I was watching a concert. The singer moved around the stage singing one
of my favorite songs. Suddenly she tripped, and in gathering her
composure she stopped singing. Yet, bizarrely, the song went
That was the first time I found out about "lip synching". When she was
singing, I assumed she really was singing. It certainly
looked like she was singing. But she wasn't. Her song was
a recording to which she mimed. The song, it turned out, was on
When I first distinguished the voice, it was like that. I was talking
something over with myself. I was thinking about it. I was coming up
with opinions, comparing people and situations. I was evaluating my
options based on what I knew.
The phone rang.
I picked it up and began speaking. In a sudden epiphany I noticed
something very interesting. Even as I was speaking on the
telephone, the conversation in my head - the voice - didn't stop. Even
while I was engaged in speaking out loud, that voice continued talking
by itself. Somewhat bemused, I noticed I had nothing to do with
it. The voice was on automatic.
Voice? What voice? If you listen, you'll hear it ... and you won't
have to listen very hard or very long.
It's not that you haven't heard it before. You have. Daily. Many times
daily. Continuously in fact. It's on automatic. But until you've
distinguished it as on automatic, it's likely you've
misidentified it as you. It's likely you've heard it as
you speaking to yourself. It's likely you've
described it as you thinking something over with
yourself. But if you tell the truth about it, you'll notice it's
not you who's thinking it. If anything, it's it who's
Like the automatic song being lip-synched to, the voice goes on all by
itself even when you're not speaking. If you listen to it
unflinchingly, you'll notice you have as much conscious control over it
as you have over your heart beating. You have as much conscious control
over it as you have over your fingernails growing. You have as much
conscious control over it as you have over your digestion once you've
finished your meal.
True maturity as a human being isn't defined by whether or not a person
has qualified for a driver's license, is of voting age, or has turned
twenty one. True maturity as a human being, it could be said, is
defined by whether a person has distinguished the voice, or not.