How do you feel about yourself right now? What words do you use? Whatever it is, that’s the message you’re sending your body right now.
While we may fail to see the link between our words and our bodies, there’s a literal connection between what we say and feel, and our state of being. They are intertwined. They are symbiotic.
There’s an interesting connection between the way we are able to affect water and the fact that our bodies are mostly made of it.
Water provides a distinct set of functions, many of which science has yet to uncover beyond the theoretical. Of course we know about hydration; we are supposed to drink eight, 10 ounce glasses a day. But there is much more behind water that science is learning about all the time.
Some are familiar with the water-based experiments of Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto.
Emoto’s work has attempted to demonstrate that human vibrational energy, thoughts, words, ideas and music affect the molecular structure of water. When taken from pure, unpolluted sources, water freezes in beautiful and intricate, symmetrical patterns. When taken from polluted sources, the ice crystals are lopsided and amorphous. This is true. And as much as this sounds like new age hyperbole, Emoto may also have shown us that pure water can be polluted by human vibration alone.
In his experiments, water samples were exposed to various words, thoughts, intentions and music. The samples were then frozen under controlled circumstances. The resulting ice crystals appeared to form along the intentionality of the expressions. When exposed to the intentionality of “love,” for instance, the frozen water formed beautiful, symmetrical crystals. When exposed to the thoughts of “I hate you. You make me sick,” they froze in patterns literally resembling a virus.
Some scientists scoff at his research, understandably. Aside from some inconsistencies in his research methods, it’s hard to wrap our heads around the possibility that we can affect our environment with our thoughts and words. It’s hard to accept the notion that we can change the state of our bodies by speaking. How can a word affect our body?
But consider, have you ever become physically sickened by a description of something disgusting? Have you ever become physically aroused by the description of something enticing? Besides the cold, what gives you goosebumps? These are physical manifestations caused by words and intentions alone. And it’s proof of this concept. We are deeply physically impacted by something as ephemeral as a word.
There are over 90 references in the Bible to the careful selection of words and intentions. Everything from the Golden Rule to my favorite quote by Jesus: “It is not what goes into a man’s mouth that defiles him, it is what comes out of it that defiles him.” He was talking about dietary laws on the surface, but as is true for much of the recorded wisdom from this prophet, there are additional layers of meaning beyond the cultural context of the time and circumstance. It’s not about what you eat. It’s about what you say. It’s not about the burden you carry, it’s about the gift you share. It’s not about the wound you feel, it’s about the wound you heal.
We may never come to fully understand the intricacies of how our words and thoughts affect our reality. And of course there is no such thing as a magic word that can cure all ills. If only that were true.
But we can surmise from the various bits of evidence and teachings around us that the words we choose do indeed make an impact, one way or the other. It’s up to us what we’d like the world to become. It’s up to us what we would like ourselves to become. And we have all the power in the world to make it happen. It flows everywhere. The spoken word and water both. Protect them both. Use them wisely, lovingly, and mindfully.
Wil Darcangelo, M.Div, is a Unitarian Universalist minister at the First Parish of Fitchburg and the First Church of Lancaster. Email [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @wildarcangelo. His blog, Hopeful Thinking, can be found at www.hopefulthinkingworld.blogspot.com.