Tuesday, March 27, 2012

CH. 3 A Simple Model of Memes

           Memes are the cultural expressions of societies, and their content is information. In human societies, memes are often propagated through mass media such as magazines, films, and the internet in addition to word of mouth and tradition. Every discrete concept, mythology, or icon is a meme. “The Beatles” is a meme. Andy Warhol’s iconic poster of Marilyn Monroe is a meme. Football is a meme. Patriotism is a meme—all “ism”s are memes. “The Cross” and “The Crescent” are memes. “Loyalty” and “Honesty” are memes. Indeed, each and every particular idea that a person can know is a meme. Even basic concepts like “chair” and “mother” are memes. Memes, in other words, are the “stuff” of symbolic thought.
Some memes are held in common by most human cultures—the wheel; the ideal model of a caring family; archetypal heroes and villains like the Wise Sage and the Shadow; even universal human values such as liberty and safety. Other memes are exclusive to their particular culture. This especially applies to memes dealing with local traditions, religions, politics, and regional myths.
           Humans are not the only units of consciousness affected by memes. All social aggregations of UCs propagate and utilize memes. Cats, for example, bury their waste because there is a strong waste-burying meme that resonates in all cats. “Dog is man’s best friend” is a shared meme chord continually re-propagated and reenacted by both humans and dogs. “Flying in formation is awesome” may well be a goose meme.  
          Memes can be described as energetic waves of cultural information patterns fueled by repetition or starved by lack of usage. As wave forms, each meme has a distinct vibratory signature, akin to a musical note. Each individual meme can be likened to a string on society’s harp. A single meme is like a single note. A group of related memes is like a chord.
In the example above, "America" is one meme chord and each line is a meme or complex set of memes that contributes to that chord. Each meme chord vibrates to the particular concepts that make it up. UCs who share the same memes are like members of a choir cloaked in the robes of their common meme chords, all vibrating in unison with one another.
We are not all affected by the same memes. Most memes pass us by unnoticed. A meme must be either instinctually acquired (through prenatal karma) or learned in order to be invoked by a unit of consciousness. Once a UC does acquire a meme, it becomes a part of that UC’s unique vibratory bundle. If the UC does not wish to continue holding that meme’s string in its personal bundle of memes and chords, it must detach the string from its grasp.
Some memes are easy to detach because they do not fit in with the UC’s overall bundle of strings and chords. One may, for example, forget the details of a foreign film as soon as it is over because its memes do not bond well with the movie-goer’s personal meme bundle.
Some memes are very difficult to detach once they are acquired because their vibratory pattern is so intense—the glamorous seduction of the cigarette or the chemical allure of the crack pipe, for example. Emotionally evocative memes such as victimhood or jealousy are difficult to detach due to the intense synergistic coupling of thoughts and emotion. In general, unwanted memes must be detached through an effort of will, either through conscious disuse or by trading for a competing, more desirable meme. The Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step meme chord, for example, has successfully replaced alcoholic meme patterns for millions of drinkers.
Another way to detach memes is through advanced meditation techniques whereby the meditator learns to suspend and disassociate from language and habitual patterns of thought. In Hinduism as well as Buddhism, complete meme detachment results in the state of nirvikalpa, true Enlightenment. “Undifferentiated cognition” is another reference to this blissful, meme-free state.
A unit of consciousness may pick up entire chords of associated memes, but it is also common to pick and choose from among a chord’s individual strings. “Happy Marriage,” for example, is a complex meme chord that means different things to different people, depending upon their personal selection of particular strings. One prospective couple may resonate to the “Big Wedding” meme and so expect to invoke that meme at the outset of the Happy Marriage. Another couple may not be holding on to that memetic string and so do not need or want a big wedding. For most couples, the Happy Marriage chord includes children; other couples do not resonate to the offspring meme, so no children are necessary. For many couples, the “Bouncing Baby” meme may be adequately invoked by the “Man’s Best Friend” dog meme. So, while we all have an idea of what “Happy Marriage” means, we each hold a slightly different set of memes that define it. But the bottom line to marital bliss must begin with a couple’s shared and harmonious meme chords.
The memes we cling to are like strings obscuring our Self UC.
The importance of memes to the Simple Explanation philosophy is that a huge part of our personality is shaped by the memes we collect and hold onto. The otherwise pristine nature of our underlying fractal units of consciousness is affected by the memes we hold dear, as well as the memes we despise. We enjoy memes we approve of and we are repelled by memes we disapprove of. The Sanskrit word for these provocative memes is samskara. Samskara is traditionally defined in Yogic philosophy as the habitual thought patterns collected by the ego that interfere with soul consciousness.
Thinking Outside the Box
The memes each of us cling to, both those we like and those we actively dislike, influence our ability to exercise free will in the here and now. When we unthinkingly lock onto a meme or set of memes, it is our belief in those memes that determines how we interpret and respond to our surroundings. Our response may or may not be the best response to a given situation, but it is the only response allowed for by our particular meme bundle. In other words, our meme bundles function  as incoming and outgoing filters.
