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memes never die

February 16, 2017 Leave a comment

From William S Burroughs vs. the Qu’ran by Michael Muhammead Knight:

Cihan informs me that in our syncretisms and subcultural dipping, we’re actually creating a new meme. I Don’t know what a meme is, but in my head I get an image of the Arabic letter م, the Meem. A meme’s a unit of consciousness, he says. It could be seen as something like Yogacara Buddhism’s bija, seeds produced by thoughts and consciousness, and produce the external world as we understand it. Cihan says that we’ll have to be careful when we put our new meme out there, since it will grow and eventually escape our control and then never go away because memes never die – memes are like matter or energy, impossible to create or destroy. Memes only swallow up other memes and keep adding to the collective brain of the world.

From Buddhism Portal:

In Hinduism and Buddhism, the Sanskrit term bīja (Jp. 種子 shushi), literally seed, is used as a metaphor for the origin or cause of things.

The metaphor is considerably extended in the Consciousness-only teachings of the Yogacara school of Buddhism. According to this theory, all experiences and actions produce bija as impressions, stored in the alaya (storehouse) consciousness. The external world is produced when the seeds “perfume” this consciousness. This view of bija has been equated to memes, with the theory itself positing an extreme form of memetics (ie. reality and existence consist purely of memes).

and from Wikipedia (which includes the above definition):

In Vajrayana Buddhism and Hinduism, the term bīja is used for mystical “seed syllables” contained within mantras. These seeds do not have precise meanings, but are thought to carry connections to spiritual principles. The best-known bīja syllable is Om, first found in the Hindu scriptures the Upanishads.

Khanna (2003: p. 21) links mantras and yantras to thoughtforms:

Mantras, the Sanskrit syllables inscribed on yantras, are essentially ‘thought forms’ representing divinities or cosmic powers, which exert their influence by means of sound-vibrations.

(source for that inserted quote = Khanna, Madhu (2003). Yantra: The Tantric Symbol of Cosmic Unity. Inner Traditions.)

Categories: memes