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BOOK REVIEWS


From The Asian Reporter, V14, #39 (September 21, 2004), page 15.

Two parts gratitude, one part love

The Hidden Messages in Water

By Masaru Emoto

Beyond Words Publishing, 2004

Paperback, 160 pages, $16.95

By Josephine Bridges

Masaru Emoto began his talk at the Multnomah Athletic Club earlier this year by taking photos of the 530 people in the auditorium. "Nobody will believe me when I go back to Japan," he explained through an interpreter. One hundred forty more people were watching and listening via video feed in an overflow room nearby.

Beyond Words Publishing, based in Hillsboro, published Emotoís book The Hidden Messages in Water and hosted the lecture. The woman sitting next to me in the audience said that at first she thought Emotoís ideas were "too weird." Thatís probably a common response to Emotoís proposal that not only does water respond to peopleís thoughts, words, and feelings, it can teach us to lead better lives.

The author has been studying water for years, but in 1999 he developed an interest in photographing ice crystals. He joked during his talk that "Itís cold" in the room where the crystal photos are taken, so researchers do the actual photography. After taking pictures of ice crystals from 50 different types of water, Emotoís first researcher said, "Letís see what happens when we expose the water to music." Emoto was "all in favor of this off-the-wall experiment." Not surprisingly, the crystals from water exposed to classical music were well formed, but heavy metal produced "fragmented and malformed crystals at best."

Next the team began to assess the effect of written words like "Thank you" and "Fool" on water. Water exposed to "Thank you" formed "beautiful hexagonal crystals, while crystals from the "Fool" water looked like the heavy metal crystals. The most beautiful crystal of all, says Emoto, was formed in response to the words "love and gratitude." Emoto thinks the chemical formula for water, two parts hydrogen to one part oxygen, might be a message that "twice the amount of gratitude as love is the balance we should strive for."

So just how does the water know the words? "Existence is vibration," maintains Emoto. Not only music, but "written words themselves actually emit a unique vibration that the water is capable of sensing." The author also suspects that water is originally not from earth at all: "Water from outer space ó " he writes, "it might seem a little too far-fetched. But doesnít it also tickle your imagination?"

Early in his lecture, Emoto said, "If I were a scientist, you wouldnít all be here." The experiments with ice crystals are conducted using a scientific system of blinds, ensuring that the researchers donít know which water is which. But itís probably just as well that the author, who is described on the back cover of his book as a scientist, isnít clinging too tightly to that identity.

Masaru Emotoís suggestion that "the message of water is love and gratitude" canít do us any harm, and might do us a lot of good. I was even more impressed by his statement, "Water is something so common that we seldom pause to think about it." Itís true. We live on an orb commonly referred to as The Water Planet. We human beings are all mostly made of water, and we canít live long without it. We would do well to think more about this precious liquid. At least 670 people were thinking about The Hidden Messages in Water on a drizzly spring evening, and it was good to be among them.

To buy me, visit these retailers:

Powell's Books

  Amazon