Did You Know?: There are some people that don’t have an inner dialogue.

And some can’t see images in their mind.

This is news to me. I just found this out about a week ago, and it’s been at the top of my mind ever since. So much so, that I felt compelled to write a whole post about it.

There are many reasons why I find this fascinating. I didn’t even know this was possible. All throughout my life I’ve been able to think to myself and could hear my own thoughts in verbal form. I could visualize pictures. If someone told me to picture an apple, I could see an image of a ruby red, juicy shiny apple. I could expand upon that and put the apple in a large, straw basket if I wanted. Or in a fancy fruit bowl. Or hanging from a tree. I could visualize an adorable pony eating the apple.

Image by lumix2004 from Pixabay

I thought everyone could do this. I now realize that some people don’t have that ability. And it blows my mind. (literally)

I’m sure most of you have heard these expressions, or at least some form of it:

“Just imagine counting sheep to help you sleep.”

“Picture yourself on a beautiful, pristine beach.”

“I daydream about winning the lottery.”

“If I tell you to think of a pink elephant, do you instantly visualize a pink elephant?”

And while many people might be able to do these things, it’s been known that not everyone is able to. They always thought it was a figure of speech. And they are equally as shocked to learn that people do indeed have these visualization techniques. One youtuber, Quiet Mind Inside, claims, “I thought it was a hoax.” when she first heard that people can actually imagine these things in their head.

The inability to picture things in their head, even people – that they’ve known their whole life and even live with, including themselves! – is called aphantasia. According to the studies, this phenomena is believed to occur in about 2-3% of the population, although the research is still ongoing. And some that have it, may not even know it. If they are like Quiet Mind Inside and countless others, they could have gone throughout their whole life thinking their thought process was no different than anyone else’s. And vice versa.

This is another reason why having patience and compassion for others is such a huge deal to me, and something that I focus on bringing to light with these types of subjects. Because we may never know what’s going on inside someone else’s mind. Something that I thought was common for everyone just threw a wrench in my whole way of thinking just last week! Imagine all of the things we don’t know about the human mind and thus each other if we’re still learning new things every day about how the world and consciousness works.

Along with aphantasia, some people report that they have no inner dialogue. It’s fascinating to hear people relate that as they’re watching movies depicting someone speaking inside their own head, they had no idea that this was an actual thing and wished it was real.

For an entertaining account of someone trying to come to terms with finding out about people that have no internal dialogue, check out the below post by Ryan Langdon which includes a youtube video where he interviews one of his friends who doesn’t have an inner dialogue.

Today I Learned That Not Everyone Has An Internal Monologue And It Has Ruined My Day.

The topic also intrigued Langdon enough for him to conduct an interview with clinical psychologist Dr. Russell T. Hurlburt, who has been studying the human mind for over 5 decades.

I wonder if this boils down to brain development and perhaps nature vs. nurture, in a way. Some studies indicate that an inner dialogue begins to show when we’re young children, perhaps when we’re playing alone and making up fantastic stories and adventures to ourselves. It would be interesting to see a correlation between those with an inner monologue and those without due to home/family/upbringing lifestyle. How many siblings do they have? If any? Are both parents present? Adopted/foster care? Lots of friends, or not that many? Etc., etc., etc. The variables are endless.

Could it also be genetic? There is research being done on gene manipulation that can help (or interfere, if we’re being completely honest with this technology) with our mind.

Another interesting prospect to consider is if it could also be due to the different wiring in our brains, pure and simple. Along with the gene manipulation mentioned above, one has to wonder that with all the scientific progress (or regression… if one chooses to look at it in a different way…), it could be possible to block or allow certain neurological pathways that enable or disable this ability (and who knows what else) due to surgery or drugs/medication. There are also incredible accounts of people who have suffered brain damage from an accident, who then took on new talents they never knew they had; some even became a completely different person!

10 True Stories of how Brain Damage Changed People

Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill

Losing My Internal Monologue

So I’m typing this out without even needing to really think. I’m just typing words as fast as I can without stopping to think in between. The words are just coming to me and since I’m a pretty fast typer, it’s pretty much just trickling out as I’m typing. I’m not thinking beforehand in complete sentences, although I can definitely hear out the words in my head as I’m typing. No forethought. Just bing, bing, bing. One right after the other.

