation of the universe with itself.
When we recognize that we exist not apart from, but relative to, each other, our connection with each other is “hermetically sealed” with the stamp of Hermes. We then relate to each other such that none of our projections unconsciously leak out into the world, for the simple reason that the world is recognized to be our projection. This realization bonds us together, uniting us with the world, each other, and ourselves…”~Paul Levy