This article is an analysis of a concept that is currently under development. The subject matter is novel within the context of western thought. It is therefore offered for your consideration and will be more thoroughly understood in the context of other work we have released or will release on our websites, links to which are at the end of the article. If the reader is still perplexed at the end of this article, that may actually be a good thing, allowing you to give some creative thought to the concepts. My partner Melissa Mari and I both welcome your thoughtful comments.
The Father Thing is a term that I am using to describe a particular ‘social virus’ or parasite operating within the collective consciousness of humanity. At this point in time, western culture has no established understanding of a concept such as this. To the modern western mind, viruses are biological operators and only exist in that domain. The work I have been doing with Melissa Mari has been showing us that in fact, viruses or their equivalent may operate at every level of organization in the universe. Because western understanding of consciousness at this stage is still young, we are generally unaware of the dynamic of malicious energetic activity which operates in the human mind, or in energetic realms outside of the mind, which are transmitted socially. Similar concepts are actually not new to the east, the ancient west and pre-civilized traditions, but modern western culture has no accepted understanding of this type of concept. I also describe the Father Thing as an archetype, and I believe that while it is, this does not mean that it is hollow or carries no energy or intelligence. Archetypes are very real, but not in a material sense. I am still conflicted as to how to exactly categorize and describe malicious entities of the mind, and so I currently use terms interchangeably.
Richard Dawkins coined the term Meme to describe the dynamics of an idea and its life cycle within the human mind and social body. This was a great contribution to our ability to conceive of mind and its contents. I personally conceive of mental/social viruses in the context of memetics, combined with other sciences especially biology and information systems. In addition to our general understanding of viruses in biology, we are aware of viruses and ‘malicious script’ that operate in the domain of computer networks, which infect a computer and take over its functions to serve its own life cycle.
Melissa and I also rely on the concept of holarchy, the same-similar, modular construction of all systems in the universe as a way of extrapolating what we learn about the dynamics of one holon into our knowledge of another. If there are viruses, parasites and malicious pathogens on the biological level, and also in information systems, it would fit into the concept of holarchy that there may be such agents in the human mental-social sphere. Our research into many fields of science, as well as the psychological and spiritual healing work we have been doing on ourselves, is proving to us that viruses and other mental and emotional parasitic systems are indeed as much a part of human consciousness as they are a part of the biological lives of every species on this planet.
This article is an exploration into a particular parasitic virus, or code, which is a function of our culture and which emerges in the context of patriarchal civilization. Other viruses also exist but this particular one seems to us to be taking a huge destructive toll on the human species at this point in time.
Also in this text, I am critical of the punitive aspects of Judeo-Christian scripture and doctrine. This is not because I do not find value in these scriptures, on the contrary I find tremendous value, but in looking for causes of our exceedingly destructive nature, I have to give ‘credit’ where credit is due.
I should also mention that a comparison of the world’s religions and spiritual traditions in regards to malevolent other-dimensional entities reveals a plethora of source material for consideration and possible re-interpretation, and is also a part of our investigation into this subject. In the end, this work is about personal healing and the development of concepts and methods for transmuting destructive energy from the human mind/body, freeing people from destructive cycles to make way for our highest potential as human beings. Illumination of the dark side of the universe tends to be a bit overbearing for many, but we have found that ‘shadow work’ of any kind has a deeply healing potential and the results are always well worth the efforts, even when, or especially when they are challenging.
The Great Mother provides
Human societal development may be seen to naturally align with the psychological growth of an individual child. Before birth, we are tucked away in the all-providing atmosphere of the womb. All of our needs are met immediately and without any of our own decision making needed. We are in harmony with our mother from the inside, who is our complete and perfect cosmos.
As we are given the gift of life, we also suffer a great wound when we are traumatically born into the outer world. The warm comfort of our mother’s womb is substituted for a vast space that is both infinitely harsh and completely unfathomable. Our first stages of life are a quest for balance between our new world of sense and experience, and the still needed comforts and sustenance of our mother. As we grow, our journey takes us through the stages of psychological growth, from infancy, through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood.
