Have You Heard an Inner Voice Lately?

Throughout human history, mystics and gifted teachers have emerged in every culture, expanding our understanding of what it means to be human. We are not simply physical bodies brought to life by an accident of evolution. There is a deeper experience of being human than just thought and emotion that includes our capacity to an expanded awareness of non-physical realities.

It is notable that today in our world, non-physical elements are being talked about more openly - what we in Lorian are calling subtle worlds and subtle beings. They are not new. The subtle worlds have been around and making themselves known throughout time. Ancient books tell stories of encounters with angelic beings. Inspiration and direction from inner sources have always been freely spoken of by religious and spiritual leaders. And I have heard many stories from individuals who have had experiences at one time or other of being nudged from within to do something or go somewhere. We call these perceptions subtle for a reason. We cannot see any particular cause for the feeling, so we may tend to dismiss it as being unreal. But it is my contention that everyone has these subtle experiences, whether or not they pay attention or give them credence.

In my own experience, I have several times heard an inner voice telling me something I needed to know. The first time was when I was a teenager listening to some family members who were discussing spiritual things. I wondered why I wasn't joining in, since I felt drawn to the subject, when I heard a voice telling me that it wasn't time. I knew this voice was right, with a kind of inner knowing that was familiar and peaceful and sure, and I knew also that I would know when and where the time was right - and I did, when I turned 20. A strong inner nudge launched me off to Findhorn, a spiritual community in Northern Scotland, to begin my spiritual education. How did I know it was time? Well, it is subtle! I felt like a door opened that hadn't been there before.

These inner voices may inspire disbelief in us. Are we really hearing someone? Am I imagining this? It can be hard to determine sometimes. We are not usually trained to trust our inner nudges. Some years ago David and I happened to drop in on our friends Fritz and Vivienne Hull just as they were finishing up a week long meditation retreat at the Chinook Learning Center on Whidbey Island. Fritz grabbed us and said, "Come here, I have to show you something!" as he took us across the meadow to where some of the participants had camped during the week. As we walked, he told us an extraordinary story. One of the women in the group had awakened in the night feeling uneasy. She felt like she had to get up and move.

As she lay in her tent in the dark trying to decide if she wanted to leave her warm sleeping bag and go out into the cold night, she heard a loud voice say with compelling urgency, "Get out and run left!" She immediately scrambled out of her tent and went left just as a tree in the forest near where she was camped cracked. The top third of this tall tree speared through her tent and right through her sleeping bag! Just as Fritz finished his story we turned in to the camping meadow and saw what he was describing. It looked like a huge sharpened spear was standing upright in the ground pierced right through the heart of this tent. It must have been about 15 feet tall! The remainder of the splintered tree, about 25 more feet, stood on the edge of the forest nearby. This was a breathtaking and disturbing sight!

But what was this voice she heard? What was the voice I heard in my teens? Is it part of ourselves that perceives beyond the range of our usual senses? Or is it another presence that is giving us aid? Many people have these extraordinary experiences and cannot deny that there are unseen presences which can communicate with us unexpectedly. So how about intentionally? Can we communicate with subtle realms at will?

Some can. My friend, and co founder of Findhorn, Dorothy Maclean did. She did not hear voices as some do, but could connect during her meditations with bright, angelic, radiant intelligences which she called Devas (the term Angel had too many religious connotations for her comfort!) from which she received impressions that she would put into her own words. What she learned through these communications was always new to her, things she would not herself have thought. I saw evidence of this when I was traveling with her once. We had stopped in a California Redwood grove off of Highway 101 which according to the plaque near the grove was being preserved for posterity. We could see that the trees in the grove were dying. Dorothy felt overcome with grief over the toll that human development was taking on the Redwood forests. She took some time while we were there to meditate and communicate with the Deva of the Redwoods. She found herself apologizing for the damage that humans were doing to the trees. The response she got was a surprise to her. She wrote this message down:

Small mortal and great being, we greet you. Come with us, up high above the traffic noise... to where everlasting peace is. Let the 'evil' be as dust on your feet, to be shaken off and returned to itself, while the peace of God remains, the creative peace which cloaks a planet and many forms of life.

What if the trees come toppling down? Their vibrations are forever part of life here and we are glad to have contributed as much as we have. Rejoice, for life moves on, whatever form it takes--and it is one life, as we well know. We are part of you, you are part of us, and so it will always be.

To the Deva consciousness everything is an expression of spirit, and if it was time for the form of the Redwood to pass out of the world there would be another form for its essence to take - the shape of the form did not matter. For Dorothy, this was a reminder that the perspective of the Devic realm was not human in any way but always offered a bigger picture. For me, it was a reminder that collaboration with inner beings can offer us a shift in perspective, a broadening and deepening of how we see our world.

There is a deeper experience of being human that includes our capacity to connect with the unseen part of the world. It is a natural part of who we are, though, as I have said, often a discounted one. It is too easy to dismiss those delicate whispers of intuition that get submerged in the everyday din of our ordinary reality. If we take time to give attention to these inner nudges, to give them a little more weight and recognition, we might find ourselves beginning to come more easily into connection with the subtle worlds. And if those inner nudges become a loud shout, we might want to move on it!