Understanding Relationships Across Time.
What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind.
What is the soul? It is immaterial.
I n June, at the ripe age of twenty, I worked my passage from New Zealand to London on a cheap ship. I arrived one evening, and the next morning began exploring the West End. To my great surprise, I encountered friends from New Zealand. They were going to a party that night, and suggested that I join them. It was a good party, mainly be-cause I made a friend there—Margaret Shaw. Four years later we were married. I had traveled to England to progress in my career in publishing. Nothing could have been further from my mind at the time than my finding a life partner. Yet, a particular set of circumstances brought us together. If I had not bumped into my friends, or had chosen not to go to the party, I would not have met Margaret. If she had not happened to be good friends with the people who were hosting the party, she would not have been there either. Was our meeting pure chance, or was it surely predestined?
As soon as Margaret and I became a couple, friends began telling us, “You’re ob-viously soul mates.” However, this was swinging London in the 1960s, and many people were talking freely about soul mates. Consequently, I paid little attention to their comments.
However, every now and again over the years, in my work as a hypnotherapist, couples would come to me wanting past-life regressions to see if they had been together in previous lifetimes. I enjoy conducting my regressions, and find it fascinating to see how couples have been inextricably entwined over many gener-ations. The relationships and sexes change, but the person being hypnotized can instantly recognize his or her soul mate in these past-life regressions.
Unfortunately, though, it did not always work. Some couples came to me convin-ced that they were soul mates and had been together in previous lifetimes. However, although they entered hypnosis easily and regressed back to different past lives, their partner in this lifetime was not there . Did this mean that they were not soul mates after all?
I have also experienced the opposite scenario where my subjects were convinced that their partner in this lifetime was not a soul mate. Yet, when they were regressed their partners figured in every one.
Consequently, I had the situation where some people were convinced that they were soul mates, and hypnotic regressions confirmed this. Other people also thought they were soul mates, but we were unable to verify this. And yet other people thought they were not soul mates, but past-life regressions indicated that they were.
This was confusing, to say the least. I began reading everything I could find on the subject, and asked questions everywhere I went. The interest in soul mates was enormous. It seemed that everyone was in search of their personal soul mate. Everyone had a secret wish to find that perfect someone with whom they had shared many, many previous incarnations.
I found that people had different ideas about what a soul mate was. Many people thought that it simply meant a special, unusually close relationship where each of the partners lived purely for the other. Others described it as a relationship where the couple were friends as well as lovers. Most people defined it as a strong love attachment between a man and a woman that lasted over many lifetimes.
My own definition is that a soul mate relationship is a strong bond between two people that has existed over many incarnations, where each partner helps the other to learn the lessons that he or she needs to learn in this incarnation. I believe that soul mates are not restricted to heterosexual relationships, and can be between two people of the same sex. They are not necessarily love relationships, either. I also believe that soul mate relationships do not necessarily last for a whole lifetime. A few years ago, good friends of ours divorced after fifteen years of marriage . I was amazed at the time, as I considered them to be soul mates. I still believe that, but feel that they had learned the lessons that they needed to learn from each other, and consequently, were now moving on.
People have believed in soul mates for thousands of years. Plato wrote in his Symposium that humans had been looking for their soul mate ever since Zeus had cut them in half. In his mythic story, Plato describes a world where there were men , women, and people who were both men and women. Apparently, humans began discussing how they could climb up to heaven and replace the gods. The gods were upset by this and discussed what should be done. The simplest solution would be to destroy mankind, but Zeus came up with a better idea. He suggested cutting all the human beings in half. This would serve two purposes. First, it would immediately double the number of people making offerings to the gods. Second, it would weak-en the humans, so they would not be able to carry out their plan. Zeus’ idea was accepted, and the humans were all divided into two. Naturally, the humans were upset at this, and Zeus decided to enable each half to have intercourse with their opposite, symbolically creating a whole. Consequently, the males sought other males, the females other females, and the people who had been both male and female sought their other half, allowing the population to reproduce. Plato’s account is an interesting story, and shows that belief in soul mates is extremely old. In fact, his idea of somehow dividing a “whole” person in half dates back even further. In the Bible we are told that God created a being that was “in his own image.” (Genesis 1:27). From this perfect being, God took a rib and created a woman (Genesis 2:21—23). Consequently, Adam and Eve must have been soul mates.
In Ramythology, in the Egyptian tradition, the gods Isis and Osiris were soul mates. This 5,000-year-old story tells how Isis and Osiris were twins, who began life together in the womb. It was even believed that they had intercourse together while still in the womb. They grew up and married. Their love for each other was so great that even death could not separate them. Osiris was killed by his jealous brother Set, who desired both Isis and the kingdom. The coffin containing Osiris was dumped in the Nile and floated to Byblos. Isis found it and brought it back to Egypt. This infuriated Set who divided Osiris’ dead body into fourteen pieces and scattered them throughout the country . Isis managed to find all the pieces, except for the penis, which had been eaten by the Oxyrhyncus crab. She made a penis out of clay, and then transformed herself into a vulture. She brought the corpse of Osiris back to life by flapping her wings, and they made passionate love together. Their son, Horus, was the result of this strange sexual union.
This fascinating story had enormous appeal to the ancient Egyptians and made Osiris one of their most popular gods. It demonstrated how Osiris had transcended death and achieved immortality. This, for the first time, gave people hope that they also could become immortal. It demonstrated the powerful love of a man and a woman, and how that love can continue to grow even after the death of one partner. Not surprisingly, Abydos, the place where Osiris was believed to have been buried, became one of the most sacred sites in Egypt.
The story also started a tradition in which the king was named Horus, but became Osiris after his physical death. His successor was then named Horus in turn, thus ensuring the divinity of the king.
Love has been the topic of wonderful stories ever since —people began communicating with each other. No other word means as much as the simple word “love.” Many people read books and watch movies simply to recapture the feelings of a couple falling in love and, hopefully, living happily ever after. Everyone wants love. We dream about it, fantasize about a perfect partner, and visualize finding a lasting relationship. Yet, in real life, the right partner can seem endlessly elusive. I believe that there is a special person for everyone. The perfect person for you is either already with you, or is searching for you. The hard part is finding that special person. However, you can do it. The two of you have been together now countless times before. You may have enjoyed a passionate romance in ancient Egypt, medieval England, or Renaissance Rome. You may have spent pleasant lifetimes in the Holy Land, Thailand, or Russia. You found your soul mate then. You can do it again in this lifetime. The purpose of this book is to help you find— and then keep—this special person. I want you to find your soul mate, and enjoy a lifelong relationship with him or her.
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