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Finding Your Transcendent Soulmate

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Soul mate

By Simon Jacobson

Dear Rabbi Jacobson,

I have heard some of your brilliant and inspiring tapes. I want to thank you for presenting not just fascinating insights, but a new perspective on how to look at life.

One of the things that struck me is the issue of finding your soulmate by looking not just for physical, intellectual and emotional compatibility, but most importantly, for spiritual compatibility. A transcendent partner. Your explanation of love as transcendence and not just getting your needs met resonates deeply.

What I would like to ask, and am sure many people in search for their eternal love would be interested in as well, is: can you outline some specific criteria that can help one find ones true soul mate. How does one know whether the love is transcendent or just comforting and nurturing? I know that it may difficult to break this down into short points, particularly considering that each situation is unique and needs to be addressed case by case, as you often put it. Yet, I thought it might be extremely helpful if you could spell out some specific questions that one should ask oneself when making such an important decision.

I thank you for your time and wisdom.

Sincerely,
Robin G.

***

Dear Robin,

Thank you for your very kind and encouraging words. I appreciate your flattering compliments, yet at the same time want you to know that these are not my insights but those of the Torah, which I have been privileged to study with my masters, and have the honor to pass on, with the objective that you and everyone inspired by these teachings continue to serve as links in a chain, bringing these teachings to those whom we meet.

In reply to your very relevant request, I will outline several questions one should be asking in finding a transcendent soul partner.

1)    Does and will my potential soulmate help me reach a place greater than I can reach on my own?

2)    Does s/he challenge me, or just please me and bring me comfort and companionship?

3)    Is s/he a partner that helps me crystallize and actualize my vision of life, or does s/he just agree with me? Is s/he a true partner in my dreams, not just my companion?

4)    Does my partner feed and nourish my soul? Do I feel magic with the person? Can we consistently generate magic?

5)    Do I feel compromised in any way in this relationship?

6)    Am I reaching my fullest potential in this relationship?

7)    Do I respect and admire my partner’s dreams and vision?

8)    Does my partner just support my efforts? Is s/he committed as much as I am to the transcendent element?

9)    Do I feel that my relationship will be regular, or am I excited about the potential and the significance of our relationship?

10)    Will my relationship help other people grow, or is it only a comfortable relationship between my partner and me?

11)    Do I love my partner’s love for me or do I actually love the person him/herself?

12)    Is there a healthy measure of angst in the relationship, consistently propelling it to a higher level, or is the relationship stagnant and complacent, perhaps comfortably so, but nevertheless on a plateau?

13)    Is crisis in the relationship handled through appeasement and placating, where one partner is pleasing the other, or is it faced head on as two equal partners?

Needless to say, there are many other questions that need to be answered when searching for your soulmate. I emphasized here some of the requirements necessary to achieve a transcendent relationship. It is always best to have a close trusting friend or mentor that can help you objectively assess your particular relationship.

I also know that the requirements I spelled out may be optimal, but these are the aspirations I would be looking for in a dynamic transcendent relationship. We should always shoot for the top. Obviously, these criteria are also contingent on the fact that one is truly committed to this level of significance and transcendence in ones life. And finally, we must always remember that the key to a true transcendent relationship is to welcome in the third partner, G-d. Our efforts create a vessel that channel G-d’s blessing into our lives, which helps us discover and maintain the ultimate relationship.

I hope this is helpful, and I extend to you my blessings to find your ultimate soulmate.

Best wishes,
Simon Jacobson

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Below is a response by another reader to this correspondence:

Dear Rabbi Jacobson

In the spirit of the idea that “challenge” is healthy, I would like to challenge some of the criteria you gave for finding a soulmate.

1) Does and will my potential soulmate help me reach a place greater than I can reach on my own?

I think this is problematic because it’s asked from the perspective of what can s/he do for ME? Others might say the question is:  “Will I be able to help my soulmate reach a greater place than they could on their own?”

2) Does s/he challenge me, or just please me and bring me comfort and companionship?

Comfort and companionship should not be minimalized. Halevai that many marriages today provided comfort and companionship.

3) Is s/he a partner that helps me crystallize and actualize my vision of life, or does s/he just agree with me? Is s/he a true partner in my dreams, not just my companion?

Again, the perspective is what can s/he do for me.

4) Does my partner feed and nourish my soul? Do I feel magic with the person? Can we consistently generate magic?

Ditto. Plus, magic can be defined as physical chemistry, which by the way should not be negated.

5) Do I feel compromised in any way in this relationship?

Others might say that if you don’t expect to make compromises you are waiting for the perfect person who will never come.

