This intriguing and romantic New Age belief has its philosophical roots in our old friend Plato. On a psychological level, soul mates reuniting is akin to Dr. Jung's collective unconscious and theory of the anima and animus.
Who has not wished that their mate be their true soul partner? Who has not, gazing up at the starry night, held out hope that their “other half” is out there somewhere, gazing up at the same heavens and dreaming of them? It is a deeply romantic notion to believe that you and your beloved were brought together by a divine plan, that destiny has deemed you to become One once again.
Plato's theory is a mythic story that says that many, many moons ago, the human species was made up of androgynous creatures, meaning they embodied both male and female sexuality. The gods split these creatures into two parts, creating male and female humans. The belief is that each one of us, on a deeply subconscious level, knows that something is missing within ourselves, and we seek wholeness.
German Idealist Schopenhauer said that polarity, or the sundering of a force into equal and opposite halves, is a fundamental type of all the phenomena of Nature, from the “crystal and the magnet to man himself.”
Many theories on the soul mate differ from Plato's. Purists and romantics at heart agree with Plato that the true soul mate is your other half, also called a “split-apart” or “twin soul” or “twin flame.”
The Quest for Soul Mates
Contemporary interest in the soul mate, or soulmate as it is also spelled, is found throughout the Internet and in the New Age and/or relationship section of your local bookstore. A search on Amazon.com results in more than sixty books with the words soul mates in the title. These books suggest that you can find your Twin Flame everywhere from the workplace to the Internet.
A small sampling of the lengthy list includes
Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Lover: 101 True Stories of SoulMates Brought Together by Divine Intervention Edgar Cayce on Soul Mates: Unlocking the Dynamics of SoulAttraction Soulmates: Following Inner Guidance to the Relationship of YourDreams Caution Soul Mate Ahead!: Spiritual Love in the Physical World 21 Ways to Attract Your Soulmate Soul-Mates: How to Find Them and Keep Them Soul Mates: Understanding Relationships Across Time Friends, Lovers and Soul Mates: A Guide to Better RelationshipsBetween Black Men and Women Love Lost and Found: True Stories of Long-Lost Loves — Reunitedat Last Soul Dating to Soul Mating: On the Path Toward SpiritualPartnership, How to Find Mr. or Ms. Right: A Practical Guideto Finding a Soul Mate The Ascended Masters on Soul Mates and Twin Flames I and II:Initiation by the Great White Brotherhood Internet Soul Mates
As you can see, the quest for soul mates is a big business. Counselors offer to help people find their soul mates, New Age Dolly Levis (the matchmaking diva of
Lest the alternative lifestyle community feels left out, books and services and Web sites claim that they can help you find your gay or lesbian soul mate. People also purport that they can help you find your soul mate of color, or your rich soul mate. Because the soul is an ethereal element that transcends race and socioeconomic class, one wonders if these people are not guilty of New Age sophistry.
Though regarded as a kooky New Age notion by many in the Western world, reincarnation is a spiritual tenet of Hinduism and Buddhism. Although your friends may laugh if you say you've lived before, more people on the planet believe in reincarnation than do not.
The psychologically inclined say that your soul mate is closer than you think. Those who endorse the Jungian theory of the anima (inner woman) and animus (inner man) that dwells within the psyche of every man and woman suggest that this is your true soul mate. And you had better have a good relationship with them, otherwise all sorts of psychological dysfunction may occur.
Many people claim to have found their soul mate, often using the phrase in a most convenient and cavalier fashion. It is interesting to note that more than one middle-aged New Age guru has found his soul mate on the beaches of southern California. Their soul mate was not their first wife who stood by them during their salad days and is the mother of their grown children. The woman they publicly pronounce to be their soul mate, the Twin Flame that traveled with them from the lost continent of Atlantis through Egypt and Shakespeare's London, as passengers on the Titanic with Leo and Kate, right up to this lifetime, is usually a woman who auditioned for the cast of
The Down Side
In this age where people are finding it hard to connect and forge lasting relationships, the idea of the soul mate has its negative aspects. This cosmic quest can prevent people from being happy with the person they are with and from finding joy in the little things — the normal, nonmystical, and humdrum yet beautiful things that couples must do to make a relationship work.
For the single men and women out there, the idea of a soul mate can make men more commitment shy and the women more finicky than they already are. Why settle for the dork who leaves the toilet seat up or the woman who snorts when she laughs, when the buff and perfect knight in shining armor or the princess bride is out there waiting for you?
The belief in and search for a soul mate can create unrealistic expectations of what true love and romance are all about. Your soul mate is not likely to be the Cleopatra; the Queen of Sheba; a bodice-ripping, swashbuckling pirate; or a brooding Byronic poet of the Romantic era. Your soul mate may be the guy or gal in the next cubicle or in line at the supermarket. It could even be a person you meet in an online chat room (but talk to them on the phone before you make plans for the house with the picket fence!).