Mega-churches beware. Times are changin'. A new spiritual consciousness is sweeping the nation, and it's not the stale religious fare cooked up by grandma in the quaint kitchen of religious tradition. Forget, too, Hare Krishna, Mahesh Yogi, and all those crazy mahatmas from a few decades ago. This one's scientific.
While it transcends any known spiritual classification, all roads point today to the wishful healing effects of deceptive, quasi-rational double-talk. It strikes to the very core of what it means to be conscious and is changing the way we think. The movement has been traced to Dr. Wayne Dribble, the noted self-help guru who first defined it with his national best-seller, Big Me/Little You. Since he wrote that immensely popular Self-recognition manual decades ago, Dr. Dribble has reinvented himself time and again as an important innovator in pop analysis.
Outlawpsych: Some have criticized your philosophy, if I may call it that, as being superficial. What do you say to those critics?
Dr. Dribble: Life is both profound and superficial at once. What you see in it depends on how you see it.
Outlawpsych: I was asking more about how you see it.
Dr. Dribble: I just told you.
Outlawpsych: Let me re-phrase that: how do you answer those who see your writings as superficial?
Dr. Dribble: I don't. My schedule is very hectic, what with book signings, motivational speaking, spiritual advisement, my general psycho-spiritual enlightening of the human race, constantly shifting my goddamn off-shore accounts around in a financial shell-game to avoid taxes. Plus, I have several new projects in the offing. I'm currently engaged in a compendium of my previous works: Testing the Boundaries of Belief For Profit.
Outlawpsych: How would you summarize your psychological model?
Dr. Dribble: I don't. Life is too fluid to summarize, generalize, analyze -- it can't be pinned down and labeled, much less defined. I call it the "paralyzation of analyzation". What you thought yesterday may be completely irrelevant today. The conditions of social life require constant change. You don't eat the same thing everyday, do you? Wear the same clothes? Dream the same dreams?
Outlawpsych: I guess I mean: what are the conceptual bases underlying your psycho-spiritual theories?
Dr. Dribble: You see? Now, that's an entirely different question.
Dr. Dribble: I told you, I don't conceptualize. Basically, I spontaneously message people according to the particular realities they present -- so that I may teach the masses and benefit them.
Outlawpsych: Could you give me an example?
Dr. Dribble: Yes. (long pause...)
Outlawpsych: What would it be?
Dr. Dribble: What would what be?
Outlawpsych: An example of how you message people according to their realities.
Dr. Dribble: You see, you must be specific in what you're asking; otherwise, misunderstandings arise. Despite appearances, we're moving in a very strict and minute psychic realm here. For instance: the mind operates by the propagation of memes. Memes, like genes, are ideas that self-replicate through behaviors generated in their hosts to others by means of imitative behavior -- they're units of transmission. Some memes are better at getting copied than others; because they change with each individual's interpretation, they're constantly in flux. It's like a virus: it infects a person according to his/her memetic profile. The memetic profile allows a skilled observer to identify certain characteristics which prescribe an individual's reality. It's a body of socially learned reactions which points to "where you're at". I can determine where you're at by the way you present your memes -- your socially identifiable points of reference. When I delimit your memes to certain collective constructs and reference your behavior to those base properties, I can message you according to your own reality.
Outlawpsych: I don't know what you mean.
Dr. Dribble: Of course you don't. The field of memetics is quite complex, and psychology is yet unaware of its implications and potential.
Outlawpsych: Well, I mean, it sounds like you've simply ascribed the vague and indefinable qualities of intuition and thought to a biological process with no real evidence to support it.
Dr. Dribble: Exactly -- it's what's known as psychological theory.
Outlawpsych: (I had to really think about how to phrase my question.) The way you've dressed it up... well, it sounds like science... but, I'm not so sure. How do you relate thought and intuition to biological processes?
Dr. Dribble: We measure changes in connectivity within regions of the brain which correspond to neuronal networks of functional memory. An idea elicits a response which is recorded on a brain scan; that region which is stimulated lights up on the scan. It's very simple. The biological selection-pressures on gene-replication correspond almost precisely to those memes recorded on brain-scans when certain controlled, pre-determined ideas are carefully crafted and suggested with the desired results in mind.
Outlawpsych: (I'd done my homework.) What about the low replication accuracy and the high mutation rates? Many regard it as an over-scientized farce of what is simply an instinctual process of unconscious communication coupled with a natural urge to imitate.
Dr. Dribble: The low replication accuracy and the high mutation rates can be attributed to the misinterpretation of the instability of the meme mutation mechanism. It simply reflects the changing nature of the meme itself. The fact that an idea can be transmitted from one brain to another via electrical current can't yet be validated due to technological limitations. That doesn't mean it ain't so.
Outlawpsych: It doesn't mean it is, either. If I may quote Sir Richard Dawkins, who originated the idea of memes: "...you can't take the meme seriously as "a thing that jumps."... Memes, in this sense, are a philosophical method; they aren't a scientific object."
Dr. Dribble: Well, it's not the high-fidelity replication we'd like to see, but it's a measurable model by which to view the empirical evidence.
Outlawpsych: It sounds like a pseudo-scientific reformulation of Jung's psychoid concept of archetypes.
Dr. Dribble: Let me put it this way: how much money do you make? Are you a famous spiritual healer?
Outlawpsych: Not very much -- and no.
Dr. Dribble: Well, I am a famous spiritual healer, and I happen to make a lot of money doing it. Do you see the difference?
Dr. Dribble: Any more questions?
Dr. Dribble: You're welcome.
For a look at Dr. Dribble's new book, Your Memes Are Showing: New Theories In Memetic Profiling, visit his Face Twerp page. Press the like button! Share it with your friends!