In A Sacred Voice is Calling John Neafsy gives insight into the nature of our highest calling, the voice of our spiritual self. A required reading in many theology programs, the book transcends the traditional notion of spirituality as taught in many western institutions and embraces familiar and eclectic examples of spiritual life from literature through Eastern religion. He illuminates the thread of the spirit as unifier among all of us, often using very mundane world examples. In one breath he speaks of Black Elk, and in the next, he shares the lessons of Jiminy Cricket. Above all, he encourages the inclusive spirituality which so many Lighworkers practice by following that unnamed inner/higher voice.
What is that voice? It’s the "I Am" which beckons us to higher levels of thought and deed, that thump in the heart we know as compassion for all living things. It’s neither prescriptive nor dogmatic. It’s knowing that sometimes we must, without clear reason, forego the avenue we’ve been sold and opt instead for what Frost calls “the road not taken. ” It’s the Divine whisper from within. We see it when Joseph Campbell distinguishes between the priest and the shaman: the priest is “a functionary of society” (schooled, trained, in essence, created by an external structure) whereas the shaman experiences physical and psychological transformation, often painful, from within, hardly a matter of choice.
Neafsy identifies this as the inner voice of our conscience, “the place within us where we face ourselves most profoundly and honestly.” This is what it means to be authentic. We meet ourselves in that solitary, sometimes frightening, and often lonely valley of the self.
This is where we shed the layers and masks we have accumulated in the physical world and meet the part of us which is inseparable from the Divine. When we meditate, learning to effectively and temporarily disconnect from the outer world , we meet that self. We see that the physical world is not the real world, that the temporal is illusory; our consciousness and spiritual selves soar through time and space. Mediums and channelers enter that realm easily , losing track of the here and now before returning to normal waking consciousness.
So do artists, musicians, and writers. They access the same part of the brain that reaches the void, feeling frenzied during the composition process, returning to the conscious self in what feels like days later. Creation is, in a very true sense, trance-like. Campbell calls today’s writers and artists visionaries, modern shamans. Neafsy calls them “gifted messengers of God” and appropriately issues this caution: “A call to authentic personhood involves a commitment to continual growth and change…which requires a willingness to undergo emotional and spiritual pain and discomfort.” This is the path of the wounded warrior. Trance, meditation, dream – all hold the same magical powers of the spirit.
Through the process, we discover that we are not locked inside our bodies, not locked into anyone’s expectations. But while dreams, particularly, can be scary, they can be equally exhilarating. Anyone who's had a flying dream knows this. How we would love to experience such euphoria at will! These links to the spiritual self show us our true reflection: who we really are, why we came here: to take the lesson of our pain and heal ourselves and the world, even in the tiniest measures. Integrating this into our daily existence remains the Lightworker’s challenge.