photo by axinia
I must admit I just love that theory of memes: “Memes are contagious ideas, all competing for a share of our mind in a kind of Darwinian selection. As memes evolve, they become better and better at distracting and diverting us from whatever we’d really like to be doing with our lives.” Blogging, by the way – is one of the most favorite tools of memes today.
Meme is a kind of a mental virus that spreads aroud – Memes are habits, skills, songs, stories, or any other kind of information that is copied from person to person. Memes, like genes, are replicators. That is, they are information that is copied with variation and selection. Because only some of the variants survive, memes (and hence human cultures) evolve. Memes are copied by imitation, teaching and other methods, and they compete for space in our memories and for the chance to be copied again. Large groups of memes that are copied and passed on together are called co-adapted meme complexes, or memeplexes.
Fascinating, right? It seems to be just a perfect explanation how actually the whole mankind functions… Exept for one thing which I can never agree with – Spirituality. At least not in the true sence of it.
One memetic expert says: “Some memes are almost entirely exploitative, or viral, in nature, including chain letters and e-mail viruses. These consist of a “copy-me” instruction backed up with threats and promises. Religions have a similar structure and this is why Dawkins refers to them as ‘viruses of the mind’. Many religions threaten hell and damnation, promise heaven or salvation, and insist that their followers pass on their beliefs to others. This ensures the survival of the memeplex. Other viral memes include alternative therapies that don’t work, and new age fads and cults. Relatively harmless memes include children’s games, urban legends and popular songs, all of which can spread like infections.” And I agree to 100%!
However there is something what goes beyond any meme – this is the truly spiritual experience, which is beyond mind. This is something that can not be experienced “as a virus”, for it is too personal. And this is something one can not imagine/visualise/get convinced of, only experience – this is the deep and elevating expereince of self-realisation. Something you can not copy untill you have reached there…
Memes are everywhere, we use them and we are abused by them. But there is a way to escape!