The Power of Words

Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 10, 2009 - Pages 173-188

Human communication is fundamentally mediated by words. Even though there are many different languages in the world, they all utilize words. Although there are numerous studies on communication, less attention has been given to the words that constitute the basic elements of communication. What are words? What is the purpose of words? Do words contain an essence or power intrinsic to themselves? Uttering certain words can affect human relationships for good or bad. Speaking fitting or poorly chosen words can even affect one's health.

This paper will investigate the power contained in words. This power can operate in two directions: for good or for bad. If we are aware of this fact, we can change the way we use words. We will use them only for good purposes and apply them with a positive attitude to daily life. Words constitute a big part of the environment of everyday life. According to Unification Thought [UT], human beings stand in a subjective position to nature and all things.

Among the elements of nature, water is fundamental and is crucial for life. All plants and animals require water for their existence, and human beings do as well. If our water is polluted, it brings serious problems. In this light, we will examine evidence that water is affected by human words. If there is a resonance between water and the words we use, then this would mean that bad words can pollute the human environment no less than toxic waste.

People use words to hurt others. Yet the words we use affect not only the other person, they also affect ourselves. When we use good words when speaking to others, our words foster meaningful human relationships and help to raise humanity. Furthermore, good words nourish health, both spiritually and physically. The contents of words relate to the Three Great Blessings-maturity of individual character, building a good family, and dominion over the natural world.[1]

This paper will offer useful information for understanding the power of words and their value for building of one's character, improving communication, and improving the environment. It is particularly important for parents, who are constantly speaking to their children, and educators, who are every day speaking words to their students, to be aware of the power of words.


Unification Teachings about Words

Communication as Give and Take Action

From the perspective of Divine Principle [DP], communication can be classified as give and take action in which words are exchanged. It is as with a game of catch: words are thrown and caught, and we catch the words that are thrown back. We should know what we are throwing, for what purpose, and to whom. We have to think about the receiver's condition when we throw the ball; that is to say, it is not good to throw too strongly or throw it to a place and with timing that makes the ball difficult to catch.

Give and take action generates all the forces for existence and action, according to DP. Hence, for example, when we read the scriptures in Hoon Dok Hae it is better to read aloud than silently because our consciousness is enhanced when using physical body (vocal cords); specifically the give and take action of the internal elements of words and external elements in the human body can generate the force to maintain concentration and expel sleep. It may be worth mentioning that neuroscience agrees with this suggestion: people generally remember only 10 percent of what they read but they remember 20 percent of what they hear.[2] For these reasons, speaking words is more effective than silent reading for learning.

The Origin of Words in the UT Perspective

The term Logos is found in the Gospel of John: "In the beginning was the Word... all things were made through him" (John 1:1-3). DP says, "Logos is Greek for 'rational principle' or 'the Word.'"[3] The origin of words and language is thus to be found in God. This is discussed in UT in the chapter on Logic:

Why does a human being think? The reason is that, prior to the creation of the universe, God engaged in thinking. That is, prior to the creation of the universe, God established the purpose of actualizing love based on Heart, and then made plans in accordance with that purpose. That constituted His thinking, or Logos (Word).[4]

Logic is called the knowledge of Logos. Looking more carefully into Unification Logic, we see that Logos is an internal entity that is formed for the purpose of love:

As explained in the Theory of the Original Image, the Inner Sungsang of the inner developmental four-position foundation refers to intellect, emotion, and will, and the Inner Hyungsang refers to ideas, concepts, laws and mathematical principles. In the inner developmental four position foundation, give and receive action takes place centering on purpose, which is established centering on Heart (love). That is to say, give and receive action takes place in order to actualize the purpose of Heart, whereby Logos or a plan is formed. Therefore, the plan formed is the plan for actualizing the purpose of love. This is the logical structure. Thus, logic refers to the inner four position foundation of Logos, which is formed through the inner give and receive action to actualize the purpose of love.[5]

First, the Logos is formed as an internal idea centered on Heart (love). Next, God developed His creation to actualize that idea: this is the "two-stage structure of creation." Thus John 1:1-3 provides a basis for UT's philosophy of creation.

Furthermore, human beings, as creators in their own right, should follow the same process as God did, with thoughts and actions motivated by heart and love. In subject-object relationships between human beings and between humans and things, we are meant to love: love people, love ourselves and love things.

