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Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity


Soulmate, Myself:
The Perfect Mate

Samantha and Jack



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Colonel Jack O'Neill and Major Samantha Carter, while on a dangerous off-world mission, find themselves on opposite sides of an impenetrable force-field (Stargate SG-1, Season 4, Episode 3, “Upgrades”). A bomb is about to detonate which will threaten Sam's life. She urges Jack to leave her, to save himself. He refuses.

As it happened, the force-field became inoperative, allowing them both to escape. Later, back at Stargate HQ, Samantha and Jack are suspected of having been infected with an alien presence (Stargate SG-1, Season 4, Episode 5, "Divide and Conquer"). In order to determine fitness for duty, each is subjected to a special kind of lie-detector test which might reveal hidden psychic anomalies. They fail the test and, it appears, their ability to serve on the Stargate team has been compromised.

Samantha, however, begins to perceive the nature of the “lie” detected by the truth-machine: Speaking privately to Jack, she exclaims,

“We lied. The machine thinks we have false memories because we left something out.”

Jack cannot understand, but Sam helps make it plain to her commanding officer:

“Sir, when you didn’t leave me at the force-field, are you sure there wasn’t something else that you’re not admitting? - something neither of us can own up to given our working relationship and military ranks? That’s why the machine thinks we’re lying!”

Jack struggles with this as he had repressed, had not yet been able to acknowledge, his feelings for Samantha. The Colonel is interrogated once again about the force-field incident:

“You could have saved yourself.”

“I guess.”

“Why didn’t you?”

“I care about Carter… a lot more than I should… I’d have rather died than lose Carter.”



Kairissi. This is a very revealing incident about how two can hide from love, from each other, and themselves.

Elenchus. Explain it to me.

K. There’s a shallow, and common, view of love that says, “Oh, I like your pretty face” – and that’s supposed to mean something – “and now I think I love you, and now I want to spend my life with you"; well, ain't dat sweet, kinda gets ya right here.

E. You're not impressed with this street-wisdom.

K. In the deeper relationships, it’s not like that. I’m not saying “pretty faces” aren’t important, because they are - but that’s not the heart of it. Rather than “stars in your eyes,” true love can often begin with “questions in your eyes.”

E. What do you mean, Kriss?

K. Meeting, or even catching a glimpse of, your true love is a mystical, soul-stirring, and shattering experience. Cognitive dissonance can easily become the normal state – and this, for many years -- and a sense of the “pretty face” might be overshadowed by unspoken, silent questions of “Who are you? Why do I feel so different, so strange, in your presence – or even when I think of you?”

E. Jack had worked with Sam for years but hadn't been honest with himself about his true feelings. They’d been around each other in all sorts of situations, knew each other well, and trusted each other. But they were not lovey-dovey; in fact, Jack would always get on her case for speaking in science jargon-babble.

K. But he couldn’t hide anymore – hide from himself -- when Death came knocking. When he believed they were about to die, the encrusted shell of the “false self” began to crack.

E. As you know, I’ve spoken of those early times about us. We were not lovey-dovey, and we often would annoy each other.


Henry C. Wright, mystic and spiritualist minister, speaking of Twin Souls: "They know not how nor why they are thus blended, since it came by no will or effort of their own. As they did not will themselves into this union, they cannot will themselves out of it."


E. I’ve characterized myself back then as an insensate worm only vaguely aware of the light. You were the “light” of my life, but I could not “see” you then, could not comprehend, nor admit, who you are to me. That would take me a long time to process. Today, as I look at photos from that ancient past, I see a young girl with severe “questions in her eyes.” In the beginning, I was too far under even to have questions.

K. (softly) I awakened to you first; it's what Woman does.

E. At the brink of Death – which is a stern, imposing teacher – Jack surprised himself, not just that he wouldn't leave her, because he’d risk his life for any of the team-members, but that he couldn’t imagine himself wanting to live at all… without her.

K. This is rather more than “I like your pretty face.” … Ellus, real love is so strange. What is it about the deep feelings between well-matched mates that make it a life-and-death issue?

