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Your internal "voice"

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by geoff_in_nc, Oct 8, 2020.

  1. geoff_in_nc

    geoff_in_nc Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I was reading recently that some people's internal voice is in actual words flowing through their heads... Not hearing voices, but their thoughts are in language.

    Then there are other folks whose internal thoughts are quite abstract and not in words. The article said that one type has a very difficult time imagining what the other type experiences, and may have not even pondered that there could be another type.

    So how does your brain work, and if you have verbal thoughts, are they generally positive or negative towards yourself? For me, I'm of the verbal type, and my voice is quite negative, and I'm sure that's a significant contributor to my depression and anxiety.

    Thoughts? :D
     
  2. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I'm sure I have both. Some things would be awkward to put into language, anyway.
     
  3. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Holic

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    "I've always been crazy but I keeps me from going insane."

    In all seriousness though; I have an internal guitar riff collection. It matches my mood to a guitar riff that I have either heard, played, or created. I guess that would fall under abstract. It's slightly distracting sometimes, because you know that if you don't play it or write it down its probably gone forever. Now if only my guitar amp could be as expressive as the amp in my head is...Apparently right now I'm in a classical guitar kind of mood. I', hearing something like Classical Gas in my head. Must be because I know I should be doing my class work for college right now rather than typing on the forum.:oops::lol:
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
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  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    My brain constantly says “Avoid drama, hassles and confrontation.”
    I hear it, and do.
    It works well.
    I can “smell” a hassle a mile away.
    I no longer run towards it.
    It only took about 50 of my 63 years to figure that out.
    Whatever time remains, I’m turning the volume on that voice UP.
    Way up, my hearing is not what it once was.
     
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  5. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    My brain never rests and my thought processes are complex. I wake up some mornings with the solution to the previous days problems in the front of my mind. I think in words when thinking about ideas that can be expressed in words. I think in scenes that are almost dreamlike at times especially when trying to imagine how a course of events may unfold. I think in abstractions when thinking about science, especially physics. Calculations can be done in the abstract, something like estimating but on a higher level. Physical interactions are abstract anyway, especially on the quantum level. I draw all thought processes together as I reach a conclusion. Sometimes they run on parallel tracks but most often I think in an abstract matrix.

    When I was learning music, I thought about of it concretely in a linear fashion. As I got better, musical thoughts began to take on the characteristics of an abstract matrix.

    When my wife was studying to be a psychologist she used me as a test subject quite often. My Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale could not be scored. I sent the publisher a listing of where the "correct" responses were wrong because of a failure to account for abstractions and non-linearities. I'm an engineer. I function well enough with mechanical design but my specialty is quantum optics. Do our thoughts define us? In my case, probably yes.
     
  6. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    I "hear" my thoughts in language, as if I were speaking. The idea that somebody can think without "hearing the thoughts in their head" confuses me to no end.
     
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  7. beanluc

    beanluc Tele-Holic

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    My parents are both multiple-Masters and Doctorate degree holders involved in research. One time they had a conversation with each other about their thought processes around understanding the mathematics of statistical analysis.They couldn’t have been more different.

    My mother looks at each term in an equation, carefully understanding what each one is before moving on to applying the equation operators and keeping track of the changing values as the operations are carried out.

    My father on the other hand sees the equation holistically, its shape, the relationships of the different sections and terms to each other, and only looks specifically at the values of any of the terms when the solution doesn’t seem sound.

    Myself,
    I have a lot of half-words or half-sentences going on in there, alongside the images, feelings and often little sounds. It kind of feels like - You know how identical twins or exceptionally intimate people are thinking the same thing and able to complete each other’s thoughts and sentences? It’s a bit like that kind of thing, the verbal thoughts or half-thoughts just meld with the non-verbal parts or half-parts.

    I’m extremely sensitive to earworms - in any given week there might be three or four different songs that play in my head every day. One might last for weeks. Sometimes it’s not even a song I’ve heard lately, it could be something I haven’t even heard in 30 years. Not every song I hear sticks in my head but there is nearly always something playing in there when I’m not engaged in some mode of active thought, concentration, or “emptying” (meditation).
     
