In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the surprising history of love & soul mates.
First a quick update:
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Now, let’s talk about the surprising history of love & soul mates.
It is one of the most popular scenes in the 1996 movie, “Jerry Maguire” – Tom Cruise who plays Jerry Maguire is speaking with Dorothy (played by Renee Zellweger) and utters the now famous words:
We live in a cynical world…a cynical world…
And we work in a business of tough competitors,
I love you. You… you complete me. And I just…
Just shut up.
You had me at “hello”. You had me at “hello”.
This scene has become immortalized for two expressions here: “You complete me” and “You had me at hello.”
The first sentence is a simple yet eloquent summary of the concept of romantic soul mates – the search for that person that many people believe is the one and only one that will complete him/her – the other missing half.
From where does this belief and concept come?
Before answering that question, let me also add that there are other concepts and types of soul mates such as “Karmic Partnerships” and “Twin Flames” – see my book “Soul Mates – Find your perfect match now”.
So from where does the concept of a romantic soul mate come?
A symposium is a drinking party or convivial discussion. It was a custom and tradition often held in Ancient Greece after a banquet.
One famous symposium resulted in “The Symposium”, a philosophical text by Plato dated approximately 385 BCE.
In this famous party, a bunch of drunk old Greek men, who had also been drinking heavily the night before gather and begin to talk about love.
They talk about love’s origin – its many forms, meaning and significance.
There were 7 speeches at this particular symposium. Each one was to be in praise of the God of Love – Eros.
One of those speeches on love has forever changed the concept of romantic love and soul mates.
Aristophanes is a playwright and comic poet. He begins by warning everyone that his story is not so funny as it is absurd.
His story explains that in truly ancient times, human beings were a unique kind of being, different from what they are now.
He proceeds to say that humans were once large creatures, twice the current size, complete with two sets of arms, two sets of legs and two sets of heads. They were perfectly shaped – they were spherical creatures. And with two heads, these first human beings were twice as smart but also twice as arrogant, which they expressed against the gods.
Zeus, the main God became deeply offended and angered by their arrogance and hubris and so he warned them by sending out thunderbolts which split them into two, right down the middle.
And now that humans have been split into two, they possess only one head, one set of arms and one set of legs.
Humans are no longer complete beings.
Aristophanes goes on to explain that if we were to ask anyone, they would all appeal to Hephaestus, the blacksmith of the Gods to forge them back together, to make them one again, to make them whole.
According to Aristophanes, love is about reconnecting with the other half.
Right at this moment as Aristophanes is telling his story, he develops the hiccups. He can’t continue his story. And so, the other speakers pick up from where he left and they add their philosophies and beliefs about love.
Socrates gives the longest speech in the dialogues and he uses a story told by a woman to explain love which he says is not a God but rather a spirit which mediates between people and the objects of their desires. Socrates ultimately relates love to beauty and wisdom.
The key point of Aristophanes (unfinished) speech and myth is that humans are no longer whole; they are incomplete and searching desperately to find their missing half, the piece that will complete them.
Aristophanes even uses the image of an apple sliced in half and says that if the two pieces were put together they would fit perfectly.
And from there is born the modern day concept and interpretation of a romantic soul mate: the belief that each one of us is incomplete, and that to feel a sense of wholeness, we must seek out and find our missing half – the one that will match us perfectly.
And when we find this person, we will know and experience real love, we will find that inner peace that is dependent on feeling complete, feeling like one – a reunification of what we once were.
There are two key lessons that can be gleamed from Aristophanes’ story:
- Love is about fitting together
- Despite the 21st century Western ideology and marketing that claims that we are all individuals and independent beings, we are also dependent on others; dependent on the person we love
“The greatest thing you will ever learn is just to love and be loved in return” – Nat King Cole “Nature Boy”, 1948 ( Also quoted in the 2001 film “Moulin Rouge”)
Of course, there is a danger when we become attached to the concept that there is only one romantic soul mate and that when and only when we meet up with our soul mate will be happy and fulfilled.
In other words, we must beware of twisted thinking such as:
- Love is an instant encounter rather than a process and a commitment
- We can never be happy unless we find our missing half, the perfect person
- Our soul mate is perfect and will be happy immediately and eternally, free of any troubles, arguments or challenges
- We cannot love unless we are with and we are loving our romantic soul mate
It can easily be argued that we are incomplete or not living our potential and purpose unless we are expressing love. But that is vastly different to saying we are incomplete without our perfect partner. A person can be perfect for us, without being perfect.
As I explain in my book, “Soul Mates – Find your perfect match now”.
“Whether we consciously recognize it or not, our deepest desire is to love and be loved. Love nourishes the heart, mind, body and soul. It is the expression and experience of love for another human being that makes us feel truly alive, ecstatic, joyful and elated. It is love that awakens all of our senses and gives us the feeling of being complete.”
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.