When we look at the history of human social development, it appears to me that human culture planet-wide has itself taken on a same-similar growth orientation as that of the individual human being, as would be expected in a universe organized in holarchy. As a species, we are going though a cultural life cycle similar to that of a growing child. We might see the paleolithic and pre-civilizaed cultures as those aligned with the first stages of individual growth and connection to the mother (nature). These cultures sought to attune with nature, which was seen as a powerful and dramatic force, but also as mankind’s nurturing provider.
Our current stage of social order has stepped away from the mother attuned stage and has, for the last 10,000 years, been aligned with a fatherly, masculine paradigm we can call patriarchy. Patriarchy is an age which culturally represents the development of perception though masculine eyes, or the eyes of the father, who comes into our known existence as children only after our awareness of our mother has been solidly experienced and known.
Civilization, as we are taught in school, began about 6000 years before the present. It seems to have arisen with the advent of agriculture and from there it brought in specialization of labor, social class structures and advanced technology among other attributes. This type of culture appears to have a masculine, hierarchical, thought oriented, power seeking and colonizing nature. It isolates itself from the natural world to a far greater degree than pre civilized societies. To the those previous cultures, few of which still exist today, so-called ‘civilized’ culture is known to be arrogant and ego-centric, having a tendency to diminish the value of individual life in favor of a hierarchical, top-down power structure which uses any means necessary, especially fear of death, to force its constituents into serving it. It is clearly a father oriented way of life and is interested in order, discipline and power wielding over the feminine tendencies towards nurturing and personal communion. We would actually expect this development if we see human cultural evolution as being same-similar to the psychological and physical development of the individual.
There is nothing inherently wrong with any of the attributes of either of these modes of being. I can see our current patriarchal age as part of this natural process, but there is a negative side to all of this growth and development as well. While we have been evolving and going through our psychological stages of growth, we have also accumulated vast stores of destructive energy in the process. And while this is really just a natural part of the process, it requires mechanisms, which we don’t currently have, for balancing and transmuting the negative energetic side of our brilliant, prolific, growth oriented development.
I don’t have to convince anybody that our civilization is irrationally destructive, and I don’t have to convince anyone that this destructive tendency is growing continually. If we were not so knee-deep in murder and psychotic behavior to see clearly, or if we asked a truly objective bystander, they might say that the human species must have contracted a disease of some sort, like an addiction that blinds its victims from seeing its own decrepit situation.
The Father Thing
The Father Thing was a great short story by science fiction writer Phillip K. Dick. I use the term to describe a destructive archetype that is a function of our patriarchal age. While we have been wielding raw power and thrusting our rockets into the sky, we have been building a reservoir of repressed negative energy, as a by-product of our brilliant, prolific development. And while this is a natural part of the process of evolution, it requires mechanisms, which we don’t currently have, for balancing and transmuting this energy.
Ritual and other methods did exist in the east and pre-civilized cultures for channeling and re-directing this energy, and we still have many soft methods like sports, and other entertainment, but our modern western culture generally does not have sufficient tools. Because of this, humanity must continually and cyclically act out, displacing the entropy of its destructive internal state, and murder a few million people a year collectively. There is a term called Demoside, coined by Professor R.J. Rummell, which means “death by government”. He estimated that the 20th century was the bloodiest in the known history of mankind, with 262 million people murdered by government policies like those of Adolph Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, Joseph Stalin and the like. This figure is 6 times the figure of the casualties of wars during the same time period.
When we look with honesty, we can see that there is a definite negative downside to patriarchy as it has evolved. When fatherly power is not balanced with mothering compassion, it becomes unstable, and if not balanced, may destroy itself because of the repressed energy which builds as a consequence. From my view, we are now entering into a stage where this balancing is extremely necessary, and if not developed and incorporated, it may lead to very dire consequences across the biosphere. Indeed the great majority of the world’s most serious problems may be due to our not understanding this energetic process.
