Re: Meme-set conflicts [was Re: some U.S. observations and notes]

From: Amara Graps (
Date: Sun Dec 16 2001 - 14:00:19 MST

From: Anders Sandberg <>, Sat, 15 Dec 2001:

>No need to coerce people, just give them a chance to convince
>everybody that their memes are the best (according to some values)
>on a free memetic market.

I don't see how it could be any other way. A human being has such a
rich mix of philosphies, experiences, intellects, skills, desires, goals,
prejudices, emotions, etc., that, in my opinion, all anyone can do
if they want to 'teach' an idea in a nonacademic setting is:

1) be an example,
2) 'plant seeds' for ideas

The notion of 'Converting a meme-set' is completely against my
ethics and as coersive as I can imagine. If you think of an idea as
a seed that germinates and grows, then either a person has the
internal 'soil' where that seed will germinate, or he/she doesn't.
It's very cool if they do take to it, but if the soil is not right
for that idea then it's not right, and that's all. Find a way to
present that idea (or 'be' that idea), and let it go. If that person
likes the idea then they'll return to you with questions.

So while I've been practicing the above for 20+ years, the Sufis
have been practicing a much richer way to present ideas for 1000+
years. Their way uses a presentation method which I call 'picture
word concepts'. Even though the Sufis are a poor fit in a Moslem
mosque, they are a perfect fit in the Arabic language, and this is
one of the most important reasons they have for choosing Arabic
as their primary language to express their concepts (as I
understand these people).

The Sufis don't use *one* word to concisely present an idea, they
let the Arabic language concisely present an 'impression' via the
roots of a word. You start with a particular Arabic word, extract
the root, then generate/expand more words from the root. These
special words with the roots describe a complex set of ideas which
accord with a number of Sufi ideas and practices, and build up, on
close examination, a 'word picture'. With the meanings taken together,
the word carries a message or composite presentation of certain
essentials. It extends the dimensions of meaning, through the word
and its derivatives, and acts like an impression.

For example, the Sufi traveler belongs to a 'tariqa'. This word
means: course, rule of life, order of dervishes. The nearest
approximation to the sense of this word is 'way' in English, the
way of doing a thing, the way upon which a person is traveling, the
way as an individual. But there's much more meaning to this word for
the Sufis. The root is (TaRiQa). Now expand the TRQ root:

TaRQ = sound of a musical instrument
TaTaRRaQ Li = to aim at, to wish, to draw near to
ATRaQ = to remain silent with downcast eyes
TaRRaQ Li = to open the way to
TaRaQ = to come to anyone by night
TuRQaT = way, road; method; habit
TaRIQAt = lofty palm tree

So for the Sufis, the tariqa is the Path in which resides the
transmission. It is a rule of living, a thin line within ordinary
life, sometimes maintained through the note of music, expressed
visually by the palm tree. The tariqa itself opens the Path, and it
is connected with meditation, silent thinking, as when a man sits in
quiet contemplation in the silence of the darkness. It is both the
aim and the method.

So do you see how this 'scattering' method creates an whole
impression on the disparate elements of the human mind?
I think it's lovely.


Amara Graps, PhD email:
Computational Physics vita:
Multiplex Answers URL:
"We came whirling out of Nothingness scattering stars like dust."

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