DOUBLES AND EX-DOUBLES
[The following text was publishedin a Circular issued in the E.S. and dated from London, October, 1893. It was headed: Answers to Correspondence. With Aids and Suggestions for Students. An introductory note says: (The following letter from H.P.B.... should be studied with great care.)––Compiler.]
How to discover the source of the “Will behind your consciousness” (your own expression) which sweeps your physical self out of the moorings of your control––a frequent case with many persons? This involves the revelation of a great mystery: the discovery very often, of the identity of one’s invisible foe, who seems to lead one there and make one do that which is dangerous and inadvisable. I cannot tell all, yet I may impart enough to put you on the right track. Know then that the atomic quality of your astral doubles is not uniform. On the contrary it varies immensely with the moral, spiritual and physical combination of the individual. Let us take the instance of the same ego––who was A. fifteen hundred years ago, and is now B. in the year 1888.
Now the Double of A. is, after the death of his body, either preponderatingly spiritual or preponderatingly terrestrial. In the first case it soon dissipates in the Kâma Loka and disappears like smoke; for it has no Kâma Rûpa (body of strong desires and passions) to cling to and assimilate. “The Linga Śarîra of the good man is like the morning mist after it has quitted the body of illusion; the merits of virtue of the man that was, are like the sun. When the sun rises its warm rays dissipate the image (Astral Body) like the perfume of the rose” (Occult Aphorisms). This, if A. was even an average good man. But suppose he has been a great sensualist, or cruel or something of the sort, his Double at his death survives by a sort of elastic quality, a striking of its atoms together by the surviving medium of that intense force which made the man the sensualist or whatever he was.
Now, in this case the Double survives and holds on together for centuries sometimes. Whereas the Double of A., the good man, is disintegrated long, long before the rebirth of his Ego; the Double of A., the sensualist, may linger till the next reincarnation. And that which takes place then is this. The previous Double is drawn by affinity to the new personality (or rather to the Ego therein, its old Ego). Now you have to learn well and know the nature, the origin and ways of the Doubles, the genesis and the laws of dissolution of those reflections of men, before you can understand me well. This would take too long to explain and cannot be given now, but try to understand me. The old Double fastens very often on the new personality of his ex-Ego, and, if the actual Double is weaker, the former gets mastery over the latter; it overpowers it and makes sometimes the otherwise good man all that which his ex-personality was in the previous birth or worse. This, I see, is your case. You have one of your Doubles, or rather your ex-Double, trying to link itself again with you. Yet it is but a phantom of a phantom, and, unless soon after death––which is not your case, as your past incarnation is many centuries old––or when the deceased has been exceedingly wicked, it cannot affect third parties. But, until it is finally disintegrated and dispersed, it can affect its old Ego now, in new form, that individuality within your present body and your past bodies, which is moving ahead from birth to birth. It can give him (the new man) in his physical self, a lascivious, or cruel, or selfish, or avaricious tendency against his better feelings, make him vain and self-opinionated, etc., and have the best of him unless he struggles hard to shake off the incubus. It is the ex-Doubles of the present man and woman which, if the man was a woman in the previous birth, or the woman a man, take the shells or forms of their past incarnations and play the “spirit-wives” and “spirit-husbands” with the unfortunate mortals. It is they again––but let us drop the subject.
I see then in your photograph that at least one cause of your trouble is the influence of your former undissolved Double. But, as I said to you in my last letter, “the best remedy is your Will” under the masterful inspiration, and with the help of spirituality. This (the Will) is the one irresistible power in nature and in the psychic world; whatever the phantom or demon, it may be swept into nothingness by concentrating upon it this Will and bidding it go.