How many mountains have you met in your lifetime– perhaps people with their own agenda with whom you have dealt, who seemed oblivious to your desires? Chances are, each of those people regarded you as oblivious, or insensitive, without awareness of her own inattentive condition.

So, who’s at fault when we don’t listen to each other? The hoary atheist feels she has heard it all already. The hoary Christian “just knows” her target­ lives in sin and needs Jesus in her heart. The salesman knocking at the door knows he must spew forth his message before he gets run off. The TV announcer must tell his story whether or not he has an audience. Each of those people faces the same daily parade as the rest of us, of people waiting to tell us about their agendas. People without ears, expecting to hear only evil words come from their intended audience, even if it’s only the blasphemous refusal of “No.”

But, it is free! We are all salesmen in today’s world, pushing products and ideas at a hurried pace. We are all caught up in ideas of our own, or that we adopted, or that represents a vested interest into which we have bought that requires our support or we will lose… …money? …face? …love?

We lose ourselves! We are all idea-driven one way or another. If we don’t have good ideas, we are looking for one. Or, some. Why?

We seem to resist learning that ideas compete with each to become memes, attractive ideas that seem to spread into other minds on their own. Practitioners of acculturation have known since long ago that if they could get their ideas inserted first, they could dominate young minds for a lifetime. To recognize such ideas as memes grants to them a category into which we can mentally file them for study and develop our understanding.

Recognize this early on: memes “want” to stay hidden within the minds that host them. Their competitive nature “wants” to dominate their hosts to prevent access by other memes and threatening ideas. The “kick in the gut” feeling I warned about in THE COMPLETE UNIVERSE OF MEMES enables them to communicate displeasure and warn hosts away from their competition. By the time most of us have achieved enough maturity and proselytizing to have felt that kick, we have a mountain to climb in order to get away from it. We err when we blame the hosts of disliked ideas by responding to that urgent nudge with avoidance.

Most people never get to realize what causes it. Many become sick enough to actually to start missing the pain and go looking for it. A very few brave people risk banishment and shunning, and begin picking their rocks up, one by one, to study whether to keep it or toss it. Apostasy does not develop overnight. It takes a lot of digging to dismantle a mountain. Memes hide beneath every rock, awaiting their turns to dissuade us from our task. You won’t find freedom while trapped on a mountaintop.


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