By Joan Allen
Webster’s Second College Edition Dictionary of the American Language defines essay as a “short literary composition of an analytical or interpretive kind, dealing with its subject usually from a personal point of view or in a limited way”. That definition is certainly apt in this case because it is impossible for me to write about Reverse Speech from anything other than my personal point of view, and since there is absolutely no way to express everything I have learned about Reverse Speech, so far, this will definitely be limited, though longer than two to three hundred words.
In the early 1980’s David Oates discovered, by means of some fascinatingly synchronous events, words spoken in grammatically correct phrases and sentences on a cassette tape containing music which he played in reverse. Some of them were obviously intentionally inserted but the ones that were not sparked an intensive scientific investigation that David passionately pursues to this day. Much has been discovered and much remains to be revealed, but so far, we know that the subconscious mind speaks in reverse within the sound patterns of forward speech. We know the voice of the subconscious speaks only the truth, while forward speech may contain any degree of deviation from the truth. However, the forward speech and the reverse speech will always compliment one another; they will always relate to one another in some way. This relationship has become known as ‘the rule of complimentarity’ and it applies 100% of the time.
Within the rule of complimentarity are multiple types of reversals.
1.The reversal may agree with the forward spoken words. This is congruency.
2.The reversal may add information to the forward speech. This is an expansive reversal.
3.The reversal may totally contradict the forward spoken words. This is a contradictory reversal. 4.The reversal may contain exactly the same words as the forward spoken words – a mirror reversal.
5.There is also a trailing reversal in which the reversal relates to words spoken forward that occurred prior to the words upon which the reversal actually occurs. A trailing reversal indicates the unconscious is still expressing truth regarding a subject that the speaker has gone past in his/her forward speech.
6.Then there are reversals that actually predict specific future events. They are perhaps the most rare, but they do occur and have proven to be incredibly accurate.
7.There are constant reversals, some of which are situational and some of which are personal. Constant reversals are those that always say the same thing (like America always reverses to “a crime”). Just as people have a personal subconscious, people have personal constant reversals, those that are not part of the collective subconscious. Those which ARE part of the collective subconscious are universally constant. A crime/America is a universal constant. A situational reversal applies only to a specific situation, recording, conversation, or event.
There are also layered reversals; those that piggyback on each other and can be heard correctly more than one way. There are reversal clusters, which occur close together and are all related to a central theme or pattern. David has discovered 8 different, distinct tonalities of reversals, each frequency/tonality level being an indicator of the depth of the subconscious from which it comes, the more robotic sounding reversals being from the levels closest to the threshold of consciousness. The layering of reversals accounts for people hearing the same reversal a little differently. It also explains the echoing, almost whirling sound accompanying reversals. Most people can hear only 2 or 3 tonalities, but with practice it is possible to develop the ability to hear more.
I find it compelling that there are (at least) 8 different frequencies upon which reversals occur, for there are also 8 energy centers of the body, each of which operate on their own frequency and together form a chorus much as notes on a piano form a chord. Could each Chakra/energy center have a voice in the Subconscious?
It is also possible for entire conversations to occur between two people in reverse! This demonstrates that every one of us do hear and process Reverse Speech! The key to accepting this fact is to remember that subconscious = unconscious = unaware! We all speak in reverse, but since Reverse Speech is sourced in the subconscious (right brain), we are unaware of it at the usual conscious level. People who are highly intuitive will get a “gut feeling” about the person whose reversals they are “picking up on” even though they are not consciously aware of the words spoken in reverse. So we see that the two modes of speech (forward and reverse), present total communication. Both are necessary to reveal the psyche. To the extent that a person’s reversals are congruous with their forward speech, that person is operating in a state of integrity. Likewise, to the degree that a person’s reversals are contradictory with their forward speech, that person is operating in a state of dysfunction and incongruity.
Women are usually more intuitive than men simply because women are more in touch with their feelings than men are; thus “woman’s intuition” becomes real because women typically operate more from the right brain (music, inspiration, creativity, day dreaming, tonal inflections and emotions are processed here). Men typically operate more from the left-brain (logic, and analytical processes). It has also been shown that forward speech is formulated in the left-brain. This is why Mel Tillis, who has a severe speech stutter, can sing perfectly.
