Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Voices of ego

Listen to this post:

A week or so ago, the message at Quaker meeting centered around which voice we hear when we are worshipping. I thought it was a provocative topic. Last night, I watched the movie The Soloist about a musical prodigy and former Julliard student, who ended up homeless in LA playing a two-stringed violin. He is also schizophrenic. Lately, I have been wondering about all of the voices in my head.

Where is the line between Divinity, humanity and madness?

I am also slowly reading Eckhart Tolle's Stillness Speaks, focusing, most recently, on that nature knows how to be, a lesson for we humans with the constantly churning thought patterns. Exactly where is the balance between using our brains, while not letting them control us? I imagine the control compunction resides in the ego. I often hear the "you should," "you aren't," and "do more" voices that I am consciously attempting to, if not shut down, quell to some degree.

It was interesting hearing the voices from the movie, The Soloist. They almost sounded real and I think that is the point.

"I'll protect you from their eyes and ears.
They're listening to you. They can hear your thoughts, Nathaniel. I can hear your thoughts. 
I can still see you. Run, you'll never get out. There's no hiding.
Nathaniel, you've never been here. I'm here now. You never have been; you never will be.
My voice is all there is, Nathaniel. Follow my voice. Run away from these people."


One woman in The Soloist, living in a shelter, says she's not sure she wants the voices in her head quieted because, sometimes, they calm her and medicating them away might also remove that.

The person delivering the Quaker message talked about the political voice, the social voice and the others which may call us.

Either we have an entirely schizophrenic society, which may be possible due to cultural over stimulation, or our thoughts are too much in charge. So, just how do we pinpoint these voices/thoughts and discern the real from the unreal, the sacred from the demonic, the sane from the insane, the path from the detour?

For me, stillness and silence are the antidote. When I am overstimulated and busy, it's hard to hear my own voice let alone what Quakers call the "still small voice within," a name for God. Often stilling my body then calms my mind and I reach the zone ... a sweet place where I am aware of the present, but transported to safety, quiet and calm. A resting place for mind, body and spirit. For me, it happens in worship, meditation, when I am painting or journaling, walking a labyrinth, after yoga or swimming when I am still. My mind must be unengaged. It's almost like I am outside myself, detached and merely observing, dreamlike. No matter the length of the still trance, I feel rested as if my entire being totally relaxed into something safe.

• What voices do I hear?
• How do I discern the divine from the rest?
• How does stillness change that?
• How can I achieve stillness?
• How can I balance a controlling brain with stillness on a regular basis?

OMG you didn't get that done,
forgot about this and ...

I am learning this is
my ego talking

not me

busying myself in
unawareness cranks
the chatter dial up

breathing, slowing
being in nature

turns the volume off

and I remember

who I am ...
what's important

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