Is it just me, or are most people getting dumb and dumber by the day?
I’m currently writing another book (!) on stress, and its damaging effects on the brain, so I can tell you categorically that most people today seem to have some form of stress-induced brain damage, that’s causing them to act even more dumb and dumber over time.
People just can’t assimilate new information, they can’t change their minds. They have fixed opinions and they’re unable to see anyone else’s point of view. Depending on what their dominant stress response is, they react to any discomfort socially by going on the attack (FIGHT), running away (FLIGHT), totally ignoring ‘the issue’ (FREEZE), or keeping things so superficially ‘fake nice’ (FLATTER) there’s simply no room for deep thought, or a deep exchange of ideas.
All this happens when people have stress-induced brain damage – and all this is happening in spades all around us, right now. And the more ‘damaged’ the person is, emotionally, the harder they find it to engage with different ideas, new ways of doing things.
Sometimes, I wonder what would happen if the Prophet Daniel had given over some of his wisdom to our generation.
MENE MENE, TEKEL UPHARSIN
“It can’t be a real prophecy, I don’t understand it,” sniffed Dumb.
“Never mind that!!” Barked Dumber. “Only xtians talk in riddles like this! That message can’t be from God, because He always expresses Himself very clearly. I don’t think this Daniel guy is even a Jew!!”
And so it continued.
When the Prophet Zechariah would stand up to give over his message for the Jewish people, Dumb and Dumber stood there in the front row, clutching their copies of the Ramchal and heckling him.
Zechariah Chapter 3:
“Hear now, O Yehoshua the High Priest, you and your companions that sit before you; for they are men that are a sign; for, behold, I will bring forth My servant the Shoot.
For behold, the stone that I have laid before Yehoshua; there are seven facets upon one stone; behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, said the Lord of Hosts: And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.”
‘Rubbish!!!’ Yelled out Dumb.
‘Ridiculous mumbo-jumbo!!!’ Echoed Dumber. ‘If you were a REAL prophet, you’d make this stuff easy to understand, like the Rambam did, and not just lead the masses on with all this xtian-sounding clap trap!’
But the person they derided the most was Ezekiel (1:25-7):
“And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.
And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.”
‘Is the man on drugs?’ Dumb wanted to know.
‘I think it’s worse than that’, muttered Dumber. ‘Only a XTIAN would try to give the likeness of an appearance to God!!! He’s obviously a false prophet, a false messiah! No wonder he keeps going on and on about the Temple being rebuilt and how it’s all going to look in the future!!! The Rambam would NEVER say something like that!!!’
Who could argue with such erudite YouTube scholars as these?
I tell you what else is very troubling, continued Dumb. This Ezekiel figure is playing with fire. He’s egging on the masses that we’re going to have a rebuilt Temple, and that the Moshiach is going to come. But he’s totally crazy! Look, he’s spent a whole year lying on his side on the pavement, baking his bread over cow dung!! Who does something like that?! Certainly no real Rabbi I’ve ever heard of!
He’s just a delusional charlatan, agreed Dumber. I mean, all those prophecies about the Temple, and did any of them ever happen? He’s just beguiling people with riddles, and filling their heads with nonsense about ‘bones’ coming back to life. You just don’t find reputable Jewish leaders doing things like that. I think he’s a hare krishna.
Just then, Dumbest showed up, and all three of them repaired to the nearest pub, to continue their high-level discussion of esoteric Torah principles over a pint of Guinness and a packet of cheese and onion crisps.
Dumbest, what do you think about all these gobbledy-gook ‘pronouncements’ from Ezekiel? Is he a true leader of the Jews, or a false one?
Dumbest put his pint down for a moment (I mean, this was really important, after all!) and after thinking for exactly 5.37 seconds, made his pronouncement:
One thing I know for sure, is that the Mashiach will not speak in riddles which people can interpret any number of ways. Mashiach is coming to make things clearer to us, and erase our doubts, not cause confusion.
Dumb pumped his fist into the air.
Yesss! I knew that guy was a faker!
Someone as clever as Dumbest was never going to make a mistake about something this important….
But Dumber had to ask:
Hey, Dumbest, don’t mind, but can I ask you for your source for that statement?
Sure, Dumbest responded. He looked all around him conspiratorially, then motioned the other two YouTube Sages closer:
My i-Phone has nevua!
Dumb and Dumber were impressed. How could they not be? This is how Jews were really meant to discuss Torah!
We’re all Dumb and Dumber today, whether or not we admit it. The ikker is just to have a tad of humility, and to be honest that we have no idea what to really think about anything. That’s really the only smart thing to do at the moment.
That’s also the point I was trying to make HERE:
The way out of this morass, all this ‘feeling confused’ stuff, is just to be honest, and to admit that really, we have no idea what’s going on, or what to think about it all.
It comes back to that whole ‘being real’ idea I discussed over HERE, where it seemed to me that the people who are pretending to be what they’re not seem to be the ones most in danger of turning against the Rav, God forbid, or pinging away in disgust.
“HOW COULD THE RAV SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT?!?!” THEY MUTTER TO THEMSELVES.
Really, they have no idea what the Rav did or didn’t say, what he did or didn’t intend, what did or didn’t actually happen.
But it takes a lot of humility, it takes a lot of self-awareness about your own limitations to really admit that, doesn’t it?
What’s going on right now is a massive birur process, or clarification procedure.
All of us are being tested, but especially on our arrogance, our emuna, and our emunat tzaddikim, or belief in our true Tzaddikim.
And so, the test of Dumb and Dumber continues.
You might also like these articles: