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If ever there was a time when the turning inward of self-reflection was of critical importance, it is now, in our present catastrophic epic. – Paul Levy: Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking The Curse Of Evil
Maybe you have already heard of wetiko -a Native American word, that means “a wicked person or spirit who terrorizes others by means of evil acts.” Wetiko can also describe a toxic culture, imposed on others, as we have seen manifested in the most horrific aspects of colonization: slavery, torture, exploitation, rape. The atrocities committed by one group or nation, on another, can echo for centuries. We become complicit, even if we were not alive at the time, when we justify and rationalize past wrongs in the name of ‘progress’ or perceived cultural superiority.
At its core, wetiko is a condition in which the human ego is estranged from the deeper Self, the ultimate ‘illusion of separation’. In this sense, we all have wetiko to deal with, in our own hearts and minds. When we experience hatred, greed, rage, a wish to harm – that is wetiko.
The historic (and continued) colonization of indigenous peoples is a pressing reminder of wetiko. At the same time, the term ‘colonization’ is also used as a metaphor for the varied ways we impose our views on people and situations. Those most affected by economic disparity have almost always been ‘colonized’ by the most privileged. We create educational ‘standards’ that reflect our racial bias. Elite corporate interests use media, the healthcare system, the financial system, and so on to impose a culture of fear. We poison our food and the Earth. Wetiko.
So what does it mean to de-colonize our thinking? Can collective cultural psychosis – our wetiko – be healed? That is the question we put before you. It is a question at the very center of the transformation movement. Are we waking up at last from the nightmare of separation? Through self-reflection and awareness of our interconnection with one another and the Earth, can we transform our civilization and dispel wetiko forever?
In loving peace,
Your Kosmos Team
By Rhonda Fabian
In Kosmos Journal
“There is a sea change under way in higher education, and it’s not in the ways that traditional universities think about themselves or do business. It’s not in the admissions requirements or policies of the elite universities. And you won’t find it spelled out in any new theory of learning.”
Wetiko: the greatest epidemic sickness known to humanity. – Paul Levy
By Alnoor Ladha, Martin Kirk
Kosmos Journal, Spring | Summer 2016
What if we told you that humanity is being driven to the brink of extinction by an illness? That all the poverty, the climate devastation, the perpetual war, and consumption fetishism we see all around us have roots in a mass psychological infection? What if we went on to say that this infection is not just highly communicable but also self-replicating, according to the laws of cultural evolution, and that it remains so clandestine in our psyches that most hosts will, as a condition of their infected state, vehemently deny that they are infected? What if we then told you that this ‘mind virus’ can be described as a form of cannibalism. Yes, cannibalism. Not necessarily in the literal flesh-eating sense but rather the idea of consuming others—human and non-human—as a means of securing personal wealth and supremacy.
A Very Special Campaign from Our Friends at /The Rules
Calling all painters, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, dancers, graffiti artists, fine art students, animators, sculptors, designers, actors, advertisers, poets, writers, illustrators, tech specialists, crafters and anyone with a passion for creating, we’d love to hear from you.
We invite you; creatives, artists and activists of all types, from around the world, to join us in seeing wetiko for two weeks this July.
We are pleased to offer 8 gifts of $500 to support the development of the most exciting and engaging concepts. We will offer them to our favourite concept proposals that come in for the campaign.
By John Perkins, via his blog with kind permission
As an Economic Hit Man (EHM) in the 1970s I spent a great deal of time in Panama. I hate to admit it, but I helped forge the system that has now been exposed in the Panama Papers. It is a system of legalized crimes. How else can we describe it?
This EHM system has created a global economy where 62 individuals have as much wealth as half the world’s population, big corporations enjoy the airports and highways, fire and police departments, school systems, and other infrastructure of countries like the United States without paying for them and where governments are controlled by a handful of extremely wealthy individuals. The hard-earned tax dollars of the average US citizen finances the infrastructure and social services that benefit the very rich and their corporations while they shelter their incomes in tax havens.
Photo: Unprecedented aid crisis in Syria, Hosam Katan/Reuters
The first World Humanitarian Aid Summit to be held in Istanbul next week, comes at a crucial time. War and natural disaster has ripped apart families and displaced communities at levels unseen since World War II.
The topics to be covered at the Summit are daunting: how to stop assaults on human rights and human rights workers workers, and improve protection for people in need. Yet, those convening include governments guilty of serious rights violations, including hindering access to aid.
Also, the humanitarian system itself suffers from a ‘top-down’ structure. Those at the ‘top’ – donors and international organizations – make the rules, not the people or communities in crisis.
Doctors without Borders has pulled out of the Summit and a group of national NGOs has circulated a paper calling for ‘a more equitable and dignified humanitarian system’.
Image: courtesy Bayo Akomolafe
By Bayo Akomolafe, via his blog
Keynote Address [Bill Reid Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada / Organized by Simon Fraser University and the City of Vancouver] May 5, 2016
“…To be inappropriate or to be inappropriate/d is to be interrupted. It is to be silenced and rendered an ‘other’. It is to speak to a mountain and not hear it reciprocate your affections. It is to meet a dead rock where once there was a friend – an ally in this cosmic ecstasy of entanglement. It is to be italicized or parenthesized – as if one is an afterthought or not really crucial to the meaning of a sentence. Katherine Anne Porter reminds us that “the past is never where you think you left it”, and perhaps that’s shocking enough to remind us that colonization wasn’t a neat moment in time that ended with treaties and declarations of independence: it is the ongoing exclusion of bodies, stories, and worlds; it is the repartitioning of the sensible, even of time ‘itself’.”
By Susanna Barkataki, via Decolonizing Yoga
As an Indian woman living in the U.S. I’ve often felt uncomfortable in many yoga spaces. At times, such as when I take a $25.00 yoga class by a well-known teacher who wants to “expose us to the culture by chanting Om to start class“ and her studio hangs the Om symbol in the wrong direction, my culture is being stripped of its meaning and sold back to me in forms that feel humiliating at best and dehumanizing at worst.
It took me going to India to really connect with the roots I was seeking on the mat in yoga studios. As I walked the streets of Shimla’s legendary markets I learned that Indians had been forbidden to tread the main thoroughfares.
It was here that I started to apprehend the true meaning of colonization. Did you know that Yoga and Ayurveda were banned in India under British rule and colonization?
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