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Transcending the chatty asshat in your head

“We cannot create anew with the same ole, same ole, same ole.”—Sherrie Taylor-Joneslost head

Larry King was interviewing some swami. He asked him about his mind, “How does it get so quiet in there?” The swami answered, “It IS quiet in there. That’s its natural state.”

Everything else (the incessant mental verbalizing) is just a crutch we non-Swami types use to buffer the world. The never-ending chatter narrates the world for us, slicing and dicing it to fit our personal story. Its purpose is to keep us distracted and disoriented.

Most of us are too close to the “roommate in our head” to be objective, to fully realize its overriding power over us.

As Lesson 10 of A Course in Miracles says: My thoughts do not mean anything.

After years of identifying with the thoughts in our head, it can be confrontational to hear that our “precious thoughts” mean nothing. To learn that they’re simply useless mental commotion that we devised to filter reality. It’s particularly shocking to hear our thoughts are not who we really are.

It doesn’t even matter if the thoughts are telling us nice things. Doesn’t matter if they’re spouting spiritual wisdom or telling us we should proceed immediately to our beds and pull the covers over our head. Either way, that voice is not us.

Just for kicks, stop for a second and make the voice in your head say, “John Jacob Jinkleheimer Smith.” Now, make it say it in a sultry voice.

See. It’s at your command. And it’s busy, night and day.

We mistakenly believe this ongoing sideline color commentary keeps us safe. But, as we come to learn in the Course, the non-stop vocalizing mechanism keeps us trapped. It keeps us from knowing who we really are.

So for today, take it from Larry King’s swami and start to observe the “roommate in your head.” Realize that chatty voice is not you. And know that true freedom comes the moment we decide to transcend it.

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her new book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

23 Responses

  1. Re:
    “Just for kicks, stop for a second and make the voice in your head say, ‘John Jacob Jinkleheimer Smith.’ Now, make it say it in a sultry voice.”
    I’ve just tried to do that. It won’t. It doesn’t agree to say what I want, or to say it the way I want. It says what IT wants to say, the way that IT wants to say it.

    “See. It’s at your command.”
    No, it isn’t — not at MY command, anyway: only its own,


    1. Good point! It does work on its own quite well, thank you very much. But whenever I want it to talk (like say something silly like JJJS), I can certainly direct it to do that. Mostly, I just wanted people to recognize that there is a chatty asshat in there, talking, talking, talking…..

      1. Well, you can successfully direct your inner voice, but I can’t successfully direct mine. What can I do about that?

  2. Good one. I’ve been going to the link you provide for extra work on these. You say it better. I see another book here. 🙂 A more relevant way to understand the Course.

    1. Hey thanks! Sometimes those lessons are so ponderous-sounding. The main idea (and the Course is not the only way to go) is to let go of our illusory creations so we can feel the natural peace and love that is our inheritance.

  3. I love this exercise. It puts things SO in perspective for me. And I second insearchofitall’s comment–there’s a book here, Pam!

  4. I love that line: “the room mate in your head”! I’ve got quite a few of them in my head and if they were real people living in my actual room I’d give most of them their notice immediately!! Great post Pam. Thank you 😊

  5. COWABUNGA!!! This is GOLD Pam. I follow various teachers who all point to the same thing. “Know yourself. Uncover your beliefs and you will know yourself.”This has been a stumbling block for me. When undesirable things have happened I would think ” Why did I create that for myself? What belief has caused this?” Frustratingly – I would hit a wall. Never able to move forward in my self growth and out of victimhood. Then I read this and the penny dropped with a loud KERTHUNK. I can now see some light !
    Thank you for your work here

  6. I woke up this morning with some thoughts that were not laughing thoughts. I decided to ignore them all as they weren’t who I really am. I counted backwards until I laughed and decided to take my 7 month old puppies to the dog park for the first time. I had other errands to run and when I got home, I thought back about my day, and how by not getting involved in my thoughts, it had been such a wonderful, happy day. I had the idea that I am no longer listening to any thoughts that come into my head. Then, I sat down and read this and laughed. Yes, I agree. My thoughts do not mean anything!

    Thank you so much for sending these lessons each day. I never thought I would ever work through the Course of Miracles, as it seemed complicated. You, my dear friend, make it all so simple and fun that I look forward to the lessons each day.

  7. Well, I tired to get my voice to say John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith, but it kept correcting…”Schmidt! It’s SCHMIDT!” LOL, so I said, “well be sultry” and we both laughed!

  8. So when my mind starts chatting about some worry or things I have to do or the hundred other tasks, I say, “be here now” or “be present in the now” and only attend to the task at hand with my focus.

  9. Sorry to say that, but this starts sucking. All these things would mean, that we are stupid
    being manipulated by something out of nowhere, that we are just dust. In E-squared we learn to think positively, only to think what we would like to have, what we are dreaming of, then it will come true… now you are telling us that this is a big bulls….. and that, no matter what we are thinking, it doesn’t make sense, whether I’m thinking positively, wishing hard to have a cheap flight to Singapore, or to live together with my boyfriend, all these seems now to be wrong according to your “course of miracle”. So what ? In e-squared you say that one must not drift off course (of what you are dreaming of) , if you want to obtain what you wish, and your recites of the course of miracle you are telling us “stop thinking”….. very discouraging and very contradictory.

  10. Love You,,,keep up the GREAT words of Truth………..we all need to hear it. love nancy      blessings and love


  11. Pam,

    Thanks so much for distilling the lessons. It’s more fun when I read your explanation. I did the “Course” the year before last. Tried last year again but lost interest because of the way it’s worded.

    I hope you do all 365 lessons.

    Thanks again!!

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