In the middle of August, I was eating with Juan in our usual restaurant in Barcelona and talking a bit about everything. Then, a topic I have been interested in for years popped out. I don’t know how it happened, but Juan started talking about the ability of some people, from the most diverse traditions, to appear in the dreams of people that they even don’t know, and help them or heal them with advice or just with their presence. It seemed that the energetic body, or ‘double’, could help others while the physical body was sleeping or doing something else.
Between mouthfuls, I thought of my years at university. At that time I had been interested in the topic of the double as a literary idea and as a psychological phenomenon. I found fascinating that someone could, for instance, be in two different places simultaneously, as is described in the biographies of some saints and yogis, or that someone could see himself walking through the street, as happened to the great Goethe a few days before his death.
This topic of the double also appealed to me because of my interest in out-of-body experiences and astral projections. Just the idea of transcending the physical plane and exploring the infinity of the universe was fascinating. After a literature search and a few seminars, I got to know several people who could project their energetic body almost spontaneously. Among them there was even a boy who used to walk the astral plane with his dog. This led me to believe that, after all, it couldn’t be too difficult: I had to achieve it. With perseverance and effort I had a few experiences, but without much success. Yes, I saw myself sleeping in my room, but the elation of having achieved it and the thought that my body was lying there but not myself, made me return to my body immediately.
I had also heard stories about the possibility of healing another person at a distance. I even tried that, but I don’t know whether it worked (I hope it did). It wasn’t clear to me whether this phenomenon was caused by sending energy with a given purpose to someone or by traveling with the energetic body to the place where the sick person was. In any case, it seemed that my intention was not enough. After all those attempts I felt exhausted and finally gave up. I was obviously doing something wrong. And another thing that I couldn’t understand either was how the energetic body of certain people could act independently from the person.
With all these thoughts whirling in my head and because of my great interest in the topic, I immediately accepted Juan’s suggestion of the energetic body as the topic for our next interview. I finished my fruit salad and we went to our quiet “talking spot” in Barcelona to record what follows.
Both occidental esotericism and diverse oriental traditions say that human beings are made of several “energetic densities”, the physical dimension being the densest manifestation of them all. But I believe that it is easy to mix up concepts like soul, spirit, astral body, subtle body, emotional body, etc. Juan, could you please clarify this issue?
All the physical phenomena started at the subtle level. Human beings, plants and animals have an energetic body (where, for instance, the acupuncture meridians are located), and a subtle or astral body. In the Tao, this is called the «yin body» while the physical one is called the «yang body». In close proximity to the physical body, just over the skin, is the so called etheric body, which gives its form to the physical body. After the etheric body comes the emotional body, which is very flexible, changing from one moment to the next, and is highly vulnerable if the person does not have any sort of mental training. Additional levels exist, but we are mostly interested in these ones.
That means that we have, at least, physical, etheric, emotional and mental bodies… All right. Then, what happens when we fall asleep? Which body becomes active?
During the day, when one is awake, one is connected with the physical body whereas when one falls asleep, one connects with the yin or energetic body. Dreams are experiences taking place through that yin body.
And could you clarify the difference between intention and ego?
There are people who reach a point in their inner development where they start doing good for others, like a healer, a physician, people with a good heart, not for business or for professional reasons. What can happen then is that these individuals with good hearts are no longer able to heal all the people they know (friends, acquaintances, or people recommended by them). However, there is a desire, a strong intention to heal and do good for all these people. That intention is independent from the ego. When someone falls asleep, the ego vanishes when he enters the theta and delta brain waves. However, the intention is still active even in these waves. A proof of this is the mother who goes to sleep with the intention of waking up if the baby needs her. If the baby starts crying, the mother wakes up, even if she was sleeping deeply. Therefore, ego and intention are two different things.
If the desire to help others is very strong, the intention may be active 24h a day, so that the person with a good heart appears in the dreams of others, for instance, to give advice or a massage. If the person has reached a high level of consciousness, it may also happen that just their presence does good and heals.
Is the person who helps others aware of what is happening?
No, because if the person were aware of it, that would mean that the ego is still working. But the ego has its own private agenda, which is selfish and sometimes even manipulative. Thus, it is better that this process is independent of the ego. The energy that is at work here is the energy of the heart, pure intention.
How can we know that our double is working on his own?
The first demonstrable sign that the yin body is operating independently of the ego is that the person starts appearing in the dreams of others. The person starts working at two levels: awake and asleep, doing good for one or more people. In this way, the circle of altruist action gradually becomes larger.
