Romantic Love and Soulmates: Why They Are Important

Since its earliest cultures, history records that man has held the dream of uniting with his split or divided self. David Icke’s interviews with Credo Mutwa reveal the Zulu shaman telling the same story, how the gods split humans in two (male and female) so as to weaken the power of humanity. In Greece, we find Plato talking about the same “myth,” that humans were becoming too powerful, posing a threat to the gods, so the gods had to cut them down the middle to weaken them. Ever since, each of us has a soulmate out there in the universe that we instinctively search for. So go the old stories.

I forget if it was the Greeks or Zulus who said that sex was created by the gods to help mankind get through their grief at the time of this division: humans were dying right and left, unwilling to eat or drink and wasting away in their sorrow at being split. Sex was invented by the gods then to give them a temporary feeling of unity. The fix helped fill the emptiness, whether the sex was with the soulmate or with someone else. So say the old tales.

The question is, are such accounts reflective of truth or fiction? If they’re not true, why does every human being instinctively have the urge to find and unite with their other self? Is it just a chemical need, a body thing, or does the need spring from something deeper, a soul lack? Certainly, once we unite consciously with the Infinite, which is the base and core of what we are, such feelings of lack disappear, at least until we get overshadowed by the world again. But is it possible our souls themselves, our spirits, have been divided on some level — not at the deepest level where we are all one, but very close to that depth?

The analogy I like to picture for wholeness existing with individuality is Matthew Arnold’s poetic picture of separate islands “linking their coral arms beneath the sea.” We are individuals in this world, but we are collectively one at our base, because we exist not just as the surface of the island, which is small and separate, but as the level of the island that is the infinite ocean floor, the place from which we, as individual “island” projections, originally sprang.

If individuals have been “split,” we would alter this mental picture by showing a projection rising from the ocean floor that, a small ways up from the bottom, divides into two projections, two parallel islands. I give this analogy to clarify what I mean about being split at a very deep but not at the deepest level where we’re one with all life.

While I know I’m Infinite Consciousness having an experience as Bronte Baxter, and while the name and history of Bronte Baxter would disappear if she perished, I believe there’s a part of her, an essence of her, that continues on in consciousness as a unique individual even if death takes the body. Bronte doesn’t disappear at death into an amorphous wholeness: she becomes pure soul, pure spirit — more conscious (than when embodied) of her oneness with the Source, but a unique individual nonetheless.

If this is NOT true, then God creates us as individuals only to destroy us. What creator desires to destroy its unique creations? Artists treasure their art work, desire to see it cherished and preserved forever. Surely the Infinite treasures Its children, and wishes to see them no less eternal. There is always the odd painting that just doesn’t work out, and the artist paints over that canvas. But by and large artists cherish their creations, and from their heart wish to preserve them. Why would the Infinite, who created this world to expand and express its Joy, be any different?

So if we are individuals, not just at a physical level but at a soul level, too, it means we are more than just infinite consciousness. We are all the tendencies and permutations that our unique expression of the Infinite embodies — not chemically, somatically, but on the deeper spiritual level. All the stones on a lakeshore are made up of the same “stone” essence, but each of them expresses “stone” in a unique way in terms of color, texture, shape, veining, etc. Like that, our souls are unique and remain so after physical death. If they didn’t remain distinct and unique, we would be throwaways: things God made for one lifetime only, just to be dissolved into the Source at the end. I think better of God’s intentions than that.

If we are individuals spiritually, not just physically, then it seems to me very possible we could have been “split” on a soul level by the entities who want to keep us unknowing and weak. Plato’s myth even goes so far as to say that if man gets too powerful and godlike again, the gods will split us yet another time, sometime in the future. Splitting anything weakens it, makes it lose its integrity. So this is useful to the gods’ controlling purposes.

I believe in the soulmate theory because I don’t think one of the deepest longings of the human spirit is just a “chemical” thing, a chimera. It is manipulated by chemicals, by tempting the human sex drive, but the longing for the other half is a genuine desire, a spiritual desire, that goes way deeper than simple affairs of the flesh. In the same manner, when we find the soulmate, the experience is far deeper than sexual attraction or sexual enjoyment. The spiritual component is so strong, the spiritual union so profound, that some who’ve had it report it to be one of the highest, most profound experiences possible in this life.

The poet John Donne wrote of such a love, such a relationship. In his poem “The Ecstasy,” he speaks of lying next to his beloved and being suspended in a state beyond sex, beyond desire, in perfect spiritual union and bliss. His poem “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning” is my favorite: he was leaving for a trip, and his pregnant wife had premonitions that something bad would happen if he left. It did: she miscarried in his absence. That is the background of the poem, which was written to reassure her before he left for the journey. In the poem he compares him and his wife to two legs of one compass — the leg that must journey outward being made stable by the leg that “stays home” in the center. He compares their love to gold that may be beat by a goldsmith to “airy thinness” – spread wide, reshaped and hammered to the level of lace, but never divided.

“Our two souls, therefore, which are one, endure not yet a breach, but an expansion: like gold to airy thinness beat.”

