General Semantics Advanced Thinking
A System-Discipline Concerned with the Sanity of the Race & the Individual

by Milton Dawes

To view the handout in PDF format (revised April 2012), please click here.

Do you hear voices? Which ones do you listen to?

I hear voices: Outer voices, inner voices, loving voices, hateful ones.

Noisy voices, quieter ones, annoying voices, soothing ones.

Some persistent, some insistent. Voices urging “Go, go, go”. Cautious ones ask

“What’s the rush?” Voices saying “Hurry up” … Others saying “Wait awhile.”

Voices saying “No use trying. Let it go.” Others saying “No, no, no

Just keep going. You never know. Let’s try and see”

Do you hear voices? Do you? Which ones do you listen to? I hear voices.

Voices saying “It must be so–It’s in the news”

Self-reflecting inquiring ones ask “How do you know?”

Wiser ones ask, “Are you sure–There’s really nothing more to this?”

I hear voices…angry voices, calming ones … voices in harmony… dissonant ones.

Those that only criticize, others offering their support. Voices saying

“It just might work”; others saying “Come on now It can’t be done.”

I do not listen to all of them. Which ones do you listen to?

I hear voices … ‘Voices speaking’ from the past, others from the now and here.

Voices saying, “We speak Truth.” Others saying “God speaks through us.”

Which voices do you listen to? How do you decide?

Do you know which values, standards, religions, philosophies…

Guide those other points of viewing? And the ones that Guide your listening?

Do you commune with your own voices?

Do you let other voices drown out your own?

When you hear “It’s because: As a matter of fact: The truth of the matter:”

Things like that–And with courage you do talk back–What do you say?

Which disciplines, which logic, which world view guide your responses?

From the voices of others and those of our own we can learn a great deal

With lots to unlearn.

And when the voices of authority and the voices of experts loudly proclaim

“We know what’s good: We know what’s best: We know the Right thing to do” It’s worth our while to remember this:

“Words we hear and words we read Cannot be-And do not re-present– Everything that’s going on.”

Do you sometimes listen to the sound of silence?

You might try that sometimes and see what you ‘hear’.

Do you let other voices spoil your day? Is self-harassment a game you play?

Who wins when your own voice wreck your day?

Do you hear your own voice among all the chatter?

If you let other voices spoil your day–you can use your own voice.

You can make your own day.

After all, you do have a say.

Among all the chatter it’s up to you: It’s up to me

We each can decide which voices will matter.

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