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Ancient soul mate theory has found its way into mainstream thought, our love stories and as a result, into our psyches and the way millions of people view soul mate love.
When I introduced soul mate information in ‘Soul mate defined’, I mention that soul mates can support our purpose in life, and have the potential to turbo-charge our unique gifts.
What ancient soul mate theories talk about, however, is that we need a soul mate in order to become whole.
Oh boy do I have an issue with this! Though the following soul mate theories may have started out thousands of years ago to explain the human condition of yearning for love, following them too literally, I believe, can actually prevent you from finding your true soul mate.
To prevent this from happening, soul mate theory is worth understanding.
So! In this section, we'll:
I thank and credit Kevin J. Todeschi, author of Edgar Cayce on Soul Mates for meticulously compiling the research from which I summarize the various theories. I couldn't have done it better. Opinions are my own.
The legend of the Egyptian Gods Osiris and Isis dates back 5,000 years. They're definitely soul mates. Myth takes it deeper.
Essentially, these two began their connection in the womb, where they are born as twins. They're also very much in love. Later in life, Osiris is kidnapped and killed by his jealous brother, Set.
In grief, Isis merges with Oriris' spirit, and they conceive a god-like child, Horus. Angered, Set has his brother's body cut up into fourteen pieces. In response, Isis shows her eternal love by gathering the pieces of her husband's body, until he eventually comes back to life.
This one has some interesting elements. It talks about the origin of connection (what I call soul family — in this case, also a literal family) and how eternal love transcends death, something that feels right to me.
A limitation is that it doesn't leave room for healing grief, or finding similar connections with others. Yes: I do believe that we have more than one soul mate!
Another theory on soul mates is presented by comic playwright Aristophanes in Plato's Symposium.
The Symposium is a philosophical text by Greek Philosopher Plato dated c. 385–380 BC. It examines love in a series of speeches by men attending a symposium or drinking party (a boy's night out!).
Well, these boys were deep thinkers. The play concerns itself at one level with the genesis, purpose and nature of love (the soul mate theory) and, at another, with the nature of knowledge: How do we know what we know?
In this soul mate myth, there were three different kinds of human creatures: men, woman and individuals with both sexes. humans originally each had four arms, four legs, two faces, four ears and two sets of genitalia. Got the visual?
Apparently, we humans became arrogant and began to question whether we might take the place of the gods. The gods, of course, were horrified. Finally, after some debate, Zeus split them (us) in half, rendering them (us) less powerful and condemning us to spend our lives yearning for the other half to complete us. Nice guy!
To provide comfort, Zeus allowed us to have sexual intercourse with another half. The creatures who had been only male, sought out another male. The females, sought out a female. The creatures with both sexes, sought out the opposite sex half.
I think it's great that this soul mate theory encompasses homosexuality (I do believe that love is love). But! These are old ideas, based on fear.
Perhaps we can forgive ancient writers with ancient ideas (probably quite modern for their time) but 2,300 years later, it's time to wise up! I mean, really. Some of us think that our parents have outdated ideas. Why do we listen to two thousand year old dead men, instead of ourselves?
Religious texts provide rich, and suprisingly similar soul mate information. Like the above, these soul mate theories have planted the idea that human beings can only find wholeness through love, relationship, or marriage. They also acknowledge that the soul is androgynous.
In Judeo-Christian soul mate theory, God fashions an adrogynous creature containing both sexes (in his own image), which comprises the essence of spirit. God then decides to give this spirit a ‘living soul’ and creates Adam, and then his female ‘half’ Eve out of his rib.
As in Plato's soul mate theory, the New Testament says that humans were was once whole, but were then divided to create its mate. Jesus reminds the Pharisees that God had originally made them:
“male and female... for this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they twain shall be one flesh... no more twain, but one flesh.” – Matthew 19:4-6
The Midrash soul mate theory states that God originally created Adam ‘two-faced’ before deciding to cut him in half into the male and female. Elsewhere, it is suggested that Adam was originally androgynous, containing both sexes in one.
In Hinduism soul mate theory, the universal soul becomes conscious of itself, desire companionship, and therefore brings forth from its own Being the male and the female.
“He then made his Self fall in two, and thence arose husband and wife...” – Robert O. Ballou, The Portable World Bible
My intention isn't to get into a religious discussion here, but you can easily see: these ideas about love and relationship go culturally deep. No wonder many of us feel as if we're missing a piece of ourselves. We've been conditioned for thousands of years to believe it!
But guess what? Tending to this belief only does one thing: it keeps you from finding your own power. And, it keeps you from finding your soul mate.
Throughout history, humanity's search for wholeness has been depicted in soul mate theory, plus deepened through myth, fairy tale, legend and the ‘romantic ideas’ of our time.
It is the story of the prince's search for the woman who wears the glass slipper in Cinderella. It's the perfect kiss that brings Sleeping Beauty to life.
It's Cupid's arrow. It's Beauty's love that causes the Beast to be transformed. It is the legends of frog princes and the need for Romeos to be with Juliets.
How does the ‘other half’ theory show up in real life? You can probably guess...
Kevin J. Todeschi, author of Edgar Cayce on Soul Mates, recalls when he first contemplated the subject, when a friend divorced her husband to be with her soul mate. She said that she didn't feel complete with her husband and that for years, it was as if a piece of herself was missing.
Unfortunately, this ‘other half’ relationship ended within six months.
We've all witnessed (or experienced!) versions of the same story. In my view, the critical insight here is that if this woman didn't feel whole with her husband, there's no way she'd find wholeness (long-term) with anyone else, either. A gut-wrenching realization to be sure. Not to mention scary.
When life whacks us with a two-by-four, sending us to our knees, I often wonder: perhaps, our soul is crying out. In this case, perhaps this woman was being guided to find wholeness within herself.
Not an easy lesson, to be sure. But one that if learned, promises infinite, rich and unshakable reward.
Afer the previous story, you may be wondering: so do soul mates exist? Or don't they?
I say again: I am one of the soul mate believers. I love learning all about soul mates and reincarnation and am here to share the best soul mate info I've found.
I genuinely, from the bottom of my heart want you to find soul mate love if that's what you want, too. But not because I think you're half a person without one!
Look at how we romanticize the soul mate theory concept! Remember that ‘You complete me’ quote from the movie Jerry McGuire? Now you can see clearly: it has its roots in soul mate theory. An idea that has been around for thousands of years, and one which lies deep within our collective psyches.
It's a luvy-teary scene, that Jerry McGuire speech. What person hasn't wished someone would say something like that to us, with such vulnerability? It's normal to want that kind of intimacy. It's special when it happens.
But what's dangerous to be too literal about this becaus let me tell you: no one can complete you. I'd also add... if you meet someone who wants to complete you, my love advice is: Run!
However, don't give up hope! Keep searching. Keep learning. Give the nod to the ideas that make you bigger.
Throw away everything else.
Build your own empowering soul mate theory.
Soul mate defined – Definitions, ideas (and more) which may surprise you!
Soul mate quotes – How do others define soul mate? Sometimes, big ideas can be conveyed in few words!
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