The Still Small Voice is Speaking. Are we Sane Enough to Listen?
About a decade ago, two psychiatrists and a team of student psychiatrists asked me if I hear voices in my head. “Why, don’t you?” I answered. They looked grandiosely disapproving and all simultaneously ticked something in their notepads. Oh dear.
OK, with three babies under the age of two, living in a strange country, alienated from a foreign culture, investigating non-conventional terrorism and what (in 1999) I feared was an international threat from Al Qaeda, I had become out of balance and was having panic attacks. Three babies, a conventionally ‘damaged’ childhood, the outgrown hippy lifestyle and the advent of the espresso machine didn’t help.
But how did hearing voices in the head become a criteria for the psychiatric condemnation they call diagnosis?
The voices in my head, not the voices (or weird medication) of the psychiatrists are the guides that were to show me the way back to balance.
Luckily for me, I listened to them and refused the drugs. Luckily for me, these voices midwifed the death process of a tired and worn ego structure through which I had paddled through life prior to child birth. They laid that old form to rest in a sea of light, and took what was left, from feet upwards, on a path of healing, renewal and understanding. They are the ones that oversaw the passage from one form of personhood to the next, along its bumpy path and through all its twists and turns.
In the depression that emerged after the period of anxiety, it was these voices, speaking from the gut upwards towards a troubled and despairing mind, that showed me a break in the clouds on a rainy day in the UK, telling how just as the weather changes, so do the moods, but showing the infinity of the sky behind all weather, always blue, always endless, always here.
Often called the Still Small Voice, these voices of guidance can appear to resonate from outside of ourselves. They can sound from above the head (not often objectively, but in a way that we could think we are imagining them), or they can sound from our gut, quietly, calmly and unconditionally.
These are the kind of voices that when you decide a perfect plan of action from the head, and consult the gut, could quietly answer “No”. They often don’t say much (and in my case seem to compact meaning into poetry), but they are directly to the point with an almost impersonal overview of time and space that is impossible for the local mind to grasp.
In a way, the Still Small Voice, often tells you, directly from the vast store of unconscious impressions, where the land lies, while the mind remains caught in its own story and agenda. As such, the Still Small Voice can seem irrational from the perspective of the “rational” mind, yet I have learned never to ignore it. Even if it transmits just a simple sense of discomfort or boredom, it’s enough to just wait.
Later on, I took to channelling: directly contacting these voices with automatic writing. I received advice and guidance that is still applicable today. Yet when I asked these guides who they were, they answered: “I am the undercurrent of your own mind, sweet face.” Psychologically quite a sane answer, no?
Continue to: 3 Speakers Inside the Head
For more information on navigating the world of psychiatry and medication, follow the informative and inspirational blog: Beyond Meds.