Literary theorist and philosopher Kenneth Burke called this meme filter a “terministic screen” situated between each person and reality, both selecting and deflecting their perception of the world. Burke said this terministic screen was activated during information exchanges with others and within oneself during self-talk. The filter of our terministic screen blocks unacceptable memes from affecting our comfortable perception of reality.
We see this phenomenon at play every day on the interpersonal level. For example, Person A, whose meme bundle includes a belief that others are "out to get me," will interpret events in a manner that reinforces that meme. The most innocent statement on Person B’s part will activate Person A's "out to get me" meme, even when no such insult was intended or even imagined by Person B. Clearly, Person A's ego is hurt by A’s own meme attachment, not by Person B.
The same meme-filtering mechanism holds true for groups in the form of cultural ideologies, complex bundles of memes shared by members of a group. What is and isn’t allowed in the minds of members is determined by which memes are included and which are excluded from the group’s ideological meme chord.
Because of this, information exchanged between members of different cultures will resonate more strongly with the sender’s memes than with the receiver’s memes.  For example, when an American speaks of “free and democratic elections,” his or her memetic definitions for “free” and “democratic” may differ radically from someone’s of another culture. The extent to which communication may occur between cultures is determined by the permeability of each culture’s terministic screens, and the extent to which they are open to foreign memes.
Another example of delimiting memes occurs 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. If a group thinks outsiders are untrustworthy, then they will not trust any outsider. 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.
Institutional Memes
As an individual UC’s personality is defined by its unique meme bundle, so, too, institutions are defined by their sets of treasured memes. Memes are even more important to an institution than are its members in the sense that members come and go, but memes persist. As President John F. Kennedy put it, “People may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.”
Each and every cultural institution we belong to (family, workplace, church, mosque, tribe, nation, and so on) not only comes with its own bundle of shared memes held in common by its members, it also comes with a filter, Burke’s terministic screen, that limits members from acknowledging or adopting ideologically  incompatible_memes.
 Institutions are defined as much by their excluded memes as they are by their included memes. An exclusive institution holds tightly to the identity provided by its current memes; its border is strong and its filter is powerful. An inclusive institution allows members more latitude in the memes they may hold--its border is less defended, its filter less opaque. An "open-minded" institution allows that there may be memes out there in the larger culture of value; its filter is more permeable.
Conservative institutions hold tightly onto their memes, which are usually formally codified into law. Whether embodied in the rulings of a Supreme Court or issued by a Tribal Chief, these reckoning rods declare the boundaries of the institution’s acceptable memes and are the mirrors by which members define themselves as part of this group rather than that.
Progressive institutions, on the other hand, hold an overarching “inclusive” meme that requires an open and permeable meme boundary that can accommodate diversity of thought and expression. Because of this inclusivity value, open institutions look to their members as living sources of shared memes in preference to codified documents or singular authority figures.
President John F. Kennedy presents a good example of a progressive politician who valued others’ meme. Witness:
“As every past generation has had to disenthrall itself from an inheritance of truisms and stereotypes, so in our time we must move on from the reassuring repetition of stale phrases to a new, difficult but essential confrontation with reality.
“For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived and dishonest—but the myth—persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
John F. Kennedy in his Yale University commencement address (New Haven, Connecticut: June 11, 1962), 5:10-6:08
“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”
John F. Kennedy
“What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.”
John F. Kennedy
          Exoteric and Esoteric Religious Memes
As it is with all groups, the public image of a religious institution is defined by the memes held by or rejected by the members of that institution. The specific "doctrines, dogmas, dissertations, rules, and customs" are the sets of memes commonly held to be true within a given religion, and the specifics of these memes vary from institution to institution. These public memes are known as exoteric memes, and they are easily identified and fairly well understood by most of the institution’s members.
Many exoteric religious memes are shared by members of diverse religions. Religions generally share, for example, belief in an overarching "God" meme chord, and generally agree on many of the lesser-included memes that make up the God chord, such as memes concerning God's omniscience and omnipotence, and the importance of communing with God in prayer.
In Exodus and again in Deuteronomy, the first four of the Ten Commandments lay out the basic God meme of Judaism. The key God meme, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, is known as the “Shema”: "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." Agreement on this basic God chord was so important to the early Hebrews that they were instructed to teach them diligently to their children, to talk of them while sitting in the house, when walking, when lying down, and then again first thing upon rising.  They were also instructed to bind the memes to their hands, on their foreheads between the eyes, and to their gateposts and doors. These containers are known as phylacteries, and they hold within them fundamental Hebrew memes.
In the Christian faith, the “Apostles’ Creed,” professed by most denominations, states the basic Christian memes regularly recited in unison, out loud, by all believers, beginning with, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord;” and ending with acknowledgment of belief in “the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.”
