Identifying Pemes

Freespeak (
Thu, 05 Mar 1998 23:35:08 -0700

At 10:58 PM 3/5/98 -0500, "John Fast"
<> wrote:
>Freespeak wrote:
>>I speculate that the power, survival, and expansion of
>>coercive political systems depend on "subjects" acting
>>more or less in blind obedience to their peme programs.
>>To the extent that individuals free themselves from their
>>peme programs, coercive political systems lose their
>>power over these individuals.
>I agree -- we need to free ourselves from coercion
>from both external and internal sources. Coercive
>memes -- political and otherwise -- are "false gods"
>that people worship, instead of using conscious,
>rational choice (a/k/a the Holy Spirit).
>>I don't know the origin of peme programs. Maybe they
>>stem from some kind of "spontaneous cultural or genetic
>>conspiracy." Historically, the disobedient disbelievers
>>had their heads chopped off or were burnt at the stake.
>>The survivors were the ones who behaved in accordance
>>with peme programs.
>Remember Gurdjieff's comment, "Fairness?
>Decency? How can you have fairness and
>decency on a planet full of sleeping people?!"
Maybe the unwitting use of pemes in thought and
communication stems from a form of sleep.

>>At 10:10 AM 3/5/98 -0700, Mark Lindsay <> wrote:
>>>When I read [your peme article], I was reminded of a
>>>science fiction novel 'The Mind Parasites,' by Colin
>>>Wilson. He used the metaphor of parasites taking over
>>>people's minds and controlling them. Perhaps a science
>>>fiction novel could also help express what you've written
>>>about pemes.
>>Is anyone out there interested in writing an SF novel
>>on pemes. I would be happy to collaborate and ensure
>>publication, if we can produce a worthwhile product.
>I've been interested in this ever since I read
>Jaynes' _The Origin of Consciousness in the
>Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind_.
I've extended the Jaynes paradigm to include what I call
"bicameral stage 2" -- see <>.

Maybe the inability to recognize pemes as such is
an aspect of bicameral stage 2.

>>I don't think this thread should be about proving
>>anyone "right" or "wrong." It should rather be
>>about determining the validity or otherwise of
>>my peme theory. If valid, then the next step
>>would be to identify all the pemes and to discover
>>how people can clear them from their brains.
>"The problem with the Unconscious is that it's

Yes! In general, just as in my areas of ignorance
I tend to be ignorant of my ignorance, where I'm
unconscious I'm also unconscious of my unconsciousness.
Both ignorance and unconsciousness tend to hide
>>Maybe you could make a list of all the pemes
>>you've either cleared from your brain, or were
>>never infected by in the first place.
>Easier said than done, of course. How do we
>know if there's something invisible out there,
>or nothing there at all? Hardest of all, how
>can we even start to look for what, by definition,
>we don't even realize is there?
Two questions may help us identify the pemes:

(1) Which words/concepts -- if I accept and use
them the way most people habitually do -- place
me at a disadvantage in relation to the political
"masters?" (Which words tend to increase the power
of politicians and bureaucrats, while reducing the
power of their victims?)

(2) Which words, if the political "masters" didn't
have them nor any equivalents for them, would
dramatically reduce the power of politicians and

>Fortunately, there are cognitive techniques that
>work to let us know when we are "in the presence
>of the Unconscious." What alerted astronomers
>to look for the outer planets was the fact that
>they caused disturbances in the behavior
>of the already-known planets. So, we can look
>for disturbances in our own behavior or emotional
>reactions, in order to know whether and what to
>look for. The book _The Projection Principle_
>has a bunch of techniques for doing this.
I have that book somewhere; I'll check it out.

Frederick Mann
"The [one] who knows what freedom is will find a way to be free."
-- Robert LeFevre
"We are free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it."
-- William Faulkner
"The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."
-- Steve Biko
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