Everyone is familiar with this phenomenon because we all do it—we are all in the habit of talking to ourselves at some time or other.
We all use our internal voice, the one that has an opinion on everything, all of the time. We are so used to it, in fact, that we have come to regard it as perfectly normal. However, if you stop to think about it for a moment, it does seem a little odd, to say the least. Why do we give a running commentary on our lives? When and why did we start doing this? It is not something babies do, that’s for sure.
Someone once made this comment to me while we were debating this particular topic: “Oh really? Perfectly normal that we all do this? Hmm… what do you think would happen if everyone suddenly started saying out loud what they only ever say to themselves on the inside. I think many of us would quickly be considered as bordering on the insane.”
After hearing this I started to pay more attention to my inner voice. The internal dialogue we conduct with ourselves is often quite haphazard, invariably repetitive and almost always formulated in the past or future tense. In any case, it tends to concern stuff that is not present in the here and now.
Your inner voice often feels like a kind of voice-over. A bit like the voice of a football commentator, it provides an unsolicited soundtrack for the movie of your life. This is entirely unnecessary, of course, because your life does not require a soundtrack. But when you become aware of this voice or are simply fed up hearing it, why is it so difficult to turn it off?
If you study how your inner voice works, you will see that it always starts chattering either before or after an event or action, never during. You can check this yourself. When you give something your full attention the voice in your head goes quiet. It fades into the background. And if you study this even more closely, you will notice that when you focus one hundred per cent on something, the feeling that there is an ‘I’ performing some action or other diminishes as well. Like itself takes over; it flows through you without any intervention from the ‘I’. We even refer to this phenomenon as ‘flow’. When your inner voice disappears your ‘I’ feeling disappears along with it. The two are related to each other, they are interconnected.
Your inner voice helps your ego to create its special ‘I’ feeling. In fact, it is the voice of your ego that provides you with your ‘I’ experience. This ‘I’ is created either before or after an event takes place.
This is how the ego takes control of your life. This is how the ego lays claim to your life, the life that, in its essence, is completely free and needs nothing other than life itself. True freedom lies in the ability to LIVE life without any outside intervention, without any external claim, without any unnecessary demands.