The word meme is a shortening (modeled on gene) of mimeme (from Ancient Greek μίμημα pronounced [míːmɛːma] mīmēma, “imitated thing”, from μιμεῖσθαι mimeisthai, “to imitate”, from μῖμος mimos, “mime”) coined by British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976) as a concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. Examples of memes given in the book included melodies, catchphrases, fashion, and the technology of building arches. Kenneth Pike coined the related term emic and etic, generalizing the linguistic idea of phoneme, morpheme, grapheme, lexeme and tagmeme (as set out by Leonard Bloomfield), characterizing them as insider view and outside view of behaviour and extending the concept into a tagmemic theory of human behaviour (culminating in Language in Relation to a Unified Theory of the Structure of Human Behaviour, 1954).
IMO the seat of “memes” can be found in the “mirror neuron system” which allows us to mirror the experience of other people or patterns in nature.
Thus there is no transfer of information in the spiritual sense, but is the result of reflexive chemical reactions by observation of previously experienced environmental behaviors, whether they be human or natural. The experience itself is called “empathy”.
Perhaps a good example can be found in Astrology, which is based on certain observable patterns in the universe and from which a person’s fundamental characteristics supposedly can be devined if they are born under a specific cosmological pattern.
I was born on the cusp of Aquarius and Capricorn, and indeed I exhibit some characteristics associated with those patterns. But I have two brothers and a sister who exhibit the same characteristics, but were born under completely different signs. So where is the spiritual connection to astrological signs?
The answer of course is that we all grew up in the same family environment and our characteristic behaviors are learned from exposure to our parents behaviors, which have become imprinted in our neuron mirror system and has caused a common empathic response behavior.
Is this a sign that my family is spiritually connected?