I Can Hear Voices...
by Rabbi Aron Moss
I know someone who says that she can hear spirits. They tell her things about the future and reveal secrets about other people. She insists that she has this deep spirituality and connection, and it happens to her all the time. She was surprised that I had never heard of such things and was adamant that her way is natural and real. Have you heard this one before?
I do believe that some people are gifted with unique abilities to sense things beyond the realm of normal perception. But that doesn't mean that everyone who hears voices is a prophet.
The question to ask such a person is: Do these voices make you a better person? Does their message have any positive impact on anyone here in this world? Is there a measurable benefit to hearing these voices, or has it just made your life difficult?
Real spirituality will always make the world better. But imaginary voices are a often the cause of a lot of pain, primarily to the one hearing them. Prophets didn't have easy lives either. Read the prophet Jeremiah's life story, and you see how lonely it is to know the truth and not be listened to. Had his message of repentance been heeded, the Temple would not have been destroyed. His words inspire us until today to improve our ways. But hearing voices that are not divine but psychotic or narcotic does no good to anyone. The results are messy and sometimes tragic.
The Talmud says that after the destruction of the Temple, prophecy was taken away from prophets and given to children and the insane. Which suggests that we should not be too quick to dismiss those who hear voices. They are either here to help the world, or they need help.