I have always been fascinated by twins. When I was in grade school there was a set of twins in my class. They were identical but slight differences could be detected. I remember watching them interact and wondering how they thought and felt about one another. I thought it would be amazing to be a twin. To have one other person in the whole world who was just like you. Who looked like you and thought as you did. How neat would be to be able to communicate without words, to just know that someone else felt as you did.
When I was a young woman just beginning my family, I often wished for twins. There is something about two people being genetically identical but unique and separate individuals that is compelling. I never had twins but my interest in them is the reason I included twins in my mystery series.. The family of the main character, Elizabeth Reinhardt, who first appears in Razor’s Edge contains a set of twins and later in Seeing Double, a second set of identical twins appears and their potential for psychological contentedness becomes a compelling variable in the story’s plot.
Some psychological literature on emotional attachment talks how as human beings we strive for intense bonding and closeness to one other human being. Sometimes I think of that process as seeking ‘twin-ship.’ For some of the people who I’ve worked with there is compelling hunger for symbiosis or ego fusion in which even the tiniest differences are difficult to tolerate. Some relationships function best when those differences are almost eliminated. You may have met couples who present themselves almost as if they are one. “We’ve been together for so long we think alike, we complete one another’s sentences, it’s almost as if we are one person,” they might say. For some this is the definition of true love. For others it represents the ideal romantic love and for others it may apply to parent-child relationships. People ordering for one another in restaurants, answering questions for one another, making clothing choices might be everyday examples of this process of ‘ego-fusion’ or ‘lack of differentiation” as another way of saying it.
Existential thinkers talk about each of us coming into this world alone and leaving it in the same way. Many people resist the idea of existential ‘aloneness’ and spend their whole lives looking for that perfect relationship that will defeat this fearful state. Some people turn to G-d for that perfect sense of union, others believe that finding one’s soul-mate contains the possibility that separateness can be reversed, still others seek fusion, twin-ship or replication of self with their children . ‘Twin-ship’ whether biologically or emotionally created embodies some of these needs and issues. I find this subject thought provoking and exploring it may help challenge some deeply held but unexplored beliefs which would benefit from closer examination and while I do not claim to have a exhaustive mastery this subject, perhaps I have posed a question or tweaked your interest in these ideas enough to start us having an interesting discussion… if so let me hear from you!