Threesology Research Journal
Age of Insanity
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Hearing his own voices

I awoke just after 1 AM this 13 Jan 2020 morning with a poem in mind that kept poking at me to write it down. The poem was centered on the idea of someone Hearing voices. While it is a theme I have previously written on called "I hear voices", I am prompted to write about the widespread occasion which I have referred to as the "Age of Irrationality" (alternatively noted as an Age of Insanity). There is so much irrationality that is prominently being displayed we must attempt to give an account of it. While we can claim there is some external influence such as the polluted food we eat, polluted air we breathe, polluted fluids we drink, polluted messages being heard over different electronic devises and the polluted visual displays from various sources; let us not fail to give an account of the phenomena of hearing voices, though this is a topic widely thought to be reserved for events which occurred to Ancient peoples who claimed to hear voices and attributed them to some personal god or some attached demon directing them to do, think or say undesirable things.

Here is the poem which has prompted this page: (The hearing of voices can take many forms since someone may be more in tune with the language of numbers, chemistry, art, sculpture, taxidermy, construction, cycling, fencing, cooking, hiking, gardening, public speaking, poetry, short storing writing, grant writing, sales, collections, banking, etc...)

Many people hear voices, those of an ancient past
but my modern day choices, the words are recast
with radio and television, things to distract;
voices are subjected to a translation, to some status quo fact.

People today have their senses inundated
whereby widespread insanity is obscured
thus an "Age of Irrationality" isn't stated,
because it is the norm now preferred.

Insanity is widespread and heavily deepened
people are hearing voices unbeknown
whereby the social fabric is weakened;
a statistic Sociologists haven't shown.

The rise in those claiming some leadership
are those listening to their voices
calling them a muse offering a gift,
or a personal god; if that be their choices.

Leaders and scholars remove themselves from distraction
taking time for their personal voices to mature
while some deny external voices provided traction,
an "inner voice" is accepted as the guided tour.

Letting one's voices have their say
indulging them in a conversation
leaders and scholars are sometimes shown "The Way",
as are those seeking a higher consciousness elation.

More people are prone to hearing voices
which become entangled by electronic media
a transferred embodiment becomes one's choices
becoming another word in an encyclopedia.

Or a dictionary... others a cookbook—
another then chooses a religious reference
though often twisted by the mind of a crook,
the voices aren't evil if given a chance.

A leader may label theirs a guiding hand
given a name of someone they admire
while a vulnerable mind doesn't understand,
and thinks this message but another liar.

Some actually fear to hear their voices
doing whatever keeps them at bay
staying inebriated as one of their choices,
or getting into some argumentative say.

Fear not your voices, let them speak their will
but question their advice; a rule-of-thumb
for the voices must be trained into a life-long skill;
though they be wise, they can be silly and dumb.

Expect respect from them to be given
and it shall be if it is a likewise return
ancient voices can be impulsively driven,
so teach them wisely, for they too can learn.

As a side note, one must wonder if the barking of dogs (by dogs "working the night shift") is due sometimes to them hearing voices, because not only due to their heightened senses, but because having been in the company of humans for generations, they have come to adapt and adopt the characteristic of "hearing voices" but those trained in the treatment of a dog's neurosis and psychosis have not included this idea in their repertoire of considerations. Not just dogs, but other animals that spend a great deal of time in the company of humans can adopt, can mirror, and can otherwise exhibit that to which they are subjected to. Parrots can parrot voices but this is not the only trait other animals have in copying the behavior of those they are in the company of. For example, a dog that barks a lot may in fact be copying an owner who "barks" a lot at people by using a raised voice and walking towards them angrily. Animals very often adopt the eating habits of those they are around and may use food as a means to cope with stresses they are subjected to in a household where a socially accepted form of mental illness prevails.

