VIRUS OF THE MIND
Youve heard of ordinary viruses those microscopic entities that get inside your body and replicate themselves. They war against your natural resistances and make you feel rotten. And through your coughs and sneezes they jump onto other people and make them feel rotten too. Well, did you know that there are other kinds of tiny organism called viruses of the mind?
What is a mind virus and are they a danger to us? A mind virus is a tiny seed of information that somehow lodges itself within our minds. It is a seed, which, in given individuals, falls on fertile ground, germinates and then takes on a life of its own. It is as if this germinated seed or fascinating idea had an unconscious intent and that blind urge is to replicate itself. For example, you hear a joke and, before you know it, you find yourself with an almost irresistible urge to spread it around. You hear a catchy tune sung by a show-off and before long you have joined the ranks of punters who have bought the recording. In this way jokes and tunes spread themselves around the world. Recently, in my neck of the woods, children have been infected with the Pokemon mind virus. In no time at all children up and down the country have been gripped by a fanatical urge to purchase and save the pocket monster cards. It has been a retailers dream. I noticed another mind virus when it hopped over the pond from America to England. This revealed itself when I saw large numbers of young people wearing the same baggy street cred. type clothes with baseball caps worn with the peak at the back. They had all been infected with a mind virus.
When you find masses of people thinking, saying or doing some particular thing, you can be sure that a mind virus is at work. This happens when people fall under the spell of an .ism. Im thinking of socialism, conservatism, communism, monetarism, fanaticism, fundamentalism, Christianity..ism, etc. Mind viruses fill you with proselytizing zeal. You become possessed with a great desire to spread them far and wide and some mistakenly attribute this feeling to God.
Some mind viruses appear fairly benign. But what do you do when the idea becomes widely accepted amongst ordinary people that it is quite acceptable to create, on a weekly basis, piles of non-biodegradable waste, which has to be tipped into a big hole in the ground? What are you to conclude when masses of people think it perfectly reasonable live in a world of plastic, neon, concrete, steel, brick and asphalt. Now these are a couple of dangerous mind viruses. We must remember that mind viruses, like our genes, do not spread because they are any good, but rather because they are good replicators.
Now consider your treasured identity – that strange complex of imperfect knowledge, fears, ambitions and masquerades, your public and private faces, which you call your ego. It could be nothing but a nest of mind viruses that combine to cloud the mirror of your awareness, to eventually sap your energy and to reduce your creative intent to that of folly. If you doubt this, just try to stop thinking for a few minutes and discover how difficult this is. You will find that you do not have thoughts at all, but that thoughts have you in their grip! The inescapable conclusion is that a human being, with his or her genes and mind viruses, is simply a host to the successful replicators. Is this not what we are? And, in our ignorance of this one fact, have we not just given in to the urge to run amok on this wonderful self-organizing planet?
You see, for each of us there is no inner Self – at least not in our everyday space ime existence. At any given moment, our sense of identity is an illusion. We cannot know who we are for sure, so it is pointless trying to ‘find ourselves’. This is because beneath the mind viruses, which furnish us with an imperfect knowledge of the world and of ourselves, there is only the ever-changing mystery of pure awareness and intent. The latter are magical emergent qualities that, in the course of a life, get paralyzed or channeled into one-sidedness by mind viruses.
The great mystics think that it is not practical for us to go on educating ourselves, adding yet more bricks to the wall of our ordinary knowledge, the better to solve our problems. They know that this only fortifies the mind viruses and these in turn, generate solutions that, in the long run, become new problems. In his or her blindness, the average person calls the spectacle of solutions becoming new problems ‘the march of civilization’ or simply ‘progress’. But real seers spot the joke and call it what it truly is – an ongoing madness whereby ideal conditions are maintained for the replication of genes and mind viruses. Open your eyes and check these things out in your own life and the world around.
Would it not be better to adopt methods to unlearn what we know in order to loosen the grip of our mind viruses and to reinstate our original purified awareness and intent? Instead of reacting to problematical circumstances and coming up with solutions that become new problems, we might then be better placed to create the world of our choice. We cannot do without knowledge of some sort, but that which we need is uncommon. It isnt solely logical or deterministic understanding or yet another mind virus. Rather it has to incorporate a description of reality that engenders faith in a Strategy For Getting Nice Surprises.