When our mind is constantly running, the stream of thoughts drown out any other insights from coming through.
We are then unable to hear our divine self, which could be called “God,” “Source,” or whatever name feels appropriate for the individual. The word(s) used to describe it aren’t nearly as important as learning to recognize it and hearing the message carried.
This still small voice is completely different from our normal thoughts. It may not come as an auditory message with something we can hear though; it can come through any of our senses. It’s possible that we see it in our mind, or that we have a sudden knowing. Some people can feel it in their bodies. Depending on an individual’s dominant sense perception, they can receive these messages in a variety of forms.
For me, it usually comes through a flash of insight. It’s difficult to put into words, but it’s like I get a download of a batch of information straight to my brain, which then processes into a stream of words. So I don’t actually hear anything. The words that come through are like an echo of the original download immediately translated in my mind so I can understand.
Regardless of the sense the message is delivered through, we can learn to tell that this is not our normal thinking because it is concise and clear. Our normal mind will often run in circles, meandering this way and that, getting nowhere but right back where we started.
“Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
When this “whisper of God” comes through us, the message is clear-cut. There aren’t a bunch of extraneous words (like all those I just used to describe this process and continue going on and on about) to get the point across. All of the fat has been metaphorically trimmed, and we’re just delivered the meat (apologies to vegetarians for my carnivore metaphor; feel free to use a meat substitute).
Oftentimes, our minds will then start second-guessing what we just received. It may have felt more true than anything in the moment we received it, but as soon as that moment has passed, our analytical mind comes in to look at it from every angle. Since our mind likes to spin round and round, we may find this continues for a while.
This is perfectly natural and to be expected, especially when we first start recognizing this different way of hearing. As these insights are allowed to come through and we gain experience with them, a confidence will begin to build with ourselves. Increasingly, we’ll have little desire to think about these realizations, and will instead act on them with the trust that’s being built.
What’s the point of being able to hear the whisper of God if we aren’t going to take action and only want to think theoretically about what was communicated to us?
Sometimes this whisper, however, will come through even if we aren’t silent, and this usually happens when we’ve been ignoring it for a while and the message is important. I know for myself this often occurs when it’s a message I don’t want to hear and is something about myself I’d rather not see.
An example of this is that for a long time I was drinking alcohol more than I knew I should. I would often get the message that I shouldn’t drink, but I didn’t want to hear it. Ironically (and sadly), I would then drink more to quiet the voice telling me I shouldn’t be doing it, only to have it come back even stronger the next day.
Eventually, it started screaming loudly enough that I could no longer ignore it. However, it’s much easier to just listen the first time, and save ourselves needless suffering while ignoring what we know to be true (speaking from personal experience).
Another way this frequently happens is if I’m really busy, and I am moving from one thing to another without any time for reflection. I’ll miss the message at the time, but fortunately, as I’ve alluded to, this voice doesn’t give up easily and will come back if it’s important.
It is much easier to hear, though, when our mind is relatively silent. To illustrate this, imagine being at a loud concert, and trying to talk with a friend beside you. Because the background music is so noisy, you’d need to yell even if the person is literally right next to you so they can hear what you’re saying.
When our mind is playing the same old song on repeat in our heads, it’s more difficult to hear anything else that might be trying to come through from the conductor.
In my mind, I sometimes imagine a cartoon character with an angel and devil on their shoulders, telling them what to do. If the devil has quieted down, it’s a hell of a lot easier to hear the angel. This angel, being heavenly and serene, isn’t likely to yell at us, so we’ve got to listen up!
Life becomes much more effortless when we’ve got spiritual guidance on our side, and building a relationship with the whisper from our divine self is only the beginning. Insight into what to do doesn’t help a bit if we don’t act on that knowledge.
With continued action, however, trust will develop, and we’ll look back and wonder why it took so long to do what we realized was right from the beginning.