Voices in our Heads: The Prefrontal Cortex as Parasite

Eric Coates
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A few years ago, as I was beginning to hear voices again after a long time without hearing them, I started to think about what voices really are. It began to seem to me that we have a very strange relationship to voices, and that includes even one’s own internal voice. If you stop to think about it for a moment, you’ll see that your own internal voice isn’t really you, even if it usually feels like you. That may sound strange, but while you may listen to your own internal voice a lot, and probably feel that it’s you talking to yourself, in fact it really isn’t the same as talking to yourself. The real you, I would suggest, is the one who is listening to that voice, not the one who is speaking; that you are, in fact, only half of this equation.

And if you listen to that voice long enough and don’t buy into what it’s saying without question — that is, if you don’t simply assume that everything it’s saying is what you would want to say or what you actually believe — then you may even realize that the situation resembles some kind of strange theater performance, one in which you are the member of an audience who is merely listening to an actor who is giving a performance, and that all of this is happening as intensely as it is even though that performance is given solely for one person: you. You’re like someone who’s watching a television show and who gets so used to listening to the actor on the screen that you identify with their performance to the point where you can no longer really tell the difference between yourself and the strange creature who is actually giving the performance, and who, needless to say, isn’t you. And since I do happen to be pretty experienced with voice hearing (much to my regret, since I wouldn’t say it’s been a fun experience), as well as a bit of a student of evolution who just sort of thinks in biological terms, I started to call this creature (the one who is giving the performance) a parasite.

Now, I don’t say that to alarm anyone. But this creature that is talking is so intertwined with our mental lives that we don’t realize how truly pervasive it is. It is the source of much of our ego, which is then the cause of much of the human evil in the world, since it preys not only on the rest of the individual human being in whose head it’s talking (always egging you on to find love with that one, or maybe you could get money from that one, or maybe you’d have more power and authority and esteem if you got to know that one) but also, through the social-verbal matrix in which it exists, to any other human beings that it can bring under its sway. The power of this creature that talks inside us cannot be overestimated, and it behaves like a parasite, because what it wants for itself (money, love, pleasure) often comes at a price that is paid by the rest of the individual human being it lives inside or by other human beings that it finds and then exploits.

If you read on just a bit further, I think I will be able to explain not only why I’ve come to consider this creature — the voice of the prefrontal cortex — a parasite, but also how it developed the role that it has, which is both verbally based and socially structured, and how in a deceptively strange way it is not only part of us but entirely separate from us at the same time.

Think of it this way: why, after all, does one actually need to talk to oneself? Seriously. Why talk to oneself? A really efficient machine (we are biological machines, after all) wouldn’t need to talk to itself. It would just go about its day, its parts quietly in sync with each other, and not speaking in a rhetorical, performance-oriented way to itself at all. And so, when I really, really noticed what I was doing with myself — one thing talking to me, and me listening to it — I began to question what was going on, and I happened to recall something I had heard recently about how the social development of human beings (as we moved into larger groups that needed more complex communication so we could perform more complex social tasks such as hunting together in teams where different members of the group had different roles) had all taken place at around the same time that language developed, which struck me as a very interesting developmental path.

As I considered the voice I heard talking to me in my own head, it suddenly occurred to me that what was happening was, more or less, a later development of the brain talking to a more basic and earlier level of consciousness, one which was not verbal itself but which was capable of understanding ideas that either did or didn’t use a verbal form, and which was, in fact, the actual seat and locus of my real awareness. In other words: the prefrontal cortex was like a separate being, communicating by speech with my more basic self as though it were another person, one which had to rhetorically persuade me to believe what it wanted me to believe and to do as it wanted me to do. The voice talking in my head, in other words, was giving a verbal performance in the same style as a social communication between different people to the rest of my mind, much as earlier humans had learned to speak to each other to persuade and influence each other, and the way it was capable of transfixing my attention had almost the same power as watching a snake, swaying in front of me and hissing for my attention. It was, in other words, a different person than the rest of me. And that thought was profoundly unsettling.

And as I thought of all the various things that that voice had wanted from me and other people over the years — money, love, sex, and shelter, of course, but also fame, glamor, admiration, power and control over other human beings, and the ability to control other people’s money and resources, and so forth — it struck me that that little hissing snake inside was such a vicious beast, in fact, that it made you understand why, in the Book of Genesis (I don’t pound on the Bible a whole lot, but I really do like Genesis and Revelation), the serpent is described as “the cleverest beast” in Creation. And when you realize that what they were talking about was that serpent-like power of speech that lies in the tongue, you realize what an evil creature this thing really is — under the right circumstances.

