First, I assume an objective existence-- reality.
Second, I assume an active component. Since reality is LIKE an object
(assumed), it has characteristics: These characteristics describe the
"laws" according to which it must act (like the characteristic of "ball" [round] describes the necessary law of "rolling"). As such, "the ball rolls" tells us of the abstract quality of ball-- rolling ("abstract" since not reducible to an object "roll"-- rather *rolling* is a secondary quality of ball derived from the characteristic, "round"... which characteristic is REAL, being reducible to a real object, ball).
In the example of a self-meme and a faith-virus: Self is an object (like ball), faith is an abstraction (like rolling). And, we might also say that faith is a "mutation" of self (being a secondary quality indirectly derived from a characteristic of self but not directly reducable to an aprior object, "faith" [as a *mutation* of self]).
To support this reasoning: A meme-- as previously defined-- encodes the characteristic that it is to replicate (or as Joe said, the faith-virus doesn't necessarily have to encode self, but somehow must replicate faith in a secondary host-self to be considered a meme). Can we, however, say that a meme encodes an abstract quality (can we replicate "rolling" if this quality is not reducable to a thing)?
On the other hand, I propose that <self> becomes mutated as >faith<
(faith represents an abstract quality of self) and that this mutation
into a viral form necessitates the replication of the virus in the meme's attempt to reproduce the aprior self (or as a necessary action of the object characteristics of a self).
The formula for this is: Freedom leads to order by way of either
complexity (of an objective reality) OR chaos (of a subjective action
which is not directly reducible to that which is
objectively "real"): That is, complexity allows for the re-arrangement
of a stable form; and according to this re-arrangement, the form might
evolve. BUT, chaos "weakens the boundaries" of an objective reality
allowing for multiple objects to act without independent volition
(rather they act in accordance to the reified nature of an action
non-reducable to a single form... or, chaos acts unlawfully).
The very nature of a complex reality allows for this chaos-ification of a memetic form. The POTENTIAL action of object-reality-- which is represented by the potential energy "stored" in its material form-- orders the characteristics of reality to create a pathway for the release of this energy. With a balance of reality's object-characteristics, a system for the release of energy is created whose characteristics (in effect) negate themselves such that energy is "wild" (the action of an object is reduced to the potential energy OF that object, and this energy can act irrespective of the characteristics of the object, IF these characteristics balance so that this energy can be released*).
SO: The lawful development of the meme, <self>, might be said to exist in the viral form >faith< -- which further defines a *virus* as the non-living (potential) form of a meme by which the meme reproduces (or by which the virus replicates**)... this also shows that the viral form of a meme is potentially destructive to the memetic form (if the meme is thereby balanced to a non-lawful, or chaotic, form).
*like electrical energy which results from water turning a turbine can be used for purposes not limited to the replication of the characteristics of water since these characteristics are circularly balanced through the mechanical process of the trubine, releasing the potential energy of the water as electrical energy).