Born-again” Christians go one step further than the Apostle’s Creed in their emphasis of public affirmation of the meme that Jesus Christ is their personal Lord and Savior. Enactment of the “Born-again” meme requires a watershed moment of personal surrender, without which one is not considered “saved” from sin, death, and damnation.
For Muslims, the “Shahada” summarizes the key memes that must be professed to be counted a Muslim: “There is no god but God and Muhammad is His Prophet.” And beyond this basic belief are more key memes. According to the Muslim Voices website, “Someone who becomes a Muslim is also agreeing to accept the six articles of faith in Islam as well as the Five Pillars of the faith.”
Unlike these biblical Judeo-Christian-Islamic religious memes with which most Americans are more or less familiar, Hinduism is an ancient religious tradition with “fuzzy” memes that are difficult to define and exceedingly diffuse. Hinduism is an inclusive religion that allows each member to pick and choose from any number of religious memes as they see fit. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, India’s first Vice President and a respected theologian, defined Hinduism as a process rather than a meme set. He said, "Hinduism is not just a faith. It is the union of reason and intuition that cannot be defined but is only to be experienced.” Wikipedia puts it thusly:
Prominent themes (i.e. memes) in Hindu beliefs include (but are not restricted to), Dharma (ethics/duties), Samsara (The continuing cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth), Karma (action and subsequent reaction), Moksha (liberation from samsara), and the various Yogas (paths or practices).
Hinduism grants absolute and complete freedom of belief and worship. Hinduism conceives the whole world as a single family that deifies the one truth, and therefore it accepts all forms of beliefs and dismisses labels of distinct religions which would imply a division of identity. Hence, Hinduism is devoid of the concepts of apostasy, heresy and blasphemy.
Most Hindus believe in a God meme, Brahma, “Lord of Creation,” but one can be an atheist and still join this most inclusive religion. Because there are no required memes, there is no apostasy, heresy, or blasphemy.
      Taoism is both a philosophy and a religious tradition. As a philosophy, Taoism’s memes primarily stem from an ancient Chinese book called the Tao te Ching. Tao means way, path, or principle, hence the Book of the Way presents memes by which one may live in harmony with natural order. Religious Taoism adds ancestor worship and local traditions and customs, such as divination practices, to the basic philosophical meme chord.    
Buddhism is an exception to the rule in that it does not hold an explicit God meme. This is largely because its founder, Siddhartha Gautama, aka “the Buddha” or “Enlightened One,” realized his central meme to be “Avoidance of Suffering” and not “Worship of God.”  All Buddhist practice and philosophy stems from this single “Avoidance of Suffering” meme chord, referred to as the “Four Noble Truths”: 1. Everyone suffers; 2. Craving causes suffering; 3. Suffering ends when craving ends; 4. Liberation is possible by doing what the Buddha did—by practicing meditation. This is why the Buddha is usually depicted as sitting and meditating. The Buddha himself is not considered a deity but a human guide, an exemplar one who tried and failed at various religious practices until finally achieving liberation through meditation.
Another common meme chord shared by all religions is the importance of leading a moral life, although, as with all memes, the exact details of what it means to be “moral” may differ. However, the “Golden Rule” seems to be one universal moral meme common to all religions’ chords.
Treat others as you wish to be treated.
Morality is a different meme than the “God” meme, so, despite the usual conflation of the God meme chord with the Morality meme, the Morality meme may be held and successfully deployed without reference to any particular religion. In that case, Morality becomes part of the meme chord called Ethics and is considered necessary for the smooth operation of civil society.     
          Despite the many memes religions have in common, it is the exoteric memes they do not share--memes of saints and saviors, official histories, and other idiosyncratic, traditional beliefs--that define them and set them apart. It is the memes they do not share that give rise to the world’s diverse religions, denominations, and sects. People generally stick with comfortable, habitual memes, and are somewhat disinterested in acquiring others’ unfamiliar memes.
          Esoteric memes are less well-known than exoteric memes because they are either so difficult to understand that only advanced devotees can manage, or because they are secrets purposely withheld from all but an inner circle of believers. Secret esoteric memes would include Temple rites and other priestly rituals, and hidden texts that only a select few are allowed to see.
The Simple Explanation differentiates between the intentional withholding of secret memes, and memes that are authentically esoteric. Truly esoteric memes are not secrets withheld from the many and only shared with a few. Authentic esoterica is information that can be personally accessed by any individual, and in that sense is “hidden” only until the individual decides to access it. Yet, despite the free availability of these esoteric memes, relatively few people seek them out.
The good news is that no one can withhold true "communion of the soul with God" from you. This is because there are no particular memes that must be collected in order to reach God, but rather the opposite—memes must be lost. By letting go of habitual memes, one’s governing UC intuitively aligns itself with the metaversal principles embodied by the Universal UC. During these periods of alignment, "firsthand knowledge of Reality" may be glimpsed. In Sanskrit, this intuitive glimpse is called samadhi. When one is able to sustain the meme-suspended state, this is called nirvikalpa samadhi—beyond duality.
