it seems that a major concern for the majority of human beings on this planet is the seeming necessity for a mate/partner. my question has to do with other planes of existence, such as the astral world. is there a drive to find one’s "soulmate" in the higher realms, or is it just a quality of being in a physical body that creates that strong desire?
The entire “plot” of creation is the soul seeking to be re-united with God. Every longing that we have is, on its deepest level, the desire for God. Although, for many people, this deep motivation is so well hidden they are not aware of it at all!
As St. Augustine put it, “Thou hast made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”
That doesn’t mean, however, that our desire for a mate is misguided. Understanding comes gradually, through experience. The desire for human love is God-inspired. In learning how to love one another, we gradually perfect our ability to love. And, as the Ananda wedding vow puts it, “May our love grow ever deeper, purer, more expansive, until, in our perfected love, we find the perfect love of God.”
Master tells us that in the astral world, we meet friends and relatives from many incarnations. In this way, he explains, we learn to expand from particular attachments to loving everyone.
Still, he said, we live in astral families, and invite compatible souls into our families to be our astral children, so a certain particularity of relationships continues.
But the physical, sexual drive is not present in the astral world, which allows us to be more expansive and less exclusive in our relationships. The sex drive for most people on this plane of existence is a huge motivating factor in the search for a mate. Sex is dependent on a body, and therefore inherently self-limiting.
Even on the physical plane, sexual desire must gradually be replaced by a higher kind of union, if human love is to become "the perfect love of God." The longing for perfect love is what drives us to God realization and persists until that realization is ours.
Swamiji tells us that in one place in Master’s writings, he refers briefly to the concept of “soulmates.” The way Master speaks of it, however, has nothing to do with romance or sexuality. It is entirely a divine connection. Master said that before we attain God-realization, we must re-unite with our soulmate, our divine other half created at the moment we were created. Very intriguing, but only hinted at by Master; never fully explained.
He didn’t speak of soulmates any other time, Swamiji said, because Master knew if he did, people would have stopped seeking God and started looking for their “soulmate” on every street corner! And for almost everyone, what they think of as a “soulmate” would be far from the unique, divine connection Master was speaking about.
In speaking of human, romantic relationships, Master did make a distinction, however, between what he called a “soul connection,” and the union of “a bow tie and a nice shade of lipstick.” He knew, of course, that human love can be an important stage on the path to God.
“Human love, perfectly expressed,” he said, “is almost the same as Divine Love.”
So I guess the answer to your question, “Does the desire for a soulmate exist on other planes?” is “Yes, it does.” But as we advance spiritually, we understand that all relationships are God seeking God. The way we relate to others takes on a refined and impersonal quality difficult to imagine from the material plane where we now live.