Category Archives: books

Some Ideas About Healing

This is from Robin Rose Bennett’s ‘The Gift of Healing Herbs: Plant Medicines and Home Remedies for a Vibrantly Healthy Life’ 💚

  • Every cell in your body is conscious
  • Bodies are innocent, and believe everything you tell them if you believe what you are saying/thinking
  • You can’t lie to your body
  • Bodies are wise, and they always tell the truth, often inconveniently, uncomfortably, even painfully
  • Look for the truth & wisdom in what goes “wrong” in the body. It speaks truths for us that we may be unaware of, or simply uncomfortable, unwilling, or unable to express
  • Your body loves you so much that it is willing to get hurt or sick in order to help you grow & become fully alive
  • It is impossible to separate body from soul while you are living
  • Healing wounds, as well as ancestral wounds & traumas, brings healing to you, your ancestors, and future generations. There is not really such a thing as past, present, and future. There is only now
  • Any true kindness you extend toward yourself brings more kindness into the world. That kindness extends out into the environment at a creative level, and helps compassion & thoughtfulness to grow in people
  • Compassion is more helpful than judgement in helping you to adopt new practices or release harmful habits. Whenever you can bring friendliness rather than forcefulness into your approach to healing yourself, it will help you more
  • Illness and “accidents” happen for you rather than to you. And anything that happens for you also happens for the larger world around you
  • If you look for the love letter in everything that happens, you will stand a better chance of seeing the love that is everywhere
  • Nothing is a distraction from your life, or keeping you from your life. It is all your life, moment-to-moment
  • Bodies are innately designed & oriented to heal themselves
  • Healing is as natural as breathing
  • Healing is a spiraling process, not a linear event
  • Healing sometimes means to heal into death
  • Herbs are healers. They know who they are, and what their purpose is. When you take plants into yourself as food or medicine, they help you to become who you came here to be, and to live your purpose
  • Herbs work really well. You do have to actually take them, however
  • When you look into the meaning of healing — tending to spiritual healing as well as physical — the healing goes deeper. You not only heal your body, you heal your life. When the illness alone is taken care of, the body often has to find another way to get your attention
  • Bodies are real, and they are ultimately symbolic of everything that is happening within your psyche & how you experience your relationship to the world around you
  • Without a connection to Nature, including your own wild nature, a certain sense of loneliness, alienation and isolation is inevitable. This disconnection leads to the creation of our worst health problems, personally & socially. Yet what can feel so deep and irreparable is oddly simple to fix; regular walks in the woods or in a city park are a good start. Get your feet on the Earth. Move your body. Plant a garden. Drink herb teas. Grow & gather your own herbal medicine. These and other simple practices will lead you home. Remember, whatever you are seeking is also seeking you. As we the people come home to ourselves, together we can & will create a healthy world
  • Remember to try the simple things, for they often work well
  • Herbs often work surprisingly quickly
  • When the basic physical makeup of a plant has been chemically altered, it is not quite an herb anymore. Now it’s an herbal product, and more prone to cause unexpected side effects
  • Self-care is not self-absorption. It is about looking out for yourself as you would for any beloved. Self-love is the greatest healing force there is
  • Condemnation & judgement are long hard roads, which will eventually lead you to acceptance; so why not choose the kinder road sooner — or even right away? No matter how long you’ve lived in self-judgement, the opportunity to choose self-acceptance comes around again, every instant. It is never too late to Love
  • Bodies always speak to us in the language of Love

Abundant Green Blessings to you!

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“Sustainable Development”

An excerpt from Derrick Jensen. Very pleasing to come across again today.

“Sustainable development” is a claim to virtue. The word “development” used in this sense is a lie.

The word “develop” means “to grow,” “to progress,” “to become fuller, more advanced.” Some synonyms are “evolution, unfolding, maturation, ripeness,” and some antonyms are “deterioration, disintegration.” And here is a real usage example from a dictionary: “Drama reached its highest development in the plays of Shakespeare.”

But here’s the problem: A child develops into an adult, a caterpillar develops into a butterfly, a stream harmed by (say) mining might possibly in time develop back into a healthy stream; but a meadow does not “develop” into white-box houses, a bay does not “develop” into an industrial port, a forest does not “develop” into roads and clearings.

The reality is that the meadow is destroyed to make the “development.” The bay is destroyed to “develop” it into an industrial port. The forest is destroyed when the “natural resources” are “developed.”

The word “kill” works just as well.

Think about it. You’re going about your life, when someone comes along who wants to make money by “developing” the “natural resources” that are your body. He’s going to harvest your organs for transplantation, your bones for fertilizer, your flesh for food.

You might respond, “Hey, I was using that heart, those lungs.”

That meadow, that bay, that forest were all using what you call “natural resources.” Those “natural resources” were keeping them alive. Those “natural resources” are their very body. Without them they die, just as you would.

It doesn’t help to throw the word “sustainable” onto the front of whatever you’re going to do. Exploitation is still exploitation, even if you call it “sustainable exploitation.” Destruction is still destruction, even if you call it “sustainable destruction.”

One sign of intelligence is the ability to recognize patterns. We industrialized humans think we’re smarter than everybody else. So I’m going to lay out a pattern, and let’s see if we can recognize it in less than 6,000 years.

When you think of Iraq, is the first thing that you think of cedar forests so thick that sunlight never reaches the ground? That’s what Iraq was like before the beginnings of this culture. One of the first written myths of this culture was of Gilgamesh deforesting the hills and valleys of what is now Iraq to build great cities.

Oh, sorry, I guess he wasn’t deforesting the region; he was “developing” the natural resources.

Much of the Arabian Peninsula was oak savannah, until these “resources” were “developed” for export. The Near East was once heavily forested. Remember the cedars of Lebanon? They still have one on their flag. North Africa was heavily forested. Those forests were destroyed—I mean “sustainably developed”—to make the Egyptian and Phoenician navies.

Greece was heavily forested. Ancient Greek philosophers complained that deforestation was harming water quality. I’m sure the bureaucrats at the Ancient Department of Greek Sustainable Development responded that they would need to study the problem for a few years to make sure there really is a correlation.

In the Americas, whales were so abundant their breath made the air look perpetually foggy and were a hazard to shipping. “Development” of that resource removed that hazard. Cod were so numerous their bodies slowed the passage of ships. “Development” of that resource fixed that, too. There were so many passenger pigeons that their flocks darkened the sky for days at a time. Once again, “development” of that resource got rid of them.

Do you know why there are no penguins in the northern hemisphere? There used to be. They were called great auks. A French explorer commented that there were so many on one island that every ship in France could be loaded and it would not make a dent. But that “resource” was “developed” and the last great auk was killed—oops, I mean “developed”—in the 19th century.

Two hundred species went extinct just today. And 200 will go extinct tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that.

