In Cotard's Delusion, say some experts, the inner voice gets switched
off. The little stream of subvocal speech that keeps talking to you as
you do things. The one that says, I don't know why I am doing this,
It's the inner consciousness that maintains the illusion that there's
someone at home. If a stroke or a tumor inhibits whichever part of the
brain controls this, then only the transient thought saying, this is
what I am doing, exists. There is no background commentary. The
coupling between thought and feeling about the thought is lost. In a
sense, cogito ergo sum is lost. Instead, it becomes I do not
think, therefore I am not. The clinical syndrome manifests as a
person who believes he is actually dead. That inner voice seems to
control the sense of feeling and reality as a person.
Now to change tack slightly, the whole
point of writing--a novel, a poem, a letter--is to take charge of the
voice in someone else's head for a short period of time.
This is what I'm doing now. My words are
taking possession of the language circuits of your brain and I am
transiently your inner voice. In a way, that means I have become
you, or you me, for a few minutes. The action of reading my words
blurs the boundaries of reality. Writing is primitive virtual reality.