Hearing Voices and Creativity

Is the idea of multiplicity and hearing voices more acceptable to creative people?

I am not really going to try and answer that question here – but it is something to consider…

I have come across the idea of multiplicity and hearing voices as normal human experiences in a lot of different medias. Firstly in books I have read, later in films, lyrics and music videos. I always found it reassuring that others described – as well as used – these concepts and experiences and it was actually not till my late teens I realised it was thought of as symptoms of illness.

Today I came across an article on the site psychologytoday.com talking about how psychiatrists may have lost the plot a bit. The article talks about how traits described as symptoms of illness in some contexts are praised and promoted in others. This guy makes a good argument I think. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/reading-between-the-headlines/201202/defining-normal-how-psychiatry-has-lost-its-way

I have decided to collect a list of references to books and authors as well as links to stuff available on the internet. What they all have in common is that they describe the human experience of hearing voices or having several selves. They may be in normalising, creative, celebratory or stigmatising ways – but that, I find, has as much to do with the eyes that behold as with the source…

Hearing the Voice – Hearing Voices Exhibition

This website contains images of the key displays, podcasts, interactive presentations and useful resources for anyone with an interest in hearing voices and other unusual experiences.


Writers’ Inner Voices

Many writers – from William Blake, to Charles Dickens, to Joseph Conrad, to Philip K. Dick – have written or talked about experiencing auditory verbal hallucinations, or hearing voices that others cannot hear. The Writers’ Inner Voices project also aims to explore what relationship there might be, if any, between writers’ experiences and the experience of hearing voices.



Fred Vargas: This night’s foul work

Dostojevski: Crime and punishment and The Double

Joe Simpson: Touching the void

Phillip Pullman: His Dark Materials triology

Peter Robinson: Cold is the grave

Haruki Murakami

Edgar Allan Poe

J.K. Rowling

In psychology, psychotherapy, philosophy:

Hal and Sidra Stone: Embracing ourselves

C.G. Jungs work

Gilles Deleuze

Nietsche: The Birth of Tragedy

Julian Jaynes

Peter Sloterdijk


Sarah K Reece:


P!nk: Don’t let me get me http://youtu.be/asaCQOZpqUQ

Katy B: Crying for no reason http://youtu.be/BOboa27SHDE

extensive youtube playlist with music and songs mentioning voicehearing http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNFEPts1WucRSbbBxUxcFJSgfHFkbDA0q


The TV-series Criminal Minds

The TV-series Lie To Me

Youtube playlist on creativity and hearing voices https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEC65BBB03162A155