What is this blog about?

There is no such thing as an expert on the topic of Life. We all have had our battles, our suffering, and our questions. Despite the uniqueness of our personal obstacles, we have endured them. We have endured them well enough to advise those behind us as to how to do the same. I have done the research on your behalf regarding the multitude of reasons why wisdom exists. My mission is to utilize the voices of the world's greatest thinkers and heroes to compose a guideline of life's wisdom so that you don't have to experience those trials alone.

If you have any questions, please tweet them to me @JoeSielski or email me at JJSielskiJr@comcast.net

(Please title your email with the word "Wisdom" so I know it will be for this blog.)

I will do my best to try and answer every question as quickly and efficiently as possible. Thanks.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Good Voice

This essay is a little different and unique from previous ones. It's something I wanted to feature despite my fear of its potential controversy. This essay branches away from the philosophy and introduces a slightly more spiritual tone.  I'm aware that this essay might turn some people off, and yet I wrote it knowing that it might intrigue others.  Regardless of your stance, this essay comes from experience and from the heart.  This essay is about the awareness and comprehension of what I call "the Good Voice."

What is the Good Voice?

Despite it's very difficult and ambiguous nature, many religions and philosophers have praised its existence.  It's that very quiet intuition in the back of your mind.  It's the conscience.  It's a direct connection with one's higher self, which some might call God/Allah... herein lies the controversy.  In my personal experience, I originally would refer to it as The Universe.  Such as:  "Oh, the Universe suggested that I should call you."  If you have an alternate name for it, that's ok

To be honest, this has been one of the hardest essays to write because, in the eyes of some faiths, this is a description on how to hear the voice of God.  If you're religious, I'm sure a few of you are thinking:  "How dare you say you can communicate with God!"   To which my response is: "We all can."  Forgive me in advance if such a claim seems arrogant, but I'm not alone in this.  It's always there.  It's always present, like air... ready for us to breathe it.  It's always calling; ready for us to pick up the phone. You can doubt it, you can deny it... and most of us do, but it's still there; whispering the good word, every day.  If you ask it a question, sometimes it responds and sometimes it doesn't say anything.   But when it speaks, it speaks truth and it speaks goodness.  Then it becomes our responsibility to react.

So what is it?

In truth, I don't know.  It's too latent to officially categorize it.  I can honestly only theorize, but I know it has many names. The Good Voice is a force. It will locate its messages toward the back of the mind.   Some might call it the conscience.  Some call it the gut reaction.  Some call it the voice of reason.  Some might even call it intuition.  All of these are accurate.   Some might call it God.  Some might call it Allah.  Some might call it the Tao.  Some might call it spiritual guides.  Some might call it the Universe.  All of these are also accurate. 

How can all of those different things be accurate?

No one can accurately identify it due to its latency.  Therefore, everyone can accurately identify it based on their own personal qualia.  Think about what names you're known by.  At work, you might use your official legal name.  At home, you might have a nickname or you're known as mom/dad, etc.  Among friends, you could have a separate nickname.  And yet, despite these numerous names, you are still the same individual.  That having been said, why can't our experience with our intuition also be a facet of God/Allah? It has been quoted that after we committed our Original Sin, aka favoring the voice of our ego over His, (The Original Sin essay) God bestowed everyone with a conscience, so why not listen to it?

Ok... then what am I listening for, really?

Firstly, what you're listening for might not actually be a sound at all.  It's more about an attentiveness or an awareness to the possibility or newness of it.  Indeed, it's a characteristic of the intuition.  Therefore, pay attention!  Most times, it speaks via thoughts rather than words.   Often, it might feel as though the Universe simply injects thoughts/emotions via our intuition.  Other times, it will raise our attentiveness to its various signs/symbols.  Occasionally, it can feel like a hunch or a feeling that something is occurring or pending to occur.  It can feel like a new thought, a sudden inspiration to call someone or begin a new activity.   It can manifest as something external to which we are to be aware: music, repeated words, numbers, or any other symbolic motif.  Pay attention!  It's not always obvious, but with practice, you can identify it more easily.  Prepare your mind and be receptive to the potential.  In my personal experience, it will often communicate to me through music.  Sometimes, I can hear a song playing in my head, usually songs I haven't heard in a while, and am later treated to it on the radio or wherever.  This is simply a personal affirmation for me, that It is present in that moment.  In more complex settings, it has made itself known by simply injecting the thought of a friend moments before that friend tries to contact me.  To help us out, our cognitive mind will organize those inspired thoughts and symbols into words or clearer messages.  It can happen in a flash.  Suddenly you might get a feeling: that gut feeling.  Then as your intellect begins to stream words together to explain it, you realize that this message was more like a full-feature film.  But here's where it gets tricky: sometimes the mind isn't so helpful. 

