The reason that words are like magic, in that they can directly affect our internal state, including our emotions and even physical health, is because words communicate information about the health of our environment, and the health of our environment is what determines our present and future health.
Our own physical health is our primary priority, but, because we rely on our environment to be there for us when we need to take in matter and energy that makes us grow (when we have a deficiency), and when we need it to accept any matter and energy that we have more than enough of, and need to output (when we have a toxicity), the state of our environment is always a major factor when it comes to our own long term health. So while we are naturally and necessarily selfish, we are also naturally and necessarily inclined to extend our sense of self to all other living things, and possibly beyond, because everything is connected. To everything else. Including us!
So when we hear the words of someone else who has been finding it difficult to be healthy, we feel a similar pain, frustration, and motivation to act as they do. Their internal state can be magically transferred to our internal self just through the power of words, and our emotional health becomes entwined with their physical health. When it’s someone we are intensely intimate with – our partner, for example, or our child – who is struggling to get their needs met, then we feel an exceptionally strong emotional pain, because we are effectively a major part of them and they are a major part of us, in a sense, as the connection is so strong in our minds that much of the time the brain labels us and them as “one and the same”. (Which is also why we tend to treat our partner as we treat our self, even down to the “self” criticism that we learned from those who raised us.) Sometimes, when others are hurting we might hurt even more than they do because we don’t feel like we have as much power to help, while they might see the solution as being very easy to do (which is why it’s useful to ask questions about what others believe is possible for the future, rather than assuming the worst and making a mountain out of someone else’s mole hill!). But, when the words we hear are from someone who is finding all they need and more, and are overflowing with healthy abundance, we are magically transformed, internally, as we start feeling the same intense joy and satisfaction that they feel, as well.
And, as I’ve mentioned before, and you probably have also noticed in yourself, the healthier you are physically, the more capable you are of being resilient and helpful when others around you are hurting and in need. And that’s a great thing because your own words are just as magical for other people, and reflect the health of you – a crucial part of their environment – which they rely on for their own health.
On the next higher level, intellectual health, we feel smarter and more able to understand the world when those in our communities (at all levels from our friends, to our next door neighbors, to our country, to even people in other parts of the world) express words of health and healing. Thus, news of how people are making political and scientific progress in taking care of people’s physical needs – of whole food, clean water, fresh air, warmth and light, and the freedom to express oneself – makes that left prefrontal cortex of the human brain practically buzz with electric excitement and the happy chemicals that come from “problem solving” on a grand scale.
And, of course, on the level of spiritual health, we feel more connected with life itself when we hear the magic words that express the power of any form of life to physically grow and survive and thrive in diverse environments, from the depths of the ocean, to the peaks of the Himalayas, to the dusty surface of the moon.
So, when Neil Armstrong walked out of the Apollo lander and onto the moon for the very first time, his physical self felt relieved that he was still breathing, his emotional self was probably happy that his wife and kids were safe on the Earth, and his intellect might have said “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” as a way to let the world know that humans had amazingly learned how to stay alive well enough to walk onto what is essentially another planet, while the spirits of every individual watching and listening to that NASA broadcast, both at the time and ever since, heard the highest power magic of Armstrong’s words and felt that that one step was so much more than just a leap for humans, and more like a leap for the evolution of life itself, similar to that momentous leap from single celled organisms to multi-celled organisms, as life made it’s first jump from the individual cell that is the Earth, out into the rest of the universe, possibly getting ready to evolve something entirely new and even more wonderfully adapted for space travel in the same way that those single celled organisms evolved to travel on land, sea, and air.