Updated: 6 days ago
Most academics consider Rene Descartes (1596-1650) the father of modern philosophy and many people know his famous statement, “cogito, ergo sum”, (I think, therefore I am) which means thoughts cannot be separated from the person, therefore the person exists. Now, in the postmodern age computers can “think” and many jobs are becoming obsolete, even certain legal services, in favor of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Postmodernism now holds relativism in vogue. Initially, it was a counter-philosophy to the blanket consensus generated by a "powerful elite's theory" of truth. "History is written by the victors" is a fitting example. Relativism is perfectly fine if there is a genuine interest in pursuing credible, albeit, minority theories such as critical race theory, or occultism. It is not okay when relativism has no guiding principles about right and wrong, and no ethical guidelines. It results in gullible people believing false narratives. It's when propaganda is defended with arguments such as "truth isn't necessarily everyone's truth" "facts aren't facts" or "there are alternative facts".
"Thinking" inevitably involves an internal dialogue with oneself, and speaking to others. For some folks the act of thinking is underutilized. Or maybe, they are insecure, not strong in themselves, and eager for a leader, someone to follow. . . .Then along comes a charmer of a person.
I influence, therefore I am. What does that mean? Today, very important people are trailblazers and trendsetters on podcasts, TikTok, YouTube, and other social media platforms. Some of the sites are places where people get their "news". These modern day leaders are masters of communication with an enormous amount of self-confidence. An influencer who monetizes what they put on the internet through followers and subscribers is the dream-job many aspire to. Self actualization comes when others "click", "comment" "like", and "love" your posts. It can be addictive, which is also a hidden danger. However, these influencers have no real motivation to harm anyone, rather their aim simply might be to capitalize on their own vanity.
The Torah teaches creation occurs through the spoken word. So, it's no coincidence God is known in Hebrew by the name, HaMashpiah or The Influencer. The phrase “God said”, or some fashion of those words, are stated nine times in the first chapter of Genesis, while the tenth is an internal utterance or inner will of God inferred from the opening sentence, "In the beginning" or "With beginning". Kabbalists recognize these sayings, or fiats, gave rise to not only the seven days of creation but, more importantly, ten power centers known as Sephirot.
As a very brief introduction, the sephirotic system is loosely similar to the more familiar Chakra system. The Sephirot (singular Sephirah) are ten characteristics attributable to the Divine. Since we are created in the image of God, they are mirrored in HaAdam, or humans, and the world we live in. When translated into English the Sephirot are known as: Crown, Wisdom, Understanding, Kindness, Judgment or Power, Beauty, Majesty or Splendor, Endurance or Eternity, Foundation, and Kingdom. Future blog posts will address these aspects and their associations with the Tree of Life, the Hebrew Letters and Vowels, and the Tarot cards in greater detail. For now, let's acknowledge the act of speaking (and the written word) can be an energetic tool for manifestation, self actualization, engendering wholesome relationships, and fixing what's broken in the world. I honor this type of communication.
Speech used as a weapon for self aggrandizement, personal advantage and profit at the expense of others is never my style. This type of influencer can lead to crimes. The con men, conspirators, flim-flam artists, fraudsters, grifters, and tricksters will talk you out of your money. Their sales pitch takes the proverbial "used car salesman" to a whole other level. All their illegal conduct uses speech to gain your confidence. You put your trust in this person, or group of people, and don't realize you are their mark until it's way too late. You've already been swindled.
The great Jewish philosopher and Torah scholar, Maimonides considered it our personal responsibility to develop divine qualities which required selecting proper role models. Who are yours? When I think of an Influencer who uses speech to take advantage of others the tarot card The Devil comes to mind. Numbered XV, or 15 in the Suit of Trumps, this card exemplifies the charismatic personality who convinces folks with lies and half-truths he has new ideas, creative projects, and promises great monetary returns if they believe in him. Actually, he will lead people down dark alleys, and inevitably rob them of their wallets, life savings, and their souls too. Be aware! The Devil can disguise himself as anyone, even a politician. This false-prophet distracts with words about making the country great again. Meanwhile, he's fleecing his flock of supporters, and he'll engage in a criminal enterprise to nullify people's vote and retain power.
The only way out of the devil's snare of corruption and web of deceit is through due diligence, make informed decisions, and not to follow others blindly. Most importantly, develop a sense of humor. It can be your greatest ability to disarm a bully. Laugh at the Devil. You will humiliate him. Tell others, and tell the "Devil" he is not wearing any clothes.