Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Taken from a discussion about hearing voices on an Anti Meth site, see full discussion here.

............this is what "LIFE 101" says about it...

Inner Voices

What the inner voice says
Will not disappoint the hoping soul

It doesn't take much inner listening to know that "in there" there are many voices: speaking, singing, shouting, and whispering. At times, I'm sure I have an entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Some of the "voices" speak; others flash images. Some communicate by feelings, while others communicate through a sense of "knowing."

When I say "voices," I include all of these--and any forms of communication I failed to mention. These voices have information--all of it useful. Some you can use by acting on; some you can use by doing precisely the opposite. It's a matter of knowing whether or not a given voice is on your side.

How do you know?


Listen might not be the best word. Perceive might be a better word, or look within, or be aware of your inner process. I'll use listen, because it goes along with the analogy of "voices," but know that when I say "listen" I also mean watch, sense, perceive, and be aware of what's going on inside. Start by listening and keeping track of which voice says what. You can assign them characters, if you like.

Here are four of my inner favorites:

The critic. I see this voice as a vulture. Pick, pick, pick, nag, nag, nag. Nothing anyone does is good enough. (Except occasionally when somebody else does something undeniably outstanding, then the vulture says, "Well, you'll never do anything that good." Doom and gloom fly with the vulture. It feeds on unworthiness, and its droppings are the doubts, fears, and judgments that keep us from moving toward our goals.

The praiser. The praiser I see as an eagle. It proudly tells us all the wonderful things we are, have, and do. It generously praises the being, accomplishments, and activities of others. It's the one that lets us know we are worthy no matter what, and that our worth does not need to be proven, earned, or defended. We are worthy just because we are. All that we are is fine just the way it is. It flies on the wings of grace and gratitude. It nurtures our very soul.

The dummy. The dummy is a turkey. It's the one who answers quickly and loudly, "I don't know," to almost any question. The turkey is the one that keeps us doing all those stupid things we do, and then say, "Darn! I knew better!" We may know better, but no one told the turkey. Turkeys do not fly. If you leave them out in the rain they will drown. They have nothing to be thankful for on Thanksgiving.

The grower. The grower is like an egg. An egg? Yes, as W. S. Gilbert said, "As innocent as a new-laid egg." That's one of the attributes of growth--each moment is new, fresh, and innocent. An egg also contains all the potential for future growth. As Hans Christian Andersen pointed out, "His own image was no longer the reflection of a clumsy, dirty, gray bird, ugly and offensive. He himself was a swan! Being born in a duck yard does not matter, if only you are hatched from a swan's egg." Our grower knows who we are and the kind of bird in the egg (HINT: It's no vulture). It has sufficient self-love to keep itself warm and cozy while gestating. It knows the hatching will take place at precisely the right moment. It is content and divinely patient until then.

As Robert Burns wrote of his egg, "The voice of Nature loudly cries, / And many a message from the skies, / That something in us never dies."

It's a good idea to listen to what the voices say, not to how they say it.

As Lord Byron reminds us, "The Devil hath not, / in all his quiver's choice, / An arrow for the heart like a sweet voice."

And Freud, a century later, wrote, "The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing. Ultimately, after endlessly repeated rebuffs, it succeeds. This is one of the few points in which one may be optimistic about the future of mankind, but in itself it signifies not a little."

If all these birds in our brains are too much for you, perhaps you could use the metaphor of tuning a radio, or changing channels on a television. Once you tune into your own network of wisdom, you'll have guidance that's sure, clear, and direct.

I thank you for your voices, thank you, Your most sweet voices.

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