... just as the biosphere stands above the world of nonliving matter, so an “abstract kingdom” rises above the biosphere. The denizens of this kingdom? Ideas.
— James Gleick
This month we’re going to talk about memes and the mental plane, which is where all thought exists. This is a difficult subject because it is entirely esoteric, but in my 65 years on the planet I have never found a rational explanation for why human beings have fought and killed each other for the past 5,000 years. There is no orthodox, psychological explanation for psychosis, anti-social behavior, or why human groups so often disintegrate – or at least none that provide solutions. My conclusion is that we have to look beyond orthodoxy for an explanation and a solution. Science is useless here because science only understands 5% of the universe. The other 95% – dark matter and dark energy – lie within the purview of meta-physics. Moreover, accepted explanations for human behavior begin with the assumption that consciousness comes from the brain – a primitive and backward idea that itself is part of the problem. So let us render to Caesar, er, Science, the things that are Science’s, and proceed.
A meme is defined as a cultural element – a fad, a fashion, or more important, a belief – that is passed from one person to another through mass media, tradition, or by word of mouth (internet, social media). They are important because a meme is often broadly accepted by a lot of people, so they have force. Originally meme was defined by Richard Dawkins as something transmitted through genes, but the concept has been expanded to include the transmission of cultural ideas. Memes can be regarded as cultural analogues to genes because they self-replicate and mutate.
Memes are essentially thoughts. A meme inspires action. For example, the recent Pokemon Go game inspired millions of people to play, and it became a very powerful fad for a while, with an almost hypnotically attractive force on some people. But the most influential memes are not those that generate the latest fad or fashion, but the ones that are so broadly accepted that they become an “everyone knows.”
Memes become powerful vibrationally when more and more people accept and adopt them. They then begin to entrain thought to them. All this happens invisibly, but the effect exists. When something goes viral it seems to have a momentum all its own, but the origin of that momentum is vibrational, and exists in the mental plane.
Here are some examples of memes: “You only go around once in life.” “There’s only so much to go around.” “You have to fight to get what you want.” “It’s very important to have lots of followers on social media.” “The more money and bling you have the more successful you are.” “If someone insults you, you have to insult them back or you are a coward.” “You have no say in where you are born.” “The earth is the only planet with intelligent life in the universe.” “The world is filled with stupid people.” There are hundreds more. Memes are data – information – that we accept, sometimes unknowingly, into our personal databases. They program our actions and our attitudes toward people and life, and contribute to our happiness or unhappiness. Many of these memes are uninspected.
We don’t see memes, we see the result of a meme, as in lots of people playing Pokemon Go, or a blog post or multimedia presentation going viral, or somebody at work or in a group working for themselves instead of the common good.
Human beings are being bombarded with memes every day in mass media, on the internet, and on social media.
Memes travel within an etheric substance; a subtle medium that yet has a powerful effect on our consciousness even though we can’t see it. I’m calling this the “mental plane,” because it suggests Mind, the creator of thought. The Hindus called this the Akash or Akasha – an ethereal fluid that permeates the cosmos. In Vedantic Hinduism, Akasha means the basis and the essence of all things in the material world. Within the mental plane is the recording of all thoughts and actions of humanity. So we are surrounded by a field of thought that contains powerful memes, which also entrain thought and action to them.
The point is that memes are the living vibrational products of consciousness, and so affect consciousness. They live in an etheric, invisible substance that surrounds us.
We’re sitting in the middle of something invisible but yet powerful enough to influence our attitudes and our actions. The media used to communicate memes are physical – TV, internet, radio, social media, etc. – but memes have a life independent of these physical media. Just as we look beyond the physical to find consciousness, the animating principle, so too must we look beyond the physical media to find the memes that influence our lives. When I twigged on this it really hit me: that there exists an entire reality, invisible to the five human senses, that can have a powerful effect on our attitudes and thoughts.
We don’t question the existence of the air, even though it is invisible. We can see the effects of the air as it rustles the leaves on the trees, or becomes violent in a storm. We accept quantum mechanical explanations for the behavior of matter and energy, even though this process is completely invisible. IMHO it is not such a stretch to accept the existence of the mental plane and the sometimes violent memes that dwell there. We’ve all seen people explode, inexplicably, into verbal or physical violence, just like a violent atmospheric storm. Some memes are vibrationally very powerful thought patterns and have affected the human race for millennia.
You know the old saying, “Don’t shit where you eat.” Well, we have been, unwittingly, mentally defecating in our own mass consciousness for thousands of years! It’s time to clean up our mess. The responsibility for our collective actions is on us – not on evil interdimensional beings, or any outside force. We control what goes into the mental plane because the thoughts and intentions of human beings are all recorded in the Akash – a living realm of thought that interfaces with our minds and our consciousness.
Memes are also data and information. Historically speaking, those who have understood how to use the mental plane, and the power of thought and consciousness, have had a big advantage over the general population. Understanding how memes can be created and transmitted, it would be possible to have great influence over those who are unaware. That’s all I’ll say about that!
As more and more people awaken spiritually, the mental plane will be recognized as an important aspect of existence. We’ll all of us be watching our thoughts much more closely as the earth ascends into a higher level of existence. Thought will be recognized as an important determinant of our moods, attitude, and happiness (or unhappiness). Those with self-awareness already understand how important it is to keep their thoughts in the positive range. If I allow my Irish temper to get the better of me, I always pay for it with a reduced emotional state.
