Autonomous voice communication
Autonomous voice communication can be described as the experience of being able to hear and converse with a disembodied and audible voice of unknown origin which seemingly resides within one's own head. This voice is often capable of high levels of complex and detailed speech which are typically on par with the intelligence and vocabulary of ones own conversational abilities.
As a whole, the effect itself can be broken down into 5 distinct levels of progressive intensity, each of which are described below:
- A sensed presence of the other - This level can be defined as the distinctive feeling that another form of consciousness is internally present alongside that of one's usual sense of self. This sensation is often referred to within the scientific literature as a "sense of presence".
- Mutually generated internal responses - This level can be defined as internally felt conversational responses to one's own thoughts and feelings which feel as if they are partially generated by one's own thought stream and in equal measure by that of a separate thought stream.
- Separately generated internal responses - This level can be defined as internally felt conversational responses to one's own thoughts and feelings which feel as if they are generated by an entirely distinct and separate thought stream that resides within one's head.
- Separately generated audible internal responses - This level can be defined as internally heard conversational responses to one's own thoughts and feelings which are perceived as a clearly defined and audible voice within one's head. These can take on a variety of voices, accents, and dialects, but usually sound identical to one's own spoken voice.
- Separately generated audible external responses - This level can be defined as externally heard conversational responses to one's own thoughts and feelings which are perceived as a clearly defined and audible voice which sounds as if it is coming from outside one's own head. These can take on a variety of voices, accents, and dialects, but usually sound identical to the person's own spoken voice.
The speaker behind this voice is commonly interpreted by those who it to be the voice of their own subconscious, the psychoactive substance itself, a specific autonomous entity, or even supernatural concepts such as god, spirits, souls, and ancestors.
At higher levels, the conversational style of that which is discussed between both the voice and its host can be described as essentially identical in terms of its coherency and linguistic intelligibility as that of any other everyday interaction between the self and another human being with which one might engage in conversation with.
However, there are some subtle but identifiable differences between this experience and that of normal everyday conversations. These stem from the fact that one's specific set of knowledge, memories and experiences are identical to that of the voice which is being communicated with. This results in conversations in which both participants often share an identical vocabulary down to the very use of their colloquial slang and subtle mannerisms. As a result of this, no matter how in depth and detailed the discussion becomes, no entirely new information is ever exchanged between the two communicators. Instead, the discussion focuses primarily on building upon old ideas and discussing new opinions or perspectives regarding the previously established content of one's life.
Autonomous voice communication is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as delusions, autonomous entities, auditory hallucinations, and psychosis in a manner which can sometimes lead the person into believing the voices statements unquestionably in a delusional manner. It is most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of hallucinogenic compounds such as psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. However, it may also occur during the offset of prolonged stimulant binges and less consistently under the influence of heavy dosages of cannabinoids.
The experience of communicating with hallucinated voices has been well established with and without the use of hallucinogenic drugs through scientific study. For example, one study successfully demonstrated that anybody can encounter a dialogue between themselves and a voice of unknown origin under the influence of psilocybin mushrooms. This study interviewed 128 participants with an approximate total of 3,427 psilocybin mushroom experiences between them and revealed that 35.9% (46) of the participants reported voices whilst 64% (82) did not.
Even outside of these drug-induced experiences, hearing voices within one's head is a well documented psychological phenomena and can in and of itself, generally be considered as a relatively harmless state of mind to find oneself in.
Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:
Anecdotal reports which describe this effect within our experience index include:
- Experience: 200µg 1P-LSD (sublingual) + 12mg CBD - The Vortex of Empathy
- Experience:1.5 Grams Psilocybe Cubensis
- Experience:150mg MDMA + 20mg 2C-B - I designed it this way myself
- Experience:1g of stars and love
- Experience:2.5g Syrian rue + 6g Mimosa Hostilis - My first experience with unity
- Experience:20mg - I looked up and saw an angry god-like figure made of clouds glaring down at me
- Experience:25mg DMT - Your wall can't save you
- Experience:2g Syrian rue + 1g Mimosa Hostilis - These voices are the building blocks of consciousness
- Experience:3 Grams of Mushrooms - Reset on my Life, Experiencing Satori and the Cosmic Perspective
- Experience:3.5g psilocybe cubensis - Relinquishing of Material Chains/Fear and Desolation
- Experience:300ug LSD - Profound religious experience
- Experience:3g Syrian Rue + 5g Acacia Confusa - Life Changing Madness
- Experience:3g mimosa / 2g syrian rue - I was the Universe's prophet
- Experience:40mg - Brothermind and the Forest's Hand
- Experience:50mg - Truth
- Experience:6g mimosa / 2.5 g syrian rue - Best cake I've had for a while
- Experience:800 seeds LSA - My First Trip Ever
- Experience:DMT (unknown dose, smoked) - It felt like I was on rails the whole time
- Experience:Mushrooms and Snuff Films -- Trip Report (3.5 grams)
- Auditory hallucinations
- Responsible use
- Subjective effects index
- Psychedelics - Subjective effects
- Dissociatives - Subjective effects
- Deliriants - Subjective effects
- Apparitional experience (Wikipedia)
- Auditory hallucination (Wikipedia)
- Hallucinated voices’ attitudes vary with culture (sceincenews.org)
- The Voices in my Head (TED talks)
- You Are Two (CGP Grey on YouTube)
- Coping with hallucinated voices in schizophrenia: A review of self-initiated strategies and therapeutic interventions (sciencedirect.com)
- Woods, A., Jones, N., Alderson-Day, B., Callard, F., & Fernyhough, C. (2015). Experiences of hearing voices: analysis of a novel phenomenological survey. The Lancet Psychiatry, 2(4), 323-331. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00006-1
- Hearing voices | https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/h/hearing-voices
- Basic Information About Voices & Visions | https://www.hearing-voices.org/voices-visions/
- Romme, M. A. J., Honig, A., Noorthoorn, E. O., & Escher, A. D. M. A. C. (1992). Coping with hearing voices: An emancipatory approach. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 161(1), 99-103. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.161.1.99
- Corstens, D., Longden, E., McCarthy-Jones, S., Waddingham, R., & Thomas, N. (2014). Emerging perspectives from the Hearing Voices Movement: implications for research and practice. Schizophrenia bulletin, 40(Suppl_4), S285-S294. https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbu007
- How the Brain Can Hear Voices That Don't Exist (PsychologyToday) | https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-guest-room/201507/how-the-brain-can-hear-voices-dont-exist
- The sensed presence effect (Scientific American) | https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-sensed-presence-effect/
- Fénelon, G., Soulas, T., De Langavant, L. C., Trinkler, I., & Bachoud-Lévi, A. C. (2011). Feeling of presence in Parkinson's disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, jnnp-2010. https://dx.doi.org/10.1136%2Fjnnp.2010.234799
- Experiences of continued presence: On the practical consequences of ‘hallucinations’ in bereavement. | http://www.leudar.com/pdfs/voices/Hayes&Leudar2013.pdf
- Listening for the Logos: a study of reports of audible voices at high doses of psilocybin | http://www.maps.org/news-letters/v07n1/07112bea.html
- In Your Head: Hearing Voices | http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200701/in-your-head-hearing-voices