Thursday, February 2, 2012

Memes and Problem-Solving

A huge part of our personality is shaped by the memes we hold dear, as well as the memes we hate. We enjoy memes we approve of and we are disgusted by memes we disapprove of. The Sanskrit word for these provocative memes is samskara.

The memes we each cling to, both the ones we like and ones we don't like, influence our ability to exercise free will in the here and now. When one unthinkingly locks onto a meme or set of memes, it is our belief in the memes that determines how we will interpret our surroundings and consequently how we respond. Our response may or may not be the best response to a situation, but it is the only one the meme bundle allows.

During problem-solving, the more tightly held one's memes are, the fewer solutions will present themselves. If you think only a hammer will drive a nail, you will not even consider the flat side of the heavy wrench lying nearby. The ability to consider solutions "outside the box" and to engage in "lateral thinking" comes about through nonattachment to the "shoulds" and "oughts" of how things work. One must be willing to set aside treasured beliefs in order to perceive memes outside one's own bundle and thereby discover fresh solutions.

"Thinking outside the box" requires one to let go of treasured memes so that
 a fresh solution may present itself from the wider world of memes

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