Thursday, June 08, 2006

Round 2

First of all, thank you all for your thoughts and concerns regarding my last blog post. I’m sorry if it sounded alarmist. Some of you have spoken to me privately asking if I’m alright. I am, thank G-d! Like I mentioned in the comments, I found it really helpful to step into an objective observer’s shoes and see myself and my inner struggles from that perspective.
This post is the continuation, it’s Round 2 of the boxing match!

I wrote my last blog post in 2 stages. The first one I wrote when the event I described actually happened. Feeling intense anxiety after an argument I had with a friend, I decided to jot down what was going though my mind. I wasn’t sure what I would do with it, but I just felt this impulse to record it. I’ve recently been trying to be more aware of these "inner fights" and I'vee been trying to catch them as they happen so I can manage them before they spiral out of control. I wasn’t sure what I would do with it, but without thinking I just started typing.

A few days later I went back to it, this time from a more objective, calmer point of view and reread it and I was amazed to find how disturbing it was. Even though I had said those things in my mind, and even though I had recorded them myself, reading it over was shocking.

This is how I speak to myself?! How sad!

Needless to say I felt perturbed by it, but I didn’t want to let myself get dragged down by it. I decided to watch a movie a friend of mine had recommended a while back,
What the bleep do we know? I had heard from a number of friends that it was amazing and inspiring and I figured it would be a good way to step out of my skin and re-focus the way I was feeling.

I wont go into describing the movie. I found it complex, overwhelming, incredible, therapeutic, bewildering... I sat spellbound for 2 hours. There was so much information, such amazing graphics and such deep concepts in it. I’m sure I didn't internalize the bulk of it – but it left me speechless nonetheless.

The movie is controversial and has received opposite reviews. Some love it and completely relate to it, and others consider it complete trash. I just want to mention one part which I loved.

The movie brings up a study conducted by a Japanese researcher named Dr Masaru Emoto about the impact of thoughts, words and feelings on the shape of water crystals. His claim is that the shape of water crystals depends on which human thoughts and feelings were directed at the water before the water was frozen; depending on whether the thoughts were positive or negative, the crystals will turn out beautiful or ugly.
Here are some examples of what he’s found:

Water crytal that was exposed
to a label:
'You Make Me Sick. I Will Kill You'

Water crytal that was exposed to a label 'Love & Thanks'

Water crytal that was exposed
to heavy metal music

Water crytal that was exposed
to prayers

"If thoughts can do that to water, imagine what our thoughts can do to us"

Now, as amazing as this appears, I want to mention that the study is controversial. Dr. Emoto admits that he doesn’t necessarily use double blinding in his experiments, and his evidence is not conclusive according to traditional scientific methodology - but is that reason to dismiss it?

I guess if I was a scientist running my life like a lab, I might write it off.
But I dont want to live my life that way. I beleive there are lessons to be learned everywhere. Free will, the way I understand it, implies that there are no black and white clear-cut answers and proofs when it comes to matters of the soul. If anything is found to help me work on myself and grow, I know that there will be an equal pull in the opposite direction.

I don’t want to get into a whole issue here about science and/or free will, the point is that I think there is merit in the concept displayed in this study, even if it hasn’t yet been scientifically established.

Anyone who has gone through a few minutes of internal self bashing and emotional self mutilation cannot deny the harm it causes. You’re left feeling drained, empty, helpless and completely disconnected. Now, I tell myself, if this is what I feel after one internal fight, and if this is the impact words and thoughts (might) have on water, how much more so should I worry about the impact these thoughts and words have on my long term mental health and personal growth..

If I decided to internalize one thing this week, this is it. The idea isn’t new to me, but like with all my ideas and beliefs I try to continually revisit and re-internalize them on a deeper level. The visuals of these water crystals has given me an additional coping mechanism.

The body is made up in large part of water. Next time I start to feel bad about myself, I start to put myself down, I start to resent myself, ill try to picture, in my mind, all the water particles in my body. I’ll visualize them transforming from beautiful crystals, to broken, ugly ones. Ill try to make myself consciously aware of the damage I am creating. Ill try not to let myself be victimized and take the abuse passively, but ill stand up to ‘myself’ and take an active role in creating my reality.

Someone asked me in the comments on my last post whether I was winning or losing the fight. I don’t think the fight will be won or lost before I reach 120, but at this point, I’m aiming to win... one drop at a time


At Thursday, June 08, 2006 11:53:00 PM, Blogger Lakewood Venter said...

wow! Very interesting stuff. great post (and looong too) lol

At Friday, June 09, 2006 2:29:00 AM, Blogger the only way i know said...

really beautifully written -
amazing study.......
i am of the firm belief that thoughts have powerful affects..on ourselves and our surroundings...

one of my neighbours here - a very pious, special and lofty woman - mother of 9...
has a face that shines. an inner light reflected on the outside - something incredible no one can miss....
i'm lucky to have her as a friend..she uses positive, thoughts speech and action ONLY ..
NEVER allowing negativity in any form..not even about herself in her own thoughts..
she is one of these VERY frum people - - no wig - scarf only -

Mookie, you should see her children - i've known them for so many years - they never fight - they are very high acheivers - every one - EVEN the one who is disabled (leg prothesis- also born with other problems)m-
she is a marriage counsellor - without any training whatsoever - and has people sent to her by Rabbi Falk from Gateshead and R Mattisyahu Solomon of Lakewood.. -
she has saved countless marriages from the brink of divorce by training the couples in the art of Positivity and appreciation...

Being positive counts for alot!!

At Friday, June 09, 2006 7:19:00 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

I'm very interested by your experiment.
It reminds f the person who hears himself shout on a tape and is totally shocked to find out how he sounds to others.

