The idea that there is a perfect match out there for everyone seems to be nonsense to me. Where is the evidence for this? And even if it were true that doesn't necessarily mean you will find that person. Maybe they are on the other side of the world, maybe they haven't been born yet or maybe they are dead - who knows. In the end we can settle for and love a person, but it's often far from a perfect soulmate.
And another thing -- when somone says "you will definitely meet someone eventually" or "there is someone out there for everyone." How do they know this? Are they psychic? The bottom line is this: maybe you won't meet your match - ever! This is a very real possibility, it may seem depressing but it is true, and I'd take a cold reality over a comforting delusion anyday.
Further, Kathleen, we must include the element of time - I once met a girl who, out of 7 billion people, was perfect for me, and I for her, except that we were born 20 years apart. Time not only makes a difference, sometimes it makes an insurmountable barrier.
Maybe instead of soul mates, we could call them life energy mates? Nah, that doesn't sound right. I believe there is someone for everyone, I just believe they are all over. Lots of wonderful people to spend your life with. Don't get bogged down in the crap of souls and destiny. Life's short enjoy it
The idea that there is just one person you have to find in your life is a religious concept. What else could it be other than that some Great Planner has a plan for you and you have to figure out what it is. I'm not saying this is your belief. This observation simply came to mind as I was reading your post.
It could also be simply a personal preference.
Propinquity is the number one factor affecting mate selection.
"As for doing harm to no one, I maintain that mocking others does harm to you - it demeans you and detracts from your humanity."
I agree that this is a general and important principle. If I am disproportionate in my punishment or retribution towards somebody, for example, then I have gone beyond the bounds of acceptable, justifiable harm into gratuitous cruelty. There is a world of difference. To behave immorally is somehow like a pollution of the soul. These violations of morality have to be undone one at a time, in order to cleanse the evil-doer of sin and pollution. [Making heavy use of moral terminology.]
Simon, you had me right up to the word, "soul" - the only one I have is on my shoe, and I spell it "sole" --
Did you know that in the 19th century, there were actual experiments done, to weigh a dying person before his death, then after, to determine if the soul had weight?
I believe they determined the body had a soul on that basis, but later it was learned that gases leaving the body accounted for the slight change.
-- as well as a great deal of the smell --
By "soul" I mean my internal self, and my life: the bed I have made for myself and which I lie in. I'm not talking about a self which lives on after we die (although i believe in this too).
I like this idea of "pollution". I see it as a nice image and a place-holder waiting to have other things connected into it.
Pollution = practical consequences.
So, for you, your "soul" is what is more commonly called your "conscious mind" combined with your memories.
I think it's good that it remains a vague term. I'm not talking about a precise entity. Rather, a collection of related things. My internal history and the history of what I have made.