For many years, I’ve been carrying out my own informal experiments with water in my Power of Eight workshop groups, intrigued by scientific evidence suggesting that water is a tape recorder.
My experiments had evolved from a demonstration conducted by Dr Melinda Connor of the University of Arizona, which entailed asking 10 members of the audience to spend 30 minutes in meditation, mentally sending a word (for an object like ‘dog’) into a small, empty baby-food jar filled with water.
The embedders would then be asked to write the word on a piece of paper, fold it up so it wasn’t visible, wrap it around their jar and secure it with a rubber band. Then I’d place these jars around the room, divide the audience into 10 groups and ask them to move consecutively from jar to jar, silently attempting to intuit the object word that was ‘embedded’ in each jar of water.
No matter where I was in the world, in workshop after workshop, at least half of my audience correctly identified at least one word of the 10 ‘embedded’ words, or something closely associated with the word (i.e., if the word was ‘dog’, they’d get ‘bone’).
When Peter embedded the word ‘barbecue’ into a jar, Dorothy, standing before the bottle of water, suddenly got a strong mental image of a burger being cooked on a fire, and Sarah became very hot, as though heat were coming off the jar.
Anything but snakes
At another workshop held at a popular retreat in Austin, Texas, Janet decided to spend her meditation time in the woods near the cabin where the workshop was being held. In the midst of programming the jar with her word, she suddenly got frightened that snakes might have been crawling around the woods, but knowing that the water might pick up on these thoughts, she repeatedly said to herself, ‘Don’t think “snakes.”’
When the audience was asked to intuit the word in Janet’s jar a number of people mentioned that they got the sense of something long and slimy, and a few workshop members actually identified the word ‘snake.’
In another similar situation at a retreat in Costa Rica, Annika had been sending ‘lion’ into her jar when she happened to see a large iguana, which frightened her. Afterwards, during our guessing session, Dimitri, another participant, picked up ‘lion’s mane’ and a few got animals, but Diane, possibly affected by the iguana, wrote down ‘green alligator.’
Although the week-long Costa Rica retreat had involved just 19 participants, we had even more extraordinary results than usual.
With our first word, ‘conch shell’, four of the 19 wrote down ‘shell,’ Jolene wrote down ‘spiral’ and Lissa, ‘funnel.’
Dimitri drew a picture of a conch shell without realizing what he was drawing. For ‘needle,’ Joao picked up ‘needle,’ Nancy picked up ‘something sharp,’ Lissa wrote down ‘something with a point,’ Jolene picked up ‘quill’ and Dimitri, ‘porcupine.’
For another jar, embedded with ‘tiger cat’s eye marble,’, one saw ‘eye’ and another a ‘yellow circle’; for ‘blue butterfly,’ one participant got a direct hit and Will drew the shape of a butterfly.
For ‘crab,’ one picked up ‘fish,’ another, ‘jellyfish,’ Lissa saw ‘sharp edge and Dimitri, ‘sharp nails.’
Out of our 19 participants and nine jars, 14 got at least one hit, most had more than one, and Dimitri and Kay picked up words embedded in four of the jars.
Message over the telephone
I decided to take this one step further and try it over the telephone during my teleseminars, each time embedding a word in a babyfood-sized jar of water and asking the audience over the phone or on a special Facebook page to try to pick out the word.
In one phone call I held up a jar in which I’d embedded the word ‘banana’ and asked the audience to guess the word in the jar. When I polled them afterwards, one-sixth of my audience had come up with banana, a yellow fruit (several saw ‘lemon’), or an object of the same shape:
‘I saw the image of a banana, noticed a fresh banana smell, thought of banana popsicles, smelled and saw banana bread, strong banana images and smell.’
‘A yellow crescent Moon shape.’
‘One of those Swiss wine flasks that are curved.’
‘A curved spoon, sort of like a banana.’
‘A monkey eating a banana.’
I tried it a second time with the word ‘star,’ and specifically imagined a five-pointed star. This time, one-fifth of the audience came up with the word, or something with the same distinctive shape:
‘I saw the image of a starfish rise up into the sky and explode into a shower of stars.’
‘A starfish shape with five extensions.’
‘A star and cosmos, or shooting stars.’
‘A star heart clover.’
‘A drawing of a star.’
There are over a million words in English, three-quarters of them nouns. If you eliminate the concept nouns or those related to people, you may be left with perhaps 600,000 words. There may not be enough zeros to work out the odds of the answers I was getting being the result of simple coincidence.
Leaks from our own heads
The little jar experiment holds many more giant implications than whether we could shift pH by a single unit. Human consciousness seems to be like a leaky bucket, with our thoughts spilling out of us, getting embedded in everything from other people to our food.
Remember that plants are 90 per cent water and we are about 70 per cent water. If we imprint certain information into water and give it to others to drink, do those thoughts affect them? Do the thoughts we have when we are preparing our food affect the people who ultimately eat it? How far can we take the tape recording in our lives?