Does the Modern Day Soulmate Exist?

How do you define a soulmate? An individual with whom your connection seems to transcend words or typical boundaries of time, someone who seems to fit you like never before, or perhaps a best friend.

For a truly memorable origin story on the notion of soulmates, look no further than Hedwig and the Angry Inch*. Hedwig’s story on the birth of love takes its cue from Plato’s Symposium (385 B.C.), a piece which remarks upon the absurdity of our romantic endeavors. The piece explains why people in love say they feel “whole” when they have found their love partner. It asserts that it is because:

“in primal times, people had doubled bodies, with faces and limbs turned away from one another. There were three sexes: the all male, the all female, and the “androgynous,” who was half male, half female. The creatures tried to scale the heights of heaven. Zeus thought about blasting them to death with thunderbolts, but did not want to deprive himself of their devotions and offerings, so he decided to cripple them by chopping them in half, in effect separating the two bodies.”

This clip’s deceptively simple illustrations speak to the idea of the human desire to find it’s match, no matter what the other half might be. And while you don’t have to buy into the idea that we were all once attached back to back to our ideal partner, I think the visual one is helpful when trying to explain to those who may be against letting certain individuals marry. The topics of soulmates, love and acceptance headlined a number of discussions with friends this weekend (promulgated by the long-awaited yet revelatory announcement from the president in favor of same sex marriage). Love is love, guys. Why keep anyone from the chance of finding and committing themselves to their twin soul.

*the cult favorite from John Cameron Mitchell that follows the heartbreaking life of a transgender musician traveling across East Germany. And because truth is often stranger than fiction, Mitchell was able to infuse a lot of himself into the role of Hedwig. The story draws on Mitchell’s life as the son of a U.S. Army Major General who once commanded the U.S. sector of occupied West Berlin.

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9 thoughts on “Does the Modern Day Soulmate Exist?

  1. Soul-mate is defined by the context of the two words that combine to create the word. It’s the mating of souls, it’s the feeling of being ready to die because you have met life’s destination. Some see two half, other two whole, but both will agree that they feel complete once it comes together. Today, it’s harder to find because so many fear the hearts pain, so they bury themselves in their mind. Gay or straight the spirit will possess us all; worship it and it will be nurtured!!!!

    • Thanks for your beautiful reply AmazinglyBrash. I agree so thoroughly. It’s difficult to quiet the mind and listen to the other signals – those that are unafraid and unencumbered by fear, pain, etc.

  2. I am actually going to use this reading when I get married. I have loved it since I saw Hedwig in high school. The visual is romantic, and yes, I agree whole heartedly that your other half doesn’t have to be the opposite sex. Geez, I need to watch this movie again.

    • That’s wonderful. And love that idea – a perfectly fitting and romantic notion. And yes, Hedwig always sneaks back into my consciousness every once in a while. A beautiful, truthful film.

  3. This movie (and oh! how I would’ve loved to see the theatrical version) broke my heart, watching as I did, curled up on the couch with a profound and impossible love. Trying to say goodbye. Forsaking love for reason. These songs formed an ever present feature in our ‘soundtracks’, Midnight Radio was an anthem and Origin. Well. It is a song I shall forever associate with him. Years later it still wrenches my hear to hear the lines: “You had a way so familiar, but I could not recognize, cause you had blood on your face; I had blood in my eyes. But I could swear by your expression that the pain down in your soul was the same as the one down in mine…”

    • Just got the chance to see the stage version this past week and it was similarly incredible and heartbreaking. Your depiction of your experience with the movie is duly poetic and uplifting. Those lines always get me as well.

      • Ah, thank you… I thought the run ended years ago! Now I have something (else) to ensure I travel back to NYC again. And thank you for your words on mine… may love light fires that burn forever! Brilliant blog by the way – so beautifully written. Best wishes from Afrika, Sx

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