This page is a compilation of
quotes, essays, journal entries, and posts to
The Sorcerer's World... all having to do with the concept of the shaman's
double. Read gently, from the corner of the Mind's Eye... and See as
much what lies between the lines as what is on them...
...For the double is a shadow that
takes on substance, a substance that is eternal, an eternity that is the Self
reflecting on the surface of the Infinite and casting itself into matter as the
mortal Self. There is no straightforward way to speak of the double... and
so we speak in metaphor, painting the edges of the shadow to reveal that which
is casting the shadow.
All Material Copyright © 2003 - 2009
by Quantum Shaman.Com & Della Van Hise
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED TO THE INDIVIDUAL AUTHORS
THE DOUBLE VS. DOUBLE BEINGS
From my own personal experience, any warrior
can develop his/her double - sometimes by conscious decision to do so,
other times it is seemingly a natural extension of oneself that occurs
quite easily as the warrior engages the path of Knowledge.
words will always limit the concept, it is helpful to think of "the
double" as the energy body - though as it is developed and nurtured
with Intent, it becomes considerably more than that. Some people
call it "the dreaming body", and again that is accurate, but
limiting. In essence, the double is more like the warrior himself,
and if one wanted to visualize it, the double would be a perfected
mirror image of the warrior in most cases. Clearly, the
double can be projected as any image the warrior would choose,
but normally it has the residual-body-image (to borrow a term from THE
MATRIX) of how the warrior appears in life.
"No sorcerer knows where
his Other is. A sorcerer has no notion that he is in two places at
once. To be aware of that would be the equivalent of facing his
double, and the sorcerer that finds himself face to face with himself
is a dead sorcerer. That is the rule. That is the way power has set
things up. No one knows why."
(Don Juan to Carlos
All ordinary human beings have an energy body, but unless it is actively
nurtured, it does not become what shamans think of as "the
double". Unnurtured, it simply exists as an accidental
extension of the person - like a vestigial organ. But when the
warrior begins to engage the path and nurtures that dreaming body into a
more conscious extension of himself, the double can seemingly
take on a life of its own.
"By the time a warrior has
conquered dreaming and seeing and has
developed a double, he must have also succeeded in erasing personal
history, self-importance, and routines. So doing is the means for
removing the impracticality of having a double in the ordinary world,
by making the self and the world fluid, and by placing them outside
the bounds of prediction."
(Don Juan to Carlos
DOUBLE BEINGS (AKA "The
double being, on the other hand, is something which one either is or
isn't. I've always thought of it like being with blonde hair and
blue eyes. One either has those attributes, or one doesn't.
Granted, one could wave one's arms about and proclaim that technology
now makes it possible for brown-eyed brunettes to become green-eyed
blondes, but we're not talking about technology. We're talking
about one's nature.
"To the eye of the seer, a
Nagual man or Nagual woman appears as a luminous egg with four
compartments. Unlike the average human being, who has two sides
only, a left and a right, the Nagual has a left side divided into two
long sections, and a right side equally divided in two."
(Don Juan to Carlos
The critical difference between the double and the
double-being is very succinctly illustrated in the quote above. I
would be a double being, a nagual, whether or not I ever engaged on this
path. Double beings are simply born that way, and have no more say in
the matter than they have a say in eye and hair color from a genetic
perspective. Indeed, had I never engaged on the path, it is
altogether possible that the other "half" of myself simply would have
atrophied and disappeared altogether, though there is no way to be sure.
Carlos Castaneda discovered himself to be what was referred to as a
"three-prong nagual", and nearly as I have been able to determine, this
is the result of what amounts to an improper "division", and so an
extant Nagual woman was introduced. To his perceptions, this was
simply "the way", and so he wrote as if all Naguals were "two" beings,
when in most cases, they are a single being that divides. And just for
the record, I do not mean this in any symbolic psychological manner, but
it is meant literally. The energetic being divides like a cell
So, what Castaneda never addressed, either because he himself never
gained the Knowledge, or because he intentionally chose not to reveal
this aspect publicly, is that the Nagual man and Nagual woman are not
two "separate" beings, but they are the same being that splits at
a certain point in life. That split is when one or the other
(Nagual man or Nagual woman) goes into the "otherworld" to serve as a
beacon, guiding the party to the opening. This is the whole point of the
double-being. Once that split occurs and the other half of oneself
leaves this world, the gravity exerted on the one remaining is beyond
any force that can be described. As a result of that pull, the one
remaining in the mortal world is driven to seek the
opening into the Otherworld, so as to reunite with him/herself (i.e.,
"inhabiting the totality of oneself").
