This is a response which I wrote to a friend who is having a difficult experience with some odd people and their ideas. The persons in question are a bit nuts or out of control so the topic of memes came up and I wrote the following to put things in perspective. I hope you find it interesting.
The world is full of unstable people. Have you heard of memes? That's a new word which is used to describe thought as a living thing. Seeing thoughts in an objective manner helps us to recognise that the 'Meme' requires us to think the thought in order to keep it alive. Certain patterns of thought are like bacteria and require our attention to remain alive.
It's function is to find a host and to get the host to propagate the idea among other hosts and therefore grow the meme and ensure it's survival among the species.
Sounds crazy doesn't it, until you wonder what it is that makes these unstable people unstable.
Fashion is a meme, so are certain word combinations such as, "have a nice day" or even religious beliefs. Hate is a powerful meme and is very common in all it's different styles and types. Facism, racism. In fact any 'ism' is a meme. Any thought that can be repeated and copied takes on an identity and wants to be reproduced so that it can survive.
So getting in control of our thoughts is quiet important. Or rather, standing back from our thoughts and not allowing them to control us.
That's the difference between a stable and unstable person. Hows that for a new concept :)
I had a revelation about this a few years ago and told it to someone I knew whom I believed might be able to relate to it. His response was to suggest that it was a good topic for a science fiction movie and looked at me as though I was nuts. Since then I have found several books on the subject although I think that the actual word "memes" was not coined till very recently. It's great. I feel like a pioneer :)