Speaking to Spirits: How Disembodied Voices Might Work

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If disembodied voices gave you useful information, what would you think? Spirits? Psychosis? And where would you go for help and guidance?

Ladonna Christy asks:

Dear Mike: I am a first time reader of your site. I have been interested being able to hear the spirit guardian who has been with me for over 9 years now. I noticed you mentioned that you will not hear them out loud. What do you think of what I call ( my aunt’s favorite name for it) a “behind the wall” voice? I can hear him at times like a voice behind a brick wall. It isn’t clear but seems to be out loud somewhat like a distant radio. The only thing is if he speaks full sentences, I only clearly pick up a word or two. Yes and no answers are easy but that doesn’t always happen. He is patient with me but sometimes gets annoyed when I just don’t get the message. I will try your technique. I will get back to you if I find I am hearing the whole sentences better and clearer. What is your take on “out loud”? I am not schizophrenic because he has proven himself time and time again. Also if I were schizophrenic I am sure I would hear out loud clearly all the time and the “voice” would be telling me destructive things or something like that, right?

One of the tragedies of the modern world is that we’ve medicalized mystical experiences. Last night, after I shared some of my energy healing experiences, a friend opened up about her mystical experiences, and we became much closer. Sharing these experiences used to be common and connective, but today no one shares them, so we believe we’re the only one with these experiences, and they become isolating. That’s a tragedy.

I’m not qualified to speak about schizophrenia, but I will say that, in many cultures throughout history, receiving useful information from disembodied voices would make you a shaman. I just googled “psychologist shaman” and got a bunch of results, including some PhD psychologists who are also practicing shamen. If you’re distressed, reach out to them — even if they don’t live near you, many psychologists offer sessions over the phone or skype. They can help rule out psychological issues, and also help you decide what direction you want to take with this.

You also ask some technical questions about talking with spirits. Those I can answer:

You mentioned that you will not hear [spirits] out loud. What do you think of what I call a “behind the wall” voice? I can hear him at times like a voice behind a brick wall. It isn’t clear but seems to be out loud somewhat like a distant radio.

I need to lay a little groundwork before I can answer that. I’m going to start with touch, then energy, then answer you on communication.

If you touch your leg, the nerves in your leg respond, sending a signal up your spine to your brain. I’ll call this a “direct sensation.”

If you instead close your eyes and imagine someone touching your leg, you’ll probably feel an odd tingle, different than touch but definitely a sensation. Try it so you know what I’m talking about. Maybe imagine looking at a hand touching your leg, or imagine it almost touching you, and really focus. Feel what I’m talking about? That’s entirely in your brain. It’s still a real phenomenon, a real sensation, but the cause is different. We’ll call this a “referred sensation,” borrowing from the term referred pain.

We can think about direct and referred sensations with energy, too. A directly felt energy would affect the nerves of my leg, producing a signal up my spine to my brain. A referred sensation of energy would mean that the ethereal muscles in my mind notice the energy in my leg and create a sensation in my brain, without involving the nerves in my leg or spine at all.

Based on testing, when I feel energy, it’s a referred sensation, and I suspect that’s true of others as well.

Aside: Why don’t non-energy-workers feel energy? Their ethereal muscles aren’t engaged, so there’s nothing to create that sensation in their brain. If we could do something with energy to activate the nerves in the leg and produce direct sensations, then everyone would probably feel that. Yes, this is part of my current research.

OK, now we’re ready for voices. All communication with spirits is like referred sensations: The person’s ethereal muscles create activation in their brain, transmitting the message. If the activation in the brain is in visual regions, we get visions, half-seen and half-imagined. If it’s in a region for thinking, we get ideas simply appearing in consciousness, feeling a bit different than one’s own thoughts. And if it’s in auditory regions, we get words, half-imagined and half-heard, perhaps like a distant radio.

That’s my best guess on the mechanism of what you’re experiencing.

And her second question:

The only thing is if he speaks full sentences, I only clearly pick up a word or two. Yes and no answers are easy but that doesn’t always happen. He is patient with me but sometimes gets annoyed when I just don’t get the message.

Ten or 15 years ago, I started learning a set of techniques for communication. These were based on how spirits communicate: How they read thoughts and write messages to the mind. I was learning to do those steps myself, to make it easier for the spirits, and just because I was curious. Instead of using energy to activate thoughts in my mind, the spirit would give me a message and I’d place it into my own mind. And rather than the spirit reading my brain activity, I’d gather the energy signatures created by my thoughts and send them to the spirit. By learning to handle the communication myself, I became able to communicate with more spirits, including ones who don’t work with humans often and aren’t great at reading thoughts or writing messages.

