Logotherapy could be called a training program in how to listen to the voice of conscience. More to the point, it trains you to hear the voice that comes through conscience. You are at every moment in a dialogue with life, or consider it a dialogue with God.
The role of the Logotherapist is to facilitate the dialogue that conscience hears. The questions that the Logotherapist asks are actually questions that the client needs to ask him or herself. What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to learn? What should my attitude be towards this?
The concept of listening to a transcendent voice is not new to Jewish teachings. Rabbi Natan, foremost student of the Chasidic teacher Rebbe Nachman, describes a voice that you can hear in your mind, which originates in a ‘very high place. (Choshen Mishpat hilchot apotropus 3). Through this voice, God sends ‘hints’ and calls the person to engage with God. This voice has great power, and divine revelation illuminates through it.
He goes on to explain that since God gave human beings free will, they don’t necessarily hear what their conscience is telling them. When you use your free will to choose life, you are magnetically drawn to this voice. By sanctifying and purifying yourself from ‘cravings and vanities’ of this world, you receive holy words from above.
However, when you don’t choose life you make bad choices. Then, you don’t hear the transcendent voice. You become disengaged, and the voice turns into support and justification for evil.
As long as you are focused on what the ego wants and not what the situation demands of you, you will act out of fear or impulsivity or wishful thinking, and you will shut out the voice of conscience. You will betray yourself. You won’t be true to who you really are. I find Carolyn Myss to be very helpful in this regard She asks a lot of good questions. She points out that there is an ‘inner voice’ that lies to you and that looks for ways to support your addictions. It says, for example, ‘Tell them you have a headache’ when instead you should be telling the truth, namely, that you don’t want to go.
Both rabbi Natan and Carolyn Myss are highlighting the importance of voice training. You need to train yourself to discern the voice of conscience. At the same time, you also need to recognize a voice within you that is leading you astray.