The warrior's party begins to form most often in modern times by
association with a nagual rather than through any ritualistic assembling
of "north, south, east, west, courier", etc. While that
system undoubtedly had validity for Castaneda and the ancient Toltecs, I
do think there was validity to a statement made by Carlos that he
perceived his party to be the last of that lineage. Probably true. The
lineage may have been lost, but the System of Knowledge has simply
evolved, partially as a result of the information Castaneda and others
who have followed made available to the world. I grew up not
having the Knowledge of who and what I am, and only after finding CC's
books did I begin to fully comprehend my own nature and the rule of the
So, in the same way I accept that rule, I also accept that one uses the
tools at one's disposal. I don't go out actively looking for other
warriors roaming around the desert, but when I find them (whether with
the tools of the internet or the tools of perception in a crowd), it is
my responsibility to the Rule to make available to them certain
information - which they may or may not choose to utilize in their own
journey. Being a somewhat efficiency-oriented individual, I have
chosen to make much of that information available through this website.
sorcerer may certainly notice afterwards that he has been in two
places at once. But this is only bookkeeping and has no bearing on the
fact that while he's acting he has no notion of his duality."
(Don Juan to Carlos
The statement by don Juan directly above applies both to the double AND
to double beings. Once the nagual man or woman goes into the third
attention to serve as a beacon to the one left behind, the mortal
sorcerer has no direct knowledge of that duality unless it is
intentionally invoked. When in gnosis, communication on a
certain level becomes possible and even an actual conjoining of
energies. But because the Nagual man, Orlando*, is on
"that" side of the Eagle and I am on "this" side of
the Eagle, the final and complete conjoining cannot occur until mortal
death or burning with the fire from within. That is my present
understanding through my own experiences.
is the Nagual man, the other half of my double-being. For those
who have not read
THE CRYSTAL AND
THE NAGUAL, it offers further explanation of this idea.
a post to
the double have corporealness? Certainly. Solidity, corporealness are memories.
Therefore, like everything else we feel about the world, they are memories we
accumulate, memories of the description.
(Don Juan to Carlos
The difference between those who fly and those who die in the fall is the
strength of the bond between the self of the here-and-now and the
wholeness of the double within the here-ever-after. And so we come to the inevitable questions which have no
direct answer, yet those questions that must be answered if you are
to succeed in your bid for eternity.
It is one thing to ask how the double is created, but another
matter entirely to live within the framework of that answer.
Think on those words: to
live within the framework of perpetual, moment-to-moment self-creation
that does not allow for going back to sleep, even if only for a moment.
Mortal mystics have said the double is created through the process
of living impeccably, and though this is undeniably true, it is attempting
to define what that means that requires a deeper level of commitment.
In essence, it could be stated that the double is created through
Intent, but I fear that is too easy an answer and that passive thinking
can be mistaken for active magick, and let there be no misunderstanding:
if the double is created passively, he will not possess the strength to
rescue you from oblivion, for he will be made of your weaknesses instead
of your strengths. And so he
must be constructed of unbending intent, but again I hear you whispering
and moaning, “Yeah, but what the fuck does that
mean, and isn’t it just words rattling like old bones in the sand?”
Here is where you must stop and think.
Meditate on the idea itself until you begin to see what it really
means. It is the force of
creation itself, this thing called unbending intent that originates within
the mortal self as a thought-form of eternal continuity, stretches outward
to affect and generate itself through the manifestation of energy in order
to begin re-creating the mortal self in eternity, and finally reflects
back as that immortal other begins to embody the attributes and extended
ubiquitous consciousness of its mortal creator.
might call it creative visualization, though it is not something that can
be done ritualistically with candles and props and all the trappings of
magick, if the magick itself is not fully integrated into the magician’s
unbroken intent. Unbroken
intent: a force of energy that never wavers and can always be accessed and
identified with a thought; a background light never turned off, fueled by
the Realization that to fail is to face utter oblivion; the steady weaving
of the warrior’s vision into the cloth of eternity; the pen of will
writing your identity in indelible ink so that not even death can erase
it; the decision to always make the impeccable choice even when it is not
necessarily the comfortable or pleasant alternative.
Don Juan said "The double is created through dreaming."
Not meaning only while we're asleep, but with the Intent of dreaming as
well. Dreaming awake. Dreaming the world into being.
Dreaming as an act of Creation.
take on it is: "The double is created through Intent."
But, again, not necessarily the direct intent to create a double.
Many times, shamanism and sorcery are back-door visitors - meaning that
they must be viewed in little glances, from the corner of the third eye.
Try to look at it head-on and it will vanish. Try to comprehend it
before experiencing it, it may elude you.
that reason, when I say creating the double is a matter of Intent, I'm
not saying that we set out to create the double like baking a cake, go
through a process, and when we're done, the double is standing before
us. Instead, the intent which creates the double is not
the intent TO create the double. My own processes have
worked something like this, though in no particular order. I'm
only numbering them to point out that they are separate
actions/intentions, but all interconnected.
1. "The hurt is what
will make you hunt a cure." The double is created through
longing, ache, hurt, want, need, the desire to conjoin with the
infinite, with the unknown, with some eternal "other" which
has been spoken of in shamanism since the dawn of time. At the
stage of longing, the double may be experienced only as the longing
itself, what some have called the call of the unknown, the call of the
2. The double CAN be
strengthened through imagination. Having been a professional
fiction writer for many years, I "created" many characters who
have attributes of my double. This act of imagination is part of a
creative process which some may be inclined to pursue, others not at
all. For myself, I think my writing helped me to form the paradigm
of the double, and may indeed be one reason Orlando manifested in the
flesh - though not until many, many, many years later. The act of
imagination could be described also as the thoughtform from which
reality flows if that is the intent of the sorcerer. And, indeed,
at the time I was writing, I had no idea about any of this. It was
simply a natural step for me, and part of how I earned my Indian name:
3. The double may be
experienced and expressed through gnosis, though for myself that was a
process which came into being LONG after all of the above. Perhaps
it could be said that I only learned how to hear it and express it
without my own agendas and self-importance getting in the way after many
years of working with the warrior's path.
4. The double is a
self-resolving paradox, which is directly connected to #3 above.
What most warriors fail to grasp, and where quantum shamanism provides a
much clearer opportunity for direct comprehension as an enhancement to
intuitive awareness, is this: when you begin to follow the path
and do the work required to gather your cohesion (the great work, the
work of evolution, the path), you are actually going through the process
which re-defines you as an eternal being.
eternal being is the double -- and once it takes its symbolic first
breath, it is alive ubiquitously throughout the space-time continuum,
simultaneously in every molecule or speck of dark matter scattered
throughout all of creation and beyond.
Of course, what that means is that at THAT point, the double is also
within YOU -- FROM THE MOMENT YOU WERE CONCEIVED, and even before that.
BUT... it is only by going through the Doings that you learn how to see
that, how to communicate with it, how to listen so that you might
actually learn HOW to create it so that it can exist in the first place.
At that point, it is said, "The double is now dreaming you."
But again I think some terminology can get in the way, so let's use the
terms, "The double is teaching you what you need to know to become
an eternal being."
From a post to The
do think that Castaneda simply did not have the full story when he
wrote THE EAGLE'S GIFT, in that he was still describing the Nagual
(double-being) as two separate individuals, when my own experience has
been that this is probably not accurate. My take on it is that
because Carlos himself was described as a 3-pronged nagual, his own
"division" was somehow thwarted or he only partially
divided, and so the other "part" of himself was either lost
entirely, or perhaps never made it to third attention and became
trapped in some other realm. No way to know. Another
Nagual woman was presented to him (Carol), but though she was *a*
Nagual woman, she was not *the* Nagual woman
specifically-matched to Carlos. Again, tip of the iceberg, and
the wabbit hole goes plenty deep, but suffice it to say she was her
own person, and not the other half of Carlos's double-beingness.
from my own experience, or at least my perceptions, Orlando and I did
not start out as two separate individuals. It is only perceived
that way because we humans are creatures in the gravity of Time.
As don Juan said, "it is impossible to try to reason out the
double", and yet, I'm not so sure it's impossible as much as it
requires re-writing the paradigm of our belief systems about the
nature of reality itself. Though I cannot explain in scientific
terms how the double being divides, I think there will come a time in
the future when it can be understood. In so many ways, our
present mode of thinking is still at the level of "flies cause
garbage”, and because it's what we've always believed, we have no
easy way to see it from a completely different angle.
course... I can also argue the other side, where CC is coming
from, because in many ways that is more rational. Easier to
think that two separate beings could come together than to think a
single being divides for the purpose of coming together again in what
amounts to a different space-time continuum. But I think the
easier explanation which CC offers is limited. In my experience,
the whole point of the double being is that one half of that being is
predisposed to exist in the conditions of third attention, and the
other half is predisposed to exist as a mortal human. And words
gather like storm clouds, obliterating the sky...
think it's important for warriors, and especially important for those
who may discover themselves to be double beings, to have as clear an
understanding as possible. I think CC was right in baseline
theory, but he simply never revealed the whole picture. My
suspicion is that if he ever did realize the deeper secrets about the
Nagual, he simply chose not to write about it, because as I have
discovered through experience, there is no way, really, to explain any
of this rationally. So we have a tendency to simplify, to say
"two separate beings", when in actuality, it is a single
being that splits in two for the purpose of serving as its own guide.
First shaman created the world, and when she realized she was lonely,
she tore out half her heart and put it into her own dreaming body so
she would never be alone. Because the double was made of spirit,
though, it left her all too soon and went to dwell in eternity, where
its siren cries call her back into the Infinite.
This is why the heart has two chambers and why the shaman walks the
earth with one eye on the world and the other focused on that which
has no name.
Quantum Shaman, 2003
From a post to
Copyright © 2003
by Quantum Shaman.Com & Della Van Hise