Power of Words

Since the beginning of time teachings from around the world have mentioned the power of sound for creation for healing and transformation. The Book of Genesis from the Bible begins with the words “In the beginning was the word, and the word was God.” The Australian Aborigines speak of ‘Creation Songs’ – a time when the ancestors were born from the earth and sang the world into creation. There are similar accounts from many ancient teachings that point to the same thing – that the universe and the Earth
that we live on were created by sound.

Everything in the universe is vibrating. The chair you are sitting on is not solid, but made up of molecules vibrating at different frequencies depending on the materials it is made from. Vibrating molecules give off a frequency that can be measured in cycles per second (CPS) or Hertz (Hz). Unlike animals, the human ear can only hear at frequencies between 16 – 22,000 CPS (Hz), so the frequencies given off by many objects are either below (too dense) or above (too fine) our range of hearing (although this doesn’t mean you can’t feel them.)

As everything in the universe is made up of molecules, the universe itself is therefore full of sound – as we are also full of sound. Each part of our body – the organs, muscles, skin and bones give off different frequencies or sounds. There is an ‘energy blueprint’ for every part of our body – in fact, for everything that exists. Although one person’s heart has more or less the same biological make up as another, there are also ndividual characteristics that make the heart different, such as the age, level of fitness and general health. As we go through life, (and lives), we are subjected to a myriad of choices regarding diet, lifestyle, work, relationships and every aspect of life. All these factors have a bearing on your overall energy blueprint, shaping it into the unique individual that you are.

Thoughts, words and actions also carry a frequency. If your thoughts, words and actions are positive then they will nourish you, and keep the body and mind in balance, but if you are repeatedly exposed to negativity – poor diet, unhappy relationships, environmental and chemical stress, this pulls the body out of tune. It forgets its natural, healthy blueprint, leading to lethargy, imbalance and disease.

Unfortunately most of us have been raised on dysfunctional language and have little idea of the effect of our words on others or ourselves. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words cut to the very core. The word need, or even want, is a perfect example of dysfunctional language. Both of these words imply a lack, for by stating that we need, or want something we are saying that we do not already have it. We get what we ask for, so rather than drawing those things to us, that we say that we want or need, we push them further away, creating that same experience of wanting and needing.

Words such as should and try are also highly dysfunctional. As Yoda said in Star Wars “you do or do not, there is no try”. To try to do something is not to do it; the word try therefore presupposes failure. A better choice would be to attempt or endeavour.

The word should implies guilt; that we could have done something, whatever it is, differently. But so what, does it really matter? Everything always works out for the best, so why get in such a lather about it? A much greater effort is required to do anything once you have declared that it should be done – I should ring my sister, I should stop watching television, I should make the effort. The word should implies judgment – the difference between judgment and opinion is intent. The intent of the word should is to make someone or perhaps yourself, wrong. By changing should to could, it changes from obligatory to voluntary.

We take words – and language, very much for granted, just as we do our eyes and other senses, yet both are tremendously flexible with wide-ranging powers. Language is a powerful instrument, which is used in many different ways. It constitutes one of the principal forces controlling and forming human behaviour. Language is important not just in verbal communication, but also in private thought, in business, in science, in writing, in religion and philosophy – but also in so called talking therapies such as counselling and hypnotherapy.

Words communicate, words are knowledge, words are information, words give solace. Words are useless, words are limiting, words are inadequate, words are misunderstood, words create fear, words create differences. Words are an essential part of communication but form just one element of the interaction we have with others.

Words are merely symbols that we use to describe our thoughts and feelings. How does one describe their innermost thoughts and feelings with such inadequate tools that can never come close to describing that really goes on in our heads? It is never truly possible to know what another thinks and feels, for the simple reason that we are not them. We all use a different dictionary, a different vocabulary, or sometimes even a different language to express ourselves. Words limit and confine, yet laughter, tears and smiles, which are also symbols, mean the same in all languages and are universally understood as part of our human experience.

How then do we define the term symbol? The term symbol is used by different people in differing ways, and often with contradictory senses. If you listen to a young child chattering away, bright and inquisitive, you cannot fail to feel that there is something very miraculous about this process, the way that children articulate so freely their wants and opinions, asking questions in order to learn.  A child learns more during the first five years of its life than in the remaining average seventy odd years. When you look at a child like this, to describe language and words as merely symbols somehow seems vastly inadequate. Mathematics is clearly a symbolic system, much simpler in its core elements that spoken language, yet children do not automatically gain fluency with numbers as they do with words. They have to be taught over many years, whereas words are learnt by listening and observation. If words and language are then a symbolic system, then they must be a very special one indeed.

We are all familiar with symbols such as flags, logos, monetary signs, uniforms and road signs, but how do these relate to language and words? If words are symbols, how do they form a part of the experience to which they relate? The source of the power of words lies in their individual relationship to perception and action. It is through this relationship that words become effective in communication.

When using words we should endeavour to choose them very carefully, for they are easily misunderstood. We may understand what we mean, and think that we have made ourselves clear, by using words in their proper context, but someone else, with a different set of life experiences, may use these words completely differently with an altogether different interpretation. Equally important are body language, the way in which the words are said, the pitch and tone of our voice, our facial expressions, the way in which our voice rises and falls. This is where communication fails and misunderstandings occur, when the words say one thing, but the body and the vocal expression says another.