Every biological indicator is going in the wrong direction.

And we all know why. The problems are not cognitively challenging.

“Development” is theft and murder.

“Development” is colonialism applied to the natural world. “Development” is kleptocracy―a way of life based on theft.

Here’s another test of our intelligence: Name any natural community—or ecosystem, if you prefer mechanistic language—that has been “managed” for extraction, or that has been “developed”—by which is meant industrialized—that has not been significantly harmed on its own terms.

You can’t, because managing for extraction is harmful, as we would all recognize if, as in the example above, it happened to us. We would all recognize that if an occupying army came into your home and took your food and a couple of your relatives that your family would suffer.

So why, with all the world at stake, do we suddenly get so stupid when it comes to “sustainable development”? Why do we have such a hard time understanding that if you steal from or otherwise harm a natural community, that natural community will suffer harm?

Upton Sinclair wrote: “It’s hard to make a man understand something when his job depends on him not understanding it.” I would extend that to read: “It’s hard to make people understand something when their entitlement depends on them not understanding it.”

In the 1830s, a pro-slavery philosopher argued that slavery was necessary because without it the slave owners would not have the “comforts or elegancies” upon which they had become so accustomed.

The same is true here, when we extend the understanding of slavery to the natural world, as this culture attempts to enslave—read, “develop,” oops, “sustainably develop”—more and more of the living planet.

In short, we’re allowing the world to be killed so we can have access to ice cream 24/7. And we call it sustainable development so we can feel good about ourselves as we do it.

The good news is that there are a lot of people who see through the bullshit. The bad news is that this doesn’t, for the most part, affect policy……

A story may help make this clear.

Before the big Rio Earth Summit in 1992 (and wasn’t that a success! Things are so much better now, right?), the US ambassador to the United Nations sent out high level assistants across the country, ostensibly to get public input as to what should be the US position at the summit. One of the meetings was in Spokane, Washington, where I lived at the time. The hall was packed, and the line of people to speak snaked to the back of the building. Person after person testified that “sustainable development” was a sham, and that it was just an excuse to continue killing the world. They pointed out that the problem is not humanity, but this culture, and they begged the US representative to listen to and take a lead from Indigenous peoples the world over who lived well and lived truly sustainably on their lands, without “development.” (In fact, they lived well and sustainably because they never industrialized.) They pointed out that “development” inevitably forces both Indigenous peoples and subsistence farmers off their lands. Person after person pointed out precisely what I’m saying in this article.

When we were through giving our testimony, the representative thanked us for our support of the US position and for our support of “sustainable development.” It was as though he hadn’t heard a word we said.

Here’s the problem: The word “sustainable” has since been coopted to not mean “helping the real world to sustain,” as in playing your proper role in participating in a larger community that includes your non-human neighbors, but instead to mean “sustaining this exploitative lifestyle.”

Think about it: What do all of the so-called solutions to global warming have in common? It’s simple: They all take industrial capitalism (and the colonialism on which it’s based) as a given, and the natural world as that which must conform to industrial capitalism. This is insane, in terms of being out of touch with physical reality.

The real world must be primary, with whatever social system you are talking about being secondary and dependent, because without a real world, you don’t have any social system whatsoever. “Sustainable development” is a scam and a claim to virtue because it is attempting to sustain this exploitative, destructive culture, not the world on which it depends.

And that will never work.

So many Indigenous people have said to me that the first and most important thing we must do is decolonize our hearts and minds. Part of what they’ve told me is that we must break our identification with this culture, and identify instead with the real world, the physical world, the living Earth that is our only home.

I want to tell one final story. In his book, The Nazi Doctors, Robert Jay Lifton asked how it was that men who had taken the Hippocratic Oath could work in Nazi death camps. He found that many of the doctors cared deeply for the health of the inmates and would do everything in their power to protect them. They’d give them an extra scrap of potato. They’d hide them from selection officers who were going to kill them. They’d put them in the infirmary and let them rest for a day. They’d do everything they could, except the most important thing of all. They wouldn’t question the existence of the death camp itself. They wouldn’t question working the inmates to death, starving them to death, poisoning them to death. And this failure to question the larger framing conditions led these doctors to actively participate in the atrocities.

With all the world at stake, it’s not good enough for us to paste the word sustainable in front of the deceptive word development when what we really mean is “continue this exploitative and destructive way of life a little bit longer.” That destroys the words sustainable and development and, of course, contributes to the ongoing destruction of the world. It wastes time we do not have.

With all the world at stake, we need to not only do what we can to protect the victims of this culture, but we have to question the continuation of this death camp culture that is working the world to death, starving the world to death, poisoning the world to death.

~ Derrick Jensen

The Dark Arts of the Patriarchy – [Wetiko]

People don’t have to be sacrificing goats and virgins around a buncha lit candles while chanting shit to be practicing evil.

This world/society (Civilization) we’ve all been brought up in is BUILT off of the very “dark arts”/”witchcraft”, SORCERY that they’ve always claimed to be against.

Coercion. Force. Rape. Fear-mongering. Control. Manipulation, ect. To traumatize. ALL of this shit, on a personal & collective level, is evil. That is the real “dark arts”. The real trickery, the real “witchery” (in terms of what they say that word is supposed to mean).

This “civilization” and the so called “freedom” that THEY “GAVE” you (and how any other human can even give you your freedom/rights in the first place is beyond me), is an illusion. This shit the majority of you all think is “life” (Civilization); separated from our Mother Earth, is a deep, deep trance/spell.

If you agree with or justify (try to, anyway) ANY of the things that have come about due to this world, you are indeed under their spell. And by buying into their propaganda, spreading it around, you perpetuate this massive spell.

This “civilization” has been the ULTIMATE PROJECTION cast upon us.

The very institutions, religions, entities, societies, cultures, what the fuck ever, who condemn others (especially women), proclaiming that they are evil terrorists, and in particular obviously, screaming about “witches” and “witchcraft” and any form of so-called “dark arts”; are the ones actually using it.

THEY’RE the ones manipulating/using “sorcery” to keep us all under their control.

I’m not gonna break it down because it’s obvious.

 

…but here’s another quotation from Lucy Pearce’s book ‘Burning Woman’, because thank you, Lucy.

The Dark Arts of the Patriarchy

“Despite claiming distaste and disbelief in witchcraft, our [perverted] masculine culture has a powerful understanding of the dark arts. It’s how they’ve kept their stranglehold on power for all this time.

It is not that they are cleverer, stronger, divinely endowed or even in the majority, despite their claims to the contrary.

It’s that they use forms of mind and spiritual control, more subtle, but not that much less powerful, than the overt violence we stood witness to in the last section.

The dark arts are psychological reminders of the real violence that can be played out without warning on our bodies and minds. But because they are invisible, and take place in the shadows, they are a more insidious form of control and when confronted can easily be denied, laughed off or turned back on the recipient as crazy imaginings.

