meow_meow

Where does brain chatter come from?

27 posts in this topic

So, as usual, I'll start with a quick intro of my characters enlightenment stats:

  • I've been meditating almost daily for ~1.2 years (35mins)
  • No psychedelics
  • "Love", "God", "Oneness" are yet to be discovered and still remain a mystery to me at this time.
  •  and I've done ~6months of self-inquiry sessions 3-4 times a week.

And of course, as a result of me doing these spiritual practices my self-awareness levels have sky rocketed in relation to when I just started.
However this increase in awareness is a curse and a blessing simultaneously because, apart from being aware of my thoughts & emotions, I am almost permanently aware of my brain-chatter.

Now I've done some contemplation on what is brain chatter, and this is what I've discovered so far:

Brain chatter = internal monologue

And Internal dialogue can be controlled. For example - I am able to talk to myself using internal-monologue in my head consciously, choose what to say, how to say, when to say, set the tone of the voice etc.

So if internal monologue is just basically me talking to myself, in my head, consciously, then brain chatter (or monkey mind as Leo calls it) is the same monologue but running on auto-pilot unconsciously.

So the things I can't seem to figure out on my own are -

What causes unconscious brain chatter?
Why does unconscious brain chatter almost immediately stop, at least for a moment, when I become aware of it?

Who is behind the narrator/the voice that speaks or how is it triggered/spawned.. from where/how does it come from?
How do you handle brain chatter and what exercises/techniques would you recommend to shut it off?
 

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Where does " Brain chatter " Come from? Literaly from nowhere. It just "spawns" Into existance by the mechanism of "no mechanism".

You can become conscious of this by sitting and looking for the "source" of thoughts just as they appear. May take a while and couple of tries. 

Some really helpful Leo vids would be "Mindfulness meditation" , to discover the true nature of thoughts, and "what is actuallity" 

 

11 minutes ago, meow_meow said:

Why does unconscious brain chatter almost immediately stop, at least for a moment, when I become aware of it?

 

For the same reason that when you notice your breathing, you can take more controll of it, like taking a deeper breath, stop breathing, breathe faster, etc. 

It's the same principle as with quantum mechanics: the act of simply obvserving is not "neutral". By observing you are interacting and interfiering with whatever you are trying to measure or test. 

If you start looking at your diet more, you wont be eating the same things as if you didnt decide to look at ur diet. 

If you decide to track how much time you spend looking at your phone because its a concern to you, simply by that you may end up looking less at ur phone, etc etc etc. 
 

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@meow_meow I want to say brain chatter comes from the collective ego-mind and has to do with the conditioning. When you watch thoughts, let them pass by like a dog in the park without following them. Thoughts are energy forms with illusory content. Direct experience is your best friend when it comes down to taming the mind. Try to see, touch, smell, taste, and hear reality around you, not conceptualize it.

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33 minutes ago, meow_meow said:

What causes unconscious brain chatter?

You are doing it. What causes you to do anything?

34 minutes ago, meow_meow said:

Why does unconscious brain chatter almost immediately stop, at least for a moment, when I become aware of it?

Because you realize you've been doing it. This is no different from having a habit of biting your nails. If that's something you don't want to be doing, whenever you'll realize you are doing it you'll stop.

35 minutes ago, meow_meow said:

Who is behind the narrator/the voice that speaks or how is it triggered/spawned.. from where/how does it come from?

It is not "spawned". You just have the habit of doing it. You ask a good question though. Who are you?

37 minutes ago, meow_meow said:

How do you handle brain chatter and what exercises/techniques would you recommend to shut it off?

Fighting it won't get you far. It's just a symptom. If you find out who you are you'll see what you've been doing and why.

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Perhaps it is the accumulated pressure of resisted feelings that causes brain chatter


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There are interesting ideas here, there's probably an overall geometry that can be uncovered!

You'll learn most from self experimentation, one avenue is via thought experiments of various kinds.

Practice visualisation ability for three hours for example where you're devoting as much attention and care as you can to specific, concrete, sequential movements that require you to remember former positions (i.e. a chess game in your mind) and you'll discover the relationship between noisy mental chatter and lack of brain activity in mental rotation. Meaning, as brain activity increases in the areas responsible for mental rotation (inclusive of attentional regions), you'll have less mental chatter.

