Adding a Few Spices
Imagine if you will, Joe Cool, as he walks into a bar and spies a charming lady. What more direct approach could he use than asking (with appropriate emotion and apparently genuine awe), “Weren’t we lovers in a past life? Soulmates from the Time of Kings? Passionately in love as never before and never since?”
Let’s face it; it might work. If Joe Cool can convince the charming lady they were passionate lovers before, who knows where it might lead—if only from the woman’s natural curiosity.
This potentially clever tactic derives from an inherent aspect of reincarnation. It would appear inevitable that an individual soul having multiple lives would eventually meet someone known in another life. Obviously, if you can have multiple lives, it stands to reason anyone else can as well. Over the course of numerous past lives and the inevitable multitude of relationships with others, it is only a matter of time until a soul finds itself with someone whom it has known before. If we include karma in the equation, the probability of meeting that someone again is even greater.
So what happens then?
According to reincarnation (and karma) it depends on the extent of your involvement with the other person in a previous life. If the intensity of your relationship was quite significant, then it is likely that you will have to deal with emotions from this prior life in the current one. The indirect evidence surrounding reincarnation suggests very strongly that individual souls tend to return to earth in subsequent incarnations for the specific purpose of dealing with other souls (but normally in different relationships).
The most striking example of this is that of soulmates.
Anyone already familiar with the concept of a soulmate is probably a bit of a romantic. The idea of a lover from a past life, currently searching the world for you in order to be reunited in unremitting bliss, is the stuff of romance novels and other works designed to appeal to anyone who is currently without that “one true love.” In The Bridge Across Forever, Richard Bach describes the ideal:
“A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fits our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong with us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.”
Unfortunately it might not be quite that wonderful and glorious.
Reincarnation recognizes three kinds of soulmates: Karmic, companion, and twin flames. The three kinds of soulmates allow for a rather impressive range of possibilities when two people are meeting again in this life. And all of them are not that wonderfully expectant. For the romantically inclined, the search for the soulmate who will make the “perfect mate,” may instead be a search for that soul’s twin flame.
Jess Stern, in his book, Soulmates, describes the idea of twin flames in the following way:
“Somebody kind, somebody gentle but not without spirit, beautiful to one another, always the right word, or no word, the touch of a hand or a lip, a smile saying more than a thousand words. All the things you would want of yourself, giving for the joy of giving, with no love not yours, with no thought not your thought. Twin flames have no barriers between them. They have no rules of love. Twin flames are one in spirit and in their spiritual origin. The mind, heart and consciousness of twin flames flow together from the same fount. Their inner ties run as deep as the sea, beyond companionship. The twin flame was not only a mirror of mind and spirit, but of the soul, the secret longings and aspirations, the link not only with the love partner, but with the Universal Intelligence (God).”
Yes, that should do it. I mean, if you’re looking for someone who will fill every conceivable need you might have, surely your twin flame will be able to handle the job. But is it really a necessary ingredient in the larger scheme of things? Is the idea of a twin flame some sort of a romantic idealism with no basis in reality, or is there some basic reason to have it?
Before we attempt to answer this question, let us consider the other two forms of soulmates.
A companion soulmate is in essence a mate of the soul. It refers to a service or task one is destined to perform with someone other than a twin flame—a complementary calling in life, an ideal partnership with similar likes and dislikes. Here we have mates who work well together, are project-oriented, well-mated, often have similar physical features, and who are extremely compatible. The latter aspect derives from the soulmates being at very nearly the same level in the development of their souls.
But the joining of companion soulmates, unlike the twin flames, does not necessarily signify a permanent relationship. In many cases, once a project is completed, there may be no further need for the relationship and the togetherness vanishes. Companion soulmates are not necessarily marriage partners. While it is true that the soulmate condition may have been established by shared physical experiences over a long period, the relationship is often more than just physical attraction. There exists the capacity to help each other at the mental as well as the physical level.
The third form of a soulmate is the karmic soulmate. Here we are dealing with someone to whom we are uneasily drawn in order to learn some hard lessons from prior lives together. It is a time for growth; there is often a great deal of growing pains in loving someone as you yourself would want to be loved. It’s not all strawberries and cream.