If one adopts the Simple Explanation's definition of meme-based vs. intuitive knowledge, then esoteric knowledge of God is truly available to any and every seeker at all times. The only limitation is one’s willingness to suspend egoic attachment to one’s meme bundle long enough for the governing UC to align with the Universal UC.
When all memes are set aside, when thought and language are suspended, one's governing UC remains. This seminal fractal unit of consciousness, the soul, lies beneath the memes. Unencumbered by meme attachments, the person's governing UC aligns with the Universal UC. This condition is called "bliss" in Buddhist and Yogic teachings. "Be still and know that I am God" is how the Bible says it (Psalm 46:10). Verse 16 of the Tao Te Ching says, "Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity," (J. Star translation). To "be still" is to suspend attachment. Intuitive knowledge comes during the still point between the pendulum swings of breath and thought. To "be still" is how we hear God.   
          Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952) taught his followers a “scientific,” Kriya yoga technique reputed to reverse a meditator’s life energy flow away from the body and its distracting sense impressions, redirecting it inward and up through the “third eye,”known as the Kutathsa Chaitanya or Christ Consciousness location between the eyebrows. When mastered, this meditation technique is said to allow direct, intuitive knowledge of "God" or "Reality" – samadhi in Sanskrit. The Simple Explanation calls this a “meme-shedding” technique. 
          The following quote from Paramahansa’s discussion of John 3:1-8 introduces the Kriya meme of what it truly means to be "born again":
"All bona fide revealed religions of the world are based on intuitive knowledge. Each has an exoteric or outer particularity, and an esoteric or inner core. The exoteric aspect is the public image, and includes moral precepts and a body of doctrines, dogmas, dissertations, rules, and customs to guide the general populace of its followers. The esoteric aspect includes methods that focus on actual communion of the soul with God. The exoteric aspect is for the many; the esoteric is for the ardent few. It is the esoteric aspect of religion that leads to intuition, the firsthand knowledge of Reality." (p.240, vol.1)
(The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You. Paramahansa Yogananda, 2004. Self-Realization Fellowship)
The next quote is in reference to Verses 3-4 in the Bhagavad Gita:
 “The life of a scientific yogi, is therefore more balanced. He understands and follows those laws and principles of Nature by which he sees God as the All in all, and thereby consciously releases himself from the limitations of personal attachments to property and relatives and friends, serving the Lord in all human beings irrespective of their creed, race, or condition. By various methods of concentrations, he gradually detaches his ego from the senses and attaches his life force, mind, and ego to the superconscious soul. Then by primary ecstasy he experiences the Kutastha Intelligence in all creation, and by nirvikalpa ecstasy he attains the Spirit beyond phenomena.” (p.842, vol.2)
(God Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita. Paramahansa Yogananda, 1999. Self-Realization Fellowship)
A Simple Explanation of Christianity’s Memes
By this point in the book, you’ve been introduced to a number of Simple Explanation memes, and we’re building up a nice-sized meme chord of shared definitions. We have taken a brief tour of exoteric and esoteric religious memes and the roles these memes play within various religious traditions. We have also learned that several major religious traditions advocate shedding memes as a way of uniting with God, an anti-meme usually called “enlightenment.”
We are now prepared to take a longer look at Christianity utilizing memes from the Simple Explanation philosophy—a practical exercise in translation between one tradition’s meme chord and another’s. If you are already versed in  Christian memes, then here is a way you can make sense of the Simple Explanation using familiar  terminology. If, on the other hand, you are less familiar with Christianity’s meme chord, this translation may help you understand a few of its major memes.
When the model speaks of “the metaverse,” this can be thought of as the Simple Explanation’s fundamental God meme—what the Bible calls God the Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth.  Prior to creating Heaven and Earth, the original ground state of God was an eternally omnipresent, utterly peaceful consciousness:                   “I AM WHO I AM,” (Exodus 3:14).  
When the model says the metaverse “quivered with every organizing principle needed to shape and sustain space and time, energy and mass,” this is God the Son, also called “The Word,” referred to in the Simple Explanation as the "Universal UC" or “Universal Consciousness.”   “In the beginning was The Word, and The Word was with God, and The Word was God.” In the original New Testament Greek, “The Word” is written as Logos, meaning information and principles of organization—The Law. The Sanskrit word for Universal Consciousness is chit. The Simple Explanation credits The Word with not only the memes of Biblical Law, but with all the working Laws of the Universe including physics and math. Prior to the birth of Jesus Christ, Savior, his primary role was Logos, “God’s Law.” Jesus materially embodied the principles of Logos on Earth. Jesus said, “Do not think I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it” (Matthew 5:17).
When the model says that consciousness wrapped itself around our universe and took on a shape, this is God the Holy Spirit, “ananada” in Sanskrit, meaning “joy.”  The Simple Explanation calls this joyful aspect of God the Primordial or Originating Fractal. At the macro scale, the Holy Spirit surrounds our physical space, forming a membrane of consciousness, chit, that holds creation in and the metaverse out. This “shape” of God’s mind is the Universal Unit of Consciousness that knows all there is to know about everything. At the micro level, the Simple Explanation describes the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit in terms of fractal offspring of the Universal UC within every created thing. Thus, the universe is pervaded by joy, from the smallest atom to the highest heights.
 

