2015 edit please read: This is an older post–2 years ago. Like anyone who is changing and growing, my views on twin flames in particular has evolved from this article. I am leaving it up though as additional food for thought rather than editing it. Many twin flame teachers express that the info out there on twin flames is old, I tend to concur….but I will hold to this also: In order to really understand twin flames, you have to be one. Not just that though, you have to KNOW you are one. I am one. I know I am one. So I am not saying at any point that I question its reality or validity–I don’t.
But because in the beginning many soul connections can be similar, even those who have been through soul mates before do not immediately know they are a twin flame. This was the case for me. I have resisted this label personally because twin flames are rare. I will not talk about anything that I have not learned or experienced, and I will only talk about the things I understand. It has been quite a lot over the journey of 6 soul mates and a twin flame. Every twin flame situation is different. So see this article as part of my personal process. I will be speaking much more on twin flames so stay tuned!!!
While a lot has been written on the subject of soul mates, and it is generally a concept more in the mainstream (although in my opinion, the mainstream take on it is largely misunderstood), the concept of twin flames is more prominent with the “new age” crowd. Although, as you can grasp from Elizabeth Claire Prophet’s work, the concept itself is much older, going back to Plato, at least. That being said, there is a fair amount of information out there, particularly on the internet. There are plenty of sites run by those who identify as twin flames, message boards, Facebook groups, and the like. But unless you fly the new age sky, you are not likely to have heard about it.
The information available is hard to prove theoretically speaking. Like any spiritual set of ideas, there is no way to know for sure. I think this is so important for people to understand. We can accept what resonates and rings true for us, but any system for viewing the world is a lens through which we look, and sometimes, we are looking through that lens inside of a box. If we don’t comprehend that, we run the risk of “metaphysical fundamentalism, ” equally as attached to our concepts and potentially just as close-minded as any other fundamentalist–and then we really miss the larger point. Those who identify as twin flames say that they “just know” and so the need for proof is really moot. Intuitively, that is totally understandable, as one can’t argue with personal experience, and I would never even try. 🙂 Personal experience is what it is–relative–and meaningful in a personal way. But personal experience, also, does not necessarily make an entire theory infallible.
Much of the information on twin flames, if not historical in nature (twin flames in history and literature, etc) is channeled (claimed to have been ‘downloaded’ from a higher source than the ego,) and/or comes from those who take on the “twin flame” label. I have nothing against either source of information as real and valid, however, the issue arises of trying to find an absolute, across the board, applicable truth in a set of ideas that are often contradictory. I provide all of these caveats and preludes to what I think because it is a drama-laden topic. This is an area that has caused more controversy than soul mates, and I have found in teaching it, has ruffled the most feathers and is an area where ego can run amok. I have learned over the years of being involved with the metaphysical community that spirituality does not make one immune from egoism. None of us really are immune from the ego’s slinky ways. 😀
Some who identify as twin flames have been sure to “school” me and seek me out, claiming that they have the real information, and they want to make sure that I don’t put out any “misinformation.” Oh, yoi. I have not put forth any theories or information that have not already been claimed by someone else self-identifying as a twin flame. I think people should think about why twin flames contradict each other, rather than shooting the messenger for presenting the information as it stands. What I have done is organize my thoughts based on the research I have done, people I have talked to, and added some psychological insight and critical thinking skills. Like everybody else, I have tried to sort it out because I have been through many soul mates, and was curious to find out if the twin flame category could apply to my experiences. I have pretty much decided that it has not applied so far, but maybe even more importantly, that the distinction just does not matter that much. Although, there is no way to know for anybody, unless they go through it. Like a lot of things in life, maybe it is something that may be best understood in hindsight.
In any case, in my teachings on the subject, including what has been taught in Lily Dale, I am very careful to note when ideas are theories and when I am talking about patterns in people’s experiences. There is a difference.
