a reply to: PillarOfFire
To me, this is interesting stuff. It's similar to other things I have encountered.
I once read a sci/fi novel that introduced me to the concept of memes. These Egregore sound much like the memes from that novel. Sorry I cannot recall
that novels title nor it's author though it may have been David Brin. Brin has thoughts along those lines and was a favorite author of mine back in
Anyway, the notion in the novel was that memes are thought forms that run in our minds without us consciously thinking them. The plot of the novel was
that these ''memes'' are not so much doing battle for supremacy but rather struggling for survival in an evolutionary sense coupled with a ''winner
take all'' existence.
Here is a link to some of his thoughts on the development of memes in human culture.
The notion of the book sent me into reading about the emerging field of memetics at that time and I read several books on it. There are ''memes' and
''meme complexes'' and such. These memes can pass from one person to another and may lay dormant in a brain like a computer program waiting to be
This idea that these memes can run in our minds is interesting. THat they can run in our minds and that we who think we may be thinking are really
only running the programs that we find in our minds but are really running themselves.
This when coupled with the discoveries of George Lackoff, a cognitive linguist can fit hand in glove. His studies and experiments demonstrate the idea
that we are not fully conscious, that indeed, most and almost all of what we consider to be our own beings, our own consciousness is really
unconscious behavior. His group puts it as something like 98 % unconscious thought and 2 % conscious thought. That is most of what we think we are
thinking is just a rehash of ideas that we already have.
Sorry this is not as coherent as I would have hoped to express.
This to me seems different from the Egregore in that these Egregore are occult beings where ''memes'' are organic thought forms that have arisen with
us through our evolutionary process. Again, thought forms'' that are running in our brains that allow us to believe we are thinking when really we are
only watching those forms run in our heads.
We can take that, if we want, to another level and consider it from the perspective of Teilhard's de Chardin's ''noosphere''. This he considered to be
again a realm of thought that kind of floats around us that we can and do sample from in shaping our own conceptual realities. Again that's pretty
vague as it's been years and years since I studied it.
In a way I take those concepts of memes and stuff and look at them like Plato considered in his idea of Universal Forms. That a chair is a chair
because there ''Is Chair'' in thought form waiting to be made physical by our discovery of that thought. Or a airplane because there ''Is Airplane''
in the plane of potentiality to be made real as we make it real. Sorry again for my failure to express these things more clearly.
So which came first the chicken or the egg? Do we think thoughts or do thoughts think us? And who is this us that even hopes to be doing the thinking
in the first place. And that's on the way to Decarte.