August 6, 2017
Let My True Voice Be Heard
Sanford Baran: Have you ever had the experience of listening to a recording of your own speaking voice? It can be a bit of a shock, discovering how we actually sound to others, which often is quite different from our experience of directly listening to ourselves through our own head. If we're not used to hearing a recording of ourselves it can sound a bit strange—it's typically higher pitched, shriller and less reverberant than what we thought our voice really sounded like. And although listening to yourself in this way can be a cringe-worthy experience it probably is useful to have some degree of awareness of the gap between what we think we are expressing and what actually is being externally projected through our capacities.
A quick anatomical review of our hearing mechanism sheds some light on how this mechanism works. Sounds emanating from outside us are processed linearly as a single pathway. The vibrating airwaves travel through the outer ear and hit the eardrum, transferring this energy to tiny bones in the inner ear, inducing vibrations in the thousands of miniscule hairs in the cochlea. Finally, these vibrating hairs are converted to electrical signals and get interpreted in the brain as sound. When we listen to ourselves through our head, the sound is processed differently, as a double pathway. The first pathway is just as I described—our vocal cords create vibrating air outside of us, which then passes into our ears and vibrate the eardrums. But in addition to this airwave pathway, our vocal cords also set up vibrations that run through bones in our body, particularly the skull. As these vibrations travel through our bones, their frequency shifts downward due to the increased density of bone tissue. These slowed-down bone conducted vibrations then get passed on to the eardrum and mix with the airwave vibrations. So, the sound that we hear in our head is actually a blending of the airwave vibrations coming from the outside and the bone-conducted vibrations happening from the inside. This mixture of vibrations is what produces the voice that we're used to hearing, which has a much richer, fuller sound.
Our voices contain unique embellishments and overtones that result from the peculiarities of our own physical makeup. These peculiarities give our voices a distinctive personality and rich complexity that right now only we get to hear. I wonder if our private walled-off voices can be freed up and become more readily available to enhance and uplift the worlds we inhabit? And in a more general sense we could ask, how can we allow everything that is beautiful and fine within us, our true voice, to be confidently expressed in our day-to-day living?
The action of someone sounding his or her true voice spiritually speaking is our deeper mission. For us right now, this is particularly critical, as the nature of our association together is in a way challenging. We are widely dispersed and don't have all that much contact with one another. We aren't part of an organization and we don't have a leader. And yet along the way we've come to appreciate that each one of us has no choice but to provide that leadership, offering a blessing into the specific set of circumstances that have come our way. Now the leadership that I'm thinking of has nothing to do with taking charge, bossing people around or grabbing power. Rather what I'm referring to is allowing the Truth of ourselves to be revealed in very practical ways. Our concern rightly relates more to attitude than doing, even though doing has its place. For example, how do we allow the finest qualities of character to be revealed in the course of our doing? Such an approach is significant and is what ultimately gets the job done. We know in our hearts that each one of us has this responsibility and that nobody else can do it for us. In any circumstance, our attitude is rightly to let my true voice be heard.
No doubt we're all on the same page with this. Let my true voice be heard. But in seeking to do this, a legitimate question might arise: "What exactly is my true voice?" And if that question is being asked one probably is also asking, "How do I find my true voice?"
Well, one thing for sure, there is no one size fits all approach. That is because my voice is different from your voice and is very much domain specific. For example, I've recently been discovering and further refining my voice in the context of being a DJ at the radio station. Establishing such a voice or sensibility is extremely useful in that it guides me when I'm putting together a show and picking out musical selections. It also sets the overall tone of my shows. Now what I've been finding is that the process of developing my voice, say as a DJ, works similarly in principle to what I was describing earlier explaining how our vocal-cord voice sounds in our head. Recall that the vibrations that make up our so-called private voice are comprised of the air vibrations coming in through the outer ear mixed together with the bone-conducted vibrations traveling through the skull. In a similar vein, I'm envisioning that my DJ voice is also a mixture of vibrations, but in this case the blending occurs in consciousness.
Here's how I think this works. The primary source of vibration comes from what we have called the Tone. The Tone clearly sounds in consciousness to the extent that our identity is firmly oriented in Spirit. Now the secondary vibrations that are mixed in occur as the Tone is conducted down through whatever substance we've already generated in the course of our work. So, in my case as I was just beginning to form my DJ voice, there was already some substance present based in prior musical listening habits, singing in choirs, taking piano lessons along with my experience of programming pre-service music both at Sunrise Ranch and for our Sunday morning teleconferences. This initial substance was sufficient to get me started even though my DJ voice at this point was quite embryonic. I did my first show, and it didn't go too badly. In the process of doing the show, I was able to generate more substance. Moving on to my second show my DJ voice was starting to take on a little more shape as the Tone was now mixing together with vibrations conducted through a more expanded set of substance. This building process continued on through my third and fourth shows. With each new show, as my substance continued to expand I was noticing that my voice was increasingly coming into sharper focus.
A few days ago, I did my fifth show and my voice now seems to be something very tangible and real. It's taken about four months to get to this point, as my work on each show gradually expanded the substance to ultimately reach a critical threshold. I now feel that I can confidently express my true voice through this medium. You might have gathered that my voice is not something static—it did change and evolve. I anticipate ongoing refinements and improvements to my DJ voice, as I have further opportunity to put together more shows and generate more substance.
Maybe it's worth noting a few lessons learned. First, nothing happens without the Tone. Our first order of business is always maintaining conscious identification with that which is higher. Secondly, we need to allow the current of the Spirit to flow freely, making sure that we don't get in the way. Next, our job very much has to do with the building and creation of substance. We are blessed with abundant opportunity to generate rich substance in the course of our right handling of all that is coming our way. Finally, developing my voice is a process, which happens over a period of time. To the degree that I allow the current to flow into the various details of my living, each step along the way builds and refines my unique voice.
I am the only one who can sound my voice and the same is true for you. It is a sad thing if our voices are withheld from the creative process, squandering precious life energy. We love to play our part fulfilling our reason for being here. In every circumstance, our attitude is let my true voice be heard. We are indeed blessed to be in position to let this be so.
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