Sungsang and Hyungsang: Words Have Invisible Elements

According to the UT chapter on Ontology, "Every created being possesses the dual characteristics of Sungsang and Hyungsang."[6] For that reason, words and language have both sungsang and hyungsang elements. "Language is formed through inner developmental give-and-receive action, which has an intellectual aspect (logos) centered on reason and an emotional aspect (pathos) centered on emotional feeling."[7] I take this to mean that language has emotional aspects as sungsang and intellectual content as hyungsang. Language has propositions, contents, and meaning as sungsang and words, sentences and signs as hyungsang. Furthermore, we can understand the mood or feeling of spoken words by their intonation and stress even when we cannot understand their meaning, for example in the case of a foreign language. Thus we can grasp the internal contents of language through the external form.

The sungsang and hyungsang elements of all things relate through give and receive action. When sungsang and hyungsang interact as subject partner as object partner, the subject affects the object, and the object can also affect the subject. It is possible to exchange the position, namely, the subject element can become the object and the object element can become subject, centering on heart.[8] Likewise, if we change our usage of words and language, it will affect our thought, mind, and behavior.

The Relation between Thought, Words and Behavior

Matthew Budd, a physician at the Harvard Community Health Plan, the first behavioral medicine department, wrote the book You Are What You Say,[9] in which he argues that human beings are made by their own words. Budd insists that people tend to speak words out of their own character, as formed by their history and circumstances. He states, "Acknowledging the impact your personal history has had on your life, learn how your use of language [words] affects and reflects who you are and think of how you can use language in a healthier way."[10] In short, patients who have idiopathic symptoms may be influenced by their thought and words, and if they change those they will recover.

There are certain similarities between Budd's ideas and the perspective of Unification Thought. Budd began from his sense of the limitation of Western medicine, as manifest in the mind-body dualism that began with René Descartes. Just as Descartes believed that mind and body are completely different,[11] Western medicine had been pursuing only the bodily cause of sickness. Budd and other physicians including Patch Adams, M.D., stated that mind and body are deeply connected to each other.

For that reason, Budd et. al. suggested that the words that people habitually say can make them sick or disordered:

If language (word) is so central to human life in all of its dimensions, then part of our attempt to create a new awareness of mind and body must involve building linguistic awareness, facility, and competence. You are in language already all of the time. But you are not skillful at observing it because you have no powerful distinctions for doing so. With skill at observation comes more success in life and less suffering.[12]

If we can change the patterns and tendency of thought, this will change our words and behavior. Although it might be hard to change one's pattern and tendency of thought in a short term without help, we can begin by intentionally change the way we use words. Words affect our thought, so speaking good words will help recovery from illness. This is in accord with UT:

The universe was created through Logos and performs its movements in accordance with Logos; in other words, the universe is supported by Logos. Human beings also were created through Logos, and their lives should be in complete accordance with Logos. Thus, the human being is a being of logos.[13]

Budd's recommendation is true because human beings are influenced by their logos-the words which they speak and then manifest in their lives.

The scriptures of Buddhism, like many religions, teach an idea similar to UT. We read in the Dhammapada:

The thought manifests as the word; the word manifests as the deed; the deed develops into habit; and the habit hardens into character-

So watch the thought and its ways with care; and let it spring from love, born out of concern for all beings.

As the shadow follows the body, as we think, so we become. [14]

The Power of Words in the Physical World

Dr. Masaru Emoto, a Japanese scientist, explored the phenomena of crystals made in ice. The frozen crystals of water changed according to changes the environment, which included not only changes in external, physical, and material elements, but also changes in internal, spiritual, and mental elements. He found that human emotions and spoken words could change the crystals. After various experiments, he published the book The Message from Water,[15] which quickly became a bestseller.

Showing Words to Water: Can Water Read Words?

Emoto tried many experiments to investigate how water reacts to words. He found that good words can make water crystals more attractive, whereas negative words degraded them. It did not matter whether the words were given in English, Japanese or Korean, the results were the same.

