|Posted on August 29, 2012 at 8:50 PM|
"Man has no individuality. He has no single, big I. Man is divided into a multiplicity." George Gurdjieff (as quoted by PD Ouspensky in "In Search of the Miraculous").
Take a moment and really sound these words out silently in your mind. Subvocalize the words in this sentence and do whatever you need to do, in order to hear each of these words in your mind.
Then quieten these inner subvocalizations and begin to practice Mindful Self-Sensing.
Perhaps focus your attention on your fingers and hands, toes and feet. Then sense your whole body from top to bottom, front to back and side-to-side. Really try to quieten your mind and sense your entire body as one organic whole.
Then become Mindful of these words again. Slow down your reading and carefully sound these words out in your inner mind. And become aware of how this subvocalization is created by the same faculty that creates your 'inner dialogue', 'inner speech', and 'self-talk'.
Notice how it even has 'your voice' (though not the one you hear on recordings, but the one you hear 'in' your head when you speak).
Dr. Michael Gazzaniga, the pioneering split-brain researcher was conducting an experiment with a subject whose corpus-callosum (the part that connects the right and left brain) had been surgically severed due to violent and uncontrollable epileptic fits.
Dr. Gazzaniga showed an image of a chicken to the man's left-brain and a shovel to his right-brain and then asked this man to draw what he saw with his left-hand (which is operated by the right-brain). He drew a shovel.
When Gazzaniga asked the man why he had drawn a shovel, the man came up with a fanciful narrative of chickens and chicken-coops and the need to use a shovel to clean-up the bird droppings.
This led Gazzaniga to have an 'ah ha' moment. He knew that the left-brain is the linguistic brain. It contains both the Broca and Wernicke areas (which are responsible for generating language). So he reasoned that that voice inside our head, our internal dialogue, our self-talking comes from our left-brain (especially if we are right-handed - though this is also true for some lefty's). And since this man's left-brain only saw the chicken and not the shovel, it had to somehow come up with an excuse to explain the shovel.
Gazzaniga named this part 'The Interpreter' because it tries to derive meaning, or interpret our experiences. However, I think it doesn't so much as interpret our experiences, as it does to narrate them.
"I wonder why she looked at me like that?" "Hope it doesn't rain." "Oh good, there's the bus." "Perhaps I should have brought the umbrella." "Must remember to pick-up my dry-cleaning." "Why isn't the bus driver opening the door." "Ouch... my knee is a little sore today." "Good... there's a seat..."
If someone asked you to tell them about yourself, Your Narrator would respond and dominate and colour the reply with its choice of words.
Now allow the words, the inner-dialogue, the self-talk to flow in your mind again. Reflect, think, narrate, interpret and do whatever you have to do to start the word's rolling inside your head.
Notice where Your Narrator originates (if I drew a line over the top of my head from the back of my left ear to the back of my right ear – my own Narrator would seem to be centred somewhere along the left side of this line – that is, slightly back and more to the top of the left-side of my head).
And stop thinking of it as you: stop labelling it 'I' 'me' or 'myself'. Give it a new name. One that puts it in perspective and lets it know it is only one part, among many. Call it 'My Narrator' (or if you agree with Gazzaniga 'My Interpreter').
Make Your Narrator inwardly name itself and say: 'My Narrator.'
Then put it in its proper perspective by allowing Your Narrator to engage in some more inner-dialogue and self-talk, while at the same time sensing your entire body. Notice how small and limited it seems when compared to a more total perception of yourself.
Then let it run rampant. Do what you have done so many times and let it take over and become 'you'. Let it swallow all of your awareness until you think it is 'you'. This should be a very familiar state. One where you spend most of your waking life.
Then self-sense, step back and recognize that it is not you. It is just a part of you. One piece of a much greater whole. One part of the multiplicity that is you.