Today's Wisdom

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair! For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power
Pope Francis

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How to Get Others to Follow You

Last Friday I spoke at Jesus the King Church about only some of the ways to get others to follow you.  Many of these ways may result in immoral decisions but can certainly be used morally. This is why we should know about them.


We are all interdependent to varying degrees. The fact that new technology allows me to communicate with friends anywhere in the globe is evidence of the influence that anyone can exercise on others in the globe.


The most recent research this year shows that businesses are increasingly using “Big Data” from huge Internet social networks, email systems, transactions and structured databases in different forms to analyze consumer interests and sentiments and influence the decisions of consumers and other businesses in order to buy their products. Advertisements on TV, radio, and the Web are marketing new products and ideas to you and me every second.


In “Banished from Eden: Original Sin and Evolutionary Theory in the Drama of SalvationRaymond Schwager, S.J. traces the origin and development of humans along the evolutionary paradigm using new findings in genetics, biology, Girard’s Mimetic Theory, the listening Audio-Psycho-Phenology Theory by Dr. Alfred Tomatis, and the work and thought of Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. and Karl Rahner S.J. Against these findings, he explores the Biblical narrative of the Fall.

Here are examples of ways to get others to follow you:


Mimesis (Imitation)


Mimetic Theory has been tested in university researches and appears to give an answer to the above question. How?


When I admire someone I create a model of him/her for myself in my mind. This model person, if really in contact with me, may be infatuated or attracted by the same object that attracts me. The result is that we both become attracted to the same person or thing and become rivals (Example: Rivalry between men in love of a certain woman). When my model sees that I am attracted to the same person that he is attracted to, his feelings of wanting this object get reinforced.  Imitation is a very powerful thing we use every day. I imitate persons who are peers to me yet more successful, or more handsome! Because he is my rival now, I try to destroy him through defamation (jealousy), and by showing off that I fit better. Eventually each one of us seeks to possess the object or even rape her only to feel that she is mine.   The fight can escalate into powerful races of battles and into violence. This is partly why tribes or nations attack each other.


But imitation can also go in the other direction if we are careful! Many saints did imitate their models and through this imitation built bigger monasteries, schools, and spent their lives learning and teaching. For example, St. Pachomius imitated St. Anthony of Egypt and built the first community of monks. St. Athanasius wrote the biography of his model St. Anthony and got it translated when he went to Rome so that in the end St. Benedict benefited from it in founding his order. The second Christian book, after the Bible, read by generations of Christians is “The Imitation of Christ” written in the 15th century.


The result is that I can influence many others when I imitate what they wish to be. We always learn from each other through mimesis or imitation. If, by my example, I imitate Christ or follow one of the saints, others who come into relationship with me are influenced by this imitation and are likely to follow me. (For more info on Mimetic Theory see my post: )



Dr. Tomatis’s theory that "the voice does not produce what the ear does not hear", is the hallmark of his research and his method.

In his research and subsequent confirmation by colleagues, Dr. Alfred Tomatis found that the earliest communication in humans takes place in the womb of the mother. The fetus at the age of 4 months listens to his mother’s feelings and is disturbed if she is having an argument with the husband. In his book “Neuf mois au Paradis” Tomatis shows that the child is secure in his 9 months in the womb of his mother and that there is memory of the child from the moment that there is a cell (i.e. from conception). Accordingly begetting or conceiving of children is much more than a mere biological process; for it is a communicative process that includes the whole human person with an intensive imaging (‘in his image’). Thus Schwager writes “Because inter-human communication is disrupted through sin and procreation belongs to this communication, sin can make its home in the deepest dimension of human nature.”


Listening rather than only hearing is, therefore, essential in effective communication.

(For more info on Alfred Tomatis see and ).


The Fall

Through the mechanism of evolution God created everything including the first humans. According to the Biblical narrative:


The LORD God gave the man this order: You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; when you eat from it you shall die. (Gen 2)


So Satan comes to Eve. See how he speaks to her AND HOW SHE LISTENS.

First he IMITATES in a pervert way the words of God:


Did God really say, ‘You shall not eat from any of the trees in the garden’? (Gen 3)


Thus Satan

1.       changes the order to include all trees.

2.      When Eve corrects him “it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, or else you will die” he designates to her the fruit so that the focus is on an object. The focus is now on the fruit.

3.      At that time, reminding her of the terror of death, he lies to her saying You certainly will not die! God knows well that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know good and evil.”  In other words, you will be like God!!


Eugen Drewermann points out anxiety in Eve because she finds herself attracted to the OBJECT but if she POSSESSES IT she will die!


With Satan’s provocation, Eve is lured to an object away from a relationship that constitutes her eternal life. Instead of maturing in the relationship with God, she loses her trust in God and falls in the trap.


Communication continues: Now Eve gives Adam some of the fruit because she loves him and wants to share the pleasure with him but also she wants to share with him becoming DIVINE in everything. If I think I can stand on my own or be my own God, then I am deceived. Hope can be false if not based on the truth. When Adam is asked why he committed his sin he blames God for the woman he was given. When Eve is asked, she blames the serpent that God created.


The Fall did not prevent communication and sharing but tainted them with lack of trust and an inclination to continue in the selfish path and desire of objects.  In later generations communication will continue, in spite of evil, which will be found in trade and tribal allies and subsequently in civilizations.


But who followed who? We followed Adam & Eve through Original Sin and actual sins that are generated from the inclination caused by Original Sin, but is there a way back to Paradise? Only in uniting ourselves to Christ through prayer, repentance and trust of his merciful love. These are practiced in the Sacraments especially the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist as well as in immersing ourselves in learning and following the Scriptures as interpreted by the Church and in practicing what we learn everyday through self-giving to others as much as each of us can. Christ is the image of God, the self-revelation of God and the fulfillment of love that lived, died and resurrected to reunite the human family with her true destiny, God.



Today's Quote

"Behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)


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