Here is a poem written by a girl about her soulmate, whose thoughts and feelings she came to instinctively know over the years that followed, although the two were separated on the surface level of life:

across time and space
a golden thread is cast
that links our souls.

Funny, love,
today I felt it tugging:
little pulling pains upon the heart.

Like a kind of telephone
I don’t know how to use,
this discovery.

Yet it links us wholly
though hardly understood,
this lifeline
of Eternity.

Shakespeare wrote the following beautiful sonnet about true romantic love:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.
Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove.
Oh no, it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken.
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unmeasured, though its height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come.
Love alters not with his brief hours or weeks
But bears it out unto the edge of doom:
If this is false and be upon me proved,
Then I have never writ, nor no man loved.

Here is an anonymous love poem that shows the spirituality of true romantic love, lifting the spirit to its primordial unity, not only with the soulmate but with all of life:

In thy sweet presence I have found
My ancient long-forgotten home
Where all life’s broken factions mend
In time beyond significance.
And I in fond confusion turn, “Where is my heart?”
For I am lost, and find myself in everything.

There is also this gem of a sonnet from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, whose husband, the poet Robert Browning, first met her as an invalid considerably older than himself, then treasured her for decades until the day she died. They fell in love through writing letters – not exactly “body consciousness” driving this a romance:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
I love thee to the breadth, depth and height
My soul can reach when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of each day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use in my old grieves
And with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with the love I seemed to lose with my lost saints.
I love thee with the breath, smiles and tears of all my life,
And if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.

Literature is filled with jewels like these, eternal testaments to the truth and lastingness of “the real thing”: the love of soulmates for each other. Such love is one of the great gifts in this world. It is beyond friendship, though true friendship is a treasure in its own right. Unlike superficial hormone-based love, friendship may seem a more solid bet for the tentative heart than romance, but friends betray friends the same as lovers can, and it hurts almost as much. There are no guarantees in any human relationship.

I think when we experience love gone sour, for a long time most people feel cynical, no longer believing in romantic love, claiming it’s nothing but chemicals and that being in love has no substance. But the great lovers of the world experience love differently, and they hold up the torch for the rest of us. It is not wrong or foolish to have a dream of lasting romantic love: it is one of the purest desires in every human heart, basic to our humanity. The dream of return of the soulmate gives us great hope in this world, and leads us back to that original love and to our even more primordial union with God. Indeed, we’ll never be totally “one” until we’re one again not only with Infinite Consciousness, our eternal parent, but with our eternal spouse, our lost halved individual self, the soulmate.

Please enjoy the following love poems and poem excerpts, which are some of my favorites:

From Matthew Arnold’s “To Marguerite”:

Only, but this is rare: when a beloved hand is laid in ours
When jaded by the rush and glare of the interminable hours
Our eyes can in another’s eyes read clear
When our world-deafened ear
Is by the tones of a loved voice caressed,
A bolt is shot back somewhere in the breast,
And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again.
The eye sinks inward, and the heart lives plain.
And what we mean, we say. And what we would, we know.
A man becomes aware of his life’s flow
And hears its winding murmur, and he sees
The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze.
And there arrives a lull in the hot race
Wherein he doth forever chase
That flying and elusive shadow: rest.
An air of coolness plays upon his face,
And an unwonted calm pervades his breast.
And then he thinks he knows
The hills where his life rose
And the sea where it goes.

The following poem is about Matthew Arnold’s loss in his lifetime of his soulmate:

In this fair stranger’s eyes of gray
Thine eyes, my love, I see.
I tremble, for the passing day
Had borne me far from thee.

This is the curse of life
That not a calmer, nobler strain
Of wiser thoughts and feelings
Blots our passions from our brain

But each day brings its petty dust
Our soon-checked souls to fill,
And we forget because we must
And not because we will.

I struggle towards the Light,
And ye once-longed-for storms of Love!
If with the Light ye cannot be,
I bear that ye remove.

I struggle towards the Light,
But oh, while yet the night is chill,
Upon Time’s barren, stormy flow,
Stay with me, Marguerite, still!

John Donne’s “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning”

As virtuous men pass mildly away,

And whisper to their souls to go,

Whilst some of their sad friends do say,

“The breath goes now,” and some say, “No,”

So let us melt, and make no noise,

No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move:

‘Twere profanation of our joys

To tell the laity our love.

Moving of the earth brings harms and fears;

Men reckon what it did, and meant,

But trepidation of the spheres,

Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers’ love

(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit

Absence, because it doth remove

Those things which elemented it.

But we by a love so much refined

That ourselves know not what

Inter-assured of the mind,

Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.

Our two souls therefore, which are one,

Though I must go, endure not yet

A breach, but an expansion,

Like gold to airy thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so

As stiff twin compasses are two;

Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show

To move, but doth, if the other do.

And though it in the center sit,

Yet when the other far doth roam,

It leans, and hearkens after it,

And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must

Like the other foot, obliquely run:

Thy firmness draws my circle just,

And makes me end where I begun.

Blog by Bronte Baxter

© Bronte Baxter 2008

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