Shhhh! Listen quietly now! Hear that voice? The one speaking in your head? No? Try reading or spelling or counting quietly to yourself. Go ahead and try it! — one, two, three. Hear that voice inside your head counting? Let me ask you something. — Is that you?
For most of us, our “inner-voice” is a non-stop chatter box, giving advice, emoting feelings, complaining about this and that and running through endless different scenario’s all out-loud inside our heads. It’s constantly telling us what to do, how to feel and how to act and react and it’s been doing this our entire lifetime!
We’re so used to it, we don’t even consciously hear it anymore! Unless of course as we have seen, we try!
Wait a minute! “Hear it?” Isn’t that “Hear Me?“ You know, one and the same? Shouldn’t it be — Hear “My” voice? But are they really one and the same?
Try this. — Try and think of “Nothing!” Just for a couple of minutes. Absolutely “NOTHING!” Just a blank quiet with No Voices! Go ahead, just for two short minutes!
Did you succeed? Did you end up in a fight for control? What if it was for 20 minutes? An Hour? So, no control then? So what does this say about our “inner voice?” I wanted it to be quiet! It was “me” who commanded quiet! So why was the voice not quiet? Is that voice then somehow separate from Me? From the real Me?
DO WE ALL HEAR VOICES?
Surprisingly the answer is NO! Not only do we not all have an inner voice but many of them differ from each other. While most of us do hear a narrative vocal voice in our head, the reality is that we are not actually hearing it at all! There is absolutely no auditory functioning going on! This perceived loud thinking comes from a completely different part of your brain that doesn’t involve sound or hearing.
Weird! But It gets even weirder!
So while some of us hear voices that are not really voices at all, others see (or think) in pictures or images. Still others in Patterns and Connections. And at times we may all think in some combination of the three! But the startling fact is (at least for me as a verbal thinker) that not everyone has an inner monologue! Do You?
THE INNER VOICE
From Michael A. Singer book — The Untethered Soul.
For most of us, we have an ongoing mental dialogue going on inside of our heads. How does it decide what to say, when to say it? Should we believe in what it says? Follow its guidance? And why is it always talking? And who’s talking and who’s listening? The answer is you are! And in both cases!
How weird is that? It’s you who are talking and you who are listening, and when your inner voice and you disagree — it’s you who are arguing with yourself! Almost like 2 different people taking up sides but both of those people are you! It can be a little shocking to realize that your mind has its own voice and is constantly talking (and arguing) with you. — But it’s true!
HEARING IS BELIEVING
The best way to see this (hear this) for yourself is with self-examination. You must step way back as a third-party independent (inside of your head) and look for and listen for when it speaks. Hear what it’s saying and recognize that this voice is not the real you as in “Self.” If your hearing it talk, it’s obviously Not You! You are the one who’s listening to it talk! You are the one who takes notice that it’s talking.
Once you are able to listen to this voice (objectively from afar) you may be surprised at what you hear and may or may not at any particular moment like what it’s saying. Nice things, bad things, overly emotionally charged things? Petty things? Harshly critical things? Perhaps even self-delusional things but the key is to remember and recognize this is not the real you!
You are the one listening. You are NOT the voice of the mind!
If you can persist in your little quest to hear your inner voice, over time you will come to the conclusion that most of what it says — is meaningless! Most of it’s talking is emotionally based and has no real influence on the outside world. Most of life occurs outside of your thoughts and you have very little effect on these at all. In fact, the vast majority of your inner thoughts have no relevance and are usually quickly forgotten.
Your Inner Emotional Voice has no real effect on anybody but you!
The voice only has an impact on how you feel, your emotional turmoil and self-conflicting doubts and fears all played out inside of your head.
Life happens in the outside world, outside of the never-ending commotions that your mind makes about your life. Life itself is not the problem! The real problem comes in the lack of control or recognition of your mostly nonsensical babbling thoughts. The conflicting, judgmental and emotional inner voice!
In my opinion — Michael Singer has hit the nail right on the head! Think back to all those useless inner conversations you’ve had over your lifetime and how in retrospect they accomplished nothing. Other than making you an emotional wreck for awhile! Rehearsals of rebuttals that you planned in your head for hours that never came to fruition. Even wasting time after an argument thinking “I should have said this! or that! “Or internally emoting endlessly in anger or anguish over something that never even materialized later.
WHAT KIND OF THINGS DOES “YOUR INNER VOICE” TALK TO YOU ABOUT?
Ready for a shocker? The reality you are living in, is not the same as mine, nor exactly the same as anyone else’s! Basically you re-create the outside world inside of yourself according to you, and then live there — in your mind! Your consciousness is experiencing a mental model of reality — yours!