Some of the most common of the dark arts of coercion that are commonly used in our culture include:
– fear
– shame, humiliation, embarrassment, discrediting difference as ‘madness’
– controlling bodies — through strict dress codes, veiling, starvation… [& quite obviously THE BASIC NECESSITIES OF LIFE ON THIS EARTH such as food, water, housing, clothing, ect. and forcing/coercing us all to have to SLAVE LABOR just for these things, our basic necessities for our “survival” that has already been provided FOR FREE VIA THE EARTH HERSELF.. DUH?]
– banishment or threat of banishment
– rewards… and threats
– repression and dissociation
– imposing hierarchy and clear authority
– keeping people small, powerless, impoverished and infantilized [as I said above]
– exhaustion and lack of adequate rest or recovery time
– unattainable standards
– a focus on the external
– closely policed spiritual and sexual experience

As a trained teacher, I recognize that we are taught many of these in our arsenal of control. As a parent I know that all mainstream parenting advice centers round them too.

Those are the tools of coercion, the rules of play in the patriarchy. Naturally they are the back bone of most patriarchal religions.

First they are used against us by authority figures when we are younger, when they are physically more powerful than us, and can enforce them. Then we learn to internalize them, creating a super-ego, or internal authority figure which continues the job on their behalf.

Each of these weapons in the arsenal of dark arts is a complex energy trap, taking our natural power and turning it against ourselves in a deadly game of self-policing in order to survive.

Whilst the dark arts remain nameless and invisible, they keep control of us: sticking to us like spiders’ webs in the dark, confining our movements, filling us with unconscious fears of what might happen next.

Each of these dark arts works to activate fear within us.

The fear of being found out, the fear of being shamed, the fear of rejection, the fear of pain, the fear of loss of freedom or finances, the fear of abandonment and the ultimate fear — the fear of death.”

…another mini ventilation…fuck your bullshit.

A History of Burning Women — Want to discredit a woman in the real world? All you need is one word. Witch.

(because I’ve been thinking a lot about all this “witch” shit today and a topic I have yet to ventilate about, lemme continue on by quoting some of Lucy Pearce’s book ‘Burning Woman’ cuz it is potent) — from Chapter 2: A History of Burning Women — for my sisters.


 

her fire burns hot.

flames lick through me.

but, there’s no stake holding me here.

no, here she burns for me,

the goddess of fire,

to remind me that

deep in my belly a fire should be raging,

burning,

consuming.

the women of my line,

did they fear this fire?

was fire too close to the history of this line of women immemorial?

I see them, their faces dark,

no firelight in their souls,

no burning in their core,

no fuel to fire longing and desire, to give volume to voice.

 

this fear of fire,

how deep does it run?

I see them,

a line bleeding back into the dark bowels of centuries past where

no flame burns.

dark faces, tightly drawn skin reminding me of my own jawbone.

 

how powerful was this message?

put out your light, woman.

by fearing our own fire,

we douse our own flame.

 

we cannot live what we are here to do without fire.
(Julie Delay)

 

In order to fully understand our own limitations, hesitations, blocks and anxieties, we have to delve into our his-story. Both the official his-story that we have learned, as well as her-story that has been suppressed. We need to become conscious of the culture that we have numbed to in order to survive. We have to bring into conscious awareness that which goes sensed but unspoken: the threat of being a woman who lives to her own tune in this world.

….

 

‘W’ IS FOR WITCH

Whenever I hear a guy say, “She’s too wild, too much, too hard to figure out, too complicated, too intense, too hard to handle, too emotional, too opinionated, or crazy.” I hear, “I’d have burned her ass at the stake back in Salem. She’s too connected … I won’t be able to tame her.” ~ Jenny G. Perry

We are the granddaughters of the witches they were never able to burn. If history teaches us that a “witch” is nothing more than a woman who doesn’t know her place, then damn straight, I consider myself a witch. ~ Ruby Hamad

When I learned my alphabet, W was for witch. The archetypal Burned Woman, there in front of my pre-school eyes. R wasn’t for rapist or P for pedophile or psychopath. But there it was: W for witch.

We are taught about the dark feminine early, we imbibe the warning of the witch with our nursery stories. Beware the solitary woman who lives in the forest, casts spells ad will eat human children for breakfast. And as a perceived pretender to patriarchal power, of course she was depicted in a silly black hat with a phallic broomstick poking out from between her legs.

Want to discredit a woman in the real world? All you need is one word.
Witch.

Still. In the 21st century. Just this week an Australian Federal Minister called a respected political journalist who wrote about a sexism scandal that a senior colleague had just resigned over, “a mad fucking witch”.

The W word has been a one-word death sentence to women for centuries. The fire starter. It has been used to condemn women who inhabit the outlying edges of our patriarchal culture and flatly refuse to have their lives decided for them. It has been used to shame and silence those who speak up. As well as those who chose not to marry or have children, who healed using unknown means, who cursed the wielders of power for their inhumanity, who attended deaths and births, or have followed their own spiritual and sexual impulses.

The witch represents the patriarchal fear of women’s power, embodied in an individual. She who must be destroyed so that society can prosper. But look a little closer and her spells, her abilities to do the supernatural, to enchant, to shapeshift are, I would argue, paranoid reversals of the Bible. Her powers are spookily analogous to those assigned to the great heroes of the Bible. But if patriarchs’ were done through men, via the power of the male God, then hers, done not in the name of God, must be done in the name of his shadowy counterpart — the Devil.

The witch (AKA a powerful woman) has been pitched as a direct threat to the carefully constructed male dominated system of “divine right”. And so the System has done everything within its power to erase, discredit and disconnect women who exhibit any form of power, and label them witches. With society’s blessing. Because, throughout history, where women have never been considered as human as men, witches were not human at all. They do not deserve our pity or defense, we are told, we are well rid of them. They would destroy everything we hold dear. And so we must destroy them first.

We have been told enough fairy stories in our girlhood to know to beware of the witch. We have read enough his-story to know that as women we don’t want to be mistaken for her. The desire to live, to be accepted and to belong, keeps most of us in our places. And so we spend out lives running from the darkness, trying out hardest to be good and work hard and keep others happy.

To me, a witch is a woman that is capable of letting her intuition take hold of her actions, that communes with her environment, that isn’t afraid of facing challenges. ~ Paulo Coelho

So when we feel the fire rising in our bellies, we also smell smoke in our nostrils. We feel passion and sense danger. And so we step back, pipe down, play it safe. For fear of what if. Because his-story has taught us clearly: “bad” girls are branded as witches. “Bad” girls get burned.

When we feel the upwelling of power within us, our bodies respond with deep fear. Far deeper than just a worry about losing face or looking silly. But rather the threat of losing our lives or those we love. The fear is real. Our bodies know it.

