The buzz surrounding annual CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is an opportunity to think and reflect about what we are really getting excited about.
While many articles were written about CES, each conveyed a similar story. Products are getting more connected, and what used to be the IoT (Internet of Things), a world of digital devices communicating together, Cisco has now termed IoE (Internet of Everything).
In order to appreciate what is going on here, we need to step back and conceptualize what the attraction to a convention is. But before I begin with the explanation, let me first bring a story from my own experience.
Being in the world of publishing, I used to attend Book Expo America. But more than the exhibits themselves, I mostly enjoyed the educational sessions that were organized prior to the actual show. One event that took place about six years ago, featured a panel that included the top executives from many of big book publishing houses. The topic was ebooks, and how they were responding to it. While most of the presenters explained the strides they were making in producing more ebooks, multimedia versions of their books, being active in social media, etc… one response in particular stood out. He admitted that the increased leisure time spent on the internet, meant a decreased time reading books. His wish was simply that people not spent so much time on the internet.
If anything, over these past six years, internet use has only increased. But there is an underlying point in his words that inform on the present topic of this article. Whether it’s the material we read, or the people we interact with, there is a need to feel that our activities are connected. When we read an article, then immediately share it with friends and see their comments, this experience seems connected; whereas reading a book while relaxing on the beach does not.
This is why I titled the article as I did. While products today promote themselves as helping us live more connected lives, the experience of attending a convention itself fosters this sense of connectivity, perhaps in an even more profound way than the products themselves.
In Kabbalah, the root of all our aspirations and goals is in the highest level of the superconscious, called the level of “faith” within the sefirah of “crown.” This is where the soul clings to its source in the Divine essence. It is this root that endows the soul with eternal life.
Because of the relative closeness to the Divine essence, the appreciation of the absolute origin of all things within Divinity is also manifest at this level. Having its root in the inscrutable realm of the Divine essence, the essential state of faith is one that cannot be apprehended through logic or reason. Through the soul’s connection through faith to the Divine essence that generates the ultimate paradox of creation — the emergence of finite reality from God’s infinite Being–one’s mind and body are able to transcend the limitations of the intellect in search of the great Oneness and connectivity to all things.
While the first sin of eating from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge entered the world into a state of exile or disconnection, we are now approaching the redemptive time when the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge can, as it were, be consumed while still connected to the tree. In the words of the prophet, “For the world will be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the ocean bed,” or to translate for our discussion, “the world will see knowledge as one connected stream of deepening consciousness.”
But something more can be learned from the Book Expo America story. Even if we read a print book that seems disconnected, this too is connected. In the realm of consciousness, there are no isolated acts. While conventions, and the Internet of Things (now the Internet of Everything) remind us of the need to feel connected, by conceptualizing and sourcing our discussion in the superconscious realm of faith, we’ve come to a much deeper and more rewarding outcome.
I used to leave Book Expo America feeling that something was lacking; that the excitement and connectivity I felt while attending the sessions had dissipated only to be renewed again the year following. But now I see these conventions as an opportunity to meditate and reflect on the true connectivity behind every detail in creation.*
[Interestingly, the number “37” in the infographic above is equal to the numerical value of the word for the fifth highest level of the soul, the “singular one” (יְחִידָה). In addition to bringing more of our superconscious into our consciousness, at the same time, we are also trying to actualize our potential at this highest level of the soul.]
* Those who know the name Didi Menussi, will appreciate this story related to this point.
For more on the mapping of the soul, read Rabbi Ginsburgh’s Anatomy of the Soul.
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