Wetiko – Exploring the Alarming Rise of Narcissism

By Kim Saeed | Narcissism

Jan 04

I recently had the great pleasure of watching the movie I Am, written and directed by Tom Shadyac (creator of comedy films such as Ace Ventura and The Nutty Professor).  His message was a timely one, considering the new direction I want to take, which has mostly to do with exploring the foundations of happiness, freedom, and love.

In the film, Tom asks two central questions: What’s Wrong With the World? and What Can We Do About it?  He explores topics such as materialism, human connectedness, and scientific concepts related to human nature.  What I learned has given me a wonderful starting point, with plans to not only live my life in a more wholesome and loving way, but to continue helping others leave abusive relationships and find themselves…perhaps discovering their own happiness in the process.

Another interesting topic that came up during the movie was a concept called “Wetiko”, a Native American word for cannibal; not of the flesh, but of another’s life…destroying them mentally.  Wetiko is what the Native Americans attributed to the Europeans’ greed and today’s institutions such as consumerism, materialism, and even genocide.  Of course, this immediately went into my mental files for further exploration as to its similarities to malignant narcissism of today.  Following is what I found…

According to Paul Levy, author of Awaken in the Dream and Dispelling Wetiko:

“Wetiko disease is an expression of the convincing illusion of the separate self gone wild. Bewitched by the intrinsic projective tendencies of their own mind, full-blown wetikos are unconsciously doing the very thing they are reacting to while simultaneously accusing other people of doing it.

Projecting the shadow onto others, they will accuse others of projecting the shadow onto them. To use an extreme, but prototypical example, it is like someone screaming that you’re killing them as they kill you.

If their insanity is reflected back to them, they think it is the mirror that is insane. Suffering from a form of psychic blindness that believes itself to be sightedness, full-blown wetikos project out their own unconscious blindness and imagine that others, instead of themselves, are the ones who are not seeing.

Governed by the insane, self-perpetuating logic of fear and paranoia, those taken over by the disease fear that if they don’t attack and rule over others, they are in danger of being attacked and ruled over themselves. In their convoluted, upside-down, flawless illogic, wetikos’ act to their own projections in the world as if they objectively exist and are other than themselves, thinking that they themselves have nothing to do with creating that to which they are reacting.

In wetiko disease, the psyche takes the ‘terror’ that haunts it from within, and in its attempt to master it, unwittingly becomes taken over by it, thus becoming an instrument of terror in the world. We have then become the thing we most feared, ‘creatures of the European nightmare world,’ as we psychologically terrorize ourselves, as well as terrorizing the world at large.

 Because full-blown wetikos are soul murderers who continually recreate the on-going process of killing their own soul, they are reflexively compelled to do this to others; for what the soul does to itself, it can’t help but to do to others. In a perverse inversion of the golden rule, instead of treating others how they would like to be treated, wetikos do unto others what was done unto them. The wetiko is simply a living link in a timeless, vampiric lineage of abuse. Full-blown wetikos induce and dream up others to experience what it is like to be the part of themselves which they have split off from and denied, and are thus not able to consciously experience – the part of themselves that has been abused and vampirized. In playing this out, wetikos are transmitting and transferring their own depraved state of inner deadness to others in a perverse form of trying to deal with their own suffering. Paradoxically, wetikos both try to destroy others’ light, as it reminds them of what they’ve killed in themselves, while simultaneously trying to appropriate the light for themselves.

The disease itself is now demanding that we pay attention to it, or it will kill us.”

“An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.” ~ Ghandi

Native American philosopher Jack Forbes further adds:

“This disease, this wetiko (cannibal) psychosis, is the greatest epidemic sickness known to man.” We, as a species, are in the midst of a massive psychic epidemic, a virulent collective psychosis that has been brewing in the cauldron of humanity’s psyche from the beginning of time. Like a fractal, wetiko operates on multiple dimensions simultaneously — intra-personally (within individuals), inter-personally (between ourselves), as well as collectively (as a species). “Cannibalism,” in Forbes’s words, “is the consuming of another’s life for one’s own private purpose or profit.” Those afflicted with wetiko, like a cannibal, consume the life-force of others — human and nonhuman — for private purpose or profit, and do so without giving back something from their own lives.”

Rather profound, don’t you think?  

Is this what’s wrong with our world today?  Could this be why there is no cure for narcissism, and further, why it seems to be rapidly and increasingly coming at us from all angles?

Will our healers and light-workers be able to illuminate and heal this psychosis of our collective consciousness before it’s too late?

Will this concept help those who are in abusive relationships be able to finally leave and join the army of teachers, healers, and ambassadors?

Share your thoughts below!

**Following his recovery after a cycling accident which prompted this documentary, Shadyac, a then-millionaire, sold most of his possessions, donated significant amounts of money (including a homeless shelter in Charlottesville, Virginia, and made a key donation to an initiative in Telluride, Colorado to set aside a natural area at the town’s entrance), sold his mansion and moved into a trailer park in Malibu, California.  Shadyac sought to reorient and simplify his life—he removed himself from the film industry—and wrote about his experience in Life’s Operating Manual. (Wiki)

“My life is my message.” – Ghandi

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