Emoto wrote down the word, "Thank you" in several languages; English, Korean, Japanese and so forth, on a piece of paper and put it on a water cylinder, frozen it, then took many pictures of the water under a microscope. In a separate cylinder, he did the same thing using the word, "You fool."[16] He described the experiment:

Photo 1    
 "Thank You" (English)    "Thank You" (Japanese)
Photo 2    
  "You Fool" (English)     "You Fool" (Japanese)

[I wrote] "thank you" and "you fool" on pieces of paper, and wrapped the paper around the bottles of water with the words facing in. It didn't seem logical for water to "read" the writing, understand the meaning, and change its form accordingly. But I knew from the experiment with music that strange things could happen. We felt as if we were explorers setting out on a journey through an unmapped jungle.[17]


Photo 3 [18]

   "love and gratitude"

I think that there is much truth in Emoto's observation, because UT states that all things made by logos (Words) as new beings result from give-and-receive action between Inner Sungsang and Inner Hyungsang in God centering on Heart (Love), and all things automatically resonate with heart (love). Emoto continues:

I particularly remember one photograph. It was the most beautiful and delicate crystal that I had so far seen-formed by being exposed to the words 'love and gratitude.' It was as if the water had rejoiced and celebrated by creating a flower in bloom. It was so beautiful that I can say that it actually changed my life from that moment on.[19]

In Japan, there is a concept called Kotodama, which means that words have a kind of soul. Even though words are invisible, people believe that the souls of words have a mysterious power.

Sometimes it is not obvious whether a particular word is good or bad. Not all words are so obviously good or bad words like "gratitude" or "fool." There are situations where harsh words are used to convey pressure, for instance, used by fathers to train their children and coaches to train their players. Thus a seemingly bad word can be used for a good purpose, as "God disciplines his sons." (Heb. 12:5-13) Hence, whether a word is good or bad can depend on the speaker's motive, thought and intention. This can be explained quite easily by UT, as the word (logos) is made by give-and-receive action of Inner Sungsang and Inner Hyungsang centering on Heart (love). Hence would be right to say that the words should be judged by whether or not they are generated by heart (love).

In Japan, elementary school students along with their teacher performed a similar experiment using rice in three different bottles. To one rice bottle, "Thank you" was said every day. A second bottle was ignored all the time, and the last bottle was told "You fool!" every day. The class watched to see how quickly the rice spoiled. The rice in the bottle that was ignored spoiled first, followed by the rice in the bottle told "You fool!" Meanwhile, the rice that was told "Thank you" was preserved without spoiling.

Photo 4[20]

From this experiment we learn that ignoring is the worst thing because it means not to recognize the thing's existence. In other words, no one values it. What happens when people are disregarded in this way? Therefore, whenever we meet somebody we should say a greeting at least in hopes of making a good relationship and healthy condition. Likewise, we should eat food and drink water with gratitude for the things themselves.

Emoto conducted another experiment using water in which he varied of the number of times words were spoken to the water. He found that the greater number of good or bad words spoken correlated with a greater effect seen in the resultant ice crystals. Consider how many words we have received words since we were born, even from when we were inside our mother's womb. Consider also the other people who receive our words. Neuroscience accords with this result in its finding that repetition increases the effectiveness of learning; thus, the more frequently we access the neural network, the stronger the connections in the network become.[21]

Photo 5[22]

Said "you are beautiful"
a few times
Said "you are beautiful"
numerous times

Said nothing (disregarded)

The Mirror of Mind

Emoto wrote, "Water is a mirror of the human mind."[23] Dorothy Law Nolte, author of Children Learn What They Live,[24] points out the importance of the language parents use when speaking to their children. She states, "Parents' greatest influence on their children is the example they set as role models in everyday living."[25] Since the closest person is the most influential, children are the mirror of their parents and wives are the mirror of their husbands, and vice versa. There is a proverb in Japan: "If you see somebody's bad behavior, you should correct yourself first"; its truth lies in the fact that the other person is a mirror of the self. To be respected by the people closest to you is the most difficult, because people are relaxed around those they are intimate with and do not guard themselves against saying negative things.

Neuroscience aims to clarify the systems and structures of the human brain. John M. Bracke and Karen B. Tye's book, Teaching the Bible in the Church includes an explanation of the brain and how it works.[26] The human brain has over 100 billion neurons. When more than two neurons communicate, learning occurs and a "neural network" is formed; these neural networks are central to learning.[27] There are ways to make the networks strong or weak, and they can also be lost; this process is called pruning. This is good news for us, because we can make good neural networks strong while cutting inappropriate networks. We should access our good networks frequently in order to make them strong, and not use the bad networks so that in time those connections will be lost. Budd describes our history, from birth to the present, as what creates our self.[28] This is more support for our thesis: that changing the words we use can resonate in our thought, mind, and character.