Babies are born knowing a great deal about survival, but speech must be learned. Babies will have reversals of one or two words as early as 4 months of age, which proves that babies learn to speak in reverse BEFORE they learn forward speech. The two modes gradually combine to form the bi-level communication we all currently use. How many parents have walked the floor with a crying baby, wishing to God they knew what the child needed! Reversals on children are very often mirror reversals, or at least congruent reversals because young children have not yet learned to deny their own truth to gain acceptance/approval. This speaks of their true innocence. However, children learn at an early age and do adopt some of the predominant metaphors of their primary caretakers. David says this is the true meaning of the scripture that states, “the sins of the fathers are visited upon the heads of the children”, and I believe it. He calls this process “oral tradition”.
Reversals can occur on crying, laughter, babbling baby sounds, on sighs, in applause – just about anything humans audibly emit. They also occur on animals, though this is not well known and would probably be rejected by some simply because mankind regards animals as “lower species”. Ah, such arrogance……..
One of the most remarkable revelations of Reverse Speech is that the language of the subconscious, or soul, is metaphoric in nature. Metaphors have been used to communicate complex concepts in every known culture and in all of the known history of this planet. Metaphors use words to invoke imagery so complete as to be holographic in nature. Babies don’t think in words – they think in pictures (concepts). That is, they SEE themselves walking and thus they get up and walk. Athletes have discovered the power of imagery as well, and it is known to be creative or self-fulfilling! Jung maintained that the archetypes of the unconscious appear as “agents of creation in time”!
Carl Jung studied the human psyche all his life, and explored the great reservoir of archetypes and symbols that are universal to humans. He called this reservoir the collective unconscious. It is not filled with words – it is filled with picture stories – holographic imagery that reveals more about an archetypal symbol than any top-notch reporter could ask; who, what, when, where, why, how – and then some.
Metaphors give us a complete description of everything that is going on in the subconscious mind (personal and collective). I can only imagine the jubilation Jung would have experienced at having Reverse Speech at his disposal!
Interestingly, the very academic institutions that accepted Jung, Freud, Joseph Campbell, Wolfgang Pauli, William James, and Niels Bohr have rejected Reverse Speech. It was Niels Bohr who introduced the idea of complimentarity to the scientific community relative to light existing as both particle and wave – logically opposed but complementary. Wolfgang Pauli believed that it was necessary to study the role of archetypal symbolism in the realm of scientific concepts! He and Jung worked closely together and had many discussions about the surprising similarities between the psychology of the unconscious and physics, and Jung recognized the relationship between the conscious and unconscious mind as logically opposed but complementary.
Pauli also recognized that the observer interferes with (influences) the experiment in a way that can’t be measured and that therefore can’t be eliminated, and as the physicist Werner Heisenberg observed regarding our examination of nature and the universe, “man encounters himself”. Reverse Speech bears this out. This is also the reason David Oates has painstakingly developed a set of strict checkpoints and validity factors with which to document reversals.
There is a high moral and ethical responsibility to carefulness and accuracy when working with reversals, which must be honored if the premise of Reverse Speech is to remain pure. Just as there is potential for great damage in careless speech, there is potential for great damage in carelessly analyzing Reverse Speech. Most of us are even more sensitive about this aspect of our “spiritual anatomy” than we are about certain of our physical anatomies.
I do not know why we have moved so far away from the desire for and receptivity of knowledge that fueled the fires of these great men and likewise fuels the passionate exploration of Reverse Speech by David Oates. I suspect that the difference in reception is similar to the difference between theorizing about a grizzly bear and actually being confronted with one!
Perhaps because Jung’s work was not considered definitive, but rather suggestive, it was not particularly offensive or threatening. Reverse Speech however, is completely definitive, totally precise, and brutal in its honesty. Therefore, the ego, which knows little of the unconscious mind and is easily threatened, probably responds to Reverse Speech much as the physical body’s immune system responds to anything it considers “other-than-self”, i.e. with rejection and/or swift attack.