6) Am I reaching my fullest potential in this relationship?

Again, more of the ME perspective.

7) Do I respect and admire my partner’s dreams and vision?

Finally, something “other” oriented. I might add: Do I respect them and admire them even if I don’t necessarily share them?

8) Does my partner just support my efforts? Is s/he committed as much as I am to the transcendent element?

Good question.

11) Do I love my partner’s love for me or do I actually love the person him/herself?

Your best question, I think.

12) Is there a healthy measure of angst in the relationship, consistently propelling it to a higher level, or is the relationship stagnant and complacent, perhaps comfortably so, but nevertheless on a plateau?

I’m not sure I agree that angst is the only or best way to define a non-stagnant relationship. Angst can be a sign of true paining each other, in my opinion. In other words, I think there’s positive angst, as you suggest, but negative as well. Sometimes (most of the time?) the angst can be telling us to stay away from the person, not marry them.

Thanks
S.

***

Dear S,

Thank you for your insightful challenge and remarks. I agree with your legitimate points.

Yet I would add that I specifically emphasized that these criteria are regarding a transcendent relationship, hence the questions I posed. Comfort, companionship, physical chemistry and many other factors are necessary in a relationship, but the focus here is on transcendence.

Your comment on emphasizing not ME, what I get from the relationship but what I bring to it, is especially appropriate and well taken. At the same time many relationships are compromised (and that’s what I meant by compromise in question #5) by the fact that one of the partners is not reaching a greater place then they could on their own. And that requirement must be fulfilled before committing to the relationship.

I should also add that my questions were intended for someone who is considering marriage and is not yet in a marriage. Then one must ask the question whether my potential will be fulfilled and will I be compromised on any fundamental level.

Once that decision has been made, the ingredients of maintaining a healthy union requires love that is not just about needs but about giving.

Thank you for your comments.

Blessings and best wishes,
Simon Jacobson

***

Dear Rabbi,

As a further comment, you wrote back:

“Comfort, companionship, physical chemistry and many other factors are necessary in a relationship, but the focus here is on transcendence.”

I would suggest that a person who is in or embarking upon a relationship that is uncomfortable, lacking companionship and physical chemistry is severely handicapped when it comes to attaining transcendence. Granted, many elements in contemporary society emphasize the secular at the expense of the transcendent. Nevertheless, our Torah – and especially Chassidus – emphasizes how important – vital – the physical is to bring about tikkun, transcendence, whatever you want to call it. We don’t just read Vayachulu on Shabbos. We say Kiddush over wine, physically intoxicating wine. The marital relationship is a physical, sexual relationship or it is just a friendship (at best). In emphasizing the transcendental I would not fail to mention the vital role of the material element, otherwise some in the audience might get the wrong message and deny the physical – this vital rung in the ladder to transcendence – in their climb toward true spirituality.

Sincerely
S

***

Dear S,

I believe you misunderstood my intention. I did not mean to negate the importance of the material element. On the contrary, I completely agree that we must integrate the transcendental and the physical.

My point was that my letter was addressing only the transcendental element, taking for granted that all the other issues have already been addressed. If you go back to my original correspondence with Robin you will see that the focus here is, after one has found a compatible partner physically, emotionally and intellectually, how can one ensure that there is also a transcendental spiritual compatibility.

Obviously, the issue of finding a soulmate cannot even begin to be covered in a letter, and a short one at that. That is why I kept my focus on the transcendent component. In addition, Robin’s letter to me was a follow up to my tapes on the subject, where I discuss at length the ingredients necessary for a healthy relationship, which includes many of the things you point out and more (some of it is also covered in my book, “Toward A Meaningful Life,” in the chapter on Marriage, Intimacy and Home and Family).

Thanks you again for your comments.

Blessings and best wishes,
Simon Jacobson

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suneeta pandey

I am really overwhelmed by the questions that are put forth by Rabbi which can help us to find transcendent soul partner.I agree to the view point. Most of the questions are logical. Everyone is on his level of awakening.
Further I wish to add this as one of the questions ,””AM I ME MYSELF IN THAT PERSON’S COMPANY “”?

NIck

Rabbi Jacobson , Thanks again for the insights..

Paul Jordan Gonzales

You are very wise and l love all your insight that you have said to others.
perhaps you could give me some insight on believing in multiple religions?
I am a christian, athiest, buddhist, hinduism, and mother earth. I have a true belief in those 5 religions and would love any feedback you may have. i have lots to say about faith, religion, and morales.
thanks
happy holidays
Paul Jordan Gonzales

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