Voices In Your Mind, Part 2: External Sources

In Part 1 of this series, I introduced four potential sources for the thoughts that form in your mind. I explained that your body, soul, conscious and subconscious are separate elements of your being which are each capable of forming independent thoughts. Since your four elements are constantly chitchatting with each other, inside of you there is a constant stream of thoughts being produced.

So if this is true, why isn’t your head in a constant state of chaos from the noise of all that chattering? Well, here is where it gets fascinating because how vocal you think you are inside has to do with which element you are tuning in to. Humans are designed to default to the perspective of their conscious when they are awake, and your conscious is the only one of your elements that prefers to think using a verbal language. What this means is that while you are viewing yourself from the perspective of your conscious, you will mainly be aware of its thoughts, and it will focus on its verbal translations of what it hears being said around it.

Imagine that you and three friends are sitting together around a restaurant table. You each are absorbed with your mobiles: socializing, shopping, researching, and taking care of life chores online. Now and then one friend addresses another friend at the table. When that happens, those two people look up from their phones and talk to each other briefly, then they go back to what they were doing.

In this restaurant analogy, you represent your conscious while your three friends are your body, soul, and subconscious. This scene captures how it works in real life with your four elements: they alternate between focusing on their own agendas and talking with each other. Now maybe you take a break from your phone for a bit, look up, and pay more attention to what your three friends are up to. One of them is muttering to himself, while the other two are talking to each other. Now that you’re not busy focusing on your own stuff, you could sit there listening to what everyone is saying. And perhaps you do for a while. Then you remember something that you want to check online, so you pull out your phone and tune everyone else out again.

Now sometimes you’re deeply engrossed in your own stuff when one of your friends interrupts your train of thought and insists on having your attention. In those moments, you put what you were doing on hold and focus on what your friend is saying to you. This happens all the time among your elements as well. Perhaps your conscious is absorbed with reading a book when your body feels its temperature dropping too low for comfort. Your body then interrupts your conscious’ focus with a strong complaint that it feels too cold. Your body communicates this message using its own, nonverbal language. Your conscious then translates that message into its preferred language–which is words–and suddenly you find yourself thinking: “I’m cold. I need to put on a sweater.” In this example, the thought that formed was a translation of what your body said. First your conscious received the message,then it translated it into its preferred language.

Sketchy Translations

Now when your elements translate each other, those translations aren’t complete or accurate. Instead, a whole lot of summarizing goes on. In many cases, the summaries include personal opinion that the translating element added in.

So why are your internal translations so sketchy? There are two basic reasons why your elements don’t bother to put more effort into being accurate: resources and efficiency.

Because your elements each speak a different language, it would take a lot of time and effort to try to produce accurate translations, and your elements simply don’t see the value in wasting their limited resources like this. In most cases, it simply isn’t a goal to have everyone in the group understand exactly what some other element said.

Let’s go back to that restaurant for a moment. You’re absorbed in your own stuff when you hear one of your friends ask a question, but you were too engrossed to catch what she said. So you look up and say, “Sorry, I missed that. What did you just ask?” But your friend says, “No worries, I wasn’t talking to you.” You nod and go back to what you were doing. In this situation, you simply don’t feel any need to eavesdrop on everything that is said among your friends. You’re quite confident that they’ll make sure you’re informed of anything that is relevant to you. In the same way, your conscious doesn’t feel a need to understand everything your body says to your subconscious. Those two elements are frequently communicating, with your body passing on status reports and crisis alerts which your subconscious responds to by researching and advising. Your conscious simply doesn’t care to know about every microorganism that tries to attack your liver, or every time a hostile invader is detected in your bloodstream. Your conscious is quite happy to leave your subconscious and body to sort those little dramas out together.

The same is true when it comes to your soul and subconscious. Those two are frequently having intense exchanges which your body and conscious really don’t want to get involved in. Your body has more than enough on its plate managing its own machinery, and your conscious is being constantly flooded with new incoming data and challenged with various tasks as you go throughout your day. When these two hear your soul and subconscious getting into some debate over morals or God or whether or not you should go to your sister’s at Christmas, your body and conscious just can’t be bothered. They much prefer to wait until the two alphas hash things out and settle on a plan of action. Should your subconscious order your conscious and body to call up your sister and announce that you’re coming for the holidays, they will dutifully follow orders. Your body and conscious know they aren’t the ones in charge, and they don’t want to be. They just want to carry out orders, have a bit of fun, and exist in a calm and peaceful environment as much as possible.

