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?
I love the concept of the meme being true to context...this goes with many types of informatoin. Take vaccination for example...from a public health perspective it's a great idea, you can show in numberous studies who those who are vaccinated have less rates of the specific disease. However from an indivdiual and optimum health potential you subject yourself to preservative toxins as well as potential imbalances in your immunity that can lead to autoimmune problems and hypersensitivity to foods, smells, etc throughout life.
They forgot to tell me about those preservatives and potential side effects when I got the H1N1, seasonal flu, and MMR ( measles,mumps, rubella) shots earlier this year.
Are there any unorganized religions? Two or three of anything... organized.
Recently I uncovered a long standing meme that in effect owned me. Seeing it has revealed an entire series of the damn things.
I believe that trust is something I give and in the giving the opportunity trust is, trust may appear. You can count on your trust being violated however. The concept that people must earn your trust is not trust but some kind of exchange in value transaction.
Great... and in reality who and what we trust is based on some meme series we have picked up along the way. Notice how many advertisements are mostly beautiful women? I recently discovered there are subsets in my mind based on a belief that anyone going through experiences like I have gives them extra value for the trust virus. If I know you lived aboard submarines like I did that grants you special privileges in my willingness to trust you. If you were on any of the boats I was, more trustworthiness; if you had the same training in nuclear energy, more trustworthiness; if you are from the Midwest of North America, if you attended the same schools as me. Heck if you have ever been to Thief River Falls you get 10 bonus points for trustworthy!
It’s like there is word tattooed on my forehead in near invisible ink ‘sucker’ and a balloon over my head filled with every item stating “who you should pretend to be to fleece this deluded dimwit.”
I know to be a bit more vigilant now. However I am in this for the adventure and there is nothing more adventurous than surviving yet another disaster. Human Being is nothing more than the Universes most interesting survival machine.
Actually what you describe is a very common experience. And both con artists and co-dependent people know how to use this against you!
One of the biggest problems with honest people is that they think everyone else is honest. So they too easily trust others. They have to lose this naiitivity and realize only a small percentage of people are actually honest and must be on their guard for just about everybody. When I deal with people, I have to assume they are dishonest and protect myself from any possible eventuality.
Well, If they did not trust me, I trust them first and prove them that I am a person of value..
Great Post Randy. The wisest counsel I ever recieved was from one of my Commanding Officer's while serving as a young officer aboard a Naval ship. He said, "Remember, perception is truth." This lesson has served me well not only in my efforts to construct my actions and words in such a way that conveys the truth I intend, but in questioning the basis for my own perceptions.
In a way, the light sentencing by the Cambodian Court justified a meme. Hatred of fellow man is a meme. It is a learned trait, programmed into the subconsious. It is only overcome by independent and critical thought. Look at the Court findings below for example:
"In carrying out his functions, he showed a high degree of efficiency and zeal," the judges wrote. "He worked tirelessly to ensure that S-21 ran as efficiently as possible and did so out of unquestioning loyalty to his superiors." They said he signed off on all executions and was often present when interrogators used torture to extract confessions, including pulling out prisoners' toenails, administering electric shocks, and waterboarding. Sometimes he even took part.
Now the question to ask ourselves is: If we had the person or persons, who could deliver us the doer's of evil upon us, could we be Keing Guek Eav for a day? I guess that would involve some critical thought in which we might find out the truth about the truth.
The Shocking Truth About the Truth is that this is one of the biggest memes of all:
"Truth. What is it? Who has it?"
Alexander touched on a great meme, which is that of Western medicine. I myself have deprogrammed the barrage of statements the so-called 'authority figures' make where health is concerned. If they were true, the list of side effects of the drugs they recommend would not be longer than the minor benefits received.
As to how I discern which is true for me, I would say that I do my best to look through an objective eye. If something resonates with my soul, I'll consider it. For example I resonate very closely with much of what Wattles says in "Think and Grow Rich". The fact that the Universe is infinite and that there's an infinite flow of abundance all around us makes total sense. All I have to do is look around and experience it! I see the logic, it makes sense, so I agree. End of story.
Western medicine is too narrowly focused on FDA aprroved drugs to treat illnesses that were likely acquired by poor eating habits. They don't seem interested in proven natural remedies. I knew someone who secretly took ginseng and flax seed oil (did not tell their doctor) during chemotherapy and did not suffer the severe side effects. Western Medicine falls short on prevention by educating people not to eat refined starch, sugar, and saturated fat.
Oops.. Sorry. I meant Wattles "The Science of Getting Rich". That's what happens when my mind is going faster than my fingers, LOL.
Christians blowing up workers in an abortion clinic to make a point that they shouldn't kill fetuses. That has got to be some kind of a meme. I keep finding those little thoughts that creep up from underneath when I least expect it. They are almost always tied to some false belief that doesn't serve me well anymore. They are decreasing as I move forward in my thinking positively.
Memes work because they are tied to some fear,shame,guilt or other negative emotions.
A mind-expanding read Randy.
My meme's seem to come and go with my emotions.
When I have peace of mind I tend to see things as they are. When agitated, I travel to meme'ville.
Just today I was in a rather vociferous mood. I saw one thing: me. And when you just see you the meme's are in full effect. It's difficult to see things as they are when the perceiver can't see straight.
