“Hi, Ren” Examined (Pt. 3: The Psychology)
Note: This is Part III in a three-part series on musician Ren Gill, his musical and visual masterpiece “Hi, Ren,” and the impact he is having on people. Part I was an overview, Part II was focused on the Reaction Videos to “Hi, Ren,” and this, part III, examines the deeper psychological and spiritual meaning of “Hi, Ren” through the Native American concept of Wetiko.
An Overview of Wetiko and How “Hi, Ren” Is a Blueprint For Understanding It
I believe “Hi, Ren,” by British musician Ren Gill, is a musical and visual masterpiece that is breaking open the hearts of those who engage with it. Like any profound work of art, it can be approached from a multitude of perspectives. In this post, I’m focusing on the lyrics of the song to examine its psychological and spiritual meaning through the lens of Wetiko, a term drawn from Native American cultures and defined by author and shamanic healer Paul Levy as a “contagious psycho-spiritual disease of the soul.”
Levy has written three books and countless articles on Wetiko, and a fourth book is in the works, so narrowing it down is a huge challenge. However, humans around the world and throughout time have attempted to name it: the Devil of Christianity, Iblis in Islam, the Shadow of Carl G. Jung are just a few.
In my first “Hi, Ren” post, I wrote that “In some ways, it’s almost like Wetiko comes pre-packaged with the operating system of human consciousness” and that “when Ren does his Dark side voice, that is the voice of Wetiko. Its purpose is to take over our consciousness, to use humanity as a vehicle for destruction and chaos.”
In Levy’s article, “Wetiko in a Nutshell,” he writes,
Wetiko disease is, in its essence, to have fallen into a state of mistaken identity, and the best medicine for wetiko is to know who we are. (emphasis mine)
Our true nature, our true identity — who we really are — is impervious to wetiko’s pernicious influence. Wetiko can’t take over, possess or have any effect on our true nature, which is not an object that can be manipulated or possessed by…