∴M∴ M∴ M ∴ Mind ∴ Meme ∴ Myth ∴

Posted: January 2, 2012 in Mind, Memes, Myth- My Specific Approach to Magick, Uncategorized

I deliberately use the ∴M∴ M∴ M ∴ of the Mysteria Mystica Maxima.

I do so in deference and awe to the supremacy of the Law of Thelema.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Memes are by definition units of human information which can be and are being replicated with slight permutations, these permutations of memetic information compete for higher amplifications of reproduction. These memes, which include religions, schemas, political beliefs, fads, quirks, cliches, and many other manifestations of human consciousness.

So for the most part imagine ideas and fads competing for reproductive output, and like viruses which attach to cells, memes attach to us and our computers.

Memes were coined by the biologist Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene, and were described as units of culture which behave like viruses. Dawkins was postulating an argument often called “universal Darwinism” which basically argues that evolutionary rules of natural selection play out in all replecative/competitive systems. Its like a rule of energy. Its the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics at play with anything that copies and competes.

These rules, which state whoever makes the most offspring survives, have been proven out scientifically in biology. These rules have also been scientifically studied as the source of much human behavior both by psychologists and economists. Evolutionary psychologist David M. Buss has concluded that most of our sexual tastes follow frighteningly predictable evolutionary patterns, and may even be the source of much of sexism and strife in our society. Stephen Pinker, Harvard Psychologist, and champion of the study of evolutionary and physiological theories of language carries these theories out to frightening reflections of homo sapien in all his splendor and horror as a mere evolutionary organism.

Our political beliefs, or sexual tastes, our economic behaviors have all been shown to have genetic predispositions. Our minds, or what we perceive as our mind is a biological organ containing within it two complex evolutionary systems. The one for your DNA and the one for your memes.

Our memes explode like a fungal colony on the substrate of our genes; making the broadcast/reception system known as the nervous system, usually understood to be the brain, but in the interest of simplicity I will refer to it as the brain.

Our brains are at a minimum the substrate for all human experience.  Vastly miniscule aspects of processing, remembering, understanding, and communicating these experiences have been mapped my neuroscientists.

The mind is a simple thing, is it not? It is merely us. Our very soul. Even the ignorant are conscious of this transcendent self awareness.

Its also a series of biological nodes of cell clusters communicating with each other in a hymn sung by DNA. Parts of your brain break, as in by stroke, and parts of your mind are broken. People who have a calcified amygdala maintain normal intelligence and personality but lose much of the ability for fear, anger and distrust. These people, while possibly sounding messianic, are constant victims of fraud. Apparently our fear/anger/distrust node fires a signal to the more thinking parts of the brain, called neocortex to alert us to deception.

More famously we have Broca’s area and Wernicke’s areas, left laterlaized regions of neocortex devoted to the making and understanding of language. People with Wernicke’s problems can’t understand language and produce meaningless gibberish. Stephen Pinker cites that a different part of the brain is devoted to profanity than the rest of the language processing system.

When one begins to contemplate these levels of complexity, simple ego, id, super-ego, unconscious models of the mind become barbarically simplistic. Unfortunately in the Occult scene ultra simplistic models of the mind are in play constantly. We need to develop a contemporary Hermetic/Alchemical model of the mind which does as the alchemists of history did, pushing the boundaries of science to higher heavens and deeper hells.

I am not saying there are not some fascinatingly transcendent psychadelic levels of reality at play in the mind. And possibly even sublime physics phenomena that would defy even the most capable of neuroscientists. The mind may truly represent some extremely fantastic business in the Universe. Things way beyond those I describe. But I submit to my fellow travelers in the Great Work, yes there may be a God, a soul, an afterlife, psychic phenomena, non-physical entites, etc., I am just confining my arguments for the ∴ Mind ∴ Meme ∴ Myth ∴ to what can be defended scientifically.

My system is not exclusive to theistic approaches, like so much of occultism, but can be easily applied by the atheist occultist (which I think represents a significant fraction of the Occult community).

But what I do describe, which is the modern neuroscientific model of the brain, is vast enough in its complexity, in its surreal implications for philosophy and the vastly strange implications for living a good life. It explains and beckons one to have transcendental, spiritual, and supranormal experiences.

My answer to theism is apotheosis, and in my call for apotheosis I join the theistic Occultists, gnostics, Yogis, and Sufis who do the same. Apotheosis is becoming God.  My appeal to all those who are persuaded by my ∴ Mind ∴ Meme ∴ Myth ∴ system of magick is that they set about in this approach as a way to become aware of their true wills, if they are so inclined to make contact with their Holy Guardian Angel (which is a fascinating construct, definitely rich in memes, and one I intend to articulate when I finally pursue my own Abremelin working).

A very traditional Thelema, I’m afraid. But I think the ∴ Mind ∴ Meme ∴ Myth ∴ system can be applied to any occult tradition easily enough.

The good life, or well being, is a huge part of my magickal work. It is my central motive in my most scientific of mindsets. A branch of psychology, which is very up to speed on contemporary neuroscience, called positive psychology has devoted itself to the study of mental health. Not the sickness of the mind, but what the mind is actually like when its thriving.

I have found that many of the practices prescribed in the lifestyle of the occultist including; meditation, journaling, gratefulness, transcendent experience, enriched meaning for experience, these all add up to the prescription of secular positive psychology.

So my desire as a scientfiically literate person was to pursue well being, the healthiest mental states. My desire as a student of arcane lore, secret society, ritual and magick, meditation and scrying, Tarot and tantra, is to manifest the greatest level of spiritual health. Though to my world view, both the spirit and mind live in the cytoplasmic universe of neurons.

