Is God A Meme?*
Is the ‘idea’ of God a meme? Not that God is a meme: ‘God’ is a word to describe a quality of pure existence. We can experience pure existence by recognising our own pure awareness, and so we are the very nature of God.
“The Kingdom of God is inside you and all around you,
not in a mansion of wood and stone.
Split a piece of wood and God is there.
Lift a stone and you will find God.”
Gospel of Thomas
In the very act of splitting, lifting and seeing, our true nature is revealed. We are not separate from that which is seeing and that which is found.
However, if this truth has been hijacked in order for us to believe that pure existence is outside our own pure nature, then we have been led astray for thousands of years. This meme requires intercessors who keep us as lowly sinners who will never understand (it wasn’t until the 16th century that ordinary people were able to read the bible themselves) – when we can, in reality, have direct experience.
To take Christ’s quotation, “I and my father are one”: From a Buddhist perspective, this means that ‘I’ – a relative identity – is no different from my absolute nature. This is the unity of the two truths: by virtue of one, the other is known.
Translations can be hijacked to serve those who would want power over us by separating us from our true nature, thus confusing the mind. Our only crime is that we are too willing to follow and too accepting of ‘knowing our place’, which means consenting to be at the bottom of the pile. Throughout history, social engineering has played with society, and in modern times it’s easy to see memes being transmitted through social media: the psychology of feeding additions through “going viral”.
We can break out of memes by cutting through concepts and meditating on emptiness, revealing pure awareness.
There is nothing in which to believe. There is nothing to obey except love.
*A meme is an idea, behaviour, or style that is meant to replicate, spreading from person to person within a culture. It comes from the word “mimeme” – to imitate – and was first used by Richard Dawkin. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.