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The Hidden Messages in Water
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on 19 June 2013
This book is a fantastic guide to what not to do when conducting a scientific experiment. Controls? What are those? Other variables? What other variables? Showing all your results? Now that would be silly!
The message is nice, if a little... naive and poorly thought out, but the way it is presented only serves to highlight the flaws of said message. The natural world is not nice, it does not only know "love and gratitude"- he gives dolphins as an example of a noble creature with healing properties (page 35). Clearly he doesn't know much about dolphins, seeing as dolphins have been known to hunt for fun, killing porpoises and even their own young. Lions (page 46) are another bad example- male lions will happily kill the offspring of their rivals, for example.
Another glaring flaw is his idea of medicine and poison. While it is true that a high enough dose of pretty much any medicine will harm someone, that is true of anything (Paracelsus anyone?) and so the claim that all medicine is intrinsically harmful to the body (page 75)is just silly, as are the claims of all medicine being superficial only.
Perhaps the biggest problem with this book is his idea of what vibrations are, but if I tried writing any explanation as to the many flaws of his understanding of vibrations and frequency I'd be writing a book at least as long as `The Hidden Messages in Water". Suffice to say, his theory of the properties and functions of vibrations is confusing and very badly thought out and explained.
He butchers quantum mechanics and genetics, and shows next to no understanding of the things he references (with the exception of Dr Sheldrake, who, having been discredited by the scientific community, perhaps doesn't deserve to be seen as any kind of scientific expert anymore...). With a little application of logic, his arguments practically evaporate.
I suppose my main criticism here is that if you want to write a book about your pet theory but have no genuine science to back it up, don't bring poorly-disguised pseudo-science into it. If you do, don't be surprised when people with any understanding of the scientific method don't believe you.
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on 27 June 2007
The author of book claims that water gives good crystalline structure in response to good music, good (moral) words, good photos, and good contaminants (good for human health), whereas, in response to bad music, bad words, bad photos, or bad contaminants (bad for human health), water produces bad crystalline structure. Water is not an independent living being; it does not have central nervous system and hence it has no consciousness to respond to music (pages 43, 17-27), photographs (pages 33-36, 101-111), or written/spoken words (pages 5-15). Water is a simple polar molecule with some unique physical and chemical properties. It is a universal solvent that solvates (hydrates) macromolecules and some low molecular weight compounds under physiological conditions which confer some unique properties to these molecules. Water does not have any extraordinary properties that confer thought process to individual water molecules. The hidden message of water is its unique structure, simplicity and the chemical characteristics. Water is medium in which life is born, but oxygen is the molecule that supports life and provides energy.

Water/water vapor condenses into ice in shapes dictated by the geometry of molecules, rate of cooling; temperature, pressure, humidity, and motion/stirring of the liquid. Ice crystals range from simple faceted structures to complex branching networks. The physics of ice formation argue against the influence of music or written word on crystal shape. However the crystal formation is affected by the compounds dissolved in water (pages 113-132). Water obtained from different sources has different amounts of minerals, biological and organic molecules that accounts for the difference in the crystal formation, but crystal structure does not depend on their health effects. The experimental conditions used in this work are unscientific (pages xxi-xxv); appropriate control experiments (for example, studying ice crystal formation without the effect of written words or music) have to be performed side by side under identical conditions to eliminate the extraneous effects. In addition, the experiments have to be repeated few times to verify the repeatability of same ice crystal formation and calculate the statistical significance. Philosophical reasoning based on Vedic and Tantric philosophy or modern philosophy also precludes conferring consciousness to water molecules.

Several unscientific statements have been made about the universe and life, but I have not itemized them individually (see Prologue, and pages 38, 44, 46, 52, 58, 64, 66, 86). To learn more about scientific aspects of ice crystal formation, I recommend: The Snowflake by Kenneth G. Libbrecht; and Snow Crystals by W. A. Bentley and W. J. Humphreys.
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on 30 November 2008
This charming little book is not a scientific treatise but a rumination on consciousness that touches on vibrations, frequencies and the wonders of water. The prologue introduces the reader to the crucial role of water in life and in our bodies and psyche. Physically, humans consist mostly of water, 90% at birth & 70% as adults. Dr Emoto considers water the essential life force, pointing out the various functions it performs, its unusual properties that include the copying and memorizing of information as in homeopathy. He explains the history of the project and the technique of photography employed: Freezing water & photographing the crystals that last for only 20 - 30 seconds. First he noticed the effect of music on the form of these crystals, then the effect of written & spoken words.