Astrologically, the planet Saturn is usually associated with karmic soulmates. Theoretically, Saturn represents our karma, the carryover from our past lives, and the resultant conditions we put on ourselves and others in this life. It represents that portion of ourselves with which we must deal in working with others. As the karmic planet, it supposedly governs our aspects with those we love; for these are the people with whom we have the most karma—the most to work out from the past.
In Stern’s words:
“Saturn is the teacher and the lesson-maker. In identifying soulmates, Saturn was invariably strongly aspected in each lover’s chart, that is, in conjunction (meaning in the same sign) or in opposition. Where the Saturn aspects were strong, soulmates were stimulating as well as demanding, bringing out the best in us. In these romantic relationships we have more incentive to let go of our bad habits and attitudes and allow the other person to be as they are. People marry those they have the most Saturn ties with, then wonder why the relationship is so trying (actually challenging). Where there is this strongly aspected Saturn, to that degree people have problems in a relationship because of the strictures and conditions they put on the other person.”
Clearly there are potentially many areas of karma, and it is likely that some can only be balanced through marriage. Once the karmic debt is resolved, however, does that leave only divorce? It would appear that once a relationship is over, it is over for a reason—everything that could be derived from it has already been derived. In this case it may be more costly to remain together than to separate.
(5/9/5) Another point of view is: http://www.ajna.com/articles/soul_mates_and_twin_flames.php
Soulmates then, in any of the three forms, have considerable latitude in the potential for happiness, longevity, and possible growth. Clearly it is possible to have more than one soulmate, and equally obvious is the fact that soulmates can vary greatly in degree and quality. In effect, you never quite know just what to expect.
A classic example is the story of Liz and Alex. These two charming people had been dating for a year, and while they were both enjoying each other’s company, Liz was becoming a bit more serious than Alex. Much to Liz’s chagrin, the relationship was not taking the inevitable course she might have wanted. Then she heard about soulmates, and immediately sensed this might be the answer to her dilemma. For if she could convince Alex that the two of them had been lovers in a past life, romantic soulmates as it were, this fact just might be enough to move Alex in the direction of a more permanent relationship.
Inspired by the idea, Liz quickly contacted a psychic in whom she knew Alex had some faith, and posed the critical question. The psychic’s reply was everything Liz had sought... and a bit more. “It was true,” the psychic replied, “Both Liz and Alex had had many previous lives together. The most notable one occurred many centuries ago when they were both healers and teachers in an ancient Greek temple.” According to the psychic, the two had met and fallen deeply in love, despite the fact that Alex was already married to another. They had in fact become passionate lovers!
At this point things were looking pretty good for Liz. But then the psychic went on to point out that their beautiful but illicit love affair was eventually discovered by the temple’s hierarchy, and in order to discourage such extracurricular activities, the local priests had Alex -- the female in that lifetime -- beheaded!
Oops! Apparently Liz and Alex’s current mutual attraction may have been less the result of two reunited lovers and more that of karmic soulmates. Instead of the unification of twin flames, the result appeared to be more that of karmic debts owed and paid. Such is the way of karma; not to mention the way of soulmates.
Lest we find the romantic notion of soulmates too attractive to do without, we should perhaps ask a few pertinent questions. For example, is there any reason to have soulmates? Is the concept of a soulmate an essential ingredient in reincarnation and/or karma? Is the idea just a romantic convenience, or is there something more?
It would appear karmic soulmates have as much justification as any other karmic relationship. We certainly should not eliminate this form of relationship from consideration, merely because love is involved. Soulmates may simply represent a more intense relationship, with an attendant increase in the karmic involvement’s intensity.
Companion soulmates may appear to be less essential to the evolution of the soul, but it is certainly conceivable there may be joint projects that can be more beneficial to everyone concerned if carried out by two people in very close cooperation. While this type of relationship may not be the norm, it at least makes sense to exist in principle. And if we plan our lives in advance (see Chapter VIII), clearly it is logical that two souls might make joint plans.
