This feature was originally published in Watkins Mind Body Spirit magazine, Autumn 2020 (issue 63).
by Gregg Braden
Almost universally we use words to comfort ourselves in times of need. From the Blessing Way prayer used by the Navajo of the American desert Southwest (Diné in their own tongue) to honor natural order in times of chaos to the Old Testament Priestly Blessing discovered on two tiny silver scrolls dating to nearly 3,000 years ago, world history is filled with examples of words that have soothed, comforted, and protected us.
Individually and collectively, formally and informally, out loud and under our breath, through the ages, we humans have employed special words to help us navigate the difficult moments of life.
If we think of our creations as the expression of ideas that live within us, then our art, film, music, and writing take on a meaning of something more than simple entertainment. Such a relationship between our inner and outer worlds leads us to view our inspiration as consciousness informing itself—reminding us of our untapped possibilities and potential. From this perspective, the spiritual traditions of the past, and the words that preserve them, are living examples that reveal a timeless communication.
In writing The Wisdom Codes, I envisioned a collection of trusted words that we’ve historically turned to in times of need, distilled into an easy-to-read, quick-access, modern-day manual. This group of revered prayers, mantras, chants, and hymns is designed to provide reassurance, protection, and healing when life brings danger, hurt, unspeakable loss, and self-doubt to our doorstep. In such times, even the most well-meaning support of family and friends often falls short of finding its way into the dark void of our emotional abyss. In such times, all we may have is ourselves. And ultimately, that’s all we need. Once I understood this simple truth, it made perfect sense that we already have the power to rewire our brains on demand, and in doing so, to choose—to self-regulate—the way we respond to life’s extremes.
Through consciously applying the word codes of the past to the challenges we face in the moment, we benefit from the wisdom of ancient sages, healers, mystics, and prophets. In doing so, we’re no longer victims. We are no longer defined by our circumstances but become masters of our destiny.
And this is the power of the wisdom codes. In their presence, we are changed. When we speak the words, either out loud or silently to ourselves, something shifts within us. And that “something” is where the power of words, chemistry, and neurons converge in a beautiful way. We associate the words of the codes with the meaning we give to the words. This association directs our brain cells (neurons) to connect in a precise way that harmonizes our biology with the energy of our emotions. Chemically, we are no longer the same person we were only moments or hours before. And it’s that difference that opens the door to new ways of thinking, feeling, and acting when it comes to our losses, fears, and betrayals.
And while our changes may be subtle and perhaps will even go unnoticed by those with whom we share our lives, it’s precisely these changes that give us the wisdom, confidence, and power to awaken a deeper power within ourselves.
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Gregg Braden is a five-time New York Times bestselling author, researcher, and lecturer, internationally renowned as a pioneer bridging modern science, ancient wisdom and human potential. His research has led to 12 award-winning books now published in over 40 languages.
The Wisdom Codes: Ancient Words to Rewire Our Brains and Heal Our Hearts by Gregg Braden, published by Hay House, hardback (240 pages).