A CLUB OF SUPERNAL INTERESTS Christian Esotericism, Spiritual Science, Esoteric Christianity - All Authored by a Lodge of Christian Teachers (unless otherwise stated.) (All writings copyright) ©

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Finding & Embracing our Double- 28th September 1996

Reginald Machell 
Dear Teachers,
After your last message (thank you) there were questions arising concerning the 'Double' you mentioned. We have a collection of aspects discussed that we ask that you comment upon please?

In defining our Doubles a little further, is it true to say that they are corruptible or immortal in substance? Does it signify past karmic remnants of former lives belonging to the reincarnating ego? Is it the lower astral body, or lower self or any part thereof? Is it a "ghost" which may live separately from us, or are we inextricably connected?

We know of the dual relationships between the Sun as contrasted to the Sun's rays illuminating the Moon; and we know of our Christ as being contrasted to the Anti-Christ also; now we are brought to consider our own Double's contrast to that of our Higher Self and we ask about the prospect of likeness here, and how it is that it becomes so close to the undiscerning that we may be easily deluded - we are unable to know the activities of the Double, which is strangely so diametrically opposed to its 'other'. Also, that we may live under a presumption that it doesn't exist at all - could you explain this please?
On the matter of likeness we suggest that there are shared signatures which happily enable redemption to occur - is this so?

In the circumstance of men who behave badly, despising good men, (acting out of envy for example) is this their Double which is responsible?

Do we have difficulty interpreting the actions of the Double as that of our own when we have effected an evil of sorts?

On the subject of fear: if we learn more about this dweller, is there a way to approach this mystery on behalf of healing and come to some answers which will highlight and alleviate some of the more hidden fears which haunt all of us? Fear is a huge problem and there are perceived fears from without that we may deal with, but there are those fears from within, perhaps less easily perceived that you could help us to identify? Is all fear, inner fear, destructive, and therefore for us to seek to remove by love? Or are there fears of the higher nature which are valid and valuable and qualified that we must endure in order to sense the challenges ahead?

Is the forming of our Double an elemental process?

And finally, can we dare to go into this subject of learning for the healing? Are there rewards to all in our venturing further by this approach?
Thank you for your thoughts on this, they are appreciated,

- J & G

IT is the Double that shields us from the otherwise penetrating blaze of purity, that in a higher form of passion is diffused and filtered by the host of past company we bring with us. Here is a different angle again to add to the collection, but for a moment we can try this approach so as not to begin with a fear itself of our very Double.

The phantom man is not to be despised inasmuch as it is what we have made it, and also from the viewpoint that all parts which comprise our being hold great and significant purpose. So we begin by seeking to ease the tension which is building upon this concept.

If you consider the position of men who are growing in evolution, you will find that goodness may well be disproportionate and uncontainable to aspects of their fledgling egos. Too much of anything can bring about unbearable pressure from without and within, and this holds true also for even goodness as known to us by the actions of the spirit.

The body of the Double is astral indeed, although it is not the whole of our astral composure, yet it can most definitely walk about as whole when cleaved from the constitution of a man. Yes, as a ghost it can and does wander seeking out those things to which it is stimulated to - ever wanting of the world even after its connections have been severed from.

Depending upon the spiritual nature of the man from whom it has been made, it may be that it does disseminate quite rapidly. Or if it has been comprised and saturated with life during the incarnation and belongs to a temperament which lusts and leaks with habitual self-indulgence which lies contrary to creativity, sharing or life, then this shade of a man can wander quite strong in self, having had so much vitality poured into its nature whilst the man had lived, that it may then go on into perpetuation, hovering and leeching off those who hold to similar activity.

Our first consideration with this being is that it is foremostly impressionable to us and of our making and that we are indeed responsible in every way for it. It is the greater host to the community of lesser elementals which we carry; whilst at the same time it, unlike they, holds signatory and solitary being. The lesser elementals and thought-forms which flit around a man have a primary body which is shared amongst them and it is innocuous to good or to evil permutations. This primary body holds a group consciousness of kind, which experiences the impressions of the man collectively amongst other men concurrently.

Our Double however, holds an individuality which is its own insofar as it is distinct from our own spirit-beings and holds a degree of self-awareness which may one day work independently of the man to whom it is attached. The difficulty in concept here, is only that the Double referred to comprises an impermanent body which breaks down eventually after the soul of the man has retired from the Earth (usually this is so, but there are exceptions longstanding). Whilst also there is the being of the Double, who is as a deformed Angel that is committed to the individual and all of his story over the eons of lifetimes and has been scorned in nature, and like the knotted and twisty-gnarly tree of countless seasons of soul, bears all of the sins attributable to that man for which it follows.

