What is the true meaning of a soul mate?

Question: The problem seems to be that when you are in a relationship, in the beginning everything is happening, but when you marry that person it changes.

I’ve been in several relationships, major relationships, and been married and divorced twice and I’m searching for something special. Something I’ve been told has been called a soul mate. Do you believe in such a relationship or person and what would that mean? How would I know that?

Ram Dass: Got it! Keep looking! I’ll give you the farthest out answer first and then we’ll come back to something that everybody can handle. In the farthest out answer, we have all been around so many times that every one of us has been everything with everybody else. So when I look at you, you and I have been in so many relationships together. It’s just that we don’t remember.

Do you know how many times we have been born and died? Remember that story, Buddha says:  If you take a mountain six miles long and six miles wide and six miles high, that’s the distance a bullock walks in a day. And a bird flies over the mountain once every hundred years with a silk scarf in its beak and brushes the tip of the mountain. In the length of time it takes the scarf to wear away the mountain, that’s how long you have been doing this. Just think about that. Once every hundred years the scarf goes over. A scarf and a mountain. It goes on and on and on. In India there are Yugas and Kalpas of hundreds of thousands of years and then they just start cycles all over again. And we’ve been through all of them again and again.

Now, behind all of it is the One. And that is all there is. All of us here are One in drag, appearing to be many. So we are all “soul mate”.

There is only one of it. It’s not mate, because it’s not even two. It’s only one. There’s only one of us. So what you’re really doing is constantly marrying yourself at the deepest level of God marrying God. Now you come down into soul. And each soul has a unique karmic predicament, you could call it a psychic DNA code, that guides which way its life will go. And it is entirely possible that when souls take birth into parents that are part of their Karma, they will meet a being and they have agreed in advance to come down to meet. And that’s what we usually call soul mate.

What you have found from your past marriages is that what you are attracted to in a person isn’t what you ultimately live with.

After the honeymoon is over, then you are left with the work to do. And it’s the same work. When you trade in one partner for another, you still have the same work. You’re going to have to do it sooner or later when the pizzazz is over. And it just keeps going over. And you can’t milk the romanticism of relationship too long as you become more conscious. It’s more interesting than that. It really is. And people keep wanting to romanticize their lives all the time. It’s part of the culture. But the awakening process starts to show you the emptiness of that form. And you start to go for something deeper.

You start to meet another human being in truth. And truth is scary. Truth has bad breath at times, truth is boring, truth burns the food, truth is all the stuff. Truth has anger, truth has all of it.

And you stay in it and you keep working with it and your keep opening to it and you keep deepening it.  Every time you trade in a partner, you realize that there’s no good or bad about it. I’m not talking good or bad about this.

But you begin to see how you keep coming to the same place in relationships, and then you tend to stop.  Because it gets too heavy. Because your identity gets threatened too much. For the relationship to move to the next level of truth requires an opening and a vulnerability that you’re not quite ready to make.  And so you entrench, you retrench, you pull back and then you start to judge and push away and then you move to the next one. And then you have the rush of the openness and then the same thing starts to happen.

And so you keep saying, “Where am I going to find the one where this doesn’t happen?” And it will only happen when it doesn’t happen in you.

When you start to watch the stuff and get quiet enough inside yourself, you can take that process as it’s happening and start to work with it. And you can keep coming back to living truth in yourself or the other person even though it’s scary and hard.

12 thoughts on “What is the true meaning of a soul mate?”

  1. I am 66 years old, and have been married for 22 years to a good man. We have been many things to each other: passionate lovers, caretakers, buddies, co-workers, teachers . . . many things. Sometimes I feel as if he is two people. He can be delightful, funny, intelligent, sensitive, helpful, positive, generous, open — and is, much of the time. Then if one of his triggers is tripped he is suddenly someone else. He becomes hard, unbending, bigoted, racist, sexist, miserly. I decided long ago that I am here in part because all this is something I need to learn to deal with in some way, but I get confused by it, because when this side emerges it can be so hurtful. Sometimes I deal with it simply by setting up a barrier between him and me, and I think that part of my work in this relationship is in learning to establish boundaries. I am also here in part because he needs so very much for someone to pray for him when this side comes forth — to be able to look past and through all this baggage and let him know that in there is God. I have thought of leaving the relationship, but in marrying I made some pretty heavy promises, and I wish to honor them. And there is much that is good about our life together, that I do not want to leave behind.
    Will you please tell me something to cast light on my role in this situation? Thank you so much.

