Wednesday 1 November 2017

Soulmates, love and sex

At its most fundamental level, our Will is divine and therefore harmonises with our divine destiny - our true Will is therefore something we can be true-to, or false-to; but the true Will is not something we can choose or command.

Furthermore, for most people (not everybody) our strongest experience of beauty is related to love and the opposite sex - hence (for Christians) with marriage. This combination of factors raises the possibility that the right marriage partner for us (that is, our soulmate) will one day arrive in our vicinity.

This would not be an accident; but the result of exactly that same divine power which is causing us to know ourselves via our experiences in this world. The right partner in marriage is the best possible experience we can have of our unconscious and unrealised nature.

Such a partner may well be chosen, but in our pre-mortal spirit life; as a major element of our destined experiences.

(Such experiences may be destined - however, our response to experience is not destined; since we are free-agents.)

The physical aspects, emotions, desires, aspirations of sex can be seen as the true Will working through at many levels through mortal experience. And sex is extremely complex and far-reaching, since it represents destined purposes and desires that our conscious personality may know little or nothing about.

The power of sex is therefore the power of Will; and therefore not subject to our choice - we cannot decide to fall in love; we can only decide whether to live truly by love, when it happens, or not.

And this is a part of the decision whether to live truly by everything, or not.

And this is to be true to our real-Self, or not.

Paraphrased and adapted to express my own views more exactly, from William Arkle's A Geography of Consciousness (1974) - mostly the chapter Beauty, plus elements of the chapter Will.


Michael Egan said...

"pre-mortal spirit life"

I like this as a concept. It's interesting to think about it in that way.

Chiu ChunLing said...

Ultimately, every human relationship is characterized by how those involved are related to God. It is only through our relationship to God that we have in the first place any possibility of relationships with each other, and it is only through our relationship to God that those relationships can endure even in this life, let alone in eternity.

I say this with a confidence of God's generous presence in the lives of every person who is 'good' in even the least degree. Without God's offer of some good option, no human could ever choose it. When we are creative, or kind, or courageous, or strong, it is God who gives us the chance to be so even though the choice is left to our will.

There is a seductive tendency to think of the idea of a 'soulmate' that what we love in this person is intrinsic to their own being rather than bestowed on them by God. It becomes a shorthand for simplifying God out of the equation. It is inevitable that, out of the infinite bounty which God is willing to bestow, we should choose only some tiny portion. It is understandable that we have the most sympathy and attraction to those whose choices overlap our own. But we err if we suppose that those choices would matter in the least had God not made available what we could never of our own efforts made possible to us. And this is true of a soulmate as well. It is the blessings of God they have accepted that attract us, not anything of their unaided merits.

And when we demand what God cannot or will not give us, the confluence of our choices doesn't matter. A man and woman that each desire unending youth in themselves and each other will not be bound together by their common rebellion against what God has least not very long (for it is true that many such are attracted together before it becomes evident that their common desire has no reflection in real possibility). Now we have more exotic examples, such as those who desire to transform into fantastical animals together, the desire may be in common but without God's offer of an actual transformation the common desire leads only to disappointment with one another.

There is no point in having a 'soulmate' who desires together with us what God has forbidden. Whereas those who humbly accept as much as they can of what God ordains find ever more in common to draw them together in joy and gratitude.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - I don't think I agree. We are not Only fragments of God; each person really is uniquely himself or herself as-well-as being part of God's creation. How we explain this metaphysically varies, but it is vital that we do somehow give validity to the unique reality of each self. At least it is vital for Christians, else they would lapse into the merely submissive-obedient situation of pure-monotheism.

Chiu ChunLing said...

We are not fragments of God, but everything about any of us that allows us to interact (especially lovingly) with others is a gift from God, all we have done is accept it.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - True.

michaelsmith said...

What is the basis in holy tradition for this concept of "soulmates?" I have encountered nothing like this in pre-Modern Christian writings. Probably not even pre-industrial writings. Is this not some kind of New Age-y derivative? Has anyone bothered to trace the history or origins of this concept?

Bruce Charlton said...

@ms - On the other hand, do you suppose that the matter of whom we marry is random, and out of God's control - or a matter of indifference to God?

That we are born randomly, to random parents, plunged randomly among a random selection of persons? Such assumptions would be very modern, scientistic notions...

We need to give God credit for 'placing' us into the best situations for our needs - the most necessary challenges and support for our specific personal nature and necessity.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Michael - In addition...

About tradition and scripture - I think this comes under the category of things which were too obvious to need pointing-out.

One could also argue that the Old Testament is full of 'divinely destined' marriages, as well as some wicked ones.