How to Harness the Power of Words

For the First Blessing: A Man Reaps What He Sows

Seventy percent of our physical body consists of water, making Emoto's suggestions a serious matter. He warns us to be careful about water because it is related to our health, to the atmosphere around us, and even to the universe. When we are alone at home we sometimes talk to ourselves, respond to TV shows, and so forth, with inappropriate words. On these occasions, we should be aware that our words affect us. The words we say in conversations with another person affect us because we are listeners. The words which we speak bind us. Here I would like to quote two verses from Bible: "What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean'" (Matt. 15:11), and "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." (Gal. 6:7)

The theme of this paper is relevant to the Three Great Blessings. When we use words, we are making ourselves (First Blessing), making relationships among people and in our family (Second Blessing), and making relationships between humans and things (Third Blessing). These blessings are all based on Heart (shimjung) and love; namely, when we seek to make good relationships we should put our heart and love in the center.

Here is an example of how the words one speaks affect oneself. It is a true story of Budd's family. His dog came back to the cottage looking injured. Budd's wife was worried and wondered if the dog was sick with cancer or if his leg was broken, but the dog itself was not worried and slept, unable to use words to create an image. Only human beings who can use words to create image have the propensity to worry about things. Therefore, human beings are affected by the words that they speak or imagine. In other words, people use language to create images that affect them. The most likely explanation is that words (logos) and the image in the inner Hyungsang that the dog may have been injured have give-and-receive action. The words affect the image and the image affects the words, and as a result Budd's wife becomes nervous.

Budd cites as another example the "placebo effect"[29] that patients get well by false medicine. The words which a medical doctor speaks can generate images, and the images affect the words (logos); as a result, the patient's reality changes (new existence) and he gets well.

To illustrate the impact of language upon a person Budd quotes the famous story about Helen Keller and her tutor Anne Sullivan:

For me, however, the most amazing moment in her life was when she discovered language. As a child, Helen was uncontrollable and unruly. She was almost like an animal in her reactions-affectionate and clinging, and given to violent tantrums-somewhat like the wolf children in an earlier chapter. To help her, Helen's parents brought in a teacher of the deaf named Anne Sullivan.[30]

Sullivan took Helen's hand and put it under cold water. She felt the cold stream, and Sullivan took her other hand and spelled w-a-t-e-r on her palm.[31] Helen reflects on that moment in her autobiography:

I was at first annoyed. I did not know what she was doing. As she persisted I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers. Suddenly, I felt a misty consciousness as if of something forgotten, a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that w-a-t-e-r that Anne was writing into my hand meant that wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, and joy, set it free![32]

Helen Keller's experience shows us know how important language and words are for a human being. If we have no chance to learn language, we will live like animals.

For the Second Blessing: The Dynamic Impact of One Word on a Relationship

We usually do not care enough about the words we use, when even one word can change a person's life. Yet the power of words is very strong, sometimes bringing positive changes and sometimes negative changes. Of course the effect of words depends on their meanings; however, even when two words have the same meaning, different stress or usage can produce different effects on people. For example, the phrases "Let's do it [together]!" and "Do it!" (imperative) have almost the same meaning; however, their effects are quite different. Everyone can recollect how these two phrases operate in the context of their family. Emoto took pictures of water crystals which were affected by these two phrases. These manifest differences may come from the emotional freight of the phrase, whether or not it conveys a loving heart.

Photo 6[33]    
 "Let's do it!"    "Do it!"

Yutaka Shiraishi, a professor and physical exercise instructor at Fukushima University in Japan, quotes a Buddhist teaching called Bodaisatta shishōhō, "Four Integrative Teachings of the Bodhisattvas." One of these four teachings is "kind speech" (aigo in Japanese). Shiraishi wrote, "Kind speech has the incredible power to change a person's life 180 degrees; even one word can work so."[34] Later I shall try to give a more precise account of this scripture. These two examples relate to the Second Blessing, dealing with human relationships and family life.

