Is it possible to think without words in your head?

Deepak Chopra
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Samskaras -- the grooves in the mind that make thoughts flow in the same direction and thus rob one of free choice -- are not silent. These deep impressions in the mind have a voice; we hear their repeated messages as words in our heads. Is it possible to figure out which voices are true and which are false? This is an important question because it isn't possible to think without hearing some words in your head.

Not one of us knows where our inner voices come from. We simply accept them, as well as the stream of words that fill our heads. A deeply religious person might claim that every inner voice is some version of the voice of God. One thing is certain, however: We all hear the inner voices of a clamoring chorus. They nag, praise, cajole, judge, warn, suspect, disbelieve, trust, complain, hope, love, and fear -- in no special order. It's too simplistic to say that we each have a good side and a bad side -- we have thousands of aspects formed out of past experiences.

It's impossible to sort out how many voices I am actually listening to. I sense that some are buried from childhood; they sound like orphans of my earliest experiences begging me to take them in. Other voices are adult-like and harsh -- in them, I hear people from my past who judged or punished me. Each voice believes that it deserves my whole attention, heedless of the others that believe the same thing. There is no central self who rises above the din to quell this riot of opinions, demands, and needs. At any given moment, whatever voice I pay the most attention to becomes my voice, only to be crowded offstage when my attention shifts.

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