How Words Create Your Reality

Words

Sally Kempton | Yoga Journal

At a dinner party I recently attended, the host asked us: “Did your parents ever say something that you’ve carried throughout your life?” As people shared, we were struck by how many of us had been shaped by a parent’s words. The woman whose father had told her,”Whatever you do in life, be the best,” became a successful entrepreneur. The woman who had heard, “Nobody’s looking at you,” spent her career guiding powerful people from the sidelines. Words had literally defined their lives.

The power of words isn’t lost on anyone—just think of the pleasure you feel when someone pays you a sincere compliment, or the discomfort of realizing you’ve spilled a secret you’d promised to keep. Words and the energy they carry make or break friendships and careers; they define us as individuals and even as cultures. We know this, and yet we often let our words flow out more or less unmediated, like random pebbles tossed into a lake. Sometimes, it’s only when the ripples spread and cause waves, and the waves rush back and splash us, that we stop to think about the way we speak.

The sages of yoga obviously understood the human tendency to run off at the mouth, because many texts of the inner life, from the Upanishads and the Yoga Vasistha to the Bhagavad Gita, counsel us to use words carefully. The Buddha made right speech one of the pillars of his Noble Eightfold Path. On the simplest level, these sages point out, unnecessary speaking wastes energy that could be devoted to self-inquiry and transformative action. More important, though, is the power that words have to change the communal atmosphere, to cause joy or pain, and to create a climate that fosters truth or falsity, kindness or cruelty.

Of course, in an era where unsubstantiated rumors roll endlessly through the blogosphere, where lying and concealment and spin are so much a part of public utterance that words have lost their meaning and most of us automatically suspect anything a public figure says, the very idea of right speech can sound countercultural. And yet, as with so many of the yogic dicta, it makes profound sense. So much of the pain we cause ourselves and each other could be avoided if we were just a bit more discriminating about what we say. Our relationships, our work environment, even our feelings about ourselves, can be transformed simply by taking time to think about how words create reality. Yes, words create reality. That’s an understanding you’ll find in most of the great wisdom traditions, but especially the Vedic and Tantric traditions of India and in the texts of Kabbalah, with which they have so much in common.

The bottom line of the Tantric teaching on words is this: Since everything in existence, including rocks and planets, is made out of different densities of vibration—that is, out of coagulated sound—words are not merely signifiers, but actual powers. The strongest transformative energies are locked into those special words called mantras, which when empowered and properly pronounced, can change the course of a life. But ordinary, mundane words also hold their own vibratory force. All speech, especially speech imbued with strong feeling or emotion, creates waves of energy that radiate through our bodies and into the world, vibrating with complementary word streams and helping to create the atmosphere we live in.


Our bodies and subconscious minds hold the residue of every kind or cruel word we’ve ever taken in. So does the very air and soil. When you feel a particular vibe in a room, chances are that what you notice is the energetic residue of the words that have been spoken there. Words—whether spoken or thought—are constantly altering reality, shifting the vibratory atmosphere in our bodies, in our homes and places of work, in our cities. So the choices we make about what to say and not say are not just of casual importance.

Where Words Come From

To practice right speech is essentially to approach speaking as a form of yoga. The first stage in the yoga of speech is to start becoming conscious of what comes out of your mouth. You might begin by spending a day eavesdropping on yourself—ideally, without activating your inner critic. Try to notice not just what you say but also the tone with which you say it. See if you can sense the emotional residue your words create. How do you feel after certain remarks? How do other people react?

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE

Tags: , , , , ,

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Top

Send this to a friend