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*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal views of the authors, and can not possibly reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.
On Wednesday, November 8, Netflix released a controversial three-part documentary series, “Escaping Twin Flames”:
The film sheds light on the experiences of former members of a community called, “Twin Flames Universe,” which was founded by a self-proclaimed divine masculine and feminine couple by the names of Jeff and Shaleia.
According to their former pupils, Twin Flames Universe was a venomous snake in a field of pink poppies, sucking them dry straight to the marrow of their lifeblood, and having survived the attacks inflicted on them during their days inside that cult, they were compelled to share their heartbreaking accounts with the general public.
While I rarely watch any kind of film or television whatsoever, after I received notification of this documentary, I thought to myself: why not? Perhaps this is an impetus for me to play the role of a kind of activist, to effectively speak out against the folly of these myths and the potentially destructive communities and practices that can arise out of them.
In addition, I also took this as an invitation to share my own story, which might further impel us all in a clearer direction henceforth.
Those of you who have been following me for a couple of years may know that in 2021, I published a story about my own Twin Flame encounter. At the time, a part of me felt reluctant to do so because I was well-aware that many people might fail to take me seriously and instead laugh me right out of the room, or accuse me of being a new-age hippy. At worst, I even wondered whether people might think that I was lost or suffering some complex chronic grief over a former lover I simply couldn’t quite let go of, or had a mood or personality disorder.
Well, here I am once again to retell parts of my story, offer yet another perspective on this topic, and share my thoughts on businesses founded by couples claiming to be each other’s “other half.”
First and foremost, let me begin by telling you that I was there, and so were many other wise, sane, and wonderful people I have had the privilege to meet and speak with over the past two years. I am also here to tell you that no, we are not simply a bunch of pathetic, emotionally scarred, or delusional individuals hopelessly pining over someone we consider to be “the one who got away” and therefore in need of therapy.
We all come from a variety of unique backgrounds and are each of vastly different ages. In fact, many of the other people I’ve met had no prior interest in anything at all of a spiritual nature before their own Twin Flame encounter. Sometimes we even shake our heads and wonder whether we’re all batsh*t crazy regardless of that silent yet persistent voice within us that whispers: yes, this truly happened to you. Yes, you know deep down inside you that this is real. We also know that however diverse our individual stories might seem, they each share so many common threads and eerie synchronicity that we cannot deny.
As for myself, my own story took shape several years ago. When I first met this person, I had no idea how much of an impact the encounter would have on me, nor that there was anything special about this connection—or, at least not just yet.
However, even in the beginning of this so-called relationship, there were several things that immediately stood out to me. These were as follows:
1. This person happened to be born and raised in the same part of the world that my family and I had visited extensively for many years prior. Meanwhile, I was born in and resided in Canada.
2. Shortly after we started talking, I discovered that one of her closest friends happened to be the same person I’d met in an online community exactly one year to the date.
Furthermore, while I am no longer in contact with this former mutual friend, I can recall feeling unusually drawn to this person in hindsight for reasons I could not explain, and one time, chatted with her for several hours via text.
3. We had both just finished reading the same book, titled, The Celestine Prophecy, around the same time.
4. We’d both recently made some huge life transitions around the same general time by the date we met, one of which landed us in a similar place.
5. On her intro on social media, it read: what you see in me is a reflection of you, which in hindsight, felt like a hint from the All as to what this encounter was meant to reveal to me later on down the road.
6. I fell in love—or so I thought, anyway—with this person rather quickly. Generally, it takes me quite a long time develop feelings for someone, but this for me proved to be a radical exception to that rule. In fact, I can remember playing the song “Help Me” by Joni Mitchell over and over one night after she and I got off the phone.
7. I distinctly remember this person telling me, right away, that she liked my energy—something I’ve never heard from anyone else I’ve ever met, even my ex-spouse.
Most of the time, people have simply commented on the way that I look or my personality. But this time, the statement was about something even deeper and less apparent than all of that.
Of course, if you’re skeptical, you could be thinking: yeah, so what? Coincidences happen all the time. On a basic level, I might be inclined to agree with you, but nevertheless, I implore and it begs: are what we call coincidences really what we think they are? Are they just a random set of occurrences, or is there an ineffable and incomprehensible intelligence behind them?
In my own experience, it has proven to be the latter rather than the former time and time again.
A few years ago, following several months of what many in the community call “running and chasing,” I walked out on this person once and for all in a fit of sheer frustration—feeling incredibly hurt, confused, and even let down by her sudden and senseless rejection toward me.
This time, I wanted her to chase me for a change, but she did not, and what then followed was several months to a year and a half of unspeakable pain, bitterness, searing heartache, persistent dreams, and obsessive thinking that I could not control for the life of me. All the colour in my lenses was gone. My world was grey. At best, I could at least put one foot in front of the other and function on a 20 percent battery. At worst, I could barely eat or sleep.
Looking back, I now recognize that era as one of the darkest chapters in my life thus far. What’s more, I had survived more than a few breakups in the past. Hell, I’d even gone through a rather messy and complicated divorce before, and yet there I was wholly torn up and shattered over this specific person.
With time, I began to wonder whether this person was a narcissist and I was just severely co-dependent or damaged from my childhood, which made me fall prey to their love-bombing. I attended weekly co-dependents anonymous meet-ups and followed an intricate twelve-step plan to recovery. I went to therapy and joined an academy to heal what I thought was an anxious attachment style—in hindsight, I now realize that I am, and perhaps always was, fairly securely attached.
Still, nothing seemed to work—or, at least not for long.
It wasn’t until almost a year later that, after a bunch of serendipitous events and serious searching, I began to google the term “Twin Flames.” I couldn’t believe what I’d read. Then, five months after that, I found a teacher and mentor who deeply resonated with me and told me all the things I needed to hear but had never heard before.
Suddenly, after hearing his words, the doors of perception opened wide and the fog had lifted. My inner perspective and inner experience began to shift the more I listened to what he had to say, and with time, my life began to change drastically for the better. Although I’d already listened to several people before him, it soon became clear to me that this person’s heart was truly in the right place and his explanations were based on objectivity and a deep knowledge of timeless wisdom that I recognized and found to be verifiable. I also met a medley of other intelligent, wise, and free-thinking individuals who had experienced a similar encounter with the same alarming thoughts and feelings in the aftermath of what is called “separation.”
Bottom line: although, I myself and many others have felt skeptical many times before, I have never been able to shake off what I call this deep inner knowing I have surrounding what I’d experienced.
But the thing is: a good 97 percent of the things we read about “Twin Flames” via the internet is airbrushed.
To put it bluntly, I have effectively come to despise and even reject the term “Twin Flame” for my own purposes; not only does it sound ridiculously new-age but also romantic and hopelessly sentimental. While most of the modern literature agrees that a “Twin Flame” is someone who shares, or at minimum mirrors your soul, everyone seems to be in conflict as to what to do when this person runs and describes what we commonly refer to as a “soul mate,” which, too, is a subjective term. Therefore, they sorely misrepresent this phenomenon.
By definition, a “Twin Flame” could not rightfully be referred to as a “connection” because the word “connection” implies two; it involves a subject and an object. And as long as we are all clear that we are the soul, there is no “me” and “them.” Instead, there is only the singularity of a shared being. In short, a more accurate term would be a “double incarnation” (of the same soul).
Don’t believe in reincarnation? Fine. But there have been hundreds of accounts of people who have been able to recall past lifetimes and previous people they’ve been in one or more. One well-known example is the story of a young boy named James whose parents came to be convinced that he had a former lifetime as a fighter pilot in the second world war.
At the time, the child was able to recall, with shocking clarity, his past and even uttered the exact first and last name of the person he flew with as well as the specific aircraft carrier. After some digging, they were able to verify everything the boy had mentioned, including the name of the carrier and the person he flew with. What’s more is that, being under the age of eight, he did not have any exposure to historical documentaries and had only ever watched television for kids.
Given this and other kinds of accounts, why would it be too much of a stretch to assume that we’ve had many lifetimes in vastly different bodies? Furthermore, it is well-known that time is merely an idea. So, it begs the question: why couldn’t there be two simultaneous incarnations of the soul? The soul, after all, is as free as the wind. It wants all kinds of experiences, which is actually a simple yet fundamental purpose of life: to experience. So, to do this, it takes on many forms across many different lifetimes. It likes to dress up and play a variety of different roles. In Kabir’s song, sung by Snatam Kaur, it is said:
“Oh, my soul, you come and you go
Through the paths of time and space…”
Furthermore, reincarnation is a central concept in Hinduism, which is one of the world’s oldest religions with no known founder and was perhaps first mentioned in the Rig Veda, Yajurveda, and the Upanishads. Therefore, it is also not a new-age concept.
That having been said, the purpose of meeting a so-called “Twin Flame” is not necessarily to be with them, but instead to open your third eye to the truth of who and what you are at your core. It is what Eckhart Tolle calls a portal to the unmanifested. It initiates a spiritual awakening. The pain and suffering that I and many others have experienced was part and parcel of the ego-death process, which is often a harrowing but necessary first step toward the path to self-realization.
Jeff and Shaleia of Twin Flames Universe have obviously bought into all of the copious myths, the folklore, romanticism, and bad psychology associated with contemporary culture and used it to exploit innocent people who were suffering, regardless of whether or not those people in question had actually met their double incarnation. In fact, I’ll even be so bold as to suggest that, in my opinion, no, they are not each other’s Twin Flame and are instead masquerading as such in order to prey on people who think they need their help, whilst regurgitating all of the superficial and inaccurate information on today’s market.
I have to admit that I have an enormous amount of empathy and compassion for the survivors of this cult group. For all I know, I could have been one of their many victims a few years ago. Fortunately, I firmly believe I discovered a grain or two of truth before that could even become a possibility for me, and I can honestly tell you, dear reader, that I have never felt better in my life. Never have I experienced as much peace as I do these days.
Why? Because I now realize that the purpose of meeting this other incarnation was to propel the wheels toward a much grander destination than I could have ever imagined for myself. What could possibly be better and more powerful than seeing a unified essence in all things and knowing myself as consciousness? Had I kept on listening to the myriad of couples claiming to be a Twin Flame couple in union on the internet today, I would have remained in the same incredibly dark place. I would have failed to see the wonder and depth this journey of the soul had to offer me.
The other people I’ve met who know this as well as I do agree with me. They are also experiencing deep insights and huge breakthroughs whilst awakening to the truth of existence itself, which is love. You can’t lose love: you already are that. Love isn’t something to possess and acquire: it is embedded in the cosmos, at the heart of the nature of all apparently distinct phenomena.
Furthermore, you are your Twin Flame. Therefore, you cannot have what you already are, behind the veil of separation, which is merely another illusion.
While you are completely polarized with the other person in your metaphysical energy, which is of the ego-mind and personality, you nevertheless share the exact same base energy. The only caveat is that only one feels the pain, obsesses over the other person and suffers, consciously recognizes the encounter for what it is, and is compelled to figure things out and do something about it.
That recognition, if guided in the proper direction, can ultimately set you free, which dear reader, is most certainly your birthright.