part of an ongoing series
"I was at that time living like many atheists; in a whirl of contradictions.
I maintained that God did not exist. I was also very angry with God for not existing.
I was equally angry with him for creating a world.
Why should creatures have the burden of existence forced on them without their consent?
|| In and of itself, hearing voices is not an unusual phenomenon. Alexandra Lupu, Health News Editor at Softpedia.com
notes that "...as many 1 of every 25 people here voices on a regular basis, therefore it is a rather common symptom among people. Researchers also added that a person who hears voices is not a crazy person, despite the common misconception.
"Some who hear voices do not seek medical help, because they feel this is natural and a positive thing to happen. They may even engage in conversation with the voices inside their heads and state they benefit from the open conversation
." But such is not the case for all who here voices.
goodly number of the people with whom I work, as well as a couple of my dearest friends, find that hearing voices can be very disturbing. Oft-times, I am sought upon to translate, or at the very least, to provide some counterpoint to the reality they live with and that of my own.
This is not an easy task, for I do not personally know what the other person(s) hears. Furthermore, when each person gives narrative to what they hear [and, on occasion, sees
] each reality is quite unique; thus any attempt I would have made to translate would serve for naught.
Yet even though I don't experience the voices myself, I recognize the realness of the experience. Perhaps because of this, some whom I know who live with hearing voices
feel free to speak with me about the phenomena. Sometimes hearing disturbing voices is a common and understandable reaction
to troublesome life events.
In Western cultures, particularly in North America, the lived experience of voice hearers is typically invalidated, dismissed as a delusional disorder that can only be treated with massive amounts of psychiatric drugs. Voice hearers are quick to be labeled "Schizo
" and placed in a locked facility, often in conditions [such as solitary confinement] which only make the voice hearing experience worse.
One critic to the western disdain towards people who hear voices is clinical psychologist Pat Deegan
. A voice hearer herself, she notes that
"...as a general rule, most mental health staff feel it is taboo to inquire into the voice hearer's experience... Of course such stigma and taboo only serve to further isolate those of us who hear voices that are distressing".
In truth, we don't have to accept the so-called clinical biases against hearing voices. Indeed, in other cultures [as noted by author and psychologist Richard Lakeman
] voices are "...a valued and sought after experience... For example, the ‘matakite’, or visionary in New Zealand Maori society is held in high regard, and prophets as described in sacred texts such as the bible are often credited with hearing voices or experiencing visions
Labels: hearing voices, mysticism, parallel dimensions, psychosis, schizophrenia, separate realities, spirit realms, spirituality, William Blake