As I was lying in bed on the verge of falling asleep the other night, I was listening. In the between-worlds, where dreams have not yet become dreams but I am not awake enough to hear my own thoughts, I hear voices, almost like a TV playing in the background. They amuse me because I understand little of their significance. Sometimes they aren’t even in a language I understand.
One of my guilty pleasures is watching the LMN show The Haunting of with Kim Russo. For those of you unfamiliar with the show (the link will take you to full episodes), Ms. Russo is a psychic medium who takes celebrities back to the location of a traumatic paranormal experience with the goal of gaining insight and closure. Lying there on the edge of sleep, I thought of her as I listened. I am no psychic medium but when I am super-tired and not asleep yet, I hear these people and I often wonder at their significance. Are they spirits? Residual energy? Dreams that haven’t completely formed yet? I didn’t used to be able to distinguish anything they say, but over the years, I’ve gotten better (the channel is clearer) at hearing these snippets. I have no idea what they mean or what they are for, but I hear them.
I am brave enough to mention such craziness here because over the years, I have mentioned it to people I trust and have discovered that I am not alone (thank God!). Part of the allure of my husband is that when I mentioned it to him, he immediately got what I was talking about. (Some folks just file you in the crazy box.) A quick internet search unearthed this: Hearing Spirit Voices When Falling Asleep, and the name for it which it turns out is Hypnagogic Hallucinations.
Do the schizophrenic just have a thinner veil? For me these hallucinations only occur when I am super-tired, but maybe whatever condition it is that induces such a phenomenon in the brain is a condition that occurs while wide awake for some of the “mental ill.” (I know; I’m weird – I think about these things.)
I was reading Michael A. Singer’s The Untethered Soul last night and it occurred to me that listening to those voices is no more crazy than listening to the voice each us has in our head, aka our thoughts. All of us have voices in our head (and songs, but that’s different post!) – call it intuition, call it ego, call it whatever you like. But we all have voices that tell us things. Singer says this, “Stop feeling that one thing it says is you and the other thing it says is not you. If you’re hearing it talk, it’s obviously not you. You are the one who hears the voice. You are the one who notices that it’s talking.”
I have a lot of friends who, like Kim Russo, are connected to the other side. Spirits tell them things. Some of them even see spirits. (In my opinion, I think I have a lot of gifted friends.) I am not so blessed that I can clearly hear spirit guides shouting out instructions. Although I frequently “know” things (clairsentience), (I call this intuition and I think everyone has it), I am not so well connected (yet!) that I have my spirit guides butting in with clear instructions as to what I should or shouldn’t be doing.
But the question arises, if the voices in our heads, otherwise known as the thoughts we think, if those thoughts aren’t “us,” then who exactly are they? Who is thinking those thoughts? Who is “talking”?
Singer says, “There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it.”
As Bryon Katie is fond of saying, “Don’t believe your thoughts.”
Singer goes on to explain that people “want to discover which of these voices, which of these aspects of their personality, is who they really are. The answer is simple: none of them.”
I occurred to me that listening to your thoughts is a little like listening to the voices I sometimes hear right before falling sleep, or the spirits Kim Russo hears when she is working. It is an expedition into the unknown. You are there to gather information, to figure out where it is leading you, but you also shouldn’t be too smitten by what is conveyed.
“You are not your thoughts; you are aware of your thoughts. You are not your emotions; you feel your emotions. You are not your body; you look at it in the mirror and experience this world through its eyes and ears. You are the conscious being who is aware that you are aware of all these inner and outer things,” says Singer.
I do not know where any of this is leading. Writing, for me, is like following those threads of thoughts; like listening to the voices. When I begin, I do not know where I will end up. I do not know what anything is for and so it is just an exploration. It’s an adventure.
In church, right now, we are reading Ernest Holmes’ The Art of Life . It is the basis of the weekly spiritual lessons. (We are also discussing it in our prayer group). One of the things that I love about Holmes is that he has a practical guide on what thoughts we should bother to pay attention to. Holmes says, “We might say that in the beginning there was Mind and that this Mind is synonymous with God, with design and cosmic order. In such degree as we consciously or unconsciously unify with this Cosmic Mind, we prosper. In such degree as we oppose It, we are automatically stopped.”
Or as I like to say, “The game is rigged. You can’t screw it up.” Everything ultimately has a “good” purpose; whether the experience is painful or pleasurable is another story.
A friend of mine recently left her wallet in a cab. She said that as she exited the cab, she had the thought, “People leave things in cabs all the time.” She also thought, “Wow, my purse is big and heavy and wide open. I’d better close it up before I lose something out of it because I wouldn’t even notice it was missing.”
Was it intuition telling her she needed to pay attention? Were they messages from her spirit guides? What part of her was savvy enough to know she should be paying attention but not bossy enough to directly tell her not to leave her wallet behind?
She got the wallet back (it took no time at all to recognize she’d left it in the cab), but clearly those thoughts had her best interests at heart. Where did those thoughts come from?
I have no answers. These are just things I think about sometimes. Or they are thoughts that my “self” observes.
I can’t wait to finish The Untethered Soul book. Perhaps I’ll receive some answers. In the meanwhile, I am grateful for Holmes’ work so that I know that thoughts can be consciously directed to work in alignment with the Cosmic Mind.
Holmes says, ““We are consciously called upon to unite our thought with the Law of this Power – to do so for definite purposes; to bring health, happiness and prosperity in our lives and into the lives of others.”
I may not be the one thinking the thoughts, but I am at choice about how I care to direct and focus the thoughts I am aware of.
“Power must be power to something; God must be God to something; consciousness must be conscious of something,” says Holmes. “The electrician does not merely say. “There is enough electric energy to light this building”; rather it is because he knows that there is enough electric energy to light the building that he wires the building and connects it with the power station. When you are seeking to help someone else, you are not the power station; you are not the wires; you are not the energy, but you are using it for definite purposes.”
So, I may not know where the thoughts are leading, but I can still direct them toward wiring up the building where I want to live rather than the ghetto. (Or worse yet living in darkness!) I can still choose to affirm that which I desire that is in harmony with goodness. I can still affirm, “God is the mind with which I think.” I’m thinking that if I choose to think with the mind of God I’ve got to be better off than thinking with my ego.
Just a thought. (Whose, I can’t really say!)
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.