So ironically mental chatter, especially useless mental chatter is correlated with misuse and underuse of the human brain rather than the brain having "too much activity".

That's my take anyhow.

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20 hours ago, lmfao said:

Perhaps it is the accumulated pressure of resisted feelings that causes brain chatter

Hmm this is a very interesting perspective, this might apply to when it comes down to that chatter where one imagines some previous experience and conversations, and then starts to replay them with different scenarios that could of led to more pleasurable feelings.

20 hours ago, Origins said:

So ironically mental chatter, especially useless mental chatter is correlated with misuse and underuse of the human brain

Bingo!
This really is true, I've noticed that useless brain chatter occurs mostly in my free time, after work, before bed, on weekends etc.
 

20 hours ago, Origins said:

(i.e. a chess game in your mind)

So your suggestion would be to play a full round of chess versus myself in my head, with eyes closed, visualizing the whole process?

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On 10/23/2020 at 6:47 PM, meow_meow said:

What causes unconscious brain chatter?

You calling it unconscious.

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Kind of freaky when you think about it, but you're not the one who's doing it. You're basically the recipient of it. And here comes the big ol' question: "Who am I, then?"

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Brain chatter in the language of thoughts which is a result of your experiences and memories and when you focus on the chatter/thinking then it stops because then thought changes and becomes a perception. 

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You are not controling anything there is basically no you there thats the whole spiritul game

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24 minutes ago, flume said:

You calling it unconscious.

More explanation would be needed on this statement.
IMO I can call it a ball-sack if I wish to, it still wont change its essence.
 

Quote

Brain chatter in the language of thoughts which is a result of your experiences and memories and when you focus on the chatter/thinking then it stops because then thought changes and becomes a perception. 

So when brain chatter is running on auto pilot, and has not yet received attention it's not a perception?

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On 10/23/2020 at 6:47 PM, meow_meow said:

Who is behind the narrator/the voice that speaks or how is it triggered/spawned.. from where/how does it come from?

How do you handle brain chatter and what exercises/techniques would you recommend to shut it off?

Doesn't the above seem problematic to you? It sounds like to you want to shut off someone you don't know. Does it seem to you like this is similar to an acquaintance who would simply live their own life if they didn't talk to you anymore? Do you know what harm you'd cause or perhaps are already causing by doing what looks like it might be violence from a position of ignorance?

I'm not sure I know what you mean by "brain chatter" but I of course do know about internal monologue which intrudes into my awareness. In my case, unprompted internal monologue is typically about judgement or simple (less stressful) perception. Maybe you're talking about something more subtle.

Anyway... a long time ago I figured I would shut it off but I gave up without trying very hard. I thought I was being weak or a coward (it got a bit scary) but now I'm more inclined to think that quitting was the right choice. I figure silence for a short while is harmless (like a break, something that can occur with simple contemplation) but I don't feel like pushing beyond that, except when it gets annoying and then only for a few moments. Maybe I'm just being lazy.

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It's definitely a feedback loop. 

One thing you can do to continuously enrich such a feedback loop is to be always be taking in new experiences and new interpretations (critically examining, playing with the perceptions), ideally, towards some goal that lands you into some less experientially impoverished condition.

What holds open people back is often less open people in their environment, but if you have the right paradigm, you're able to move beyond those "norms", other people are just a part of that loop affecting your loop on what you should be doing that, once you realise that as well, there's a greater sense of agency. 

The more knowledge you have on the loop, the greater sense of agency that will come and self authoring that's possible. Whether someone is enlightened or not is irrelevant, there's always more they can be doing to enhance their consciousness and what dreams get created in said consciousness, from a new staircase that better takes them to the heights of their imagination to a new window for the sun to come in and shine the path up that staircase, walk continuously up the cathedral hall of your feedback loop and do so continuously, and you'll be grateful you never went back down the stairs as you look down on the earth from heights you never dreamed of.

 

[ other than this, most people often have other people in their head, they're known as "introjects", introjects, of which can often become inner critics among other, are never really thought of as malleable but they are relative to the new experiences you take in ]

Edited by Origins

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@meow_meow no where. The idea that something can come from something is just an idea.

Edited by dflores321

" ..." 

-The Buddha

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5 hours ago, meow_meow said:

IMO I can call it a ball-sack if I wish to, it still wont change its essence.

