I used to hear people’s voices before falling asleep when I was younger. It doesn’t happen so much these days because when I fall asleep, I’m tired enough to be oblivious to voices.
But when it happened often, the sense of reality of those voices felt both strange and natural. Strange because I was sane, and knew that I was alone. Natural because the voices were quite undoubtedly there.
My siblings’ voices, the voice of a biology teacher telling me off for misbehaving, the numberless voices of people I didn’t even register hearing during the day. I guess it must have been my mind not finished with the processing of human speech at the end of each day.
Whatever the cause, I just discovered the same oddity of mind in someone else recently, and (due to another oddity which consists in associating stuff in such a way as to get writing material for this blog) it got me thinking about how people’s voices stay with us: not just in the sense of audible, or seemingly audible impressions, but also as whole sets of ideas, opinions and patterns of behaviour that we pass on to each other when we speak, sing, write, or communicate in any other way.
Like the voices I used to hear in the night, those ideas are not always meaningful. Very often, they’re rubbish. Stuff I could very well do without, e.g. the words of homilies I heard as a child. In fact, quite a lot of it has lost its meaning and is now incomprehensible, inconvenient stuff that I would throw out if I could.
And there are also some pieces of other people’s minds which, at random intervals, spike my own: intrusive ideas about the way you should be according to somebody or other, hateful words someone once addressed you, or someone else with, wrong and stupid expectations about people based on the experience of somebody with little, or no experience. I don’t need them; I don’t want them; but they will stay with me regardless of my needs and wishes.
It’s the way it is. Strange, but also natural. You build your own worldview on other people’s ideas, opinions and patterns of behaviour; some of them you may wish to discard as harmful or wrong.
And the good thing is that, with some effort on your part, you are perfectly able to do that: hear someone’s voice for what it is — an opinion based on false premises, a pattern of behaviour that would make you unhappy if you followed it, an idea that simply causes harm to you and the people around you — and place it where it belongs: a little cognitive box with “TRASH” written on it.
And good luck with that to you! Because everyone’s “hearing spectrum” is where a significant process take place: the process of becoming oneself. And that’s important becaue you are important.
Have a good day. And, oh: have a song, too.