But let's move on in this discussion. There needs to be an open dialogue about the widespread prevalence of people hearing voices but those voices are being obscured and overwhelmed by different forms of distraction which is creating a widespread occurrence of Irrationality producing conditions which permit the formation of cults occurring in business, government and religion. No matter which environment one finds themselves in, there typically is a dress code, a particularized vocabulary and expected expressions pointing to a ritualized and ceremonialized conformity. A conformity which usually entails a person allowing themselves to be subjected to aural and visual repetitions that can alter their voices into adopting a given pattern of expression conducive to the rationale of the environment they are exposed to, and those rationales become defined as a normalcy because of the number of people involved... not necessarily the quality of people since hoarders of invaders in centuries past viewed their murderous rampages as being normal... for them, and those that were not one of them were viewed as outsiders and most often the enemy to kill, to exploit, and to enslave... though some were permitted to join.

Leaders on the other hand, and let me add scholars, are those who have intentionally or inadvertently chanced upon a lifestyle which has permitted them to create conditions whereby their voices can have a full say. My own experiences have revealed that the voices have a developmental sequence much like the language development of a person. In other words it goes through a babbling stage, minimal word usage stage, increasing vocabulary stage, and then can blossom into an adult stage... if one permits their voices to mature. And though I say "voices" suggesting a plurality, let me explain this in a Freudian sense of the Id, Ego and Superego. These three are the voices, or if your prefer, three temperaments that the "voices" exhibit like people do.

My "voices" which have now become a singular entity of the years because the three have fused into one being, and is a theme seen in different guises one may have already encountered in other subject areas (such as the three-in-one notions of Christianity and Hinduism); and frequently comes to me in the form of a song that then is translated into a poem whose lines may be lengthened as they are now occurring. Yes, I am hearing what can be described as a distant melodic configuration directing my words to take form. However, having recently experienced an illness lasting about a week, I noticed that it was difficult to write a poem after getting up in the morning. Both the content and background melody were altered. The illness deadened the melodic configuration quite absent of the "songiness" which many of my poems are crafted with, though when I say "craft" I want to imply a recitation of that already written. In other words, many of the poems I write come to me as if I am merely transferring them from some inside script given to me by my "voices" which are now given the title of "muse". Explain it any way you want, but I interpret it as a formulation that represents an inculcation of different impressions that become embodied into an internalized repository that once filled, is taken by the muse... who acts as a messenger, and gives it to me to place into a form that I have been accustomed to. If I had been accustomed to the usage of numbers or some other drafting methodology, no doubt the impressions would thus have been translated into the representative language of the subject I was focused on.

With respect to the difference between the language of speech and the language of song, it is to be noted that those who have a stroke or surgery on the left hemisphere resulting in a condition called Aphasia may not be able to speak, but they can sing.

For example, while a person with aphasia, particularly Broca's aphasia, may not be able to ask a loved one when their birthday is, they may still be able to sing "Happy Birthday".

Here are some other examples:

For more than 100 years, it's been known that people who can't speak after injury to the speech centers on the left side of the brain can sing.

Listening to the voices presented me with a myriad of issues as I grew up because their was, and remains to this day, no commonality for letting people listen and train the phenomena of "Hearing voices". There is a negativity assigned to them. Because it is a phenomena most often described as a mental illness instead of a characteristic of the human brain experiencing and expressing a potentiality of growth in human consciousness, the functionality of the "hearing voices" phenomena remains that which is misunderstood. Either by choice or chance, those who become leaders, scholars and appreciators of an intuitive sensibility, are those who have listened to their voices and created a sustainable dialogue which permits them to mature. Whether you call the voices an inner voice, a spirit guide, a god given talent, a "genius" or whatever, the phenomena of the voices being trained must be distinguished from the widespread occurrence of a public which has not experienced this Epiphany. Instead, we have a public that is being subjected to an environment of irrationality due to the forces playing a tug-of-war between externalized artificial voices (television, radio, internet, phones, etc...) and those of one's own character.

