The Meme Machine
Book review © (2004) by interesting-books-selector.com (in the form of an open letter to the author)
After having read your book, I've re-read the book description provided by you or your publisher and found this description hides the truth about this phenomenal book.
More than 2000 years ago, Buddha tought his disciples for a period of 50 years; several thousand pages of his teachings have been recorded later. Congratulations, you needed much less time and space than Buddha to plausibly explain that the 'self' and our consciousness is an illusion and that we enslave ourselves and that we submit our free will through attachment to that non-existent self by believing in the existence of solid phenomena.
Although you might most probably not agree with me, because on p. 194 you write about Buddha's teachings, quote "None of this is very comforting" - but without condemning Buddhism, using the meme-construct, you not only reinvented Buddhism (without calling it so), but also gave a plausible explanations for the rationality of Buddhist philosophy.
At the final pages of the book (pp. 242-243), you present two solutions based on mental concentration, techniques, quote "which are not easily learned" and "take many years of practice", which serve to abolish the so-called "selfplex".
Earlier you mentioned Buddha several times, but not on the final pages where you present the techniques, which perfectly resemble the Buddhist meditation and contemplation. In the book it is noted, that apart from being a scientist, you are also interested in meditation, psychology, spirituality, and the paranormal. I don't know if you have studied Tibetan Buddhism, but I recognized in the proposed solutions and effects exactly what I've learned by reading The Monk and the Philosopher, especially the mental practices designed to become awake and to achieve the state of awareness. Like Buddhism, you even suggest that such a state of mind provides for eternal peace on earth - without the need for extinction of the human race. Let's hope that the awakeing [from ignorance] will take place before it's too late for the human animal that confronted civilization!
The meme-theory you present is interesting. I appreciate that you courage by presenting some statements as absolute facts, e.g.: "Dualism is tempting but false. (p220) ... The Cartesian Theathre does not exist. Illusions do not have locations. (p 225) ... while for the Buddhist [the self] is the root of human suffering [which] is an untruth. (p231)".
Happily your writing style conquers todays desire for political correctness, which is a virulent meme imposed by leftists on our society.
Thank you for your thorough research and your effort and courage to express and publish your thoughts clearly and efficiently.