Homeopathy keeps getting hammered as a form of quackery.
Simplified, the controversy plays out something like this:
A mainstream physician/scientist examines a homeophathic remedy under the microscope and sees nothing but water (or alcohol, or whatever medium the healing substance—often a potent poison of some sort, like belladonna or poison ivy—has been diluted in to a point where virtually no detectable traces of that substance are left), whereupon he dismisses this supposed “remedy” as a placebo and homeopathy at large as fraud.
In response, the homeopath maintains that although the solution no longer harbors molecules of the healing agent per se, it remains suffused with that agent’s energy, for lack of a less hackneyed expression. So in effect, what looks like plain water to the conventional eye, still carries the information of the healing agent as if the latter had retained a more tangible presence. Although the solution cannot really be said to contain, say, poison ivy anymore—which, after all, would be rather unbecoming to the patient—it vibrates like poison ivy, thereby unleashing its medicinal properties without imparting its toxic effects.
I can’t vouch for the efficacy of homeopathy, but human communication, I submit, operates on the same basic principle.
Imagine you have an impulse to do something, like jump up and walk around, bang your fist on the table, or grab a co-worker’s breast. For whatever reason—propriety, fear, strategic considerations, etc.—you suppress your impulse, and do nothing. Or you deliberately do something else, like the opposite, in order to camouflage your true inclinations.
Likewise, imagine you have an impulse to say something, but again, you stifle it, opting instead to either clothe yourself in silence or to say something totally different which, in your reasoned estimation, carries less potential for undesirable consequences than that which actually lies on the tip of your tongue.
So now you haven’t done anything, and you haven’t said anything—at least nothing that would underscore or betray the genuine goings-on inside of you.
Nonetheless, you’re sending out the energy from which your meanwhile suppressed impulses sprang and from which your future impulses, suppressed or otherwise, will.
So even though res ipsa—the thing itself, i.e., the word or the action—isn’t there, you’re radiating it out into your environs as if it were, and others around you will absorb it, albeit on a more subtle yet not necessarily a less palpable level. Depending on individual sensibilities, one person may react very differently to the “vibe” you’re emitting than another. (Periodically, for instance, nature dispenses an abundance of pollen that everybody inhales, yet people’s reactions vary greatly. Some don’t feel a thing, others walk around with their eyes swollen shut. Either way, everyone was hit by the same load of pollen, just as everyone around you is hit by whatever you’re transmitting.)
We cannot not communicate.
Alas, we must assume that whatever goes on inside of us, we broadcast into our surroundings one way or another. Even in the unlikely scenario that we can keep our body language, our facial expressions, and the subtle inflections in our voices under conscious control for very long, we are essentially powerless in terms of reigning in, or faking, the silent, invisible, and scentless waves of energy we emanate based on what’s happening in our minds.
See, by the time we have a thought or become aware of an emotion, it has already escaped into the world at the speed of light. And if that thought or emotion contains information we’d rather keep to ourselves, since it has already arrived at the sensory inbox of the person in front of us, we can only hope that he or she won’t pick up on it either consciously or in such a way as to cause us trouble via his or her reaction (as by making a mental note to fire us at the next justifiable occasion, in case that person happens to be our boss).
Dean Martin once sang that “you can’t go to jail for what you’re thinkin’.”
No, but neither is your head a jail cell where nothing gets out unless you make a deliberate effort to open the door.
So next time you’re wondering why someone “overreacts” or otherwise responds strangely to you, given that you haven’t really said or done anything to warrant such a reaction, forget what you said or did or didn’t say or didn’t do, and instead ask yourself what you were sending.
Because more often than not, what we’re sending aligns with what we’re thinking and feeling, not with the show we’re putting on externally in order to dupe others, even if we do so out of genuine consideration for their feelings. Chances are they’ll pick up on it anyway and, in turn, pretend as if they didn’t.
At which point our lives turn into the subtitles scene from Annie Hall.