Sunday, September 2, 2007

Being Understood

Ponder this from Waking Life:

"When it gets really interesting, I think, is when we use our system of symbols to communicate all the abstract and intangible things that we're experiencing. Like, what is frustration, or what is anger, or love? When I say love, the sound comes out of my mouth goes in their ear, through their memories of love, or lack of love, and they register what I'm saying and say 'yes, they understand,' but how do i know they understand? Because words are inert, they're just symbols. They're dead. And so much of our experience is intangible, so much of what we perceive cannot be conceived. It's unspeakable. And yet when we communicate with one another and we feel that we have connected and we think that were understood, I think we have a feeling of almost spiritual communion and that feeling might be transient, but I think its what we live for."

If you think this is interesting, watch the video clip. It's under two minutes. It's not very time consuming.

I think it's crazy how much power and feeling can come behind such a simple, yet loaded, word like love, anger, or frustration. On the screen, they look very simple, but we all have such unforgettable, negative and positive memories and attachments to the words. Such strong emotion and feeling can be evoked just by saying a simple one-syllable word like "love." Someone could be moved to tears or smiles just by a single word. Now that's power.

Don't we all just want to be understood in some way, in one form or another? It's one word, or many words, that we want to have that connection with someone, that the word can be said and someone else will know and feel the same as we do about it, be it love, acceptance, loss, death, etc. We don't want to feel alienated and alone, that the word could repress our feelings or bring us so much intense sorrowful emotion that it couldn't just be you that's feeling the horrid, creeping feeling beneath your skin and through your nerves? Don't we all want that connection?

But how do we know that someone else knows? How can we get such deep and true understanding?

I think that everyone has at least one person who really and truly gets them on a spiritual level--and I don't mean anything hard-core religious. I mean spiritual in the sense of two people truly understanding each other's souls, their thoughts, understanding their motivations and actions even before they do them. It's knowing without hearing it, knowing just by looking at the person and seeing their reaction to something. It's hearing them say one thing and know that they are saying something else with it too, something that you can silently hear inside your brain. I think we all have this with someone whether we realize it or not. We might have it with one person, two, three, maybe more. I think it can be rare, and rare is ultimately special, for this is truly a special connection. Does anyone know what I'm talking about, or can anyone else describe it? Who is yours with?

I think this longing, desperation, sadness, and depression can occur when we lose someone like this. I think we long for it when it's absenst or when it's stripped away from us. To have it is purely God-given and lucky. We all should be thankful for the special people like this in our own lives. I know I would fall to depression if I lost my "soul mates," for a lack of a better term. They're not all my long-lost romantic loves. They know my soul, and I know theirs.

Have I gone truly crazy yet? Let me know.

I know for sure that I have two people in my life who are categorized here, and I love them more deeply than I love myself. They know who they are.

Anyway, I hoped that I made the words move off the screem, that they weren't just symbols and images in front of you, that maybe I put some feeling into small words that evoked an emotion out of you.

What do you think about my rant, or especially about the beginning quotation?


Paul said...

a couple of years ago i went to a place named "planting fields arboretum" with a friend. It's a beautiful place with various types of plants and gardens to wander around and get lost in. For some reason, when we got out of the car we didnt say anything to eachother. We continued to meander deep into the arboretum in silence. Although no words were spoken, some how we communicated an agreement to refrain from speaking. We hung out in the arboretum the entire afternoon without saying a single word. To this day i can only remember several times in my life when i have been so deeply understood and understood so deeply. - mike

Jami said...

I've only had a handful of those kinds of experiences happen to me too, but when they happen it's just so special. It's a completely different experience that you wouldn't know unless you felt it yourself. Sometimes I long for it if I think about it, but I don't want to get too selfish and pray for it because then it will never come. I think it's incredible that we can have that connection with various people, not just one person. I hope to meet more of those kinds of souls later in my life...