For the Third Blessing: Responsibility to Nature

As we have seen above, words resonate with water, which is a major constituent of the environment. The environmental crisis is growing worse, and scholars have been warning people about environmental problems for a long time. Andrew Larkin in the book Environmental Ethics explains the crisis in detail; he describes the many problems of our planet-radiation, chemical contamination, air pollution and so on. He also points out the great circulation of water, essential for life, which has become vulnerable to pollution:

In a great cycle, the sun continually evaporates water from the oceans and lifts it into the atmosphere, whence it will return to earth, some to be used by humans for power, for cooling, for drinking, for irrigation, and for flushing sewage; some will seep into the earth to be used later; some will form pools and streams, sources of food and recreation. But even here world-wide pollution of oceans, lakes, and streams could interrupt access to one of the most important resources-water.[35]

Emoto believes that a number of people united into one can change water quality by using good words. Lake Biwako, the largest lake in Japan, is located in the Shiga prefecture in the center of Japan. This lake, used to be beautiful, but years of gradual pollution have left it with a horrible smell. In the early morning of July 25, 1999, three hundred and fifty people gathered around the lake and chanted "The Grand Declaration": "The eternal power of the universe has gathered itself to create a world with true and grand harmony."[36] They chanted these words ten times while facing the lake's surface. Nobuo Shioya, a medical doctor and a friend of Emoto, explained:

"The Grand Declaration" as it literally says, by utilizing the limitless energy filling the universe, is a powerful statement to actualize world peace. These are words that can be clearly stated strongly as an established fact. By vocalizing this, the power of Kotodama, infused with the eternal energy of the universe, spreads to surrounding things and penetrates them, giving people world peace to begin with, many wishes fulfilled and happiness. That most powerful notion in words is also a statement that boosts that notion into actualization most strongly.[37]

After one month, a local newspaper reported that Lake Biwako had no bad smell that summer, and yet the newspaper did not understand why it had changed. Emoto, Shioya, and the congregation strongly believe in what they did that day. They took water samples before and after the event. The result, needless to say, showed a dramatic change.

Of course we know that biotechnology and science-based treatments for our environment can have a positive effect on the ecology, but these results suggest that we also need to take action to rid the environment of the spiritual pollution coming from bad words and bad intentions. This is part of human beings' responsibility to nature in their position as its subject partners, because Heavenly Father gave us a beautiful environment in which to realize the Third Blessing.


Words and Mental Discipline

Effective Words: Strong Words vs. Gentle Words

We are familiar with physical training and sports practice where the instructor uses strong, commanding words to evoke focus and effort in his students. Is it true or not? Shiraishi had thought that strong and hard words are necessary. He noticed something when he met another professor who was teaching Yoga and Buddhism, and specifically the four great teachings mentioned above. Shiraishi wrote:

When I encountered the Four Integrative Teachings, I was thirty years old and I was teaching as a university professor and coaching sports. However, reflecting on my teaching methods in light of the Four Integrative Teachings, I became remorseful because I saw that my education accomplished nothing.[38]

This meeting changed Shiraishi's life dramatically. The professor whom Shiraishi met, Tsuruji Sahoda, explained that his concepts were influenced by Buddhist scripture called Shōbōgenzō, written in the 13th century by Dogen, a Japanese monk. This scripture has four great teachings called Bodaisatta shishōhō. Thomas Cleary Ph.D., an expert interpreter of Buddhism in the West, translated Shōbōgenzō. Here is his description of the second teaching of the Bodaisatta shishōhō, kind speech:

The four integrative methods of bodhisattvas are giving, kind speech, beneficial action, and cooperation... Kind speech means that in looking upon living beings one should first arouse a mind of kindness and love and should utter caring, kind words. It is the absence of harsh speech. In ordinary social convention there is the etiquette of asking if someone is well or not; in Buddhism there is the expression "take care" and the ethical conduct of asking how someone is. To speak with the thought in one's heart of kindly minding living beings as one would a baby is kind speech... The conquering of enemies and the harmonization of rulers is based on kind speech. To hear kind speech to one's face gladdens the countenance and pleases the heart; hearing kind speech indirectly makes a deep impression on the mind. You should know that kind speech comes from a kind heart, and a kind heart has good will as its seed. One should learn that kind speech has the power to turn the heavens. It is not just praising the able.[39]

I find some similarities between Bodaisatta shishōhō and Unification Thought. Both concepts are centered on heart, and teach that words (logos) come from heart. More precisely according to UT, words (logos) appear as a result of give-and-receive action between the Inner Sungsang and Inner Hyungsang, centered on heart. This supports the Buddhist teaching that kind speech can work in a more dynamic and powerful way than strong and commanding words.