Whether you believe in past lives, in the collective unconscious, the recent scientific discoveries of the cellular transmission of trauma down the generations, or simply in historical awareness, we remember the Burning Times. We remember the high price that was paid for living according to your own inner voice, following your heart, questioning  societal norms and being different to your tribe. ….

Times are changing.

And yet still we are haunted by the Burning Times of old. They are still alive in us. We must dig deeper.

The Burning Times

There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. ~ The Bible, Deuteronomy 18:10

For centuries around the world, the ultimate punishment for women was public death by fire. Perhaps the most well-known Burned Woman was Joan of Arc who was burned at the stake for her actions and beliefs.

She was not alone. In Europe between 1470-1750 figures ranging from a conservative 35,000 to a truly terrifying (though discredited by mainstream his-storians) 9 million women were burned as witches. But as Brian A. Pavlac, PhD, Professor of History at Kings College, London, who specializes in the history of the witch hunts reflects, “even the lower figure of under 50,000 dead would have meant over a hundred thousand put on trial. Then, considering all the personnel involved in the justice system as court officials and witnesses, friends and family members, and those who even felt the ‘fear’ caused by the hunts, millions of people’s lives changed, usually for the worse, because of the witch hunts.”

Whilst the Catholic church started the craze, with the publication of The Hammer of the Witches, from 1542 and 1735 a series of Witchcraft Acts were enshrined into law by parliaments around Europe. The punishments — imprisonment, torture and death — were focused on individuals who were deemed to practice witchcraft and magic. Common accusations of witchcraft included: raising storms, giving the evil eye, killing people or livestock or causing bad luck.

To justify the killings, both Christianity and secular institutions created ever broader definitions of witchcraft including being “associated with wild Satanic ritual parties in which there were much naked dancing.” Ah, yes, naked dancing. Dangerous stuff that!

And whilst the victims of witch burnings included men and children, Brian A. Pavlac notes that “some witch hunts did almost exclusively target women, in percentages as high as 95% of the victims.” Whilst Anne Barstow, author of Witchcraze reminds us that the members of the legal system, its “judges, ministers, priests, constables, jailers, doctors, prickers, torturers, jurors, executioners” were nearly 100% male.

Radical feminist, Marxists scholar, Silvia Federici, points out in her acclaimed book, Caliban and the Witch, that the witch burnings were systematic, happening at the same time as bloody land grabs in Europe and the New World, concurrent with massive increases in the Catholic church and nation states’ power and wealth. This domination and brutalization of nature, native peoples and women was one and the same. It has been argued that witches were burned to coerce women into accepting “a new patriarchal order where women’s bodies, their labor, their sexual and reproductive powers were placed under the control of the state and transformed into economic resources.”

Notes Alex Knight in his essay, “Who Were the Witches? — Patriarchal Terror and the Creation of Capitalism”: “The witches were those women who in one way or another resisted the establishment of an unjust social order — the mechanical exploitation of capitalism. The witches represented a whole world that Europe’s new masters were anxious to destroy: a world with strong female leadership, a world rooted in local communities and knowledge, a world alive with magical possibilities, a world in revolt.”

But it wasn’t just witches who were burned. In England burning was the most common punishment for women for many other crimes against the patriarchy: plotting to kill the king or any other superior (i.e. male) including her husband. Or for coining (counterfeiting money) which, when you are kept out of the economic system by dint of your gender, would be a reasonably common way to try to gain currency for yourself.

It matters. It does. Because those flames the burned our foremothers in their hundreds of thousands, burn us still today, albeit metaphorically, for exactly the same reason.

They were burned simply for speaking their own truth. Otherwise known as heresy, “any provocative belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs.” To be heretical was to be dead.

Look again at the word: Heresy… Her say…

A woman lived under threat of being burned alive for living, speaking or acting in any way which contradicted or questioned the cultural norms which surrounded her: medical, spiritual or hierarchial. She was burned for earning a living on her own terms. The very systems which told her at every turn that she was a sinner, was less than a man, limited her power, authority, sexuality and economic survival.

Men were burned at the stake it’s true, but with far less frequency. The official reason given for the dominance of burning women is that they did not want to expose a woman’s body — heaven forbid, we must ensure her modesty even in death — as happened when a person was hung, drawn and quartered. But even the (male) commentators of the time, could see the contradictions: “There is something so inhuman in burning a woman, for what only subjects a man to hanging” (The Times, 1788).

The woman on fire was not a private act. She was burned in public, as a warning to all women: disobey and this will be you.

Women have not been burned at the stake in England since 1790 and the last trial for witchcraft in the US was as recent as 1833. But sadly, it is not ancient history.

Witch hunts still occur today in societies where belief in magic is prevalent, including sub-Saharan Africa, rural north India and Papua New Guinea. According to the World Health Organization, around 500 women a year are killed as witches in Tanzania, and between 2010 and 2012 over 2,100 reported (in 2012) on six witch camps where women who have been accused of witchcraft can flee to safety. And in Saudi Arabia (a country with a 57% male population) witchcraft is still legally punished by death. In 2015, ISIS was reported as having burned two women as witches, and their husbands too, on accusations of “sorcery” and using “magic for medicine”.

In India the practice of “widow burning” or sutee was officially outlawed in 1829, but continued well into the twentieth century. Women who had been widowed would “voluntarily” be burned alive beside their husbands. Though many were bound and forced in order to “show their devotion”. This is even more hideous when it is understood that young girls would be married off to much older men. So a girl may be widowed at eleven, having been married for two years, and would then either face a life of shunning and starvation as a “widow” whose sins — in this life, or karma from a previous incarnation — were believed to have brought about the death of her husband. A man’s death was always considered the “fault” of his wife.

I want to stop. I want to stop these words and stories, but still they keep tumbling out. I want that writing it will stop this happening. I want to never read or write another list of facts like that again.

But we must learn to see and feel. To feel it fully in our bodies allows us access to the Feminine. We cannot flinch from this reality, from the fear and control and domination of the Feminine by the masculine as it is played out by fathers and husbands and priests and judges in village squares and kitchens and mosques and churches and courts of law around the world.

We must learn to dig down for the very real roots of our fears as they are played out in the world.

We are not crazy.

We are not paranoid.

We are not imagining things.

This is what we fear when we feel our power rising.

This is what we know.

This is real.

[I was gonna stop here… but you know what? Lemme keep going…hope ya don’t mind, Lucy]

Honor Killings

The purpose of honor killings is to maintain men’s power by denying women basic rights to make autonomous decisions about marriage, divorce and sexuality. ~ Madre

The right to life for women is conditional on their obeying social norms and traditions. ~ Hina Jilani

Hear me when I say, this is not just dry history. It is still happening. Women around the world are being burned, simply because they are women.

