virus: Meme-Flexing Lesson #3

Wright, James 7929 (
Tue, 04 Mar 97 20:34:00 EST

Tadeusz Niwinski[] wrote:
>James, my apologies. I meant it as irony. Your question was very good,
>after 9 months of "meme-flexing" from Richard I thought it was
impossible to
>get some honest explanation of what he really thinks. Well, your
>actually did a good job, we have a new "definition" of Level-3:

No apologies necessary, Tad; my irony detector is out of order. I can see
frustration as a necessary byproduct of the search for [insert your
favorite here: truth, enlightenment,meme-flexing,whatever],but that
doesn't make it any easier to bear.
Would it help if I say that Richard's been trying to give "honest
explanations" of whatever he's experienced all along? I will resort to
Zen (sorry, David) for a metaphor: "It is as something seen by a dumb
[mute] man in a dream. He knows he has had an experience, he knows
clearly what it was, but lacks the ability to put it into words for
another to understand." (Presumably, he is illiterate as well.)

>James, again, it was irony (Richard hates when others use the word
>What I meant with this example in Lesson #3 was that comparing two
>(ie. Objectivism and "meme-space flexing") may easily lead to a
>that the truth is somewhere in the middle. As with my previous Lesson
>"95% Virgin", I believe one is either a Virgin or not, there is nothing

I think I missed a sprocket tooth here somewhere. Do you think that
Objectivism and "meme-space flexing" lie on a continuum? Are they ends,
or both midpoints in the spectrum? Does the last sentence mean there is
nothing between, either O. is correct or M-S-F. is correct?

>What do you mean, James? Do you suggest that we are incapable of
>the reality and finding the truth? That's the heart of our battle.
>come the three axioms. I'm sure we do not understand many things around
>(memes being a good example). The axioms do not say we do. The axioms
>not divide people into two groups: those who can learn reality and those
>can't. The religion of Level-3 *is* dividing people into groups (as any
>cult would): "Level-2ers" are not capable of understanding "Level-3ers".

Richard, jump in here and correct whatever I have misconstrued!

I disagree that Level-3 is a religion, in any sense of the word. I
consider it to be a "textural short-hand", in the way that all words are
textural short-hand, used to denote a state or understanding that cannot
adequately be described with words. Level-2ers are quite capable of
understanding Level-3ers: you read Richard's posts, and try to interpret
the words in a useful or sensible way. What if the words Richard's using
do not describe Level-3 any better than the word "painting" describes,
say, "The Last Supper" by Da Vinci? What if the choices available to him
are to (a) use words like "painting" since no language can adequately
capture the experience, or (b) silence?
I do not suggest that we are incapable of learning the nature of reality
and finding the truth. I would contend that reality is knowable through
direct experience, although expression of that reality may elude
language forever, and the use of language to describe reality has
numerous pitfalls both obvious and subtle
(there is another thread that spent quite some time discussing how
difficult it is to transmit memes accurately; that is only part of the
problem, unfortunately!)
I would suggest further that all are capable of practicing Level-3
activity; being able to allow the possibility that Level-3 activity
exists is probably necessary to begin with, however. If you do not allow
the existence of stars, why would you ever look at the night sky? If
there can be no moons around Jupiter because the Bible does not mention
them, why look through Galileo's telescope? The devil might trick you
into heresy!
Note that this last does NOT prove the existence of Level -3! The only
way to prove the existence of Level-3 is to achieve it for yourself. If
you do not or cannot (for whatever reason) achieve Level-3 activity, that
doesn't mean it doesn't exist, either. Only a few humans have walked on
the moon, for the rest of us it might as well be a ball of cheese.

>The axioms state that there is one reality, which we are conscious of,
>capable of learning. Do you think it makes sense?

Within its limited context, yes. The axioms are self-consistent, as David
points out; there is no inherent contradiction, which is necessary for
him to accept them. Whether they are any inherently better than Zen,
mathematics, mysticism or any other system devised to try and comprehend
/ express the nature of reality, I cannot affirm. I am still learning
about the nature of reality and the universe through direct experience,
every day, and am not yet willing to reach conclusions.

I will try to be less sensitive in the future; I did not realize you were
so frustrated, and I hope that I have helped shed some light on a very
dim area.

James Wright