Do Soulmates Exist?
I’ve been thinking lately about whether or not there really is such a thing as two people being “soulmates.”
I know, you’ll probably say that means I have too much free time. I really don’t. Nor am I wondering if someone in particular is my soulmate, though Michael Cera and Penn Badgley have an open invitation to call me. 🙂
Part of the problem is defining what a soulmate is. Is it just someone with whom you feel a strong connection? Someone you love, and who loves you? That makes “soulmate” a metaphor for a strong, loving relationship. That’s fine, but I don’t think it’s what we mean when we ask if someone is our soulmate. We’re asking something deeper.
But what are we asking, then?
Well, depending on the religious tradition you follow, you might believe that you are a soul manifesting itself through your body. Buddhists believe that the self is an illusion, but (though I’m not an expert) it seems to me that they mean the self we see in this world. And the soul is not something we see in this world. We only see its effects.
I’m a Catholic, so I know my church teaches (Catechism 364-366) that the soul is the “form” of the body, that it is created by God, and that it survives the death of the body.
If the soul is just the form of the body, it doesn’t sound like there can be soulmates in a spiritual sense. However, the idea of a “form” doesn’t mean just the physical form: it means the animating force that makes a body alive and conscious. And a force normally has a matching opposite.
When people ask if there are soulmates, they’re asking if each soul has a “matching opposite,” another person whom she is somehow meant to be with: a person whom God created just for you, and for whom God created you. It’s another person who perfectly complements and fulfills you.
A lot of “new age” people say that there are soulmates. I’m sure that they mean well but I’m not sure how much they actually know. They seem to pick little bits of religion and philosophy from all over, then put them all together to tell a story that makes people feel good. That doesn’t make them wrong, but it doesn’t make them right, either.
So are there soulmates? Sometimes I kind of feel that there are, but I really don’t know.
I guess that the safest thing is just to try treating everyone with love, and hope that if your soulmate shows up someday, you won’t be busy taking a test. 🙂
Copyright 2010 by Rinth de Shadley.