January 26, 2006

Memetic Thought-Forms

by Dean Ramsden 2004 Dean Ramsden is one of those rare healers who truly helps transform your life. He owns a unique and powerful command of energy dynamics and knowledge of healing the human spirit.
The biological concept of memes, first coined by Richard Dawkins in his book, "The Selfish Gene" (1976), has been proposed as the evolutionary medium whereby ideas and thoughts are transferred from individual to individual, similar in function to genes. To the Relational Energy Healer these concepts parallel the esoteric knowledge of thought-forms: the psycho-emotional unit of energy produced and utilized by all human beings. My own studies of thought-forms spans over fifteen years, including study of the work of Daskalos, the Cypriot Teacher popularized by Markides in his book, The Magus of Strovolos (1985). Go here for an article I wrote for BBSH students on this subject (1995).
Many of us are able to accept the pre-modern concept of supernatural projection of a negative intention. In movies or books we see the evil sorcerer or witch harness esoteric dark forces to project his or her mind into the world. It is only one more step beyond this for us to accept that we, too, are full-time sorcerers, albeit unconscious ones. Every time we invest emotional or mental energy towards a person or a goal we are producing thought-forms. I have combined the ancient and modern ideas of thought-forms into the term memetic thought-forms. Along with the structured attachment of chakra cords memetic thought-forms are the invisible way in which we transmit - and receive - shared consciousness with the world around us.
Consider memetic thought-forms as the energy consciousness of an idea being a form of life! Remember a song you could not get out of your head for days? In order for that song thought-form to get energy (your psycho-emotional energy) it has to keep your attention. News and gossip (rumors) are everyday ways in which we exchange thought-forms with each other. There are many other ways, all unconscious, in which these invisible "packets" of consciousness leap from host to host. They are ideas - and "feelings" - looking for a home. Much of what we think of as our personal feelings and thoughts are memetic thought-forms running through our consciousness system. Instead of thinking a thought, the memetic thought-form "thinks" within you! The everyday illusion is that we are in control, or generate, our own thoughts. This is not true for much of the time. It is these memetic thought-forms that thrive within our brains, and through interactions between us. Like the beneficial bacteria that live in our digestive tract or the tiny insects that live on our skin, we never notice their existence.
Philosopher Daniel Dennett (1995) describes evolutionary process as an algorithm, a set of procedures that, when followed, produce a set outcome. Memetic thought-forms follow algorithmic principals, and are "substrate-neutral" (Blackmore, 1999), able to "run" in different mediums. Also, algorithms do not need an organizing center of intelligence in order to exist. They contain their own organizing "intelligence" - the goal for which they exist - and move towards that goal until they run out of energy or any substrate upon which they can exist.
Current work on mirror neurons, which lie in Broca's Area of the brain, may also be a part of the organic interface between memes and the brain. Mirror neurons deal with repetition, imitation, and goal-directed action, and may be a key in understanding the social evolution of our species.
As well as the obvious usage of memes to communicate ideas, memetic thought-forms give us a tremendous advantage in terms of Natural Selection and evolutionary process. Genes cannot quickly adapt to current changes in the environment, while memetic thought-forms shift rapidly. Along with chakra cords, memetic thought-forms have given our species a huge advantage in the evolutionary process of adaptation. I suspect that as we discover the links between gene and meme (i.e. memetic drive) our species may be able to discover how to adapt at the cellular level (a concept proposed by Indian mystic Sri Aurobindo and integral yoga).
Memetic thought-forms "hitch-hike" on the carrier wave of all human interactions, including words, songs, visual cues, and other sensory exchanges, possibly via the action of mirror neurons. To get our attention they often hint at some kind of fulfillment in the areas of sex (the erotic), food (stimulating nourishment), or power (the promise of autonomy and control). They want to survive at any cost, and will adapt or mimic in order to do so. (Sigmund Freud also pointed out the unconscious links to sexuality in his early writings.)

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