Voices in my Head, are they Mine?

As someone who was told by their Father as a young boy to listen to the little man on his shoulder whenever a decision about right or wrong need to be made, I am no stranger to voices in my head. As a little boy, of course I believed my Father. I never heard the little man speak to me though.

In 1973 a popular group of the time named Pink Floyd released a song named, “Brain Damage”. Pink Floyd had decided to sing about voices in our head. The song was a solid hit with me, though I am sure the song, and Pink Floyd itself was more than a little strange to people in the mainstream of life.

We all have voices in our head. For most of us the voices are background noise and little else. For a few these voices are far more serious. What these voices are and where they come from is an unending discussion on several levels. This however is another topic for another time.

As I was falling asleep the other night, I was relaxing, quieting the chatter in my head. Most of the conversation is seemingly nonsense. Bits of phrases that make no sense in the context they are presented. Most are very bland. The other night however, one phrase took me from the edge of sleep to wide awake.

As I was almost asleep, I heard in a never before heard voice the words, “…going to touch your hands with hands of love and kindness…”. As I was almost asleep I do not really remember the beginning of the sentence. In the moment it was one more voice waiting to still.

Perhaps not all voices in our head are ours.

Perhaps not all voices in our head are ours.

As the voice and the phrase was said, my attention focused on the voice and the words. I was immediately wide awake and listening for more. There was no more to hear. This voice and the others chattering away in the background of my thoughts became obviously and loudly silent. They all stopped the instant I wanted to hear what was being said.

 

 

Was it real or was it just noice in my head? I am of the opinion the voice was real and not created by me as I drifted off to sleep. I do not think these types of thoughts.

This phrase stays with me as a comforting thought. “…going to touch your hands with hands of love and kindness…” I hope you too enjoy hearing something of the same as you are drifting off to sleep, quieting the voices in the background.

Does Cup Size Matter?

Every Fast Food Chain I am aware of bundles meals as combo meals. You get main entre, fries, and large soda for so many dollars and cents.

At places that do not sell sandwiches, ordering combo meals you are offered chicken, fish, taco’s, etc, fries, and a soda. Not a bad deal and usually cheaper than ordering ala carte.

Unless you are not a big soda drinker. As I am. When most of a small soda is all I want a large soda cup seems like a waste, not to mention it is bigger to hold. Here is what happens more often than not when I eat a combo meal. I see a meal I want and add up the prices with a small soda instead of the default size soda. The combo of course is generally less expensive.

Not your way, not today

Not your way, not today

The conversation generally goes something like this:

“I would like one number X please.”

“Okay, that is one number X, an entre, fries, and a large soda.”

“Yes, that is correct. I would be happy with a small soda cup as I do not drink much soda.”

“You want a number X combo plus a small soda?”

“No, I would like a number X combo, but I would like to substitue a small soda cup instead of a large soda.”

This makes perfect sense to me. A large cup is a waste as I never fill a large soda cup even half full. This also seems to make sense for the business. Smaller cup = less soda = less money spent on a cup and soda. More profit for the business. Feels like a win, win….

“Sir, the combo only comes with a large soda”

“I understand that, but a small soda cup is all I want in place of a large soda cup. I do not drink much soda so a small cup is fine.”

“I would have to charge you more because you would not be ordering the combo. It would be more expensive”

“Okay, I understand, a large cup is fine.”

Not sure this is an inventory issue, giving away small cups and upsetting the bean count. It may be the store manager refusing to allow any deviation from the menu. Or it may be something totally different. I find it plain old annoying.

Culture or Gender Thinking

I partook in an interesting informal discussion on culture and gender and how it effects our view of ourselves and our world. Afterward I took an informal straw poll. Now my views have changed on why we do what we do when it comes to our gender and culture.

The discussion question was, “Do you think of yourself as your culture first or do you think of yourself as a Woman/Man first?”

On the surface the question seems pretty simple. I was of the opinion that everyone would think of themselves as gender first and culture second. It made sense to me, starting with you and moving out to the world view. What I failed to understand is we are so intertwined in our culture, our culture is is. It is not really all that clear however.

Some people thought of themselves as their culture then gender. Other people thought of themselves as gender then culture. Why this happened in my small informal survey also surprised me.

It appears parental influence, age, and geography play a large part in how we see ourselves and our culture. I found several main differences that set each of us apart from one another once we are away from our home.

If we were raised in a traditional family setting for our culture, and others we have contact with are too, we are more likely to see ourselves as culture first, followed by gender. In many traditional families, gender roles are clearly defined and rarely crossed. The Women tend the home, while the men bring home the money. To someone raised in this type of environment without outside influences, culture and gender are the same thing.

If we live in a rural setting where big city values and culture does not effect us, we are more like to see ourselves as culture and then gender. For example, we may live in a section where our culture is very strong in a big city, so city values have only a minor impact on us. We may be aware that other people like us live in other places differently, but this is how we are.

If we come from a family that has moved from place to place, and perhaps both parents worked, we see ourselves differently again. Other influences that interrupted or disrupted our family structure. We adapted as we changes geography. We are now more likely to see ourselves as gender first and culture second. For example if both Mom and Dad work(ed) outside the home, we are open to the idea that we and our spouse will work outside the home.

Different Cultures

Culture and Gender shape our world and our place in it

Age plays a large role in how we see gender and culture in our world. The older we are, the more likely we are to have lived in a traditional family where Father worked and Mother ran the household. The older we become the less willing we are to change or conform to new ideas. That wasn’t how it was done when we were kids…. We become not so silent rebels.

When I think of situations that previously made little sense to me, it is now easier to understand why this behavior happens. How we perceive our world determines whether culture is first or gender is first. Culture has no gender and between culture and gender, culture binds the largest number of people together.