Eavesdropping Through Your Conscious

Once you understand how your elements interact with each other, you can start making a lot more sense out of what happens in your head. If you start paying closer attention to your thoughts, you’ll find that there are a lot of random interjections. If we were to write out all the thoughts in your head, they wouldn’t read smoothly like a paragraph from a book. Instead, they’d sound like snatches of various conversations, because that is what they actually are.

Most of the verbal thoughts that form in your head are created by your conscious summarizing both its own thoughts, and snippets of what your other elements say. Here’s an example of how this works in real life:

Can you see how inaccurate these translations are? Instead of trying to translate exactly what was said, your conscious mixes the main point of what what was said with its own understanding of what it’s being instructed to do. In this example, when the soul instructed the conscious to talk about religion with the teller, the conscious flipped that third person command of “Engage with her on the subject of religion” into a first person musing of “I should say something to her about Christianity.”

When your subconscious instructed your conscious to get coffee before leaving the mall, your conscious flipped that into a first person musing of “I’ll get some coffee after this.

As you can see, not every thought is an attempt to translate what another element is saying. Many thoughts are personal responses to what other elements are saying. In the previous example, your conscious wasn’t translating anyone when it thought “I wish she’d hurry up! I just want to get out of here!” It was expressing its own response to the tension that was building inside of you.

But when your conscious thought “It’s really cold in this store!” it was summarizing something that your body expressed.

So then, each element’s personal musings can be:

  • partial translations of what other elements are saying
  • original thoughts that aren’t responses to anyone else
  • personal responses to what other elements are saying and doing
  • a summary of some other element’s thoughts combined with a personal plan of action

I know this all sounds complicated, but stick with me, because these details are extremely important. A key insight I want you to be gaining is how responsive your elements are. In the previous example, we saw a conscious receiving communication from all three of its peers, and whenever it was spoken to, it automatically responded.

Now with four elements constantly pinging off each other, things can quickly become chaotic. Amid the flurry of commands, opinions, and alerts, it would be very easy for someone else to slip their voice into the mix–someone who isn’t a member of the original four–someone who perhaps wants to cause a bit of trouble…

Third Party Input

Suppose three friends are in a heated debate when a third party walks up and sticks his two cents in. That nosy neighbor might just toss in one provocative line like, “I agree with Mary; I think it is all Sue’s fault.” That would be all it takes to cause tempers to flare even brighter, wouldn’t it? Have you ever had someone butt in on one of your conversations like this only to immediately side against you? It’s very irritating, isn’t it?

There’s a similar situation that is equally upsetting, and that is when some random person throws a negative criticism at you out of the blue. Perhaps you’re waiting in a queue in a store, minding your own business, when some older woman who is passing by suddenly stops, wrinkles up her nose, and says, “You really shouldn’t wear that shade of green, dear. It isn’t doing you any favors.” Well, ouch, suddenly you’re feeling like quite the public eyesore.

Another winner is when you are in genuine distress and some stranger chooses then to make a condescending crack. Like maybe you’re normally on top of your game as a single dad, but the one time you run out of nappies when your kid needs changing, some jerk in the men’s toilet says, “You need to plan ahead, mate. Learn to think of someone other than yourself.”

It doesn’t take much to deflate us, does it? One nasty crack, one critical jab, one negative assumption and we’re feeling very discouraged. As humans, we don’t like to admit how much we are affected by negative comments. But there are a whole slew of nonhuman creatures who absolutely love this fact about us, and take advantage of it all the time. Those malicious little vipers are commonly known as demons.

Now if you don’t believe in demons, that’s awesome for them, and they’d really like to keep it that way. It is so much easier for demons to mess with you when you don’t acknowledge their existence. I can guarantee you that demons are messing with you, because demons mess with all humans. I won’t get into all of their motivations for doing so here, but what you do need to understand is that demons have a very low, very negative view of human beings. They are also sadistic in nature, meaning that they delight in seeing you miserable. Contrary to what you might hear some people claim, it is totally impossible to get into a positive place with demons. There is absolutely nothing you can do to win their respect, gain their loyalty, cut deals for them to help you, or turn them into your servants. People who believe that these things are possible have fallen for one or more very effective demon cons. If you’d like to get an in-depth education on how demons mess with humans, I’ve written a book on the subject which you can find here. But the reason I’m bringing up demons now is that, regardless of your current spiritual beliefs, demons are playing a very active role in your personal thought life.