The first series of full color plates contain 69 photographs of crystals with captions & explanatory notes. The most beautiful to me are the ones exposed to the words Love & Gratitude (more about this later), Wisdom in its Japanese, English & German forms, Cosmos in the same three languages, Beethoven's Symphony no. 5, Swan Lake, Yesterday by The Beatles, Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis, Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Negative & coercive words created distortions, chlorinated water is `dead' and proximity to computers, mobile phones & televisions had the same negative effect as heating in a microwave oven. However, a wholesome TV program produced a lovely crystal so the content of the information modifies the effect of the electromagnetic carrier waves.

The narrative then moves to the vibrational nature of the universe. Emotions, objects, locations & individuals all emit frequencies. This means that everything emits sound too. Then follows a fascinating section on music, Hertzian waves and the concept of 42 octaves plus an explanation of resonance. Like attracts like and fundamentally incompatible frequencies cannot resonate but there may be resonance between non-identical frequencies, e.g. when the difference is two-, four-, eightfold or one half, one quarter etc. More detailed information on this subject is available in Sacred Sounds: Magic & Healing Through Words & Music by Ted Andrews and Jonathan Goldman's book Healing Sounds: The Power of Harmonics.

The author revisits the miraculous properties of water, explaining its remarkable differences from other substances & its unique abilities to sustain life, to heal and to purify. The research of Joan S Davis of Zurich Technical University is thought-provoking; several quotes are provided. She distinguishes between `juvenile' & `wise water.' The baby water is that which has just fallen, whilst the wise is that which has spent time underground and gathered minerals, `memorizing' their vibrations. Correspondences exist between the vibrations of emotions and elements amongst others. The effect of consciousness on the physical world and quantum mechanics are discussed next, as well as Quantum Theorist David Bohm's theory of the Explicate Order observed by the senses and the Implicate Order experienced within the mind. The work of Rupert Sheldrake & his theory of morphic fields & morphic resonance are highly relevant here. Dr Emoto provides a simple explanation and some quotes by Sheldrake.

The second series of plates, titled Water Shown Photographs of Natural Scenery, offers 65 photographs of crystal forms influenced by natural features like Mount Fuji.

Much of the author's thoughts on vibrations & the influence of the observer on the observed will already be familiar to those interested in quantum science & metaphysics; what is new is the way that this phenomenon takes physical shape in water. Eldon Taylor's book Subliminal Communication explains how wave patterns created by sound can be displayed visually. Powders, liquids & metal fillings scattered on a disc formed geometric patterns as the disc resonated to music, even taking on organic shapes. This book includes visual configurations of the mantra OM and the concluding chord of Händel's Messiah by means of a tonophone. Works of related interest include Cymatics: A Study of Wave Phenomena & Vibration by Hans Jenny and Harmonograph: A Visual Guide to the Mathematics of Music by Anthony Ashton.

Dr Emoto believes the two emotions love & gratitude combined form the most potent healing force and a powerful immune shield. Gratitude appears to have the greater influence in the blend. He argues that they are fundamental principles of nature. In the epilogue he mentions the destructive side of water in the worldwide legend of a great flood and speculates about the possible future applications of his discoveries, for example the ability to predict earthquakes The book concludes with a short biography of the author. As a work on consciousness it is valuable for discussing the factors that influence water and how the substance responds to these influences; those working in or appreciative of the visual arts will find the beautiful photo's reason enough to read the book.
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on 28 June 2013
While the ideas in this book may (note the use of the word 'may') have something to them, none of the content can be used as evidence. This book is the hypothesis of the experiment, and according to the basic ideas of the scientific method, none of the actual research has been carried out yet. It cannot be anything more as no rigorous testing has been done, no evidence presented is strong enough to bring credence to its claim. Yes, we are shown photos, however there are no repeats of photos for each category. Love and gratitude is apparently water's message, and yet we are only shown a single photo of a crystal formed by love and gratitude.
Another issue with accepting anything that Masaru Emoto presents us with is the fundamental lack of research or understanding in any of his writing. He references string theory frequently, but butchers it into some kind of new age-syle philosophy. At one point he claims that time does not exist in the world of genetic engineering (that, by the way, is not true. I am a student of biochemistry, I have done some genetic engineering. It took time), though perhaps most baffling are his claims about medicine. We don't perform operations on people to reset their 'vibrations'. If a person has a cancer tumour then the operation is to remove that tumour, not to cancel the 'unhealthy' vibrations with the addition of 'higher frequencies' from objects like a scalpel (if that made you roll your eyes then congratulations, you have a brain).
There is very little reasoning in the text; Emoto throws around the word 'logically' a lot, but never shows any logical steps.

That is my review regarding the way that this book sets itself out.

