An unavoidable experience one has by faithfully doing the exercises is a splitting of the personality. A man will begin to feel as if something was accompanying him, something that thinks and hears with him and even speaks with him if he’s inwardly weak. It’s a second ego that emerges, a doppelganger that one has placed outside one. The more seriously someone treads the esoteric path, the more of his old man he places outside him, that is, he sheds one skin after another like a snake. These skins become like a second body, a doppelganger who never leaves one again for the rest of one’s life.
In the old Egyptian mysteries someone who had placed his double outside him was called a kha man. The double is chained to the kha man to constantly remind him what he was or still is. That’s not always a pleasant feeling. But the awareness that he always has his double with him will remind him of his defects and that he should improve himself. He should constantly feel this presence, otherwise things would get dangerous, and because of his many, high ideals and intentions, he would forget what his inner life and defects are.
Under certain circumstances it could even endanger a high initiate’s life if in spite of his high striving he would forget this double for even a moment. […] The more the double appears the better it is for our development, for otherwise, we would be living under great delusions about ourself.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Esoteric Lessons Part II – Hannover, 31st December 1911
Previously posted on April 14, 2014