Mike's anniversary responses reminds me of the question.....Do you believe in the idea that there is just one special person in the universe for you? Commonly referred to as your soulmate.
I do not believe in this concept, although we certainly have stronger "connections" with certain people we meet. There are times when you meet someone new and your personalities just click and you feel a stronger bond to them than others in the room. I just don't think out of millions of people you chance to meet, there is only one who is the "right one". I choose to believe the one I chose is the special one who I'm willing to work at making it work.
So then I guess you who believe, could say I don't believe because I haven't experienced meeting my soulmate. Maybe your right. But I'm not looking and certainly hope I never meet her.
There are probably people here who will find my beliefs hard to tolerate, but here goes.
I believe from the very core of my being that we are reincarnated, and those people we feel that "special" bond with, as you mention, are souls that we've known in past lives. Our relationships may have been reversed (as the parent last time has become the child this time around, for example), or may have taken vastly different configurations, or there may have been some incarnations where we are not with all of the same souls as before.
I believe that our souls sit on the astral plane, and see the entirety of all lifetimes, spread out before them. They know how a lifetime will begin and end, and everything in between. A soul picks an incarnation for reasons of learing things it needs to know, or having experiences it needs to have. We pick the people (souls) we need to encounter each time around.
While we forget most of this vast knowledge when we are "born," we have flashes of foreknowledge, which many have called by names like deja vu'. If you have ever talked with a small child who recalls a past life and converses about it, it is an amazing experience. And, just so you will know, there are serious university studies at well-respected schools in this country that have documented and catalogued such past-life recollections. This is not really "Twilight Zone" stuff anymore.
For anyone carrying any doubt, I would not judge you for not believing what I am talking about...but I would ask you not to criticize my beliefs. I've been moving from my own Methodist upbringing to these beliefs consciously since about age thirteen, so this is not a mid-life or short-term consideration. I think my belief system is not all that different from most that accept the existence of an afterlife...I just think we have far more experiences than a single trip into a human body here on Earth.
Well, I knew there had to be something Kay and I disagreed on.
Do I believe there is just one person for us? No ... and yes. I have contemplated how different my life would be if I had married someone else. There was only one other girl I was anywhere near serious about besides the one I married. My life would have most likely been GREATLY different with her. To be honest, I don't think I can imagine how different it might have been.
Since Kay has brought up philosophy and theology I'll toss out a bit of mine. I believe there is one God, the Creator of everything I believe he is all knowing and capable of doing anything, whether it conforms to the laws of physics as we understand them or not. I believe He has a chosen path for our lives. But I also believe He gave us a free will to do as we pleased. Without a free will to do as we please we are just puppet and pawns, toys for God to play with.
I know, that is starting to get pretty deep, but it was necessary to understand where I am going with this train of thought. I believe God has a plan for my life. I also believe I can choose not to follow it. (For example I think the Apostle Paul could have chosen not to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior, in which case God would have used someone else to do what Paul did. But He knew what Paul would choose even though it was Paul's choice. Yeah, this can get real deep real fast).
If I had chosen a different path ... in this case a different woman as my wife ... my life would probably have been changed a lot. But Romans 8:28 still works. All things work for the good of those who love the Lord. So wandering back on topic, no, I don't think there is only one person for each of us. But I do think there is one person who is better for each of us.
Looking at what would probably have happened if the other young lady and I stayed together ... well, most likely following the direction we were quickly moving she would have been pregnant by the time she was a Junior in High School (she didn't have the same ... ummm ... we'll say upbringing as the young lady I married) which means I would probably have graduated married and not gone to college and ... just pondering on the possibilities can drive you nuts. For me to be where I am today there was only one path for me to follow. So No, I don't think there is just one person but at the same time I think there is one who is a better choice.
See what happens when my clock gets all messed up and I can't sleep at 3 AM?
We do have free will but I strongly suspect there is one right person for each of us. We will soon celebrate our 50th anniversary. Following the sudden death of my dad we moved from the farm into our small town and my mother began a teaching career. My DH's dad also died suddenly at a young age and his grandparents purchased a home for them in the same small town. The corner of our lots met on the alley. We had live just four miles apart, as the crow flies, but never met as it was in two different counties. Then his family had moved an hour away.
We were in the same class in HS which was almost across the street. A year after he moved to this town, I saw him riding down the street on his bike. He wore baby blue pants, not jeans, and I also noticed his blond hair. I was attracted to blond guys. I had not really noticed him in class.
As one gets older they become wiser. As I have thought about this is recent years, I have remembered this incident was like the cupid's arrow that is such a popular theme. He would never never were baby blue pants again. DH says he had watched me in the yard from his bedroom window. A few months later we were old enough to date and the rest is history.
I will have to answer the second question when I get back.
Spend forty years or so up in the wee hours alone, mike, and you may start to believe all sorts of strange things, as I do.