 

 

The Simple Explanation depicts the Holy Spirit as a torus instead of  the more familiar dove.
When the Bible speaks of a person’s immortal spirit, this refers to the Self’s unit of consciousness (UC), “made in the image of God.” This Self UC is a fractal replica of the Holy Spirit. As King David said concerning his own death: “I--in righteousness, I see Thy face; I am satisfied, in awaking, with Thy form!” (Psalm 17:15).
          According to the New Testament, Jesus the Christ was “fully human” and “fully God.” This means that the UC associated with Jesus of Nazareth was a fully realized copy of the UC of the Holy Spirit, which is another way of saying Jesus never allowed his personal will to contradict the will of God streaming in from the metaverse. As a fully-realized, enlightened UC, Jesus was entirely coherent with God’s will, which is to say, Jesus was without sin. Thus, Jesus never accrued karmic debt. Since Jesus did not live for himself but for God alone, he never enshrouded his earthly UC with human memes and karma.
          Buddhism shares with Christianity a Sanskrit meme called “bodhisattva” which refers to an enlightened being who comes to Earth to free others from samsara (sin) and suffering.  The Nyingma school likens the highest form of bodhisattva to a good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep, as Jesus described himself in John 10:11. Moreover, Mahayana Buddhism holds a meme called pariṇāmanā—merit transfer. In merit transfer, the bodhisattva takes away the sins of his flock, which are washed clean through the bodhisattva’s excess of good karma. John the Baptist proclaimed this same bodhisattva meme when he said of Jesus: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” (John 1:29).
          There are even Hindu sects where Jesus is counted in the lineage of founding gurus, such as Self Realization Fellowship’s Kriya Yoga sect.  Conservative Christians, whose ideological meme chord is closed to other religious ideologies and non-Orthodox Christian memes, believe that Jesus was God’s only begotten bodhisattva, and that He, alone, can perform pariṇāmanā unto salvation.
          When asked his central message, Jesus responded that we were to “Love God and to love one another as we love ourselves” (Luke 10:27). In terms of the Simple Explanation model, God would like us to embrace the information and patterns streaming in from the metaverse whenever we make a decision; when we do this, we are “loving God,” by acting in concert with God’s will. Then, God would like us to love ourselves. This means that we are to love our flesh’s aggregate UCs and do what is best for our organism, as explained in CH. 2. We are also to love our governing Self UC and act with wisdom in concert with God’s will rather than selfishly succumbing to Ego. Finally, we are to take the focus off of ourselves and our trove of memes, and reach out laterally with love and information to our brethren UCs.
          All Christians believe that Jesus came to Earth that we might not perish because of the Law but that we might live life more abundantly (John 10:10). Jesus demonstrated through the example of his life that it is possible to be a fully-realized UC, living moment-by-moment in the service of God’s will. “Be therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). “Believing on Christ for salvation” is the meme chord that says the UC of Jesus can cleanse your UC of sin and the consequences of sin. To be “Born Again” is to make a decision to lay down your personal meme bundle and allow the Universal UC to shine unobstructed through you (“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and stays forever” (1 Peter 1:23). Baptism in Christ is a ritual enactment of washing away your undesired meme chords so that God’s memes may flow through you.
Here is a Simple Translation of The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father from the metaverse, we address you with humility and respect. We invite your plans and principles to inform and bring order to our universe, trusting that your intention for us is best.
We acknowledge that you are the source of all that is needed to nourish and sustain our lives.
We realize that our karmic shortcomings can only be forgiven to the same extent we forgive others for their shortcomings.
We desire to avoid any memes that stand in the way of doing what is best for ourselves and others.
We trust you in all things, for your authority and power transcend this universe, and we are but humble echoes of your perfection.
Amen
Christ, the Word, Logos, chit, Metaversal Law
An Ironic Problem with Religious Memes
          Religious doctrines and dogmas are sets of memes called meme chords. The irony is that, since it is the governing Self UC that seeks union with God (the universal UC), beclouding the Self UC with meme chords seems counterproductive to that aim. Merely surrounding oneself with religious meme chords and performing obligatory works in honor of the memes does not grant access to God.   Here's how the Bible puts it:
21 Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity. Matthew 7
          What does it mean, to "work iniquity"? It means putting your Ego’s desires ahead of God's will (or the metaversal plan). When a fractal UC puts its own well-meaning-but-limited plan into action, karmic debt is created. Seekers after God desire absolution from sin/karma/iniquity. Building even more karmic debt out of Ego-driven religious effort is the last thing the seeker wants.
          Here's how Verse 18 of the Tao Te Ching (Mitchell translation) puts it:
When the Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is morality.
When morality is lost, there is ritual.
Ritual is the husk of true faith, the beginning of chaos.
           This verse describes ritual's fall from grace. The highest state is to be at one with God and God's plan, herein called the Tao. In The Simple Explanation model, the Tao spoken of by Lao Tzu refers to the metaversal information and principles of organization that have informed our universe since the moment before creation. When one loses touch with the universal UC, one loses the Tao's information pipeline. But, says Verse 18, even if your UC has lost its way, you still know goodness when you see it, and your heart may still be in the right place. But, once your heart loses its way, you no longer have true goodness. Morality is what you are left with once love departs. Morality is a system of rules meant to engender Godly behavior in those who no longer personally know God. Once morality is lost, empty ritual takes its place. Ritualistic behavior no longer serves to bring one closer to God. At this stage, the Way to God has become replaced by meaningless gestures. "Ritual is the husk of true faith." Lifeless, dried-up memes have replaced morality, goodness, love, and communion with God. Verse 18 declares this state to be chaotic, anarchic, and entropic, because when the Word of God cannot pass its organizing principles through your Self UC, the opportunity is lost to accomplish whatever part your UC was to play in making things better.
In the pursuit of knowledge, every day something is added.
In the practice of Tao, every day something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things, until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.
True mastery can be gained by letting things go their own way.
It can’t be gained by interfering.
(Tao Te Ching, Verse 48, Stephen Mitchell translation, Harper Collins, 1988)