The Father Thing, like any archetype, can actually be considered an entity, an energy system built out of the trauma of our collective lives. It is a social function of what we often call evil as it is played out in culture. It is an ‘altered self’ which lives in the shadows and because of its current state of maturity, has taken on an intelligent functioning similar to that of a parasite. It knows us and it feeds off of the negative energy produced by our growth and so-called progress. It is not bad per se, it just is, but because of its current size, it must be dealt with. Each of us carries the energy signature of the Father Thing, to varying degrees. It manifests in our individual psyches and acts as our own personal psychic parasite which feeds off of our emotional wounds and even compels us to wound ourselves further, thereby satisfying its needs for energetic sustenance.
This negative aspect of our being, which is completely integrated into our personal and cultural psyches, is the part of us that we wish to deny and repress but which nevertheless takes its sacrifice from us through wars and our destructive abuses of ourselves and nature. It has been addressed as the ‘shadow’ in psychology for many decades, but this understanding is too superficial in my view. This shadow, virus or parasite, whatever you may call it, has a life cycle, it has specific characteristics and manifestations, and it has a need to stay alive like any living system does.
The Victim-Victor Code
In studying the manifestations of this energetic system, I have come to find that this Father Thing has a signature code or cycle which it induces in humanity. I’ve been calling this cycle the Victim-Victor Code. My understanding is still developing but I can see that it is definitely linked to emotional abandonment. It causes us to react to victimization in one of two modes, either as retreating victim or as aggressing victor. It’s a cyclical, infinitely repeating cycle of abuse and victimization, and it creates major flows of destructive energy to be passed through society, feeding the Father Thing social parasite while fueling civilization. Our destructive behavior is not ultimately sourced in this parasitic aspect of our being, but the primary destructive force inherent in the universe lives out through this dynamic system. From what I can tell so far, pre-civilized cultures also experienced psychosis and even murderous behavior, and there are many examples, but not to anywhere near the degree that civilization, the ultra-patriarchy does.
Describing the Father Thing or any mind-body psychic parasite or virus is not an easy task. It’s not possible to see these energy systems with any mechanical technology, although there are ancient shamanic methods for doing so. But we can deduce their existence by looking for the signatures of their life cycle and by monitoring our thoughts and feeling state carefully. Melissa and I have been doing self-analysis with this goal in mind, and thanks to a few authors who have also done pioneering work like Paul Levy (the Wetiko concept), Eckhart Tolle (The Pain Body concept), Colin Wilson and Jonathan Zap (Mind Parasites), I have a few other modern western sources to compare notes with.
In searching for the psychological script or code which created this cultural parasite, I became re-acquainted with the biblical story of Genesis including Adam and Eve and their children Cain and Able. I don’t see this myth as itself the source of the Father Thing, but as the traces of its life cycle encased in stone, like a fossil to be excavated. By looking at this myth and others similar to it, I hope to be able to gain more insight about the nature of this script, which we might use to crack and unravel it, therefore finding keys to creating our sought after code of balance.
I re-read the biblical story of creation and the so-called Fall of Man in a couple versions of the Bible and also a translation directly from Hebrew. There are many layers of code embedded into these stories and many have commented on them throughout the ages, but when I looked at this story again recently, what I saw was blindingly apparent, and hostile in its nature. I used the Hebrew translation as my primary source but it checks out in the King James Bible as well.
Chapter 3 of Genesis begins with the story of Adam and Eve, the first humans on earth who were divinely created by God himself (with Eve being a co-creation with Adam). They were at peace with their creator and in his creation, having all of their needs met in the Garden of Eden. This clearly is descriptive of the prior age of human consciousness and social order where man’s awareness was focused on the mother. But the Old Testament is not the testament of the prior age; it sweeps us rapidly through the backstory of creation and man’s early plight, directly into the stage where he is separated from the mother by force. The story of Genesis is so incredibly rich with metaphor and esoteric wisdom, but here I must stay on point.
