The idea that an energy/mind entity, essentially working in opposition to human well-being, could exist in thought or idea form is seen by many and even whole cultures as a functionally accurate way of explaining many aberrant behaviors. From this perspective, people infected with virulent energetic entities aren’t the enemy anymore than a person infected with ebola is the enemy. However those infected still can present a very real danger to others both through their aberrant behavior and in essentially the same way a person infected with ebola constitutes a danger to others. Virulent ideas can be contagious. But this concept takes that a step further. Are there actual energy based life forms/entities involved, somehow “pushing” ideas that are destructive to human well-being? It’s time we give further consideration to the possibility that an aspect of our reality that was recognized and named centuries ago, the nature of which is foreign to our current mainstream worldview, is real and affecting us today.
To begin with I’d like to offer a foundational concept:
Centuries ago people recognized that there is a balance at work in our world. The concept of and symbol of this transcendental balance has since fallen into widespread disuse. Reduced to a trinket for charm bracelets or esoteric art for tattoos. This concept, one we need to reacquaint ourselves with, is the principle of yin-yang. What the concept of yin-yang gives us is a template which provides a way of assessing/describing the reality of complimentary opposites. I wish there were a
better word than “opposites” to use here because the opposites which are contained within the yin-yang concept are not opposed, or at war with each other. Rather they are complimentary components of a whole. Such as night and day are complimentary opposites which together allow for life on Earth to exist. The realities that exist within the body and the mind are another set of complimentary “opposites” that are often mentioned in connection with yin-yang. The template of yin-yang also allows us to infer what exists within one complimentary opposite, which we may not be able to directly observe (invisible), from observations of what is going on in the realm of the visible aspect of the complimentary opposite. How does that apply to the matter at hand?
The body, in this case, is the visible aspect of the balance; the mind is the invisible. We know that the body can be invaded by foreign lifeforms such as virus, bacteria, parasites because we can see them. The same is by inference true with the invisible, our mental aspect. It is important to note here that by saying the mental aspect of our being can be invaded by foreign lifeforms that we are not talking about the brain. The brain is a physical organ so it more correctly belongs in the category with the body, the visible. Our mind, the invisible, is energetically based. Are there invisible (to the human eye anyway), energy based lifeforms that can attack and affect that aspect of our functioning?
We know that parasites that infect the human body can affect mental processes. This has been most recently (within the past 2-3 yrs.) in the news in regard to the Toxoplasma gondii parasite and it’s ability to produce mental illness. And we know that even at the early stages of their lives fluke worms have the ability to induce their hosts to perform behaviors beneficial to the fluke worm. Behaviors that are deadly to the host. Would it be so surprising that an energy/spiritually based parasite has actually evolved which affects the mind and spirit?
That is a far-fetched question to many who have never investigated this aspect of our being. However it is not a new question. It has been asked and answered many times throughout history. The most recent example I know of is the attention being given to a phenomenon known as “wetiko”. In an article entitled; “A Parasite of a Different Order”, author Paul Levy writes: “When people are infected by the wetiko virus, Forbes writes, they are “the host for the wetikoparasites.” The wetiko germ is a psychic tapeworm, a parasite of the mind. Just like certain computer viruses or malware infect and program a computer to self-destruct, mind-viruses like wetiko can program the human bio-computer to think, believe and behave in ways that result in our self-destruction. Wetiko is a virulent, psychic pathogen that insinuates thought-forms into our mind which, when unconsciously en-acted, feed it, and ultimately kills its host (us).”
The word “wetiko” has Native American origins, more specifically from what I have learned it is traced to the Cree. The Native Americans saw greed as a major dysfunction. Historically, within Christianity, despite the historical acceptance of the idea of demons or psychic interference, we have tended to think of greed as a moral failure; a result of a misguided and/or undisciplined mind and spirit. Actually the misguided mind and spirit perspective and the wetiko based perspective are not in disagreement. However with wetiko it is recognized that, at least in part, the “misguidance” is as the result of the person having contracted a psychic virus/parasite.
Throughout much, if not all, of recorded history there is mention of what were then called demons that can invade a person’s spirit/psyche and cause that person to act in strange and aberrant fashions. One of Christ’s miracles was driving the demons from a man who had been possessed. The Catholic church has had exorcists within recent history and probably still does. So do some protestant churches. Native American healers and shaman commonly deal with spiritual malady, harmful spirits, psychic parasites.
When we look at much of the literature we can quite easily get the impression that psychic/energy virus or parasites are very rare. The picture that the logic of the yin-yang balance paints for us is that they are no more rare than the virus and parasites that can and do attack our physical body. And just as when a virus or parasite gains access to our physical being and then begins reproducing and spreading we gradually become sicker and sicker, likewise, just a nudge, a single thought can cause a susceptible mind to begin tumbling to an idea. Pretty soon that person may find themself “captured” by that idea. That energy manifestation.
So what can we do about it? Just as with our physical body, the best action is prevention, hygiene. We need to take a look at our mental/intellectual “diet”. What are we putting into our minds, into ourselves? Are we taking in positive, life oriented, healthful material or are we taking in whatever happens to be lying around? Think about it. The idea that what we are “programming” our minds with affects our lives, our spiritual well-being, isn’t far-fetched in the least. Personal computers have given us a great metaphor for the human intellect. I first encountered this concept in something which Timothy Leary had written, I’m sorry I can’t remember the title. Although it is a fairly obvious metaphor and I’m sure many others reached that conclusion independently. Within the world of computer programming there is an axiom: GIGO which is the acronym for “garbage in, garbage out”. That is how computers work. If they are programmed poorly we get poor performance. After all, a computer can only give back to us is what we put into it. The critical thing to realize is that the same is true for our minds. So it behooves us to pay attention to what we are intellectually “feeding” or “programming” ourselves with.
But poor, faulty programming is not the same thing as a wetiko virus. It’s just that, as with our bodies, a healthy mind has a better chance of fighting off the energy based viral and parasitic assaults which will come it’s way. If we have reinforced our understanding of the undesirability, the destructive results for self and others of behaving in certain fashions, we are more likely to resist doing so if and when we feel impulses of behaving in an aberrant fashion.
It’s doubtful, again referencing the yin-yang template, that wetiko is the only psychic virus/parasite that we deal with. Wetiko is associated with greed and cannabalism. In regard to wetiko, in an extreme case cannabalism might mean literally eating another’s body, however, it more generally means simply taking from another what that person needs to live. What about other self-destructive mental states; self-pity, or rage? Might there also be psychic parasites associated with those behaviors? This is a new field of exploration/categorization (or perhaps it’s more accurate to say a new exploration of a very old field of study) and I’m sure we will identify and understand more as time goes on.
It’s interesting, in a way humankind has come full circle in one area. Centuries ago all illness was seen as being caused by our spirit being invaded by foreign lifeforms (then called demons). Germs, microorganisms, were unheard of and would probably have been often dismissed with laughter. Nowadays it’s just the opposite. We look for a visible, physical causation for everything and many offhandedly dismiss the idea of energy/spiritually based psychic parasites. It seems we really tend to become enamored of the newest thing and maybe too often throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Additional: A documentary, “I Am”, written and directed by Tom Shadyac (Bruce Almighty, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective) also contains reference to the phenomenon of wetiko. It is an enjoyable, uplifting film which I highly recommend! More at:
Speak out! However, it is essential to realize it’s a dialogue. Share, listen, learn, adjust, refine.