Jon Klimo (real name) is trained in psychology, in which he earned a Ph.D. He has worked for 25 years full-time at the doctoral level, including eight years as Assistant Professor at Rutgers University where he was awarded a multi-year research grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. He set up and ran a graduate program at the Rosebridge Graduate School of Integrative Psychology in parapsychology with special emphasis in creating an emerging hybrid sub-field potential profession he calls “clinical parapsychology.” He is currently core faculty at the new California campus of the American Schools of Professional Psychology and, separately, is overseeing a five-year funded research project seeking to receive purported surviving human spirit communication from the “afterlife” through technological means.
This experience occurred in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1979 when Professor Klimo was 37 years old and employed at Rutgers.
Professor Klimo has since had other unusual experiences, not yet posted to TASTE.
When the Voice Called My Name
One Saturday spring morning in about 1979, some four or five years into my eight years as a professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, I awoke. I was living alone at the time in a small garden apartment near New Brunswick. I lay in bed, not yet ready to get up.
I was fully awake; there was no issue of its being a lucid dream, false waking, hypnopompic state, et al. It was all very awake and ordinary. I had planned on working on some reading and writing that weekend, but was just procrastinating getting up and started.
As I lay there, without much of anything going on in my head, just lazily lying there with my eyes open and no particular sensate stimuli occurring in my local environment, I heard, absolutely clear as a bell, loud and clear, unmistakably and distinctly, right in the middle of my head, just as if I had stereo headphones on, what sounded like a fairly deep mature male voice. It only said one word. It said my first name, “Jon.”
But it was how that voice said my name that had a whole world in it for me experientially. It drew that one word out slowly, but only in the realistic way someone might if they were cajoling, teasing, coaxing me. I have never before or since heard a voice in my head to which I could attribute no external stimulus. agent, or person. And, never before or since have I experienced so much connotative affective/cognitive association and meaning in any voice, inner or outer.
The source of the voice seemed to know me intimately. I was deeply and thoroughly known by it/him. It/he obviously cared about me, perhaps even loved me, but I sensed, at the time, more affection toward me than deep love. And I sensed that the source was mildly bemused by my just lying there, by my procrastinating. So the tone was mild, humorous rebuking, teasing: Jon…. It’s time to get up, Jon. Time to get going. Come on, Jon, you know what you need to be doing here. That was the sense for me behind that one, loaded, drawn-out word, my name.
I just sat bolt upright, in shock, with goose-bumps, excited. I had no doubt whatsoever that the voice was not coming from my normal external senses. I also knew equally for certain that it was not a voice that I was in any way making up. It was not me, it was other than me, external to me, belonging to someone or something else entirely. But it was meant for me. And in this sense, I am one of so many people, who have had anomalous experiences, such as an NDE (as just one quick example), who will tell you that what they experienced is not open to discussion so far as whether or not it’s real or just an hallucination or other endogenous contents of consciousness. Like so many other such experiences and reports, it is experienced as even MORE real than “normal real.”
Contributor’s Comments on the Experience
In all the years since then, I have never quite felt the same way about other people “hearing voices.”