Once man is old enough to discern his need for higher truths such as right and wrong, good and evil, and wisdom or personal gnosis, he partakes of the tree of good and evil at the invitation of the serpent, which is said to be connected to the force of evil in the universe. Eve is the first to fall and from there her husband Adam. The resulting action from the cosmic father was anger and swift punishment. He banished them from the garden, causing them to suffer in the profane world away from his presence.
If we interpret this story while leaving aside language that clearly shows God’s angry demeanor and need to punisht, we could see the Fall as a natural and inherent curse that we must bear in order to experience life as conscious entities with free will. Many theologians have interpreted the Fall in this way and this is clearly an element, but the punitive spirit is striking to me.
According to the story, Adam and Eve give birth to two sons, Cain and Abel. Cain is a farmer and planter of crops and Able is a herdsman. These two functions of animal husbandry and agriculture are at the heart of civilization itself. As the story goes, these divine grandchildren attempt to please their heavenly father and each presents him with an offering. Abel presents the first of his flock of livestock, a flesh offering with masculine attributes, and Cain presents fruits, the product of his farming which carries feminine metaphorical attributes. To Abel’s offering God pays him respect, but to Cain he does not, and Cain is overtaken with sorrow.
The next part of the story describes how Cain, now possessing his own anger and vengeance, kills his brother Abel in the field. God responds with punishment without equity, as he did with Adam and Eve, casting Cain away as a fugitive and a vagabond, and God marks him so that he will forever be known as the bearer of God’s enmity who may not be killed by another, but who must stay alive to suffer all of his days out of the presence of his divine father and family.
This story and many more from our culture were written with specific language that shows God as an entity who uses fear to control, seeks vengeance, and demands strict obedience. This spirit is maintained throughout the Old Testament and in all Judeo-Christian and Islamic scripture. This is clearly a set up job for the patriarchy and useful code for the top-down, hierarchical structure that has brought us to the current age as we know it. Incidentally, this type of story in mythologies is abundant, take the story of Prometheus for example, but the point is that the oncoming patriarchy produced these types of stories as part of its evolution.
These stories are rich with wisdom, and in my view, they all must be understood metaphorically in order to derive the most value. I am not making a judgment against Judeo-Christian scriptures as a whole, but I am combing them for destructive coding inherent in our culture. Contained in these stories is some very important cultural script that has been carried by the patriarchal culture, used for conquest and growth, and has also been some of the prime code which created man’s archetypal parasite – the Father Thing which is now eating us out of house and home.
The core wound
Psychologist and author John Wellwood has described a core wound of our culture which contributes to our current state of self abuse and self hatred. It is that of abandonment or emotional separation from our parents’ love without just cause. He calls this the core wound of the heart. He reminds us that when we are not fully seen, not fully accepted by our parents, this creates repressed emotions that lead to anxiety and our life-long sense that we are not good enough, causing us to forever seek fulfillment in any way we can.
We are so incredibly dependent on our parents for our emotional and psychic wellness, and because of our naturally premature birthing, we are wounded early on and usually permanently in the context of this civilization. This civilization demands and forces us into obedience with its law, and commands us to sacrifice ourselves to its greater needs of growth, conquest and development. Civilization causes us to believe that we cannot allow our children to evolve as they naturally will, giving them freedom of true self-expression. Because of this, our parents wound us with their impositions of the culture or by transmitting their own fractured code that they have suffered from due to the cultural father’s wounding, and we are forced out of the metaphorical Garden of Eden, cast away by our parents, who are divine in our eyes, and forced to suffer the wounds of abandonment. Its Cain and Abel all over again. Indigenous pre-civilized cultures generally did not produce this core wound in their children and therefore the negative energy by-product, which civilized man now harbors, was not created to an extreme degree.