Now as a counselor who works with clients from all religious backgrounds, my general policy is to not bring up the subject of God until my clients do. But that said, there are certain subjects which cannot be taught correctly if we ignore the existence of supernatural beings, and sorting out your thoughts is one of those topics.

When it comes to seeking help from third parties, it is very hard to get good help regarding stressful thoughts. The general rule is that if you’re feeling very upset by what’s going on in your head, it’s very likely that you’ve got a combination of upsetting beliefs (either spiritual, psychological or both) and demons who are actively trying to intensify your distress by working your fears and stresses against you. The problem is that the folks trained in medicine (medical doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists) either don’t believe in supernatural entities or are banned from discussing such things when they are treating clients. These folks are famous for diagnosing demon problems as psychological problems, and here is where we get some poor fellow who is seeing terrifying ghosts and dreaming about burning in Hell being told that he’s mentally ill and “delusional.” Well, just because you’re seeing something that no one else sees doesn’t mean that you’re imagining it. Demons are very capable of creating images and sounds that only you can see, even when you’re standing in a crowd of other people. But of course folks who deny the existence of demons aren’t going to understand what demons are capable of, so in the end we’ve got a bunch of pills being prescribed that aren’t doing jack to chase demons away because demons really aren’t affected by what you swallow.

At the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got a bunch of religious extremists who think that every problem must be a demon problem. To these people, normal reactions to spiritual and psychological trauma are “evidence” of demonic harassment and/or possession. Well, what happens when you tell someone who isn’t possessed by evil spirits that he has powerful entities infesting his personal being? Have you helped the guy? No, you’ve made him much worse. He already had problems, but now you’ve got his imagination running wild with new, terrifying images of a bunch of creepy things climbing all over him.

Demons love it when the “experts” misdiagnose people. Whether you’re being pressured to deny what the real source of your trouble is, or whether you’re being terrified with lies about what your trouble is, your internal misery is going to intensify, and that is fabulous fun for demons.

Alright, so demons are messing with you. But how exactly are they doing this? Well, they have many methods, but for this series, I want to keep the focus on the ways that demons mess with your head. I’ve already explained how your four elements are constantly talking to each other and responding to each other. Now let’s look at what happens when demons get involved.

The quickest way to spot demons at work in your own life is to think of a moral struggle that you currently have. Where there is a moral struggle, a soul and subconscious are locking horns, and demons love to get involved when your two alpha elements are at odds with each other. Let’s use Dan as an example here. Due to some unresolved psychological trauma from his past, Dan’s subconscious is currently very attracted to deviant porn, which it feels is a critical stress management tool (see Deviant Porn & Your Subconscious: Understanding the Appeal). Dan’s soul currently subscribes to Christianity–a religion which generally views porn watching as a very loathsome sin. Because Dan’s soul needs to feel it can respect Dan as morally decent, it is adamantly opposed to Dan watching porn.

Dan’s subconscious has no use for morals. It needs to keep Dan safe, and Dan won’t be safe if his subconscious can’t function because it’s too overwhelmed with stress. As far as Dan’s subconscious is concerned, its own well-being should be a top priority, because after all, it does far more to keep the whole system running smoothly than the soul does. The soul ought to just hush up and let the subconscious do what it needs to do, thank you very much.

Well, no, Dan’s soul is not a doormat, and unlike Dan’s subconscious, his soul is looking at the big picture. If Dan doesn’t kick this vile addiction, God could end up throwing him into Hell when he dies. Gee, what matters more: the subconscious being a bit more comfortable or Dan’s entire being roasting in some fiery lake? Obviously the soul is being the wise one in this situation, and if the subconscious would just man up and stop whining about the past, it wouldn’t need to look at dirty pictures. With God on its side, Dan’s soul feels it has every right to demand that Dan’s subconscious capitulate.

