Why is Internal Dialog so Persistent (Part 2 of 4): Why do we engage in Internal Dialogs?
There is no doubt for me that these internal dialogs are the arising of the ego. There is also no doubt for me that one engages in internal dialogs for the purpose to defend one’s ego. But apparently this is not enough information, to let go of this kind of activity. I sense that I need to understand it deeper, to see what I get out of it, before I will be able to let go of it entirely…
Looking at it today I discovered a few more aspects about it. The first is that it is clearly a means to defend my ‘way of seeing things’, and thusly there are two aspects about it. Given that it’s a defense system, there are the two sides of the fight or flight response. In terms of thought, this can be seen as preparing to defend oneself in regards to something that one ‘thinks’ might happen in the future or defending oneself in regards to something that has already happened. Basically, one is using one’s capability to think, either by running through possible future happenings or by retrieving past events. When one engages in one’s thinking capability using our conditioned patterns of defensive thought, this activity will continue to trigger the same emotion that originally caused ‘our reaction’. Thus the more we engage in the thinking pattern, the more entrenched the personality, the more we are identified with our self-image and subsequently the greater feeling of existence we get out of it.
What should be known about this, is that all of this mental activity which we perceive as ‘our life’ is in actuality happening in our thoughts and has nothing to do with ‘reality’ or what is happening now. The activity of the mind is playing and happening totally in a picture world of thoughts (past or future), which has nothing to do with the present moment. In fact the present moment, the only moment that is real, is passing us by unnoticed while we are engaged in our internal dialogs.
So we might know, that the basic problem is that one is identified with one’s self-image, or ‘how one perceives oneself’, which primarily is due to one’s past conditioning and/or what one has experienced up to the present moment. The main reason why we are identified with our ego is because we are getting our feeling of being alive out of it, and we will continue to do this as long as we don’t know something better. We get our feeling of being alive in this way, primarily by being identified with our bodily emotions. Our thoughts come into play (the internal dialog) because we are using the logic primarily as the means to defend ourselves as we ‘feel ourselves emotionally’, as described above. To stay identified with one’s self-image, one must continuously regenerate the emotion.
Being a living system and existing in a world of other living systems, every action I make causes a reaction in my surroundings. The reactions that are provoked within oneself from outside happenings are sensory information received through the body, which has the purpose to give information to our system for the purpose to assist in our physical survival. The problem exists because we identify with this information that is coming to us as reactions, feeling personally threatened and then our ego arises. It is the nature of the ego to feel threatened from all reaction received, simply because it is false and needs to keep up continuous activity to prove to oneself that it is not fake. Hahahaha, what a game!
So how do the emotions play into this? What I see is that most reactions happening inside of us, don’t accumulate tension, the majority of them we brush off and go on with our daily life. The way that we accumulate internal pressure (like a coiled spring), is when there are happenings outside of us that are continuing to push the same buttons for us. So this often results from interactions between people in close relationships, either in community, family, partnerships or work situations. People interactions cause the strongest reactions inside of us, probably because most people are primarily involved in the same self-defensive ego game. This being the case, nearly everybody is living their lives in a provoking way (no matter what they do or don’t do), because they need to be able to get out their reaction to continue to feel themselves emotionally. If things around get too calm, then for sure the ego will start provoking stronger…
I see that this tension accumulates from the reactions we have where the ‘ego’ somehow feels threatened. This tension then energizes our body to prepare ourselves for either a fight or flight response in the outside world. Our ego is in essence, mimicking the survival mechanism of our body, which does serves a real purpose to protect ourselves in the event of real danger that threatens our existence. But our error is that the personality is identified with the bodily reactions and thus is always feeling threatened, where hardly this is ever the case. These threats are all happening within our heads. What we need to know about it is that the tension can’t accumulate indefinitely; when the pressure is too strong it will find an outlet. If a person isn’t aware of one’s internal tension and isn’t dealing with it either via conscious self-expression or by releasing it through a physical activity, then the tension will be released in a violent way finding another path through the body, where it often manifests as mental illness or a breakdown or rupture of some part of the physical body. The symptoms of illness that manifest will be an indication of what kind of defense system the person uses most frequently for their personality.
This seems to me to be sufficient information about the internal workings, so that one can then make a decision to drop the old habit of engaging in internal dialogs as soon as one is aware of them. What I see can be done is to simply relax and sit at the source, feeling and observing the emotion (no thinking allowed!) which is happening in the body. This little action takes one out of being identified with the emotion, and then by feeling it one will receive the information that is being conveyed from it. This is the most that should be done with generated emotions. Not having the need to defend one’s emotion, no more energy is given to it and it dies of it’s own accord. There is another ingredient that is needed to be able to do this step and that is one has to have complete trust that when you need a response, it will come to you as needed from within, as the present happening calls for. Engaging in internal dialog builds tension and energizes the personality, so that ‘it’ can ‘get out it’s next reaction’ – which is exactly that which keeps one turning around oneself. If one is truly fed up with and tired of ‘being one’s personality’, then one will simply stop feeding it.
August 9, 2005