Thursday, September 21, 2006

Intellect & Emotion

Last night I had a really interesting dream. Two friends who had been living together for a long time were breaking up. One woman followed the other out on the front lawn, yelling at her. She was completely consumed with her upset. At one point she threw something (a  glass something) at the little orange VW bug that apparently belonged to the other woman. The other woman was calm and sad. She was quiet, resolute. She had packed her things and loaded them in the car and was about to drive away from the apartment they'd shared for a long time.

In my dream, I stood at the back of the car (having just helped to load it, I guess), looking on with love and compassion. These women were both apparently my good friends from college. In my dream, I understood that even though there were many hurt feelings right now, we would all remain friends. I wasn't worried. I was even a little amused, because I knew the end of the story.

As I wrote in my journal and reflected on the dream (common theory being that all characters in our dreams are really parts of us), I asked myself where I was the woman heaving the glass vase at the other woman's car. And who was that other woman, calm, sad, quiet, but not operating from emotion?

She was my rational side, my intellect.

I think it's part of the human condition to be living out many influences at the same time. We are pushed and pulled between desire and will; between hope and doubt; between feelings and thoughts. We can intellectualize our experiences, but processing them requires opening to, being honest with, and giving our feelings a voice. And then after they've thrown glass vases at our reasoning, we need to give our intellect a chance to make meaning of the experience--what just happened? What does it mean? How does it enrich and expand the story my life is creating with itself?

I think the part of me standing behind the car (by the engine, in a VW bug, btw), smiling and knowing everything was okay, was my spirit. In spirit there was no argument--there's no division--there's no struggle or shouting on the lawn. The spirit has a vision I can only glimpse fleetingly, in harmonious moments.

And, of course, in my dreams. :)

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