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Doppelgangers and Alter Egos

Updated on September 24, 2015

A Doppelganger

Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Meeting the Doppelganger
Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Meeting the Doppelganger | Source

What are Doppelgangers?

They are the stuff of nightmare and of dreams. They are something that many do not want to see at all. But there is a large curiosity among people about what they are and what is happening. One wonders what can be done to explain it all. Is it true or all a part of the imagination?

There are two types of doppelgangers now. They are the ones that are people that look like you on Facebook, etc. or in public and the ones that are paranormal beings or parts of people.

There are so many people in the world that the theory is that someone will look like you. Now people can search for the person that is their double on the Internet. They had Doppeganger week on Facebook for people looking for their own double.

Alter egos involve different aspects of the personality. Sometimes a person has another character that they use. Beyonce states that she has another character she uses to sing on stage. There are for instance, Superman and Clark Kent. A famous story is of Jekyll and Hyde being bad and good aspects of his character.

Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth of England
Queen Elizabeth of England | Source

Seeing Doppelgangers

Everyone is told at some time that they look like someone else. Don't you feel an eerie feeling about that idea really? Do you think that the person is actually taking something away from you sometimes.? Or maybe, you are the one that actually takes something from the other person. It depends on which one would be the stronger or in many cases the most famous. But still you usually really want to have your own looks. There is still a curiosity about the fact that there is someone that looks just like you.

They have been sometimes called evil twins. Another idea is that they are really a part of your oversoul or soul and a guiding spirit for you. The oversoul in theory is a soul that has more than one person at one time on the Earth and watches over them.

One legend I know said that if a doppelganger follows you and finds you, you will die. Many countries and civilizations have their own myths and stories regarding doubles.

Freud saw the double myths as being a sign of our primitive beginnings. It is another person in your same likeness or spirit. The word is from the German meaning double. It is an idea from ancient times that there is another with your same looks in the world. The legend is that if you see your doppelganger you will die. It may have come from the fact or notion that many people have seen one before their death.

Lincoln saw a vision of himself in the mirror, some say in his bed.
Queen Elizabeth I saw her doppelganger on her bed before her death.
Shelley the poet saw one pointing out to sea before he died at sea.
Catherine the Great of Russia had word that hers was sitting on her throne and told her servants to shoot at it.

There is another idea that the spirit may be malevolent and want to do you harm. It is as if the spirit wants to take over your life. They think it plays tricks on the person it is haunting. They see it as being a ghost like spirit.

One theory is that a person can have several incarnations on Earth at the same time from your soul group. They might have different appearances.

Another is that there are different worlds and more than one where people have doubles of themselves and different things could be happening at the same time as on Earth. The worlds would be ones that you could not see with your eyes at all. Some say there could be no limit to the number of this type of other worlds or dimensions. They would be other worlds that could not be perceived by your normal senses.

On the Internet they have virtual worlds where everyone has their own avatar to be their body in the virtual world. It is in a way a doppelganger. A famous one is Second Life. On Second Life you can actually make your own version of yourself. You can attempt to make it look just like you. You are also supposed to be able to use your own photo and send it in to use that on your own avatar.



Abraham Lincoln

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The Poet Shelley

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Doppelgangers in Myth and Legend

They can be ghost or spirit presences. In Egyptian mythology the double was called a ka. It had the same feelings and memories as the real person. It sounds like the unconscious. It lived after death as long as it could have somewhere to stay. In French myths it is a personification of death. For Viking mythology it is called a vardoger and goes before a person. It would go before the person and perform the same identical actions as the person would.

Oneida Native American folklore contains some myths regarding doubles. It is said they could be visions of double or parallel worlds. In one the people are taken to the sky to a town identical to the one they live in that was destroyed. In another myth the people have identical lodges, etc. in two different places. It is in "Oneida Iroquois Folklore, Myth and History" by Anthony W. Wonderley.

Stories of Doppelgangers


In Star Trek's Mirror Mirror episode Captain Kirk has two personas. One is good and the other tends to be very bad in the way that he handles his position as the captain of the ship. They are presented as being two distinctly different worlds but with the same cast of characters. The characters are just tending to good in one world and to bad in the other one. They are dealing with the same problem. The ship needs to get the lithium to make it run from the other planet. The leader of the other planet does not want to give them the lithium for their ship.

There is also another Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk is actually split by an accident into two separate personalities. One of them is good and the other is evil. The evil version is presented as being from his lower nature.

Edgar Allan Poe's "William Wilson" is a story of light and darkness and a doppelganger.
The Russian author Dostoyefsky wrote "The Double," a famous story about a doppelganger.

Recently there have been several movies involving the doppelganger idea. One of them was a story based on the Dostoyefsky story.

Doppelganger Explanation

The God Helmet

For metaphysical experiments
For metaphysical experiments | Source

The God Helmet

A Canadian had used this to do metaphysical research. The device is a scientific one to do brain experiments on people. It has the name because it was found to give some people experiences of seeing God. It was made by Dr. M.A. Persinger. People reported many different experiences from it. It used a magnetic force.

Some users also reported seeing a double of themselves while they were using it. The double would be right on the bed near them.

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      You read my mind on this topic! I was recently searching Flickr and came across a photo of a man that was a dead ringer for my husband's friend/our family doctor. He looked so much like him that I downloaded the photo and emailed it to him. I have a doppelganger, too -- the daughter of my mother's half-brother is my spitting image. What is weirder is that her daughter looks exactly like mine. They do lead much different lives than us though, with ours being the luckier version. Eerie.

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