Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Memes, emotions and views

Andrea Diem-Lane's recent article at IW discusses Blackmore's memes. Therein she says:

"Quite clearly, ideas that tap into the emotions have a better chance of spreading....two are primary: desire and fear (or, as Freud would have it, Eros and Thanatos).... Overall, all of this suggests that content is secondary to transmission. How a message is spread is more important that what the message says."

Later she brings in developmental stages. While she only focuses on different interpretations here (content) we might put emotions on this scale as Wilber has done,* noting that feelings of awe and compassion, for example, are more complex than base fear and desire. Still, some points are that emotion is 1) not a lower level as in body-emotion-thought and 2) consequently there are developmental emotions at every stage, much like correlative bodies (e.g., subtle and causal). (That there are interpretative and metaphysical problems with such higher bodies in kennilngus I've addressed elsewhere.**)

So interpretative content is indeed also important, since we need a postmetaphysical view** to match the emotion of compassion, which itself has developmental components in to whom it is extended, i.e., tribe, nation, all people, cosmos. Thus Bryant's rhetoric, while in itself inspiring a feeling tone of mysterious awe, also addresses a post-egoic, compassionate and postmetaphysical (no essences) worldview in removing anthropomorphism in not only philosophy but in the real life application of politics.

* "But then there are the 'vertical affects,' as it were--which are a type of subtler and subtler emotions--and these occur as part of the process of actual growth and development itself--and include such affects as care, compassion, mercy, universal love, and transcendental bliss."

** Like here and following posts.

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