Oh, what hideous spectre does pursue me!
All my years from Heaven to Earth and back again;
That gaze goes through me and I am shamed once more!
I have led this pitiable creature to Hell,
But it would not stay; saying:
"Do you not love me for what you have made of me?"
And of all the vile essences expressed in that accusation,
No truer judgment could set upon the jailer himself.
And once again I know my remorse.

These beings of remorse are the ongoing soul-natures which are ensheathed in astral passion, central to our Double's manifesting. They too have being and incarnating body - that of the astral substance in which we have clothed them.

The souls of Man have caused much pain to many kingdoms which support him. There are creatures dismissed into death for the purpose of sustenance; and this does not only occur with man as carnivore, but also Man in thought. His very processes impinge upon the sensitivities of beings who dwell in the neighboring etheric World, and then also into the higher realms as well. All of this must eventually turn around and change, when Man is then servant to the life he has expended on his account; and opportunities for such will arise and greet him, and the processes he goes by will be exchanged for a maturity of proper community.

Fundamental principles live themselves out in Man and must work their way through in every respect, in all of the layers of his behavior and design. These principles must make their shift from the core itself as it seems, and can only do so in the persistence of the ego's conscious demands to align with the truth of the spirit.

Love in actuality can be viewed, even in this system, as more of a philosophy. The fact that good and evil coexist has long been an argument for the placing of the shadow in relation to the light, and if for the exercise of thinking alone, there are points along these lines which can be seen to be reasonable. This may ennoble the active choice therefore for loving, inasmuch as it says that love itself is not obligatory and yet it overrides marvelously the discordant and fractured harmonies. (That sounds as though it is a contradiction, but it is no more a contradiction as is the coexistence of good and of evil, and we thought a fitting example, in truth.)

When you say that the likeness is disturbing because of the lack of discernment, this is highlighting one of the most interesting concerns any student or teacher could have. That we may have affection for an Anti-Christ because of his likeness to the Christ, and this is what brings us to him, leads us to ask if the differences between are separately important. Everything is less or more than it appears and it is the very task of the esotericist to learn to divine the properties and discover their intrinsic value as separate to each other. The power in this knowledge is in that we may now further question the apparent from the not-so-obvious realities; and may we be considered in our approach, to see if we have a light which is deflected or a look-alike that is only partly what we may think it to be, and partly perhaps that which we do not.

This study of men and their Double may bring with it a healing in relation to their fears. All experiences encountered within the world are known to Man because they have originated in a spiritual reality, with a similar experience beginning in the Heavens. Fear as it is within the higher man became known when he first felt separation from Father God. The separation itself was and wasn't so; and yet the fear struck at the heart and seized the consciousness because things were not fundamentally what they should be, and it came with the realization of this being so.

It is the fear that alerts us to the 'Uh oh' realization that change is moving upon us a little too rapidly to connect the past to the future with "I looked about and He was gone" - the fear in our soul is that we shall become Godless, because Godlessness to the Soul is death. The soul is in fear of its own end, and there is inbuilt the apprehensive knowledge of this possibility. How this is so cannot rightly be explained, simply because the Soul itself is intact and not given firsthand to the experience ordinarily.

But one may well imagine the horrors the soul may shudder with, when it suffers a loveless life as delivered it by the ego. As the ego advances it quite often is delirious and unempathetic to its encounters. When we first sensed our selves we then lost our sense of God in the strongest intuition, and then this followed through with regards to all other life to which He is apparent. This is one reason why love becomes our greatest savior, because the ego understands love and through it appeases others, our souls and our God; whilst naught else may bring them all together.

It is true to suggest that there are fears (such as this just mentioned) which live on in a man deep beneath his consciousness and have very early and unknown origins. It is interesting to watch a man in his emanations and activity when his consciousness is taken to trust and his thoughts and desires act out from an impulse which is from love before all else.

Any activity of ego can have the burden of the fear (all fears combined) within its structure. Even works which are self-pleasing (or perhaps what should be said is especially works which are self-pleasing) carry with them those fears that live both in higher reaches of self and also in double. However, when the ego is effaced with the action of one's loving occupation, attention, empathetic or sympathetic resonance and so forth, there is God working through them also to bring about the answer to the fear, the great fear, of Him having gone from their lives. So that when we experience the love beneficently, then to same measure we can say God is with us. The panic in the soul may well come from our own lovelessness, and so Man must learn to cease the search for self-indulgence alone, but seek more to fulfill and to love all else more perfectly.

