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I remember Sam Harris pointing out in his book on consciousness and meditation just how absurd it is that we regularly have conversations with ourselves. "Hmm, I wonder where I left the keys, they must be on the kitchen table, nope, man I'm going to be late to work again..". Who is the interlocutor? Does the thing we're talking to already not have all of the information the speaker has? If we saw someone have this conversation out loud we would think that person is nuts, but we are all having that internal conversation all the time, and think of it as perfectly normal.

For the sake of experiment I tried to avoid having an internal monologue / dialogue but it's surprisingly difficult. I'd be curious to hear if people have succeeded here and what that does to you. Are you still able to function and grow as a person and a thinker without that inner chatterbox? Can you think without vocalizing it in your head?

And yeah, interesting fact, I'm an introvert and an only child too, like some of the other posters. I've been the only person I could regularly talk to my entire life. I'm sure that has a huge impact on this.




This is not Sam's unique philosophy. What he was explaining here is the underpinnings of all Zen Buddhism. Coming to terms with the fact that duality of the mind is an illusion.


There are many times when I don't have an internal monologue. I can't imagine what it would be like to have one all the time.


I can't imagine not having one. I don't mind having it most of the time. The biggest problem is that during some tasks, I can't always catch what folks say. For example, I read and write with my internal dialogue dictating the entire time. When someone speaks and interrupts me, I often have to ask them to repeat themselves.

In other words, it is really strong - To the point that when I first tried meditating, I found it extremely frustrating. The instructions I had didn't tell me what to do with the inner monologue. Somehow I was supposed to concentrate on breath without using it and I honestly couldn't figure out how to go about such a thing. I've never really understood why folks want to be without it.


It's terrible.




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