I imagine that the capacity of the double to perform positive actions can be enhanced if the person is involved in energetic practices, can’t it?
If in addition to having a good heart, a person also does energetic practices to obtain more vitality and power, then it is possible that the double may start to extend its range of influence beyond known people. For instance, if the person picks up through the media or at the subtle level, in dreams, that an airplane crashes or that there is an earthquake, it can then happen that the double of that person becomes active and goes there to help..
How does that person know that such things are happening?
It can be that the person listens or sees in the news what has happened and feels a relationship with the story. The person can feel that he/she has been there, or that there is something personal that is shared with the place where the accident took place, something of an emotional nature.
I guess that as the double is working beyond the ego, this phenomenon does not have any limit. I mean for instance that the double can be acting in infinite places at the same time, can’t it? What about the energy necessary to carry out all these things? Where does it come from?
What happens is that the person doing this sort of things is not using personal energy but is working according to the guidelines of nature, as the I Ching recommends. The person operates from the heart, which is the point of balance, beyond the ego, and canalizes and distributes the yin energy of the earth and the yang energy of heaven.
One could say then that the person is acting as an energy catalyst…
That’s right. And should also be said that the double provides what it is necessary in every case.
Are there different degrees of action? Is it possible that the double evolves?
Yes, there are several levels. There is the subtle level, in which one receives advice, for example, to change one’s way of life. And then the next step is a level of semi-density.
Semi-density? Then, is it possible to see the double in the streets? In fact, what happens when someone sees the double of another person, or even better, when someone sees his own double?
What I have experienced with regard to contact with the double in its semi-physical form is that the person who perceives it is not in ordinary time and space. Usually we think that time is all the same – linear and homogeneous – but modern physics has already demonstrated that this is not the case. The perception of or contact with a double takes place in a particular dimension that is different from ordinary time. So, the person who contacts the double leaves ordinary time and space during the encounter. This is experienced as something normal and not as a kind of miracle. As soon as the experience ends, there is a sort of awakening, one blinks and comes back to ordinary time. In that very moment one realizes that there was something strange, something that has no logical explanation. But then the double is no longer there…
It is curious that such a time-space shift helps us in the process of healing as well. It seems that, for a few moments, we are given the opportunity to enter into an ideal and eternal state in which everything is possible, even though we are not aware of what is happening…
That’s right. The process of healing, about which we actually don’t know very much, possibly takes place when the healer takes the sick person out of ordinary time and space. In this way, the healer is able, by using whatever technique, to bring the patient into the time and space in which their health was perfect, the so called “original state” according to the Tao. Healing would then be like a memory, like remembering that “original state”.
Coming back to the double and its density. Is it possible that the double becomes even denser so that it can act and talk?
Yes, it is possible for the double to gain even more cohesivity. If the double becomes more and more involved in doing things at the physical level, it then becomes more material and can function almost like a copy of a person.
And if the person has died and left the physical plane, what happens to the double?
The double can turn into an immortal body. There has been evidence for centuries that great masters, monks and yogis are able to physically manifest themselves to transmit something important at key moments of history.
Well, such an idea is not really acceptable in our modern society… The few studies dealing with the topic of the double in the Western world have been made either from an aesthetic point of view, as a literary or cinematographic object; or from a psychological point of view, in which it is considered a pathological phenomenon similar to schizophrenia.
The rational mind has always predominated in the occidental world. Rationalism is like a constraint that human beings have put on their own consciousness. Consciousness is like an infinite space in which rationalism sets a fence to limit its possibilities. The rational mind considers only what the senses perceive, and sometimes not all of what the senses perceive. In the Tao, this is called “acquired knowledge”. This type of information has actually been obsolete for years, but it is still there getting mixed with new information. The ancient Taoists realized that “acquired knowledge” is limited, and that it is not definitive, but temporal.
When we start to hear stories about doubles and similar things, most of the time we interpreted this in the context of our “acquired knowledge”, which assures us that such things cannot exist for a huge list of reasons. But if we were to impartially investigate the phenomenon of the double, we would find many cases and we could even consider its existence. In fact, the reality of the double is documented throughout the history of humanity. It is not a fantasy, but a possibility that has, as we have already said, different degrees of density, from appearing in dreams to the physical level.
I now realize that many doubles may be operating in this physical dimension, doing miracles, giving advice or simply breaking the continuity of the time-space frame of an individual. They are welcome!