People believe that the more they know, the better off they and the world will be. However, when we drop memes rather than add them, we allow transcendent patterns of organization and information to work through us. When we make plans and do work according to our limited vision and personal desires, we strain to get things right. Acting only when truly inspired, the metaverse works through us. When a UC does nothing of its own accord, the metaverse can do exactly what needs to be done. Best results arise from inspired action. The anti-meme of “Let go and let God” allows the metaverse to use us in the most efficient manner for the greatest good.
Who Am I After Death?
So far we've established that the "soul" associated with this material body is a perfect fractal replica of the original universal unit of consciousness, albeit obscured by memes.
If, during life, my UC is affected by earthly memes and the aggregated UCs of this physical body (“Whoville,” my "mud," “Meat Mountain”), then what, if anything, affects my UC after this body passes away? The Simple Explanation suggests that the individual "me" that persists beyond death is the pattern of my ongoing karma. If this is the case, then the "me" that continues to influence the fate of the Self UC after death is the holographic wave pattern of all the choices ever made by “my” UC. In life, this karmically-generated vibratory pattern attracts or repels the memes associated with my personal meme bundle. The memes I think of as "me" are not mine, but are drawn to me by my karmic pattern. It is my karmic record that attracts and repels the patterns of memes surrounding my life at any moment.
That the "you" that exists between material incarnations is nothing but your karmic record is rationally proved by one of our simple philosophy’s basic memes: all UCs are fundamentally one and the same when they begin their individuated journey. It follows, then, that "I" develop continually as a result of my choices and the choices of others. "I" am my perfect UC enshrouded in karma and the memes that my karma attracts, including all the UCs that were attracted to this Self UC and became part of this body’s current aggregate.
In Yogic philosophy it is said that an enlightened Yogi has become free of attachments and can therefore perceive the Oneness of all things. The Simple Explanation of this phenomenon is that the Yogi has successfully laid down all memes and can therefore perceive the perfect Self UC stripped of its karmic shroud. Freed of personal memes, the Yogi can align with the Universal UC and step out of personal karma. In this state the Yogi can instantiate God's will without delusion. The same phenomenon is known as "buddhahood" in Buddhism, and "sainthood" in Christianity. According to tradition, these liberated UCs are no longer bound to this material world by their discarded memes and redeemed karma. If they do return to earth, it is in order to help others by sharing love and information for the betterment of all.