As you can see, Dan has a very intense conflict happening between his two alpha elements, and neither one is willing to back down. When demons come upon this scene, they just can’t resist the opportunity to get involved. Let’s now eavesdrop on the dialogue that occurs between Dan’s four elements. (In real life, each element communicates in its preferred language, most of which are nonverbal, but I’m going to use a verbal script to make this easier to understand.)

When someone like Dan comes to me for help, he feels racked with guilt over what an immoral worm he is, and he is spiritually depressed about his inability to please God. And yet did we actually hear from God in this dialogue? No, we’ve only heard from demons who successfully conned Dan’s soul into thinking God was talking. Because Dan didn’t know how to tell the difference between God and demons, he fell for their con, and as a result the tension between his soul and his subconscious was greatly amplified.

When demons start messing with you like this, their goal is always the same: to make you more miserable. If they can make you miserable right now, that’s preferred, but sometimes they play very long cons that are designed to set you up for major misery somewhere down the line.

The important concept I want you to learn from this example is how skilled demons are at joining your internal dialogue and stressing your elements. Many people are taught that demons can’t hear their internal thoughts. Can you see how such a belief would force someone like Dan to falsely interpret the source of that external voice in his head? Look at the damage that is done by him thinking it is God who is speaking to him so harshly and unsympathetically about his internal crisis.

Today most people believe that the real God couldn’t possibly sympathize with many of our internal struggles. Instead, it’s commonly thought that God expects us to perform on a much higher level than we are capable of, so the idea that God can hear what we’re thinking makes us feel embarrassed and ashamed. Yet in real life, God is much easier to please and succeed with than we realize. Being the One who created us, God fully understands how our elements interact with each other, and He understands their different needs, priorities, and perspectives. It doesn’t shock God at all that Dan’s mind is turning to deviant porn for help in dealing with its traumatic memories, nor does God expect Dan’s soul to force his other elements into submission.

So if God is so kind and compassionate, why doesn’t He ever speak to us? The surprising answer is that He does. Regardless of what your soul’s current beliefs are, God actually talks to you far more often than you realize. Why aren’t you aware of this? Well, that gets complicated.

Unidentified Intruders

Right now your soul has a long list of beliefs about who God is, and how He operates. Your soul feels that its current beliefs are correct. Maybe you believe that God doesn’t exist. If this is what you believe, then how will your soul respond when God speaks to you? It will either ignore the message, decide it was its own thought, or credit it to some other element. This sort of thing happens all the time.

Bill is having lunch with his wife when another woman walks by, her breasts and butt shifting about in the natural female way. Bill’s body finds the sight sexually appealing, which is a natural male response. Males are wired by God to appreciate female anatomy in ways that females can’t. When Bill internally registers how sexy the other woman looks, it’s like he’s noticing the beauty of a landscape or appreciating the design of a building.

Now it’s a simple thing for demons to see what your current beliefs are. One of Bill’s current soul beliefs is that it is a sin for a married man to ever feel sexually attracted to a woman who isn’t his wife. Bill also believes that God hates adultery, and that He considers lustful thoughts as a form of adultery. Well, Bill isn’t lusting after the other woman. He’s simply having a physical response to God’s artwork. Humans physically respond to God’s artwork all the time. When we gasp at a beautiful sunset or feel a rush of adrenaline as we watch a volcano erupt, we’re physically responding to God’s masterpieces.

Demons want to make Bill miserable because Bill is a human and all humans irritate them. When Bill’s body responds appreciatively to the natural beauty of the woman walking by, demons see an opportunity to upset his soul. So they plant a thought in Bill’s mind: “I’d sure love to try her out in bed.”

Remember that your four elements use four different languages to express their thoughts. When demons speak to your elements, which language they use depends on what effect they are going for. In Bill’s case, demons plant a verbal thought. Their goal is to fake Bill’s soul into thinking that Bill’s conscious (who prefers verbal thoughts) just translated a thought from his body or subconscious.

This kind of trick is usually quite effective with humans. In real life, conversations between your elements occur with lightning speed, so the instant demons slip in a comment, other elements react, then there are reactions to those reactions, and on and on it goes. Your elements get so caught up in their conflicts with each other that they don’t stop to realize it was actually an outsider who made the first provocative comment.

