The Inner Hears the Outer

Essay and Art by Mary Reddy

I recently emerged from long weeks of a persistent bronchial illness. Though I had to continue working from home throughout most of it, once off work I retreated to bed, read fantasy novels, drank tea, then slept for inordinately long stretches! When I got better, I felt as though I had journeyed out of Hades along with Persephone to welcome spring—blinking and rubbing my eyes a bit to find myself back in the vibrant stream of daily life.

Itching to write again, I found myself staring at a blank page. It teased me with too many possibilities. Life themes swirled in my head and none of them landed safely to ground my thoughts into words. I took a break, settled my busy mind, and meditated. And in that moment of quiet being, I heard an inner voice say, “the inner listens to the outer.”

Many of us have experienced an inner voice that makes itself heard at key junctures in our lives. It’s usually a subtle but clear communication which seems to come straight from our souls into our consciousness, carrying messages of “yes, this is it,” or “not now, be patient,” or “this is the one you have chosen to walk with.” But the statement I heard in meditating reminded me of something other than listening to the voice of my soul. 

It reminded me of a game my friends and I play sometimes. We call it an energy game. One person closes her eyes and holds her hands out about a foot apart with palms facing each other. An object is held between her outstretched hands and she begins to sense it with her subtle awareness. Another person writes down whatever the sensing person says about the object. Surprising messages arise out of this game. Some of us receive the messages entirely in imagery; others may “hear” the object talking to them.


In a recent session of the game, I reported about one of the things I sensed into: “this is sweet and very old … motherly and loving … It has a quality of remembrance, of holding the past … I see roses, but not vibrant, rather faded and delicate. This feels close to me. I like it!” This object turned out to be one of my old journals in which I had written many dreams and observations.

For another, I knew right away that the item between my hands was very sure of its purpose, very matter of fact about what it was to be used for. I sensed great dignity and self-confidence in the way it presented itself. I did not feel especially close to it, but I knew if I ever needed this thing, I could happily use it. Opening my eyes, I discovered the object was the telephone headset I use for conference calls.

One of my friends had a fantastic experience. In this instance, the object first appeared in her mind’s eye as a “charcoal grey thing, somewhat stout or round …  but not staying in one form.” She felt the object  was “innately curious, well-meaning, and moving like a dancer.”  She saw immense swirling darkness inside it, but not a menacing darkness. The object looked back at her and said “I see you, too, have wings.” When my friend opened her eyes, she found herself looking at a dried fig. 

How wonderful to be able to relate to a fig as a fellow dancer, or to know the man-made electronic tool you depend on is devoted to its task. I am continually impressed with the depth of life and experience that surrounds us in the outer world of physical objects, living creatures or natural growing things. To open up one’s inner ear and listen to the outer is a lovely way to experience what David calls “the living universe.”

Curious about more perspectives of our living universe? Take a look at Freya Secrest's latest blog post, "Mystery of the Living Universe". For more information about subtle perception, you may be interested in our upcoming teleclass on working with subtle energies