As usual though, I wonder about what exactly can be considered the “real information.” I certainly don’t claim to have THE answers. But I do think I have some good questions. Here is one example. It has been written in a few sources (mainly channeled) that there are only 144 twin flame pairs in existence on the planet currently. This is the kind of thing you can’t prove, unless you are taking a poll and doing some very serious research. How otherwise, would one know for sure that there are, exactly, 144? Just where does this number come from? Part of my point is–well, that’s interesting, but, does it really matter?
It is touchy, because many twin flames teach that it is a rare phenomenon (and I tend to agree,) while everyone having a deep and transformative soul connection experience would like to think that they have found their twin flame. There is a reason for this, and many people may not like to hear it, but there is an unspoken assumption that twin flames are the creme de la creme of relationships, the ultimate union, and as such, destined and almost mandated, to reunite and complete their mission. Therefore, everyone wants to fit themselves into this label.
Because, I think, of the misinterpretation of soul mates in mainstream culture, soul mates and twin flames are quite romanticized, twin flames to an even higher degree. I was guilty of this fallacy myself, as I have been through many soul mates, and each one could have qualified for the beginning stages of a twin flame connection. You can have some very powerful and profound soul mate connections that are very easy to assign a twin flame label to. In some of my classes people have just been mortified to find out that their relationship did not fit the common descriptors for a twin flame, so they would be very upset with me for presenting the ideas. Some are quite obviously, and understandably, very attached to their label. While it is not my job to personally confirm or deny anything, I think that if twin flames truly exist, they are rare, and most people, by and large, are having soul mate experiences. That does not make them any less important, though.
Like everyone else, I wanted to make my situation fit into this label, because if I did, I could be told by an innumerable number of message boards and psychics that all I had to do was just work on myself, and my twin flame situation would come to a reunion stage, because that is the twin flame destiny for us all. In fact, I have been told just that by people who identify as twin flames and claim to be able to diagnose the situation for others. You can probably see why at this point, everyone has a desire to be one. However, saying that the end result of a relationship depends entirely upon one’s own ability to “ascend” may also put too much guilt and responsibility on those who may not have total control over the relationship’s outcome. This could be one of those instances of new age guilt (you control your reality, so if your reality sucks, well then, so do you.) I think a lot depends on your ability to grow, but it takes two free will beings to tango, do the work required, and grow together. It may also be worth noting to try to take information from others with a grain of salt. They may be projecting their own desires, or ego, on to you, which is not helpful. To paraphrase Buddha, examine things for yourself, not because someone (even the Buddha) told you so.
Because of the wide variation of information on the internet, every site has their own set of qualifiers for both soul mates and twin flames. (I have listed my own set as well, in another post.) They of course, all vary from site to site and person to person. However, there are many similarities between soul mates and twin flames. That is not to say that other’s lists of signs are not valid, but I have not separated these “signs” into a separate twin flame and soul mate list. Why not? Because the information varies. Something that one person calls a soul mate another person calls a twin flame. You can have soul mate signs that are very much like twin flame signs. I do think we in the new age and spiritual community, love to put names and labels on things.
One thing I can say for absolute certain, based on personal experience and other people’s personal experience, is that these signs and symptoms of what I will call more broadly, “soul connections,” are in fact very real, meaningful, and spiritual in terms of how they create circumstances that grow the soul. From what I have observed, and experienced personally, this issue with labels has created a whole lot of drama and there are many problems and unhealthy situations that come from drawing a hard line in the soul connection sand. I really have hesitated in putting this post out and making the distinction between the two, because many people will read this, assign the twin flame label, and then proceed to self justify a whole slew of unhealthy things, in the name of the Twin Flame. I don’t want to encourage that.
There is a general undercurrent of hot debate (though clothed in polite language, usually) within the new age community about who is and who is not a twin flame, who is the “real deal,” who is fake, who has the right information, who is wrong, and it is enough to make anyone’s head spin right off. According to some people, I have no right to write about it or teach about it, since I am not one (but then, how do they know?) Not to mention, there is channeled information that contradicts other channeled information, and twin flames contradict other twin flames.
So what is one supposed to think?
