Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Soul Mate


Many Alien Romance stories show us how a human and an alien could nevertheless be soul mates, and after various harrowing difficulties convincing each other or themselves of the inescapable truth of that mating -- they give in to the inevitable.

OK, actually, I do have a well defined internal referent for "soul mate" -- and actually, as I see reality, there's no reason that souls might not incarnate as different species on different worlds.

See my post about worldbuilding on Linnea's post previous to this one where I touch on religion and spiritual philosophy as the ultimate result of worldbuilding.

Given an intelligent alien species that evolves under different conditions than we have on Earth, I can't see any way that they would NOT have souls equivalent to ours. And given that, no reason that some of our departed souls might not do a stint among some non-human species somewhere.

Given space travel, then there's no reason two individuals who are in fact soul-mates might not encounter one another. OK, the probability is vanishingly small, but that's what LOVE is all about -- the realization of the highly improbable. That's why it's called a "marriage made in heaven" -- only the Creator of the Universe who can manipulate probability could bring some marriages together.

Now, the kind of Alien Romance novel I'd like to see is one that focuses on the inevitable disparity of spiritual philosophies among soul-mates of differing species.

That would take a writer who has a deep and far-ranging grasp of some human spiritual philosophy or mystical view or religion, plus the imagination to be able to replicate the worldbuilding exercise I sketched in my reply to Linnea.

Has anyone read a novel like that? Cross-religion marriages are fairly common today -- I'd expect there would be a wide audience that wouldn't need detailed explanations about why religion in marriage is a problem, nor about the strategies and costs of dealing with that problem, especially when raising children.

What novel have I missed reading here?

Jacqueline Lichtenberg


  1. Great post, but what you want would first require a good, religious explanation of soul mates for the human side of the equation.

    I hear "soul mate" tossed around a lot, but rarely get a good explanation of its meaning -- metaphysically or otherwise.

    Or maybe I'm missing those books!

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  3. Well, I can't think of any novels in which religion is addressed as part of the "soul mate" concept. But the question did remind me of the STAR TREK: NG episode in which a female character encountered a member of that symbiotic species (now I can't remember the name of the species!) in which the symbiote inhabits many humanoid bodies in the course of a very long life. The symbiote was bonded with a man in its previous lifetime, and he and the female character were in love. Now the symbiote inhabits a female body, but their love is revived anyway because it's the inner self -- the soul, we might say -- that matters, not primarily the body it inhabits. At the time, there was all sorts of furor in the media about the lesbian implications, completely ignoring the important philosophical questions about personal identity that were being explored.