When I am able to quiet my mind and calm down the meme's generally subside.
Great food for thought, Randy. My problem stems from how endemic (if not pandemic) these memes are with nearly everyone else, though. Example: "The economy is bad" is a convenient, pervasive excuse for people to a) resist hiring and/or paying quality employees, b) consider new methods or ways of thinking, and c) exploit situations (in my case, never seeing a raise again in my current position).
I realize this particular blog post is geared toward self-reflection and assessment, but how can you use it to counter those authority figures that have pretty much duped the masses?
"Those authority figures that have pretty much duped the masses," have spent well over $100 million during the last 15 years developing powerful propaganda capabilities. They are very good at what they do and disciplined enough to stay on the same simple messages.
OTOH, most of their opponents (individually) believe that their superior intellect and moral righteousness will win out against the opposing party – and each other. Thus, they confuse most of the electorate. And, when people are confused they most often react negatively.
What I get for posting before proofreading my previous comment: I meant people NOT considering new ideas or approaches.
My working definition of "trust" is: What you believe to be total disclosure.
While there are plenty of liars, grifters, con-men /women in the world, most of them can easily be detected by the average person's intuition. Intuition can also detect a truth-teller.
See "Power vs. Force" by Dr. David Hawkins.
However, many people "do not believe" (meme) in intuition. Instead, they use logic to determine whether someone is trustworthy, i. e. Bush, Cheney and Madoff.
My research indicates that most top producing salespeople engage in total disclosure. For many of them it is simply pragmatic; not necessarily a moral (meme) issue.
I evaluate my truth based on how I feel about something. I've learnt to trust my instincts - my mind is not always reliable as it is always being programmed subliminally. I don't remember when or where I got this - but the truth of anything to me is defined by whether it is powered by love or fear. And for the purest definition of what love is, i go back to the bible although I am not a Christian, to verse 1 Corinthians 13. That is where I've finally dropped my anchor to sift through the memes' of the world. Real truth has an unmistakable peace about it. This is really a thought-provoking post. Thanks for sharing your truth!
Every one have their own thruth reasoned on what wiewpoint they have and available information. Then there can be lack of information or too much of it, so it falsifies the picture. And is the information comming from a reliable source or is it "through the grape wine", and a lot of other aspects.
But the only thing that can be true is what is true for you.
Wish there was a mind virus that goes into my mind which would make me wealthy. That would be great.
I just was watching a movie on this subject, probably you have heard of it: Zeitgeistmovie. I totally agree with you the one always has to be open, but critical at the same time.
I was born and raised in a very closed community where religion took a big part of our education. I think that especially in this parts of society people are very 'unopen' to questioning everything. It's like taking little steps, where the eyes go open a little bit with every part of new information exposed to.
What is your advice how to bring up this subjects in discussions. I'm asking this because when I try to bring up this kind of subject it is often like I am being blasfemish to them.
Wonderful discussion and sharing. The underlying psychology is fascinating.
It has taken me till mid-life to "wake-up" to how manipulated we all are and have been by our society, politicians, and influencers.
My goal in life is to be the best person I can be, listen to my intuitions & perceptions, and be a blessing to those around me.
I used to get SO pissed at people about all sorts of things. Then, slowly, after re-wiring my brain (with lots of help from you), I now don't get pissed but think, 'this is pushing a belief button somewhere, somehow. Slow it down and examine it.'
Our emotions are amazing indicators of our beliefs. Especially the 'negative' emotions; anger, frustration, and so on are letting us know there is an opportunity present.
These days I look forward to my buttons being pushed by people. I really do! Because i know it's yet another opportunity for me to expand and grow.
So bring it on! lol...
I see the world is full of memes. They are ideas and conventions which we follow without question. Salt and Pepper on the table is a meme. You do not need extra sodium with your food (if you eat properly) but Marco Polo brought that custom back with him and we've been duped ever since. The habit of watching TV is a meme. Believing the advertizing you see is a meme. An $80 jar of face cream will help you look younger is a meme. Government officials acting in the best interest of their country is a meme. Accepting what you read in the newspaper is a meme ( 90% of it is BS and 10% is truth, but good luck discerning which is which ). Financial advisors giving you advice in your best interest is a meme. Buying a house a mortgaging your life away is a meme. We live in a democracy is a meme. Holy Mackeral ! Where is the truth in all this? You have to be an objectivist and see the world as it is.
Critical thinking and rational mind are way to perfect life!!!
Thank You for getting me into thinking over my life, all the things and people around, again and again!!!
My father told me ,"always consider the source" of any info. Btw, what's a meme?
"I want you to believe they’re all full of shit." 🙂 That's exactly how I think about all of them. I went about removing my mind viruses like this:
1) Listen to the rational analysis on my religion from others and see how ridiculous the foundation of my religion is setup on.
2) Listen to the rational analysis on others religion and see how ridiculous the foundation of their religion is setup as well.
3) Listen to Stephen Hawking's 'Theory of Everything' and take a look at Behind the Scenes working of 'Big Bang'
4) Come to my own conclusion on how the world runs based on the natural laws and see how I could acheive my goals by becoming in alignment with these laws
5) Do what I want and live my life and SMILE BIG!!