But let us make an excursion into this phenomena we label "genius", because it so often requires a definition that can be just as varied as the definitions of beauty, truth, justice, peace, etc... For example, the use of the word in ancient Rome:

Genius... (Latin: "begetter"), plural Genii: in classical Roman times, an attendant spirit of a person or place.

In its earliest meaning in private cult, the genius of the Roman housefather and the iuno, or juno, of the housemother were worshiped. These certainly were not the souls of the married pair, as is clear both from their names and from the fact that in no early document is there mention of the genius or iuno of a dead person. The genius and iuno were probably the male and female forms of the family's, or clan's, power of continuing itself by reproduction, which were in the keeping of the heads of the family for the time being and passed at death to their successors. In this as in all forms of his cult, the genius was often conceived as appearing in the form of a snake, although he is also shown in art as a young man, generally engaged in sacrificing. At every wedding a bed, the lectus genialis, was made for the genius and iuno of the husband and wife, and its presence in the house was a sign of matrimony.

Owing to the rise of individualism and also to the prevalence of Greek ideas concerning a guardian spirit, or daimon, the genius lost its original meaning and came to be a sort of personification of the individual's natural desires and appetites. Hence the phrases indulgere genio, genium defrudare, signifying, respectively, to lead a pleasurable life, and to lead a stingy life. The development, however, did not stop here. The genius came to be thought of as a sort of guardian angel, a higher self; and, as the Greek daimon was sometimes rationalized into the individual's character or temper, so also the poet Horace half-seriously said that only the genius knows what makes one person so different from another, adding that he is a god who is born and dies with each one of us. This individual genius was worshipped by each individual, especially on his birthday. A few inscriptions even mention the genius of a dead person, as Christian epitaphs sometimes speak of his angel.

To show reverence for the genius of another or to swear by it was a mark of deep respect; hence, it is not unnatural that the genius of Augustus and of his successors formed objects of popular cult. Thus, to worship the genius Augusti avoided affronting the feeling against worshipping any living emperor, which remained fairly strong in Italy; for, of course, all genii were divine and might properly be worshipped.

"genius." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.

The colloquial (everyday; common) notion that there exists a line (or most often, "fine"-line) between genius and insanity has been described, in a fashion, with respect to at least on type of "maddness" in this UK Telegraph article: Fine line between genius and madness, scientists find/a>... because some creative people have a (neuregulin 1,) gene in common which is also linked to psychosis and depression.... but psychosis and depression are but a small segment of emotional/mental disorders and are not specifically attached to those whom we might call creative people. Experiencing or giving the impression to others that one is experiencing a mental illness does not mean the person is automatically to be interpreted as a genius, or creative... though their acting ability in getting others to think they are "disturbed" in an effort to solicit the connotation of being a genius might win them an award if they were in a theatrical competition.

When we say a person is "creative" or a genius, we must ask if their physical and mental condition would enable them to likewise be considered a genius or being creative or having a talent if they were born into a different era; or is genius and creativity and talent time-period specific? Indeed, let us wonder whether any of the so-called geniuses of the past centuries would be identified and labeled as such if they were born into some other era. Hence, the phenomena of being labeled a genius, or having talent or being creative may be more than a mere sum of a person's biological and physiological makeup since different time periods no doubt have different levels and types of nutrition, personal hygiene, access to inspirational materials, and materials to work with... as well as whether there will be a conducive environment and conditions which make it feasible for the person to express themselves in a represenative way that will be interpreted by one or more in their time to claim them as a genius, having talent or being creative.

Then again, in one era a person may be labeled as having talent, in aother age as having genius and still another time period as exhibiting creativity. Also, why is there such an obsession to describe artists of old as being representative of Genius, but do not make the same level of impulsive remark about mathmaticians, architects, biologists, etc., and much less so with respect to muscians, unless one has some affection for such "artists," that have only later been joined by a reference to writers... but journalists, at least amongst the public, despite their personally identified awards, are commonly thought of in terms close to that of a used car salesman or door-to-door pedlar, if not a cart pushing hawker of pots and pans? Perhaps because the average person (at least in America) is continually being subjected to references where an artist of old is provided as an example of what is believed to be representative of a genius, thereby creating a very dull mental appreciation of how varied genius, talent, giftedness, and creativity actually are.

