Re: virus: mobius strips

Eric Boyd (
Tue, 05 Aug 1997 00:11:11 -0500

Reed Konsler wrote:

> The only way to construct a church (or any entity) which has no frontier
> is to create a "strange loop" in which, like a mobius strip, the inside
> and outside are the same. This constuction is a border without a
> territory...thus undermining the very concept of border.

interesting... this looks sort of like the "circular" ideas we threw
around earlier.

Christianity[2] is based on *saving* us from it's own *circularilily*
created *original*sin*. And so the religion "inside" the loop justifies
itself by saving us from sins, while in fact it is the very loop itself
that brings us the sins (the so called outside).

The fact that once you beleive, your own "sins" begin to provide
"evidence" for the whole story is just the self-justifying nature of
beast. (and, of course, there is the evolutionary justification about
once the distinction meme is created, naturally experiences fall into

Anyway, the whole point here is that such a "circular" or "strange loop"
entity, which provides it's own justification, has an *unlimited*
potential to spread. That is, while it actually contains *nothing*, it
really does have the power to contain *everything*.

And again, all of that is similar to the idea in Virus of the Mind about
"self-propagation" being the most powerful force in the universe. If
you can get an idea to spread itself, it becomes a meme, and memes are
very influential, simply becuase they use the advantage[1] of evolution
to become better and better at propagation.

And that is a lesson we can all take home.

My own Church *tries* to use that.

I make a call to *freedom*, and then derive the *necessity* of
responsibility from that. We must use freedom *responsibily*, or it
will destroy us. (I have a nice analogy worked up now to nuclear
power... freedom is the chain reaction, which provides the power, but
responsibility is the control rods and the moderaters, which actually
allow us to *use* the power generated by E=MC^2.)

Then, responsibility itself is used to justify the existance of the
Church: it is here to help us deal with this responsibility. To examine
issues, stage debates, recommend books, and generally provide a forum
for discussion of important issues.

And so, while the Church does not infact have *any* basis (that is,
contain anything), it has the entire world as it's subject matter, and
responsible freedom to help us deal with it.

But the real catch 22 is this: responsible freedom can be used to spread
responsible freedom. That is, we have a *responsibility* to spread
responsibility (hopefully freedom is already out there). Self

Back to mobius strips... such a cool image. By following the outside of
the strip, you eventually turn up on the inside. This corresponds to
someone who hears the message and is converted. The next step,
following the inside until you turn up on the outside, is called by a
lot of different names. "enlightenment" is one of them. It is, after
all, the goal of Zen: to see that all these ideas and memes are just


I like the image of a mobius strip, maybe I'll use it as a symbol for
the Church... it's simple to make, too!

[1] advantage, that is, to a point. seeing as the entire advantage lies
in the *mutation* of the meme, I'm not sure it's such a good thing...

[2] Note that I'm talking about the "fundamentalist Christian memes" NOT
Jesus's teachings. I'm more sure now than ever that Jesus *didn't*
beleive in the Original Sin. Not only does he never mention it, he
points out lots of times that children must be *led*away* from the
kingdom of heaven (presumably, they are already there when born), and
then there is the idea of "what goes into a man cannot make him unclean,
it is what comes *out* of a man that makes him unclean"... therefore the
fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, as something that went
*into* a man, cannot make him unclean!!! So much for original sin!