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  8. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    As a tangent....

    I have narcolepsy. Which is a burden, in some ways. But...interesting, regarding this thread.

    By that I mean what happens when I doze, or even just close my eyes.

    There's a constant stream of images and scenes, as if my brain is always in some odd REM cycle, just waiting for me to rejoin it.

    For example, the other day I lay down in the grass in a nearby park, in the sun. Really serene, and I needed the break, since I have 140 students this semester and the work is nearly constant.

    Our dog was quietly beside me, on the leash. I was there for maybe 15 minutes. But I had a year's worth of movies playing through my mind. All kinds of stuff: Bits of memories. Songs I both knew and ones that were just occurring both as soundtracks to and irrespective of what I was seeing. Faces I knew and didn't know, or at least didn't know I remembered. Pieces of TV show dialogue and movie scene sounds. Women-related thoughts and suddenly remembering where I'd left that capo I really like. The cover of my 4th grade math book and the middle of a moderately interesting conversation I had with a car mechanic in 1982. A chord diagram--what does Em9 sound like? Do I play that thing without knowing its name? Washing dad's '68 Plymouth in 1972, the cool, soapy water puddling around my bare feet on the hot driveway, someone making burgers nearby....

    Not sure I really slept, but once I sat up and yawned 10 times, I felt ready to get back home and back to work grading. Napping is often a matter of letting the river run freely for a while.

    So that's always there in me noggin. If I close my eyes at my desk for two minutes, there it is--the river of images and sounds. It's full of feelings, too. Everything from spite to lust to joy to yearning goes with all the images, though sometimes they're at a remove, like watching a river when you're just glad to be on its banks.

    So you can imagine the dreams when I actually do sleep. They're often long and elaborate, like subplot-jammed movies. And I'm almost always aware that I'm slipping into the river of images well before I'm fully asleep. My kids find it funny when I remind 'em to brush their teeth and lock the front door, to get to bed because they have school in the morning and baseball practice in the afternoon, when it comes out as a jumble mixing standard nags with the dreams that are carrying me off. They write them down sometimes, to tease me about them in the morning.

    "Don't forget to Gilligan your teeth."

    "Did you capo the front door?"

    "Put your cleats in your nicelegstennisskirtbag."

    "Plymouth the dog in before you go upCanada, 'kay?"

    By the way, if you want great literature written in the interior monologue device, check out Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. It's entirely that, from 15 narrators (three or four main ones, in that they have more narrative parts). You hear each one's distinctive inner and speaking voice(s), and see how the two relate. Of course, Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury does this, too: three sections narrated by first-person characters, and one by a third-person narrator. This is more challenging because the three first-person narrators are very associative, though the patterns of their minds are very subtle and profound. A beautiful book, but you've got to work hard at it.

    A really poignant, very accessible version of all this is James Leo Herlihy's novel Midnight Cowboy. (Yes, the great movie comes from this.) The novel moves fluently between the protagonist's inner voice, outer reality, and the narrator's own voice of compassionate ridicule and pitying respect.

    As you can see, it's not the REM-ing that clutters me up. It's kinda nice to have a lifelong free ticket to the movies. It's the job that wears me down!
     
  9. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    I don't talk to that guy anymore. He's a pain in the butt.:(
     
  10. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Both. I have entire conversations in my head not quite hearing voices exactly but not far off. I also have pictures of complex problems, mixes of tracks I haven’t even recorded yet and stuff that arrives unannounced that I can’t even begin to fully rationalise how it gets there... likely just collections of stuff via osmosis that pulls together somehow. There are also total blanks, and stuff that gets explained to me but that my brain refuses to deal with (being thick).
     
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  11. darkwaters

    darkwaters Friend of Leo's

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    Sometimes words and phrases; sometimes images of concrete things, real and imagined, if I'm trying to solve a physical problem or prep for something that needs doing; sometimes abstract images that swirl and connect like 3D jigsaw puzzle pieces.

