Yesterday we noted the importance of breaking free of the glass prison of ego, particularly when approaching and evaluating new information. Today, let’s put that into practice, and consider a notion that most people dismiss outright.
In my first post, I mentioned that reality is a mass shared dream. Let’s finally return to examine that more deeply.
reality as a dream
the intersection of dreams and reality
The idea that reality is a dream is not a new concept. Many wisdom traditions believe that all is Maya, and innumerable spiritual masters have spoken to this. In fact, in the interest of time, I defer to (and highly recommend) Timothy Conway’s wonderful essay about this.
Recently, folks like Bernardo Kastrup have shared meditations and reflections on the idea. Scientists, too, are increasingly discovering through experiments with physical reality that it is consciousness, not matter, which is the prima materia in the universe. Beyond Tom Campbell and Bruce Lipton, who I’ve mentioned previously on this blog, Dean Radin has also done some wonderful work in The Conscious Universe, to name just a few.
This is all great, because humanity very much needs to see beyond the materialist deception for which we’ve fallen since descending into the dark ages. Unfortunately, however, most people–spiritualists and scientists alike–stop short of speaking to the implications of this realization.
Paul Levy is the truly exceptional exception to this.
Paul Levy and Wetiko
Levy embraces the understanding that reality is a mass shared dream, and builds upon it to offer insight of what exactly is happening on this planet right now. He borrows from the work of Native American philosopher Jack Forbes, who, in his book, Columbus and other Cannibals, describes a disease called Wetiko. Its defining characteristic is that the afflicted “consumes” other human beings for profit–that is, he is a cannibal.
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.
— Jack D. Forbes, Columbus and other Cannibals
Wetiko is not a physical virus; rather, it is a symptom of misidentification with the ego. We all fall prey to it from time to time — it’s easy to do, as our experience is all very localized. But the truth is that we are one non-local consciousness, sharing a dream through many individual perspectives. To recognize this is to see yourself in others, which is experienced as empathy, and expressed as compassion.
When one identifies instead with the ego, one experiences greed and, in general, fear, because the ego knows it is transitory, but does its best to fight this reality. This lack of empathy is, by definition, sociopathic. It’s clear to see humanity is deeply afflicted and exhibiting psychopathic behavior en masse: we are destroying not only ourselves, but our planet.
So, what is this virus? Where does it come from? To understand this, we turn to Jung’s notion of shadow projection. Much of humanity wants to consider itself “good” (this is painfully true of people who have had spiritual experiences but then fallen into the ‘New Age’ or religion consciousness traps.) Those who focus strictly on love and light, and try to ignore the darkness, are repressing the dark part of the human psyche, which in turn is forced to manifest in external reality. To fight the shadow is also to mistake it as separate from yourself, which empowers it.
(By the way, it may go without saying, but I absolutely recommend his book “Dispelling Wetiko” — Levy is a gifted writer with a masterful command of Jungian concepts. See his two-part article on Wetiko here and here)
So what do we do?
If fighting the system increases its power, and ignoring the darkness fuels the shadow projection at the root of the problem, what are we to do?
I spoke to this at length in the post on creating reality responsibly, but the short answer is this: we must identify the darkness, remain aware of and informed about it, but never lose sight of the fact that all that we see and experience is the collective human psyche manifesting in the world, just as the characters in your dreams are actually a part of you. The good news is that wetiko is not just the problem, but also the catalyst that humanity absolutely requires to push its consciousness to the next level, and thus potentially the solution.
For that to be the case, though, we must spread the word about this psychospiritual bug–before humanity destroys itself!
Happy Friday the 13th 😉