By Yonatan Gordon
To improve on something, Kabbalah teaches us to first go back to the incipient moments of an idea. If we were to advise on Research in Motion’s next moves, let’s first return to the original concept of a BlackBerry.
“We wanted to give them a great name, which could really help them. At that time, they were going up against the pagers, and everybody had a pager. They were going to compete with all the telephone operators and providers. So they came thinking that they needed a really good descriptive name because they didn’t have any money. We actually said the opposite was true: You need to have a really distinctive name.” — David Placek, Founder of Lexicon Branding
What started off as a two-way paging device became a social phenomenon. From a BlackBerry Nation to the current SmartPhone Revolution, the way people interact is rapidly changing.
In some cases the concept behind a product takes work to uncover. Not so with the BlackBerry. Both the name of the product, the name of the company, and their trackwheel or trackball device relate to what Kabbalah calls the “wheel of the eye” (galgal ha’ayin). While anatomically this “wheel” refers to the eyeball, perhaps the greatest secret of the eye’s anatomy and functionality is that for the information it passes to the brain to be interpretable as an image of our surroundings, the eye must be continually moving. Like a wheel that is continually turning, the eye rotates fractionally (with very minute movements, to and fro), observing reality and picking up light.
Our discussion then will be to explore how the eyes conducts its “research in motion”? How the BlackBerry relates to what in Hebrew is called the “apple” or pupil of the eye? and How can the trackball device helps us to “pick up the light” from our surroundings?
The power of sight starts with perceiving things in a more inward fashion. But sight starts with choice. When we go to an optician, we obtain a prescription but also choose the pair of glasses that best fits our needs. So too when we venture forth into the world of two-way communication, there are a great many options available. The first lesson is that sight is a product a choice. The way we see reality is guided by the things we choose to see reality with. The BlackBerry is indeed like a “rim,” a double entendre connoting both the company and our choice of “rims” or “frames” to serve as a lens when communicating. A person has a belief and a desire for how he wants to see the world. If this product aids his vision, then the “distinctiveness” of the product’s name (as quoted in the beginning) starts to become manifest.
Research in Motion
The first stage is to realize that the eyes are always in motion, “like a wheel” that continuously turns to pick up light. But if sight is a product of choice, then what determines what we choose to see? What are the eyes drawn after? Fulfilling the desires of the heart as in the statement “and you shall not wander after your hearts and after your eyes.” The heart desires then the eyes seek to fulfill that desire.
The choice of the eyes then is pre-conscious. Before I open my eyes, I must first know that my eyes will wander after that which my heart desires. If the person chooses good, then he will see good. The “research” of the eyes is the ability to actualize the desires of the heart for good things. That when I embark on communicating with others, my pre-conscious ambitions will reach very real-world actualization.
The process of opening our eyes to actualize those good desires of our heart is a four-stage process we call Conscious Determinism. Not to be confused with philosophical determinism (that somehow reality is set), our model is a product of free will and choice. The four stages are: Faith, Will, Intellect and Sight.
The Intellect stage is the filtering process. Before we open our eyes we want to envision a reality that our heart recognizes. It’s the Intellect that chooses how best to actualize this vision. While Faith and Will are pre-conscious, Intellect is very much driven by conscious thought and experience. This is the power of sight. To build the reality we’d like to see, even before we’ve opened our eyes to observe how that reality will look when our eyes are opened.
We can also relate Conscious Determinism to the way people view a basic, two-way communication device. At first, Research in Motion thought to market themselves as a way to send messages on the go. Some potential names included EasyMail, MegaMail, and ProMail. But Based on interviews with San Francisco Bay Area commuters, it became evident that people wanted more from communication than accessibility. When viewed as the final stage of our four-step process, our drive to communicate is a product of our desire to make the world jive with the way we want it to be. Our desire is that each text or phone call should be one step closer to covering the world with berries of sweetness.