Continue reading

Who Were the Witches? – Patriarchal Terror & the Creation of Capitalism

Who Were the Witches? – Patriarchal Terror and the Creation of Capitalism
Alex Knight
November 5, 2009

This Halloween season, there is no book I could recommend more highly than Silvia Federici’s brilliant Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation(Autonomedia 2004), which tells the dark saga of the Witch Hunt that consumed Europe for more than 200 years. In uncovering this forgotten history, Federici exposes the origins of capitalism in the heightened oppression of workers (represented by Shakespeare’s character Caliban), and most strikingly, in the brutal subjugation of women. She also brings to light the enormous and colorful European peasant movements that fought against the injustices of their time, connecting their defeat to the imposition of a new patriarchal order that divided male from female workers. Today, as more and more people question the usefulness of a capitalist system that has thrown the world into crisis, Caliban and the Witch stands out as essential reading for unmasking the shocking violence and inequality that capitalism has relied upon from its very creation.

Who Were the Witches?

Parents putting a pointed hat on their young son or daughter before Trick-or-Treating might never pause to wonder this question, seeing witches as just another cartoonish Halloween icon like Frankenstein’s monster or Dracula. But deep within our ritual lies a hidden history that can tell us important truths about our world, as the legacy of past events continues to affect us 500 years later. In this book, Silvia Federici takes us back in time to show how the mysterious figure of the witch is key to understanding the creation of capitalism, the profit-motivated economic system that now reigns over the entire planet.

During the 15th – 17th centuries the fear of witches was ever-present in Europe and Colonial America, so much so that if a woman was accused of witchcraft she could face the cruellest of torture until confession was given, or even be executed based on suspicion alone. There was often no evidence whatsoever. The author recounts, “for more than two centuries, in several European countries, hundreds of thousands of women were tried, tortured, burned alive or hanged, accused of having sold body and soul to the devil and, by magical means, murdered scores of children, sucked their blood, made potions with their flesh, caused the death of their neighbors, destroyed cattle and crops, raised storms, and performed many other abominations” (169).

In other words, just about anything bad that might or might not have happened was blamed on witches during that time. So where did this tidal wave of hysteria come from that took the lives so many poor women, most of whom had almost certainly never flown on broomsticks or stirred eye-of-newt into large black cauldrons?

Caliban underscores that the persecution of witches was not just some error of ignorant peasants, but in fact the deliberate policy of Church and State, the very ruling class of society. To put this in perspective, today witchcraft would be a far-fetched cause for alarm, but the fear of hidden terrorists who could strike at any moment because they “hate our freedom” is widespread. Not surprising, since politicians and the media have been drilling this frightening message into people’s heads for years, even though terrorism is a much less likely cause of death than, say, lack of health care.1 And just as the panic over terrorism has enabled today’s powers-that-be to attempt to remake the Middle East, this book makes the case that the powers-that-were of Medieval Europe exploited or invented the fear of witches to remake European society towards a social paradigm that met their interests.

Interestingly, a major component of both of these crusades was the use of so-called “shock and awe” tactics to astound the population with “spectacular displays of force,” which helped to soften up resistance to drastic or unpopular reforms.2 In the case of the Witch Hunt, shock therapy was applied through the witch burnings – spectacles of such stupefying violence that they paralyzed whole villages and regions into accepting fundamental restructuring of medieval society.Federici describes a typical witch burning as, “an important public event, which all the members of the community had to attend, including the children of the witches, especially their daughters who, in some cases, would be whipped in front of the stake on which they could see their mother burning alive” (186).

WitchBurning1

The witch burning was the medieval version of “Shock and Awe”

The book argues that these gruesome executions not only punished “witches” but graphically demonstrated the repercussions for any kind of disobedience to the clergy or nobility. In particular, the witch burnings were meant to terrify women into accepting “a new patriarchal order where women’s bodies, their labor, their sexual and reproductive powers were placed under the control of the state and transformed into economic resources” (170).

Federici puts forward that up until the 16th century, though living in a sexist society, European women retained significant economic independence from men that they typically do not under capitalism, where gender roles are more distinguished. “If we also take into account that in medieval society collective relations prevailed over familial ones, and most of the tasks that female serfs performed (washing, spinning, harvesting, and tending to animals on the commons) were done in cooperation with other women, we then realize… [this] was a source of power and protection for women. It was the basis for an intense female sociality and solidarity that enabled women to stand up to men.”

The Witch Hunt initiated a period where women were forced to become what she calls “servants of the male work force” (115) – excluded from receiving a wage, they were confined to the unpaid labor of raising children, caring for the elderly and sick, nurturing their husbands or partners, and maintaining the home. In Federici’s words, this was the “housewifization of women,” the reduction to a second-class status where women became totally dependent on the income of men (27).

The author goes on to show how female sexuality, which was seen as a source of women’s potential power over men, became an object of suspicion and came under sharp attack by the authorities. This assault manifested in new laws that took away women’s control over the reproductive process, such as the banning of birth control measures, the replacement of midwives with male doctors, and the outlawing of abortion and infanticide.4 Federici calls it an attempt to turn the female body into “a machine for the reproduction of labor,” such that women’s only purpose in life was supposedly to produce children (144).

But we also learn that this was just one component of a broader move by Church and State to ban all forms of sexuality that were considered “non-productive.” For example, “homosexuality, sex between young and old, sex between people of different classes, anal coitus, coitus from behind, nudity, and dances. Also proscribed was the public, collective sexuality that had prevailed in the Middle Ages, as in the Spring festivals of pagan origins that, in the 16th-century, were still celebrated all over Europe” (194). To this end, the Witch Hunt targeted not only female sexuality but homosexuality and gender non-conformity as well, helping to craft the patriarchal sexual boundaries that define our society to this day.

Capitalism – Born in Flames

What separates Caliban from other works exploring the “witch” phenomenon is that this book puts the persecution of witches into the context of the development of capitalism. For Silvia Federici, it’s no accident that “the witch-hunt occurred simultaneously with the colonization and extermination of the populations of the New World, the English enclosures, [or] the beginning of the slave trade” (164). She instructs that all of these seemingly unrelated tragedies were initiated by the same European ruling elite at the very moment that capitalism was in formation, the late 15th through 17th centuries. Contrary to “laissez-faire” orthodoxy which holds that capitalism functions best without state intervention, Federici posits that it was precisely the state violence of these campaigns that laid the foundation for capitalist economics.

witchburning

A new era was forged in the flames of the Witch Hunt

Thankfully for the reader, who may not be very familiar with the history of this era, Federici outlines these events in clear and accessible language. She focuses on the Land Enclosures in particular because their significance has been largely lost in time.

