No, the ‘voice in the head’ is just a string of thoughts. So perhaps it should no longer be referred to as ‘voice in the head’ because it is actually just a series of thoughts appearing. This a good realisation for me, thank you!
No one owns thoughts. Thoughts just are. For a short while I believed I could observe thoughts. Now I am beginning to wonder if this is just a thought too - the belief that I am able to observe thoughts. Do I choose when I ‘observe’ thoughts? I have believed so but now I am unsure. Where is the owner in this moment? There isn’t one.
Thoughts definitely can be observed. Actually this is the key to see through the doer, thinker.
Thoughts can be observed, or saying it differently, the presence of at thought is known or aware-d.
But the question is: is there someone observing thoughts (an observer) or is there only observing happening on its own?
No. Could it be that bodily sensations are linked to thoughts though? A thought can prompt a sensation. But without the notion of an ‘I’ this must fall away I imagine. INTELLECTUAL I hear you say!! Nonetheless, I am interested...
:) Yes, this is intellectualization for sure. Let me answer with questions instead.
Do thoughts know about sensations? Is there any thought that actually knows sensations?
And do sensations know about thoughts? Is there any sensation that knows thoughts?
A thought can prompt a sensation
This is the everyday belief. It’s based on the notion of cause and effect.
There could be a thought, followed by a sensation. So one thing follows the other. This is all that we can actually notice.
But thoughts jump in quickly trying to make sense of this mystery called life, and asserts the idea of cause and effect. One even causes the other.
But in reality, there are no separate events. It’s one movement, without division.
But thought artificially divides the whole into part, thus creating the illusion of separation, and then making claims about cause and effect.
And of course, cause and effect can be useful concepts in everyday life, but nevertheless they are just concepts.
Actually it’s an attempt to create safety for the fictional me, by asserting I know how things are.
But this process is about investigating these assertions and be open to not knowing.
So just look closely, can you OBSERVE an actual link between an thought and a sensation?
Is there an actual link between them? Or it’s just assumed to be there by thoughts?
There is no owner of the thoughts. They appear. To whom/what? To what is beginning to feel like no one until I contemplate the content of them. They are exclusive to each of us? I need to explore this some more please.
Saying that thoughts are exclusive to each of us is coming from thinking.
If you don’t think about it, what is left of this assumption?
You can only ever investigate your experience. But even that is not correct to say, since there is no you having an experience. There is only experience and the knowing of it. But knowing is not separate from experience itself. Knowing is inherent in experience. We will look into this deeply, later. But first, we have to deal with the notion of control.
Saying that others might have different experiences is conceptual. And speculative. This could be an interesting topic in a philosophy class though :)
The words just come. But do they come to ME? This could be a thought too. Perhaps there are just words. For my life I have believed myself to be the speaker of these words and very recently I have come to wonder if I can observe the words as they appear. But now I’m beginning to wonder if the notion of an observer is just a thought too.
The notion of an observer, yes. But not observing itself.
Observing is happening, but it’s not done by someone or something.
Since in order to be an observer, the observer has to be separate from, something other than what is being observed.
The idea of no ‘I’ is there but I certainly can’t see it clearly at all. I suppose it becomes clearer as and when it’s supposed to?!!
You can’t make grass grow faster by pulling on it :)
Here is an exercise for you. You did a similar one, but this time please do it longer.
It has three phases.
1. Set a timer, at least for 10 minutes.
Just sit and notice what is going on. As you look around, label and interpret everything without using the words of I/me/my. For example: there is a light breeze on the skin, thoughts comment on it by talking about an I, the fan is turning, there is a shadow on the wall, etc.
2. Set the timer again, for 5 minutes.
Do the same, but this time use the words of I/me/my freely.
3. Set the timer again for 10 minutes.
Do the same as in #1. Without the words of I/me/my.
While you are doing the exercises, notice the followings:
What is the difference between the two types of interpretation?
What happens in the body? Is there a difference in feeling?
Which option feels truer? Which one feels closer to truth / reality?