Wetiko

Wetiko

Leafing through  September's Permaculture magazine a few weeks ago, i came upon an article which articulates a concept that i have been pondering for some years now- the mass psychosis of the Human race that causes many people, when (if!) they finally have enough to live, to want more upon more things, money, stuff, control, power, and so on.

There is a terrible infectious disease that is exponentially spreading all over the globe and beyond.

It is a disease of the mind- a mind virus no less, which is incredibly hard to pin down and is super infectious. It causes people to consume far more than they require for the continuation of their life, and people with this dis ease will often persuade or force others to partake in their own destruction and that of the life around them.

Many languages have a name for this virus- the Algonquin, for instance,  call this condition Wetiko. It could be characterised as a cannibalistic delusion that greed, dominance and coercion are morally upstanding qualities.  Which of course, in many of the prevailing cultures on our planet, they are.

However, the mere fact of all life being interconnected turns this violence back on itself. The cannibalistic feedback loop that this creates can only lead to extinction of the host, which is in the first instance the Human, taking down countless other life forms simultaneously.

In the words of Jack D Forbes, the American philosopher:

"I can lose my hands
 and still live.
I can lose my legs
 and still live.
I can lose my eyes
 and still live.
I can lose my hair, eyebrows, nose, arms, and many other things and still live.

But

if I lose the air
I die.
If I lose the sun
I die.
If I lose the earth
I die.
If I lose the water
I die.
 If I lose the plants and animals
I die.
All of these things are more a part of me, more essential to my every breath, than is my so-called body.
What is my real body?"

 

 

I'd highly recommend reading Jack Forbes’ book Columbus and other Cannibals, available here (non Amazon) or here (nearer and cheaper, unfortunately)

The article reprinted in Permaculture magazine is here. Definitely worth a read, now or bookmark for later.

Another good read is Dispelling Wetiko, by Paul Levy, although i do have to read this in small doses myself...