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amid a haystack of Chaos.

Is BPD Caused By a Memetic Parasite?

Created: Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
06:01:07 UTC

Is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) a literal Virus of the Mind? Is it contagious? For anyone who has lived with someone afflicted with it and other personality disorders (such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)) can attest, their symptoms do tend to rub off on you. Eventually, if you're not careful, you start exhibiting much of the same behaviorisms, including paranoid, hot tempers, intolerence of other opinions, and black and white thinking.  Have you started to catch their bug yourself?


  1. Memetics: A burgeoning scientific discipline conceived of in 1976 by evolutionary scientist Dr. Richard Dawkins (see The Meme Machine). Memetics is the science of studying thought patterns using the same forensics systems as disease pathology and biological evolutionary research.
  2. Meme: A theorized unit of thought, perhaps even as low as an emotional state, which can be transmitted from person to person, group to group, in as much the same fashion as a virus. Also known as a virus of the mind. 

    Example: Internet memes that can spring from a single individual's consciousness and circumnavigate the globe at near-relativistic speeds.
  3. Memetic Viruses: Memes which are transferred with or without the voluntary conscious intent of the carrier which produce detrimental effects in the person(s) and groups that contract them. Like biological viruses, the more novel, quickly spreading, and involuntary the memetic virus, usually the more lethal it is to the people who become infected. 

    Example: Cults shows many signs of a lethal, new, viruses. Established religions show many of the same pathologies as established viruses that end up embedded in humanity's genome and get passed on from generation to generation via the hereditary process.

Don Miguel Ruiz, a shaman of the almost-lost Toltec mystery school, maintains that every human has an overriding memetic virus, which he calls The Parasite, instilled into them at around the age of 3, which greatly impacts our lives.

In fact, you *probably* listen to your Parasite thousands of times a day. It's otherwise known as your conscience, internal dialogue, etc. The only times most people don't hear it are when you're innately happy and/or doing something you love doing and are a master of (during which, your mind is silent). Silencing the mind also "happens" to be a central tenant toward Enlightenment of Buddhism, among many others.

I'm pretty sure that if Don Ruiz spoke of BPD, he'd suggest it was another form of a memetic parasite, albeit a more virulent and lethal one. This would also explain why those in close proximity to those suffering from this ailment also trend to develop some of the tendencies themselves. After all, memetic viruses *are* by nature contagious!

Here are some quotes from Don Miguel Ruiz's book, The Mastery of Love (A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship) (A Toltec Wisdom Book):

[The Parasite (your memetic beliefs) stalks you...] The Belief System was put inside you like a program by the outside Dream. The Toltecs call this program the Parasite. The human mind is sick because it has a Parasite that steals its vital energy and robs it of joy. The Parasite is all those beliefs that make you suffer. Those beliefs are so strong that years later when you learn new concepts and try to make your own decisions, you find those beliefs still control your life.


Who is the hunter, who is the prey? In ordinary people the hunter is the Parasite. The Parasite knows everything about you, and what the Parasite wants are the emotions that come from fear. The Parasite is a garbage eater. It loves fear and drama; it loves anger, jealousy, and envy; it loves any emotion that makes you suffer. The Parasite wants to get even, and it wants to be in control. Your self-abuse, as the Parasite, is hunting you twenty-four hours a day; it is always after you. So we become the prey of the Parasite, a very easy prey. The Parasite is the one who abuses you.


[I]t is always judging, blaming, and making you feel guilty. In a normal relationship in hell, the Parasite of your partner allies with your Parasite against the real you. You have against yourself not just your own Parasite, but the Parasite of your partner, who aligns with your Parasite to make the suffering eternal… You can be aware that when your partner gets upset, gets sad or jealous, it'snot the one you love that you are dealing with at that moment. It's a Parasite that is possessing your partner.

Don Ruiz goes into what, exactly, The Parasite is, how the Toltecs claim it got here, and how to remove it from our lives in great detail in two of his more recent books:

I read these books a few months ago, and they've really helped me find a sense of self-mastery in anotherwise relentless sea of disregulated emotional outbursts, as I'm sure we can all relate to. I hope at least someone else can find some peace, too.