M Is for Meme

Standard

Meme can be defined as “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”—a unit of cultural transmission, or perhaps one of repetition or imitation.

According to Cecil Adams of theStraightDope.com, the concept of memes “is either really deep, or really, really obvious.”

A politician’s gaffe, a viral video, a popular hashtag, a cute shared photo can now with the speed of light become a meme via the internet.

I have yet to have any quote or tweet of mine become a meme—and usually I am quoting someone else, anyway, as in my “Reasons for Living” tweets.

Nevertheless, I enjoy sharing what I feel are significant points that can be picked from well-written articles and books that come into my life. It is a challenge to condense and convey them in a way that does not oversimplify or distort, while piquing interest—and perhaps leading someone to check out the source.

Recent tweets I’ve posted that I would love to become memes are:

All authentic moral action results from opening to the higher forces within and above the individual self. —Jacob Needleman in A Little Book on Love.

The universe seemed sometimes to relax a little, to permit a little grace to be wrung from it. —Charles Williams in War in Heaven. 

The wise remain silent until the right moment, but a boasting fool misses the right moment (Sirach 20:1).

No conscious act is ever wasted. Pure acts of compassion or attention always affect something at the planetary level. —Cynthia Bourgeault in Mystical Hope.

Our creative struggle, our search for wisdom and truth, is a love story. —Iris Murdoch.

The unity that occupied Bede Griffiths’ thinking and energized his ministry—what the mystics of all religions have known and shared: The unity of the opened heart.

Classics are books that exert a peculiar influence, both when they refuse to be eradicated from the mind and when they conceal themselves in the folds of memory. —Italo Calvino.

Say with each breath “Make me humbler, make me humbler.” When you are small as an atom you will know his glory. —Rumi.

Beauty bears repeating twice and thrice. —Erasmus.

What I call the aerial instinct—the drive to transcend our present condition—is the defining characteristic of a human being. —Sam Keen.

I guess I’d never make it as a bumper sticker creator—but the stretching of language and conceptualization of thought in these “units” of meaning satisfies me and keeps me hungry for further ways to send out memes like messages in a bottle.

How great it is to find that occasionally someone picks one up and then tells me so.

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16 responses »

  1. I just have to tell you this. I have only read the first sentence of this post in my “in box” and already I am smling with anticiapation and joy. Do you realized how powerful your words are- they are infused with the spirit from the get go. Lovei, love it , love it You manage to connect immdediately with my heart, mind, soul, spirit, emotions with only a few words
    My friend- you are GOOOD
    melanie

    p.s. my post on Spiriitual Freedom is #3 on the top read list in 13 days on BrooWaha ! Here I thought it was overtly agonstic/atheist-
    they would adore your stuff because they are also educated thinker types- grin
    try it out.
    Hey I will pave the way and press publish on the reveiw for your book.

  2. I just have to tell you this. I have only read the first sentence of this post in my “in box” and already I am smling with anticiapation and joy. Do you realized how powerful your words are- they are infused with the spirit from the get go. Lovei, love it , love it You manage to connect immdediately with my heart, mind, soul, spirit, emotions with only a few words My friend- you are GOOOD melanie

    p.s. my post on Spiriitual Freedom is #3 on the top read list in 13 days on BrooWaha ! Here I thought it was overtly agonstic/atheist- they would adore your stuff because they are also educated thinker types- grin try it out. Hey I will pave the way and press publish on the reveiw for your book. On Sun, Sep 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM, Isabel Anders’ Uncommon Mother-Daughter

  3. Let me start by saying that I have missed your writing!! I am ending my Yom Kippur fast and came by to see what you have posted. What great timing for me to read this as I am contemplating how I want to be in the next year. While all the quotes are quite thought provoking, the two I take most to heart for me are:
    The wise remain silent until the right moment, but a boasting fool misses the right moment.

    No conscious act is ever wasted. Pure acts of compassion or attention always affect something at the planetary level.

    As always, you have taken me to a better place.

    As we Jews say on our New Year: “May you be inscribed in the book of life!”

    All the best, Isabel!

  4. Thank you, Elaine, I’ve missed you too. Work has sent me in other directions, and just keeping up this blog as I can. You’ll like this (I quoted it in Synthesis for which I’m Managing Editor):

    Rabbi Lawrence Kushner writes: 
Energy in the form of light is trapped in gross matter. Sparks of holiness are imprisoned in the stuff of creation. They yearn to be set free, reunited with their Source through human action. When we return something to its proper place, where it belongs, where it was meant to be; when we use something in a sacred way or for a holy purpose; when we treat another human being as a human being, the captive sparks are released and the cosmos is healed. This liberation of light is called the Repair of Creation.

    • Thank you, Elaine! I think of Twitter as a way of sending out concise messages of hope, hopefully well constructed and able to actually convey something in the challenging syllable limit imposed.
      It’s a way of sharing “what I’m getting from what I’m reading and thinking.”
      Thank you for “tuning in”!

  5. Thank you for your contribution to this month’s Christian Carnival, which is up over at American Church History (http://americanchurchhistory.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-october-3-edition-of-christian-blog.html). Since your blog post was included, will you kindly return the favor and share the carnival with your social networks? New Monthly Contest! Reply to this message (https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups=#!topic/christian-carnival-ii/I6Iqsd2frRg) to nominate your favorite submission to this month’s carnival. Share the contest with your friends so they can vote for your blog post. The winner will be posted to the Christian Carnival blog (http://www.christiancarnival.blogspot.com) on October 15. This will be a monthly contest.

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