After I learned my first technique, I started verifying messages. I’d have the spirit send a message directly to my brain, then send the same message for me to read myself, to verify the new technique. I discovered that the new technique was much better, and that when the spirit would send the message to my brain I’d miss most of it. Often, I’d only receive a few words of each sentence, along with a general tone or overall intent. Those words and intent went into my unconscious, which created a full sentence and gave it to my conscious mind. That full sentence was what I thought of as the “message,” but most of the words were from me. So I guess I’m saying: Yes, that happened to me too, and I think it’s fairly common.

As you say, yes and no is much easier, because there is no precision to miss. The word isn’t even required, just the tone is sufficient. For a while, I’d confirm every message I got, “I think you said [whatever], is that correct?” Then wait for a yes or no.

A technique I didn’t have at the time, but have since figured out: If you can easily receive a yes / no, then communicate using tarot cards. Ask your question, deal the cards, and go through the various meanings for each. Pause at each meaning, and wait for a yes or a no. This turns an open-ended question into a series of yes / no questions, which is much easier for the spirit to communicate. I discuss that here and here, and I’ll be teaching a class on this soon in San Francisco, with an accompanying post on this blog.

Hope it helps. Good luck!

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5 Responses to “Speaking to Spirits: How Disembodied Voices Might Work”

  1. Yvonne says:

    Thank you for providing your processes for communicating with spirits and other intelligences. Besides Tarot I would suggest a no-fail use of etheric energy for getting information is kinesiology testing. It is simple and absolutely impeccable, even if you have to start with the “twenty questions yes or no” thing.

    I am surprised that you have no references or cross links to psychic training and the techniques that you have adopted. There are established scientific (?) protocols for using the brain in order to see and hear, what most people call clairvoyance. Did you come up with these techniques and processes on your own, and would you recommend the “hit or miss” practice for most people who are seeking to learn to hear spirits? I enjoy your instructive posts, thank you.

    • I’m afraid I’m not up to speed on that research. It sounds great. Could you share some links?

      Yes, pretty much everything I write about are things I developed or learned from the spirits I work with. When I encounter a problem, I figure out a solution using all of my current experience and skills, which works well for me, but limits the advice I can give to people learning skills in a different order. So it would be great to have your resources and insights too.


  2. Julie says:


    I don’t like the term disembodied, when I picture my spirit guide he has a body, it’s ethereal not solid, maybe that’s the same thing as disembodied.

    I can share my experience maybe it will help Ladonna. I don’t hear him talking out loud, I hear his voice in my head. It’s separate and distinct from mine. It isn’t audible to other people. I first met him when I was recovering from cancer treatment. I began having excruciating pain at the base of my skull that was only relieved by lying down. I was leaking spinal fluid or something like that. I could’ve been hallucinating, but I don’t think so.

    I was trying to brush my teeth, I looked into the mirror and said, “I don’t know how much more of this I can take.” That’s when I heard a male voice say, “Hey tiger girl! What are you doing out here in the forest up in a tree?” I could feel him standing next to me. My mom was downstairs in the kitchen, and I knew she couldn’t hear him. I think he was asking me, Why am I so afraid? Why am I hiding out? Why am I not living my purpose? He was reaching out because I was barely hanging on.

    I asked him to repeat himself which he did even though I heard him the first time. Next, I started getting ideas for a fantasy story. I realize now he gave me something to do until the headaches went away. I didn’t talk to him again until I moved into the apartment, and that was through automatic writing, which is something you can try because it’s easier to get full sentences. I have to be careful because my ego will rush ahead and answer for him.

    You might have to go to Peru to find a real shaman. I’m interested in them because they can remove tumors and bad energy, I guess surgeons do the same thing just in a different way. I see a therapist, she doesn’t think my spirit guide is weird. I tried taking anti-depressants again, but they made me extremely dizzy, I can’t tolerate them now. I have to find natural remedies for my ocd and ptsd, which isn’t always easy.

    I think there’s a lot of universal consciousness we can tap into. Writers call it the “muse.” My spirit guide is gone helping other people because I’m doing better. He was never to replace actual people. I felt safe talking to him because I knew he couldn’t hurt me. He made me laugh and gave me hope. Angels are cool like that! :)


    • Thanks for sharing your experiences Julie. Especially that your therapist is accepting of your spirit guide — that’s great to hear, and hopefully makes others more comfortable about talking with a therapist, too.

      On disembodied: Yes, that’s exactly what I mean, made of ethereal stuff rather than solid matter.

      Also, real shamen are all over. Some of them are from families and tribes that have practiced the tradition for generations (Peru, Brazil, Native Americans, many more), some trained with those traditional shamen, and I suppose others learned in other ways too. You seem really friendly and helpful, and I know you wouldn’t want to offend someone by saying they’re not a real shaman, so I’m just pointing this out to you.

  3. Julie says:

    Thanks for pointing that out. My bad. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone. I’ll be careful with my generalizations! Namaste :)

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