Hi All, 

The other evening I was praying from the Agpeya, and once I reached psalm 137, I heard cymbals being played. The thing is, no one was playing cymbals, so I'm pretty sure it came from within. Is this simply my imagination playing tricks, or could this have some symbolic/spiritual meaning?


  • there are 3 options (please stay calm while reading this, maybe sit down!)

    1. auditory hallucination - this is very common, it is easy to imagine you hear someone who has recently died, or if someone is driving along a road 50 metres away with loud music and the windows open, then you will hear bits of it as the wind blows towards you and then away from you.

    as you can't quite hear what it is, your brain invents a tune to match the few sounds you hear. this in much more common in people who have started to go deaf. 

    i started wearing hearing aids a couple of years ago (hearing nerve not working properly, probably inherited, don't need hearing aids the whole time) and i have had constant tinnitus (ringing in the ears) for >10 years. sometimes when all is quiet, i hear tasbeha! then if i listen carefully it disappears and then all i hear is the tinitus. this is a classical auditory hallucination associated with deafness. i actually enjoy it a lot. i do listen to tasbeha a few times a month and so my brain is used to the tunes.

    i think it is very likely (considering that most of the world is deprived from going to church) that your brain expects to hear cymbals and hymns at least once a week and now it is not hearing them, so it invents these sounds from any other random sounds that come in. you don't have to have a hearing problem to have these sorts of hallucinations.

    in the 1st week after our church closed, i had several visual hallucinations, thinking I had seen people from church (who live many miles away), but then when I looked closer, it was just some people who looked (very slightly) like them. these sort of hallucinations are usually common in people whose friend/relative has died, and they have now stopped (i think i have literally forgotten what my friends look like!) no one had died but i did miss my friends terribly.

    these sort of auditory hallucinations are not linked to schizophrenia or other mental health problems and are nothing to worry about (unless they start telling you to hurt yourself, then see a doctor!)

    2. it could be from an evil spirit who is trying to make you get proud that you are especially close to God. this is very unlikely, but it is more likely than no.3

    3. it could be actual angels / saints / travellers carried by the Holy Spirit (sowah) playing the cymbals.

    this is the one you want it to be.

    but it isn't, sorry this is very rare, but please feel free to check with your confession father, as i don't have any special expertise on this topic.

    i do know that saint antony once had visitors and he told them something he could not possibly have known.

    they were amazed and asked 'who told you?' he answered 'the devil' because he did not want to get proud or to start thinking that he was anyone special. that was very smart of him!

    but don't worry, i think it is very unlikely that this is true for you, it is almost certainly a nice auditory hallucination, just thank God for it, because your brain is looking for nice sounds to fill the gaps in your church life.

  • Thanks for the response!

    had no idea it could've been so many things, and I'm certainly not inclined to believe it was the third option, as I'm certainly not doing as much as I could/should be.This is the second time its happened though, hence why I was wondering. First time was at a train station, shortly before I was baptised- i looked to the sky, and from it seemed to come the sounds of cymbals and deacons singing. 

    The second option could be possible. I'll pray on it. 

  • ok that time before baptism was probably from God, that sounds like He would do that.
    but the best person to ask, if you can, is your confession father.
    don't take my thoughts too seriously, it is just a general list of what it could be.

    i realise that i did not answer yr qus about saints. the 1st orthodox church i attended was dedicated to saint mary + saint bishoy, then i became attached to saint matthias (see my avatar) as he joined the apostles 'late' as i joined the church 'late'. and the others are ones i came across in my church life.

    how long ago were you baptised? pls send private message if you don't wish to answer in public.
    may God give you great joy these 50 joyful days
  • Speak with your spiritual guide :)
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