E. I think it’s one of the greatest mysteries of the universe. I often ask myself, “Why do I love you so much?” It’s astonishing, even to me – sometimes I call it the “perpetual astonishment”; a kind of permanent semi-bewilderment. It's as if I can't get over how much you mean to me. And as you say, it’s more than “I like your pretty face”; actually, that has nothing to do with it -- even though, as I've told you, you're "the most beautiful woman I've ever seen," that's not why I love you.

K. Elenchus, we’ve gone over this subject many times and yet clarity eludes me. It’s all so mystical and out-of-reach.

E. If I desired you just because of your pretty face, and then lost you, I’d recover fairly soon.

K. Because there’re “many fish in the sea,” and the world is filled with pretty faces.

E. But that’s not what true love is about. Here's a little story. I remember you as a small spindly girl, before you came into your goddess-beauty.

K. You impolitely called me a “freckled funny-face.”

E. But not within the circumference of your arms’ reach.

K. (small smile)

E. I was not romantically drawn to you in those early days, but, later on in life, I began to realize that, on a deeper level, this was not true; in fact, I was in love with you right from the start.

K. And later on, how could you tell that you loved me from the beginning?

E. As I quieted my spirit, I could feel the magnetism between us – and this had nothing to do with “pretty faces.”

K. (silence)

E. I’m reminded of Silver Birch’s teaching concerning true love, that it’s “so magnetic, so overwhelming.”

K. But, as we’ve come to see, it’s “magnetic” and “overwhelming” – a “perpetual astonishment” – on a level deeper than “pretty faces.” Ellus, what’s going on with this? What does this mean?

E. I don’t know exactly. We’ll be searching this out for the next million years and beyond. But I think the “magnetism” has something to do with two souls proclaiming to each other, “you are just like me.”

K. “Soulmate, myself.”

E. It’s the principle of “like attracts like.”

K. It’s Andrew Jackson Davis’s “inwrought adaptation,” the hidden similarity of destined lovers.

E. And this attraction of equals, a force leading two toward oneness, is what we call love.

K. I wish you had realized this in time to ask me to the prom.

E. Well, how would that ever work? I was still leery of the "circumference" thing.

K. Uh-huh.

E. Earlier we spoke of true love “beginning with questions in your eyes.” I remember when you were that little “freckled funny-face,” and you’d look at me like you’d never seen me before. I have some ancient photos, and I can see the questions in your eyes.

K. (silence)

E. But what’s interesting to me is that later, in the photos from your teen years, the questions in your eyes are gone, now replaced with longing for me. But, Kriss… it would take me quite some time – far too late -- to wake up and notice that change in your spirit… and that’s why I didn’t ask you to the prom.

K. (silence)


Elenchus. There's another aspect of Sam and Jack's relationship that's worthy of mention. Each of them, for a time, gives up on the other, and takes a bed-partner.

Kairissi. We know this is common in the world, Ellus.

E. It’s just that Sam and Jack are presented to us as something approaching authentic love – and it’s very hard to see true lovers hurt each other this way. Yes, I know, it’s a fictional story, but even so, I found myself getting angry.

K. (sighing)

E. Here’s what happened to Sam. Her dad was dying, and before he passed, he had a “heart-to-heart” with her. He said something like, ”Sam, you’re working too hard on your career. I don’t want you to spend your life without sharing it with someone you love. I want to see you happy. Don’t be afraid to take a chance and go for what you want. It’s your time, Sam, don’t let love and happiness pass you by.”

K. On the surface, dad’s advice made perfect sense – but, we know that you can’t just go out on a hunting expedition and force God and the universe to give you your perfect mate. It doesn’t work that way.

E. Dad was giving her the “John and Mary” perspective on life: “Get out there and make it happen!”

K. And, of course, there comes a time to step out of oneself and to be brave.

E. But when you take that big step into the limelight you’d better be sure the prompting is coming from the “true self” and not the needy little ego.

