Monday, October 10, 2005

Soul Mate Mythology

I once had a friend who was a secular humanist, atheist, agnostic, Darwinist, non believer. During his journey through life, on his way to hell, he met a girl and fell in love. “She’s my soul mate” he told me. “How can you have a soul mate when you don’t believe you have a soul?” I asked him. I didn’t get invited to the wedding. They divorced two years later. ‘Soul mates’, it would seem, are not eternal.

I’ve been in love a few times. Had my heart broken. Broke a few myself. Then I met my wife. We’ve been together almost 18 years now with two beautiful daughters. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me and a gift that I will never fully deserve nor, probably, appreciate. I love her and would die for her.

But she’s not my soul mate. How could she be? After all, there’s no such thing. It’s a myth. A great big, sappy, mushy, unrealistic fabrication created by some two-bit hack romance novel writer to make the girls clutch their chests and sigh big wheezy sighs. Or, maybe some phony baloney Casanova came up with the idea when he realized that it could part a woman’s knees like Moses parted the red seas. Yep, it would appear that these days, the ‘soul’ has become just another guard rail keeping us on the road of carnal fulfillment and instant gratification.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we don’t have souls – that’s for far wiser people than me to debate - just that our souls don’t have a mate.

Here’s the rub: if you believe that people actually do have soul mates you have to believe that there is no one else in the world for them. Certainly, it renders the term “soul mate” relatively meaningless if everyone has a few thousand soul mates out there to choose from, or even a few hundred. Or even a dozen. If the term soul mate is to mean anything, there can only be one for everyone. Isn’t that the inference when people use the term "soul mate" - that there is no one else in the entire world for them?

And yet there are (how many?) around 6.5 billion people in the world? But, only one you. A wonderful, witty, interesting, intelligent, startlingly attractive and singularly unique person. (Keep reading, there’s lots more disingenuous, gratuitous flattery to come.).

So, first of all, how likely is it that your unique, one-of-a-kind soul could have a mate in the first place? Second, how many mates do you think are out there for it and how likely is it that you could find one among the 6.5 billion other unique one-of-a-kind souls in the world? After all, you come in personal contact with how many other people in your entire life where the chance arises for a intimate relationship – a few hundred maybe? Let's be generous and say a thousand. That’s 6.5 million to one odds that you'll actually encounter your very own soul mate among the 6.5 billion souls on earth. Ask any bookie, they’ll tell you, those are terrible odds to bet on.

And what about people who find their so called soul mate, are divorced or widowed, and then find another? How lucky is that eh? And what about those who have two or more souls mates on the go at any one time. Wow. Now that’s what I call beating the odds. Those folks should go live at the race track. They’d clean up.

And that’s just dealing with the present day. How many people, do you think, have lived in the last 50,000 years? A couple hundred billion. Half a trillion maybe? Did all their souls have potential mates too? I just had a terrible thought, what if the singular, unique soul that was a mate to yours lived 2000 years ago. That would be a drag.

And yet, in spite of the tremendous odds, coupled with the fact that soul mates are about as real as Santa Claus, there are still a lot of people out there who actually think they’ve found their ‘soul mate’ It just goes to show, insanity is not the sole domain of Islamic terrorists and members of the Michael Moore fan club. Many normal people apparently have their own personal delusions to deal with, especially when it comes to affairs of the heart.

Once upon a time, people were content to fall in love, get married and live their lives together. There seemed to be no need for such pie in the sky, golly gee, intangible concepts like ‘soul mates’. And even if there was, at least they believed they had a soul, unlike many people today who believe that souls are imaginary except, of course, when they can be exploited as romantic fodder to satisfy their selfish needs for sexual gratification and companionship.

Just remember, if you have a soul mate, or are looking for one, that means you believe you have a soul. And if you believe you have a soul, then you have to acknowledge the existence of a higher power. And if you believe in a higher power, you have to accept that he or she has some control over your destiny. And that should give you some comfort. Because anyone who believes that their soul has a mate shouldn’t be left in control of their own destiny. They’re just not mature enough.

Oh, and by the way, sorry that there was no more insincere gratuitous flattery. I just said that to get you to keep reading.


Blogger Candace said...

what a great post! but a bit short on the gratuitous flattery, methinks.

4:27 PM  
Blogger RightGirl said...

I think I have a soul mate - I just don't think it's my husband. In fact, my soul mate is not a romantic relationship of any kind. I believe that my best friend and I are soul mates, because no matter what we put each other through, one simply cannot live in happiness without the other. After all, that's what the poets make soul mates out to be. Bet they didn't see her & I coming!


4:22 PM  

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