The mind is always at work.  Sometimes, the mind will work in our favor and sometimes not.  This might take some humility to be aware of it.  That humility will require less ego.   Chances are, you've heard it already... in fact, I can guarantee you have, yet chose to ignore it.  That's the danger of the ego!  The ego will feed us false information.   It will often misguide us into believing its messages; ones that coincide with our fears, anger, or pride.  Since the ego is responsible for those vices, it is only natural that it will use these against us when we try to be humble.  This, of course, keeps the ego intact when we focus on its temptation.  It can tempt us to doubt or silence our intuition.  It can also tempt us to invent ulterior messages.  One really important thing to remember is that this is an essay about the Good Voice; therefore, its messages are all aligned in goodness.  If ever there is a message that feels dastardly or too easy, that might be your ego speaking instead.  Please stay aware to the ego's illusion.   

Because the mind is continuously thinking many layers of thought, it naturally must dismiss many distracting thoughts.  Because we can dismiss our own thoughts to whatever capacity, we must also stay aware of the ones that might seem too foreign to be real.  Often, that's the Good Voice!   Regardless, the mind can still doubt those.  For that Doubt, here is an essay:  A Day without Doubt.   The mind can become distracted due to anxiety or anger.   For that Anger, there is an essay as well:  A Day without Anger.  Since the messages can be brief and faint, they can be difficult to detect at times.   This will require a certain understanding of yourself.  This integrity will assist in defining what belongs to the mind and what information is new, or possibly divine.  Knowing who you are, knowing your character and your insecurities is vital in understanding the Good Voice.  Fortunately, there is an essay on this as well:   A Day for Individuality.   (I hope it's becoming evident how beautifully connected all these facets of wisdom truly are.)

Ok, great, but how can I hear it today?

One word:  meditate.  Meditation silences all of the mind.   It occupies the mind with stillness, liberating it from many distracting thoughts.  In many faiths, prayer is this very act.  This grants the Good Voice its own "Open Mic Night."   Sit quietly, or find your favorite music.   Then let the mind wander.   Allow yourself to daydream within this meditation.   Often, fitness or routine activities such as driving can illicit a similar effect.  Often, focusing too intently on a circumstance or a desire shields us from being good listeners.  Mother Teresa was once asked what she said during her prayers. She answered, "I listen." The interviewer then asked, "Well then, what does God say?" To that Mother Teresa smiled with confidence and answered, "He listens."  In the midst of writing essays such as this one, my meditation often involves rumination on certain principles.  Consider love, kindness, gratitude or other virtues, and try to define them for yourself, citing personal examples.  Notice how your attentiveness shifts.  When thoughts are of a good nature, it helps to welcome that good voice into your consciousness. 

Whatever you choose to call it: God, Allah, the Tao, the Universe, it is a part of your consciousness.  It's that living spirit within us.   It's a part of our identity because we are a part of its.  It is present in your train of thoughts, like a stream of consciousness, or a river of consciousness.  Once you decide to dip your ear into its water, that's when you get to hear it.  But in order to approach that river, you have to be honest, you have to be humble, and you have to have faith in it.  We are all connected to this stream of consciousness.  And through it, we are all connected to one another.  So much of what this is, is an awareness.  Therefore, the Good Voice is indeed always present because we are.

"Always let your conscience be your guide."  [Jiminy Cricket; from Pinocchio]

Whatever you choose to call it, it never disappears or leaves. We can be unaware or ignorant; or worse, we are aware, but grow apathetic.  As Rumi said:  "Do not seek for love.  Seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."  With Rumi's thought in mind, I would like to confidently highlight that indeed, this universal awareness is rooted in Love.  Do not seek for the Good Voice... seek for all the inner obstacles you have used to silence it.  In the end, the challenge is no longer how to find the Good Voice, but rather finding confirmation that 'that' was it.  But hey.... that's faith! 

Thank you for your time,
Joe Sielski

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