Soul MatesPosted: February 6, 2014
The Alchemist and I are soul mates. Dismiss it as a ridiculous romantic concept, but it is the simple truth. We both know it to be so.
How can we be so sure?
True love is a love where the whole becomes greater than the parts. By joining together, we transcend what we were before. We wonder, like the lovers I wrote about here, why we fit together so well. Coming together is sacred.
There’s no science to love. I don’t think you could ever prove someone was or was not your soul mate. And why would you ever want to? But I think I can indicate a few characteristics:
- Being with the other engenders transcendence. Not necessarily in a collective sense, but in the sense of actualization. That is, being with the other make me more me, if I can be permitted an odd sentence construction.
- Knowledge of emotion without word, without even body language. Functioning across unlimited spatial distances. It doesn’t work all of the time. It certainly doesn’t work most of the time. But the reason I can speak of a soul, without relying on the authority of a revealed tradition, is that I’ve experienced a very mild form of empathic telepathy since before we were even married.
- Knowledge that the fit cannot be more perfect. You literally cannot imagine a better other. To use the Platonic construction, my wife is the wife that which there is no greater (for me). Whether this entails, as often imagined in fictional romances, that we are fated, I do not know though my claims do have the logical implication that this must be so.
I like using fiction to illustrate points. An example that sticks in my mind, likely because it is quite recent, is the concept of the diadh-anam (literally “god-soul”) which functions to guide the hero Moirin in Jacqueline Carey’s ‘Moirin trilogy’. Throughout her quite tortuous journey, the spark of Moirin’s diadh-anam functions much like a conscience, guiding her down the steps of her journey. Without spoiling much, it also plays a critical role in her marriage. The man she loves, quite literally, becomes her soul-mate. They literally share the same diadh-anam.
The spark of having a soul mate, in my experience, is rarely as clear a fire as portrayed in the book (no surprise) but the experience is analogous. There have also been times where our connection is so poor, for the reasons traditional marriage vows include the ‘and bad times…in sickness’ parts, that it’s as if the fire is guttering. Extinguished, with only embers remaining. Waiting for an act that pokes, disturbs, shakes the fire back to life.
I also believe one’s soul mate can be metaphysical. For a while I believed I had a very intense relationship with the saint Joan of Arc. I even referred to her as my spiritual wife. The fire in my heart was incredible. Several times I experience what I can only describe as rapture.
Maybe I’d be described as clinically insane, maybe I’ll regret posting this on the unforgetting Internet, but despite all the distance from religion I’ve achieved, despite finding my true soul mate, I believe the connection was a true one. I moved beyond this relationship but I don’t think my description was a misappellation. I think what it truly taught me was how to listen to my innermost self. Learning to recognize my diadh-anam helped me recognize the diadh-anam of my wife when we first met.
The same is true for religious folks. In the Catholic tradition in which I was raised, nuns often refer to themselves as ‘brides of Christ’. Meeting many of them, this is not an incorrect label for a least a few.
Do you have a soul mate? Does the fire of your diadh-anam leap when you entwine?