UI – Part 206 – Who Speaks to You?
Voices in your head
On October 28 I heard a sermon, the minister, Tommy Kiedis of Spanish River Church, BR, FL discussed a topic and noted how the one who speaks to you the most is yourself. How insightful, obvious, and how oblivious I was to the thought. Indeed we are constantly in conversation with ourselves. We never just sit and relax with empty thoughts. Even at night when we dream there are discussions going on in our heads. Who is it speaking to us, through us or in us?
Who do you credit for your positive thoughts? Who do you credit for your evil thoughts? Is God (or Allah) the constant voice we hear? Or would that only be for the good thoughts. The bad thoughts are from Satan, the Jinn that fill our cup with temptations disguised as sweets. How confused our mental computer must be to fill us with such a cacophony of words, thoughts and ideas. The question I have relates to distinction. What enables us to distinguish between the good and the evil, the positive and the negative? Do we have an antenna that transmits reminders from realms beyond our comprehension, not just heavenly, but hellish realms that compete for our souls? Is it the soul or souls speaking? Have we one or two souls? Devilish questions, in the sense they are intriguing, not evil.
There is an adage, so true, about computers (GIGO) – ‘garbage in – garbage out.’ The machine does not think. It only computes what it is directed, programmed, to compute. The data to be analyzed itself must be correct or the results of a study will be in error. Facts are facts that when not factual result in miss-information. Lies, even when put through a computer, cannot disburse truth. The lies are only compounded. One lie can spoil the entire batch, as one drop of poison can kill the one that eats the chocolate chip cookie mix containing the toxin.
From my book, The Proven God[i], words of Descartes are discussed, Cogito Ergo Sum, ‘I Think therefore I Am’, whereby for him these word were proof of the existence of God. The voices he heard, as the voices we all hear, were supernatural and thus a gift from God. Quoting the book, “The mind, the ability to think and reason, was evidence of an all-powerful, an absolute, creator, God. If he (Descartes) doubted he also knew he existed as something had to cause doubt. Uncertainty as to existence was proof of existence itself. The reality of our universe was all due to the ability to ‘think.’ Reasoning, deduction and perception were characteristics of a mind put in man by God.” God may not be the center of our thinking, only the cause for what we think. Thus our thoughts may not always be godlike. So we, as humans, are left to discern the Truth.
As we go through life we experience influences that impact the voices in our head. The influences also frame what the voices may be saying. As we enjoy the scenery, as beauty or devastation (such as the post-Sandy and Moore, OK, hurricane and tornado, impact), we see the handiwork of forces beyond our control or comprehension. As with our capacity to think and conceive, considering the source, we have within us the ability to see success and failure, glory and defeat, tranquility and chaos, right and wrong. We would not envision the latter without the former, the gift of God. His inspired Word provides the Truth.
So the environment in which we live from location to culture and government become influences. Additional influences come from religious teachers, our family and our peers, all aiding in laying a foundation in our minds from our youth to adulthood. We are born and as seeds planted we grow to become what was intended, if a plant, but what God intended, if a human. God’s intentions can be understood, but first humans need to be able to read, write (possibly), and gain knowledge. This is as the herbicide and fertilizer on the seed. But we reach maturity and are prepared to bloom. Here then the DNA of the plant and human end. The plant is as expected, based on the name of the plant on the package of seeds. The human however is a different kind of bloom; we are flowers of God, as children of God, with minds that can be opened to opportunity, to truth, to an eternal future. Wisdom is not constrained by the influences of the past, but freed to explore what God truly has to offer. Label it independence. Any constraints that may remain when we mature are caused by fear, or dependency, overt controlling influences that may, can or will punish the free thinker if they are not in compliance with the dictates of their environment. Call it ‘brainwashing.’
We are not born to be shackled by our government, scholars, or teachers, but to be a contributor to the world of knowledge that should prevail and engender peace. We can agree or disagree. The voices in our heads know.
There are people, dictators, business leaders, and others who seek power. They want to be viewed as superior and have subordinates or dependents so their reign can continue. We measure IQ’s, such that we recognize some are smarter than others. Measuring common sense is more difficult. With a focus on ‘self’, satisfaction and recognition of a ‘self’ in control, the philosopher Nietzsche observed that ‘power’, control over others, was an aphrodisiac that altered the senses and the voices heard compelling some humans who achieve success, recognition, a following, to find their place on earth more an imperative than a life eternal. Preserving that status, enhancing it, was the ‘how’ to question the voice in the head constantly asked. And if excuses were needed to maintain power, so be it. If that excuse, or defense, was Allah, then so be it.
Another Man’s Power Cannot Suppress the Voices
It was the character of the man, the early Caliphs, that led to the laws of Islam and much of what resulted in the composition of the Quran. In The Proven God I wrote “Power, glory, and greatness would enable man to find a life after death in history, if not reality.”[ii] This became the case for Muhammad, as well as the earliest Caliphs, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali. The power of Muhammad has been archived and he is now revered, venerated, and in some respects deified. It is obvious that a factor that has aided in establishing Muhammad and Islam’s beginnings is the fact that Muhammad, as with Nietzsche, did not want to see ‘morality’ destroyed. People were to be servants of Allah (serving Muhammad at the time as well); such a relationship would satisfy any man-slave relationship or moral commandment.