Another aspect of this abandonment is caused by our developing ego consciousness. Our civilized age has come at a stage in human evolution when our awareness of our separate self has developed more fully than in the prior age. While serving the cultural father’s needs to expand and conquer, we have done so in the context of our developing egos, our separate ‘player pieces’ which we use to maneuver in the game of life. Our awareness of ourselves as separate and autonomous from nature, our egos as they are called in psychology, are at a stage of development where we are still entranced by them. We are in awe of how we see ourselves projected out onto the world stage. Like a baby that is enthralled by her own feet, we are enchanted by this evolutionary function we call our egos or personalities, which are a function of our present stage of evolution as humanity. We look for every possible way to use our player pieces. We put them in cars, take them on vacations, and we prance them around as do children with stuffed animals and dolls. Some of us are so entranced with our own reflection that we dedicate our entire lives to these types of pursuits, and in our present state, the cultural father is happy to grant us this privilege, as long as we do not stop too long from feeding the beast, from pulling the levers of the machine, or turning out widgets in the factory. Progress calls, and we respond, rarely stopping to ask why and to what end.
Myth of the Machine
Historian Lewis Mumford, in his two part work, the Myth of the Machine, takes us through mankind’s history as a servant of a greater cultural force – our so-called civilized society, that he sees as a human sacrificing robot which structures all in its own image. He suggests that our culture is like a machine which compels us to continue building, expanding, exploiting humanity and all of nature, sacrificing human values to the ends of ‘progress’. He seems to ask, what is so progressive about the dysfunction that this culture creates? What is so progressive about the unnatural and often unsatisfying way in which we now live, in dirty and dangerous cities, working in factories, or dominating a career path, giving much of our life’s energy to the cause of progress, which we cannot even qualify in terms of true human value? I feel that he is right. Progress as its been sold to us by culture is not progress for us individually, its often soul death, and its currently taking a very high toll.
Most of us are not even living close to our potential. We do not have the full capacity of our emotional state accessible. Our hearts are turned off and shut down, and even saying this will cause many readers to wonder what I could mean by that statement. We generally do not have the clarity of mind or the emotional space necessary to really experience our full humanity. We are definitely achieving ego fulfillment in whatever form, but personally, I have not found that deal to be worth the trade off.
The blackest power
The abusive Father Thing entity of our culture is especially powerful because it is fully integrated into civilization. This machine of civilization has a built in power source which is derived from human emotional suffering. Built into patriarchal civilization is an abusive code that creates a negative energy source that propels the culture. A cultural code of abandonment, John Welwood’s core wound of the heart, is clearly seen in the Judeo-Christian scriptures and in the punitive, angry customs of our civilization. If I was more studied on eastern civilization I could add more along those lines, but I have looked at Japanese culture and I see the same Father Thing living there as well. The east is no less patriarchal than the west.
This Father Thing, while acting similarly to a living biological system, has become an aware and intelligent entity within the collective human psyche. It has woven its own code into the human mind and has completely merged with our conscious and unconscious thought processes. Its reach is global. Like any evolving living system, a psychic parasite, existing in the realm of the human collective mind, will want to survive and will operate like any other life form or energetic system. Perhaps calling the Father Thing a parasite is unfair. Perhaps the negative altered self of humanity is in symbiotic relationship with the evolutionary side of humanity. Perhaps it’s a good deal for both sides in some sense because evolution is ultimately served, even if not as optimally as we might wish.
To see civilization as a predominately destructive force is to miss the point, it is both creative and destructive. If a punitive, emotionally abandoning code was not written into the deepest script of our culture, would we have ever moved out of our metaphorical Garden of Eden? How could we have progressed as a species without the energy that this code gave us? Was there a way to experience ourselves without the Father Thing, the flesh eating parasite which comes with us everywhere we go?
What has become glaringly obvious to me and Melissa Mari in the course of this investigation so far is that whatever the origins of the situation, we are currently very precariously placed as a consequence of the negative energy produced by civilization. We have just barely reached the state of emotional maturity required to repair the situation, while all the physical power we have, which is enough to destroy ourselves, is partially controlled by a negative psychic social entity, the Father Thing parasite, and perhaps even a full eco-system of parasitic and viral activity outside the reaches of normal perception.
As our investigation into the dark side of the universe goes on, we will incorporate what we are learning into our own personal healing work and report back in articles and through our investigative documentary V is for Virus.
Coming soon: Healing the Victim-Victor Code