The Strangers Living Among Us
By James Donahue
Not long ago a popular radio show invited callers who thought they had met their doppleganger, or
their visual twin, to call in to talk about their experience. We didn't bother to listen, but the concept was one that caught
Most of us have had the experience of meeting someone we know in a crowd, calling their name, only
to find out that it is a case of mistaken identity.
My wife and I both observed a woman in a large department store, while we were separated and shopping
in different parts of the store, who we believed was a daughter that we had not seen in years. This woman looked so much like
our daughter we both made eye contact and came close to speaking to her. We were held back by the blank look she returned,
and the knowledge that our daughter was in Europe at that time, many thousands of miles away, and that it was totally illogical
to assume that she was standing in that store in front of us.
So is it possible that two people from different genetic heritage can come out looking like biological
twins? Of course it is. Like snowflakes, there are so many billions of us, the chances of two or more of us popping out of
the mix and looking very similar are quite good.
It has been said that kings and great world leaders frequently seek out and use doubles, or dopplegangers
to make public appearances on their behalf, especially during events in which they may be stepping into harms way.
And we have all seen the people who have attempted to not only mimic but make themselves look exactly
like two of the most famous performers in American pop culture . . . Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. It is amazing just
how many "look-alikes" have made appearances since these two people died.
All of this strangeness was brought to mind when we recently read a story explaining people who suffer
from a mental disorder called Capgras' Syndrome. These people believe members of their family, close friends, and sometimes
even their spouse is mysteriously replaced by a doppleganger that is merely posing as the real person.
People with this disorder usually do not fear those around them, they just don't believe they are
the original person they once knew.
After all that this writer has seen and experienced over the years, it is easy to understand how someone
might reach this mental state. In fact, we notice that every person goes through constant although subtle changes in personality
and behavior, depending on our circumstances, so that even a brief separation of a few weeks or months might allow us to wonder
if we are meeting the same person once we are reunited.
While we are all unique individuals, and all of us united because we share the same light or soul,
we also are in a constant state of change, adjustment and growth. We also are influenced by the invisible spiritual energies
that surround and sometimes possess our bodies. Thus while we remain ourselves, what those around us perceive in us and through
us might change, sometimes dramatically, day-by-day.
Then for those of us involved in esoteric matters, we have to think of the probability of time travelers,
and the possiblity that we might actually be meeting ourselves from the future when we encounter that "twin." And if we want
to go into other dimensions and think of parallel universes that somehow intersect, the entire picture gets quite complex.
We can surely say that when we look in the bathroom mirror we know that the person looking back is
not the young lad he was some 40 years ago. The changes may have been slow, but they were constant and they have taken their
One might then understand why a person becomes confused as to just who we are, even though we might
see one another almost daily.
That seems to be the thing that keeps the world we live in interesting. Nothing in it remains the
same. Everything is changing, even us.