The Pupil of Sight
Before we bring something new to the world, even before opening our eyes to see what it looks like, our heart desires to see something. What this “thing” actually is will become apparent once our intellect and eyes perceive it. But before we turn our sights on something new, there is the concept that serves as its basis. Every choice starts from a choice in one’s psyche. People desire to see those things that will assist in actualizing the potential latent within our soul. Those things we choose to see, then eventually do see, start off as a function of our Faith.
The deepest secret of our discussion is that the act of choosing is like choosing the berry, the external peel of perceivable reality. But the essential act of sight is seeing the nothing, the black, of those objects we desire to see. The essence of seeing is to go out (to observe the world) and observe it as nothing (to perceive the true something of Divinity invested in it).
Paradoxically, by honing our ability to see the Divine life force invested in physical objects, we can improve our ability to see physical reality. When all details of reality are perceived as existing within the infinite light of God, the eye perceives with greater precision and clarity. This explains how our exercise in abstracting the BlackBerry device, can actually help to develop a more improved version.
RIM on Reality
The first thing we will suggest is that a RIM device should remind us of this initial “opening of eyes” experience. As we discussed in Windows 8: The Journey from Windows to Gateways, interpersonal communication is bidirectional. Like two people facing each other, each concept has a front side and a back side to it. In Hebrew, each two-letter subroot can be expanded into a ten-level model called a partzuf. With some time, the R&D department of RIM could develop a content cloud using these two letter roots as a model. Every text or query presented through the BlackBerry OS would chart out your question as a concept among an interwoven mapping of concepts.
The difference between content clouding and what is called semantic or contextual searches is as follows: whereas the latter may display those adjectives most used in conjunction with a term (e.g. cordless, upright, and compact vacuums), content clouding shows you the dynamic positioning of the the conjunction. For instance, with compact, there are different connotations (regarding size, portability, density, etc…). Understanding which type of “compactness” people are referencing also helps us understand more clearly how to make and market “compact vacuums.”
The trackball feature, like the incremental to and fro movements of the eyes, would take you from “compact vacuums” through the varied meanings of compact, of vacuums, and other corollary words and phrases. Words within emails and text messages would be clickable to see their position on the map. A string of messages with friends, family and colleagues, could be seen as an entire constellation of points.
Although it is possible for eyes to pick up color when perceiving an object in rapid motion, generally this is not the case. As perhaps we can discuss in another article, color displays and even full program applications are probably better suited for Tablets and PCs. Simple handheld communication devices would do well to focus on the starting points for sight and speech. As we said, before a person opens their eyes, they have faith in a specific concept they’d like to see manifest. The secret here is that the concept still remains a concept even after their eyes are opened. This is like we said in Apple 1, Microsoft Surface, and Steve Job’s Big Idea that our “drive to express ideas pushes products to move forward. While the product is constantly being updated, the concept behind the casing remains the same.”
Why are apps and full-fledged programs (including games and other entertainment) better suited for Tablets and PCs? Concepts are a shorthand vested with a great deal of meaning. While each two-letter Hebrew roots connotes an array of ten meanings, each of the twenty-two Hebrew Letters on their own impart a limitless supply of meaning as well. Once something becomes a berry, some object of desire, then as we said in our Apple 1 article, we run the risk of being satiated our seduced by it. The sign of someone who has stayed conceptual is one who is constantly seeking to innovate using the same base of ideas or concepts as a premise.
In a way, the BlackBerry or like devices could be Eureka facilitators, helping users to frame and explore concepts in new and exciting ways. The device should make it easy for users to continually start projects with as much inspiration as possible. With this initial drive, then it will be all that much easier later on to complete tasks by means of Tablets, PCs and other devices. When the groundwork is conceptually sound, the the completion of the initiative is more within grasp.
What we have now presented is the introduction to what we call an Ideal Manual. Only by aligning our sight with those concepts that attracted the first generation of BlackBerry users, can we begin to explore what the next generation of upgrades may look like.
If you would like us to explore writing an Idea Manual for your company, please email Yonatan Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source Cited: cio.com/article/461879