Re: It is necessarily possible that some of our thoughts are not memetic

Chris Lees (
Tue, 01 Sep 1998 13:21:50 +0100

Date: Tue, 01 Sep 1998 13:21:50 +0100
From: Chris Lees <>
Subject: Re: It is necessarily possible that some of our thoughts are not memetic

> Proposition (A): "We have some ability and propensity to recognise
> truth".
> 1. Suppose (A) is correct.
> Then It is possible to harness our thought processes by building on
> this ability (however attained) to build essentially non-memetic
> processes (e.g. inference).
> 2. Suppose (A) is incorrect.
> Then there is no reason to suppose that any of our thoughts are
> indicative of the truth, including theories about the memetic origin of
> thoughts.
> Conclusion: EITHER there is a mechanism which could build essentially
> non-memetic thought processes OR there is no reason to suppose that all
> our thought processes are memetic.


I hope my comments do not appear intrusive.Just a suggestion.
I think that you can check this out by practical experimentaion.

If you accept Liane Gabora's suggestion :

" Perhaps this explains the purported benefits of `transcending the ego'
e.g. (Walsh & Vaughan [94]), which can be taken to mean getting in touch
with who we were before our minds were colonized by memes, through practices
such as meditation. "

I practice Soto Zen meditation.If you clear out all the 'stuff',-which from a
memetics worldview may be termed memes,and from a traditional buddhist
or other worldview would have other names - what are you left with ?

After a period of 'emptiness',what kind of mental formations arise within the
focus of conscious awareness ?
I'd suggest that a distinction might be drawn between what might,very inadequately,
be termed 'original intelligence', and another sector of mental formations which
I like to think of as memes,in that they clearly derive from external cultural sources
and conform to some of the analyses proposed in this forum at various times.

How to establish the 'truth' of any of this by linear logical reasoning is perhaps
more difficult than establishing its truth to one's personal private satisfaction,
in the sense that if one knows one can ride a bicycle,you 'just know'.
Convincing someone by rational argument,who has never even seen a bicycle and
who doubts the existence of such a mechanism,may be difficult or impossible.


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