When looking for correlations between disorders and genetic similarities, three groups have been identifide which share a common genetic structure: ( ADHD, autism and 6 psychiatric disorders share common genetic structure).

  1. Compulsive behaviors: including anorexia nervosa, OCD and, to a lesser extent, Tourette syndrome;
  2. Mood and psychotic disorders including bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia;
  3. Early-onset neurodevelopmental disorders including ASD, ADHD and Tourette syndrome.
  4. Also see: The Association Between Major Mental Disorders and Geniuses by Nicholas Pediaditakis, MD, September 25, 2014 from which the following excerpt came:

    ...In creative geniuses, there exists a major variation from the norm of the inborn temperament. This variant lies beyond the normally occurring variability. Referring to major mental disorder, Freud called it "narcissistic neuroses". This extreme variant is also seen in other individuals at risk for major mental disorders. When and if a major mental disorder does develop (probabilistically amenable to prediction only by statistical methods), the individual's preexisting lopsided traits manifest as 'premorbid' (personality behaviors preceding the occurrence of symptoms of disease or disorder).

    Findings from clinical empirical evidence indicate that this extreme variant originates mainly from evolutionary pressures and is shared by potential geniuses and other vulnerable individuals. Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are the 3 conditions that develop most frequently in vulnerable individuals. These conditions can overlap or switch from one to another. Relapses have traditionally been attributed to comorbidity; however, each syndrome might be considered as a different phase of the same disorder. Clinical evidence points to a common neurodevelopmental origin for all three

    Here are DSM’s requirements (slightly condensed, and with minor bracketed amendments) for "earning" the unenviable diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder: (6 Signs of Narcissism You May Not Know About How can you recognize the fragility behind the narcissist’s grandiosity?, by Leon F Seltzer Ph.D., Nov 07, 2013)

    1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance.
    2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
    3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
    4. Requires excessive admiration [regularly fishes for compliments, and is highly susceptible to flattery].
    5. Has a sense of entitlement.
    6. Is interpersonally exploitative.
    7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling [or, I would add, unable] to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
    8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
    9. Shows arrogant, haughty [rude and abusive] behaviors or attitudes.

    "Hearing Voices" is frequently described as a aural or Auditory Hallucination. But in citing such, let me briefly refer to the work of Julian Jaynes:

    Jaynes’ theory of the bicameral mind

    Andrea Eugenio Cavanna (Institute of Neurology, London, UK, Department of Neurology, Amedeo Avogadro University, Novara, Italy)
    Michael Trimble (Institute of Neurology, London, UK)
    Federico Cinti (Department of Classical Philology, University of Bologna, Italy)
    Francesco Monaco (Department of Neurology, Amedeo Avogadro University, Novara, Italy)

    The background of Jaynes’ evolutionary account of the transition from bicamerality to the conscious mind is the claim that human consciousness arises from the power of language to make metaphors and analogies. Metaphors of "me" and analogous models of "I" allow consciousness to function through introspection and self-visualization. According to this view, consciousness is a conceptual, metaphor-generated inner world that parallels the actual world and is intimately bound with volition and decision. Homo sapiens, therefore, could not experience consciousness until he developed a language sophisticated enough to produce metaphors and analogical models.

