According to Greek Mythology, soulmates are two halves of the same person who were separated by the Greek god Zeus due to jealousy and fear. This is why we spend our entire lives looking for our “other half.”
The “Primal Humans” in Greek Mythology
In his philosophical text ‘The Symposium’, Athenian philosopher Plato describes the myth of the original humans and the creation of the concept of soulmates through the speech of comic playwright Aristophanes. Plato’s The Symposium explains – “According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with 4 arms, 4 legs and a head with 2 faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search for other halves.”
Aristophanes’ speech explains that there is a spiritual reason why we always keep looking for “The One” and feel mentally and emotionally “incomplete” without our romantic partners with whom we share an intimate, loving and committed relationship. He explains that in the beginning, the original ‘primal’ humans were created very differently from what we are today. According to the myth, Greek Gods created humans with two different, yet joined bodies. Two individuals were created in one physical body with two genders, both man and woman, four arms, four legs and two faces who existed as a single entity or identity. It is believed that the two individuals were soulmates unified in one body.
These original or primal human beings were physically strong, mentally sharp, powerful, fearless and exceptionally talented. Moreover, there were three different genders – male, female and androgynous, someone who is partly male, partly female. These humans were descendants of three divine parents – the Sun, the Moon and the Earth. Males were the children of the Sun; females were born from the Earth; but the androgynous were the offspring of the Moon, formed by combining the Sun & the Earth. Each of the three genders had double bodies with two faces in opposite directions, four limbs & two sets of genitalia. The males had two male reproductive parts, the females had two female reproductive organs, while the androgynous had one male and one female genitalia.
These primal humans were twice as powerful and faster than humans today. These joined humans in a single body were actually soulmates, with two male or two female lovers being homosexuals, while the androgynous lovers were heterosexuals.
The curse on the soulmates
According to Greek mythology, filled with pride, ego and hubris, the powerful primal humans tried to challenge the Greek Gods by scaling Mount Olympus. These humans wanted to conquer the Gods and become the new rulers. However, this angered the almighty Gods, who decided that something must be done to control these powerful creatures and bring back harmony & balance. Although Zeus considered striking the unruly human beings with his divine thunderbolts and eradicating them, he changed his mind as this would mean there would be no humans left to worship him.
So in order to ensure the offerings and devotions of the humans are sustained, he decided to split the humans in half, making them weaker and lost. This was not only a fitting and painful punishment for the humans, it also doubled the human population, increasing the volume of offerings the Gods received. Thus, the humans everywhere faced the wrath of the Gods by being cut into two due to their own pride and ego.
Rescued by Apollo, the healer
The humans were now miserable without their other half and drowned in pain and suffering. They felt lost, alone and lacked the will to live. They cried and grieved over the loss of their soulmates and stopped eating or drinking. However, Greek mythology states that the Olympian deity Apollo, the God of truth and healing, could not bear to see the humans suffer like this. So he decided to heal their wounds by stitching and restructuring their bodies with one face, four limbs and one genital. Now only their navels reminded them of their primal form. Apollo also decided to move their genitals to the front from their back so that humans could experience the joy, warmth and comfort of copulating with their soulmates, once the humans found their other halves.
Apollo believed that this could encourage androgynous couples to reproduce more offsprings, which would make sure that there were more humans to worship the Greek Gods. He also ensured that homosexuals, whether male or female, could still find love, happiness and satisfaction by being united with their other halves – their intimate partner, even if they couldn’t procreate.