Many of us will not remember that during Europe’s Middle Ages, before the Enclosures, even the lowliest of serfs had their own plot of land with which they could use for just about any purpose. Federici adds, “With the use of land also came the use of the ‘commons’ – meadows, forests, lakes, wild pastures – that provided crucial resources for the peasant economy (wood for fuel, timber for building, fishponds, grazing grounds for animals) and fostered community cohesion and cooperation” (24). This access to land acted as a buffer, providing security for peasants who otherwise were mostly subject to the whim of their “Lord.” Not only could they grow their own food, or hunt in the relatively plentiful forests which were still standing in that era, but connection to the commons also gave peasants territory with which to organize resistance movements and alternative economies outside the control of their masters.

The Enclosures were a process by which this land was taken away – closed off by the State and typically handed over to entrepreneurs to pursue a profit in sheep or cow herding, or large-scale agriculture. Instead of being used for subsistence as it had been, the land’s bounty was sold away to fledgling national and international markets. A new class of profit-motivated landowners emerged, known as “gentry,” but the underside of this development was the trauma experienced by the evicted peasants. In the author’s words, “As soon as they lost access to land, all workers were plunged into a dependence unknown in medieval times, as their landless condition gave employers the power to cut their pay and lengthen the working-day” (72).

For Federici, then, the chief creation of the Enclosures was a property-less, landless working class, a “proletariat” who were left with little option but to work for a wage in order to survive; wage labor being one of the defining features of capitalism.

Cut off from their traditional soil, many communities scattered across the countryside to find new homesteads. But the State countered with the so-called “Bloody Laws”, which made it legal to capture wandering “vagabonds” and force them to work for a wage, or put them to death. Federici reveals the result: “What followed was the absolute impoverishment of the European working class… Evidence is the change that occurred in the workers’ diets. Meat disappeared from their tables, except for a few scraps of lard, and so did beer and wine, salt and olive oil” (77). Although European workers typically labored for longer hours under their new capitalist employers, living standards were reduced sharply throughout the 16th century, and it wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that earnings returned to the level they had been before the Enclosures.5

According to Federici, the witch hunts played a key role in facilitating this process of impoverishment by driving a sexist wedge into the working class that “undermined class solidarity,” making it more difficult for communities to resist displacement from their land (48). While women were faced with the threat of horrific torture and death if they did not conform to new submissive gender roles, men were in effect bribed with the promise of obedient wives and new access to women’s bodies. The author cites that “Another aspect of the divisive sexual politics to diffuse workers’ protest was the institutionalization of prostitution, implemented through the opening of municipal brothels soon proliferating throughout Europe” (49). And in addition to prostitution, a legalization of sexual violence provided further sanction for the exploitation of women’s bodies. She explains, “In France, the municipal authorities practically decriminalized rape, provided the victims were women of the lower class” (47). This initiated what Federici calls a “virtual rape movement,” making it unsafe for women to even leave their homes.

The witch trials were the final assault, which all but obliterated the integrity of peasant communities by fostering mutual suspicion and fear. Amidst deteriorating conditions, neighbors were encouraged to turn against one another, so that any insult or annoyance became grounds for an accusation of witchcraft. As the terror spread, a new era was forged in the flames of the witch burnings. Surveying the damage, Silvia Federici concludes that “the persecution of the witches, in Europe as in the New World, was as important as colonization and the expropriation of the European peasantry from its land were for the development of capitalism” (12).

A Forgotten Revolution

Federici maintains that it didn’t have to turn out this way. “Capitalism was not the only possible response to the crisis of feudal power. Throughout Europe, vast communalistic social movements and rebellions against feudalism had offered the promise of a new egalitarian society built on social equality and cooperation” (61).

Caliban‘s most inspiring chapters make visible an enormous continent-wide series of poor people’s movements that nearly toppled Church and State at the end of the Middle Ages. These peasant movements of the 13th – 16th centuries were often labelled “heretical” for challenging the religious power of the Vatican, but as the book details they aimed for a much broader transformation of feudal society. The so-called “heretics” often “denounced social hierarchies, private property and the accumulation of wealth, and disseminated among the people a new, revolutionary conception of society that, for the first time in the Middle Ages, redefined every aspect of daily life (work, property, sexual reproduction, and the position of women), posing the question of emancipation in truly universal terms” (33).

Silvia Federici shows us how the heretical movements took many forms, from the vegetarian and anti-war Cathars of southern France to the communistic and anti-nobility Taborites of Bohemia, but were united in the call for the elimination of social inequality. Many put forth the argument that it was anti-Christian for the clergy and nobility to live in opulence while so many suffered from lack of adequate food, housing or medical attention.

cathars 2

The vegetarian and anti-war Cathars were rounded up by the Crusaders.

Another common thread weaving the European peasant movements together was the leadership of women. Federici describes that, “[Heretical women] had the same rights as men, and could enjoy a social life and mobility that nowhere else was available to them in the Middle Ages… Not surprisingly, women are present in the history of heresy as in no other aspect of medieval life.” (38). Some heretical sects, like the Cathars, discouraged marriage and emphasized birth control – advocating a sexual liberation which directly challenged the Church’s moral authority.

The gender politics of peasant movements proved to be a strength, and they attracted a wide following that undercut the power of a feudal system which was already in crisis. Federici explains how the movements became increasingly revolutionary as they grew in size. “In the course of this process, the political horizon and the organizational dimensions of the peasant and artisan struggle broadened. Entire regions revolted, forming assemblies and recruiting armies. At times, the peasants organized in bands, attacking the castles of the lords, and destroying the archives where the written marks of their servitude were kept” (45).

What started as a religious movement became increasingly revolutionary. For example, in the 1420s and 30s, the Taborites fought to liberate all of Bohemia, beating back several Crusades of 100,000+ men organized by the Vatican (54-55). The uprisings became contagious all across Europe, so much so that in the crucial period of 1350-1500, unprecedented concessions were made including the doubling of wages, reduction in prices and rents, and a shorter working day. In the words of Silvia Federici, “the feudal economy was doomed” (62).

The author documents that the initial reaction by elites was to institute the “Holy Inquisition,” a brutal campaign of state repression that included torturing and even burning heretics to death. But as time went on, ruling class strategy shifted from targeting heretics in general to specifically targeting female community leaders. The Inquisition morphed into the Witch Hunt.

Soon, simple meetings of peasant women were stigmatized as possible “Sabbats,” where women were supposedly seduced by the devil to become witches, but as Federici clarifies, it was the rebellious politics and non-conforming gender relations of such gatherings which were demonized (177). Strong, defiant women were murdered by the tens of thousands, and along with them the Witch Hunt also destroyed “a whole world of female practices, collective relations, and systems of knowledge that had been the foundation of women’s power in pre-capitalist Europe, and the condition for their resistance in the struggle against feudalism” (103).

