Internal monologue

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Internal monologue, also known as inner voice, internal speech, or verbal stream of consciousness is thinking in words. It also refers to the semi-constant internal monologue one has with oneself at a conscious or semi-conscious level.

Much of what people consciously report "thinking about" may be thought of as an internal monologue, a conversation with oneself. Some of this can be considered as speech rehearsal.

Buddhist perspectives[edit]

In the Zen tradition, there is the phrase "Nen nen ju shin ki" which means something like "Thought following thought."[1] Sometimes this concept is translated with the help of the words "first nen" and "second nen"[2] where each "nen" is a reaction to the previous one. We can think of our thoughts, memories, visualizations, or sensations as good or bad, and as true or false. Particularly with the judgment of word-thought as true or false we continue this reactionary "nen" process. Another way to think of thoughts is as in context, somewhat like a Jenga puzzle or concept map, where each thought is part of a system and is related to other thoughts.

Christian perspectives[edit]

In the Christian traditions, an inner voice may refer to conscience or the Holy Spirit. Jesus is quoted as saying in Mark 13:11, "Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit."[3]

Related concepts[edit]

  • In fiction, when one person reads the mind of another, it is often described as being able to hear this internal monologue as if it were said out loud.
  • When people read, their internal monologue actually moves their muscles slightly as if they were speaking;[citation needed] this is called subvocalizing.
  • In some medical or mental conditions there is uncertainty about the source of internal sentences. Attribution for an internal monologue may lead to concerns over schizophrenia, hallucinations, or hearing voices.
  • Contemplation attempts to calm the internal voice by various means.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BZC: January 2003". Berkeleyzencenter.org. 1982-02-20. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  2. ^ Zen Training: Methods and Philosophy ~ Katsuki Sekida (Author)
  3. ^ "Mark 13:11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit". Bible.cc. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 

Bibliography[edit]