Have you ever stopped to consider the way that you think? Did you know that we all think in many different ways? Does it give you a better outlook as to why some people may be more analytical/logical, as opposed to someone who’s more predisposed to feelings/emotions?

Some other reading source material to help get a broader idea of this inner thought state and to understand it better can be found here:

What’s going on in your head?: The science behind our inner voice

Do You Have an Inner Voice? Not Everyone Does

People With No Internal Monologue Explain What It’s Like In Their Head

It’s very enlightening to hear of other people’s experiences as well. While it may all be anecdotal and hard to prove or discount, it just may give a wider glimpse into the different types of thought processes we all have to further cement the idea that, although collectively we’re all the same, we still have our own individuality and unique perspectives that we are still in the process of understanding. Once we realize that we all think differently and have our own creativity, ideas and experiences, it can help us to learn to be more tolerant and compassionate with each other, instead of holding so much bitterness and resentment and/or judgement, simply for “thinking differently”.

I do want to say I was touched and heartbroken when listening to Quiet Mind Inside lamenting how she could not recall her children’s faces if she’s away from them. I can’t even imagine how that would feel. And although we are waking up to the fact that other people think differently than each other, and there might be some forms of jealousy/envy and/or sympathy depending on the situation, it doesn’t mean that one particular way of thinking is better or more appropriate. And while some without an inner visualization may envy those who do, sometimes having an internal dialogue or visualization can be detrimental and have more harmful effects than good.

When the Voice Inside Your Head Turns Bad: Empowering yourself to challenge your inner critic.

Why Can’t I Get Gross Images Out Of My Head?

There are times where people wish they didn’t have constant chatter and visuals in their mind so that they can feel more at peace; and on the flip side, there are people who wish they could visualize images in their mind. Perhaps there’s a way we can train ourselves to think in a myriad of ways. For those who want to quiet the constant thoughts and emotions going on in their head – maybe some practice in meditation would help. And for those who wish to visualize things and have that inner monologue, perhaps they can practice different material/games to increase their imagination.

The world’s a fascinating place. And so is our mind. There are many things still left to explore. And learning more about our own self-awareness and conscious (and unconscious) thought processes would be a wonderful place to start.

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

Fair use disclaimer: Some of the links from this article are provided from different sources/sites to give the reader extra information and cite the sources, but does not necessarily mean that I endorse the contents of the site itself. Additionally, I have tried to provide links to the contents that I used from other sites as an educational and/or entertainment means only; if you feel that any information deserves further citation or request to be clarified, please let me know through the contact page.

Featured image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Crystal Clear Learning

Why I Believe, What I Believe - Personal Experiences.
Is God calling out to you? | If not, are you SURE? - And if so, are you heeding His call?
Is Unconditional Love Enabling “Wrong” Behavior? - Can we be loving, yet judge at the same time?
Are you in Control of Your Thoughts? - Or do your thoughts control you?
Welcome to the New Year Welcome to 2021 - Have any New Year's resolutions?
The Importance of Raising Vibrations - And why you should try it.

Why is Love so Important?

Imagine a world with, and without Love. What do you see?

Hello Dear Readers,

If you’ve been to this site before, then you might realize a big focus that I address is that Love is the most important thing in the universe. I talk about it a lot. And it’s actually really hard for me to talk about on a day like today, for instance.

By the way, Happy Thanksgiving.
 

I’m not sure how everybody else is, but before, when I was still in my bitter, pessimistic days, it used to be really hard for me to say “I love you.” I might have gotten this reluctance to say it from my Mother. Don’t get me wrong, I adored her and loved her. But I think because she rarely ever said it, it must have rubbed off on me and I patterned myself after her in that regard.