So then, Bill’s body notes its attraction to the sexy stranger walking by his table. Demons then slip in a clear verbal thought that they know will upset his soul. Bill’s soul mistakes the thought for his conscious interpreting one of his other elements. Bill’s soul now becomes angry, and instantly snaps at his body and subconscious to stop thinking dirty thoughts. Bill’s subconscious had already moved on to other things, but now that his soul is fussing, everyone’s attention now turns to the sexy woman, who is now standing on a street corner waiting to cross. Bill’s body once again feels aroused by the sight of her. Bill’s soul, which is now looking for evidence of who the lusty culprit is, comes down hard on his body for being a dirty little pervert. Bill’s body feels stressed by getting yelled at by his soul. Bill’s subconscious feels threatened by Bill’s body being upset, so his subconscious tells his soul to stand down. What follows then is a heated debate which Bill’s conscious loosely translates into the following string of verbal thoughts:

Watching Bill squirm like this is very entertaining to demons. What annoys them is when God interrupts their party.

Divine Intervention

When God speaks to you, He primarily speaks to your soul using your soul’s preferred language, which is nonverbal and extremely efficient. In less than a second, your soul and God can exchange thoughts that would take your conscious several minutes to express verbally. Adding to the problem is that your soul’s language is extremely complex and able to express things that verbal words simply can’t. The vast difference in efficiency and depth between your soul’s language and your conscious’ language are the main reasons why your conscious doesn’t bother to translate most of what your soul says. It’s just too much work.

Now the difficulty of God speaking primarily to your soul, is that your soul is the only one who fully understands what God says. Your soul then relays what God has said to your other elements, but what it claims God said is often quite different than what God actually said.

Wanda is a black woman with extra dark skin. Her skin is significantly darker than anyone in her family, and they have used this as an excuse to treat Wanda as inferior her whole life. When she was a child, Wanda’s parents taught her that she is “too black” for God to love, and that the reason she is so black is because she was made by the devil, who will claim her soul when she dies.

Gee, thanks, mom and dad.

Wanda carries this belief about God into her adulthood, and today her soul believes that God hates her because He knows she is a “devil spawn.” So what has God been saying to Wanda? God has been telling Wanda that He loves her and that her parents are full of guff. The problem is that so far Wanda’s soul is rejecting this message.

Soul blocking is what I call the process of your soul instantly rejecting a message that counters it’s current set of beliefs. All humans soul block on a wide variety of issues. As a spiritual counselor, I talk to a lot of people who feel spiritually depressed about God not wanting them. Of course God does want them, and He is also telling them so, but whenever He does, their souls reject the message.

Now your soul must first recognize that God said something before it can accept or reject whatever He said. Among those who claim that “God never talks to me,” what is really happening is that they are currently unwilling to accept what God is saying to them. Ironically, many of the messages from God that humans soul block are very positive. But why is this? If a man desperately wants God to love him, why on earth would he reject the message when God says that He does? Often in these cases, the soul has some very firm beliefs about how God judges humans, and according to those beliefs, the soul feels unworthy of God’s love–so unworthy that it simply won’t allow God to feel the way He feels. This is quite similar to the way you reject a friend’s comment that you are very attractive by saying, “No I’m not.” Even though you secretly long to be attractive, you currently feel quite ugly, and your ugliness feels so real that you just can’t believe that your friend is being sincere. So even though you receive the message, you won’t accept it. In such a situation, you are insisting that your own perception of your looks supersedes anyone else’s. In other words, your interpretation of reality is the only valid one.

Humans do this sort of thing with God all the time. We are constantly deciding for God how He ought to think or feel. When God expresses different thoughts and feelings, we instantly reject or correct Him, rather like a teacher who tells a student, “No, that’s the wrong answer. Try again.”

To see how this sort of thing plays out inside your head, let’s use the example of Max. When he was a teenager, Max got into an explosive argument with his extremely annoying younger sister. When she hit him, he hit her right back, delivering such a powerful blow that she stumbled several steps backwards. Unfortunately they were standing close to the top of a flight of stairs at the time, and Max’s sister ended up tumbling all the way down them, snapping her spine. Today she is a very bitter quadriplegic who blames Max for ruining her life. Max also blames himself, and the only way he can bear to live with himself is to get drunk as much as possible.