Now, at the same time, you have to give that creature its due. We are able to deal with complex problems, communicate with each other, and even create new ideas because of that snake. It is there, after all, because it serves a function. But the prefrontal cortex has taken its role as the vehicle for communication and turned it into a way to make all communication serve itself. It is basically a separate part of the brain, serving itself and using social-verbal communication to do so. It is not inherently evil. But it most certainly has become a parasite — and by that I mean an actual, physical parasite that is built right into our brains, and until we understand what it’s doing, we are prey to every evil that can be imagined. The prefrontal cortex provides benefits, but at the same time it turns the rest of the human being, and as many other human beings as it can bring under its spell, into servants of its own agenda for pleasure, self-regard, and power-seeking. And I think it’s time we finally recognized it for what it is: a parasite, separate from the rest of us. Until we recognize what it is and its power, we will never be truly free to make our own unhampered decisions.

As I said earlier, it wasn’t until I’d started to hear some voices again that I really started to examine what was going on with what I had, up til then, thought of as my own internal voice. As it happens, I was also meditating quite a bit at the time. Now, I’m not a sit-on-the-cushion-and-close-your-eyes-and-try-to-feel-peaceful kind of meditator. I’m a get-out-in-the-world kind of meditator. I like to walk, and look around, and see the world, at the same time that I’m maintaining the kind of awareness that meditation brings. In fact, I have some doubts about the value of the sitting-on-the-cushion kind of meditation. If that kind of meditation really worked, there would be millions of Buddhist monks all over the world who were enlightened already, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. What I believe in is our ability to maintain mindfulness, no matter what’s happening, when that’s appropriate for the situation, and to drop the meditative awareness and just get things done in the world when that’s appropriate.

Instead of trying to sit on a cushion and feel peaceful, which is just about impossible in actual practice (your mind doesn’t ever stop feeding you thoughts, feelings and ideas, no matter what you do) real meditation is about engaging with what’s really there: listening to your thoughts — without engaging with them, yes, but still watching what they’re doing, without judgment, but simply being aware of them, letting them pass through you. Or you listen to your body: the sense of tension in your back or your neck, or the tingling on your hand, or whatever. The thing is to just be there and let it happen. Meditation is not about feeling peaceful. It is about simply observing what is really happening, with the result (not a goal that you are trying to force yourself to achieve, but simply the result) that you come to be detached from it all at the same time that you are genuinely engaged with it — involved without ever being caught up in it. You see it all without being captured.

And in dealing with my own internal voice, the voice of the parasite, what I have done is to simply let it talk, talk, talk, just as Buddhism says, and I listen without really ever believing what it has to say — at least not until I have let myself just look at it, then let it sink into my heart and be tested by my own deeper sense of what is real. That sense of what is real seems to come from that earlier-existing part of the brain, the one that was there before we developed the power of speech. That is the voice that I can really trust, even if it is always silent.

35 COMMENTS

  1. Lately I’ve felt distracted, though, I think I could more accurately be described as divided. Now, I’m able to think and move through my competing desires and goals, and the liberation that affords me is life-saving to me, in every moment of every day. The guidance of personal voices is a threat to psychiatry and to mainstream life, in general. As I labor to care for the balance which sustains my well-being, I am dreadfully aware of society’s depth of loathing for my independence. Thank you, Eric, for sharing the truths that many of us live through and live by, in resolve and compulsory silence.

  2. This article covers topics I wonder about. I often notice something of a narration when I am not talking or reading or playing media depicting the words of others. When there are no words to see or hear, my brain often picks up the slack.

    There was a time a few years back, before I knew about psychiatric drugs’ extreme effects, when I could sense that the source of the narration was the part of my brain that Eric’s parasite inhabits in his. It didn’t seem like a separate being. It was more like the end of a continuum from dreaming (marked by the absence of narration) to wakefulness and the attendant awareness of history, future, actions and consequences. It was caused by the extreme effects of psychiatric drugs. Now I know.

    It happened during a period on transdermal methylphenidate and oral amphetamine salts for ADHD, diagnosed after a few years of unsatisfactory wrangling with psychiatrists and drugs, which started when my well-founded anxiety about my oncologist’s decisions was deemed pathological and Effexor was prescribed…and ingested. ADHD was the least inharmonious of the labels applied to my intolerance of SSRIs, SNRIs, Abilify, et al., so I embraced it for its verification of my essential soundness of mind.

