DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD FIGURES OF SPEECH
A “Double-Edged Sword” (having two cutting edges) refers to whatever has opposite effects –the cutting both ways–at different times or at the same time. Failing to understand its subtle ramifications can “take down” ones wholesome progress in life; keep one down; prevent one from rising out of a bottomless pit; or stop one from thriving, despite being on the Right path. Its story starts in Africa about 1.5 million years ago when some bright human-like creature invented a stone knife for butchering prey. When humankind appeared and discovered metal, they made metal knives, lengthened them, and fashioned a cutting edge on each side–what was now called a sword. This sword became particularly popular among Germanic tribes because it could cut an enemy’s throat–whether animal or human–and thereby reduce their fear or anger. Besides, when wielding with both hands the swinging with great force of a sword, warriors not only cut off the heads of enemies but sometimes, with the same stroke, cut themselves. It was from this combination of a desirable as well as an undesirable action from the same instrument that gave rise to the term “double-edged” sword (DES). Such Principles can be applied to Figures of Speech (FOS) in many ways. A medical analogy is placing the treatment “payload” inside a vehicle substance having no therapeutic action on its own but instead simply provides bulk for the administration of the “payload” medicine. One way this can be transposed into a DES/FOS is whenever something gives pleasurable excitement designed for the “here and now,” its destructive “payload medicine” simultaneously goes to work to cause one to start losing a sense of enjoyment and richness in living. The popular expression for this is when DES people “smile in your face while sticking a knife in your back.”
Another form of expression is extracted from ideas inside the 1420 English word “Inoculation” (Latin in-; oculus, eye), referring to grafting of a bud into a plant of a different type. To elaborate, since oculus also meant a bud, like the eye of a potato, the original meaning was “to graft the bud of one plant into another.” The term was first used in medicine for a treatment vaccine so as to induce immunity against a disease. Originally, it was the practice of transferring infected material from cases of smallpox to immunize persons and thus protect them against the disease. And in proper amounts this is effective. The evil side of this DES was clearly demonstrated during “Seasoning” of Enslaved Africans. The amoral, hypocritical FOS principle demonstrated by the Brute captors was to have an “Ideal Slave” carry a “gift” from Pest Houses (where smallpox, tuberculosis, and similar contagious disease victims were isolated) to Amerindians. By lacking any immunity to the White man’s diseases, that “gift” of infested blankets caused them to get infected and this quickly wiped out tens of millions. Similar but modified scenarios causing Private Self and/or Public Self devastations to all peoples are rampant today. Such is orchestrated by the overwhelming majority of advertisements (with all their pleasant jingles and images symbolizing “the Good Life”); politicians running the government to benefit themselves; Brute religious leaders intent on controlling people’s minds; repair shops who overcharge; and “everywhere about anything.” Brutes have no interest in safeguarding or protecting anyone but themselves. The means they use is to introduce deceitful FOS ideas into naïve minds by appealing to their emotions in a manner that it all SEEMS right.
When the worst of DES forms of FOS are used by Brutes on naïve people, it can be a most effective Divide/Demoralize/Conquer weapon to “take down a nation,” a group, or an individual. Brutes took down the great continent of Africa by subtly applying FOS to grease the slipping in of their missionaries as a first step in instituting penetration so that conquest, occupation, and colonization could follow (Williams, Destruction of Black Civilization). People use it against each other. “Abuse” in any of its physical, emotional, or spiritual forms–a lack of love; a lack of both parents for whatever reasons; being left alone by “everyone”–is typically done by Abusers. They skillfully apply FOS so as to cut in both a self-defeating way and an empowering way–perhaps by FOS demeaning comments to keep wounds of prior emotional traumas open while supplying their victims with “Needy Wants” for which they are desperate. Such can be self-applied. jabaileymd.com