The idea that Soul Mates, Soul Groups, and Group Souls actually exist is very popular today. Many people think that animals, plants and minerals have ‘Group Souls’. Several New Age groups and modern research into what happens after death based on past-life regression accept that soul groups and soul mates exist. Many books and films are based on the idea that soul mates exist, eg, The Lake House (2006), and Cloud Atlas (2012).


But do they actually exist? What does Theosophy say on this question?


What do we mean by ‘Souls’


Theosophy defines the ‘Soul’ as the ‘vehicle’ of spirit. It usually refers to all the intermediate parts of the inner constitution of man excluding spirit and the body. First comes spirit (monad), from it emanates its vehicle to enable it to work in the lower worlds – the ego, which in turn clothes itself in its own vital garment – the soul. The soul is evolved by experiences on different planes of being. In itself it is merely the ‘vehicle’ of the monad, but, informed by the monad (spirit), it is a living, conscious entity. Saying that everything – animal, vegetable or mineral – has a soul, refers to the intermediate nature of that thing – therefore – animal soul, etc. of which the physical body is the vehicle. Souls, like bodies, are aggregates of innumerable lives or ‘life atoms’ of various orders.


The Human Soul – a ‘pane of glass’ for the light of the spirit


Man has holy loves, aspirations, hope, and vision. These belong to the spirit, which is immortal and deathless, and are transmitted through the intermediate nature or human soul, which we normally call “I”. This is much as the sunlight streams through a pane of glass in a window. The pane of glass is the vehicle or transmitter of this wondrous quality or force streaming from the sun above. The human soul is like this pane of glass, letting through as much of the sunlight of the spirit as its spiritual evolutionary development enables it to do!


So what are ‘Group Souls’?


‘Group Soul’ is the popular idea that there are entities which express themselves through a collective of living units and collectively are that unit with a single Group Soul covering them all. For example, many people think that when animals die they become merged back into a ‘Group Soul’. But is this so from a theosophic viewpoint?


Every animal, plant, mineral, and even atom, has its own spiritual monad or permanent individuality which is on the path of evolution just as we human monads are on our Path. This individuality cannot be lost. The farther we go ‘back’ on the evolutionary ladder of life evolution towards the chemical elements, the less developed is their individuality – so the more alike they seem to us – like peas in a pod!


The Spiritual Monad: a voyager in space and time


The spiritual monads of kingdoms below the human are more alike to each other than the more spiritually self-conscious and therefore more individualized monads of the higher kingdoms of life – compare minerals of different kinds, plants of different orders, genera, etc., animals of different species, families, etc. – with the individuality apparent in humans.


Yet at their heart, they are like us humans, all spiritual monads travelling through space and time struggling to express themselves more fully as their spiritual monad’s ‘vehicles’ become more greatly individualized. The monad doesn’t transform into the higher kingdoms of life. It enters each kingdom, or classroom of life, when it has learned the ‘lessons’ of the previous class and when it needs a more developed ‘vehicle’ suitable for the next class higher up. It always retains its inherent individuality or ‘swabhava’ which it brought into this universe at the very beginning of this vast journey – the same for us!


We are all voyagers in Space and Time on an eternal pilgrimage of greater understanding and individuation.


Group Souls: why does it appear that they exist?


Monads below the human kingdom are so slightly in possession of an evolved ‘manasic’ (mind-based) power or individuality that, whilst they are , each one, an individual, they are incomparably more unionized with each other than are humans and hence group together like drops of water in the ocean.


All spiritual monads belong to, or are affiliated with, one or other of the 7 or 10 or 12 Solar ‘Logoi’ or ‘Rays’. Therefore, different families of entities conform very closely with the qualities of these ‘Rays’.


Further, with beings less than human (and higher too!) the hierarchical or class essential character (‘swabhava’) of the lower kingdoms works in and through its respective individuals more completely and in a more unitary sense than the Head of the Human Hierarchy (‘The ‘Silent Watcher’). This is because the lesser beings are blindly and unconsciously submissive to their respective kingdom-Hierarchs (the source of animal instincts?) because they have not sufficient sense of egoity to become intellectual ‘rebels’ against Nature as men so often seem to be.


How about Soul Groups and Soul Mates – do they actually exist?


After-Death research based on the hypnotic regression of thousands of people around the world such as done by Dr Michael Newton (USA) and Ian Lawton (UK), as well as visionaries, such as Edgar Cayce (USA) tells us that we all belong to groups of karmically-linked souls and that we do indeed have soul mates who play an enormously important role in our lives and future life planning.


Relationships extend over many lifetimes and we always take up in a new life where we left off in our last lifetime. Lessons come to us in the form of people and we must learn to heal relationships with problems being repeated until the ‘lesson’ is learnt.


We should therefore understand that we have strong reactions to people based on past lives but concentrate on the present in dealing with our problems, and remember that we always retain free-will.