Allah and the Quran are considered Holy, and along with the self-proclaimed Prophet Muhammad, guarded and protected to the extent any questions raised, any voices heard that doubt their validity, are not permitted. If vocalized, even Tweeted, these thoughts expressed are subject to cause punishment to the spokesperson, certainly denouncement and calls for restrictions on freedom of speech concerning those elements of Islam. That, however, does not preclude the voices from being heard.
“Nietzsche never said that power was good, or striving for power a virtue. It was, to him, a significant driving force in man’s (sinful man – all men) nature.”[iii] It is one of the many voices we hear telling us how to act. Everyone wants to achieve success in some fashion and the mind keeps asking and wondering how we must go about it, or continue to go about attaining success, as well as what is success.
Human behavior is thus influenced by the voices in our heads which are influenced by the environmental factors surrounding.
Did the Golden Rule[iv] come about from the words spoken by one human, or is it wired in the synapse of our brain from the day we are birthed? It is Biblical as well, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31) No one wants to be harmed. Harming others is an abhorrent idea, yet there are those that seem to take joy in such an evil, hateful, act. The Golden Rule is preemptive. It suggests acting first, such as with love. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that.” (Luke 6 32-33) This Rule applies without distinction as to God or Allah, atheists, agnostic or religious, believer or non-believer.
This is not a ‘nothing’ discussion. It is a ‘something’ conversation. There is something supernatural that has introduced into the cognitive portions of our brains a most essential telling element, that of discernment, the distinction between right living, thinking, and treatment of others and wrong. Do you know the difference? Are you living where you know, but cannot live accordingly? Are you being reminded daily of actions to be taken, the acceptance of your plight in life, and restrictions on what you can believe, say or do? What are the voices telling you? Are you living for yourself alone? There is a right. Are you being wronged? Are you to have empty thoughts? Or is your mind an instrument of God’s creation for a Purpose; that Purpose is to know and have a relationship with Him, and to proclaim his glory to all mankind.
If your mind, the voices you hear, is anything like mine it is constantly asking questions. When a child I simply blurted out the voices as I was hearing them, the questions. Why? Why? How? How? A woman facing the mirror putting on make-up is asking, “How is this color? Is my lipstick or eye-liner on correctly? Does it look good? How will I be viewed? Do I feel elegant? Am I getting the look I want? Will he think I am beautiful?” On and on. The male species too, “Do I need to lose weight? Should I have gone to the gym? Am I getting fat? What is the weather like? Did I record the game? Am I being taken advantage of? Did I say the right thing?” on and on while dressing, driving, relaxing, or working.
As we get older we are reminded to think before we speak. My father would say, “Count to ten when asked a question, then answer.” The suggestion was simply to consider, rehearse what you are about to say, review what the voices in your head are saying or telling you, make a judgment of your own thoughts, correct or modify as needed before expressing yourself aloud.
The concept of Political Correctness has given humans the idea to not always say exactly what you are thinking, but to phrase your words so as not to be hurtful, even in some cases not honest, possibly deceitful, but with the objective to cause no negative reaction or dislike. Likeability becomes a measure of the words your mind is telling you to say, but with reservations based upon the potential response. “Will I still be liked if I say what I am about to say? Is there another way to say it? Or maybe I should say nothing at all. Drop it. How important is it to be said?” Oh how the questions just keep flowing.
As a Christian I have a question(s) that arises with each decision I need to make. It is a prayerful question. I go to God and ask, “Any suggestions? Am I being selfish in my choice or mindful of what I have learned from your Word? Help me to accept whatever the outcome. Give me patience and understanding in what others tell me, or decide, no matter the impact on me.” I try to influence my selfish thoughts by asking is this what God wants or expects of me. There are times I simply say, “God, you know my selfish thoughts, what I want, but give me comfort to accept what you decide, the outcome you have for what I am facing. Or provide a compromise? Give me something.”
Muslims are instructed to deceive, as needed, to protect their faith, their constituency. The voices in their heads may be telling them the truth, but the Quran, the instruction from their leaders, the ulema, encourages them to actually lie (‘Takiyya’) if it advances Islam over another religion or ideology. Allah would not punish them for doing so. “Allah is free from liability to the idoloters, and so is His Messenger.” -Sura 9:3 This in turn applies to the followers of Islam.
Does God (or Allah) speak to you? Have you heard his voice? Can you remember the words he shared, if he did speak? Oh how the mind works. We can only be thankful, intrigued, and bewildered by this gift he bestowed upon each and every human. Thanks be to God. Know that God’s blessing is on the truthful, in all circumstances. Exceptions are rare.
What is your mind telling you at this very moment?
If you have uncertainty and need a guide, turn to the Word of God, the Bible, the answers are there. Thanks Be to God.
Grace and Peace