At Friday, June 09, 2006 2:00:00 PM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Beautiful and interesting. Creative to say the least.

At Friday, June 09, 2006 3:29:00 PM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

Mookie... I love the way you think! Absolutely amazing... I will now attempt to watch that video clip....

Are the water crystal things for real...?

At Friday, June 09, 2006 4:55:00 PM, Anonymous Eyal said...

Hi pook. Please check out the link.

Water crystals
Masaru Emoto's work (The Hidden Messages in Water) plays a prominent role in a scene set in a subway tunnel, where the main character happens upon a presentation of displays showing images of water crystals. In the movie, "before" and "after" photographs of water are presented as evidence that specific words written on pieces of paper and affixed to different containers of water have the power to transform the water into beautiful crystalline shapes. Examples and the procedure followed by Emoto can be found at this site. In the movie, it is claimed that "non-physical events" of "mental stimuli" are the cause of this transformation, but skeptics have pointed out that the "after" photographs are microscopic images of the water after being frozen (aka snowflakes) — a step not disclosed in the movie.

Emoto's work is criticised for being more artistic than scientific. His work was never subject to peer review, and he did not utilize double blind methodology. Emoto also claims that polluted water does not crystallize. Depending on the properties of the pollutant, heavily polluted water will still form crystals, though the crystals may contain more crystallographic defects than pure water would. These changes in the way the crystals form can be readily explained using basic chemistry and physics.

Emoto appears to have arbitrarily decided what constitutes a "brilliant crystal" and an "incomplete crystal", but in a movie claiming a scientific base, a quantification of what defines such crystals is required.

James Randi, founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation, has publicly offered [11] Emoto one million dollars if his results can be reproduced in a double-blind study.

At Saturday, June 10, 2006 2:35:00 PM, Anonymous gheemaker said...

Even if the study is true or false
it matters not.

as long as it honed you in on yourself..

(momentary mindfulness or
present moment awareness is unfortunately a sporadic event in mundane existance)

thats my view

keep recording :)

At Saturday, June 10, 2006 6:34:00 PM, Blogger the only way i know said...

eyal - i love hearing an opposing view - gives things perspective -

doesn't detract from the messge, though...

At Saturday, June 10, 2006 7:28:00 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

How beautiful!
Dr Emotos study makes so much sense to me because since the world was created by uterances, I believe that positive/negative words have the ability to bring positive/negative forces into tangible reality.

Glad to hear your positivity!

At Sunday, June 11, 2006 2:12:00 AM, Blogger anonym00kie said...

tell me about it, its takes even longer to write it than it does to read it!

the only way i know said:
sounds like an inspiring person to be around.

does my last post make more sense now?
our thinking is so automatic most of the time, and its often not the healthiest thought patterns. one part I really liked in the movie was where they described how neurons in our brain link in a way that ideas/emotions get connected, and the more you think a certain way, the stronger the connection gets (the more automatic it becomes). The amazing thing is that you can also break that connection if you make a point of not thinking a certain way. So each time you find yourself falling into a thinking pattern, the idea is to catch yourself and reformulate your thoughts so that you break unhealthy connections and build positive ones.
Interesting stuff!

socialworker/frustrated mom :
thank you!

thanks. I changed the link in the post so if you click on it now it will bring you to the movie, but its almost 2 hours long :)
As for the water crystals, the pictures are real (I assume), but like I said, it seems he didn’t use proper scientific methodology so his results are questionable.

I wrote in the post that the experiment method is flawed and the results are disputed, i guess I wasn’t clear enough, but as I also said, I don’t think that matters so much because the lesson is still valid, in my opinion. I don’t need a double blind experiment and peer review to know that words and thoughts have an impact. The study was just an additional interesting and artistic way of demonstrating that.

yup, I agree. nice of you to make an identifiable appearance here :)

the only way i know:
I agree, critical thinking is the only way to get down to the truth.

what a great take on it, I hadn’t even thought of that, but now that you mention it, I see even more the truth to it.

At Sunday, June 11, 2006 12:17:00 PM, Blogger s.J. said...

but what about the other 30% of your body which is made up of bloodly meat and asymetrical organs?

not everything needs to be pretty to work best.
(just look at my russian cleaning lady...;))


At Sunday, June 11, 2006 8:50:00 PM, Blogger Josh said...

I don't know if we are affected by unconscious stimuli, but there is certainly more than enough negativity of the conscious variety to sour a grape. There's nothing wrong with being critical, but there's throwing in the towel. In my mind, as long as you're willing to fight for right, that fight is a positive vibe!

At Sunday, June 11, 2006 10:19:00 PM, Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Ahhh now I can sleep....
The harmony that begged to be created ..out of the dischord of the last post...
That water thing is fascinating..I'd love to try it...

At Wednesday, June 14, 2006 12:54:00 AM, Blogger jim said...

Kasamba gets my vote, she is right, it matters, very much and more, very deeply, therefore you look at long term results of such things. I am just glad you are all right, I am sure you are, being introspective and concerned, how could you not be? And look, such long posts, good for the heart, like a brisk walk in words, the mind around the block, restful and relieving. Good for you, and you don't need the verification of photographic evidence, real or not, to know it, like Kasamba said.

At Saturday, July 01, 2006 12:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was delighted to learn of Emoto's findings, yet still, I found this chat looking for the "double blind" or other independent confirmation of his experimental work. My little bud of skepticism grew out of someones fear of heating water for tea in a microwave, saying that when they looked at the molecules they were all bouncing around madly. But then I recalled that that fits the very definition of "heat:" excited movement of the molecules. -


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