For elite European nobles and clergy, the Witch Hunt succeeded in stifling a working class revolution that had increasingly threatened their rule. Even more, Silvia Federici puts forward that the Witch Hunt facilitated the rise of a new, capitalist social paradigm – based on large-scale economic production for profit and the displacement of peasants from their lands into the burgeoning urban workforce. In time, this capitalist system would dominate all of Europe and be dispersed through conquistadors’ “guns, germs and steel” to every corner of the globe, destroying countless ancient civilizations and cultures in the process.6Federici’s analysis is that, “Capitalism was the counter-revolution that destroyed the possibilities that had emerged from the anti-feudal struggle – possibilities which, if realized, might have spared us the immense destruction of lives and the environment that has marked the advance of capitalist relations worldwide” (22). How might things be different if the forgotten revolution had won?

Conclusion – Rediscovering the Magic of Truth-Telling

Malalai_Joya_visits_a_girls_school_in_Farah_province_in_Afghanistan

Malalai Joya speaking at a girls school in Farah province, Afghanistan

“Day by day, it’s worse for my people, especially for the women. And that’s why, because of all of these main reasons, we say this is the mockery of democracy and mockery of War on Terror.” – Malalai Joya, Afghan democracy activist, 2009

Caliban and the Witch is a book that challenges many important myths about the world we live in. First and foremost among these is the widely-held belief that capitalism, though perhaps flawed in its current form, started out as a “progressive” development that liberated workers and improved the conditions of women, people of color and other oppressed groups. Silvia Federici has done impressive work to take us back to the very foundations of the capitalist system in late-medieval Europe to uncover a secret history of land dispossession and impoverishment, gender and sexual terror, and brutal colonization of non-Europeans. This terrible legacy leads her to the profound conclusion that the system is “necessarily committed to racism and sexism” (17).

Most strongly, she writes, “It is impossible to associate capitalism with any form of liberation or attribute the longevity of the system to its capacity to satisfy human needs. If capitalism has been able to reproduce itself it is only because of the web of inequalities that it has built into the body of the world proletariat, and because of its capacity to globalize exploitation. This process is still unfolding under our eyes, as it has for the last 500 years” (17).

It’s been said that we can measure a society by how it treats its women. This book provides compelling documentation to suggest that capitalism is and has always been a male dominated system, which reduces opportunities and security for women as well as marginalizing those who don’t fit within narrow gender boundaries. In particular, Silvia Federici uses the story of the Witch Hunt to illuminate the inner workings of capitalism to show the restraining, silencing, and demonizing of female sexual power built into it.7 Responding to our question that started this essay, she writes, “The witch was not only the midwife, the woman who avoided maternity, or the beggar who eked out a living by stealing some wood or butter from her neighbors. She was also the loose, promiscuous woman – the prostitute or adulteress, and generally, the woman who exercised her sexuality outside the bonds of marriage and procreation… The witch was also the rebel woman who talked back, argued, swore, and did not cry under torture” (184).

In other words, the witches were those women who in one way or another resisted the establishment of an unjust social order – the mechanical exploitation of capitalism. The witches represented a whole world that Europe’s new masters were anxious to destroy: a world with strong female leadership, a world rooted in local communities and knowledge, a world alive with magical possibilities, a world in revolt.

We need not despair for the world that has been lost. Indeed, it is still with us today in the struggles of people everywhere organizing for justice. Today from Afghanistan we can hear the clarion voice of Malalai Joya, a courageous woman who was expelled from the Afghan parliament in 2007 for speaking out against the U.S.-installed warlords who now rule her country. She appeared recently onDemocracy Now! saying, “Now my people are sandwiched between two powerful enemies: from the sky, occupation forces bombing and killing innocent civilians… [and] on the ground, Taliban and these warlords together continue to deliver fascism against our people.”8

Joya risks her life to make these comments, but her words carry the sparkling truth that is so necessary to end the insanity of war and occupation in the Middle East. Those who are summoned to action by her call do so in the immortal spirit of the “heretics” and “witches” who resisted capitalism and feudalism before it, carrying forward a movement that is wide as the Earth and old as time.

Who Were the Witches? – Patriarchal Terror and the Creation of Capitalism

More about Wétiko

“We are currently in the midst of the greatest epidemic sickness known to humanity. Like a fish in water who doesn’t recognize water because it is everywhere, both outside and within the fish itself, many of us don’t realize the collective insanity in our midst, as our madness is so pervasive that it has become normalized. We have become conditioned to accept as normal the fact that we are in an endless war, and innumerable of our brothers and sisters all over the planet are impoverished and dying of starvation every day. It is important to realize that in a psychic epidemic, the majority of people can appear entirely “normal.”

….

The fact that the underlying psychic roots of the collective psychosis are not even part of our planetary dialogue is itself a telling expression of the depth of the unconsciousness induced by this psychic epidemic. That the mental health community, which should be concerned with psychic hygiene (both personal and collective), is not even addressing the issue of a rampant collective psychosis is a clear indication that the mental health community is itself embedded in and hence infected with the very psychic epidemic it should be studying. By not recognizing the nature of wetiko disease, the mental health community has become its unwitting agents, helping the disease to propagate. What clearer sign do we need of a psychic epidemic than when our mental health system itself, whose job it is to study, monitor, and deal with such phenomena, not only doesn’t recognize that there is a collective psychosis running rampant in our society, but is itself infected with it? Ultimately speaking, it’s not a question of integrating wetiko disease into the existing diagnostic manual, but rather, of radically expanding, up-leveling, and re-visioning our understanding of the nature of both health and illness relative to each other.

