What Still, Small Voice?

What is Stream-of-Consciousness, and why should you care?

Synonyms for stream-of-consciousness are: internal dialogue, self-talk,
inner monologue, subvocalization, and the still-small-voice.

Professor William James (1842-1910) physician, first U.S. psychologist,
teaching at Harvard Medical School, coined the term meaning fragmented
thoughts and sensory feelings flowing from our mind, without a filter.

So What

When you and I were little kids we often spoke our thoughts out loud without
censoring them first. What crossed our mind came out of our mouth. Some children had an invisible friend who they engaged in detailed conversations.

What Happened Later

Once we started school, communicating with internal voices aloud did not cut it socially. We believe we silenced this still, small, voice, but we still hear it mentally. More importantly, these voices still operate in our Mind’s Ear, and affect our goals,
behaviors, and decisions.


Do you consciously recognize that you hold Q&A conversations in your mind
24/7? Yes, even when we sleep in both REM (Rapid Eye Movements of dreaming),
and Non-REM sleep without dreams. These buzzing conversations are normal for Homo sapiens. It is essential to what makes us human.

During our waking hours we all confer with our internal voices about what we are doing and the order of priority of each step. Why? Some neuroscientists vote
for a need of reassurance, others say our still-small-voice is another side of personality.

Consider this: when we read a book, article or report, we HEAR each and every word on the page aloud as if spoken by a Sportscaster at a game. How come?

The term Auditory Reinforcement is used by the experts. They call this voice
reading to us – Subvocalization – below the level of ordinary speech.

It slows us down to the reading speed of a snail crawling across the road.
We have strategies that almost eliminate the slow articulation of each and every word. The benefit of significantly reducing or almost eliminating subvocalization
is called Speed Reading. You have the ability to triple your present reading speed.

Four Different Voices Battle For Your Mind

a) Inner Parental Voice: the most powerful voice in creating your independent personality from age 1 to 5 (before school) was your mother and father or their equivalent.

Freud called it your Superconsciousness. It has never left and is still
offering its opinions and criticizing our behaviors.

b) Inner Child Voice: this is the kid we were from age 6 up to high
school. He/she had personal needs and desires often suppressed
by the Parental Voice.

Our Inner Child needed to be loved unconditionally, taught to feel
socially normal, and to overcome stress. The Inner Kid is still speaking
to us and offering its opinions. It wants to play, not work.

c) Inner Ego (Adult) Voice: it uses all our learning, knowledge, and
experience accumulated to date. It is our public personality and was
originally called our Persona by the ancient Greeks.

The Ego voice is the one who is most often heard during subvocalization. It reads us the book, article, and report. It is very
opinionated and self-critical.

d) Inner Echt-Self Voice: the word Echt is in your Webster Dictionary
derived (etymology) from German, meaning Real, Genuine, and Authentic.

The Echt-Self Voice is our CEO (executive) containing our highest values and beliefs. It controls our Semantic (meaning) memory, Episodic (experiences) memory, and our Procedural (skills) memory.

The ancient Greeks called it our Anima (soul). The Echt-Self holds us
to our highest standard. It wants three (3) goals for us: Autonomy (independence), Mastery (expertise), and Purpose in life.

It is persistent and determined to bring out the best in us. It is never
going away. It is very opinionated and offers positive and negative feedback for self-growth. It loves lifelong learning and success.

When you consciously know the backgrounds of these four mental voices, you have the power to activate strategies to cancel negativity and foster positive behaviors.

The secret is consistently using your Volition (will power) to actively choose your own goals, behaviors and purposes.

Please Take Notice, all four of your internal voices – Inner Parent, Inner Child,
Inner Ego-Self, and Inner Echt-Self are important and bring meaning and purpose
to your life.

We want to integrate all four voices for personal growth, career success, and
healthy relationships starting now.


Our goal is to offer you unique competitive advantages in knowledge and skills.
Would it help your career and relationships to read and remember three (3)
books, articles, and reports, while your peers can hardly finish one?

Ask us how – now.

copyright © 2009

H. Bernard Wechsler

Author's Bio: 

Author of Speed Reading For Professionals, published by Barron's.
Business partner of Evelyn Wood, creator of speed reading,
graduating 2 million, including the White House staffs of four
U.S. Presidents.