Now God has been working with Max for years on this issue, but so far Max’s soul refuses to bend. Max’s soul is stubbornly clinging to the belief that God cannot forgive him or see what Max did as anything other than some horrible act of murder. This isn’t at all how God sees things, but because Max is refusing to respect God as the independent thinker and supreme Authority that God is, the conversations that go on between these two aren’t very productive. In a typical Max-God exchange, Max’s soul constantly rewords everything God says to him to fit what Max’s soul believes is true. For example:

Notice how Max’s soul keeps rephrasing what God says. When Max’s conscious translates this exchange, it focuses on what Max’s soul is saying. Since Max’s soul is constantly twisting what God is saying, Max’s other elements become convinced that God really views Max the way that his soul claims.

Humans naturally put more stock in their personal view of things than they do in someone else’s. Jen has an intense fear of the dark due to unresolved psychological trauma. When someone turns the light out in her room, her subconscious instantly panics and alerts all of her elements that she is in grave danger. Her elements immediately believe her subconscious. When Jen’s friend keeps saying that everything’s fine and there is no one else in the room with them, none of Jen’s elements are willing to receive that comfort. They view their own peer–Jen’s subconscious–as a much more trustworthy authority on the subject of Jen’s safety.

Your soul and subconscious are constantly revising their beliefs as you go along in life. As those beliefs change, the way your soul and subconscious react to things changes. If our friend Max was to reach the point where his soul changes its attitude about God and starts actually accepting what God is saying, Max’s soul will drastically calm down. When his soul stops acting so despaired, Max’s other elements will stop feeling so stressed, and Max’s entire quality of life will greatly improve.

Because your soul and subconscious have the most influence over your entire being, demons mainly target these two elements when they are trying to increase your distress. Demons also tend to use very confident and authoritative tones when communicating with you, because they understand how impressed humans are by these things.

God, on the other hand, tends to use a much gentler tone when talking to humans. While God can be quite authoritative, He doesn’t speak this way nearly as often as people assume. Spiritual discernment is about learning how to accurately recognize messages from God and demons. One of the things humans often find so hard to get used to when they are learning discernment is how gently and compassionately God speaks to them. When you’re used to seeing God depicted as some buff, scowling character who is clutching lightning bolts in one fist as if He just can’t wait to nail some twit of a human, it’s quite shocking to hear how God actually talks to you. “That was God talking??” is a common reaction humans have when they first start pinpointing God’s Voice adding to the ongoing discussion inside of their heads.

So now we have identified six sources of thoughts in your head. Your body, subconscious, soul, and conscious are all conversing with each other throughout the day, and those thoughts get expressed in many forms, including sensations, images, words, and emotions. In addition to your four internal elements, demons and God are also talking to you–sometimes bringing up new subjects, and other times adding to a discussion that is already occurring. Whenever demons and God speak, your elements react to what they say, which triggers yet more sensations, images, words, and emotions. What a complex little thing you are.

Looking Ahead…

Now that I’ve introduced the six sources that are able to introduce thoughts directly into your mind (as opposed to other humans, who must communicate from outside of you), I want to explain some of the mechanics of hallucinations.

One of my pet peeves as a trauma counselor is seeing people who are having upsetting hallucinations getting written off as “crazy.” To call someone crazy is to imply there is no rationality to their behavior. To call someone’s experience a hallucination suggests that what they are experiencing has no basis in reality. Well, this is all a bunch of rot. Your subconscious is real. So are demons. As I’ll explain in Part 3 of this series, these two sources are quite capable of creating some very dramatic and sensual experiences which are quite real to the person living through them.

The fellow who walks down the sidewalk yelling at someone that you can’t see only seems crazy because you are not seeing what he sees. But to the man himself, there is someone there, and that someone is often being quite antagonistic. If you could see what the man sees, you would conclude that his reactions are quite rational.

People who claim that aliens are trying to monitor their brains are hearing very scary voices talking to them in their minds and those voices are making all manner of threats. If you could hear what they hear, you’d be as terrified as they are. You also wouldn’t hesitate to wrap your head in tin foil if you thought that there was any chance that that thin metal shielding could protect you from the malicious creatures who seem bent on torturing you. The point is that humans always have logical reasons for behaving the way they do. The better educated we become on our own internal mechanics, the more compassionate we will be towards our fellow humans.

GO TO PART 3 OF THIS SERIES.

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