September 01, 2020
from AwakenInTheDream Website
As the Native American word 'wetiko' more and more enters popular vernacular, many people still don't really understand what it means, thinking of wetiko as a vague, abstract idea that has something to do with evil.
I am hard-pressed to find anything in our world today that is more strikingly relevant and crucial to understand than what is meant by wetiko, for more than anything else I've encountered, it captures and sheds critically needed light on the nature of the collective psychosis that currently afflicts humanity.
Called by many
different names throughout history, it is not an understatement
to say that if we don't understand what the notion of wetiko
- a mind-virus that exists in the shared collective unconscious of
our species - is illuminating, we will be ill-fated, doomed to
continue our inexorable march towards destroying everything we hold
dear, including ourselves...
The irony is that the evidence for what I am talking about is so overwhelmingly pervasive - it is all around us (as well as inside of us) - that it is easy to miss due to its omnipresence and obviousness.
To use a primary example,
Many of us are addicted,
...among many other
In his work on addiction, instead of using the word 'wetiko,' Schoen refers to it as the "Addiction-Shadow-Complex," which is composed of the interaction between,
The addictive behavior becomes a pathway for the repressed, unconscious aspect of the personal shadow to freely express itself, thereby insinuating itself into the personality by vampirically feeding on the wellsprings of vital energy that comprise a healthy human being.
In a mutually reinforcing feedback loop which over time can subtly metastasize into the core of the personality, the personal shadow becomes increasingly dependent upon the addictive behavior for its expression, while the addictive behavior feeds off of and is strengthened by the personal shadow.
As the personal and
transpersonal shadow elements align, an insidious self-amplifying
cycle is created that can easily turn into a degenerative downward
spiral that greases the path for our potential self-destruction
through the addiction (whatever the specific form of the
addiction might be).
In taking over the workings of someone's mind, the Addiction-Shadow-Complex supplants it with a spurious simulation of its own automated psyche, one devoid of any real creativity whatsoever.
As the Addiction-Shadow-Complex takes root in the psyche, the person so possessed identifies with this impersonator, a counterfeit version of themselves, assuming the mind they are experiencing is their own - while the truth is that what they experience as themselves is anything but.
This is why the Apocryphal texts of the Bible refer to the Addiction-Shadow-Complex/wetiko as,
I couldn't have said it better myself.
Once the Addiction-Shadow-Complex/wetiko virus becomes sufficiently entrenched within the psyche, the impulses and orders coordinating a person's behavior come from the disease, as it is now the one in the driver's seat.
As it annexes and commandeers the psyche - centralizing power and control in the process - the Addiction-Shadow-Complex/wetiko eventually incorporates a seemingly autonomous regime that establishes a brutal hegemony over the healthy parts of the personality and becomes a parasitic autocracy within the greater body politic of the psyche.
Once it gains a
sufficient sovereignty, the pathological complex forms something
like an authoritarian, fascist regime - what Jung calls "a
shadow-government of the ego" - within the psyche which then
dictates to the ego.
Having developed an apparently independent will of its own, this autonomous complex (what indigenous people refer to as a 'demon'), Jung writes,
When we spiral downwards
into addictive, self-destructive behavior - literally turning on
ourselves - this movement is sponsored by, an expression of, and
nutrient for, wetiko.
One of the identifying
characteristics of wetiko is that it is an inner disease of the soul
that has the ability to extend itself out into the external world
and configure events so as to reflect - and reveal - its inner
This is why understanding
the dynamics of addiction within an individual helps us to gain
traction in seeing - and thereby enabling us to know how to better
deal with - the ever-increasing totalitarian nightmare that is so
ominously playing out in our world.
Once this take-over is accomplished, the person is allowed an illusionary freedom, but only so long as it doesn't threaten the sovereignty and dominance of the archon-like "ruling" power of the autonomous complex.
The inner psychic pattern of
Once our mind is sufficiently "programmed" by the Addiction-Shadow-Complex/wetiko, we become more like automatons and zombies than creatively alive human beings.
This is why it is so profoundly important for us to get in touch with our inner voice and express ourselves creatively, as doing so dissolves the pernicious effects of the disease.
If we don't creatively
and constructively express the energy informing and giving shape to
the complex, however, this same energy that could fuel our
liberation, as if assuming its programmed role, continues to destroy
At the core of every addiction is a darker energy that wants to possess the person:
It is as if there is an evil spirit - the very 'archetype of evil' - at the root of every addiction.
Beyond taking over an individual's mind, the macro-version of the Addiction-Shadow-Complex/wetiko can operate through and possess,
Along these lines, Jung writes,
The human species certainly appears to be possessed by something destructive:
Oftentimes it's only when the addict hits rock bottom and realizes that they, as a human ego, are helpless and dependent upon a "higher power" that the recovery process starts in earnest.
In a letter to Bill W. (the founder of alcoholics anonymous), Jung, though talking about alcoholism, could just as well be talking about any addiction, when he writes,
Our craving for the addictive substance or behavior is a lower-level thirst for the real thing - i.e., our spiritual wholeness - what Schoen calls,
In trying to find a substitute for a living spiritual experience of fulfillment, the addicted person, in obsessively trying to recreate and repeat the original experience, only winds up perverting it.
In his letter, Jung continues,
The implication is that hidden encoded within the addictive process is potentially either an experience of living spirit or its opposite:
Jung concludes his letter to Bill W. with the words,
Due to the archetypal spirit informing the personal process of addiction, we need a transpersonal (beyond the personal) spirit with which to treat it - whether we call this an experience of the Self, a higher power, spirit, God or whatever...
transpersonal source is paradoxical, in that it connects us with
something beyond our limited sense of self, while at the same time
connecting us with ourselves.
To rediscover the life of the spirit involves offering our ego in service to something greater than ourselves - what Jung would call relativizing the ego in the service to the Self.
This can potentially be a true, life-transforming psycho-spiritual conversion experience, in which we continually cultivate an on-going, ever-evolving relationship with spirit, which leads to, and is ultimately inseparable from the Self.
After all is said and
done, however, we are the ones who ultimately get to choose which
master we serve...