The presence of voices

When I was very young, I became aware of the voices in my head . . . and not all of them get along with each other. They like to argue. At the age of five, one of them actually convinced me against the advice of another voice that if pepper made food hot and spicy, then salt would make food cool and mellow. Five glasses of water later, my parents asked me why I was drinking so much and I admitted to what the salt voice told me to do.

They found it highly amusing, but I realized at that point I could not trust the salt voice. Its intent at the time was to lead me astray. (The pepper voice said “I told you so!”) Eventually, I learned to befriend the salt voice because it can also come up with amusing and funny ways to be in life. It likes to ignore the perfect voice in me that absolutely requires I never do anything wrong. The perfect voice is just as important because it has impeccable judgment. It knows what to do when the perfect action is required, for instance, when I am driving a vehicle or caring for a child. Whatever action successfully navigates me and everyone else through those encounters intact is perfect.

What reminded me of my voices was Laurie’s post at Speaking from the Heart on perspective. I must hear from at least five different perspectives in me on any particular matter throughout my days and nights. You can just imagine what they are doing with my family dilemma at this moment (see post “the presence of burden.”)

Well, you probably can’t unless you hear voices, too.

If you do, we will just keep it between us. Okay? I’ve found that admitting to hearing voices in public brings a little more scrutiny from people than I care to deal with. From now on, we will just call them “perspectives” when in the company of others.

I started out this blog to discuss the mind-body “problem” – which I don’t think is really a problem. Essentially, the mind-body argument wants us to decide if the brain and mind are “one” or separate from each other or connected. So, there we have three voices . . . um . . . perspectives on an idea that I would like to explore.

But I’ve spent all this time and virtual space just introducing how my intellectual processing works so I will take up the discussion tomorrow.

(“No, let’s do it now.”)

(“Yeah. You are always waiting for the right time, which never comes by the way.”)

(“You guys leave her alone. She will write it when the words are ready to be written.”)

(“Oh, prefect, you always take her side!”)

(“That’s p-e-r-f-e-c-t, noodle brain, not prefect.”)

(“Whatever!”)

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

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6 Responses to “The presence of voices”

  1. holessence Says:

    Barbara – This post made me LAUGH OUT LOUD! Especially:

    “Well, you probably can’t unless you hear voices, too. If you do, we will just keep it between us. Okay?”

    Oh dear, if you only knew…

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Those of us who are spiritually inclined, Laurie, and willing to admit that spirit does work through us have to admit that we hear their voices . . .

      We just manage to keep them all in perspective 😀 (I really crack myself up)

  2. jeffstroud Says:

    I was aware of this voice wanting to be heard but at the time when I first saw the notice I was being bombarded by family activity that would distract me from hearing your voices fully.

    I love this idea, and the shift from voices to perspective is just grand. There is a story on some old AA Tapes about a guy who “needed” a meeting so he arranged chairs around his room and moved from chair to chair making a meeting happen! Now how is that for hearing voices or talking to yourself?

    If I stop listening to most of my voices I would not get anywhere !

    I am Love, Jeff

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      I understand the noise bombardment . . . and all those voices competing for attention. I love the story about the man and his do-it-yourself AA meeting. When I am a counselor and if I have any clients who are recovering from substance abuse, I might recommend that they try it and see what happens.

      Keep listening to your voices — you are going the greatest of places.

  3. sandiwhite Says:

    Barbara, I love your being able to be so frank about your “perspectives”, I’m sure we all have them, very few admit to it. You have to remember Joan of Arc and the mess she got into. I’m glad to know that yours don’t always agree either. When my little Sandis start getting too rambunctious, I have to tell them “Knock it off! I’m trying to read here!” There is that one quiet still voice that I do pay attention to though, the one that prompts me to get up and get moving, to listen when other persons speak, to pay my bills, or to put a little jingle in the red buckets outside the grocery store. It hardly ever tells me anything I want to jump up and down with joy about, but it does tell me the right way to go whether I want to or not. I can’t wait to hear about yours!

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Sandi — we should get our responsible voices together and let them bond. Mine had me borrow from my retirement so I could get out from under that condo (fortunately, the interest I pay back goes all to me). It also has me teach at the community college so I can pay cash for my classes at Loyola. And it keeps me awake nights worrying about my family. It also keeps me employed, well fed, and healthy. Then, I have another voice which says “Let’s stay up late and play World of Warcraft!” That same voice loves ice cream and has no problem encouraging me to eat 6 scoops. I only give into that about once or twice a month.

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