Religion and politics are the two most hotly debated topics in the world, and it is, not surprisingly, in these areas where most misunderstandings occur. Most religious books are perceived as completely incompatible, and since these books are for the most part quite ancient, the writer’s original meaning is vastly different from the modern reader’s interpretation. These books were written for the people of the time in which they were written and conceived and can therefore only be read and understood from that vantage point. This is precisely the reason that modern translations do not work, for the time in which they were forged no longer exists, and is nothing but a dim and distant memory.

Translation from one language to another is also fraught with difficulties. The words in one language seldom translate directly into another, leaving the interpreter with the task of trying to first understand the context of the paragraph before choosing the most appropriate word. Mistranslations of this type, particularly with ancient languages, can remain undiscovered for years, if not centuries. The Bible is littered with many such examples, meaning that in some cases, the cornerstone of our religious beliefs are founded on nothing more than translation errors. A prime example of this is the virgin birth contained within the New Testament. The original text actually said almah, which is a Semitic word for young woman, and does not mean virgin at all, as in a woman who has not had sex. The word for this was actually betulah.

When one studies any form of reading matter – poems, prose, novels, newspapers, or factual texts – one reads and understands such texts from the place we ourselves have reached in our life up until that point. We gather information, ideas, knowledge, understanding and experiences from life and place our values and interpretations on the words that we read. In order for us to understand another’s words, and for them to make sense, we have to have had a similar experience; otherwise our perception filter will prevent the words from reaching our understanding. It is like trying to read a book that you have no interest in. You read the words that are printed on the page, but their meaning, intent and purpose is lost to you and has no meaning or significance.

As our consciousness expands we are able to understand and comprehend greater and more complex language and concepts. It is often then the case that if we return to those same books and papers at a later date, we view them through different eyes, with an altogether different undersstanding.

Politicians and public figures are often criticised for using 100 words when just one would have sufficed. They use words in order to distract, and to shift the blame to their adversaries, so that they then look good. Salesmen (and women) also use this tactic to distract, piling the pressure on until you reluctantly agree to sign on the dotted line, in a desperate move to get rid of them. Sometimes though, when we have an important point to make, using more words is the best way to ensure that we are understood. These extra words are important, for they lay the foundations that are necessary to minimise misunderstandings. They enable us to explain, give context, a framework, or perspective, so the person reading can better understand what lies behind the words and the meaning that they are trying to convey.

As we grow spiritually, emotionally and mentally, the universe throws us into situations that test our progress. These tests provide confirmation that we are moving in the right direction and in the right way. When one embraces spirituality, then one also has to learn in some ways, a whole new language; a language that is alien to those who have no concept of these matters, words such as aura, chakra and ego. The words and the language that you use are incomprehensible to these people, who slowly drift away, as we no longer have anything in common with them. Looking back on my own life, many of my friendships from before I embraced spirituality were based on an inability to embrace the present, through the need to complain about problems with bosses, colleagues or other so called friends.

As time progressed and I continued to journey along the path, others of like mind came into my life, with whom I could converse freely for the first time. It was wonderful and so very refreshing to finally realise that others felt just as frightened and insecure as I did. It was as if we were united by a common language. In contrast, on the odd occasion when I bump into one of my old friends, the language is stilted and distanced – we are divided by that same common language – in this case, English.

As I travelled forwards on the path, the measuring stick that I used to gauge my transformation seemed to change with me. At first, the stick was easily compared with where I used to be. Now it is very difficult to measure the transformation since I have grown so much in the last few years. I simply cannot remember what I used to be like. I only realise just how much I have changed, when I meet one of those old friends, or go back into some other situation, such as the store where I used to work, and see how differently I relate to those people and situations.

Words are of great importance for talking therapists, such as counsellors and hypnotherapists. They are trained to use their voices to induce relaxation and help their clients to enter the right space. I am immensely grateful to all those therapists who have helped Coran over the years, enabling him to shed many layers of the proverbial onion, and a substantial amount of emotional baggage.

We do not though go a counsellor in order to give them an understanding of our plight and our life situation. The counsellor’s job is to establish a two way dialogue in a safe and comfortable environment where the client is able to discover the words for themselves, and form their own vocabulary. It is this process that guides us to an understanding of our situation and our emotions, discovering our own solutions. Once we have grasped the words that give name and form to the feelings locked deep inside, and the trauma that gave rise to them, then these feelings can be released. When you are able to name something and understand where it came from, then it is much easier to let it go. It is like peeling an onion, as one layer is peeled away, another one appears, and each one usually makes us cry! Each layer though is different, as the emotions and the lessons that it contains have a different cause, and therefore, a different solution.

The more we work through and deal with these different layers, the clearer and the lighter we become. We function and communicate much better, expressing ourselves clearly and easily, without fear. We more we understand ourselves and what makes us tick, the better and the easier communication becomes. There is then a benefit to removing these layers, for everyone around us. In so doing, we find resources that we never knew we had, discovering our inner strength. The more we gather these resources, the stronger we become and the easier it becomes.