One of the most rare phenomenon in the paranormal realm is the doppelganger. What exactly is a doppelganger? Well the word doppelganger is a German word that means "double goer" or "double walker" meaning a paranormal double of a living person that is seen by the person themselves or by others. It is more of less like a ghost of a living person. Doppelgangers often are perceived as a sinister form of bio-location and are regarded by some to be harbingers of bad luck. In some traditions, a doppelganger seen by a person's friends or relatives portends illness or danger, while seeing one's own doppelganger is said to be an omen of impending death. There are a few rare forms of mental illness as well that can cause a kind of hallucination that fits the doppelganger sighting as well. Scientists have done studies where they electrically stimulated the left temporoparietal junction of the brain of a patient, and produced this same hallucination. Perhaps some doppleganger sightings can be explained by a malfunction of the temporoparietal junction of the brain when a person think they have seen a ghost of themselves, but what about when other people see this spectral double too? They are not all hallucinating right? Maybe not...
I have not had many cases where doppelgangers were involved. I have heard from many people and many of my clients that they did see an apparition that looked a lot like some living person in the home. They even mistook it for that person until either it vanished or they saw the real person sleeping in their bed etc. Now I do think that it might be within a spirit's scope to be able to mimic another person in form, but I am not really a big fan of that theory. From what I have seen, human spirits can manifest in a form that can look exactly as they did in life at any given age during their corporeal existence. For example a man who died at 67 can show up looking the way he did as a child of 6, or any other age. I believe this is because they have access to the previous stages of their own being and can replicate or project them from memory. To replicate another person would not be as easy. Then again we do not know for sure, as all is assumption, opinion and supposition on our parts where this is concerned. However I think more often than not, the person saw something they thought was a living person in the home because we expect it to be someone living when we see someone walking about in our home. It may have looked similar but I think it may often be a case of mistaken identity or the witness did not really get a good long look. Most apparitions are not all that clear. We tend to always go with the first rational and ordinary thoughts, IE "we saw a member of the household, not a ghost." There is also the theory of astral travel, where a living person who is asleep, separates from their body and their astral body walks around. Could this explain why people see supposed doubles of their living loved one who lies sleeping in another part of the house? Who knows? Whatever the case people have reported this kind of thing to me numerous times. This does seem to be a common theme, and a feature of several haunting reports, so I guess we will have to continue to look into that one.
There was one case that I had where a young lady was seeing her own doppelganger, which is not as common as the usual haunt mimic style spirit seen by others. This young lady claimed that this doppelganger was always dressed as she had been an hour or so before or doing whatever she had done a short time before. It was almost as if her spirit were in a time lag shortly behind her. Now this gal went through a bad haunting experience and also some severe stress. She also had a near death experience when she survived a suicide attempt. Is it possible that a near death experience can leave us with one foot in this world and one in the other? Maybe there is another explanation. The girl mentioned here took a drug overdose that almost killed her. There is damage to the brain with every drug overdose, sometimes temporary sometimes permanent. Many times the damage occurs to the temporoparietal junction in the brain. Medical studies have discovered this:
The left temporoparietal junction of the brain evokes the sensation of self image—body location, position, posture etc. When the left temporoparietal junction is disturbed, the sensation of self-attribution is broken and may be replaced by the sensation of a foreign presence or copy of oneself displaced nearby. This copy mirrors the real person’s body posture, location and position. Scientists and doctors suggest that the phenomenon is seen in certain mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, particularly when accompanied by paranoia, delusions of persecution and of alien control. Nevertheless, the effects reported are highly reminiscent of the doppelgänger phenomenon. Accordingly, some reports of doppelgängers may well be due to failure of the left temporoparietal junction.
There are so many thoughts and theories about the human soul and the human body, from all cultures and some metaphysical science sources as well. Now let's look at some other lines of thought:
The Jewish Kabbalah states that the soul has 3 parts, which are as follows:
*The Nefesh-This part of the soul is considered with the lowest level of the soul, and is something animal-like. The nefesh concerns itself with physical desire and instinct.
*The Ruach-This is the middle level of the soul and translates as "spirit." The ruach is the part of the soul which can distinguish between good and evil.
*The Neshama-This aspect of the soul is specific to man and elevates him above other forms of life. Through the neshama, we realize our intellect and attain the awareness of God. The neshama lives on after death.
Is our soul or spirit really tri-fold and if so can they separate at times causing a phantom double?
There are other lines of thought on this too such as the theories of the astral and etheric bodies that have recently become popular in the New Age line of thought. This is another take on it:
The physical body, in its highest sense, is invisible. It is like the pattern by which the mineral-physical body is built—rather like the plans conceived by an architect. The architectural activity actually occurs in the journey between death and rebirth, based upon karmic necessity. Nothing exists within our sensate world save that it is first designed according to such a pattern in the spiritual world .
The etheric body is also known as the life body because it is the fashioner and healer of the physical body, and when it departs from the physical body, then the laws of life cease to apply and those of the mineral world take over. The etheric body does not depart from the physical during human life. When it does depart, death immediately occurs, and the mineral-physical body commences to return to the natural mineral state.
The difference between sleep and death is the locale of the etheric body . Neither the physical nor the etheric body has any perception of pain or consciousness. As a consequence, many of the most deadly illnesses do not reveal themselves by pain until well advanced and impinging upon the astral body functions. The etheric body is also the repository for the memory of events in this and former lives, which one may or may not be able to call back to consciousness. But there is no earthly consciousness in the etheric body itself. Habits and addictions created by actions of the astral body and Ego are etched into the etheric body and, in time, into the physical body. Still, the etheric body is one of (formative) forces, fluidic and always moving. To this day, science cannot explain why the human being must have sleep rather than simply rest. This necessity is symbiotic with that to reincarnate. The astral body must be restored in the “astral world” when it is outside the physical and etheric bodies during sleep. The astral body is restored by sleep, the etheric body by death. It is impossible for the human being to stay alive and conscious in the senses for more than two or three days. This is the protection divinely given to correct daily the deadly consequences of the Fall upon the three bodies, especially the astral, during one’s life on Earth.
The astral body is the seat of all earthly senses, in both the human being and the animal. The nervous system is the creation and servant of the astral body. All passion and desire originate there.
Do our bodies have several parts? Is the astral body real and is that what people use when they claim to "astral travel"? Could this somehow be tied in to the whole doppelganger thing, if other people see the doppelganger in addition to the living person who sees their phantom double? Could they be seeing someone's "astral body" [the phantom double or apparition of a living person]? There are no clear cut answers to the doppelganger phenomenon like so many other paranormal subjects. I guess we will just have to keep studying and try to find some clues someday to explain some of these odd occurrences.