Almost every person feels a longing for companionship. At times we may understand this desire as a directive toward union with God, and at other times, as a desire for union with another person.
Two ideas come together in the material from the Edgar Cayce readings concerning the choice of a companion-particularly a life partner. First is the principle that we are here in the earth for the purpose of growth and development in consciousness. What is more, associations with some individuals are more conducive to growth than associations with others; therefore, it is prudent to choose carefully our companions. This principle is probably easy for us to accept if we merely reflect on the types of influence various friends and acquaintances have had on us in the past. The impact is most powerful in a marriage relationship, and a good union should be founded upon a shared purpose in life and the capacity to help each other to grow.
The second principle relates to reincarnation: We as spiritual beings (or souls) experience our growth in consciousness through a series of lifetimes in physical human form. In other words, we have been in the earth many times before, and more specifically have had close personal relationships with particular souls. Attraction to another person and thoughts of marriage could very likely be related to memory patterns (even subconscious memories!) of having been with that soul in the distant past. In the readings, Cayce suggested that, often, we are attracted to a particular person for marriage in this lifetime because of such a relationship at least once before.
But if reincarnation is a fact, we might expect that we have been married to many souls in the course of other incarnations. Which one of these partnerships is the best one to build upon now, in this life? Does each person have exactly one other special soul that it is meant to be with whenever possible?
Many sources of psychic information and other metaphysical teachings have proposed concepts such as "soul mate" and "twin soul." The Cayce readings, although simultaneously raising some provocative questions, do shed some light on this topic.
In the beginning, as was outlined, there was presented that that became as the Sons of God, in that male and female were as one... Reading 364-7
A fundamental issue is the very nature of the soul. Is it male or female? Both or neither? The readings propose that the soul itself does not have gender.
However, in order to learn and grow, a soul enters into the physical domain (which is characterized by such polarities as light/dark, positive/negative, thinking/feeling, etc.) and chooses to incarnate in a male or female expression. Likely, in the long-range growth of the soul over many incarnations, male and female experiences are needed. In selecting one gender over the other in a particular lifetime, a condition is usually created in which a balance or complement is needed, such as can be found in a marriage companion. This is not to say that important spiritual growth is impossible during a life without marriage; rather, the marriage relationship is one great avenue for development.
Perhaps this pattern of growth has not always been the usual way. Some readings suggest that in ancient prehistory, such as the times of Atlantis more than 12,000 years ago, a soul could incarnate in such a way that male and female qualities were manifested simultaneously. It is not clear what form the physical body took in these cases. One person was told in a reading about an Atlantean incarnation: "for then both male and female might be-desired so-in one." (288-27)
What, then, is a soul mate? Is it the soul that one has married in the most incarnations? Frequency of marriage may be one factor because, according to Cayce, status as soul mates is built by shared physical experiences over a long period. However, a more precise understanding is this: A soul mate is a complement to oneself. One reading poetically describes it as "the tongue to the groove, the tenon to the mortise..." (1556-2) It is more than merely a physical attraction; it is a capacity to help each other at the physical, mental, and spiritual levels.
Another interpretation of the term "soul mates" was offered by Hugh Lynn Cayce, who was present for a number of the readings his father gave on this subject. He wrote:
"The idea of soul mates and affinities is closely related to the theory of reincarnation as explained through the Edgar Cayce readings. Two souls may, in a number of incarnations, grow very close together in their pattern of spiritual evolution. These souls will need the help and assistance of each other as they evolve and hence, in any one incarnation, will be drawn closely together because of their many past associations and the intricate entwining of their respective personalities."
Status as soul mates is also a matter of ideals. One important passage stated: "Such as have in an experience found an ideal may be said to be soul mates, and no marriages [are] made in heaven nor by the Father save as each do His biddings." (275-38)
These criteria suggest that one could have more than a solitary soul mate, although such a fact is not explicitly spelled out in any Cayce reading. However, we should, no doubt, be cautious about leaving a current marriage partner merely because of an attraction to someone else. In all likelihood, the very same problems and "opportunities" we are currently facing would be the same regardless of which partner we have in our lives-in relationships we most often come to terms with those things we need to work on in ourselves, even though we might sometimes think of our partner as being the source of our frustration. Those who come across the idea of soul mates after having already married can still rest assured that their partner is, in fact, a "soul mate."
For those who are single and who would like to find their soul mate, what do the Cayce readings have to offer?
First, they suggest choosing someone who will help you to a "more helpful, more sustaining, more the well-rounded life..." (364-7) In modern language, we might say that we are looking for someone who has the "right vibrations" for us. In fact, this is a phrase used in the readings in describing the kind of experience that might be felt between soul mates: "with the union of two that vibrate or respond to those vibrations in self..." (364-7) Together, the two would assist one another in finding a balanced life. (I do not "look" but believe if it is meant to be - soul mates will gravitate toward one another.)
But even if we find someone who fits these criteria-someone who is perhaps a soul mate-this does not guarantee a good marriage. The two will still have to work together in order for the great potential of the relationship to flower. This is what the readings seemed to suggest in the following question-and-answer exchange. We might assume that the question, in effect, asked whether or not these two people were soul mates.
Q. Is this girl the type and quality of womanhood best suited to this man for a successful life?
EC: May be made so in each. No one is suited exactly in the beginning, unless it has been fore-ordained through the ages of the mating of each. (Reading 257-15)
The final statement is not clearly explained. We might understand "fore-ordained" to include a choice made by the two souls before being born this time, or it may relate to very strong bonds built over many lifetimes of being married (i.e., "the mating of each").
A concept similar to that of soul mates is "twin souls." When Cayce used this term in the readings, he did not mean to imply that two souls were identical. Instead, it is two souls sharing a common purpose or ideal. They would not necessarily have had previous marriage incarnations. In other words, the soul-mate condition is largely built in the material plane of experience (although, as previously mentioned, it has mental and spiritual components beyond just sexual attraction). However, the twin-soul condition evolves more from a commonality in the nonmaterial realm-at the idea or ideal level.
One example of twin souls, according to the Cayce readings, is Jesus and His mother, Mary. One reading states: "In the beginning Mary was the twin-soul of the Master in the entrance into the earth!" (5749-8)
Finally, we might ask ourselves, "Where does this subject of soul mates and twin souls lead us? Is our destiny to find and be reunited with some other special soul?" Such is not the point of view in the Cayce material. They refer to Jesus' teaching that, in the heavenly kingdom, we are neither married nor given in marriage. As helpful as marriage relationships may be in the earth, beyond this material domain, it is our destiny to find wholeness within our own souls. If one must think in terms of being destined to ultimate union with some other soul, then think of that other soul as the Christ Soul. One reading made the point this way: "But know, the soul is rather the soul-mate of the universal consciousness than of an individual entity." (2988-2)
The principle of soul mates and twin souls are, therefore, potentially both helpful and misleading. These concepts can help us understand some of the key factors in making a wise choice of a marriage partner and can remind us that some relationships are tremendous storehouses of love and helpfulness which can be reawakened. However, these concepts can be misleading if we forget that our ultimate companion is the Christ, or if we are tempted to leave the responsibilities of relationships to which we have already committed ourselves in this lifetime.