So in the last post we said that memes can only flourish because of your belief that they are true. And when you become programmed with a meme complex like religion, political party affiliation or a conspiracy theory, you are no longer capable of rational thought on the subject.
Your challenge was to determine how you fight memes and know when you’re thinking for yourself. It’s worth a look back at the comments in the last post for some fascinating insights.
You can counteract negative memes you believe are harmful by spreading ideas that you think are positive and important. Which is exactly what I am doing with this blog, as Zhannur correctly noted. I’m telling you the truth as I know it.
But there’s the problem. Truth. What is it? Who has it?
In his book, “Virus of the Mind,” Richard Brodie says, “Labeling a meme true lodges it in your programming and eliminates your conscious ability to choose your own memes. Once some authority convinces you something is true or right, or something you should do, you are effectively programmed. If you realize that there are only half-truths—that the truth of any meme depends on the context in which it exists—you have a powerful weapon against the programming of mind viruses.”
This blog is filled with memes that I am trying to infect you with. I happen to think that they are good memes, and they are my truth. But as soon as you accept what I say as truth, you are now programmed, and unable to question. That is why it is so important that you remain open to ferociously question everything.
Mind viruses breed especially well in situations where you are obeying authority of any kind. That might be your boss, commanding officer, a doctor’s instructions, or an edict from the government. Memes are very proficient at taking instruction-obeying mechanisms, and co-opting them.
A perfect example came yesterday with the trial of Kaing Guek Eav, a former teacher who oversaw the torture and execution of 14,000 prisoners at a Cambodian prison. The court said in imposing his sentence that they took into account the coercive environment of the Khmer Rouge period.
You can see parallels in the excesses of the Bush administration, the corporate culture at Enron, the Nazis, Bernie Madoff’s pyramid, the Vatican molestation scandal, and dozens of similar situations where basically good people completely lost their moral compass in the face of a meme complex.
Oh and guess what? It also works the other way…
If you are an automatic rebel, you are just as predictable, and extremely susceptible to falling victim to programming from mind viruses.
Coke Zero wants you to believe their product is actually healthy for you. Budweiser wants you to believe drinking their beer makes you popular. Georgio wants you to believe if you buy his underwear, your body will look like Cristiano Ronaldo’s.
Organized religion wants you to believe it’s spiritual to be poor. Your government wants you to believe that anyone that questions its power is a terrorist. The terrorists want you to believe they kill people because it is God’s work. I want you to believe they’re all full of shit.
So where does that leave you?
Will you allow memes to control your development, without regard for your health, happiness and highest good? Or will you keep a critical thinking, rational mind, and control your own destiny?
To do this, you must question everything, even and especially, the “truths” that you hold most dear. So how you doing on that?