In this week’s segment, a manifesto about clairaudience and communicating with spirit — communicating with the higher self, with divine wisdom, with inner guidance, with guides — through the concept of Voices.
HOST LINKS - SLADE ROBERSON
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You know how I talk about starting the blog Shift Your Spirits back in 2006 with a dozen or so essays … This was one of those original pieces. Originally published in September 2006, about a month after I started blogging, under the title “Who are you talking to when you talk to yourself?”
It’s buried in the archives, about as deep as it can be, but it still enjoys pretty decent traffic. And oddly, or interestingly, in the past week, three different fans of this show mentioned it by name and called it as one of their favorite posts.
It was a foundational post. A kind of manifesto of how I approached the concept of communicating with spirit. Before I ever did a reading or started blogging with your questions and emails requests as prompts, I thought this was the topic I would focus on. The concept of Voices was something Seth and I had explored at length only a few years before I started all this work, and it was so life-changing for me, I really thought a deep dive into Voices was going to be the whole point.
It’s disparaged in our society — hearing voices, listening to the voices in your head, doing what the voices tell you to do … talking to yourself. It’s the punchline to a lot of lazy jokes.
And yet it’s something we all experience. It’s a psychic channel we all have access to.
The one thing that has evolved for me the most since I first wrote about this is that Voices are less about external voices, or proof of entities outside yourself, and more an awareness of archetypal programs and partitions in the mind.
The idea of programming has come full circle — Seth and I were philosophizing about this in 1999, I took the principles deeper into new age space, and then more recently I’ve found myself using smart phone metaphors when I’m attempting to explain how I wrap my head around it all—that the archetypes, the higher self, the still small voice within, the collective unconscious, the hive mind are like apps on a handheld mobile device—they can be downloaded from the cloud, they can be accessed, opened up and run…
I’m going to leave my original vocabulary as it is, but just know, even if communicating with angels or talking to ascended masters or channeling spirits makes you uncomfortable because it’s a little too woo woo, it also works from a purely psychological angle. There are mansions of the mind that can be explored in this way…
Once you begin paying closer attention to the Messages of Guidance you receive every day, what the Voices of these Messengers sound like, where they’re coming from, when they pop in, and what their original Source may be, you can begin to Identify them, carry on intentional conversations with them, start building a better relationship with them... You may also want to tell some of them to sit down and shut the hell up.
You carry on conversations with yourself all the time. Some of the things you say you literally speak out loud.
And you talk about talking to yourself. You acknowledge this to other people and nobody assumes you're crazy.
Think about the last time you muttered something under your breath when there was someone else in the room and you apologized:
"I'm just talking to myself."
"Don't pay any attention to me, I'm just thinking out loud…"
Think about the times you've said to another person:
"I try to tell myself everything will work out for the best…"
"Part of me wants to believe…"
"Something tells me…"
"I just can't trust myself on this…"
"My heart says one thing, but my head says another…"
Ring any bells? You clearly talk to yourself. You acknowledge that there are interior dialogues taking place and most people regard this as perfectly normal.
Of course, I am not speaking to you as a psychiatrist, and my musings on this subject are just that — musings, thoughts, opinions — listening to me on a podcast is not a substitute for a real mental health diagnosis.
But talking to yourself is not mental illness. It’s not schizophrenia or multiple-personality disorder.
Here's a simple way to tell the difference:
Multiple personality disorders are defined by a lack of conscious awareness, there is no dialogue taking place, the different personalities coming through are all taking turns in the driver's seat of consciousness and they are usually unaware of one another.
They may be aware that there are others, but they don't know necessarily connect anymore or even know how to contact each other. They don't have relationships -- they don't communicate with one another.
Multiplicity or dissociative identity disorder is even considered by some psychologists to be more a survival mechanism than a disorder or disease. The ability of the different parts of oneself to scatter, split up, when the self comes under attack. Like covering the eyes of a child you’re with so that they can't see the gruesome details of the car crash on the side of the road.
Or mouthing or spelling out certain words so that young children in the room won't know what you're talking about.
Multiple Personality Disorder is a kind of protection -- a hardcore survival mechanism.
Multiplicity is an advanced form of the impulse to scatter the flock so that the Whole can't be taken out with one shot. This splintering of the Self is a superhuman ability like the burst of adrenaline or physical strength or courage we experience under extreme conditions.
This is called a disorder because once the multiple parts of the Self get lost they may not be so easy to regroup. They separate for the sake of survival, and they run so far, in such extreme emotional terror, they can't find the Others again in order to integrate. The different selves divide the traumatic information and carry only pieces of the puzzle, because to put all the pieces back together and see the Whole Story -- and identify with it, to become the trauma, at a deeply personal level -- is just too much for any one mind to bear and go on...
By becoming consciously aware of who's talking -- what part of your Self is coming through -- you clearly don't fit this general description of mental illness or multiple- personality disorder. Eckart Tolle in The Power of Now talks about "watching the thinker." There's a part of your mind that can stand back, as a director, and watch all the Voices performing on your inner stage.
