Phantom limbs of the soul

Last night I had the oddest thought: When person A feels a sense of longing for person B, perhaps deep down it is not actually person B who is being longed for.

Rather, somewhere inside the mind of person A, they have labeled a part of themselves “residing within person B”. In some important emotional sense, person A has placed a portion of their sense of self into the identity of another soul, to be worn like a phantom limb. A common way among lovers of describing this feeling is “I am yours”.

If person B reciprocates this operation, the resonance can create a tremendous mutual sense of euphoria. Each lover perceives a part of their essential self within the person of the other, which creates a feeling of heightened existence for both.

Alas, either A or B might one day drift away, for whatever reason. This leaves the other person feeling that a part of their own self has been severed. The resultant loss can bring about a sense of mourning, as though there has been a death.

Yet within mere months following such a loss, these phantom limbs of the soul will, of their own accord, fade away.

2 thoughts on “Phantom limbs of the soul”

  1. Hello Ken,
    While Googling “limbs of the soul” I came across your blog. I was lloning for a way to translate the German phrase “Geschlossenheit des Gliederbaus”from a sentence out of the book The Virues – Season of the Sould by Herbert Witznemann, which is currently part of an art and text exhibition in Amsterdam City Hall. I wanted to know if there is usage of the word “limb” referring to a part or member of the soul, in anthroposophical sense consisting of the faculties of thinking, feeling and willing or sentient soul, intellectual soul and consciousness soul. The translation of the said phrase would then be, “Homogeneity of the limb structure.”
    Greetings from Amsterdam

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