Those of you who keep up with my past blogs on this website will know that I had a lot of fun writing a novel called Through Many Lives.
This little self-published novel continues to surprise me by selling very well. Thanks so much to all of you who have bought a copy.
One of the primary themes of the novel has to do with the main character, Thomas’s search through many past and future eras or yugas, for a person he considers to be his “true soul mate.”
My little work of fun fiction (though based on deep spiritual truths) was not an appropriate place to go into a long discussion about the fascinating subject of soul mates. Nevertheless, I think that this topic might be worth looking at in a bit more depth in this blog.
During my years of spiritual counseling and through teaching classes with themes like, “Spiritualizing Your Relationships,” I have found that there continues to be huge amount confusion around the idea of finding one’s soul mate: Is there such a thing? Should I try to find mine?
Here is what Swami Kriyananda has to say about the subject. This material is taken from the recording of talk he gave on August 8, 1984 called “Male and Female Principles of the Universe.” This recording will soon be available at www.treasuresalongthepath.org.
Men and women are attracted to each other in order to develop within themselves that which they lack, in order to become full.
We are all souls which essentially have no sex at all. But when the soul is first manifested, it is manifested in ‘dual,’ just as everything else in creation is manifested in duality.
So every soul will have its own counterpart or ‘twin soul.’ One of the halves of the twin soul would manifest the masculine side and one, the feminine side…. A part of the goal of all life is eventually to unite these two parts of our own duality.
The subject of soul mates is something that Paramhansa Yogananda didn’t touch on much, ‘Because,’ he said, ‘people end up thinking that every time they see anybody on a street corner that they like, it’s got to be their soul mate, and every pleasant conversation in a bar-room is with their soul mate.’ (Audience laughs)
Yogananda said that, in fact, your soul mate need not at all even be of the opposite sex in this present incarnation. He or she may not be somebody that you even like! There is something on a deeper level that only when you are on that level, are you able to meet and benefit from a tie or union with the other half of your ‘twin soul.’ Otherwise, on an outward level, there can be many misunderstandings and all sorts of difficulties.”
Your soul mate could even be on another planet. But what happens is that eventually, even if it happens in a vision, you would unite with that soul mate and this positive and negative ‘canceling out’ would result finally in samadhi or uniting yourself with all creation; then you will merge back into the Infinite.
Your soul mate is something that, quite clearly, you do not need to look for. Look for God and whatever is to come to you will come. But until that perfect moment comes, [searching for him or her] may not be beneficial for you at all.
Whether your soul mate is on another planet, or living somewhere in New Guinea, or in the same room with you–it really doesn’t matter. Your soul mate could be your own mother, brother, sister, or a friend–it could be anybody! You don’t need to give it a great deal of thought, because God is your real soul mate anyway, and if you “…seek the kingdom of God first, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Still, the principle is certainly true, that there is something within us that longs for a kind of union, which finally is satisfied only in union with God. The longing for union is what creates one’s seeming need for marriage and also the need for friends, associates, partners, and every other kind of human relationship.”
Savitri comments: I’ve often laughingly called what Swamiji is mentioning above: “That ever-present urge to merge.”
Can you accept the idea that you may not be meeting your soul mate in this lifetime? Can you be content and have a happy life anyway? Absolutely, IF you seek the kingdom of God first, that “inner kingdom,” which is best revealed through prayer and meditation. It always comes back to that, doesn’t it?
On a personal note, my husband, Sudarshan and I recently celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary. We met at Ananda Village; and before we were married we discussed at length this idea of soul mates. It was then that he presented me with the interesting possibility that I wasn’t his! This was based on a reading from a psychic that he had seen several years before we met–a person we both trusted. She had said to him: “You have a soul mate, but you won’t meet her in this lifetime. She is lives India.”
Wow! This was startling news, indeed! I could have been insulted or felt sad (or even jealous) upon hearing Sudarshan tell me this. But for many reasons, I didn’t, and I still don’t. We’ve had a tremendously inspiring life together as fellow disciples on this path. I can truthfully say that throughout our marriage, we’ve helped each other to grow spiritually, soul mates or not.
Finally, Paramhansa Yogananda offers compassionate and practical teachings about the very human “urge to merge.” His “Affirmation for Selecting a Life Companion,” includes interesting instructions to go along with it.
“Heavenly Father, bless me that I choose my life companion according to Thy law of perfect soul union.”
He says: “This affirmation is best practiced just after meditation. Say it loudly a few times, then more softly, then whispering, then mentally, then subconsciously, and finally superconsciously. Work with this affirmation for at least six months, with deep faith. If you have established a real attunement with God through meditation and continuous affirmation of this prayer request, you will find a suitable companion; or, if you have been drawn toward one who is fundamentally inharmonious, the Divine Father will bring about circumstances that will prevent your making a wrong choice.”
The italics and underlining are mine, because often people fail to notice this part of the instructions. Remember that it is equally important to be prevented from making a wrong choice as it is to make the right choice.
Seek God first. Place your life in God’s hands and let God help you draw to yourself (or not) your mate, friends, associates, etc. It’s really the best way to go!