    The most interesting to me though, is an inner voice that explains the solution to a problem. It comes out of the blue with no thought or prompting on my part. It happened a lot when I worked in IT. It proved to me that a large portion of "thought" is unconscious rather than what I would call "surface thinking". I've always put great confidence in that voice and, to the best of my knowledge, it has never steered me wrong, although at times it's told me something I didn't want to admit.
     
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  12. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted

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    My ex has narcolepsy. But it must be quite different from yours. She isn't able to hold a job and certainly never felt any emotions. Well, disappointment, maybe. Oh and is "money grubbing" an emotion?

    All jokes aside, I'm glad you're able to make a good life, Roscoe! Narcolepsy is tough to deal with. I can see why your experiences with it fit directly into this thread.
     
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  13. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted

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    My inner voice is both. Abstract and worded.

    My depression loves to make use of my inner voice. It likes to make up cute little phrases (or happy little ideas or images) and put them on repeat for days. I wish I knew how to make him shut up permanently.
     
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  14. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    When you're playing music, or listening to music, or thinking about music, what is your "inner voice" doing? Language? Something else?
     
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  15. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Afflicted

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    It's like a delay pedal is on. If I think I'm hungry I "hear" the phrase "I'm hungry" a dozen times over and over all on top of each other.
     
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  16. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Words, words, words. Much of the time I can see them, typed out and spelt.



    Edit: thinking some more about this, there is more. When there's a "voice" it's generally me talking to me; we sometimes disagree. I sometimes tell it not to call me names. And there are lots of visual images as well (I think that's called image-ination), and ideas, not always verbal, about spatial relationships.

    This being a guitar forum, I'll say that it's possible we are all nuts, some of us bone, some plastic.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
  17. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    This. 100%.
     
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  18. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    See #5 above about solutions I wake up with. Like @darkwaters says, the solution is almost never wrong. What I find curious is working backwards from the solution to the starting point. This helps me understand it and it also helps me put it into the words, necessary to explain the solution using linear logic, to others. This process is much how the math of maximum likelihood estimation works, where you start with data and process it through a data acquisition model to find a more elegant solution. You then pass the solution back through the model to see how close you get to your starting point. Make corrections, sometimes to the model, sometimes to the calculation, and get a new solution. Repeat the process a few or many times until a stable solution is found. Do our thought processes mirror the math or does the math mirror our thought processes? In my other world, is the math the physics or is the math the looking glass?
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
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  19. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    My anxiety tends to be verbal, replaying dumb things I've said, imagining future scenarios, etc. Some familiarity with Buddhism has helped me understand that "I am not my thoughts" as the saying goes. The problem is that my brain moves very fast and the voice just starts going again unless it's interrupted constantly.

    My analytical thoughts are somewhat more abstract and generally obviate that voice. I unfortunately can't make that happen reliably with one exception: Playing guitar shuts that voice up as soon as I pick the thing up. One of my chief regrets for having not played for two decades is in that relief.
     
  20. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    yes. that is how it works for me... I listen to that voice. When I am in a situation with someone where there is conflict, I listen and try to imagine actual physical words coming out of their mouths (like letters) it slows me down so I don't rush to 'answer' or 'win'... that really has helped me.

    on the tone of the voice (positive or negative) at about 19, I came to a realization that it was a pretty cold, brutal world and that a guy cannot depend on the kindness of strangers nor rely on friends and family as they have their own trials to overcome....

    before that, I think I thought a lot of negative thoughts... from then on I determined if anyone was going to cheer me on, it was me. It works. It does. and, I have found that encouraging others pretty consistently helps them. Find the sunshine, bring it and share it. It has been a rule for me for a long time and it helps.

    One thing that has helped me for the past 20 years is a site called 'future me' it allows you to email yourself into the future... I send myself emails and a year or two or three later, I get them and they are awesome at measuring REAL progress and checking in with my younger self.) We get to pick if we are a friend or an enemy to ourselves. I need all the friends I can get and NOBODY knows you like you, so, my theory is take time for me and encourage progress and good stuff...

    I'm not sure I have ever shared that, but at a tough time in my life, I just decided I needed some rooting and I didn't know if anyone else could or would come through... so, I DIY.
     
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