    On multimodal 24/7 assault by speed, I began to experience transitions between what I called “talking brain” and (out of fanciful, partially informed ignorance, believing it to be seated in the legendary pineal gland, which isn’t even part of the brain despite being enveloped by brain tissue), “Pinea.” I experienced or perceived my brain as concentric hollow spheres and believed that Talking Brain was seated in the outermost one, which corresponds to the cortex. There were times when I registered the remarkable fact that I’d been free of the usual narration for hours, which was bliss.

    I am sure that any doctor who understood my mind would have diagnosed psychosis, which would have been horrendous. Though it all led to financial ruin, the path was indirect. It wasn’t so much my inability to pay bills while in that state as the desperate moves I made once I resumed the usual way of living as the captive audience of Talking Brain, which occurred not long after I ran out of drugs. Until then, my mind got to be itself and experience wonderment without posing questions about its source or future availability.

    While the drug supply held, which was a few weeks, I lived happily in the converted attic of my house, with roommates below unaware of my condition, or possibly aware but untroubled. I strongly disliked transitions back to Talking Brain. (I didn’t notice transitions back to Pinea, which were sort of like falling asleep. Only Talking Brain could notice those; if it did, transition failed.)

    I could read and write without transitioning back to TB, but talking, or threat of talking caused by a phone ringing, caused an immediate shift accompanied by impatience and irritation. I exchanged many chat messages with a guy I’d met before a couple of weeks before I started experiencing my consciousness in two modes. There’s a transcript of my swan song, during which I narrated, via chat, the amazing sense of moving among my brain’s layers of concentric hollow spheres. Alas, it reads as gibberish, but I still remember the experiences I was trying to describe. He implored me to “get help” and eventually backed away, which is understandable.

    I’d do it again if I could, if someone could run my business while I was unable to. It’s the latter requirement that proves to be the sticking point. I’d hired a CPA to receive income and disburse payments before it started, because I was growing less and less tolerant of anything that required concentration, and didn’t care to figure out why. He fobbed the work off on his unqualified brother, who berated my clients, lost paperwork, and didn’t pay bills. The guy I used to chat with soon fell obsessively in love, online, with someone who wouldn’t send her picture or allow a visit, he told me later. It was the kind of online love affair that anyone but he could tell was some kind of scam.

    The CPA, his brother, and my new friend, representing sane world, were no more realistic or effective than I was as a representative of my world, but of the four of us, only I would have been deprived of liberty had it all come to light. That’s the price one is at risk of paying when deaf to the “talking brain.”

  3. Hi Eric,

    It’s nice to see you again. I find this article very interesting. I like the description “parasite”.

    Before I saw your article I was looking at these videos on mindfulness from John Kabat-Zinn (and big think) , (and before this, I was thinking about the things I should change in my life).

    https://youtu.be/Rz0luUhQjy0

    https://youtu.be/KEMsXYcSdPM

    https://youtu.be/LvLRheIPY90

    https://youtu.be/Iwac6Uk-zyk

    And Deepak Chopra was further down and he says:- that we can ignore our thoughts because these thoughts are socially conditioned – they are not our own!

    Mindfulness seems to me to go in the direction of detachment, but I think detachment from obligation ideation is the last thing the community would want for people.

    • Hi Fiachra,
      Funny idea that of Chopra – my thoughts aren’t my own? They just happened to appear in my mind? There are all kinds of ideas and thoughts floating out in the world, but only certain ones ended up in my head, and not others. Why? I would hazard a guess that there’s some kind of resonance between the thoughts “out there” that wound up in my mind, and “my self” which somehow attracted those thoughts. I might end up rejecting them, but I think it would be helpful to try to figure out how those thoughts got into my head in the first place. I don’t think it’s helpful to pretend that I’m above it all, that I can sit and meditate and just disown all the “bad thoughts” that “aren’t part of me.” I think it’s just self-deception and haven’t we all met some of those meditative types who are so self-righteous but their character traits are just awful, when put to the test?