Most belief systems mesh, if you allow them to..it is when you don't that wars are fought over religion. Most of what all of them have in common far outweighs the few details where they don't.
I left "organized" religion when it became clear to me that the conference in our church was no more or less than a real estate conglomerate and political party of sorts. It is unnecessary to me to "belong" to a church for my spiritual purposes.
If you were on a deserted island, you'd have to come up with your own way to manage the spiritual concerns of your life...and I an in the mind that every manwoman is an island, so to speak. We have to eventually resolve how we think and what we feel is true in our concept of the universe and our speck of a spot in it.
To respond further to the "soulmate" question, I think that what we perceive in this lifetime as "attraction," which turkey feather mentions below, is simply recognition of a soul we already know from a past incarnation. This earthly incarnation is the only one I think we have with bodies and sensory inputs, like pleasure and pain, and so souls are very willing to come here and endure what they must to gain full understanding/enlightenment.
People talk all the time about having left this lifetime with "unfinished business" and a lot of us laugh about our "karma." To me, if you haven't learned what your soul needs to know to be truly and fully enlightened by the end of this trip, you come back and have another session in school.
I've had way too many experiences that made the hair stand up on the back of my neck, when I recognized the moment I was living in as one I'd seen in great detail before. For some, the veil between the levels of existence are thinner than they are for others...I like to think that as you get closer to enlightenment, your see more and more of these glimpses.
I agree with Kay that we get more chances to learn and to it right. How could a great leader or scientist etc know so much in one life time? Abe Lincoln is a good example. But what really made me think this way in the beginning was a story my best friend told. Her five or six year old nephew ( he may have even been younger), who had no religious training and no preconceived ideas on this, was caught on the arm of a oil well pump, the kind that goes up and down pumping the oil well. He was slammed up and down on that thing for quite some time before help arrived. Recovering in a hospital, he told how he saw many people waiting to be re-born and he also saw his father who had died. The dad told him to go back it wasn't his time to die yet.
Like Kay, I have had so many experiences that make me think I had other lives. One was after reading a book about an Indian woman who escaped her captors and fled across a large river. I read this many years ago but it still sticks in my mind that I had the same experience and I think of it frequently. I know it sounds weird. I was in France and it felt so familiar like I had lived there in another lifetime and danced at parties. I know a minister's wife who swears that she was a princess in another life. I can go to totally new places and have a sense of being there before or that I have met people before. Both of us are physic, I very frequently will think of someone and they will call within a few minutes. My DH see oras (sp?)sometimes or whatever they are called, the lights that follow him or sometimes are on the ceiling. He is never uneasy about these.
Don't get me wrong, I am a born again Christian and agree with Mike's thougths also. I think there is so much we don't know about life.
Boy, are we getting deep here or what? LOL I believe Mike's theories but I also feel there can be more than one person God put's in our lives for us as our spouse. I've seen many successful marriages ended by death and then the surviving spouse another loving partner forming a marriage equally as good if not better than the first. Perhaps the experience of the first marriage molded the person to be a better partner.
I do believe God made the universe but I have to admit I have a real connection to boats such as the area in Nantucket or such. I would love to know what a hypnotist would find in one way, but I'm not sold with someone messing with my mind. I have enough confusion in my life. There are certainly lots of people who can tell of near death experiences of seeing loved ones who have passed on. I know when my MIL was taken to the hospital that last trip by ambulance, my DH said she was fighting & swinging her arms to ward off someone/something and hollering at them.
Made the trip much harder for he & his dad.
'Pioneer Woman", Ree Drummond is in the new 'Guideposts' magazine. She thinks their is that one person for each of us. Or that is the way I read her. And she had tons of experience with men before deciding to marry. I liked to follow her blog before she became so famous and it was just a family thing.
I honestly think that some people have difficulty limiting it to even one person AT A TIME, much less in a lifetime.
As long as you keep it clean and simple - one person romantically involved with you at once - then after someone passes, or otherwise definitively moves along down the road, it is hard to say that you couldn't' find true love again.
That said, I have always thought for myself that I cannot imagine loving anyone the way I love Mike. Since I don't want to be in the Guiness Book of World Records, he will be the father of the only children I will ever have. I think that is a particular kind of bond...but some of you will surely say it's not the only definition, or even the best way, to define love.
I think some people have found soulmates. I struggle to believe that it's all orchestrated by a supreme being or some other outside force but I've been wrong before. Very few of the relationships I know of are what I'd call soulmates. Probably less than 10 percent. They aren't necessarily richer, more fit, more religious, luckier, smarter or anything like that. They just seem to like each other. They do seem more intimate with each other. Not sure if they have more sex because they get along better or they get along better because they have more sex.
My wife did not find her soulmate. When we got married, all I really wanted to do was make her happy. I failed miserably!!