Now before you automatically “Poo-Poo” this observation, stop and think about its truth. Do you and your inner voice not perceive reality together with you as the central figure? Isn’t it almost entirely about you? Doesn’t most of your thoughts, your inner world, mentally revolve around you? How this or that makes you feel? How this affects you and your life? I want this or don’t want that to happen? How can he say that about me? This is what I should do? For me? About me? My life? Me-Me-Me!
Now this sounds awfully self-centered and it is, but it’s also normal human behavior. Remember survival (of the species) is the #1 evolutionary objective and so it’s no-wonder our minds work in this way.
In reality — your not really trying to hold the world together, you’re trying to hold yourself together! In your mind!
Michael Singer and his book goes on to rationalize that “Inner Growth” is dependent upon realizing that the way to inner peace and contentment is to stop listening to your whiny inner voice. To transcend that part of you that is “not okay” and constantly needs “inner protection.” That the “I” who is always talking inside of your head, will never be content! That it will always have a problem with something! And these are self-inducing problems you will never be free of! Unless you take the seat of witness!
The Seat of Witness — Is you as a third party independent observer. A non-verbal listener, sitting in the shadows, simply observing what your inner-voice is saying. Following the conversations, and being aware that you (you inner-voice) is constantly talking to yourself as in your mind.
Do you really wish to replay over and over again a past conversation or argument just to fantasize what you could have said? Or lose sleep over an upcoming worrisome event, that in reality, you have no real control of? Ponder in anguish, your life mistakes, or listen to the inner criticism and judgements you too often make upon yourself? Or on others? — Yep! I’ve done that! You?
The inner voice is constantly verbalizing your emotional-self and it can cause you to become lost in emotions inside of your mind instead of just enjoying and reacting directly with the outside world.
In essence — you are the witness and then there’s the constantly chattering complaining and emotionally charged chatter-box that is your inner voice. And you are basically “locked-up” in there with this mental maniac. It’s only by being constantly aware that this is not you can you ever hope to quiet this voice.
“THE UNTETHERED SOLE”
^After Clicking On Link^
“Open Preview” to get an in-depth sampling from kindle.
Personally I found the first half of his book fascinating and thought-provoking. The second half talks about some mystical energy discharging from our hearts and then delves into faith, religion and the existence of God within our bodies. Not exactly my “Cup of tea” but — perhaps yours?
As with Singer’s book, most of my research into one’s inner voice depicts an over-emotional whiny crybaby who negatively interferes with your life and should be consciously shunned. But others have a different view? They say we should listen to this voice and let it guide us through life…
So which is it?
IS YOUR INNER VOICE HELPFUL OR HINDRANCE? EMOTIONAL OR RATIONAL? GIVES GOOD ADVICE? OR BAD?
As I look back on my life, in retrospect, I can see how my overly-emotional inner voice played havoc with my thoughts. Winding me up unnecessarily by over-dramatizing life events and social concerns. Particularly in my teen-age years. I assume though, that individually speaking — that was in my case and others may have different experiences with their inner-voice while growing up.
Perhaps it depends on the individual? Their personality, or maybe a genetic carryover? Or maybe, it’s just more active and in turmoil during youth than it is in maturity.
I say this because today, my senior years fast approaching, my voices have become less aggressive and less noticeable. Regardless, thanks to this topic I will forever now be somewhat aware that the voice is there! I’ve even tried (as often as I can remember) to bear witness to my voice from afar. Let me tell you, it’s not that easy. This has been a lifetime occurrence and to try to change me and my inner voice now?
Yet maybe I don’t need to. Most of the times I’ve been noticing my inner voice these days, it’s not whining or complaining or verbalizing overly emotional situations. — It’s singing!
Yep! Singing! You ever hear a song on the radio or from your collection and can’t get it out of your head for a few days? Well I do that too, but with the hundreds of lyrics that I have come to know over a lifetime of songs (from my Country Band days) I have a lot to choose from. And my inner voice seems to want to sing them all!
Whenever I’m doing a boring or hum-drum job and think to listen to what my Inner voice is up to — it’s singing!
With all this talk about how one’s inner voice can negatively affect you I’ll take the reminiscing enjoyment of singing old familiar songs in my head any day. Guess me and my inner voice have finally come to terms.
You could say that after all these years we are finally — “In Tune?”
“We are all fragmented. There is no unitary self. We are all in pieces, struggling to create the illusion of a coherent “ME” from moment to moment.” — Charles Fernyhoug.
As Always — Search for the Truth!