I do not have space here to give the whole of the ideas of this book a thoughrough review. Suffice to say that I strongly disagree. Another review on here made the excellent point of water not having a nervous system and, as starting points for criticisms of the basic premise of this book go, that is a pretty good one. Water molecules aren't very complex, from a chemical perspective their interactions are not either; I can see no scientific way in which water could actively register writing and then store that information. Writing is actully kinda complicated- go look at a tablet covered with cuneiform if you don't believe me. This book reads more like religious propaganda than something based on scientific research, and trust me, there's a difference between the two.
Please don't buy this. Water is an amazing substance, however it can't do whatever Masaru Emoto thinks it can.

If you are still thinking this book is for you then I shall tell you just this (spoilers): the last page involves him talking about how we will eventually travel through space as fog. No good build up in the world could make me take that seriously.

If you want to read this book for comic purposes now then I completely understand.
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on 30 June 2010
I was very excited to read this book.. as I read the ideas are amazing.. I do believe there are things in the world we do not understand (I've had several meta-physcial experiences myself so im open to the ideas).

Annoyingly none of the ideas discussed in the book are actually backed up. The author makes out he is a scientist, and makes vast claims without rigorous scientific evidence e.g.

I'm paraphrasing "Here is a picture of a frozen water crystal where we shouted bad angry words at the water. The edges of the crystal are sharp and maligned.
Here is a picture of a frozen water crystal where we said nice things to the water.The edges of the crystal are neat and ordered.
Notice how the shapes are different."

Basically, the book gives the impression of being a scientific book but offers no explanations or statistics on how the experiments were conducted. It doesn't mean that what he is saying is not real. But it does mean that without proper statistics, the entire book (in my opinion) is a complete waste of time. I could have written the book myself.. just got lots of pictures of crystals and wrote a story.

Probably if you are not science minded you will read the book and think 'wow thats amazing'
For me myself, I believe there are many amazing phenomena in the world (eg I loved the book "The Holographic universe", now this book IS a proper scientific book, it has crazy ideas, but its supports them with large amounts of evidence.
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on 11 February 2008
As much as there are pages with words in this book, there are just as many pages with photographs from water crystals from all over the world - from natural springs, from tap water, and then the images that were taken when different music was played, or when different positive and negative words and statements (samples were taking from many different languages) were written on a piece of paper.

Some sample words and statements were "love" and "you fool". The crystal which formed when the word "love" was written in Japanese looked so beautiful and well defined, that it almost made me begin to learn Japanese (soon, I will). But the havoc that the statement "you fool" created - I think that all who happen to use these words frequently either when referring to themselves or others, should take a closer look to get a picture as to what it does to their bodies.

It has been known to those who are involved in metaphysical studies that the vibration of love heals the body and that vibrations of fear, hate, lies cause the cells of the body to fall apart. The pictures in this book demonstrate what the vibrations of different ideas, thoughts, emotions, statements and music do to water.

This is an enlightening book which is intended to demonstrate the effect that music and words we use have on our bodies, given the fact that our bodies are mainly composed out of water.

The current edition of the book is an expanded version of the original book which contained only pictures and was reprinted due to its great demand.

The author did make few statements, though, which I do not consider entirely correct - one of them being that "ALL is made out of water" - I believe that, at least in view of both quantum physics and metaphysics, it would be more correct to state that - ALL is made out of intelligent energy - and that water in this case was a medium for experiments which have the workings of energy and vibration at the core.

