The following is excerpted from Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil, published by North Atlantic Books.
by Paul Levy
The greatest protection against becoming negatively affected, and in extreme cases possessed by the evil aspects of wetiko, is to be in touch with our intrinsic wholeness, which is to be ‘self-possessed’ – in possession of the part of ourselves that is not possess-able, which is the Self, the wholeness of our being. We truly ‘defeat’ evil when we connect with the part of ourselves that is invulnerable and cannot be vanquished by it.
In Buddhism, the wholeness of our true nature is likened to a mirror, which embraces and reflects whatever is put before it. The mirror itself, however, no matter how vile the object it is reflecting, is detached from and never tainted nor stained by its reflections, always remaining the same, retaining its intrinsic purity and never wearing out. The reflections do not affect our mirror-like nature, which is transcendent to the reflections, just like a mirage of water in the desert doesn’t make the grains of sand wet. Fire can’t burn our true nature, earth can’t bury it, water can’t drench it, and the wind can’t blow it away. Pure from the beginning, our true nature is ‘unimpeded,’ in the sense that it cannot be bound by anything.
In the same way, when we are in touch with our true nature, the evil of wetiko cannot ‘touch’ us. Paradoxically, while on one hand the reflections seemingly obscure the empty, open surface of the mirror, on the other hand we would never notice the mirror without the reflections, which is to say that the reflections are the revelation of the mirror. The reflections in the mirror are the inseparable, indivisible, unmediated expression of the mirror, as we never have reflections without a mirror, nor a mirror without reflections. The reflections are the expressions of the mirror, indistinguishable from the mirror, while simultaneously, ‘not’ being the mirror.