Our collective madness has become transparent to us, as we see and interpret the world through it, rendering our madness invisible, thereby unwittingly colluding with the collective psychosis while it wreaks incredible death and destruction on our planet. Being “transparent,” our madness is beyond its mere appearance, which is to say, “beyond being apparent” that is, not visible. Our collective psychosis is invisible to us, as it manifests itself both in the very way we are looking and in the unspoken ways we have been conditioned to not perceive. Due to its cloak of invisibility, we don’t see our madness, a psychic blindness which renders us complicit in the creation of our own madness. This complicity is potentially empowering news, however, since it also signals that we are indeed co-creators of our own reality, and not helpless victims. Wetiko psychosis is highly contagious, spreading through the channel of our shared unconsciousness. Its vectors of infection and propagation do not travel like a physical pathogen, however. This fluidly moving, nomadically wandering bug reciprocally reinforces and feeds off and into each of our unconscious blind spots, which is how it nonlocally propagates itself throughout the field. In wetiko there is a code or logic which affects/infects awareness in a way analogous to how the DNA in a virus passes into and infects a cell. Forbes concludes that “the wetiko disease, the sickness of exploitation, has been spreading as a contagion for the past several thousand years. And as a contagion unchecked by most vaccines, it tends to become worse rather than better with time. More and more people catch it, in more and more places, and they become the true teachers of the young.” Wetiko culture gets taught both at home and in “the academy”, where people become certified in the ways of its world, and are thus accredited and empowered to spread its corrupting ways on ever grander scales with ever vaster and more devastating consequences. Frighteningly, the wetiko psychosis is becoming ever more institutionalized and incorporated into our corporate culture and its way of thinking. People who are channeling the vibratory frequency of wetiko align with each other through psychic resonance to reinforce their unspoken shared agreement so as to uphold their deranged view of reality. Once unconscious content takes possession of certain individuals, it irresisitbly draws them together by mutual attraction and knits them into groups tied together by their shared madness that can easily swell into an avalanche of insanity. A psychic epidemic is a closed system, which is to say that it is insular and not open to any new information or informing influences from the outside world which contradict its fixed, limited, and limit-ing perspective. In a co-dependent, self-perpetuating feedback loop, any reflection that is offered from others, rather than being reflected upon, utilized, and integrated in a way that supports the growth and evolution of the system, is perversely misinterpreted to support the agreed-upon delusion binding the collective psychosis together. Anyone challenging this shared reality is seen as a threat and demonized. An impenetrable field, like a protective bubble, is collectively conjured up around their shared psychosis that literally resists consciousness and perpetuates the spell-like trance of those in its thrall. There is no talking rationally, using logic or facts, with someone under the spell of the psychic epidemic, as their ability to reason and to use discernment has been disabled and distorted in service to the psychic pathogen which they carry. When a group of people are in agreement about anything, whether it is true or not, their alignment with each other exerts a contagious, magnetic field of force which can sway the unaware and attract them into itself. We are on guard, even paranoid, regarding contagious diseases of the body, but we are woefully asleep and unconcerned about, and hence more susceptible to, catching the more dangerous collective diseases of the mind, which are reaching pandemic proportions in our world today. People taken over by the wetiko virus usually don’t suspect a thing about how they have been “conned,” or more accurately, how they have conned themselves. The wetiko culture offers no incentive for them to self-reflectingly speculate upon their increasingly depraved condition; on the contrary, the nonlocal field configures itself to enable, further cultivate, and deepen their psychosis. When someone is a full-blown, unrecognized wetiko, the field around them torques so as to protect, collude with, and feed into their psychosis in a way that entrances those around them. Similar to how an octopus squirts ink in order to hide, a psychic field gets conjured up around full-blown wetikos which obfuscates their malfeasance. Once under the wetiko spell, people lose the capacity to recognize the wetiko pathology in others. In a situation of “group narcissism,” wetikos at different stages of the disease assume particular postures and roles relative to each other that protect and shield themselves from their own insanity and darkness. They feed and reinforce each other’s narcissism because it enhances their own. The greater the gap between the conscious and the unconscious, the greater the chance of falling under a collective psychosis such as wetiko. The less the permeability, and hence communication and dialogue between the conscious ego and the informing influence of the wisdom of the unconscious, that is, the greater the dissociation between the two, the greater the probability of being infected with the leprosy of collective thinking. In a full-blown psychic epidemic, the conscious and the unconscious actually trade places, which is to say the unconscious steps into the driver’s seat, which should be occupied by consciousness. People or groups who have fallen asleep and are under the thrall of the psychic epidemic are then “unconsciously” dreaming, that is, acting out their unconscious in fully embodied form, in contrast to being awake. The type of person ripe for falling prey to the wetiko infection is usually one whose strings are pulled and manipulated by others, who follows a life path dictated by others and is unaccustomed to think for themselves. Not in touch with their inner guidance, they project authority outside of themselves and become very suggestible to the agreed-upon consensus opinion of the dominant pack. When we give away our power, there is always someone bearing the authority of “the State” who is more than happy to accept our offering, feeding the insatiable will-to-power of the shadow, which becomes collectively mobilized. Masses are veritable breeding grounds for psychic epidemics. Though using individuals as its instruments, evil needs the unconscious masses for its genesis and proliferation on the world stage. In a collective psychosis, people literally stop thinking for themselves and let others think for them, like sheep (or “sheeple”) who just follow wherever they are being led, even if it’s off the nearest cliff. Losing touch with their own discernment and ability for critical thinking, the “mass man” becomes part of the mindless herd and falls prey to “group-think,” whose members co-dependently enable each other to uphold their shared version of the wetiko world. Once the office of “perception management,” largely through the corporate mainstream media, convinces a critical mass of people of a particular viewpoint, there is a consensus or agreement that is reached among the masses as to what is objectively true. The agreed-upon version of reality takes on a weight and momentum of its own and thereby becomes the established dogma of what is collectively imagined to be really happening. Like a religious truth, it is irrationally believed like an act of faith by its card-carrying members, even if overwhelming evidence points to the contrary. Anyone who doesn’t buy into the arbitrarily established story is marginalized and demonized, and called either crazy, a conspiracy theorist, or even a terrorist (“You’re either with us or you’re with the enemy”). Such a group consensus about the nature of reality gets increasingly hard to sustain as time passes, however, as, like a house of cards ready to collapse at any moment, its vision of the world is based on the fundamental error of not being true. Strangely enough, people under the collective enchantment of wetiko become fanatically attached to supporting an agenda that oftentimes is diametrically opposed to serving then own best interests. This is an outer behavioral reflection of the inner state of being under the sway of the self-destructive wetiko parasite. Speaking about the rapidly spreading wetiko contagion, Forbes writes, “It is spread by the wetikos themselves as they recruit or corrupt others. It is spread today by history books, television, military training programs, police training programs, comic books, pornographic magazines, films, right-wing[left-wing] movements, fanatics of various kinds, high-pressure missionary groups, and numerous governments.” All of the mainstream, culturally sanctioned, corporatized institutions are in the business of indoctrination, telling us what to think and not think, as well as how to think. Our mind is continually being massaged into shape by the prevailing culture, our true face lifted as our spiritual pockets are picked. Our civilization has become the mouthpiece for the propaganda organ of the disease, entrancing us to “buy” into its viewpoint as we are bled to death of what really counts. The culture (sic) that informs and forms around wetiko illness is itself a channel of its transmission and growth. If we sign on the dotted line and subscribe to its viewpoint, its life-denying culture will gradually subsume us into itself, enlisting us as its agents who unwitingly do its bidding. This is how the ever-expanding, self-generating psychic empire of collective psychosis works, as it increasingly takes over and approaches “full-employment.” We are truly in a war. It is not the war we imagine we are in, which is the way our true adversaries want it. It is ultimately and actually not a foreign war against a foreign enemy.It is a war on consciousness, a war on our own minds.” – from “Dispelling Wetiko – Breaking the Curse of Evil” by Paul Levy
http://aetherforce.com/dispelling-wetiko-by-paul-levy/