A Simple Explanation of Reincarnation and Evolution

          Reincarnation is a meme common to many major world religions and spiritual traditions. Many ancient as well as modern philosophers also incorporate the reincarnation meme into their philosophies. Wikipedia defines reincarnation as "entering the flesh again." Depending upon the particular memes held by one's belief system, it is said that after a human dies they may reenter their next life as a newborn human, or possibly an animal or some other form.
          The Simple Explanation defines reincarnation this way: Death breaks the bonds of a Self UC's current material instantiation, but not its karmic pattern. The freed UC continues its existence at a non-material level until its karmic pattern causes it to reattach to a particular newly instantiating aggregate, at which time it is born again into Creation.
          As just explained, the memes I think of as "me" are not a part of my Self UC, but are drawn to me by my karmic pattern. It is my karmic record that attracts and repels the patterns of memes surrounding my life at any moment. The Simple Explanation suggests that reincarnations are not random events, but the continuation of karmically-mandated cycles of consequence that do not end with death. It is not logical to expect the consequences of one's actions to end at one's death; if you cut off someone's ear and then die, does the person's ear suddenly grow back? No. Consequences of behavior are not affected by the death of the doer. Likewise, the memes we attach to are not our personal property or invention to begin with, therefore it is safe to assume they also continue to live on after death in the shared transpersonal field.
          In this model, “I” consist of my karmic pattern, the memes I hold onto, and the "aggregate UCs of my material body, from the subatomic particles to molecules to cells, all the way up through the UCs of the body’s organ systems" overlaid upon my Self's perfect UC. In terms of reincarnation, it is only the aggregate UCs and their associated material bodies that change from incarnation to incarnation, and even then, some, maybe most of my aggregates may choose to “ride along” with my Self UC, co-evolving along with “me” and my ego.
          In practical terms, here's how I see the reincarnation meme playing out. This person, Cyd, is composed of a Self UC that is a fractal replication of the Universal UC, and virtually identical to the Universal UC. Overlaid upon the Self UC is Cyd's personality, which is largely defined by the memes Cyd holds onto, plus Cyd's karmic record which inclines Cyd's choices this way and that, plus Cyd's physical body and its desires and limitations.
          When this particular physical body is no longer able to sustain the constellation of UCs that make up "Cyd," this particular hierarchical collection of UCs will disband their union, and all UCs more complex than the molecular level will also "die" along with the governing Self UC. This means that at death, not just one soul passes away, but the souls of millions of aggregate UCs, too. (The molecular, atomic, sub-atomic UCs do not pass on at this time, because they are still able to do their respective jobs after the organism dies.)
          Every newly instantiating piece of creation needs a UC to oversee its life. At every conception, be it a leaf or a seed, a cell, an organ, or an egg, perhaps even a planet or a galaxy, nature's karmic computer attaches a governing UC. "Cyd's" UC will probably cycle into another newly aggregated body of UCs who all, in the most perfect way imaginable, "deserve" one another. This new Cyd will resemble old Cyd to the extent that new Cyd adopts old Cyd's memes.
          These memes will be drawn to new Cyd by way of old Cyd's karma, which attracts some memes and repels others. Cyd's new body may also carry some physical traits forward from the previous life in the form of epigenetic patterns that cause genetic traits to turn off and on, as karmically determined. It's likely that new Cyd will be a human, not just because Cyd was human before but, more persuasively, because Cyd's particular karma and meme bundles best instantiate a human form. (But if Cyd loved to swim and surf and thought about surfing nonstop and spent all her time on the water, she might as well reincarnate as a porpoise, and she very well could.)
          This reincarnation schema also provides a Simple Explanation of evolution. Here’s how it works: all of our UCs started out as stardust from the original stars that populated the cosmos soon after its inception. Some UCs that became stellar gas may still be inhabiting their original elemental molecules in the intergalactic backwater of some far flung gaseous clouds, but most UCs have moved on to occupy countless forms in the last 14 billion years.
          The most ambitious UCs continue to find themselves occupying larger and more complex physical forms. Those with the strongest wills eventually find themselves swimming in some primordial soup or another, perhaps here on planet Earth. Some of the UCs that started in Earth’s soup have remained in the soup, never attaching themselves to anything more complex than a single-celled organism. The most ambitious little life forms found themselves returning to slightly more sophisticated organisms with each incarnation. Lessons learned are carried forward, always incarnating more and more complex structures and occasionally jumping to a more complex hierarchical level, driving the evolution of planetary life via memes accrued through karma.
Was Cyd’s Self UC ever a single-celled organism? Probably was, beginning about 4.5 billion years ago.
 Was Cyd’s Self UC ever a jellyfish? Good chance it was, as the jellyfish is the oldest multiorgan animal on Earth, swimming our seas for the past 700 million years.
 Was Cyd’s Self UC ever a dinosaur? Well, probably not; I’d imagine the dinosaur memes and karma informed the development of reptiles and birds, not Cyd’s line.
 Was Cyd’s governing UC ever a lemur? Or a chimpanzee? Or an Australopithecus? Quite  possibly, since their proto-human memes and karma would have informed human development, and the Self UC is attracted to familiar patterns.
          In the Simple Explanation’s evolutionary model, no meme war is needed between natural selection and creationism, science and religion. The Simple Explanation meme proposes that everything in the cosmos is created through metaversal principles embodied in all units of consciousness, and that each UC evolves according to inclination and ability, through established patterns of meme acquisition and adaptation, and the utterly fair and impartial mechanism of karma.
          In the Simple Explanation’s evolutionary schema, Cyd is currently a human and probably has been for a very long time. Is Cyd more evolved than her dogs?
Not really. The family dogs are at the same level of hierarchical sophistication as the humans. The dogs’ billions of aggregate UCs and their two Self UCs have all made decisions every step along the way that steered them into this life as these two dogs. Every governing UC is an integral part of one aggregate or another, hierarchically upline and downline. Every slot needs to be filled. The most you could say of Cyd’s state of evolution is that ambitious meme collectors evolve into ever more complex instantiations, and Cyd’s UC and those of her aggregate UCs are attached to some highly ambitious collections of memes. But whether or not this is anything to brag about is debatable.