David has dubbed this “knee-jerk” phenomenon “reversal reaction” and it can be either passive (rejection), or active (attack). It has proven to be universal in that every person working with (and sometimes just hearing about) Reverse Speech experiences reversal reaction to some degree, the degree being determined by lack of integrity or harmony between the conscious and subconscious of the individual. It has been my experience that awareness is the greatest and most effective antidote, but no one is spared reversal reaction. Jung, in working with the subconscious of his clients, was confronted with his own “demons” in the process.
The most common, if not the only form of reversal reaction seems best described by what Jung termed “projection”. Projection occurs when that which is truly within our own unconscious mind, is seen and experienced as being in or coming from another! Per Jung, “the secret aim of the unconscious in bringing this about is to force the individual to develop and to bring his/her own being to maturity by integrating more of the unconscious personality and bringing it into his/her own real life.”
If one of the ego’s jobs is to maintain the status quo (to keep us safe), then Reverse Speech totally upsets that apple cart. It seems clear however, that if we are to become whole, we must become aware of the contents of our own subconscious minds!
I believe it is this quest for greater integration/awareness of self that has been the true motivation behind every type of exploration man/woman has ever engaged in individually and collectively, from contemplating the mysteries of the mind to exploring the cosmos. Reverse Speech is the expressway to that awareness, but most people would really rather take the long way home, even if it means continuing to go in circles.
Reverse Speech confirms the collective and individual dysfunction of the psyche, and it was this dysfunction that most concerned Jung as well.
The phenomenon of reversal reaction is nowhere more apparent than in the 18-year history of David Oates, discoverer and promoter of Reverse Speech. Dr. Jung maintained that the ego and the shadow are in conflict with each other in what he called “the battle for deliverance”. He believed that it is necessary for the ego to come to terms with the destructive powers of the shadow, to master it and to assimilate it so that strength may be drawn from it. He further stated that the shadow is comprised of repressed cultural symbols, the psychic energy of which serves to revive and intensify whatever tendencies are uppermost in the unconscious mind, and that this is the reason we fear it.
If there is a collective unconscious, and the shadow, as Jung states, resides in the unconscious mind, then it follows that there is also a collective shadow. Perhaps it is this collective shadow which has reared its ugly head at every turn in the path of David Oates since his discovery of Reverse Speech. It has manifested in life-threatening and very destructive forms that I won’t go into here. Suffice it to say that he is still with us, which suggests Divine protection. In metaphorical terms, David has a very strong Wolf. In fact, I found a reversal when talking about the terrible adversity David has been through, which states, “They were the laws that when he walks he’ll be safe”.
Having been rejected by Academia, David’s efforts to give Reverse Speech to the world led him to writing books, to begin teaching classes, to radio and television appearances anywhere people would listen, and eventually to therapeutic applications in private session work. Having realized the profound nature of metaphors in Reverse Speech, David developed a unique method of metaphoric restructuring which has the capacity to revolutionize psychiatry and catapult the evolution of mankind beyond the confines of this dimension.
Metaphors are either structural in type or operational. Structural metaphors are ‘causal’ in nature, and in operational metaphors we see the effects or resultant actions. At any given time, most individuals are “running” a dozen or so metaphors. By assisting an individual through trance imagery, the weak metaphor can be strengthened; the overly aggressive metaphor can be tamed; and harmony can be restored to the psyche, rapidly resulting in outward changes in the person’s life. Metaphorically, this is the equivalent of returning to the Garden of Eden, to a state of peace and harmony. We can all see the need for this great gift, but to date there are only two people on Earth qualified to give it!
David has said that “Reverse Speech gives the individual back to himself/herself”, which has the same feeling to it as “know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. There is no doubt that Reverse Speech is the voice of truth, and if we are courageous enough to go beyond the fear, freedom awaits.
Carl Jung stated in his book “The Undiscovered Self”, “I am neither spurred on by excessive optimism nor in love with high ideals, but am merely concerned with the fate of the individual human being – that infinitesimal unit on whom a world depends, and in whom, if we read the meaning of the Christian message aright, even God seeks his goal”. Reverse Speech is in harmony with that goal, and is proving to be a primary means of realizing it.