Jung identified evil, among other things, as an “archetype” – a universal thought form of humanity that influenced human perception and experience through informational fields like a living entity. Native Americans coined the term “wetiko" to describe a mind-virus that operates through our psychological blind-spots. Both are pointing to a spell that humanity casts on itself, at both a personal and transpersonal level, that is literally akin to hypnotizing ourselves in our own projections to facilitate the capacity to commit great evil and yet be consciously blind to what we are doing – psychosis and mass psychosis.
Critically, even though wetiko is a mind-virus that perpetuates evil in our world, it is, at the same time, the required fuel for personal and transpersonal “awakening".
Good and Evil: Two sides of the same coin
Perhaps there is a critical place for evil in this world as the fertilizer for the evolution of consciousness. Wetiko may be the force of evil that allows us to evolve. If I think of wetiko as the misidentification of who I think I am, then when I act out of this false and separate-self, in other words projecting my unresolved childhood and ancestral traumas on to the world around me, I have the opportunity see the parts of me that I have hidden from myself – the shadow. If I can see it, I can integrate it.
Addiction is an example of this process at a personal level. The addict, caught in an intense state of denial and self-betrayal, unconsciously burns their life to the ground and, in the process, hurts and injures everyone they love and care for. If they are fortunate, this “bottom” creates the desperation, willingness, and courage to face, acknowledge, and eradicate the personal shadow and transcend their trauma-based conditioning in what we refer to as a “spiritual awakening”. This upleveling in consciousness was only possible through the outward expression of the shadow or wetiko.
This is slaying the dragon that is you, but you must see the dragon to enter the fight, and that is the role that wetiko plays.
“Because wetiko disease basically means to have fallen into a state of mistaken identity, the best medicine for wetiko is to know who we are. When we connect with our authentic self, with our true nature, we discover that our nature is naturally creative. To remember who we really are is to connect with our creativity; and in a positive feedback loop that generates abundant life, to express oneself creatively deepens our knowledge of who we truly are and further reveals our essential nature.” - Paul Levy
Only after we eradicate and integrate our personal shadow do we have the spiritual protection to take on the mass archetypal shadow…to be continued.