The “Perennial Philosophy” Meme

          One day a philosopher friend of mine said of the Simple Explanation, "Excellent retelling of the Perennial Philosophy!" I was unfamiliar with the expression "Perennial Philosophy," so I looked it up on Wikipedia. Here's their essential definition:
Perennial philosophy is the philosophical concept which states that each of the world’s religious traditions share a single truth. Perennial philosophy asserts that there is a single divine foundation of all religious knowledge, referred to as the universal truth. Each world religion, independent of its cultural or historical context, is simply a different interpretation of this knowledge...
          Yes, my friend was right. The Simple Explanation is all about identifying the universal truths embedded underneath ages of confusing memetic overlays. So, just what are these basic memes all traditions share, and what is the Simple Explanation of these memes?
The first perennial meme is this: There is a Divine Reality underpinning everything; without This, no thing and no one would exist.
Here is how the Simple Explanation puts it:
This Divine Reality may be directly perceived under certain conditions, through prayer, meditation, mystic revelation, near-death experiences, religious ecstasy, inspired ritual, super-rational intuition, or visionary psychedelic drugs.
Humans possess a dual nature: the little, egoic "me" of day-to-day living, and a true Self that reflects the Divine Reality.
Egoic "me" is selfish, competitive, single-minded, short-sighted, meme-bound.
Non-egoic Self reaches out to others with love, aid, and information.
People long to reunite with that divine Reality from whence they came. Various traditions call this salvation, enlightenment, Self-realization, Buddhahood. The Simple Explanation describes it as aligning your Self UC with the Universal UC.
Unification is only possible through denial of the earthly self and identification with divine Reality. The Simple Explanation calls this the “anti-meme,” as it recommends dropping memes in order to apprehend reality here and now.
          Renowned English philosopher and writer, Aldous Huxley, wrote an excellent book on the topic in 1944 called The Perennial Philosophy, An Interpretation of the Great Mystics East and West. Huxley’s descriptions fit in perfectly with the Simple Explanation, so if you would like to read more about the Perennial Philosophy, I'd recommend Huxley's book.

Shed Unwanted Memes Here! Now!

          According to the Simple Explanation, the memes we believe in and cling to are like threads draped over our souls, obscuring our perfect Self UC and filtering our awareness of here and now. If my Self UC is a perfect fractal expression of the primordial Universal UC, then my personal meme bundle is the unique garment woven by my mind out of life's experiences and sustained by my Ego as personal identity.
          Once you acquire a meme, it becomes part of your identity. If you would rather not hold that meme in your personal bundle of strings and chords, you need to detach it from your bundle.
 Some memes fall away of their own accord through disuse.
• Other memes must be consciously detached and laid aside.
• Some memes are pernicious; we call the behaviors associated with them addictions.
• Emotionally evocative memes such as victimhood or jealousy are difficult to detach due to the intense synergistic coupling of thoughts and emotions.
          In the worldly course of events, unwanted memes must be detached through an effort of will, either through conscious disuse or by acquiring a competing, more desirable meme. Therapies such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and Rational Emotive Therapy may help. Past-Life Hypnosis is an especially useful tool for detaching troublesome past life memes. Memes may also be surrendered to one's Higher Power through prayer and meditation. Serenity is achieved as memes are surrendered.
          Here, now, you may lay down that unwanted meme. If you find yourself accidentally carrying it around again, lay it down again. If you notice yourself invoking that meme out of habit, good for you for noticing! Now, lay it down again. You may need to lay down some neighboring memes as well, if their vibrations are invoking that pernicious meme in you.
          No need for guilt, dismay, or despair. As the old song advises, just “pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.” Nature does not bemoan change. There is no clinging to the past, wishing things had gone differently. Nature always looks around without expectation other than how best to instantiate metaversal patterns here and now. Given these particular conditions, what can I do now to be of most use? Onward and upward!

4 comments:

  1. This is formatted much better in the book itself, with even more illustrations. The length of this chapter is stretching the capability of the blogger program.

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  2. Working on Chapter 4 now, "Why the Toroids?" This chapter should go quickly; hopefully it will be posted before the summer busy season kicks into gear.

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  3. OMW. I wish to know more about releasing myself from memes and finding my true "use". I guess it's just my ego, but i feel resistant to the idea that i am just a tool, or only here to pay for my karma. Also, I'm terrified of poverty and ironically find myself in a financially stressed situation for quite a few years now. I wish to be free. Why do i have all these ambitions toward wealth, if i have realized that wealth is not necessarily freedom? is it part of my function? i guess i'll have to learn to meditate more in order to reveal these answers for myself. Excellent work. Thank you so much. You have helped me alot. You bring everything i've learnt about spirituality in harmony with physicality. I'm just tired of being "in between" phases and you have guided me toward meditation as a possible resource for finding solutions. Thank you again for all your work. If there is anything i can do for you please do not hesitate to email me @: kosmik_fead@yahoo.com. I would love to be of service to you.

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  4. Markus, thank you for your comments. You are not only a tool, you are a fractal iteration of the master formula. Some call that a "son of God." As such, you are as dear to the universe as it is to itself.
    As to your purpose, here's how I think of it-- at every place and every time, things can go well or they can go poorly. Wherever you find yourself, you can be part of the solution or part of the problem. You can help to fulfill God's purpose (or the universal plan if you prefer) or you can advance your own personal agenda instead.
    Yes, a good method for discovering how to discern the best course at any place and time is through meditation. Through meditation you first learn to observe the small talk that fills your head. Then you learn to identify with the observer rather than the chatter. Once you can remain in the observer, you can more clearly see the best actions to take throughout the day. This path usually takes time, but time is not required.
    Have you studied the life of Ghandi? He was not terrified of poverty. He took a vow of poverty. Perhaps you can set down the fear meme and replace it with Ghandi's meme. Then you would find joy in poverty rather than pain.
    Much love to you, and thank you for your offer of service.

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