Donald Duck has sometimes a little devil sitting on one shoulder whispering devilries into his one ear and a little angel sitting on the other shoulder telling him to be nice and kind with a soft and priestly kind of voice. These figures are of course portraits of his inner voices.
We have also inner voices, not only one as some people think, and not only two as in Walt Disney’s animated films, but many.
Listen carefully to your present inner voice as you read this over and over again. Listen to the accent and the intonation. The words are mine, but the voice is yours. Isn’t it so? I have hypnotized you for a few moments. I have taken over your mind.
Listen now to the response in your head. Listen very carefully. What do you think? Are the answers really your own or have you got also them them from somewhere. Can you hear your mother’s voice? Can you hear your gurus? Can you hear your best friend from your teenage years? Most probably you have learned how you should think and most probably you have learned a number of different ways how to think, but is there an answer there in your head that is truly your own? What do you think?
Sometimes the inner voice is complaining endlessly about this or that, stupid workmates, stupid politicians or stupid spouses. Sometimes the voice is singing idiotic little songs, sometimes it is formulating elaborate defenses or excuses.
One voice is saying: “Oh! I feel like a cigarette and an ice-cold beer. Health fanatics are such boors.”
Another voice is saying: “What an idiot you are! You have given up smoking. Smoking is not good for you. You know that very well.”
A third voice is saying: “I can hear clearly what is going on in my head. I have you two guys sitting there arguing how to live, but I will not listen to any of you. I’m putting my awareness to the present moment instead.”
What is this I made of, who can put the attention to the different parts of reality? Is it made of thoughts?
One I want to go this way and another I want to go that way. A third I want to go in a third direction. Is there really a true I?
-I just want to be myself.
-But what if your will is not your’s. Maybe it is your mother’s will you are following, maybe it is your fathers. maybe it is your friends. Your mother always wanted you to become a lawyer; your friends want you to be silly; your girlfriend want’s you to be presentable. Whatever.