  4. Thanks for an amazing post, one of the best I’ve read on MIA. I think that you’ve pretty much summed up mental “illness” here, as well as the way to move towards real mental/emotional health.
    I’d just take issue with one thing: I wouldn’t call the “voice” a parasite. I admit I’ve never heard actual voices, just the “normal” running commentary that most if not all of us have going on within. But I think – correct me if I’m wrong – that it’s basically the same idea.
    I’d prefer to call the voice/commentary the “inner teacher.” Although we might need to reject much of what it’s saying, it tells us an awful lot about ourselves, where we’re going wrong, and where we’re going right too. For example, if I have a voice telling me that “You should have bought him a present – you really messed up there,” then I can discover my ideas about what “should” means to me, what “messing up” means, what my real values are right now, and then, I can think about where I want to go from there.
    I don’t think that we can get in touch with our “real selves” without owning these voices too – because we are all composed of parts, each motivated by different things. Let’s say the inner core (what some call soul) is motivated by truth, love, giving… But we can’t access it without peeling off the outer layers/voices. And we can’t peel off those layers without owning them first. Pretending they’re “not part of me” isn’t going to help. That’s probably the origin of my husband’s psychosis, all the projecting he does, because he doesn’t know how to own his flaws without rejecting himself totally.
    Someone wise once told me something very powerful: We should love our flaws, because they were given to us in order to make us great. The athlete doesn’t hate his barbells – he loves them, because by pushing against them, he gets stronger. Every time we answer back to the voices, pushing back the honor-seeking, the empty desires, the lusts for money or power, we get stronger and closer to our goal of being integrated human beings, proud possessors of soul-truths.
    It’s also important to remember the positive side to voices. If I have a voice telling me that I’m not measuring up to some ethical standard, then great! I know that I’m a person who is striving for good things; it just needs to be modified a bit.
    In my spiritual tradition, the “tendency to evil” is also called “good” precisely because of all of this – because we can learn from it how to refine ourselves and become truly great. Because there is no independent evil force in the universe – everything was created for good, and every voice has its part to play.

  5. As I read fast and scan things, I cannot claim that words by words I agree with you. But for those parts that I got, and it is a big part, I know your account true.

    It is a parasite but could be stronger than the host, the victim.

    In occasions it kills the person or it commands to the victim to kill other people and meanwhile the victim might lose his life obeying the command.

    If not it fully cripple and enslave the host into that stupid constant performance. There are many examples but the famous one is say John Nash who had such a powerful ‘brain’ and lived dysfunction for best decades of his life.

    Surprisingly, mainstream psychiatry is not interested to study such a fascinating creature.

    The humble idea that I can suggest is that this parasite is universal and its performance is not related to the biography of the person. It could be that it become created due to the biography of victim, such as the host being himself victim of harsh abuse and trauma, but then the parasite has a similar performance. This proposition is somehow needs clarification which is beyond the scope of a comment.

    Briefly host should not accept that he has done something wrong that has been inflicted with such unproportioned punishment.

  6. Thanks for the article and describing how you experience “voices” in the head.
    I don’t agree with everything written, but I find it always interesting to read how different people experience these, I call them “phenomena”.
    I think there is a difference between possible “negative-self talk” and possible deceptive external voices talking to oneself.
    I also don’t believe in Darwins’ evolution theory nor that the pre-frontal cortex is necessarily the source of the voices and that it is therefore a parasite, if I understood you correctly.
    Not saying that this is what is happening to you, but then there also exists technology to put voices into ones head via “voice-to-skull” technology and other ways.

  7. Eric,

    thank you for being forthright about the basis to your conclusion: evolution. If I were a better philosopher, I’d probably try to debate material determinism which seems to be the driving foundation of evolution, the bio-medical model of mental health and now I guess your parasitic view of voices among many other beliefs. It’s not normal for most writers to come right out and say, “This is my philosophical foundation and from there I came to this conclusion.” Instead we debate symptomatic beliefs and never realize that the underlying philosophical positions are the reason for such vastly different opinions and why we never can come to any sort of agreement because we aren’t using the same starting points.

    I reject biological evolution and the material determinism that drives it, and thus I have a difficult time accepting your parasitic view of voices. My wife has d.i.d. Her experience taught me to learn to listen to my voices. I taught her to embrace her voices (the other girls) and helped her see the meaning and context of each of them as they are learning to live in harmony. I see meaning and context in mine as well.

    Vestigial organs were once touted as a great sign of the veracity of biological evolution. What they really were was a testament to the ignorance of the people espousing the concept. One by one we discovered the very important function of each ‘vestigial organ’ until now there are very few that someone will use to bolster the evolutionary argument. It would appear that your argument has a similar basis. You don’t understand your voices so you will blame them on some kind of vestigial origin of the prefrontal cortex.
    Sam

  8. Eric, Thanks for connecting in such a way to notice what’s going on. I’m looking forward to “hearing” more from you! 🙂 There is beginning to be so much more pointing in this direction you write about. Someone told me once that words were created for a substitute for pointing. Like “go there” or “see that” or “that’s interesting”. Now we’re pointing at our Selves with the type of realizations you’re having.