It is important to note that Theosophy warns against being hypnotised: for any reason as hypnotism means surrendering your will to that of another and this is potentially damaging to your spiritual progress as you need a strong spiritual will to cope with the trials and temptations along the path of spiritual development. Secondly, knowledge of past lives through hypnotism may not relate to your past life, but rather be derived from the ‘sea’ of memories in the astral light. It takes a morally pure and skilled therapist to find their way through the morass of images in the astral light. Thirdly, even if memories of past lives gained through hypnotism are correctly yours, then knowledge of them at an early stage on the spiritual path may be subtly damaging as they are from the past and therefore from a time when we were less spiritually developed than we are now. Therefore it may be painful for us to know what we have experienced and less than edifying for us in looking to future possibilities. There will come a time far in the future for most people, when our past lives will be like an open book to us, but then we will have the spiritual maturity to place such information in proper context.


Soul Groups: What Does Modern After-Death Research Say?


All of us have a group of soul mates that we work with in varied relationships over many lives. Our time with this group is characterized by discussion about what we have shared, our reactions to each other, what we handled well, what we could have done better – we often replay and role play in this process of soul learning.


We sporadically move to a different soul group to work on new lessons. ‘Learning’ in the spiritual context means, in the first place, seeing both sides of ‘emotional lessons’, feeling joyous and, especially, painful experiences ourselves, but also to feel what it is like having them directed against us by others. This learning can become repetitive as we literally ‘bash our heads against a brick wall’ learning emotional lessons over and over until we start to move into more progressive patterns of behaviour characterized by ‘altruistic’  attitudes.


Eventually, we start to learn ‘altruistic skills’ such as healing, teaching, guiding and so on – which can be used in the world and the interlife as part of a soul group which shares the same skill set. Such altruistic souls as they progress increasingly choose to take lives which are more for the benefit and learning of others rather than themselves.


The most obvious example of this is when souls volunteer for short lives ending in infancy and childhood. These short lives may be traumatic for the infant/child souls but are far more aimed at challenging the parents and other close relatives to learn to cope with the myriad of emotions that surround such a tragic loss. [Summarized from Ian Lawton’s: Big Book of the Soul]


Soul Mates and Twin Souls – some perspectives from the internet


A search of the internet on Soul Mates soon reveals a widespread and romantic commitment to the idea of Soul Mates and Twin Souls. Amongst the many such ideas:


·        Twin Souls are the other half of your soul and a path to finding God though the union of the male and female halves of the Twin Soul.


·        We evolve and reincarnate with these souls through many lifetimes learning lessons good and bad along the way.


·        Our greatest joys and pains can be found with a soul mate – sometimes they come at what seems like the ‘wrong’ time – one might be significantly older than the other, one might be married to someone else, one might not be on the earth at the same time as the other and acts as a ‘guardian angel’.


·        We don’t meet them until we have learnt many lessons of love and loss with others.


·        There is a frightening intensity when dealing with your soul mate – time to deal with unresolved issues of many lifetimes, psychic and spiritual connections are profound and instantly recognized.


·        Synchronicity plays an important part in soul mate meetings – we may share pains, similar life experiences, perhaps we have lived as neighbours at some time in the past.


·        Meeting your other half is such a life-changing experience – there is no game-playing and transparent honesty is needed from the beginning. If there is karma from past lives to be worked out, it will be apparent and the opportunity will be there to work it out.


•         Meeting your twin soul challenges you to grow spiritually, physically, and to see beyond time, ego, and physical limitations. You will be driven with the desire to be the best manifestation of your soul on earth.


•         This is not a relationship of ‘hearts and flowers’, but one that will be tested in fire and will endure beyond time and space.


Soul Mates – What does Theosophy say?


All human beings are the sons of Father-Sun, but, just as the human race is divided into families, so certain portions of mankind belong to respective spiritual energies or forces – Rays – which, in their aggregate make the Spiritual-Sun. There are 10 principal such Rays and we can therefore divide mankind into 10 principle families.


Between two individual human beings who belong to the same Ray of the Sun, the same particular Solar Force, there is a quick and instant sympathy, a feeling as if they have always known each other. Genuine, real love between two people is based on this fact of Nature.


Spiritual Voyagers – What lies in the future?


If we are all spiritual voyagers on a Cosmic Pilgrimage to greater understanding and Individuation – how can we all end up working together and become as One?


The kingdoms of life higher than the human are more faithful to the sweeping essential nature or ‘swabhava’ of their respective Spiritual Hierarchs (Silent Watchers) than we are in the human kingdom.


These higher kingdoms are becoming more fully self-conscious divine or spiritual egos – Co-Creators with Nature – and thus their subservience to their Spiritual Hierarch is a glad and willing one – compare with beings below the human which are blindly and unconsciously submissive to their respective kingdom Hierarchs/Gods because they have not sufficient egoity to become intellectual rebels against Nature as men so often are.


Thus the Monad evolves – starting with unselfconsciousness – then assertive self-consciousness as a Man – then transformation of rebellious self-consciousness so evident amongst humans now, into divine and Buddha-like self-forgetful subservience to, and co-operative endeavour with, the divine will of the ‘Silent Watcher’ of our human Hierarchy.


How can we measure up to this challenge in our daily lives here and now? There is an old Christian saying: “Not My Will But Thine be Done” – not the will of the ordinary, selfish mentality that we mostly live within, but rather, the will of the Inner Divinity, which guides and leads, urges and impels us to live better constantly – that is the way forward!



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