Here is yet another entry that involves a dream. The other night, I dreamt that I was having a discussion with an acquaintance of mine. We were disagreeing about a certain point, when she made an argument that surprised me. I granted her point and marveled at her insight. Then, I woke up, still admiring her particular take on the issue when it dawned on me that my own mind had supplied her argument, as well.
The dream was not a mental replaying of a real discussion. We never discussed the topic before. My mind proposed an argument that seemed fitting to her—one that I would not come up with on my own. Yet, I did so, in a sense.
I suppose that I have experienced enough of this woman’s approach to life that I know the peculiar logos of her mind and that such a perspective has now become one of the many voices in my soul. It is commonplace to acknowledge the value of exposure to different view points, but I think that more occurs psychologically in dialogue than simply encountering various sets of opinions and values. In my dream, I was not aware of the sort of thing that my acquaintance would say merely as a matter of fact. Rather, the force of her argument—and of her quite different understanding of the world—impressed me and converted me in my opinion. This appears to show that I do not simply have a casual understanding of her disparate values but that, through dialogue with her, I have absorbed her world view as an integral whole without having assimilated it into my own. It is very strange.
Deliberation often seems like an argument amongst the many voices of the soul. Following various models of the soul, we might describe this internal discussion as one between various appetites or priorities, as a struggle between the rational and the emotive, or as a dispute between our better and worse selves. Perhaps, it is a discussion between the various logical systems that we have encountered in our life, as well. If so, we are, in a certain way, not simply our experiences but the collection of minds with whom we have entered into dialogue, whether textually or verbally. Education and philosophical maturity, then, involve the judging, ordering, and assimilating of these minds.
It occurs to me now that Frank Herbert’s portrayal of Alia’s particular burden of “abomination” in Dune may be a metaphor for this process. Earlier in the week, I wrote about Shai-hulud and now I am writing about Alia. I suppose that Herbert’s own fictional universe that I read several years ago has become one of my many minds that offers its imagery and understanding when I muse.