Death & Life Are In The Power Of The Tongue

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” — Proverbs‬ ‭18:21‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Photo By Gilly Stewart on Unsplash

This is similar to the way the algorithm feeds you more of the same content predicated on your pattern of engagement.

I’ve been relaxing for the past few days, enjoying the summer, taking time to read work on here and play around on social media.

I noticed how the algorithm works in these platforms. Whatever you engage in, the algorithm feeds you more of the same through your timeline.

Now this isn’t anything new to me but seeing as I’m a thinker of sorts, I had to use this observation as an opportunity for connecting the dots to other ideas and sharing it.

I frequently talk about the reticular activating system(RAS). This is a filter that gets rid of useless information while emphasizing important information based on your beliefs, worldview and main point of focus. In other words, your RAS creates a filter out of what you give your attention to.

This is similar to the way the algorithm feeds you more of the same content predicated on your pattern of engagement.

Your RAS operates on a subconscious level similar to the way that the algorithm of social networks operate in the background. This means that your RAS is predicated on the beliefs you hold. These beliefs inform the way you think about yourself and the world while acting as a catalyst to offer more of the same through your experiences.

For example, if you believe only “bad” things happen to you, your RAS will filter out the good things and present only the bad. If you think you’re not deserving of a loving relationship, your RAS will present people who mistreat you.

And before you get sassy in my comments, no I don’t think this explains why bad things happen in the world.

When I think of the RAS I think of this verse from proverbs below:

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” — Proverbs‬ ‭18:21‬ ‭KJV‬‬

I’ll use one of my favorite artists as an example, Tupac Shakur. I started listening to Tupac when I was 15 years old. The powerful way he expressed himself throughout his writing, music and films still give me goosebumps til this day.

But I couldn’t help but be uncomfortable with one aspect of his artistry, his obsession with death.

This obsession became utterly apparent in his album “Me Against The World” with songs like: “Shed So Many Tears” and “Death Around The Corner.”

Many people brush this off as him “foretelling” his death. How I see it, he spoke it into existence. Being that Tupac was an expressive, emotional figure, he performed these lyrics with conviction which could have possibly sentenced himself to an early grave.

Another example of the power of words is illustrated in Season 1, Episode 36 of The Twilight Zone: “A World Of His Own.”

The plot goes:

Coming home, Victoria West (Phyllis Kirk) spots her husband, playwright Gregory West (Keenan Wynn), through the window sharing a drink in his study with Mary, an attractive, affectionate blonde. When Victoria barges into the room, Mary is nowhere to be found. Gregory explains to his wife that any character that he describes into his dictation machine will appear according to his description. To make it disappear, all he has to do is cut out that portion of the tape and throw it into his fireplace. He demonstrates this, first with Mary and then with an elephant in the hallway. Gregory discovered this talent when a male character he had put a great deal of effort and attention into approached him as a real flesh-and-blood person with his own independent will, shook his hand, and thanked him. Believing none of this (despite seeing and hearing the elephant), Victoria tells Gregory that he is insane and she is going to have him committed. In response, Gregory pulls a section of tape from his safe and explains that it contains her description. Victoria snatches the tape away from him and throws it on the fire to prove he is insane, and promptly begins to feel faint. “You don’t mean you were telling the truth?! You were right!” she cries, and disappears as the flames consume the tape. Frantic, Gregory rushes to his dictation machine and begins to re-describe Victoria. He quickly reconsiders and instead describes Mrs. Mary West as his wife. Mary reappears and mixes her husband a drink. — twilight zone.fandom.com

How different are we from Mr. Gregory West? Obviously this is science fiction but we all have a lot in common with him. We possess the power of language just like he does. We can will things in and out of our reality just by manipulating language on a conscious level.

What is it that you speak with conviction? What are you speaking into your own life?

Are you speaking more life into your existence or death?

Are you speaking more abundance into existence or scarcity?

Are you speaking life into others and therefore attracting love? Or are you being snarky and bitter in your vernacular therefore summoning more of the same?

I write at the intersection of self-improvement, psychology and leadership development from the perspective of a union steward. | byanthonyboyd.com