K. Isn’t it strange? Sam is an intellectual, one of the great scientific minds in the country. Jack calls her a “national treasure.” Her problem-solving abilities have saved the planet more than once from System-Lord alien invasion. And yet she proceeds to make the most foolish mistakes concerning finding a true mate.

E. And we’re also tempted to ask: “What about Jack! We know that you two are a good match, that you love each other, so what are you doing thinking about finding someone new?”

K. There’s a quotation in the author’s collection, to the effect: “When a girl gives up on a guy, it’s probably not because she doesn’t love him or never loved him, but because she can’t wait any longer and believes that he’ll never be there for her.”

E. But this is a well-worn script for disaster. And so she leaves on her “hunting expedition.” A friend of a friend lines Sam up with a blind date. He’s a cop, a nice guy, pretty ok, his name is Pete -- but he’s nowhere near the same league intellectually as Sam. They really don’t have that much in common, other than they both want to be happy; and it’s not just that he’s not a geek-scientist, but he’s sort of like the stereotypical high-school jock, and with a chip on his shoulder toward “brainy” people. This is not good.

K. But she wants that “good life” so much, is panting for that happiness on the horizon, and she can already see the little tots on Christmas morning, scurrying about in their jammies, so excited to open their presents. It’s really intoxicating for Sam – (sighing).

E. I suppose I’m sensitized to this whole issue because it’s something I’ve thought about a lot over the years, but I’ll tell you what seemed so artificial to me. I think it was their second date, and he’s asked her out to a dinner-dance. They’re heavily into role-playing at this point. The whole atmosphere is now super-charged with a sense of things plastic and fake.

K. He marches up to her front door in a stiff, dark suit and red power-tie. His hair is slicked down, all made-up like, and he’s carrying a dozen roses. Friends told him this is a sure-fire way to get a girl and always works.

E. Uh-uh.

K. It’s all too formulaic, too scripted, too staged to believe, this little mating-ritual in progress.

E. But wait, now it’s her turn. Sam opens the door and we find her “in uniform” for the occasion – the black little, low-cut, cocktail dress. I couldn’t believe that the “national treasure” was actually doing this.

K. She really wants those Christmas mornings with tots; besides, dad said it was alright.

E. Ok, then. So they’re at the big party, but here’s where I absolutely knew she really didn’t like the guy.

K. What was the biggest clue?

E. They’re dancing, and the music stops. She’s standing there, very straight, with a full-toothed smile.

K. As Elizabeth put it, “holding her mask up with two hands.”

E. There’s daylight between them, with her arms are touching his shoulders – to ensure the distance, I think.

K. (softly laughing)

E. But now, with a too-large full-toothed smile, she gushes, “I’m having such a wonderful time!” When she said that, I knew it was over.

K. (laughing)

E. See, you only say something like that when it’s in doubt. A fish doesn’t know it’s in water.

K. (laughing) But she “knew” she was having a good time.

E. (smiling) They had no hope after that.

K. You’re actually quite right. Anybody truly having a good time would be way too distracted and overwhelmed having a good time to say something like that.

E. But, despite all this mechanical, mating-ritual interplay, she decides to sleep with him that night. From “Mary’s” point of view, it was a necessary fee to be paid on the way to familial happiness – something to get through.

K. mmm… She might soon discover the fee to be budget-buster.

E. So they arrive back at her place. She makes the dutiful, expected speech, “Why don’t you come in for a while and have some coffee?”

K. Uh-huh.

E. Over the coming months, Sam struggles with inner doubts about Pete. She knows he’s all wrong for her, and yet, once you get on that train, it’s really hard to stop going down the tracks.

K. There are lots of little speeches that go through Mary’s head at this point: ones like, “It’s normal to have cold feet,” and “He’s a decent guy, don’t be so harsh, what do you expect?” and “It will all be better once we get into a routine after the wedding. We’ll settle into our schedules, life will go on, and I’ll have my family and kiddos.”