The 'lower self' is a term usually used in direct relation to a specific example, and yet can be misleading if put to a schedule in blatant aspect. For example: the powers which converge around the organs and desires for reproduction are often alluded to as being incorporated within the 'lower self' or 'lower nature' or 'lower desires' whereas, those same powers are of the highest influence and principle working through Man.

The resources which pertain to the physical expression and psychic-astral vitalities can prove to incorporate a greater creativity in which God and Christ enter into Man. Such wholesome and high powers may also be left out of the process; and here the principle and example of the Double and J's remark about likeness is perfectly exampled, in that the physical act alone may well be mistaken for the godly, whilst the godly act may also be misnamed as being only that of the 'lower'. Man must align and synchronize all of his powers that they flow through from the very highest apex of his being into all that he does (and back again), for the powers not to be wasted, spilling over into that of the Double instead. From this you can see that the term 'lower' of itself is relative to that which we describe, and misleading if put to category. That which is divorced from the higher impulses can be confined to being an expression of just that alone, whilst what we may consider to be purely lower may indeed be a vehicle for the profound.

To answer an incidental question also along these lines, relative to what was just said: in the case of a man being influenced by alcohol whilst coupling, he is indeed divorced from the higher powers which perhaps could have become manifest (if also the true love was present). He is literally cut off at the waist (below both head and his heart) and the emanatory process astrally mimic less than the animals. This too falls under the activity of the Double, who is charged with vitality which promotes self-interred activity.

The interest the being of alcohol holds for the promotion of unredeemed Doubles is mainly in that of their likeness to him - a veritable Anti-Christian army, proud and assuming, ruthless in their desires, hollow in their beings, severed from the true heart and mind and their reaches.

There can be much envy which follows from the man who has lived the empty and hollow existence, inspired to hopefully contrast himself with how he could and should one day be; and although the envy is framed in a dark countenance, it comes with a wanting from a haphazard soul. This is the beginning perhaps to a change to be wrought within, for there are many promptings to self-improvement which bring about the necessary beginnings and willings for change.

Often we have stipulated that men should involve themselves in those things day-to-day which fulfill them and inspire them, and warm them to further life, for the consequence of this is that they will learn to lovingly appreciate this world and interact with all beings well because of it. Either we are discordant or harmonious; and in being discordant we are unproductive in the long run, being given to an artificial life which has only the veneer and appearance of living. The only reality is Love, and Man must learn to divine the true from the false accordingly.


  1. “The Guardian of the Threshold is an (astral) figure, revealing itself to the student's awakened higher sight; and it is to this supersensible encounter that spiritual science conducts him.

    "It is a lower magical process to make the Guardian of the Threshold physically visible also. That was attained by producing a cloud of fine substance, a kind of frankincense resulting from a particular mixture of a number of substances. The developed power of the magician is then able to mould the frankincense into shape, animating it with the still unredeemed karma of the individual.

    "Such physical phenomena are no longer necessary for those sufficiently prepared for the higher sight; and besides this, anyone who sees, without adequate preparation, his unredeemed karma appear before his eyes as a living creature would run the risk of straying into evil byways. Bulwer Lytton's Zanoni contains in novel form a description of the Guardian of the Threshold.” — Note in Rudolf Steiner's KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS (Health Research Books, 1963), p. 193.

  2. It can happen that . . . a person returns soon and finds his astral corpse still present. The corpse is then strongly drawn to him and slips into his new astral body. He does indeed create a new astral body, but the old one combines with it, and he has to drag both of them along throughout his life. And then in bad dreams or visions the old astral body comes before him as a second ego, playing tricks on him, harassing and tormenting him. This is the false, counterfeit Guardian of the Threshold. Such an old astral corpse finds it easy to release itself from a person and become manifest because it is not firmly united with the other members of his being; and then it appears as a double, a Doppelgänger.

    Rudolf Steiner Founding a Science of the Spirit

  3. The Ahrimanic Double is not the Lesser Guardian.

    "From the standpoint of modern natural science it is easy to say that Mephistopheles does not exist; nevertheless, Lucifer and Ahriman live in human nature. Ahriman lives in the etheric body and Lucifer in the astral body of man."
    -Rudolf Steiner


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