Shiraishi reflects that his teaching technique makes other coaches complain because they think that if they use only soft words their players will become weak and will not improve their skills. Shiraishi points out that we should only praise players when they improve to the point of reaching their intended goal. We will lose out if we praise players all the time without any focus. We have to think wisely about human relationships and comprehend the worries and concerns of our object partner. Unless we are aware of this point, we may lose trust in the relationship. The core of the matter, point out Sahoda and Shiraishi, can be found by considering the meaning of "education": to educe (draw out) something which the student already has inside. The teacher or instructor's words should have that purpose.

Words Can Reflect Oneself: Zen Teachings

The effectiveness of words appears most obviously in sports, because in many sports the game is won or lost in the mind. A game can be lost when the players are overcome by mental pressure or when they relax due to diffidence. For this reason, some coaches incorporate spiritual, mental, and religious elements in their training. Buddhism pursues emptiness of self and recommends dedicating much time to meditation in order to realize this emptiness. People are influenced by their mind and thoughts that arise from past experiences. For those who play sports, Zen teachings are often effective because they help players to put aside worry about their performance; they frame winning or losing, the past and the future with images made by words spoken with the inner voice. Zen meditative teachings provide us with memorable sayings, for instance "Zengo saidan," a Japanese expression which means, "Do not worry about yesterday because you cannot change it, and do not worry about tomorrow because it has not come yet."[40] These sayings help sports players overcome negative and debilitating self-images, of the sort that plagued Budd's wife (above).

Zen Golf by Joseph Parent [41] is a book about mental training. Parent trained Vijay Singh, the Masters and PGA champion. Understanding that Zen words have elements that are useful in training the spirit of athletes, Parent quoted many such sayings in his book. For instance, the saying "Empty your cup"[42] describes a famous story about a beginning student of Buddhism. This young man was learning Zen, and he had already read many books about it. Wanting to confirm his knowledge with a master, he got an appointment. The young man explained to the master what he learned, but the master did not reply. Instead he invited the young man to a traditional tea ceremony. At the table, the master poured tea into his cup and kept pouring tea even as the cup overflowed. The young man shouted, "Stop, Stop!" but the master calmly said, "You are just like this cup. Your mind is already full. First you need to empty your mind; otherwise everything you study will just run out, like this tea." It means that is difficult to have an empty mind because we are bound by past images and experiences, as well as anxiety about the future.

According to Budd, mental images are formed by words (logos). If the image is helpful, there is no problem; but if it is unhelpful, we should change or erase it. People strive to change their mental images, for instance by practicing Buddhism. Nevertheless, to empty one's mind is a difficult task. Shiraishi described the task in terms of kicking out ego so that the true self can emerge.[43] In Unification Thought, this true self is called Original Human Nature. If the ego disappears, the original mind will become manifest. This is the true meaning of emptiness in Buddhism. Consequently, just as Buddhists train themselves by meditation, people can empty their minds by changing the words we say or think and so make new mental images. We can achieve this with training such as meditation or mind discipline combined with appropriate words. It would be better to say: first we should erase bad images by meditation, and then we should create good images in our mind by using wholesome words. Furthermore, we should recognize that we can change ourselves based on evidence from psychology (Budd's examples), neuroscience, and the experiments with water described in this paper.

Words That Discourage

As shown above, words can have tremendous power for good. But words can also promote evil, for instance, they can discourage people. The words we speak can also discourage ourselves. Hence we should be careful when we use words, for words can be a double-edged sword. The care we should exercise in using words includes both the words we speak to others and the words we speak to ourselves in our minds. We should seek to use positive words all the time instead of using negative, unfavorable words.



Words have incredible power. Even just one word can have a great impact. Therefore words must be used carefully. If we use words well, our words can give energy, hope, and goodness to human beings and also to the material world. We should understand how to use words in line with God's will, which concerns God's Three Great Blessings: to create ourselves, have good human relationships, and improve our relationship to the material world centering on Heart (love).

Furthermore, the evidence from neuroscience is good news because it confirms that we have the ability to change our brain structure through making effort. It tells us about the importance of frequency in learning. We should repeatedly use good words while avoiding bad words. We have a proverb in Japan, "continuity is power." By making continual efforts to use good words, we can develop our skill at forming good human relationships within the family and society; this includes also interfaith relations.