Yes you can jokingly call something a ball-sack and then it will jokingly be called a ball-sack or you can firmly believe something and it will be firmly believed.

 

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Here I come with neuroscience's point of view, I'll try to put it the easiest way i can:

Your brain is usually on a state of free-asociation (connecting ideas with eachother) thus generating a wandering internal dialogue. 

The most active zones are the prefrontal medial cortex, where your amygdala (your mammalian brain that processes emotions) connects with your excecutive brain parts. Thus making you constantly worry while planning.

If you are more intellectual your left brain is more active, this brain-side is in the past and future, and thinks in a logical linear way.
If you are more emotional your right brain is more active, this brain-side is in the present, and thinks in a network-irradiant way.

When you practice meditation you can notice your mind all over the place, because you probably have some randomly-learned brain patterns.

Your neocortex is the external layer of your brain, the most evolved, and its frontal lobe is the one responsible for self-reflection, strategy, problem solving, creativity, empathy, impulse control, and more. 

What's beautiful is that you can train your brain using your focus/attention/concentration.

The more you teach your brain to concentrate, the less it will wander on random brain patterns.
Mastering focus will make you master your brain's capacities and your lesser impulsive brains won't make you their bitch.

So... laser-focus deeply on your breath, or on any sensation, and when the wandering mind gets your attention, notice it, genlty let it go and return to your meditation object.

Let's grow that Neocortex ;)
Much Love ❤

PS: One might argue that brains do not exist, but that's an existential perspective just as this is neuroscience's perspective. To me understanding how the brain works has been as important as understanding self-help and spirituality.

Edited by Oliver Saavedra

Connect to Create ☼♡

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On 23/10/2020 at 5:47 PM, meow_meow said:

What causes unconscious brain chatter?

My own pet theory is that it's to do with reading.

When we're children we don't have brain chatter. Instead, we just talk out loud in an uninhibited way. Our parents hear us and respond to us.

Then we learn to read and we are progressively encouraged to read to "ourselves" as we get older. We are also discouraged from just blurting out everything that comes to mind. So our external dialogue slowly gets turned into hallucinatory internal monologue.

The problem with internal monologue is that we never get a response to it - so there's never any natural resolution. We go to therapy so that we can externalise our dialogue again and get some resolution.


Consiousness is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.

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9 hours ago, Oliver Saavedra said:

your lesser impulsive brains won't make you their bitch.

Beautiful, this is exactly how it sometimes can feel like, especially when the mind goes ultra crazy and mega amounts of random chatter/thoughts start racing. Usually during the night. What would you suggest for further reading on this topic? Books/articles/etc

15 hours ago, commie said:

Doesn't the above seem problematic to you? It sounds like to you want to shut off someone you don't know. Does it seem to you like this is similar to an acquaintance who would simply live their own life if they didn't talk to you anymore? Do you know what harm you'd cause or perhaps are already causing by doing what looks like it might be violence from a position of ignorance?

No, I can't really see any harm in shutting down internal monologue, except that maybe it wouldn't be there rationalizing everything out loud. Could you explain what harm could it cause?
 

15 hours ago, Origins said:

It's definitely a feedback loop. 

By a feedback loop, do you mean that the internal monologue is giving itself feedback from what is being/has been experienced?

 

15 hours ago, Origins said:

other than this, most people often have other people in their head

Yes!!! Damn, I thought I was going crazy because I really do have a voice of a friend of mine, in my head, that very often acts as a critic of my own actions.

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Subvocalizing is a trained habit learned as children. For many people it is on autopilot and out of there control. They also mistake subvocalizing for thinking. This is not the case. The subconscious mind is doing all the work, when pure thoughts emerge and reveal themselves to the conscious mind they are then converted into language. Converting raw thoughts into language is slow and unnecessary. Better is to work with the raw data as is, or converted it into imagry/stories. 
 

The chess master calculates 15 - 20 moves into the future in silence. The musical plays an entire piece in silence, they are not babbling in there head. Both are using there mind to its fullest and "thinking" with out language. 

The same can be done with reading and writing. But thats a brutal habbit to break. 

Retraining the mind to work with raw thoughts significantly increase performance. Its how the brain is designed to be used. 

Edited by integral

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