Voice and Vantage Point

Voice. Developing one’s voice is critical for writers if each of us wishes to standout as unique in a galaxy of other writers. But voice is an aspect of writing that is formed from many different elements—tone, style, and vantage point, to name a few. Vantage point is, arguably, the most impactful as it also helps shape tone and style.

Vantage Point: What do we mean by vantage point? Vantage point is the position from which a writer is observing, noticing, and commenting on something outside of him- or herself (or on something from within). For example, in the photograph of the blue jay sitting on the fence in front of the blue post, we recognize a number of vantage points. The photographer has one vantage point, the bluejay another. The bird flying into the scene has yet another. The viewer of the photograph has still  another vantage point, similar to the photographer’s, yet uniquely the viewer’s own. The voice that would emerge from each vantage point could produce a decidedly different expression of  perspective on the scene.

Locus of Consciousness: Several words are often used interchangeably for what we are discussing—vantage point, perspective, and approach—yet each implies a certain locus of consciousness from which the observation is being made, and should expression emerge, that particular locus of consciousness would be reflected in whatever was expressed.

Grammatical Voice: We categorize voice grammatically as first person, second person, or third person, and learn the appropriate pronouns in school. Each of those pronouns reflects the perspective or vantage point from which the expression or comment is emerging. Pronouns being vague can cause us to forget that each one is reflecting a locus of consciousness.

Rishi, Devata, and Chhandas: In the Science of Consciousness SM, we define that locus of consciousness in terms of  the Rishi—the knower or observer. What we are observing is the Chhandas value—in this case, the blue jay, perhaps the fence post, the known. What is connecting the observer and the observed or the Rishi and the Chhandas is the Devata value—the process of knowing or observing. The three taken together create the wholeness that emerges—the Samhita of Rishi, Devata, and Chhandas.

Consciousness: These terms remind us that consciousness is underlying and generating everything we express and write. Voice is an expression of consciousness. Our voice is our own individual mode of expression, shaped by our nervous system and the position we take in relation to what we are observing.

Developing our own personal voice in our writing is a way of celebrating our own unique connection with the consciousness underlying and generating all of creation. So, go for it. Find you voice. Celebrate who you are.

Image Credit:

Photograph of blue jay (cardinal) courtesy of Bill Graeser


Correction from

Mary Ellen Araas-Wright 8:13pm Nov 8
Dear Dara: I enjoyed your recent blog article … so very beautifully connected to the Vedic knowledge of MMY. Just wanted to let you know that the bird, although very blue in the picture, is actually a female cardinal … we see a lot of them up here in MN at our bird feeder and bath. I think she’s looks so blue due to either the blue of the fence post or perhaps the picture tones were adjusted for more blue to come out. The red bird in the background is most likely her male mate … they are never very far apart when flying about together. Love, Mary Ellen


About dara

Associate Professor of Literature and Writing Maharishi University of Management Managing Editor Consciousness-Based Books
This entry was posted in 2012, Consciousness, Reflective Writing, Uncategorized, Writing Advice, Writing Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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