It wasn’t until September 2007, that for some reason, while driving my Mom to work, I felt compelled to tell my Mom that I love her. I don’t even know where this sudden feeling came from. It just occurred to me that I couldn’t remember the last time I said, “I love you” to anyone. She looked shocked, because I think she realized it too, and she said “I love you” back. There was a feeling of imminent foreshadowing in that moment, and I instantly knew that something was different.

I remember it was September of 2007 very specifically, because, maybe ironically, the very next month she was diagnosed with cancer. And the next month after that, on Thanksgiving Day, she passed away.

I remember feeling lost, confused, hurt… losing someone on Thanksgiving Day; a day where family is traditionally supposed to come together and unite in a “happy” feast and reunion, and giving thanks to God for His blessings and of bountiful harvests.

It was a bitter reminder to me that practically during my whole life, I was ungrateful and unappreciative of the people in my life – or at least, I didn’t show my appreciation. Perhaps on the inside I knew how blessed I really was, but instead I chose to remain in the negativity and resentment of whatever teenage and early twenties angst I was focusing on at the time.

For what reason?

In my mind, I felt that the world was a lost cause. I saw injustices and hatred everywhere I turned. Selfishness, greediness, uncaring, hateful souls… My heart was turning black, cold, becoming “hardened”. It wasn’t until an event a few years earlier did a light suddenly go off in me and I started changing my ways. But even then, it still took more divine interventions to change my heart into following God and Love.

And although I did blame God for a time for taking my Mother from me just when I started to realize how little I was appreciating the people in my life, did it finally occur to me that it was my fault. I had the choice to appreciate my loved ones from the beginning or not. I had the choice to just assume they knew how much I loved them even though I didn’t tell them that or show them. It was my choice to be cold and distant instead of warm and loving.

Thankfully, with what I believe to be God’s help, He didn’t give up on me and He continued to work on me. I was the lost cause in this story. But He still saved me. He showed me that “Love is the Answer”.

And my heart goes out to anyone who has gone through life without Love. Sadly, some grow up in a household or living conditions without Love shown to them. And this is absolutely heartbreaking. The thing is, even though it may not seem like it, you are still loved. There are many people that have love and compassion for every being on this planet. And although there are atheists that don’t believe in God and there are pagan worshippers, idolaters, etc., it is my belief that God/Jesus still loves them. Regardless if one believes in them or not.

The only thing Jesus asks of us, is that we love God, love each other and ourselves, as Jesus Himself loves us.

That’s it.

And here’s the thing. If we did that, then we wouldn’t be living with hatred, division, greed, etc. If we all loved each other like we should, all of us would be happy and care about each other. And we would appreciate each other and not take each other for granted.

This is the world that I envision. I can see it and I can feel it in my heart. But we need to work on ourselves and work on the Love we have within. No, we cannot expect others to change. We can hope, love and pray for them, but we do have control over our own lives and our own emotions. We have the power to allow ourselves to realize that Unconditional Love is the most important thing in the universe and to act upon that and put it in motion. Love others, love your enemies, love everyone… and that will change the world.

Depiction of the world we would have with and without love.

Altered with combined images from Reimund Bertrams and Pexels from Pixabay (and added text).

Now, I’d like to say that I learned my lesson. I catch myself saying “I love you” to my son often. Not out of mindless habit, but simply because the love I feel for him is so overwhelming and I truly want him to know that I love him dearly. I say “I love you” to my friends and other members of my family. I say “I love you” to animals. I pray to God/Jesus and the Heavenly host and thank them all and tell them that I love them. I love the world and the beauty that it holds.

And on that note, I love you all, and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. If I may ask of you anything, it is to simply love others, and be thankful and show appreciation for the ones you have in your life. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Love and blessings to you all.

Featured image by Glegle from Pixabay

Crystal Clear Learning

Why I Believe, What I Believe - Personal Experiences.
Is God calling out to you? | If not, are you SURE? - And if so, are you heeding His call?
Is Unconditional Love Enabling “Wrong” Behavior? - Can we be loving, yet judge at the same time?
Are you in Control of Your Thoughts? - Or do your thoughts control you?
Welcome to the New Year Welcome to 2021 - Have any New Year's resolutions?
The Importance of Raising Vibrations - And why you should try it.