Re: virus: A memetic revelation

Melody (
Tue, 02 Sep 1997 23:35:01 -0700

>From _The True Believer: Thoughts On the Nature of Mass Movements_ by Eric

"The burning conviction that we have a holy duty toward others is often a way of
attaching ourselves to a passing raft. What looks like a giving hand is often a
holding on for dear life. Take away our holy duties and you leave our lives puny
and meaningless. There is no doubt that in exchanging a self-centered for a
selfless life we gain enormously in self esteem The vanity of the selfless,
even those who practice utmost humility, is boundless." p. 15

"When our individual interests and prospects do not seem worth living for, we
are in desperate need of something apart from us to live for. All forms of
dedication, devotion, loyalty, and self-surrender are in essence a desperate
clinging to something which might give worth and meaning to our futile, spoiled
lives. Hence the embracing of a substitute will necessarily be passionate and
extreme. We have qualified confidence in ourselves, but the faith we have in our
nation, religion, race, or holy cause has to be extravagant and uncompromising.
A substitute embraced in moderation cannot supplant and efface the self we want
to forget. We cannot be sure that we have something worth living for unless we
are ready to die for it. This readiness to die is evidence to ourselves and
others that what we ha to take as a substitute for an irrevocably missed or
spoiled first choice is indeed the best there ever was." P. 16