    The content of what you’re speaking has been “pointed” at from another point of view by a guy named John Mace. He noticed that these things that aren’t us were put there through trauma and he coins the term “Causism”. It was caused as energy. We don’t like that feeling and so we resist it. But by resisting it we don’t get “through” it. We have to do something with it, so we create a story about it. From there it creates a whole identity and it’s termed a negative identity. And we live under it’s will from there on out. That is until John figured it out and came up with a way to dis-create them with an unbelievably simple procedure. The work has been sort of trapped in Australia until recently. I’d enjoy connecting you with one of the founders. I think you’d have an interesting conversation!

  9. Thanks Eric for coming back and writing. Thanks to other commenters also.
    I wonder how many other people out there who have heard mostly unwanted voices ,seemingly coming from outside themselves for decades with little reprieve , for me over 30 years , have successfully figured out for themselves, through their own explorations with crucial info from others or not , how to no longer hear voices? ( and also finally free from the pharma industrial complex and their “products” for 5 or 10 years or more) Certainly they have traveled mostly alone through uncharted territory. It would be interesting to see these stories compiled .
    The voices I heard would most always soon speed up so fast and soften in volume so I was left trying to make sense of , fill in words , and try to guess what they were saying to me .Really annoying .I thought someone else was trying to communicate with me or I was hearing other people’s thoughts as if I wasn’t insulated from others . Also had serious trouble trying to sleep for most of my life .Of course I had” mi vida loca time” with the psych complex and their “products” including electricity.
    Here’s the short version .(I’m sure there can be various causes or combinations of causes for unwanted hearing of voices and variations in how the voices manifest) I used my disability income plus intermittent work to fund my search out of my discomfort. It took decades of experiments with” first do no harm as a guideline “. Ultimately I got family financial help for my last experiment which absolutely dramatically worked. Went to an advanced dentist trained by Hal Huggins, had 15 mercury fillings removed , 2 root canals removed , was checked for cavitations . Finally ended with one tooth in my mouth ,a right upper back molar that was filled with a composite . The advanced protocol dentist said the panoramic x-ray showed it was just fine . I was afraid to tell anyone even the dentist . I was now hearing gonging sounds in my right ear and head like when a martial arts movie on TV sometimes begins or ends. This was happening even when I went into the woods with only wilderness around . I knew the sound was coming from inside me. I asked the dentist” would you remove that last molar for me ?” He said ,” There’s nothing wrong with it , but you don’t really need it , if you want i’ll remove it for you “.I said ” yes I want it out “. To his surprise and mine after he removed the tooth he said that directly under the tooth was a big pocket of pus . He said he was surprised that the panoramic x-ray did not pick up the infection under the tooth . He scrapped it out using advanced protocol. I have well fitting false plastic dentures now . I couldn’t afford cubic zirconia posts with high tech inert ceramic teeth as is done at the Paracelsus Klinic in Switzerland supervised by Dr. Rau. This final adventure in survival cost $6000. Now no voices , no gongs . I am still sensitive to low frequency sounds from outside myself ,like from near by power lines ,and handle that with white noise like from a fan . Probably caused by 15 electro shocks forced on me when I was a teenager .
    I believe that it’s the realization of a dream , ” Sweet are the thoughts that savor of content , the quiet mind is richer than a crown . ” Even at the age of 70 . And no sleep trouble anymore.
    By the way Chris Shade PHD and founder of Quicksilver Scientific who himself had 17 mercury fillings ( size does matter) says that 1 in 15 people can’t excrete mercury from their body.It does get into the brain . 200,000,000 people in the USA have so called silver amalgams in their mouths . Actually they are 53% mercury. Do the math and remember the rest of the billions of people on the planet. And don’t forget mercury concentrating in some species of fish, coal burning releasing mercury and other industries ,and our “old favorite” the medical profession injecting poison concoctions plus aluminum and mercury compounds straight into the bloodstream of even infants. That’s a small piece of my take.
    I feel like Columbo the tv detective . Anyway I noticed quite a time ago in me that the inner throat ever slightly moves whenever thoughts or voices occur and mentally stopping the movement can stop thought or the voice for as long as you give it attention so a break from the action can be got. Take care all.