When I now think of these situations, I understand this is a culture of people who felt they are wronged in some manner. Whether they were male or female is not a concern. They are acting through their cultural beliefs.

Long Term Rental Plan

I saw this comment somewhere, “You do not own gold, you only rent it.” In the moment I thought how silly that comment was. Of course I can own gold. I can go to a jewelry store and buy gold jewelry. I can go to a coin shop and buy gold coins. What is this person thinking?

After some weeks when the quote resurfaced in my mind again, I understood. We really do not buy gold, we only rent gold. We live only a short time in when compared to a thousand years. Gold has been around longer than we have a history of remembering gold. I understood in a moment, we really never own anything. Gold is only a focus point.

We buy several assorted items such as food, clothing and sundries, and we use them for our benefit and well being. Eventually as happens in the bigger scheme of things, the food is all eaten, the clothes wear out, and the sundries are all used up. In this manner we really own nothing.

Even when it comes to our person, we are on a long or short term rental depending on our point of view. Our cells are replaced at a varying frequency depending on which cells they are. I have read that about every decade we are  completely new in that every cell in our body has been replaced with the exception of some brain neurons. No idea whether this is really true or not. For the most part I imagine it is true.

Everything we are and own is on a rental plan. Someone or something used it before us, and someone or something else will use it again after we are done. From the precious metal we buy to the food we eat and the clothes we wear. Evberything is disposed of during some time in our life span. Life span not to mean the same as being alive, but rather when we are forgotten by those who came after us.

Depending on what our beliefs are, even our spiritual self is cycled and recycled over and over. Some people believe when we are born, we are not a product of a single former personality, but rather a collection former personalities who lived before us. We either formed ourselves, or were formed using splinters of peoples personalities who lived before us.

Rented living, Rented us, we are all on the Rental Plan

Rented living, Rented us, we are all on the rental plan

A splash of Madam Currie, a dash of Drusilla, a smidgen of Cleopatra if you are a woman. If you are a man, perhaps a few grains of Napoleon, a slice of Da Vinci, a drop or two of Confucius. Several other bits and pieces of other famous and not so famous personality traits possibly added for a perfect combination that becomes us.

Of course many of us are in the eternal court. We have the same spirit evolving and changing over lifetimes, yet remaining the same spiritual essence it was when we were first created. Our creation also a matter of perception and beliefs, as old as the winds of time. We change bodies as we change clothes.

No matter we are only renting. Everything we know as us, and everything we pretend to own is transient. We are what we are. We are the only “us” here in this instance of our existence. Ignoring even us is open to speculation.

No matter what we think we are, or who we will become, or are prevented from becoming, we are all we have to work with. We divide ourselves into differing percentages of the spiritual and mundane worlds (spiritual and physical, with spiritual not to be confused as being religious though they can be the same, but do not need to be the same) and build our existence to our liking. Would we choose to have it any other way? We are all on the long term rental plan.

Chess Non Thinking Endgame

These type of games are known to turn around and bite me. When I get bit, I am they bit hard. Here is the normal game flow. I start out making good opening moves, and am able (or so it seems) to enforce my will on my opponent.

I start out cautiously. Playing my opening with respect to what my enemy is doing. Making small adjustments as I can to better my position. Finally, I complete my opening (more or less). Looking over the battlefield there is a pawn or two and perhaps a minor piece I can capture.

I pick up one or maybe two of the pieces and then it starts. Suddenly,  I sense victory in the making as the middle game has barely begun. I am ready to rumble. Bring it on!

Bloodlust sets in! I am enamored with hacking and slashing, moving around the board, showing off my vastly superior chess skills. I am laying the battlefield to waste. I am holding back on the end game, wanting to  really crush the enemy King, savoring the slaughter.

In the moment, I also forget that there are two players on the board. Both wanting the same end point for their game. I am overly consumed with my brilliant play of power and control. I am undisputed in this game. The enmy is probably wondering where they went wrong?

Then I hear, a loud boom, followed with a bang and a crash. How in the world did that just happen? I didn’t see that Bishop/Knight hovering over on my side of the board! Sitting there in the shadows waiting for the moment to strike! That dirty dog, just waiting for this moment to stab my queen in the heart! Hauling her away by one heel!  Nothing is more devastating than to be brought back to mortality by losing my Queen because I am consumed with blood and killing, owning the game.

Well it’s not the end of the world even though reality sets in, and I am really hurting in the moment. Sometime I can eek out a draw. All to often however, losing my Queen balances the game out, and my weaker tactics and game skills shine through.

As you look at the picture, you will see in the heat of battle, I fall prey to something even more silly. As I finish my opening, I have my King all safe and snug, well protected. To quench my base thirst, I start pulling pieces away to rampage across the other end of the board.

An obvious weak point in both players games

An obvious weak point in both players games

Now, I see mate in three or four moves, if I move quickly and decisively. Here I go, sending my warriors en masse for the final victory. I am a move away from being the supreme commander on the battlefield. Then it happens. In my glory, I had spotted a checkmate in three or four moves.

That underhanded enemy battlefield commander on the other side of the board spotted a come from behind, crushing defeat of his arch rival in one move less! With aplomb a Rook is sent down to the first rank. What?! How in the world did that happen? I own this game, I am crushing the board. How could you do that to me?!

Too late for reflection, as my King is hauled away to be quartered. I know exactly what happened. Instead of looking for potential captures, checks, and checkmates against me, my head is on the other side of the board. Patting myself on the back for creating such devastation. Installing fear, and slipping around in the blood of victory.

At some undetermined point in the game, I go from carefully thinking out and making my intended moves, to playing without any link from brain to finger tip. Everything is going from sight to finger. Such a silly trap to fall into. So easy to avoid. I am not beaten in these games. I give them away.