For many today, the idea of a soulmate is perceived as the classic “love at first sight” scenario in movies and books; for others, it might be more subtle feelings like a strong connection with someone else or recognition of something special in another person.
But some well-known philosophers, poets, and psychologists suggest there’s more to soulmates than that.
The soulmate concept was first introduced into Western thought in Plato’s Symposium. The Greek philosopher views the soulmate as an ideal companion that helps us understand ourselves, find comfort in our decisions, and give us a deeper understanding of life.
Plato proposes that we all have a “dual nature” or two halves that fit together perfectly – one male and one female. He believes these two halves were once combined in one body but split apart by Zeus. As a result, each of us is now searching for our other half to complete our missing part and make us whole again. Finding this perfect partner would allow us to experience true love that surpasses all other forms of affection.
According to Plato, the soulmate remains with us even after death because it has become a part of our spirit and will thus remain with us until we are reunited in the afterlife. He believes reuniting with one’s lost beloved can lead to spiritual growth and enlightenment, bringing balance and harmony back into our lives.
This concept links with the ideas of Henry Corbin, a 20th-century French philosopher, theologian, and scholar of Islamic and Sufi philosophy, particularly that of the 13th-century Persian mystic Rumi, whose poem “The Angels” is an exquisite ode of profound thanks to spiritual guides sent from above:
“The angels flew in like an army of birds,
Ready to protect us from all that we feared.
Their wings spread wide in the night sky,
Bringing peace and hope with each sacred flight.
In their sight we are loved and cherished,
Each one of us special beyond measure.
They come as messengers from God’s grace,
Filling our life with their gentle embrace.
Though they have no earthly form or name,
Their presence is felt if only one calls out in faith.
For when darkness threatens and clouds the sky,
The angels remind us why it’s worth living for tomorrow. ”The Angels, Rumi
Like Rumi, Corbin believes that soulmates are angels sent to us from God to help us on our journey of spiritual growth. Corbin suggests that angels are not simply ethereal beings but a manifestation of divine energy and consciousness permeating all creation. Corbin also suggests we each have a celestial twin angel, and connections between our angels and us can be made on both physical and metaphysical planes.
One of Corbin’s key insights about angels is their relationship to the human soul. He argues that humans have an innate connection to the divine realm and that angels are the mediators through which this connection is made. According to Corbin, the human soul is naturally inclined towards the divine, nurtured and developed through the influence of angels. Corbin suggests we connect with angels through creative imagination. In his view, imagination is not simply a passive faculty but an active force that has the power to shape reality. Through imagination, which goes far beyond mere fantasy or daydreaming, humans can access the realm of angels and participate in the divine creative process.
Corbin’s ideas about the role of angels and spiritual growth through creative imagination are well-expressed in the work of the English poet and painter William Blake, a renowned visionary of the 18th century who was deeply inspired by Christian mythology.
Blake famously wrote of the Angels of Imagination, whom he saw as spiritual guides sent by God to help humankind gain insight into the divine mysteries of life. In his work “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”, Blake paints a picture of these angels as they traverse human consciousness and unlock new pathways for creative exploration. He writes that these angelic figures can open up humans’ minds to greater understanding and appreciation for beauty:
“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks in his cavern”.The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, William Blake
Here, Blake illustrates how connecting with angels through creative imagination can enable us to expand our view of reality beyond what our physical eyes see and tap into an entirely new realm of spiritual knowledge.
John Donne, a renowned English poet and theologian of the 17th century, imaginatively forges the link between angels and soulmates. Donne speaks of angelic figures as among God’s instruments for helping humans understand their relationship with each other and the Divine. He suggests these angelic figures are sent to us by some secret communication of love from beyond our knowledge; they come to us with a message which is not audible but ineffable.
Donne views these divine beings as having a special role in bringing soulmates together in holy matrimony. In his poem “Air and Angels”, Done hints that angels are our matchmakers and can unite two souls destined for one another:
“Twice or Thrice had I loved thee,
Before I knew thy face or name:
So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame,
Angels affect us oft, and worshipped be;”Air and Angels, John Donne
James Hillman, a 20th-century American psychologist, author, and scholar deeply influenced by Corbin’s work and Plato’s notions of soulmates, rooted in the idea of two people being spiritually connected, believes this connection goes beyond physical characteristics, attraction or even friendship. It can help both parties grow as individuals by providing mutual support and understanding on a spiritual level. Ultimately, Hillman’s ideas emphasise the importance of forging meaningful connections with others based on shared values and beliefs rather than superficial attractions or fleeting desires.
While both James Hillman and Henry Corbin have their own unique perspectives on the concept of a soulmate, there are some similarities between their ideas. Both thinkers view the soul as an essential part of our being that can be specially connected to that of another. They also emphasize the importance of forging meaningful connections with others based on shared values and beliefs rather than superficial attractions or fleeting desires. However, there are some key differences between them as well. For example, while Hillman sees this connection as spiritual, transcending physical attraction or friendship, Corbin views it more holistically – understanding it to encompass all aspects of life, including physical union and intellectual exchange.
So, how can we use Hillman and Corbin’s theories to make our connections with potential soulmates deeper and more meaningful? Firstly, it is important to recognize that these two thinkers view the concept of a soulmate differently. Hillman sees the connection as spiritual, while Corbin views it more holistically.
However, both acknowledge that there is something special about this type of relationship beyond physical attraction or friendship and that angels, as divine messengers, play a vital role in this. By recognizing this shared trait across both philosophers’ ideas, you can begin to focus on forging meaningful connections with potential soulmates based on mutual values and beliefs rather than superficial attractions or fleeting desires.
Secondly, try to cultivate an openness within yourself when interacting with potential soulmates. The idea of soulmates being spiritually connected implies a need for both parties to open themselves up to each other for the relationship to reach its full potential. So, allow yourself to get vulnerable and honest with your potential soulmate. Be willing to share your innermost thoughts and feelings, even if they are uncomfortable or difficult. Doing so will create an atmosphere of trust and understanding between you, which can be the foundation of a meaningful connection.
Finally, don’t be afraid to take risks when it comes to connecting with someone who could be your soulmate. While Hillman’s ideas emphasize the importance of shared values and beliefs, Corbin also acknowledges that physical union is also important. Don’t be afraid to make the first move or open yourself to potential soulmates. Doing so can make a connection beyond physical attraction into something far more meaningful.
By taking these steps, we can use the theories of James Hillman and Henry Corbin to understand better the concept of a soulmate and how it relates to us personally. With careful consideration and an openness to possibility, we can forge deeper relationships with our potential soulmates based on mutual values and beliefs rather than superficial attractions or fleeting desires. This can lead to a connection that transcends the physical world and reaches something spiritual and divine – and in the process, discover someone who could be your true angelic soulmate.
With this knowledge, you can take the first step towards finding your soulmate connection involving angels! Best of luck on your journey, and for inspiration, remember to read widely from the works of Romantic and Metaphysical poets like William Blake and John Donne.