Do I believe twin flames are real? I believe that there are experiences of real people who seem to fit a pattern that one can definitely categorize as a soul connection, and you can call it a twin flame if you want. As I say about soul mates, what matters are people’s experiences, and if there are any patterns to be found, and if so, what can we learn from that? It appears to be similar to soul mates with some additional differences. In general, I refer to any soul connections (soul mates, twin flames) as soul connections mostly because I feel that what can be learned from them is, on a the scale of spiritual lessons, still relatively similar. And, I sense, that putting labels on things can cause some major problems, as I said repeatedly at this point.
So what are twin flames? Here comes the theoretical part. The prevailing theory is that you have only one (which is now on message boards, very hotly debated) and they are, basically, the other half of your soul. Going back to the creation of the universe, which we can somewhat verify within at least a few seconds of the big bang, we all started (everything started) as a very dense speck of matter and energy, which then expanded into galaxies, planets, lifeforms and, also–souls and soul groups or families. Those in your soul group or soul family are closer to you from the moment of creation. These would include your soul mates. So the theory is that a twin flame is that spark of you, your soul, that then split off into another entity. It is still you, but another part of you, your compliment, and some ways, your opposite.
As we operate in a world of duality (left/right, male/female, dark/light), it is thought that there is a predominately masculine and a predominately feminine aspect of yourself that has split into two (bodies, if both are incarnated, or just souls , if one happens to not be incarnated at the same time as you.) Some people think most people’s twins are not incarnated, but are helping from the other side. (Who knows? But I do know people claim to have met their twin flames in a body.) Your twin flame can be thought of as your closest soul mate or member of your soul family, so close in fact, that they ARE you. (I think, though, that since we all came from that little speck, we are all really one, but maybe because we feel so bonded to our soul connections, it is easier to realize this with them.) Theoretically, one purpose of twin flames is an attempt to unify the masculine and feminine energies of your soul. That is why, theoretically, you are supposed to be in your last lifetime on earth when you meet your twin, to integrate that aspect of yourself back into your soul, which then, will re-unite with the Godhead, never to re-incarnate again, as you have become fully integrated and whole as a soul. Many twin flame lessons, from people’s experiences, do seem to be about balancing the male and female polarities within themselves. As I said, I can’t prove this, so it remains, at least to me…theory.
But you can see how, anyone’s ego would love to jump on this bandwagon, no? So they can say that they are the true and real authority on twin flames (since there are so few, they are special.) And that, they are so advanced, that this is their last lifetime on earth and they are here to teach the rest of us folks who just don’t get it. As a student of psychology, I can definitely see how this COULD be co-opted by an ego for various reasons. But to be fair, so could any other new age concept.
I am interested in the experiences of those who identify as twin flames, though. And there do seem to be some additional patterns that I think are rare, because you don’t see them very often. To give you an idea, I have been counseling people since 2007. I have talked to thousands of people. I believe I have really met only ONE (as my client) who seems to fit the distinction. I have a vague idea that some others I know are also twin flames, but we have never had an extensive conversation about it. I am going to have this person do a guest blog entry, to give you an idea of what this experience is like. It is in part because I have witnessed this experience that I feel that there is any distinction to be made at all.
Generally, many of the symptoms of soul mates can be carried over to twin flames, and I have talked about those things elsewhere in my posts. People seem to agree that these signs are similar but more intense than soul mates. In addition, there will be a feeling that the person is YOU–not similar to you, but IS YOU. There is a recognition of oneness that is uncanny, although you are likely to be very different from one another in some key areas such as (age, culture, race, religion, etc.) One of the key factors is that twin flames are here to accomplish a mission together. This mission is not just the relationship. It has to do with life purpose, and is generally spiritual, humanitarian, or contributes greatly to an area of society. The relationship is not just about personal growth as soul mates are, it is about personal transformation that is meant to achieve something, and that contribution is more than the sum of its parts. Examples would be, starting a spiritual center together, creating music together, contributing to the scientific field, etc. Twin flames deepen your spiritual purpose on this planet. So, new or young souls have probably not met their twin yet, as the theory goes. You will meet your twin flame when you are already on a spiritual path, and it is likely, you have already had a few soul mates, with increasing lessons of difficulty to prepare you for the twin flame experience.