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Who in The World Are You Talking To?


Do you find it curious that you mentally talk to yourself?

 

When you are internally dialoguing with yourself, who do you think is talking to whom inside your brain?

 

Decades ago I read a book by Julian Jaynes, The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.  If my recollection is correct, Jaynes mostly theorized about the evolutionary development of consciousness – from a two-sided (bicameral) brain (common a few thousand years ago) to a more unified consciousness found in more ‘modern’ man.

 

But, the interesting part of Jaynes book to me, was the idea of one hemisphere of the brain speaking to the other – a thesis of what is happening when we internally dialogue with ourselves.

 

Now, why would we be made that way?

 

Why, waking in the morning, would I have a discussion with myself about what I was going to accomplish today?

 

Why, upon seeing an obese person struggling to ride their bike uphill, would I say to myself, “Good for them, they should be exercising.”  Only to be answered by, “Now, don’t be nasty and judgmental, that could be you.”?

 

Why, when watching a brilliant sunset, would I commune with myself that this is a beautiful and wonderous world?

 

Framed theologically, the question becomes; what was the intention of our Creator in engineering us to have internal dialogue?

 

Could it be that, like everything else, there was a conscious purpose in God making us this way?

 

What if our constant mental chatter to ourselves was originally designed to be prayer directed to God?

 

What if, waking in the morning, we were to talk to God instead of ourselves and ask him what He intended us to accomplish today?

 

What if, upon seeing an obese person struggling to ride their bike uphill, we were instead pray that God would bless and benefit that person?

 

What if, when watching a brilliant sunset, we were instead to give thanks and glory to the Almighty for his enchanting and astonishing creation?

 

What if instead of internally dialoguing with ourselves we were talking with God instead?

 

Would this qualify as obeying the command in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “Pray without ceasing.”?

 

By Terry Applegate

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