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ike West

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The Unbelievers - Reader's Study Guide
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The Study Guide is not Bible study or lessons in theology. It asks questions to help the reader consider important messages in the story and think about where current tr..  
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An Appeal for Sensitivity of Mind
by ike West   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2007

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ike West

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"An Appeal for Sensitivity of Mind" was an article written on assignment for the editor of Alternative Glimpse Magazine in Italy. The assignment was to write an article on the topic of 'voices.'

Like all writers, I listen very carefully to the little voice within my mind. In such a profession, one never knows what might lurk amongst everyday thought, ready to jump out as a full-blown creative idea. Every nuance may be significant and can only be captured when and if I’m paying attention to those fertile rumblings within my head. Perhaps that is why I chose to live in the quiet countryside away from the bustling noises of car horns, police sirens, and other urban racket that might distract me from those percolating developments that want to move through me and onto the page.

Often I wish the soft, tender voice, sometimes called the ‘conscience,’ would speak up and prove a lot more demanding. Then I’d be especially apt to listen, and less tempted to ignore whatever advice is offered. Plenty of times I head out the door on my way into town, hearing a wee whisper, “better check the fridge.” Ignoring the vocalization that sounds oh so angelic, I return hours later to find the refrigerator door stood open while I was gone, and food escaped to hide all around the room. As a gather up the freedom seeking containers, at least the sweet, kind voice of conscience does not snap back, “Hey, stupid, I tried to warn you.”

Like most people, I don’t always pay attention to the small voice speaking inside my head. I was trained through formal education to set aside what I hear internally, and value what I learn from external sources. Data from newspapers, magazines, radio and television are absorbed until the tiny voice within is drowned out by the ruckus. It’s not just traffic noises that overtake the meek and mild declarations of the mind. The constant barrage of superficial junk ingested through the eyes and ears as news and entertainment also sabotage the pristine environs of the more simple, and personal thought forms that expose other important aspects of reality, if only we are free to listen, truly listen.

The power of the media is deeply entrenched in modern living, so the situation is not apt to change. However, the world seems in dire need of an aggressive campaign in consciousness-raising to strike more equitable relations between the interior and peripheral forces influencing life. Such a counter-crusade needs to highlight the fact all human inventions and creations begin with motivational inklings, and then full-blown voices in the minds of inventors and creators. Whether the results are machines, skyscrapers, works of art or musical concertos, the originator listens well, focusing raptly upon the thoughts and ideas that flow through the shadowy realms of perception.

Of course, any endeavor aimed at balancing the scales between the vociferous pronouncements of society, and the barely audible voice indigenous to the mind, must include opportunities to practice the art of internal listening. The first requirements are finding, and then becoming comfortable with silence. The next essential task is deciphering what is heard, even though initial messages may be garbled or incomplete. The final step demands actual belief in, and taking action upon, the counsel given. Doubts about listening abilities, and mistrust of the wisdom shared, render this the most difficult part of the process. Yet, the gentle voice begs to be heard, and the ability to listen may one day be understood as the very definition of ‘an open mind.’

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