Ray: Words are representations. They are creations. We assign them to things.
What is it about words that has such power? Why do words get a response from water when you conduct experiments?
Is it the history of a word? Is it the associations the researchers have with a word when you conduct the experiments?
Masaru: Ray, I don’t believe words are made artificially. I believe the first words were made from the vibrations, from nature. The “roahrrr” sound that lions make, for example. The birds make beautiful “byoop, byoo” sounds, and the storm makes an ugly “phoom” sound.
I believe the beginning of the word was when a man wanted to warn the village there was a lion. People associated lions with the sound they heard lions make. People made that sound through vibration, and then passed the sound on to other people. That’s how words came into being.
So many different sounds exist in this world. There are very soft, mellow, peaceful sounds, and there are dangerous, crisis sounds. Probably, the sounds that come from destruction make bad, negative words. Beautiful sounds from beautiful phenomena in the world create beautiful words.
If you speak negative words, that leads to destructive matters, and if you speak positive words, then some positive and beautiful thing will occur.
I believe I can explain how and why we have so many different languages in this world. In the Bible, it is written that the God divided the words after the Tower of Babel was built. However, I don’t agree with that.
I believe what happened was that every country has a different nature.
In particular, I can speak of Japan. Japan has four different seasons that are significantly different from one another. Because of the very different seasons, different sounds are created.
Every season has different sounds. Nature in Japan is why the Japanese people have a language that is so elaborate, with much variation and a lot of adjectives, too — more than any other language.
In Inuit, up north, because the nature is quite flat — it’s always wintry cold, cold, cold — in the Inuit language there are 167 words that describe ice. Because the people heard and lived with so many different levels or elements of ice, they needed 167 words to fully account for what nature presented.
It is really easiest to understand this by looking at animal sounds. In Japan, pigs make sounds of “boo, boo.” In North America, people say pigs make sounds of “oink, oink.” Of course, in other languages in other places, pigs have different sounds. In Japan, dogs make sounds of “wan-wan,” while in North America, it’s “bow-wow.” Here, cats make the sound “meow, meow,” while in Japan it’s “niao-niao.”
It depends on the nature of a place — that is what generates different sounds and words.