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  2. Oh, Ram Dass….good shit! That’s good shit! I get it!!!! Thanx! and Thanx! Maharahji….ram….ram….ram….ram….

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  3. My husband and I are discussing this article and we have a question. Above, you state “… it is entirely possible that souls when they take birth into parents that are part of their Karma, will at some point meet a being and they have agreed in advance to come down and do this together and meet. And that’s what we usually call soul mates.” This is a familiar concept to me as I have often had a sense of a deep familiarity with my husband and son that seems to transcend time. It makes sense that I am relating to them as part of the One that is also within myself. My question comes from the concept that two souls could meet and agree to come down and do this together. Since we are all One, how is possible for a soul to be aware and make an agreement with another soul without first being embodied?

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  4. And now as I am learning to understand myself, I am learning the lessons I put to the side from fear. All I needed was truth, with the work I have been doing, and will continue doing, I am seeing what I was doing. Accepting the truth of who I am, and what I have done and experienced, will be the hardest to accept. I let the most beautiful connection I have ever experienced, slip away while contemplating what I was not doing and not simply just doing what I felt in my heart. She was my soul mate and my heart, how silly was I to not listen to my heart.

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  5. You spoke from a personal perspective about being single in Sacred Odyssey, and I wonder if you have written about it, this seemingly radical choice to be single in a coupled up secular world, where defying the norm is always overshadowed by uncertainty, sometimes longing.

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  6. So true, Ram Dass. I love to hear your farthest out answers and all of your teachings, your voice. Since I saw “awareness” on youtube I momentarily tapped into that sheer knowing, an unexpected plunge into deep connection, rising to an awareness of relationship to each other, and to you. You are a beautiful soul and I am so thankful to be in contact with, albeit this distant format. Logging out of site for awhile to focus on some work. For the time will miss these fb generated articles and wonderful posts (loved Herman Hesse doc.- reading Siddhartha!) …

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  7. ॐknew this intuitively as early as eight years old. I honor the light in you Ram Dass. Thank you for clarity in chaos. ॐ

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  8. Were all one soul…that comment just feels right to me. It’s so much fun having my little part imbedded into an animal on the planet Earth. I don’t know where else we could be but this home is beyond anything I could ever wish for. Personally I gravitate to strong women who often are selfish and vindictive, especially when they feel a strange inferiority. My belief is it is my fault because I expect them to know how to be above depression, or I keep explaining the giving cycle as the key to beat depression to the point it becomes a resentment. I should be ok with doing what I can to help, but I have this very real pride associated with my ability to be completely open and honest. It takes away from my mastery of my physical nature by being too proud of my accomplishments. I believe this creates a cycle where they are driven to prove I have cracks in my personality and i just keep enjoying life, making her experience worst. Regardless I will still go after the same type of woman because I really love being challenged. Does this sound terrible of me to think this way?

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  9. There may be a chance he feels a build up of negative emotions and then releases them. I say this because my impression is that your positive nature is glorious to experience and takes real strength to cultivate. Sometimes others are not able to be humble enough to feel what you do (I’m assuming). He may try to be worthy of you by maintaining a level of inner peace that is possibly not what he is able to maintain. The good side of this theory is that you inspire him to grow.

    My second theory is not so glorious. Speaking from experience I think there may be some very strong and very destructive aspects associated with being an animal on Earth. There is another mind built into these killing machines that taps into hulk like physical strength and intense savagery. I have supressed mine so extremely for the benefit of being humble and generous, that slighly opening the lid allows something else to actively control my actions. It can suppress me so much I do not know what I have done and I come back to reality after actions were committed. Some occasions I was still conscious but only a witness to the actions and the words I spoke. I could hear them and was shocked at how overly intense a person could be, especially when I was surrounded and a knife was to my throat. On top of that I felt a real yearning for the knife to slice my throat allowing me to kill. If this thing is to some degree in everyone then it explains his other self as well.

    I’m hoping your guy is more like theory number one.

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