You know how you have that "professional phone voice" you use at work? You may have accidentally answered your personal cell phone like that before - once or twice - but you don't slip up and allow the "wrong" voice to grab the microphone very often...
You don't have to think about all this -- much of it is on autopilot.
What I'm leading you toward is the practice of monitoring and micro-managing the Voices you've been taking for granted and not paying so much attention to...
On some level, there's a Director Self, a Managing Consciousness, that is always running - it's the Boss - it's the Big Self you refer to when you say Me. It manages, directs, and prompts the various sub-Voices you use in everyday situations.
The Thinker decides which of your Voices should pop in and do their thing, given the context.
Actors and Singers and Writers will quickly identify with this phenomenon -- they have consciously developed their acute sense of Who- says- what- when- and- how.
This is how someone can direct and star in a film simultaneously.
You are the director and star and producer of your life. This is your greatest project. It's being written by you, for you, you're playing the lead, casting the other players... Most of it is improvisational.
You have a Voice that tells jokes... Some of us have a more talented inner-comedian than others. Sometimes he's performing live at a party or a table of friends and he's on fire, cracking everybody up.
That’s just one example of the internal species of Voices. Are you always aware of choosing them, or do many of them just "know" when it's their line?
When you start identifying them, you find them all over the place. I used to call them my Chorus... (back during a time when my life felt a little too much like a Greek Tragedy : )
Or maybe an Orchestral metaphor would work here: when you're listening to a piece of music you're familiar with, you start to pick out "that killer bass-line" or wonder "who's that on the back-up vocal?"
Would you call your ability to do this Psychic with a capital P? Probably not.
But you see where I'm going with all this… You can think of a ton more examples I haven't named.
Start listening for the different instruments in what you call your Head — there are different sounds coming in, taking over for solos, at different times, in different contexts... All together, they are kind of a Piece of Music, right?
Now you're getting warmer. You are in the general vicinity of the Place you will go to when you want to listen for Voices of Spirit, or your Higher Self, or Divine Guidance...
You've got to identify who everybody is in that head of yours, what solo they play, what keeps refraining… And by everybody, I mean Voices.
Which voices are the "loops" that play over and over?
The hateful, self-critical voices are the ones that creep into the background, like a grinding, low sample that's been repeating behind everything else.
It undermines your more conscious, intentional solo efforts...
You're belting "I will survive" but there's a loop on this remix version of your affirmation, and it's back there, softly chanting "I suck... I always... I'll never..."
That’s what’s killing your ability to manifest your intentions by the way.
You hear it now — how could you have missed it? Of course!
Now you're on your way to cleaning up that Master Mix and getting rid of the noise that you didn't consciously ask to be there.
You also channel external voices. In a very real, third-dimensional, everyday experience, you can hear and express the voices of individuals, living or dead, with whom you've had a relationship.
You can also channel the Voices of people you've never met before — authors or singers from other times and places whose personas, wisdoms, and messages, have been preserved in media. This could even be considered the most obvious form of immortality.
What are Ghosts, if they are not the memories that continue in the minds of the living?
When you and a buddy are planning some delicious, wicked mischief like sneaking out after curfew, or skipping school, or borrowing your dad's car without telling him… Or maybe you're considering a course of action that you know your parents or your boss or your boyfriend will disapprove of...
You say things like:
"I know exactly what he's going to say…"
"She is going to be livid!"
"I can hear my mother now, saying…"
"My grandpa is rolling over in his grave right now…"
Impersonations are a form of channeling. You might even imitate the Voice of your Dad: "How many times have I told you kids…”
And your sister shrieks with laughter because she recognizes that Voice. She’s amused and delighted by your ability to "bring that Voice through" with so much truth and accuracy, she might even cover her ears in mock-horror and squeal:
"Stop it! You're freaking me out!"
Consider the phrase: What would Jesus do? This was a large-scale social meme several years ago. Kind of like the equivalent of the "Got milk?" campaign for Christian marketing…
This Question is meant to [re]activate the voice of Jesus that you carry within. Christians believe that if you experienced some form of being saved and/or baptized that Jesus has come into your heart and resides there, eternally, whether you pay attention to his presence or not.
The idea is that once you've become aware of the Christ Consciousness within and invited Him to be with you, work through you, speak through you, guide you, you can then say "God is my co-pilot."
You have free will — you're doing the driving, but when you're lost, you have a presence there you can call on to be your soul compass, your navigator — a voice you can trust to check the map and tell you which way to turn to get yourself back on track.
When someone is Born Again or rededicates his life, he has become consciously aware of the fact that he has access to a Higher Power, but he may have failed to make use of it as he could... Or maybe he's heard it and willfully ignored it.
At some point he strayed from his path or began shutting that voice down or muting it; he sees the error in this and chooses to change the behavior and begin listening again.