I beg you brothers and sisters, consider your brain. Study it. Make it a part of your curriculum. Even if my understanding of the brain is dead wrong (which it could be), the question of the brain and its role in our human lives should be a top priority for all who wish to experience life on a deeper level.

The brain processes all sensory information emotionally before it allows the “rational” regions of the brain to even get a stab at a piece of sensory input. Your taste, sight, hearing, touch, etc. are all sent first to the limbic system, a mid brain series of structures which harmonize to make our emotions. So please understand; biologically speaking, first you feel then you think.

Memories are reconstructed every time, imagined. There is a whole book on this topic called The Seven Sins of Memory. This is why eye witness testimony is such an unreliable enterprise. And guess which part of the brain has the ultimate decision making for what gets remembered? Thats right; the limbic system. The emotional brain.

To put this in the terms of more simplistic, and antiquated theories of mind, the limbic system is like the unconscious(though all brain systems have unconscious properties) and the cortex is more like the ego. Though there are problems with this analogy, it might be helpful to some.

So on this complex processing sporulating organ in bloom we call the brain memes, which include the most moving works of art, and the deepest of philosophies, compete for dominance. The resources they need to replicate are merely the informational interplays of our biology. But this is still finite, we can’t spread every meme all the time.

Memes which are emotionally charged will have the most bang for their buck it seems to me.

The memetic system is vast and complex and poorly understood. But I work to educate myself as much as I can on contemporary meme science. But the most basic understanding of memes, and even contemplating that certain aspects of your thought life, your consciousness, are just the flow of informational energy as it follows normal universal laws of replication and competition.

Yet, we do have control in this strange system. We are capable of magick. We can inspire ourselves, we can reduce the impact of anxiety by cultivating a positive psychology. We can target outcomes, and behind the memetic chaos there seems to be the ever present will.

This will is a mystery to me. As it is to the Buddhist monk. Who is the observer behind our thoughts?

God. Perhaps. Our pre-incarnate eternal selves. Perhaps. Something far far stranger than we have yet dreamt of, that is where I place my bets.

The depths of our mind I think still have much to unlock in the realms  of science, and like in the days where alchemy preceded chemistry, I believe that modern occultists stand before a great opportunity to be on the forefront of psychology and neuroscience with their current work of perfecting their individual organism.

I really believe this is the stuff of the Aeon of Horus.

This is where I turn my attention to myth, the species of meme that humanity has used since time immemorial, to inspire itself to actualize its will. Myths need not be traditional to have their impact, comic book fans and chaos magicians have more than uncovered the deep mythic power of contemporary symbols. As a die hard star trek fan I can honestly say my Mr. Spock doll is a powerful talisman, as powerful as my figurines of Krishna, Kali, Ganesh, and Durga. And to my eyes Mr. Spock is a space saint in apotheosis.

I also personally advocate infusing mythic memes into all aspects of life.

Memes come in a vast array of forms and categories. The basic fundamental rules that define the myth are relative to its procreative ability. Mythic memes are unique in their procreative strength and their impact on humanity.

If one wants hard scientific evidence of the power of the mythic meme, behold the pyramids of Egypt, the Dome of the Rock, the city of Mecca, Stone Henge, etc.

But I also think that much of this is in play at Disney World, the San Diego Comic Con, Times Square, etc.

In my experience and observation, those who chose to see their own life as a heroic journey, those who embrace synchronicity as the universe communicating their path, those who through initiation and ritual magick become the age ascendant in the life they tread, these people do get more bang for their buck!

Part of  that experience is to generate energy, inspiration, and power from the infusion of mythic memes into our programming. We transform our experience of life, and these memes have an energy of their own to replicate. If your mythic manifestation is alluring, and communicates well, the memes themselves will begin to shape not only your outlook but your circumstances.

Memes are at play in the minds of humans, the processors of your computer, and perhaps in the communication patterns of non-human animals.

I just recently saw a documentary on the oldest sect of Indian Yogis, and these guys follow the same mantra patterns of bird song. According to the world’s leading Memeticist Dr. Susan Blackmore, birds may actually provide a biological animal model for memes.

Does that mean that I disregard the possibility of true alien beings, non physical entities, parallel universes, angels, demons, afterlife, and all these other occult matters. Not at all. I remain agnostic on most of these issues. But I am an experimental agnostic, and one possibility which could be listed along with the other explanations ranging from the existence of spiritual of alien intelligence, perhaps the memes have some kind of intelligence all their own.

Some kind of emergent collective intelligence. Some kind of reflection of a greater process which might echo the mantra of the ancient alchemist: “as above, so below.”

Scientifically speaking this is mere speculation: but perhaps there are qualities of consciousness in the interplay of memes, which move from human information processors, to machines, to who knows where else. Mycologist Paul Stamets believes there may be some sort of emergent consciousness present in mushroom colonies, who am I to say this does not exist among the memes?

In fact I do believe our own consciousness is already an example of such phenomena, precipitating as the byproduct of our gelatinous nervous system trying to use our organism in concert for replication. Our consciousness is an evolutionary accident. Our intellect a terrifying prospect.

An emergence of self awareness as a byproduct to other more basic processes.

Social psychologists show reliably and replicate often the evidence that the human organism is more attractive to negative information emotionally. This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, the saber tooth tiger chasing you was more important than the beautiful sunset.

This is called the negativity bias, and is an important part of my work.

But we know that positive psychological information does in fact strengthen the individual. Well being breeds success, anxiety is a trap made of perpetual failure and ultimately physical decline. Mythic memecraft can transcend this for the individual, for those of us who do find inspiration to be a source of positive psychological energy.

In this way the Magician can use mythic memes to restructure their minds in accordance with their wills.

Love is the law. Love under will.


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