Sunday, October 26, 2008

An Unwanted Journey: Day 1067 - Hearing Voices

A Beautiful Mind. Well, at least when I'm dreaming.

One of oxycodone's documented side effects is auditory hallucinations - hearing voices. If hallucinations can be defined simply as "perceptions that occur without connection to an appropriate source", then the auditory variety can be especially disturbing and threatening. Why? Because simply opening your eyes might not resolve reality from illusion.

If you are addicted to sports on HD TV, then there's a chance you stayed up very late last night watching the Phillies and the Rays duke it out in game three into the wee hours of the morning after a very substantial rain delay made an otherwise long affair into a marathon. When I finally turned off the TV and closed my eyes, I started hearing voices. The voices I heard were my wife and my eldest son. What they were saying was slightly muffled, but it made sense, so much so that I opened my eyes and asked my wife if she was talking to me. She wasn't.

And so I quickly discovered that "hearing voices" was disturbingly closer to the real thing than I otherwise would have imagined. Not only does this give me a better understanding of the world of schizophrenia, it offers perspective on the illumination of mystics who have "heard" the voice of God. It may even hint at the compulsions of the criminally insane.

Fortunately, in my case, the hallucinations were rather mundane, reminders of "things to do" (if you must know) - the kind of vocalization often heard in our home emanating from the only female voice in the household unit. Somebody with a death wish might call this nagging. The three male members of our household have learned to think of this voice as the voice of God.

If you've taken any "healing journey" courses for cancer patients, then you'll know something about the value of guided and unguided meditations. Even though my auditory hallucinations last night were drug induced, it got me thinking along lines explored by the "freaky" philosophers of the 60s, people like Timothy Leary.

My admittedly weak thought goes like this: what if you could induce the capacity for hearing voices and then actively cultivate those voices as part of a healing, multi-sensual experience? Certainly imagining a voice and "hearing voices" are a world apart in intensity. If one could harness the intensity of auditory hallucinations and put it to good use...

I know. Probably a bad idea. Too many variables and probably too many things which could go wrong. Probably simpler and better to cultivate lucid dreaming skills which are completely under the control of the individual.

My wife might have a different viewpoint. How much more effective if "she" could harness the voice of God and dispense it on demand to her three dearly loved and frustratingly male family members.

No comments: