Blog of Pulitzer Prize Nominated Author, Jory Sherman. Get the latest information on his books, appearances and his candid reflections on writing.

Friday, August 13, 2010

By Jory Sherman

Many of us were taught that we have a soul. Few of us are taught what a soul really is. So, we grow up believing that there is this nebulous part of ourselves that entered our body at conception and survives after death. The Greeks believed the soul was in the breath. Other civilizations and religions believed in the soul’s existence.

But, what if man had two souls? Is that possible? What if we were only one half of a soul, yearning to join with the other half? And, where is that other half, that twin soul of ours? Could it be in another dimension? Or, perhaps, it exists in another universe.

This thought of a twin soul came to me suddenly, and I rejected it at first. It is difficult enough to handle the conception of a single ethereal soul in our beings without adding another.

Yet, the thought stuck with me and I began to think about the duality of nature, the yin and the yang of Oriental philosophy, and the many instances of duality in nature, and in man. Might we not be, on this earth, like avatars, virtual human beings acting out scenarios instigated by that other soul in another dimension, in another universe?

The thought continued to grow in my mind, and it began to take on relevance. I dreamed about this second soul all night, and when I awoke it did not seem so irrational or far-fetched.

We yearn for something all our lives. We yearn, often, for something intangible, something just out of reach of our minds. As a writer, I have long been aware of the questions a man should ask himself, the questions that are inherent in every work of art. These are immortal questions and the seeker of truth should ask these questions of himself or herself throughout life. The writer should ask these questions of his protagonist. We should ask these questions of ourselves.

The three questions are these: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going?

Homer asked these questions of Odysseus, and of many of the heroes he wrote about in his epic poems. So, too, did Virgil and all the other writers of note who followed these ancient scribes.

For a long time, I believed that man was searching for his true father, the Father-of-All, God, and this was his quest throughout life. This seemed rational and was profound enough to satisfy me for many years.

But, what if we were really searching for our other soul, that soul that resides on another planet, or in another universe? That soul that sent us here to learn more about life and ourselves until the moment of death when we would return to that other dimension and rejoin our original Self.

In this life, we are motivated to join with another person. We wish to marry or find a life partner. Could this be a deep yearning to join with a twin soul? Is this the answer to all three questions?

There is this eternal yearning in all us, for something beyond ourselves, love, friendship, marriage. This may be why we become so attached to our pets. They may, in some deep-seated way, represent that unknown being with whom we can only communicate with through love and affection. There is a language barrier there between us and our beloved pets, but the love between us is almost palpable. And, we who are writers, perhaps write in order to reach someone or something beyond ourselves, beyond the visible world. Perhaps we are writing love letters to an imaginary lover, an unrequited love who may or may not ever read our words. There is surely something beyond ourselves that we are missing. It may be God, or that other soul, from whom we are separated during our lifetimes on this earth.

To me, this life makes more sense if we truly have a dual existence. A single soul is such a slippery and vaporous entity that it is difficult to grasp the concept of a disembodied spirit that is part of our personality. But, if we have a twin, another soul in waiting, a soul that perhaps guides us through this life on this earth, then this makes more sense to me. It not only helps me answer those three questions, but it fits the very nature of the universe with all its mysteries. And, if, as many scientists now say, there are many other universes, perhaps an infinite number of universes, then having at least two souls makes more scientific and spiritual sense than having but one soul.

I began to consider the many instances of duality in nature and in the universe, the plus and minus of mathematics, matter and anti-matter, gravity and anti-gravity. The notion of duality began to swell and grow in my mind as I realized that the idea of two souls instead of just one might make perfect sense. Such a notion might explain our intimations of Fate and Destiny, even give purpose to our lives.

Might not that other soul explain why Fate guides us on our path through life, even drives us to take one path instead of another? Might not this search for fulfillment and completeness be a connection between twin souls? Perhaps this one soul, the one living on earth, was seeking its Destiny so that one day it would rejoin its absent twin and thus complete the circle, the eternal circle that is also a part of ancient beliefs and visible in our galaxy and all the others.

It would be intellectually and spiritually comforting to me to know that I had a twin soul waiting for me in another life. It would seem more fulfilling to rejoin that other soul than to join a host of souls all clamoring for my attention on the other side. If there is another side.

So, the idea of an identical twin soul, or even an unidentical twin soul, does not seem so ridiculous or far-fetched as I would have imagined. That other soul might explain the spiritual guidance I’ve had in life, the many twists of Fate that put me on my present course.

If each of us does have a twin soul residing in another dimension, this might explain where we got our ideas of the Muses, Federico Garcia Lorca’s Duende, inspiration and even a guardian angel. If a twin soul is guiding us mentally, then this might explain how important the subconscious mind is in the process of artistic creation. And, it also might explain the vivid dreams, largely symbolic, that seem too real to the dreamer and sometimes explain themselves in the conscious world of wakefulness. My subconscious gives me many of the answers I need to conceive, plot and write my books. Through meditation and during sleep, my subconscious works fulltime to give me the answers I need, the direction I must take in my work.

I intend to explore this concept of a twin soul further. Perhaps others have had the same thought and written something down that I might read.

What I do know is that the idea of having two souls instead of just one is growing in me and I believe, for that reason, that the idea has substance and is worth examining in further detail.

For now, I am open-minded, eager to explore this unknown. I suspect that if I have a twin soul, it is that soul which planted the idea in my conscious mind and led me to write this essay.

The idea came from somewhere.

It just might be that it came from my other soul, the twin that has guided me to this point in my human existence.

Of course there is no proof that there are other dimensions or other universes. And, there is no proof that humans possess a soul. There is no proof of one soul, much less two. But if there is such a thing as a soul, then why can that soul not have a twin, a twin that exists in another dimension unknown to us; another universe not yet detected by man and his finite mind.

Jory Sherman