Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Me And The Voice In My Head

The Hess Collection, Mount Veeder, California, USA

June 18, 2009



This essay, Me And The Voice In My Head, is the companion piece to Voice? What Voice?.

I am indebted to Nancy Froio who inspired this conversation.




Typically if someone says "I hear a voice in my head", they're regarded as crazy. We label them schizophrenic.

But if you tell the truth about it, perfectly normal people - like you  for example - hear a voice in their head all the time. In fact, if you really  tell the truth about the voice in your head, you do much more than merely hear  it: you identify  with it. For you, the voice in your head is you.

We regard the voice in our head as "I" - "I" as in the phrase "I think ...". And do you know that's what's really  crazy: when you regard the voice in your head as yourself, when you regard the voice in your head as who you really are.

If I'm not the voice in my head, then who am I? I mean really?  Who I really am like an opening  is the space in which the events of my life occur. Who I really am like a possibility  is complete rapid response communication - everyone is transformed with no one and nothing left out. Who I really am like a commitment  is the start of these Conversations For Transformation and the space of their ongoing completion and fulfillment.

Setting sail on the voyage of discovery of who you really  are (in other words embarking on the freshman years of Transformation 101)  requires a certain willingness to shift what you identify yourself as  away from the voice in your head on which, by habit, by societal agreement, and by cultural norm, it's been centered probably since the time you were born and almost certainly since the time you learned to speak.

If you observe it but don't take it seriously, pretty soon it starts to lose its grip. Like a radio on in the background, you know it's there but you don't pay much attention to it. You get on with your life. The radio's on. So what?!"  There's background muzak  while you work. Who you are really, like a commitment, is fully engaged, fully in play. The voice in your head is just static. And even if the radio's clear, everyone knows it's not the voice of a real  person in the room with you. Everyone knows it's just on the radio.

There's no rules about this. The voice in your head is neither a bad nor a good thing. It's often mis-identified with who you really are. By habit (plus a certain amount of miseducation and a few erroneous inferences), we got to identify with the voice in our head in the first place. Conversely, through healthier habits and prudent education, the erroneous mis-identification is shifted.

Even as you do that, remember you don't have  to. There's nothing wrong with the voice in your head. It's OK the way it is. It's just not you. That's all. It's just not "I" as in the phrase "I think ...". At worst, don't identify with it. At best, distinguish it from who you really  are: an opening, a possibility, a commitment.

Me and the voice in my head have a great relationship. We get along famously. I am who I am, and the voice in my head is the voice in my head. I let it be, and it lets me be. It's like the perfect tenant: once I've let the space, I hardly notice he's there.



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