The reason for twin flames is less obvious. It may be the concept of a twin flame can only be justified on the basis of an individual’s own personal beliefs. Some believe, for example, that originally (around the time of creation) the soul divided so that one’s twin flame became quite literally “one’s other half.” Others take the more generic view that love, after all, is a giving act, not just one of receiving. It is believed that the receipt of love is the inevitable result of giving love, provided that such a gift is an unconditional one. A twin flame is thus a giver and receiver or love.
One perspective on the viability of twin flames is given by Jess Stern, (in Soulmates):
“The purpose of life is growth. We are not here to be the loveliest or the happiest, but to grow.
“It’s important that people know that being soulmates doesn’t make everything automatically perfect. Otherwise there would be nothing to overcome and you wouldn’t learn anything.”
Growth does appear to be an essential motivating force in any theory of reincarnation. If you’re not here to grow, why are you here? You’re taking up a lot of space; is there any reason for that? If the evolution of the soul is not the primary reason for existence, what else is there?
Richard Bach, in his book, The Bridge Across Forever, tells the story of his own personal search for his soulmate. At one point in the story, his soulmate gives us an effective analysis of growth in a loving relationship by viewing it as a musical metaphor. [Metaphors be with you.]
“The most commonly used form for large classical works is the sonata form. It is the basis of almost all symphonies and concertos. It consists of three main sections: the exposition or opening, in which little ideas, themes, bits and pieces are set forth and introduced to each other; the development, in which these tiny ideas and motifs are explored to their fullest, expanded, often go from major (happy) to minor (unhappy) and back again, and are developed and woven together in greater complexity until at last there is: the recapitulation, in which there is a restatement, a glorious expression of the full, rich maturity to which the tiny ideas have grown through the development process.”
Richard’s soulmate goes on to note how easy it is to become stuck in the exposition:
“The part of the relationship in which you are at your best; fun, charming, excited, exciting, interested, interesting. ...a time of delight for both, and it’s no wonder you (Richard) like openings so much you strive to make your life a series of them.”
But the real opportunity for growth is in the development stage, where the chance to explore all the ramifications of a love relationship resides. Constraint in the exposition stage can only result in repetition of the same old themes, no growth and, ultimately, sheer boredom.
Twin flames may be thought of as the final stages of the development section, and perhaps more gloriously, the full joy of the recapitulation, where the symphony is completed. Twin flames may then be looked on from the viewpoint of being more reward than challenge. It is perhaps the completion of plans and events established in prior lives, a little icing on the cake that has taken “so long to bake.”
Stern makes a further argument for the existence, if not the need, for twin flames, by the following:
“Growth does not specifically come out of the interaction exclusively of the two, but of their interaction, as a unit, with the creator.
“Love and Growth. You grow to love and love to grow, and in this process merge with the Universal Intelligence. Carl Jung spoke of synchronicity, events coming together for a specific purpose, even that of soul development. And a developed soul, sensitized by a soulmate relationship, was sharply attuned to its purpose. In time the ardor of soulmates, becoming almost a physical presence, should emerge as a decisive force, transforming hate into love and war into peace.”
The combining of two parts to make a sum greater than the parts may in fact justify the possible reality of twin flames. With karma and the conceivability of joint projects being real, soulmates may just have some actual basis in fact. In support of this point of view, we might note Edgar Cayce’s comment that if one did not have a soulmate -- whether twin soul, companion or karmic -- life would have no point.
Oh, yes, one final word. Just in case you’re looking for a soulmate, there is one question you need to ask: Would you be happy to meet you? A soulmate is a mirror and a mirror tends to reflect perfectly.
It might be wise to be sure you’re happy with yourself before you meet your soulmate. Sort of clean up your act, before you have to deal with a mirror image. For what you create in yourself, you will likely find in another. You may not know yourself until you see the recognition of what you are in the eyes of the someone who will love you.
Chapter Three: Karma
Chapter Five: Plus a Few Twists of Lime
2003© Copyright Dan Sewell Ward, All Rights Reserved [Feedback]