A last thought for the Summer/Winter break : Is there a fourth lever of engagement next to Ethos, Pathos and Logos ?

by Didier Marlier on Saturday July 20th, 2013

Prior to allowing us a break for the Summer/Winter (depending on where you live), I wanted to share a piece of wisdom coming from a newspaper article from Luiz Felipe Pondé and posted by a friend, Alcides Ferri, on his Facebook page (http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/colunas/luizfelipeponde/2013/07/1310947-o-rosto-da-adultera-de-jesus.shtml).

The article starts by reminding us of one of my preferred Bible’s pericope (extract), John 7, 53-8, 11, where the angry crowd brings an adultery to Jesus of Nazareth in order to be stoned to death for her “sin”. Jesus looks at the crowd and invites those who had never, ever sinned even by thought or in their intimate soul, to proceed with the execution. And everyone left, starting with the elderly.

Then, the journalist explains: “Jesus was a Hebrew not a Greek philosopher. In the first system, looking for “The Truth” is introverted and moral. In the second, it is extroverted and political.”

He then further explains that, in the Hebraic philosophy, “The problem is not to know if I am right or wrong when I argue; This does not exist in the Bible, because the main counterpart in the dialog is God (and not the person I talk to/personal note). He knows everything and I can’t lie to him as I could to any other man or to the “Sovereign Assembly”

“In the Bible, since the power belongs to God and he has more intimacy than I have with myself, the challenge is: How do I connect to myself […]The writer Erich Auerbach, in  “Ulysses’  scars”, from his book “Mímesis”, recognizes this trait of the Hebraic writing: a relationship of attention and agony between God and his chosen ones is molding the Biblical Hero, giving him a face marked by moral tension. ”

Luiz Felipe Pondé concludes his article: “The Hebraic philosophy founded a regime of Truth which engages the subject to look inside of himself instead of scrutinizing others. Instead of cultivating a political philosophy, he cultivates a moral philosophy of internal life in which it is not the noise of the Assembly that matters, but the silence in which our demons reveal our own face.”

For those of us, who, like in my case, are skeptical about the existence of “God”, you may replace it by your consciousness or by your “Deep Intent”. Do not let your own beliefs get in the way of this article’s wisdom.

At a time when people, in the USA (Occupy Wall-Street), North Africa (Arab Spring), China (there were still riots in Xinjiang or Tibet), Turkey (Taksim square), Russia, Spain (Indignados) and many European countries, India, Chile, Argentina or Brazil take to the street their disappointment  with the political, religious, military, star, sports and business leadership “elites” (what I see as a direct consequence of the breach of contract between a certain business “elite” and the people, provoked by the 2008 financial/lust crisis) Pondé’s text seems of utter importance to me, for us as academic, NGO and business leaders, reading this blog. It is time to inspire and engage those who’ve “lost Faith in humanity” through our own example. Many of you are already living and inspiring examples of leaders who engage yourselves and others through Logos (intellectual lever), Ethos (Behavioural level) and Pathos (Emotional lever). But you seem to have added a fourth lever: Spiritual or conscience based. I will reflect on it and try to follow your example.

I will certainly take this text with me during the coming month of work and relaxation. I hope sharing it was useful to you as well. I hope you will have time for a rejuvenating break… Let us reconnect in the Fall/Spring.

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