The Way of the Parasite

By Jack Wolf

Over 30 years ago one of my great mentors, who was also my grandfather, told me that human beings were, more and more, falling into the trap of mental slavery due to money and material goods. He warned that in my lifetime I would see the levels of decadence concerning this skyrocket and the level of human dignity do the opposite. He told me that I would see the people of the world form into three camps generally and these would be those who worshiped money, those who revered the Earth and those who were too ignorant to care either way.

Back in the day when he told me these things I was young, barely into my twenties, and I had difficulty seeing the grim picture my grandfather was painting. But my grandfather was a man of spiritual power. He was a Medicine-person and as well I loved and trusted him. I respected his vision and I told him that. His response was a knowing grin accompanied by the phrase: “You will see…”

And the years passed and my eyes opened with time.

My grandfather and many elders like him…they were right.

The modern world has indeed become a decadent, corrupt place. Every day now we hear about the so-called financial elites; the 1% types and the fact that while multitudes starve or otherwise go without, a relatively tiny fraction of the human race lives in luxury. On a planet that still has more than enough to go around the mental illness of greed and corruption runs rampant.

But it is not just the super wealthy and powerful who are responsible. There is a whole corrupt pyramid of industrial and corporate as well as bureaucratic systems that are all taking their share. In addition to this there are a very large number of human beings who just don’t care about what is going on. Sure some of them grumble that life is not fair but for the most part they are satisfied with getting their paycheques, drinking their beer, watching their propaganda-charged media events and generally…taking care of number one.

That leaves the awakened ones; those folk who have become aware of what is happening and have slowly started to do something about it. The numbers of these people are growing steadily, daily, but one wonders if these numbers will grow in time; if these numbers will amass sufficient power to turn the tide of the planet wide disease.

My grandfather used to shake his head when he would see someone flaunting their wealth – such as with a luxury car or a decadent mansion or an ostentatious gold watch. He would say “When someone has enough they should consider themselves blessed, and not greedily want more. To want more is the way of the parasite and the parasite serves only itself.”

My old mentor Ari, would also make similar comments. He would point out someone driving in a high end sports car or dressed particularly decadently and say: “You know, for the eighty thousand dollars that car is probably worth a whole bunch of families could eat for a year.”

He was right.

Another friend of mine; a Heathen elder named Werner, used to often quote a special volume of timeless wisdom called the Havamal, that is considered very important to his folk. He would comment on decadent behavior by certain people by saying: “Once a man has won enough he should not want for more.”

My friend lived very humbly, in a small community by the river. To the casual observer, Werner didn’t have much but when one got to know my friend they would see that he was a man who held an abundance…he had more than he needed and he was giving of himself constantly.

He used to chuckle when seeing some overt display of wealth, like a fancy car, a fine suit or a sparkling bit of jewellery and say: “Little brother, they call this success? This is not success but a sign that these people are lost.”  To this my friend also added:  “… and lost people can be like drowning men; they are like to take others with them.”

I wonder what it is that makes some people want more and more and more, even though they already have enough for their needs? I wonder what kind of species can see one bunch of individuals grabbing and hoarding so much while their neighbors starve. I wonder why the mentality of the parasite has so Deeply infected the minds of some and not others? Is it some kind of insecurity that drives the parasite-people so?

Maybe they are afraid of not having enough, or perhaps they are afraid of the rest of us: That one day the system might change and then everyone would have a fair share? Everyone having enough; having a fair share sounds pretty nice to me, but I imagine that to some selfish types this might sound like a capitalists nightmare.

Tribal people don’t seem to think in this decadent, selfish way, so it is difficult at times for us to fathom the meaning of this kind of behavior.  It is hard for those who are close to kith and kin and to the sacred Earth, to comprehend why certain people would want to take everything for themselves and destroy the planet in the process.  Some suggest it is because the greedy are mentally ill. Others suggest they are spiritually ill and yet other suggest that they are just plain evil.  In my own estimation it is a kind of social illness that comes from a loss of connection with the world and with humanity. When people become disconnected they no longer feel the worth of things and so they take and take and take. They can never get enough no matter what the cost.

It seems that the way of the parasite has filtered its way down from the top of the corrupt pyramid, all the way down to the so-called middle class and maybe even a bit further. People have become more and more greedy. They grasp for things and hoard them to themselves. They have begun to believe the lies that have been perpetrated by the social scientists; pale creatures who have long served the interest of the powers that be. Lies such as ‘inflation is normal; high prices should be expected’ or ‘it is only natural that some people should be rich and others should be poor’, or even ‘we should trust in our leaders because they know best.’ Or even worse: ‘well this is the way it has always been. Who are we to change it?’

I could go on and on. There are many thousands of these lies that are commonly accepted as true. I am sure the reader can come up with quite a few examples on their own – and indeed this is good exercise for the awakening mind: The more you are aware the more clearly you understand.

It takes an awakened mind to see through the programming and when one develops the skills to see…to truly see…it becomes a painful thing…but a necessary thing to continue to look, to observe and to learn.

My good friend David Weasel Medicine used to say: “It takes hard truths to burn away the blackest lies”, or “Lies are artificial and planned; truth is a part of nature.”

So how do we navigate this world of decadence and this era of the parasite?

Well in my opinion, not so humble as it is, the very first step is in educating oneself and through that education, awakening more and more each day. When we are aware of the true nature of things it is easier to step around the many traps laid for us by those who would be slave-masters over us all.


Awaken others if you can.

Seek out a higher quality of humanity.

Cultivate a deeper awareness and rekindle your relationship with the Earth, the spirits of the land and indeed your fellow humans.

Do your part to help heal the world and our human community. Acts of help and kindness start small but grow over time. You would be surprised how goodness and balance can grow even more virally than decadence and greed. Human beings are generally good and many need only to be shown kindness and friendship to respond in kind.

We live in a sea of lies created by those who for whatever reason have been possessed by a need to hold power over the masses. There are islands of truth out there but in order to get to those islands we must wake up, hone our skills… and become good swimmers.

Oh yeah…and watch out for sharks along the way.


About Jack Wolf

Canadian author Jack Wolf has been a practicing Pagan for over 30 years, walking a path that encompasses both his Northern European and Native American heritage. He counts the late Heathen Goði and writer E. Max Hyatt, Professor Mark Mirabello, Dakota tribal Chief William Hoff and American author Allan Cole among his mentors. An avid outdoorsman, Jack has spent a considerable portion of his life exploring the deep wilds of British Columbia, a vast province on Canada’s west coast. He brings a great deal of his wilderness experience to his spiritual path. Over the past 15 years Jack has studied and written about a number of northern pagan traditions, having published for the most part independently or in small journals, blogs or websites. His recent works for Mandrake of Oxford Have certainly opened up his writing to a larger audience. Jack is also the author of several other books, including Circle of Bones (2012), The Way of the Odin Brotherhood (2013), Blood and Stone (2014) co-author of Tales from the Red Moon Lodge (2014) and co-editor of A Voice from the Thornwood (winter 2014). Forthcoming works include The Thornish Path, Ullr’s Road and The Urban Tribalist, all of which are planned for a mid-2015 and early 2016 release respectively. Spiritually, Jack identifies himself generally as a Deep Tribalist and more specifically as Thornish. He is a member of a primal pagan tradition whose spiritual path involves questing for the First Knowledge – that held by our most ancient ancestors whose hearts and spirits were deeply connected to the land. The Thornish path is the way of the warrior-steward; a Deep Tribal tradition which Jack has practiced since the late 1980’s Jack holds a degree in anthropology from the world renowned University of British Columbia and has long held an avid interest in history, tribal peoples, spirituality and the reawakening of pagan peoples worldwide. He currently resides with his wife and co-author Cassandra Wolf and their daughter, in Squamish, British Columbia.
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