Let’s talk about: Talking about Yourself in the Third Person
You've overheard parents programming these voices in their children, speaking about the Voice as if it is clearly meant to be something the children have already received and should "know better" — which is to understand how to access these Parental Guidance Voices on their own.
The Parents quiz their children, inviting them to call up, or call in, or channel that Voice: The Mom says to the four year old "What does Mommy say about leaving your legos all over the living room floor?"
Is Mommy having a schizophrenic moment, or is she acknowledging her child's capacity to download her wisdom, make it part of his conscious, decision-making process, and "run the program" at will, on his own, without her prompting?
A good mother knows that her child needs a piece of her that will always be with him, even when she can't be. He needs to be capable of simulating her wisdom in a variety of situations, and applying that Voice in both circumstances she has anticipated and the ones that she never dreamed he would encounter.
The Mom acknowledges her child's ability to do this. She guides him in developing and using this particular type of channeling. She openly discusses it with other moms and dads — maybe from a very different perspective than this — vague, unnamed... Parenting discussions may not involve a psychic vocabularly, but the principles are definitely talked about. The How To is considered traditional and important.
Child development is so fundamental that we don't think to call it supernatural — that's because it's not. It's the perfect example of a human communication phenomenon that is common, practical, and incredibly psychic, all at the same time.
Consider these other snatches of common dialogue:
When you say you've had a change of heart, what changed?
What shift occurs when we consider another person's point of view?
What are we doing when we step into another person's shoes?
Why are we told to be careful what we wish for?
Why is it notable when two people suddenly say the same thing at the same time? "Jinx! Buy me a Coke."
Why do we knock on wood when we speak of an intended, hopeful outcome that we fear influencing by saying it out loud?
Why do we say "I'm afraid to even say it…"?
Why do we say "famous last words" when we put something out to the Universe?
What Source are we referring to when we say "I should've listened to my gut…"
Some people don't believe in the presence of invisible entities, guardian angels, ghosts, spirit guides, and the like would prefer to use a different vocabulary to describe these internal dialogues:
The subconscious mind
If you require logic — or feel more comfortable taking "baby steps" as you approach the idea of communicating with spirit entities, that's cool. I personally find that neurologists and clinical psychotherapists have empirical data that supports the common ways that the human mind functions; I discover plenty of corresponding vocabulary and supportive explanations in various fields of study.
It seems unrealistic and unlikely that you will have profound, otherworldly, out-of-body experiences on a daily basis — spirit entities may very well knock you over the head once in a while with something Big you just can't explain away... To get your attention, to start a conversation, to inspire you to start asking Questions...
But, for the most part, receiving Higher Guidance on a daily basis requires that you integrate new perspectives and new habits into your common experiences.
The Shift is introduced, practiced, and maintained over an accumulation of millions of moments — all of them opportunities to ask all the little questions that will add up to a relationship — a lifestyle — that features the Big Mysteries.
Whatever your vocabulary or what camp you approach the Questions from — the religious, the medical/scientific, the spiritualist — we clearly can agree that we all talk to ourselves, we have different facets of our personalities that we can access consciously and subconsciously. We all experience complex relationships with others and the Self.
We all talk to ourselves, and it's perfectly normal. This behavior is more commonplace than it is aberrant.
I'll tell you what is crazy:
Asking questions of a roomful of people you trust
Immediately hearing their responses — advice, warnings, instructions...
and totally ignoring them, suppressing them, or proceeding as if you have no voices of wisdom to work with.
The Voice that speaks to you, the Name you give it, and the way you choose to define it is crucial — but the identity of a Voice remains secondary to its Messages for you and what you do choose to do with that information.
Ask a question
The Voice that answers you may be:
your higher self
your Spirit Guide
your grandmother who has already passed
your imaginary friends
the psychic who reads for you
your best friend, over coffee
your Aunt Sharon, who's the greatest listener on earth, the one you call whenever you're having trouble making an important decision...
What matters most about these dialogues is:
What is the Answer you receive?
Does the answer resonate with you?
Do you agree with it?
Are multiple sources giving you the same advice?
Are you listening for the truth or looking for something to tell you what you want to hear?
Does the answer support you, your best interests, and empower you to make good decisions?
Who is being served by your acting on the advice you're being given?
The Inner Critic, Fear, and Shadow Guides
Just as your consciousness downloads programming of Voices of Advice that you may call on — or your psychic sense can listen to — the benevolent entities who support you — however you choose to perceive your relationships to all these Voices you're experiencing — there are good ones and bad ones.
You are your own worst critic because you decide who to listen to and who to dismiss. You have free will, and you are responsible for your behavior.
Do you let the bossy, nagging, belittling voices hog your inner microphone?
Do you allow hurtful remarks that undermine your confidence to play over and over again?
Do you recognize the Source for the Voices that have something to gain by scaring you, paralyzing you, playing on your insecurities?
Learn how to identify the Voices you already have access to, create working relationships with the guides who attend you on your Mission, and use the information you receive to create the life you know you were meant to live.