  10. A mind made upon denial asserts itself as a cover story or surface awareness of masking persona.
    In a sense then, this ‘mind’ is a construct within whatever consciousness actually is, that operates as part of our adaptation as a self within a world of lovelessness, conflict, threat. We all have ‘separation trauma’ that is to more or less degree kept unconscious by ‘psychological defences’ as our way to hide from as well as a way to mask what is running underneath.

    The mind of fig-leaf thinking masks over a sense of shame or lack in ‘nakedness’ of being – just as in the story of the emperor who had no clothes. “But who told you you were naked?” sayeth the Lord” – because self-consciousness in shame, self-judgement and inhibition of love is not the created Self – but an imaged construct of learned and accepted thought at odds with our original or true nature – and so feels dissonant.
    The attempt to get rid of rejected, hated or feared aspects of our self is what gives them power – hence Jesus says “resist ye not evil” or in modern terms; “dont feed the troll!”. Trying to get rid of such thinking will take all the time you give it to think some more.

    The attempt to suppress and deny our feeling or thought is reflected in the symptom of feeling ourself denied. Perhaps we see the outer symptom as if it is the cause, and while we believe that we will live that – but I hold that we have it backwards and as a result are trying to resolve inner conflict of psychic-emotional (communication) breakdown in outer terms – which not only cannot really work but also loses real relationship to the mind that projects the past onto it so as to re-enact its themes.

    The idea that part of the whole can split off and go rogue – and become an enemy or parasite upon the whole is the theme of the Fall as the basis of the sense of ‘independent self creation’ imposed uponit was free will! Free will asserted as the idea of separate creative mind in its own ‘thinking’ – without which it felt a guilt or loss of self in ‘naked being’.

    But guilt is a faulty formulation of reality as a result of the dissonance of mind attempting to be what it is not – taking over functions that are not within its ability and neglecting the function that is. Loss of love, light and power to a sense of limitation and isolation in struggle in the dark – where the mind that set this off is then called upon and used to save us from fear and pain of loss. And so a sense of asserting control over Mind leads to a split mind that spins in its own thinking – as part of the thinking of the world of such experience. Because our thinking is also like a tuner on a radio/tv that accesses the channel of its vibrational frequency.

    Fear thinking has been called amygdala capture – where the fight or flight of survival response of the sympathetic nervous system – runs as the suppression and usurping of energy and attention to triggered fear – but persists beyond its need as a perpetual state of threat or ‘war’ such that the parasympathetic response (the balancing and healing of stress) is undermined and blocked.

    Perhaps some of this resonates. In practical terms to our now, reaction is a learned habit of response from the basis of who we believe we are – without checking in to see whether the belief is in fact resonant and in alignment with who we now feel and know and accepts ourselves to be. So to pause from reaction to notice thinking and feelings opens the way to allow an innocent curiosity to move in desire to know the true as a basis from which to live – rather than running on past conditioned or acquired beliefs that no longer serve you.

    I am wary of anything added onto “I am” – such as I am or I am anti because definitions generate limited and limiting identity. So I would not box myself in but learn to use language – and my mind – in ways that leave everything open to ongoing discovery. And so I give the freedom to others that I want for myself – for that is how to keep it in awareness. The mind can explore AS IF – in trying out any idea, belief or self-definition as part of uncovering a good fit for who I am the being and sharing of now. But if I forget it is a dress rehearsal I engage within its terms as if it is real.

    The ‘parasitic’ mind is evidenced in the human insanity running a world in which ‘everything is backwards’. But I see beneath the appearance of evil agencies is the way fear and guilt usurp our Right-minded sanity to work against joy in being. So while I address ‘the evils of the day thereof’, it is within the context of the call to joy – in any or every moment of noticing – because that free awareness is where I actually have choice – while in the ‘thinking’ I know what is going on, habit runs an illusion of choice.

    The voice in the heart is of a silence that my mind can learn to give way to and align in, follow and give form to. I didn’t say it as ‘my’ heart because the possessive sense of ‘me’ can substitute what it thinks for truly felt, because true feelings are associated with loss of ‘control’ or of rejection and abandonment from others and so a sense of a need for control operates as if a parasite upon its own being – which is really a call to relax and release what is out of true – but can be used as a basis for persisting in self-conflict as if the judged-against or invalid part must be eradicated or denied by force – which winds up the mechanism to persist in resisting. But what exactly?