E. When Pete presents the engagement ring, she says it’s all wonderful, but she needs time to think it over.

K. That’s a bad sign right there – time! Let’s put love into the daytimer, make a slot for it. There’s a saying, people who are “sensible” about love are incapable of it.

E. But then she actually says yes! – that train is still barreling down the tracks, and she doesn’t know how to get off.

K. Meanwhile, back at the ranch with Jack –

E. Jack believes she’s gone, and tries to put Sam out of mind. He distracts himself from his pain with beer and by sleeping with a pretty girl. Near the end of Sam’s ordeal, the thing that shakes her up, and wakes her up, from the terrible mistake she’s about to make, is when she sees Jack with his new girl. After that, no matter what Jack does, she can’t and won’t marry Pete, and finally admits this to herself. Pete does not take the news well. A side of his personality comes out that she’d not seen before as he says something boorish: “I can’t believe you just said that!” she asserts. “John” became angry when his “pleasure source” is taken from him, and he stomps off. Sam knows that she’s dodged a bullet.

K. I think one of the most telling developments was Jack’s girlfriend’s reaction to all this. With no pressure from either Sam or Jack, the girlfriend enters Jack’s office at work. She closes the door behind her. Jack muses out loud on the meaning: “Ahh, the symbolic closing of the door”; meaning, the need for privacy.

E. That's funny.

K. She gets right to the point. She’s not angry, only practical. She knows that Jack is in love with Sam though he’s never said a word about it, and did his very best to hide his feelings from everyone.

E. Isn’t it interesting how women can read a man! – such great radar.

K. It's hard not to light up like a Christmas tree at the mentioning of the name of the girl you love, no matter your effort to cover it up.

 E. She knew everything, though neither he nor Sam had said a word and tried not even to look at each other.

K. The insistent disavowal might profess love more loudly than Pete’s canned speeches.

E. Very good.

K. What’s the bottom-line here with these two?

E. Here’s what I see: If you love someone, you will not be able to hide it. Love is betrayed by what is said and not said, and by how it’s said, the intensity of delivery or lack thereof. People around you will know despite your best clandestine efforts. Love is on the minds of everyone, either in hopeful coming or grief-laden loss. All circumstances in life are judged by this ultimate reality.

K. Thank you, and I’d like to add one more item. It’s true that Sam was pushed over the line when she contemplated Jack being with another woman, but there's another incident that really troubled her.

E. Please share your insight.

K. As the health of Sam’s dad declined, she took Pete with her on a visit to the hospital. During the short conversation with the elder Carter, Pete made a little joke. Unfortunately, it was an artless, insensitive, even buffoonish, attempt at humor. He meant no harm, but that’s the best we can say for him. He didn't understand he'd spoken with offense; and his ignorance was the problem. In those moments of unskillful personal interaction, Pete glaringly revealed his utter incompatibility with Sam. There was no “union of spirits,” and everyone within earshot knew this. The father cut the meeting short, and said nothing – but his silence spoke volumes. Sam, the consummate hostess, smiled, but inwardly shrank and cringed in order to hide, especially from her father. It was all quite terrible.

E. You bring up something very important. This joke that was not a joke reminds me of a quotation the author has written about: “Laughing together is the height of eroticism.” I know you understand how this relates to what you just said.

K. Ellus… you can’t be married… you can’t have a real marriage… with someone you can’t laugh with; you will die if you can’t laugh. If there’s no meeting of the minds, you won’t be able to laugh, and if you can’t laugh, you’re not fitted to share and experience the joy of insight. It’s one of the very most important tests of love! I will tell you this: as I viewed the scene of Pete’s little joke, I not only felt bad for Sam, but also panicked for her! – because if she were to actually marry a guy like this, so different from her, so unlike her hidden heart, I shudder in horror for every remaining day on this planet she must spend with him! Imagine being intellectually gracious, a lover of things beautiful, as Sam is, but tied to a buffoon, an artless anti-intellectual fool. Is there a greater hell, a parody of companionship, for any Mary to envision?