Words are Energy


tl;dr: on managing our communication production lines for maximum effectiveness.

The most important text in the literature of the Chabad Lubavitch movement is known as “the Tanya.”

It’s a philosophical text that is described as a “one size fits all life manual” by its adherents.

Whether that is true or not is obviously debatable, but regardless of that claim, Chabad is an absolutely world-class marketing organization.

After studying the Tanya (off and on, thank you Covid) for the past year, I understand a bit more as to why.

And it comes down to how they view God manifested through humans.

Words are What Separate Us

Humans are unique in their ability to communicate complex ideas through a shared protocol that is transportable across time and space.

That protocol is language.

It’s what allows Cervantes to write Don Quixote nearly 500 years ago and share them with me today.

It’s also what allows us to communicate ephemeral concepts like ideas, emotions, and stories to others.

However, the words are the output.

Where do Words Come From?

The Tanya, as I understand it (which is really limited), suggests that the words come from God.

Indirectly, of course, but if you think about the manufacturing process for a word, what do you need?

Well, you need a body, a mind, a mouth, a tongue, a vocabulary, food and water to fuel the body, and a raw set of ideas and experiences and thoughts that you want to convey.

All of that gets mixed together in some some of assembly line to generate a word.

That word, then, is basically the amalgamation of a huge number of variables that are different forms of energy. Physical energy, mental energy, and spiritual energy, etc.

In the Chabad view of the world, that energy can only come from one source, the creator of all of the world’s energy- God.

But I’m not here to evangelize Chabad-though I am a big fan.

I do love the view and its implications.

Like gasoline goes into a car to make it move, an ephemeral energy goes into our “word machines” and then pushes out ideas that other people can understand.

But, at their core, words are just my effort to transmit the energy I feel about a subject, say crypto, marketing, or politics, and have you absorbe as much of that energy as possible.

Words, then, are an energy transfer system from one person to another.

Which raises a whole series of questions and ideas for me.

Choose Words Carefully

We’ve all heard the adage, but when you think about words as a production process and as a transfer process, the idea of picking the right words (and the right quantity!) starts to take on another level of meaning.

If I am excessively verbose (I know ;-)] or perhaps overly simplistic in the choice of words, there’s going to be energy loss in the system.

The end result is that, like signal loss, we’re going to have a degradation of quality.

So, while I may be enthusiastic about something, if the words are not transmitting the energy, you’re not going to be as enthusiastic about it as I am.

If, like the greatest orators of all time, I’ve got the words aligned perfectly, then the energy loss is less.

The Framework of Energy Transfer

I’m sure I’ve lost a bunch of energy in this post, partially because I am guilty of writing before I’ve fully formed the thought.

But, like any production process, it won’t be perfect the first time.

Which is the point of the blog.

Nevertheless, the concept that a word is a package for transferring energy from me to you and vice versa is powerful. Having a goal of 100% energy transfer, though rarely attainable, gives us a framework for thinking about how we communicate.

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