Memetics – concepts, models, constructions, diagrams, objects, and things.
“Understanding the Construction of the Self and Cognitive Processes”
A methodological field is presented inspired by developmental psychology, psychoanalysis, cognitive psychology, sociology, anthropology, existential-phenomenological psychology, transpersonal neuro-psychology.
Ongoing metaphor: the Hegelian journalistic morning prayer, the cognitive patchwork. The analyst is considered with a metaphor from Leibniz and Serres, as a “cybernetician”, “navigator,” navigating on a continuous excursion and object search between different scientific continents, directions, and schools, like an archipelago. Waterways, world literature, media, and now also the internet as “amniotic communication”.
Freud saw himself as an explorer, not a scientist, an observer, not an experimenter, not a thinker – but a “qonquistador,” an adventurer with curiosity, courage, and tenacity. Freud identified himself with Oedipus, who solved the riddle of the Sphinx. Cromwell, Fritjof Nansen, the Danish polar explorer, Hannibal who sought to overthrow Rome, Moses who led the people to the promised land.
Thus, we move as today’s cybermeticians analytically/schematically into a time and space folded/unfolded unknown physical/biological territory and mentally, imaginarily, a continuum (e.g. self-others/collective: considered algebraically/metaphorically mythical, container/content) as unstructured diversity, a black set containing objects, elements, and behaviors, language that engages in object relations, Freudian cathexes, and/or operations in different types of organized structures.
The task is, therefore, to sophisticatedly and eclectically find “memes,” recurring structures, isomorphism in symbols and signs, narratives and stories in the phenomenologically observed material. By overlaying diagrams, models, system constructions onto phenomena, objects, behaviors, social events, a structural significance is found in the quantities of images, signifying chains, element influences, and impressions one is exposed to.
Form/container and substance/content alternate on a large and small scale, design within design within design. We abduct, induce, and deduce, differentiate and compare structures in the different sets. We apply, find more isomorphism, more differences and similarities, further divide into inner/outer, self/others, master/slave hierarchical relational structures – and what have you.
A technically eclectic cognitive patchwork emerges under constant change. The brain as a “memetic lexicon” in constant updating. Inclusion and exclusion of no longer necessary schemas. We study structuring structures that structure structures. Relationships that relate to other relationships. Conditions that shape conditions.
The method – a kind of “comparative irrationality” – “comparative science” – the armchair thought that bends backward to capture the moment in its becoming. The meeting between the recognized and recalled. Brain and consciousness.
This means that as a Qonquistador, adventurer, “researcher/analyst” in the world of psychology, one must independently move around the different domains of directions and schools, and orient oneself (more or less deeply), find similarities/differences in the essential, find topology and topography, create working models, concepts, and system constructions, study patterns and maps of lived life and beingness. Merlin’s apprentices. All in order to find meaning and coherence when reality, the actuality, more or less randomly breaks in as chaotic necessity and threatens the once-established order and harmony, homeostasis threatened by new possibilities. Phenomenologically experienced as violations in the subject’s self-perception when both conscious and unconscious survival strategies fail.
The starting point and subject of this context are the individual’s cognitive constructions of oneself and others seen from an evolutionary perspective.
The formation of an individual’s cognitive equipment, mental construction system, cognitive patchwork of images, scenarios, schemas, concepts, and interpretations of oneself and others, the social and physical – and what have you.
It is about the prerequisites for the formation of a self, self-awareness, self-recognition, and self-actualization, personal development, developmental paths, reaction, and direction. The epigenetic origin of the self and phenotypic cloning. It involves “the self and the others,” interpersonal relationships and operations, developmental upbringing conditions such as kindergarten, schools, apprenticeships, education, and culture, etc. – in short, the social attachment space. The space for legitimate peripheral participation, generational transition, the transmission of culture and tradition (in phenomenological change).
Reality, the inverted black box, is not only seen as a burden, a threat of violation, a blocking force of necessity. But also as a resource, i.e., as an origin, a source of knowledge above all.
This means that the world is understood, seen through “memes” – templates, patterns, variable schemas, constructs, COEX, designs, archetypes, concepts, metaphors, and myths, timelines (something comes before something else, the verb’s tense as operators, historical and logical, hierarchical suspension, timetable, project, experience, tantalizing, object relations, cathexis, simultaneously created and then superimposed on the world.
Piaget’s cognitive schemas and their development, Freud’s “psychoanalytic traumas,” Jung’s “analytical psychology complexes,” Erikson’s “epigenetic principle,” Kelly’s “psychology of personal constructions,” and Grof’s COEX and Principia Cybernetica, Memetics – yes, many more examples can be mentioned – are considered as examples of extensive personal topographic construction systems over human psychological development. The emergence of the ego and self, where individual psychologists/researchers construct concepts, uncover connections, seek meaning about the real, reality, social bonds, about the psyche, the unconscious.
It is vital to acquire knowledge, uncover connections, make sense of the chaotic – by making oneself, others, and the world comprehensible and predictable.
Freud writes in “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality” about the significance of the “urge for knowledge”: “In the anal phase of the child, the beginning of the activity attributed to the instinct to know and explore appears. (…) It is not theoretical, but practical interests that set the mechanism of research activity in motion in the child. Threats to its conditions of existence, fear of losing care and love, make the child thoughtful and astute.”