Good words, peaceful words and hopeful words are the foundation for more stable conditions in the world. It should also be added, that if people are healthier and society becomes healthier, the economy will improve as well. Understanding that living for the sake of others, including things, is also for the sake of ourselves, we can grow and purify ourselves both spiritually and physically by taking care in our use of words.

This paper has presented a view of words that is in accord with the theory of Unification Thought. It examined various evidences, including clinical medical experience, experiments with water, and an educator's experiences which confirm this view. Therefore, there is no doubt that using words we can change ourselves, our families and our environment. Let us by our thoughts, mind and heart, and behavior promote goodness for all beings in the world.



[1] Exposition of the Divine Principle (New York: HSA-UWC, 1998), p. 32-35.

[2] Barbara Bruce, Our Spiritual Brain: Integrating Brain Research and Faith Development (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002), p. 25.

[3] Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 170.

[4] Unification Thought Institute, New Essentials of Unification Thought: Head-Wing Thought (Korea: Kogensha, 2006), p. 458.

[5] Ibid., pp. 461-462.

[6] Ibid., p. 105.

[7] Ibid., p. 504

[8] Ibid., p. 127.

[9] Matthew Budd, Larry Rothstein, and Patch Adams, You Are What You Say: The Proven Program That Uses the Power of Language to Combat Stress, Anger, and Depression (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2000).

[10] Ibid., p. 4.

[11] Shigenari Kanamori, A Simple Introduction to Western Philosophy and Ideas (Tokyo, Japan: PHP Institute, 2007), p. 109.

[12] Matthew Budd, Larry Rothstein, and Patch Adams, You Are What You Say: The Proven Program That Uses the Power of Language to Combat Stress, Anger, and Depression (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2000), p. 127.

[13]New Essentials of Unification Thought: Head-Wing Thought, p. 167.

[14] Budd, Rothstein, and Adams, You Are What You Say, p. 123.

[15] Masaru Emoto, The Message from Water (Tokyo, Japan: Hado Kyoikusya, 2001).

[16] Masaru Emoto, The Hidden Messages in Water (Hillsboro, OR: Beyond Words Pub, 2004), pp. 6-8.

[17] Ibid., p. xxiv.

[18] Ibid., p. 5.

[19] Ibid., p. xxvi.

[20] Masaru Emoto, The Message from Water, vol. 2 (Tokyo, Japan: Hado Kyoikusya. 2002), p. 135.

[21] John M. Bracke and Karen B. Tye, Teaching the Bible in the Church (St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2003), p. 14.

[22] Emoto, The Hidden Messages in Water, p. 14.

[23] Emoto, The Message from Water, vol. 2.

[24] Dorothy Nolte, and Rachel Harris, Children Learn What They Live: Parenting to Inspire Values (New York: Workman Pub, 1998).

[25] Ibid., p. xiii.

[26] John M. Bracke and Karen B. Tye, Teaching the Bible in the Church (St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2003), pp. 12-22.

[27] Ibid., p. 13.

[28] Budd, Rothstein, and Adams, You Are What You Say, ch. 3.

[29] Ibid., p. 155.

[30] Ibid., p. 126.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid., p. 127.

[33] Emoto, The Hidden Messages in Water, p. 10.

[34] Yutaka Shiraishi, Words for Mind Discipline:心を鍛える言葉 (Tokyo, Japan: NHK Shuppan, 2008), p. 167. (translated by Nakata)

[35] Andrew Larkin, "The Ethical Problem of Economic Growth versus Environmental Degradation." Environmental Ethics, Ed. Shrader-Frechette, K. S. (Pacific Grove, CA: Boxwood Press, 1981), p. 208.

[36] Emoto, The Message from Water,Vol. 2, p. 122.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Shiraishi, Words for Mind Discipline, p. 162.

[39] Dōgen and Thomas F. Cleary, Shōbōgenzō, Zen Essays (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1986), pp. 117-119.

[40] Shiraishi, Words for Mind Discipline, pp. 179-180.

[41] Joseph Parent, Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game (New York: Random House, 2002)

[42] Ibid., p. 3.

[43] Shiraishi, Words for Mind Discipline, p. 89.