    Jaynes recognizes that consciousness itself is only a small part of mental activity and is not necessary for sensation or perception, for concept formation, for learning, thinking or even reasoning. Thus, if major human actions and skills can function automatically and unconsciously, then it is conceivable that there were, at one time, human beings who did most of the things we do – speak, understand, perceive, solve problems – but who were without consciousness. Man’s earliest writings (hieroglyphics, hieratic and cuneiform) are quite difficult for us to translate and understand in depth, especially when they refer to anything psychological. Thus, if we want to look for any historical evidence of consciousness – an analogous "I" narrating in a mind-space – we should go to a language with which we have some cultural continuity, and that is ancient Greek.

    According to Jaynes, the earliest Greek text of sufficient size to test the question of whether there is any evidence of consciousness is the Iliad. In fact, the Iliad does not seem to mention any subjective thoughts or the contents of anyone's mind. The heroes of the Iliad were not able to make decisions, no one was introspecting or even reminiscing. Apparently, they were noble "automata" who were not aware of what they did. Iliadic man did not have subjectivity as we do; he had no internal mind-space to introspect upon. Some lexical oddities in the Homeric text (such as the absence of a single word translating "consciousness", "mind", "soul", or even "body") led Jaynes to formulate the hypothesis that the Iliad was composed by nonconscious minds, which automatically recorded and objectively reported events, in a manner rather similar to the characters of the poem. The transition to subjective and introspective writings of the conscious mind occurred in later works, beginning with the Odyssey.

    In short, Jaynes claims that men in the age of the Iliad learned to speak, read, and write, as well as conduct their daily lives, yet remained nonconscious throughout their lives. Being nonconscious, they were not responsible for their actions. Who, then, made the decisions? Jaynes’ answer is that whenever a significant choice was to be made, an auditory hallucination intervened, telling people what to do. These voices, in the Iliad always and immediately obeyed, were called Gods. Before the cultural evolution of consciousness, the human brain was organized in a bicameral fashion: the right hemisphere (the synthetic, poetic, "god-brain") used to transmit hallucinatory verbal instructions to the left hemisphere (the analytical, rational, "man-brain"), especially in response to unusual or stressful situations.

    It follows that human mentality was divided into two parts, a decision-making part (located in the right hemisphere) and a follower part (in the left hemisphere), and neither part was "conscious". According to Jaynes, the bicameral mind is to be observed not only in the most ancient literature but also in the contemporary examples of throwbacks to bicamerality, such as hypnosis and schizophrenia, since auditory or verbal hallucinations (VHs) can be regarded as a remnant of this early mentality. Moreover, the bicameral mentality allowed a large group to carry around with them, in the form of VHs, the directions of the king. The leaders used these stress-generated "voices" to lead the masses in cooperative unison. The bicameral mind enabled men to build societies and the earliest civilizations (the Near East, Egypt, Southern Africa, India, China, Mesoamerica) developed through common hallucinating voices attributed to Gods and other rulers – i.e. external "authorities" – and to various symbols, such as graves, temples, and idols.

    Finally, Jaynes speculates that the development of modern human consciousness began as late as around 1400-600 B.C., when men were evolutionarily forced by the chaos of huge migrations induced by overpopulation and natural catastrophes, and by the widespread use of writing, to change their mentality.

    The “bicameral mind” 30 years on: a critical reappraisal of Julian Jaynes’ hypothesis

    "I have endeavored (in these two chapters) to examine the record of a huge time span to reveal the plausibility that man and his early civilizations had a profoundly different mentality from our own, that in fact men and women were not conscious as are we, were not responsible for their actions, and therefore cannot be given the credit or blame for anything that was done over these vast millennia of time; that instead each person had a part of his nervous system which was divine, by which he was ordered about like any slave, a voice or voices which indeed were what we call volition and empowered what they commanded and were related to the hallucinated voices of others in a carefully established hierarchy."— Julian Jaynes

    Origination date: Monday, January 13th, 2020... 2:18 AM
    Initial Posting: Monday, January 13th, 2020... 1:50 PM
    Updated Posting: Wednesday, January 15th, 2020... 5:00 AM

    Your Questions, Comments or Additional Information are welcomed:
    Herb O. Buckland