The Power of the Spoken Word—Part 1

By Mary-Alice and Richard Jafolla

Excerpted from The Quest

Every time you speak, you influence your world. You are either building it up or tearing it down.

Our small, green planet turns on its axis and another day is born in our hemisphere. The land and the sea stretch hungrily for the warm rays of the sun, which had been waiting for their arrival. The sun's rays are utterly universal in their radiance. They beam out in all directions, flooding anything in their path, lighting up the entire outdoors.

Light bulbs are like that too. Their rays travel in all directions at once, indiscriminately lighting the whole area. Even a tiny match struck in the dark will send its flickering rays in all directions.

So it is with any conventional light. The only way to direct such randomly diffused light is with shades and mirrors and prisms, but even then, light particles still want to go off in all directions. That is why even the most focused spotlight will still light up areas nearby, and the light will spread out noticeably the further it extends from its source.

Laser light is different. The light from a laser is "coherent light." Rather than scattering in all directions, the light particles are in phase with each other; they are all going in exactly the same direction. This increases their power enormously. Light from such a coherent source is powerful enough to burn a hole through a piece of steel! No wonder lasers are so extensively used in industry.

The laser can also be made "tame" enough for use in delicate surgery, to reattach the retina of a human eye, for example.

Laser light is extraordinary, incredibly precise in its focus and singularly powerful in its effect.

The Cutting Edge of Words

Words are the lasers of human thought. Rather than scattering in all directions, thoughts, when they are expressed as words, are in phase with each other. They are all going in the same direction, and this increases their power almost beyond belief.

Words, in fact, are random thoughts which have been brought together to become “coherent thought.” Before we can speak the thoughts we have, they must be made more cohesive, more coherent. (How many times have you heard someone say or said yourself, ''I'm trying to get my thoughts together"?) In joining thoughts together, they take on additional power. Like the laser, but with even greater potential, our words can create or destroy.

Words Become Flesh

It is true that thoughts are supreme as the molders of our world. Thoughts are initiatory to all changes. But something else happens when we put our thoughts into sentences, when we speak the word. It sets up potent vibrations in our bodies. Speaking and hearing and feeling our thoughts impress them more fully on us than merely thinking them. Words move us into action. When we declare our thoughts, when we speak, every atom of our bodies responds to the sound of our voices. Not only do we hear what we say, we actually feel what we say.

Every word, therefore, has an effect. The intensity of the effect depends on the intensity of the thought and feeling behind it and the way the word is spoken.

An obvious and very basic example of this is the fact that soothing words create the release of "soothing" chemicals in the body. This is true not only for the speaker of the words but also for the listener. Angry words, on the other hand, cause the release of harmful "fight or flight" chemicals. Again, this happens not only in the person speaking the angry words but in the one spoken to as well. This is proven, measurable, scientific fact.

Still, even without the scientific proof, we already know this to be true. If you have ever spoken soothing words to a frightened child or remember hearing such words spoken to you, you know the power of loving thoughts put into words. Conversely, if you have ever spoken harshly or been spoken to harshly, you know the power of angry thoughts put into words.

It is common knowledge that speaking soothing words of love and encouragement to plants makes them grow faster and better. Harsh, hateful words spoken with vehemence tend to make them wither. If our words can have such an impact on plants, imagine the impact we have on ourselves!

Every word we speak is saturated with energy that will create or destroy. We are accountable for "every idle word" we speak, for it brings forth after its kind. In a very real way, the word becomes flesh and dwells among us and in us and as us. We cannot help becoming what we say we are. The more resolutely and intensely we speak the word of who and what we are, the more surely we move toward becoming what we say. If we happen to accept the words directed to us by others, if we make their words our own, then we will move in that direction as well.

Read Part 2.


The Quest In every human heart there exists the hope of connecting with "something more." Tucked away deep within us, a part of us has always sought—yearned for—that connection.

The Quest opens the way for that connection. It presents eternal truths in a contemporary and very personal way. Whether you are just beginning your own individual quest or desire a deeper spiritual understanding, this guidebook and the accompanying activity book, Adventures on the Quest, will lead you with warmth and practicality through the pilgrimage of your soul.