Awakened by Darkness:

When Evil Becomes Your Father


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6″ x 9″  ~  596 pages  ~  23 photographs

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Review of Awakened by Darkness
by Kendra Crossen Burroughs

This amazing work by Paul Levy has become one of my favorite books.   

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Awakened by Darkness is Paul Levy’s personal story of how he managed to come through extreme psychological abuse from an emotionally disturbed father to not only find his inner voice, creative spirit and life’s work, but a deeper sense of wholeness as well. This is the in-depth story of Paul’s descent into the depths of insanity and his encounter with archetypal darkness and evil, only to come out stronger than before, with creative gifts that can help others who are struggling with the evil of psychological trauma and abuse. 

At age 24, the intensity of the emotional abuse from his father catalyzed a life-transforming spiritual awakening, which, because it wasn’t recognized as such, got Paul hospitalized and (mis)diagnosed by psychiatry as having a mental illness. This is the story of how Paul eventually freed himself from both his dysfunctional family as well as from the toxicity of psychiatry – in a dream come true, he now has psychiatrists consulting with him. Paul’s story illumines how the deeper archetype of the wounded healer/shaman underlies and in-forms all healing procedures, be they personal or collective. Though this is Paul’s unique story, in a sense it has a universal aspect, for it is all of our story—relevant to all types of trauma—as we attempt to shed light on and creatively bring forth the hidden gifts encoded within the darkness that is to be found both out in the world and within ourselves. 

In Awakened by Darkness I flesh out the ideas I wrote about in Dispelling Wetiko by adding a personal dimension, offering myself as my own case study so as to give the subject matter living form. The story of how the diabolical wetiko virus played out in my family, as well as within my own mind, while simultaneously being synchronistically mirrored by the outside world can help to illumine how this insidious mind virus is playing itself out in each of our lives, as well as within the world at large. I’ve been waiting my whole life to tell my story and write this book; I’ve finally found the words.
— Paul Levy


Novelist Ernest Hemingway said, ‘The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.’ In Awakened by Darkness, Paul Levy shares his journey of emergence from brokenness stronger than before, following a horrific encounter with evil. This powerful, eloquent book is a devastating critique of our understanding of the origins of mental illness and how to treat them, as well as a portrait of the indomitable nature of the human spirit. Awakened by Darkness should be required reading for anyone with any pretensions toward psychology or psychiatry.
— Larry Dossey, MD
Author of One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters
Paul Levy takes us on a journey into the heart of darkness. As powerful an exploration of evil as I can remember reading in all my days. This is a towering achievement.
— Whitley Strieber
Author of Communion
Having been fearless, indefatigable, and piercingly brilliant in his exposures and analyses of Wetiko, ‘the greatest epidemic sickness known to humanity,’ Paul Levy now carries his study of the evil that may destroy the world one step farther—into his own family. Families are petri dishes for Wetiko, unknowingly harboring the virus, watering it with smiles, causing it to grow in virulence until its power is immense and its destructiveness entire. Paul Levy’s own father carried the virus, and Levy himself experienced the scalding, irradiating, fierce, utterly destructive force of it when his father’s sickness was projected onto him. By sheer strength, stamina, insight, and will, Levy survived. And now he brings us the story of what he went through, and therefore also the story of what our world is going through. With the depth of Freud and Jung, the wisdom of Buddha, the powerful dramatic force of Dostoyevsky, Paul Levy offers up to us a biography that, if we’re able to read it right, will greatly help us in our pressing and universal struggle for sanity and survival.
— Eric Larson
Author of A Nation Gone Blind and professor emeritus at John Jay College of Criminal Justice
With this inspiring book, Paul Levy continues his crucial exploration of the insanity of this culture, as well as ways to regain our sanity.
— Derrick Jensen
Author of A Language Older than Words
In creatively unfolding the process of having an abusive father ‘as if’ it were a dream, Paul Levy has found his authentic voice and transformed a painful problem into beneficial ideas that can help everyone. Thank you, Paul, for exploring one of the most important of all possible topics – how darkness can awaken us. The world needs this!
— Dr. Arny Mindell
Founder of Process-Oriented Psychology
This book is a not only a magnificent examination of the nature of evil, it is an essential one especially in these chaotic times. Evil does exist. It is a very real force. And Paul Levy has the courage to describe it’s subtle behavior within our psyches as well as our lives. Brilliantly done.
— Caroline Myss
Author of Anatomy of the Spirit
While this book may not be for everyone, it metabolizes childhood abuse and psychiatric misconduct with unparalleled consciousness, remarkable accountability, and extremely hard-won wisdom. Paul Levy invites the reader to move with him beyond the paralysis of victimization to the empowerment of seizing and savoring the opportunity for transformation inherent in all human suffering.
— Carolyn Baker, Ph.D.
Author of Love In The Age of Ecological Apocalypse: Cultivating The Relationships We Need To Thrive and Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths For Turbulent Times
Awakened by Darkness is a compelling exploration of the darkest recesses of the human mind. This heart-felt story of Paul’s alchemical breakthrough into spiritual dimensions is a model for embracing profound awareness and freedom. His journey is the story of his emergence as a wounded healer, a shaman who heals the collective. Read this book if you want to contemplate the dark aspects of human behavior, a task I believe is needed to discover why our planet is in dire straits after centuries of human abuse.
— Barbara Hand Clow
Author of Awakening the Planetary Mind: Beyond the Trauma of the Past to a New Era of Creativity
In Paul Levy’s stunning new book, the question of ‘Does Primal Evil Exist?’ leaps free of academic discourse and positions itself directly in the face and psyche of the reader. Awakened by Darkness: When Evil Becomes Your Father would become almost too depressing to handle if it were not for the pilgrim soul within the author that struggles always to bring forth his inner Shaman and to employ the wisdom of many master teachers and many spiritual and psychic paths. Paul Levy is to be praised for his courage in sharing his personal battle with the persistent forces of Darkness. Levy offers hope to all fellow pilgrims with his detailed metaphysical battle plans to keep evil at bay in their own lives.
— Brad Steiger
Author of numerous books on the paranormal and the spiritual