Having an esoteric background, when I picked up this book, I was expecting it to go a little bit further - as in consciously intending outcomes and projecting them upon the glass of water, instead of just writing the words and statement on paper. One can, for example, also use litmus paper to measure the changes in pH levels in water after directing focused energy charged with specific thoughts, either purely mentally or through one's hands, into the glass of water.
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VINE VOICEon 18 October 2005
I decided to read this book after seeing some of Dr. Emoto's water crystal photographs at Jack Canfield's Breakthrough to Success Seminar in August. The library put me on an indefinite hold for his book, but I was able to sign up for a learning annex lecture by Dr. Emoto earlier this month on October 6 in New York. Then, last week the book became available at the library.
If you are looking for a thorough scientific explanation of what Dr. Emoto found and his methodology, this is the wrong book for you.
If you want to understand his process for understanding how water crystals may be affected by thought, prayer, music and writing, the book is excellent. In fact, the book explains his work much better than the public lecture did. And the book is a lot cheaper than the lecture was.
I was glad to have attended the lecture, however. It gave me a sense of Dr. Emoto who seems to be a genuinely humble and open seeker after truth.
As he pointed out in the lecture, his work has raised more questions than answers. But he does give us some theories that will intrigue you. Perhaps the most interesting and important one is that humans can uniquely create earthly harmony by their vibrations.
If you are not familiar with his work, he developed a way to take photographs of frozen water that resemble snowflake photographs. While snowflakes vary in the same storm due to local conditions, water crystals seem to vary due to other factors. Pollution and other forms of human interaction appear to play a role.
Dr. Emoto shows that human interaction can also create disharmony.
The photographs are quite eloquent by themselves. If you looked at them merely for artistic purposes, you would enjoy this book.
Many of his observations are based on spiritual beliefs such as in reincarnation so you can take those parts as you will. But they are not essential to enjoying the book.
I found that I have changed several things in my life since the lecture. I bathe myself in as much beautiful and elegant classical music as possible. I used to do that and am enjoying my return to this practice. I also take time to retune my thoughts to make them more harmonious. I find that my creativity has been aided by this, and my latest book writing work has gone much better as a result.
For skeptics, Dr. Emoto claims that others have repeated his results. I don't know about that, but I'm sure you could check it out if you are interested.
I appreciated his reference to Rupert Sheldrake's work on morphic resonance. I had thought of the parallels when I listened to the lecture. If you are not familiar with Sheldrake, he believes that thoughts affect the physical form of the world and the minds of others. He points to experiments where people learn faster after more people have learned something . . . even if they have no physical or written contact with one another.
With The Hidden Messages in Water, I felt like another piece of the puzzle about what thought is and isn't fell into place.
Dr. Emoto has also started a project to share 650 million copies of this work with young people so that they can sooner learn to live in harmony.
I think this book will provide many interesting epiphanies for you. Check it out!
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on 15 April 2008
The Hidden Messages in Water helped prove my theory of the interconnectedness among all life that I wrote about in my book, Harmonious Envrionment: Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet.

An excellent example of how our thinking and feeling can institute change comes from Dr. Masaru Emoto's study. Emoto's experiments show how powerfully your thoughts can affect your physical environment. In his book, The Hidden Message in Water, Emoto demonstrates how water will change form in response to thought.

Emoto mentally projected love to a bottle of water, which was then frozen and the ice crystals were photographed. The crystals were beautiful, clear and symmetrical.

Next, Emoto allowed the water in the bottle to melt and directed hate to the water. He froze the water and photographed the ice crystals. This time, the crystals were misshapen, dense and ugly.

Every one of us, consciously or unconsciously, affects the objects and people around us--including ourselves--on a continual basis. Think about the expression "laughter is contagious." It is! How do you feel when you are around happy, laughing people? Usually, you can't help but feel good yourself. All emotions are energy and energy passes from one body to another; from one object to another; matter to matter. Emotions are contagious!

Emoto also found that low frequency water reacts extremely negatively when exposed to low frequencies, but high frequency water is not affected in any way by low frequencies. This is because low and high frequencies are not on the same wavelength, and when we are in a high frequency state we are not affected by the low frequencies of our environment, other people, objects or food.

This book will convince you to chose what emotions to own.

Oh--and the photographs are lovely!

Author of the award winning book, Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify and Energize Your Life, Your Home and Your Planet
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on 8 May 2012
I came across this book while reading about Earthing (another book I will review)and followed a link. This has opened up a whole new aspect of drinking water and how 'alive' it is, not just to rehydrate our bodies but much deeper issues. The amazing photos are worth buying the book for to see what effect words & pictures (both negative & positive) have on how crystals form in water, as well as the water coming out of your tap.

Looking at this in isolation may not give much meaning, but when you look at the connection we as humans have with the planet in its entirety (read the earthing book) this all made absolute sense.
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VINE VOICEon 26 February 2005
This is an extraordinarily interesting book from the concept perspective. The author stumbled on the 'fact' that ice crystals develop particular forms when under the influence of words and music, claiming that this applies even to text pasted on the water container. This would be remarkable if true. However, the evidence that is provided is very poor.
First, the photographs taken through microscopes are amaturish, out of focus in many cases, especially at the edges.
Second, the book is based on the statement that particular words and music produce either beautiful or ugly images or forms, and that this represents a kind of moral statement by the universe that guides action.
To be more convincing, the book would need to show multiple images of crystals formed by the same music or word. How reliable is the 'effect' of the music or text? Or at least it would need to explain how many times the experiment was done, and the results, with particular images acting as representatives.
And we would also benefit from some criteria for beauty/ugliness that were applied in these multiple tests. Clearly these aesthetic concepts are difficult, but you could use a panel of appropriately trained people to produce judgements. Here is an area for some potentially important and interesting real science.
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