RE: virus: FAQ: question (a) - Level 3

Richard Brodie (
Mon, 21 Jun 1999 09:50:03 -0700

David, I have no problem with your argument. The question then becomes one of empirical testing. I know many people who are living in Level 3 and really seem to be enjoying life by their internal standards and (less important to me) relatively successful by external standards. I have also seen huge transformations in these same people from before they reached Level 3 to after.

It's fine with me if you want to change your purpose. The thing that doesn't work is when failure to take your current purpose on faith as the point of your life PREVENTS full participation in life. ("I can't ... till I know my purpose."). I'm not saying this is true of you personally, by the way.

Thanks as always for your intelligent and gentle inquiry. I am usually left feeling uplifted by your participation.

Richard Brodie
Author, "Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme" Free newsletter!

-----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf Of David McFadzean
Sent: Monday, June 21, 1999 7:38 AM
To:; Subject: Re: virus: FAQ: question (a) - Level 3

At 12:03 PM 6/20/99 +0100, Robin Faichney wrote:
>What you *really* want to do can't be invented or adopted, only
>discovered, by you. That's what life's all about! And more
>specifically, it's what freedom from memes is all about.

I disagree. It seems much more plausible that Purpose is a result of a host of complex factors. No doubt some of the factors are genetic predispositions such as survival instinct and status-seeking, and I concede I would find it difficult to eliminate them entirely, but even then it is possible to suppress them. Other factors are memetic in nature and are assimilated into the Purpose because they fit well with the genetic predispositions.

At 07:38 AM 6/20/99 -0700, Richard Brodie wrote:
>Good question. Yes, a purpose can (and should) be chosen consciously, and
>can be transmitted memetically (more often the case). But the Purpose I am
>speaking of is one that captures the essential energy of a person, produces
>fulfillment, and is in my judgment, upon deep reflection, the best use of
>life. Granted it can take some work to figure this out.

Like Prof. Tim, I see no contradiction in this definition of Purpose and a hybrid genetic/memetic Purpose.

It appears that Level 3 is too limiting if it means accepting that one's Purpose is static, eternal, waiting-to-be-discovered... almost God-given.

What if I told you that I was recently visited by a guru from the west coast that introduced me to Level 4? He taught me that Purpose is not static, and not there-to-be-discovered. Rather, it is a creation and an on-going process. People that make it to Level 4 have much greater control over their lives than ones on Level 3 (and are equally, if not more, happy/satisfied/Past OK).

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus