The myth of missing half
“You complete me,” said Jerry McGuire to Dorothy, a lot of people remember this line from Jerry McGuire movie. So, what was special about her? Why did Jerry believe that she, only her and no one else, completed him? Was it love? Was it said in the heat of the moment? Virtually every one of us is looking for the love of our love or what they call the “soulmate”. Science, with so much advancement, still hasn’t made it very clear that why do we fall in love. Nevertheless, there is a legendary myth of the missing half. The myth is described by the Greek comic playwright and a poet, Aristophanes in the famous work of Plato known as ‘The Symposium’. Aristophanes tells the idea of completion or whole. According to him, people long ago had four legs, four hands, four arms, two faces, one head, and one soul. Moreover, there were three sexes in them. First ones were all male; second ones, were all female; the third one, known as ‘Androgynous’ were a couple; a male and female.
One day the humans decided to take on the Gods and went to Olympus (Mountain supposed to be the home of Gods). Zeus, the powerful God, who was already angry threatened them and chopped them off in two pieces each instead of blasting them with thunderbolts because by doing so Zeus would be deprived of devotions and offerings by humans. They were sliced in two pieces and wanted to be chopped again if they tried something again.
Chopped in two pieces, the humans started to look for each other. And after a great struggle when they would find the missing half, they would wrap themselves around and as a result, they would die. Zeus took pity on him and ordered Apollo to move their genitals to the front so that when they embrace, they should satisfy themselves and procreate; however, only androgynous could procreate. Moreover, it is considered that soul was split too, and people look for that half part of themselves to complete themselves.
From then the desire for other humans was developed. People look for their half which is missing from them to complete themselves. The descendants of the sun who were both males are running after men and are embraced by men making them “homosexual”. Women are running after their own kind and make them lesbian. And the androgynous are the ones who engage in heterosexual love.
Every one of us is looking for that missing half and according to Aristophanes when we find them, we won’t leave them ever. It is not the desire of sex only for the other person but the original thought of becoming one body, one soul, and complete ourselves with a common fate.
As the title explains that it’s a myth but it wonderfully illustrates the idea of complete love and becoming “whole” from parts. All our lives we yearn for that one person, that one best friend who could complete us. That one person who wishes to spend the rest of their lives with us. One who would be there in all our fantasies, all our joys, and all our sorrows.
By: Saif Ullah
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