“What’s the most resilient parasite? An Idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules. Which is why I have to steal it.” — Dom Cobb, Inception
Sounds like the theory of memes to me — that ideas spread through transmission of messages or rituals, sometimes — as in the case of suicide bombings — like a virus or infection.
For a short, fascinating, and decidedly unwonky explanation of memes, check out this TED talk by my friend Diane who became a Moonie because of youthful idealism. She was kidnapped five years later by her family and eventually became a deprogrammer, helping other former cult members rebuild their previous good sense.
This experience led her to believe that prejudicial thought, speech and action reflected a form of brainwashing, so she became a anti-oppression/diversity trainer. She’s done a bunch of other things, including pen a memoir which I hope will find a great publisher. (I suppose I could send her manuscript some Reiki, if she agrees.)
Diane is now working on a project to stop dangerous memes from spreading.
(Which leads me to the idea that she can use her idea of planting a super positive meme into various people’s brains — I won’t mention names, but there are certain ex-governors and media personalities that come to mind, MEOW! — as an excuse to set up a lunch date with Leo D. Wouldn’t that be fun?)
Seriously, I adore actors who choose really interesting roles, and DiCaprio fits my bill: from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and The Basketball Diaries to Catch Me if You Can and The Aviator to Blood Diamond. Plus the guy’s got a sense of humor, making fun of himself and Leo-mania in Woody Allen’s Celebrity. (Yes, I’m intentionally leaving out the sinking ship.)
Inception is no exception. It’s essentially about lucid dreaming and dream control.
My teacher Luann has had herself a grand old time on a beautiful beach this week and in her absence asked me to do an intro to Reiki for a couple of medical students and an attunement for a third, all of whom are doing their rotation at the Center for Integrative Medicine.
As I explained the levels of Reiki, it occurred to me that I almost never send Reiki, though I know many people who send it out every day. Einstein might have famously proven that time and space doesn’t really exist, but most of us can’t get out of our linear way of experiencing both. Reiki, not unlike shamanism (and Dom Cobbs for that matter), holds that time and space can be played with.
In the second degree, you learn a symbol and mantra that helps you send healing across time and space. So you can send Reiki to your friend who’s stationed in Afghanistan or your cousin in Alaska — or even to the Gulf of Mexico or the park where you love to run. (Many people use Reiki for environmental healing.) In fact, you could send Reiki to your elementary school self after a traumatizing humiliation or to a more collective chapter of history that needs healing, such as 9/11 and Ground Zero in the U.S. conscience.
I am more of a sensualist, so I prefer to have someone be physically with me and watch their breath shift and their eyes roll back into their head and be able to ask questions and feel their response underneath my palms.
But I must admit, the idea of using Reiki in lucid dreams sounds super seductive. It would require learning (1) how to dream lucidly (i.e., knowing that we’re dreaming when we’re dreaming and being able to distinguish the dream state from so-called reality); (2) how to control our projected Avatar-like selves in our dreams; and (3) remembering and having the capacity to to use Reiki in a dream state.
No small feat.
But doable, no? At least conceptually.
Maybe I should just start with my morning sits.
Maybe I should get myself to do morning sits daily.
Or maybe I’ll just spend the week reflecting on what ideas I would spread, if I was Empress of the Universe, Queen of Memetic Inquiry. At least this sort of fantasizing is infinitely more useful than dreaming about Leo — but who knows, after this post, that might be exactly what happens tonight.
What idea do you want to spread this week?
Until next time!