Doppelgangers and the mythology of spirit doubles
Depiction of a trow replacing a baby with a ‘changeling’. Image source .
Many Native American creation myths likewise provide for the role of dualistic twins. Hopi legends refer to the twins who were called the Child of the Sun and the Child of the Water. The Hopi also believe in duality between the Upper World and the Underworld: that whatever is happening here in the Upper World, the opposite is happening in the Underworld.
So where did belief in spirit doubles come from and is there any real truth to them? While many today still belief in the existence of a double self, some scientists believe the phenomenon occurs based on injuries or stimulation to certain parts of the brain which cause errors in spatial reasoning. Others believe it is the result of a vision, hallucination, or that we live in a parallel universe in which everything in this world in replicated in another dimension. Whatever the real truth behind doppelgangers, belief in the spirit double has instilled both fear and wonder in people for thousands of years.
Featured image: How They Met Themselves, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, watercolor, 1864. Source: Wikipedia
Doppelganger - Spirit or Omen? – Gods and Monsters. Available from: http://www.gods-and-monsters.com/doppelganger.html
Doppelgänger – Princeton. Available from: https://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Doppelg%C3%A4nger.html
Doppelgänger – Paranormal Encyclopaedia. Available from: http://www.paranormal-encyclopedia.com/d/doppelganger/
Doppelgänger – Encyclopaedia Britannica. Available from: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/169319/doppelganger
Doppelganger - Crystalinks. Available from: http://www.crystalinks.com/doppelganger.html.