Memes are like Data in a Computer Program
Memes are stored within the planetary Akash. They are coherent collections of thoughts that operate like a procedure or a method in a computer program, influencing minds (through the law of attraction and the law of vibration) attuned to them. A subroutine, method, or function in a computer program performs a specific task and might also return several variables (information) that in turn are passed on to the calling procedure. In the mental plane, a meme or collection of memes might also return other ideas that affect how we think about the world and our lives. For example, embedded in an advertisement for an automobile might be the following memes: “Fossil fuel technology is as high as it gets.” “Buying this car will make you look cool to your friends,” or, “Buying this car will show that you have made it.” Most of us are able to recognize the latter two embedded memes, but what about something more subtle? For example, an image of an American flag might suggest the memes of patriotism, loyalty to the government, love for the military, and criticism of anyone who doesn’t agree with the above. Embedded in this image might be the meme, “my country, right or wrong,” or “people who protest insult the flag.” This meme might be transmitted in any number of movies, TV shows, political commentary, advertisements, and on social media.
This was demonstrated in the actions of football player Colin Kaepernick from the San Francisco 49ers, who refused to stand for the national anthem, sparking a national debate. Even though his actions were defended by veterans who helped #VeteransforKaepernick trend on Twitter in August, hundreds of people on sports boards (mostly from Facebook, curiously) pilloried Kaepernick and anyone who dared to actually exercise their Constitutional right to free speech because they “insulted the flag.” This debate has continued into September as athletes have kneeled or sat during the playing of the national anthem, and they have been pilloried as spoiled brats and disloyal Americans. Well, free speech doesn’t mean shit if you can’t express your opinion publicly, where it matters.
The power of memes is such that they can cloud our judgment and defeat all rational thought.
The flag is an example of what I call a “meme trigger,” and might suggest an entire complex or package of beliefs. Jung referred to such images as archetypes – images or ideas that represent a concept. Another meme trigger is the drug dealer on popular TV crime shows, reinforcing the idea of scummy, useless users who deserve to be thrown in jail, and justifying the War on Drugs that has filled American prisons with persons guilty only of drug use. We are always shown the “evil” distributor on the street, but where do these distributors get their drugs from? The mega-criminals who manufacture and distribute these harmful drugs on a world-wide scale are never shown, only their agents are shown. “Drug dealer” is a meme trigger that suggests many other ideas. Another personal meme trigger I’ve noticed is when I am watching the news or reading a political article, I will sometimes get irrationally angry. Once I discovered meme triggers I stepped back, looking for the trigger. What I found was “human nature is disgusting.” This blew me away because I don’t believe this at all – just the opposite in fact! Yet somehow the news, or politics, acts for me as a catalyst for some meme trigger in mass consciousness. This meme trigger also gets me when I’m driving. Yesterday a woman tried to pass me on a curvy two-lane road (visibility maybe 100 feet ahead) over the double line. I got really angry and recognized it, so I took a step back and tried to find the trigger. During that process I forgot all about my anger and calmed down. I look at meme triggers as catalysts that, like one of those amazing firecracker displays, explosively shoot off dozens of other contrails.
You can probably come up with much better examples than I have here, or examples which apply to you personally. These powerful triggers exist, invisibly, in the mental plane (the mass consciousness) and affect us every day.
The Subtlety of Framing
A population subjected to a bombardment of information could be subtly influenced to think or behave in a certain way. In journalism this is called “framing.” A newspaper like the New York Times (“all the news that’s fit to print”), for example, might publish a set of stories that individually are completely accurate and valid, yet as a whole might suggest a certain way of looking at the world. I read this newspaper Monday – Saturday for over 20 years before I realized one day that the NYT was – either knowingly or unknowingly – presenting me with a set of memes – a way of viewing the world. Of course the NYT isn’t the only media outlet to do this, and there are plenty of movies, TV shows, and news sources who do the same thing. All I’m suggesting is that a person become aware of the memes they might be unconsciously accepting into their personal databases. To do that it is helpful to be aware of the mental plane, and the effect of memes and meme triggers.
Meme triggers like the American flag, or the flag of any nation, can be images but also exist more subtly on the mental plane. Here we are getting into esoterica that may not have relevance to 99% of the population, but which nevertheless may have an effect on the way people think.
For example, when I read the NYT it presented international affairs exclusively as a struggle between nations for resources and influence. The actors changed, but the meme structure – the framing – of these stories was the same over two decades. The same goes for NPR. Although NPR has fantastic alternative programming, their coverage of international affairs is not much different from what you hear on the BBC World Service, or the network news channels. The underlying meme structure is always that of struggle and contention. You might say, “That’s because, you dummy, the world IS that way. The news is supposed to REPORT what’s happening.”
Sure, but why does the vast majority of this reporting only include stories about contention and struggle? There is a lot more good than bad happening in the world, so why isn’t this being reported on, except for the occasional “good news” story in the Lifestyle section? Well, the human race has been conditioned to accept a lot of “everyone knows” memes that keep us acting, generation after generation, along certain programmed lines. You know, like the meme that says, “Bad news sells. Nobody wants to pay for good news.”
I’m not saying there’s some grand conspiracy to control the human race. If there is a conspiracy, it’s a conspiracy of 7 billion, because we are all contributing to the planet’s meme structure in the mental plane, through our own mental defecation. I’m saying, let’s become more aware of what’s going on within our personal databases. Let’s maybe do a little filtering, and create some new database tables! In that way we can change the overall program in mass consciousness.
Being aware of the mental plane and its potential effect on our minds can help. Whenever I find myself reacting emotionally to something in a negative way – and when I can recognize it’s happening – I try to take a step back and find the meme trigger. The American flag, the drug dealer, and stupid drivers are meme triggers for me, for you there might be different ones. For me, just being aware of meme triggers and their effects keeps my thoughts in better alignment.
Gleick, James. 2011, May. What defines a meme? Smithsonian Magazine. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/what-defines-a-meme-1904778/?no-ist=&page=1