It seems clear that many spiritual teachings and traditions mention the Voice in the Mind as a challenge to awakening.
There are many names for the incessant voice in the mind.
- Buddhists may call it the chattering monkey.
- Eckhart Tolle calls it the ego or entity.
- Don Miguel Ruiz calls it a parasite.
- Germaine Sitting Crow called it a demon because in her world anything that is invisible and tortures humans is a demon.
- Some traditions call it the Voice of the Shadow side of our nature.
- In Michael Singer’s amazing book The Untethered Soul, he calls it our crazy roommate because it never shuts up speaking crazy thoughts.
However, what is unspoken is the POWER this Voice has to Create.
To Create hell on earth, indeed, is a creative force. This awareness seems to be missing from many spiritual teachings, books, lectures, etc. At the very least, the power of the Voice does not seem to stimulate curiosity about the voice and the power it has in our lives.
Many talk of quieting the mind- few if any (other than the First Nations Elders) talk of using the voice to be free of the Voice. Instead of trying to quiet the voice in our mind, we can use the voice to reclaim the energy invested in the voice. The voice in our mind carries a lot of power (this can be noticed by the incessant talking). The voice has been trained to have us think and act a certain way, sometimes limiting our life. To be able to use the voice, our first movement is to learn about the voice.
This is a way to Walk in Spirit.
This is not a lecturing way, or a religious way; it is a way to Walk the Good Red Road. This Way can be learned by anyone who is curious and tired of the suffering caused by the Voice in the Mind. – Anyone who is tired of anxiety, fear, anger and guilt.
What the voice can Create.
Holistic Medicine acknowledges thoughts effect our body.
In holistic medicine we see thoughts of fear, anxiety, guilt, and judgment change the blood profile – lowering serotonin and raising blood pressure. This type of thinking over the long term can and does create some physical symptoms- for which there are multiple pharmaceutical prescriptions recommended and given.
In holistic medicine we recognize this voice Creates anxiety.
The voice in the mind Creates anxiety by predicting the future in negative ways. There are many pharmaceutical medications for anxiety, yet none addresses the creator of the anxiety – the voice in the mind.
Judgment Creates anger and guilt.
In the Medicine Way shared with us by Elders of First Nations People we see that when the Voice judges others it Creates anger and distance from others. We also acknowledge when the Voice judges us because of our past – it Creates the emotion of guilt. (An emotion unknown by children until someone teaches them judgment and self-judgment.)
How the voice can Create unnecessary fear.
When the Voice Creates images in our mind of all that can go wrong in our lives, it Creates the emotion of fear.
The key word here is Create.
Fear, guilt, anger, anxiety– all Created by the Voice in the Mind- separates us from what being alive in the world brings to us.
The Elders call this type of thinking our training.
Don Miguel Ruiz calls it our domestication. It comes from our society and schools and other institutions and our progenitors.
To learn to really think and not agree with the Voice is to regain our Self.
First Nations Elders teach this power of Creation belongs to us.
Fortunately for all of us this Medicine Way given to us by these Indigenous Elders (who never went to school or studied psychology) developed the way of Stalking the Voice in the Mind. They teach us to Stalk the Voice to take back the power of Creation. These Elders teach that this power of Creation belongs to us; it is part of what makes us magical beings, our birthright given to us by the very energy that gives us life – Spirit.
The 1st step in reclaiming the Power from the voice.
As the person begins to notice how much the voice is always judging and the effect it has on them,
this begins the process of using the voice to get free of the voice.
If you want to play around with this, a very simple way to begin is to picture the voice in your mind sitting in a chair in front of you. Use your right brain and picture the voice sitting in the chair. It could look like a parent, boss, lover, or Judge Judy – or it might be a shape shifter. It could look like a mass of energy. Notice how big it is, notice how much energy it has, if it has a color(s).
This is the voice that trys to tell you who you are or how you are or what somebody thinks about you.
And here is the big question.
Notice how the voice treats you, talks to you, looks at you. This is the essential question – How does this voice (energy) treat you, because it lives in your mind. (No one else is bothered by it.)
One of the Elders said it is like having an enemy in your camp.
The amount of energy you can see in the chair is equal to how much energy this voice steals from you when you listen to it and agree with it. A powerful stalking maneuver is to begin to notice this.
The voice is not you – separate from the voice.
If we believe this voice in our mind (trained by other people) is the true self – we are stuck. When we visualize the voice outside of us (in a chair) we begin to see how much of our energy is tied up in our training – constantly telling us how to be.
Disclaimer: The voice is not you. You did not have the voice when you were born. The voice reflects the way you were trained to think. It is not your fault. It is your responsibility to retrain the voice if you do not like the consequences of listening to constant judgment and criticism.
There are other steps in this process,
it’s like following a trail in the woods stalking an animal.
In this case we are stalking energy. There is not room in this short writing to go through all these steps. Just as we require the experience of moving through the water to learn how to swim, instead of reading about how to swim, this Medicine Way is experiential. However, if the person begins to notice how much the voice is always judging and the effect it has on them, this begins the process of using the voice to get free of the voice.
Photo credit: asim chaudhuri(anurupa_chowdhury_yahoo.co.in / Foter / CC BY