As I read the transcript of this discussion, where the conversation actually turned somewhat volatile, it occurred to me that a lot of the reactions I am seeing with regard to this subject are based almost wholly in the assemblage point of fear - a fear generated by 1) lack of comprehension; and 2) the insecurities of the ego as it resides in the tonal.
When an otherwise advanced warrior proclaims, "I don't believe in the double," to me it's usually a signal that some old program is running in the background, which is distorting one's perception of oneself. One warrior whom I questioned about this recently told me, "The double is just a myth, isn't it? It's just a way of explaining a feeling - like Santa Claus being used to promote some essence of Christmas."
Another warrior friend once asked me, "If you had to define the double in 5 minutes or less, what would you say?"
My response: "The double is the evolved self, projected initially by the mortal warrior as a manifestation of the intent to preserve awareness beyond the threshold of 'death'. It is created from the energy of the warrior, literally, but takes on a life of its own as a projection of the warrior's Will. We give the double 'life'. When the warrior puts forth the intent which says, "Teach me," or "Make me whole," the double is the teacher who then begins 'dreaming the warrior'. In this manner, the warrior is able to perceive well beyond the assemblage point of the tonal, and actually begins to utilize information and Knowledge gleaned directly from the assemblage point of the double - which might also be termed the AP of the nagual. As the warrior progresses on her path, the two assemblage points begin moving closer together, so that when the warrior's tonal is vacated at death, the dual assemblage points conjoin to create 'the totality of oneself' - or what I have come to call 'a singularity of consciousness'." (Yes, this is a MUCH simplified definition.)
"The self dreams the double. Once it has learned to dream the double, the self arrives at this weird crossroad and a moment comes when one realizes that it is the double who dreams the self. Your double is dreaming you. No one knows how it happens. We only know that it does happen. That's the mystery of us as luminous beings. You can awaken in either one." (Don Juan, TALES OF POWER)
Though these words have been perceived as a riddle by many over the years, my own work has shown that CC was speaking in a very literal sense here - but our own understanding will be either limited or enhanced, depending entirely on the preconceived notions we bring to the table. Put another way: if someone has already determined that they don't "believe" in the double, or that the double is "only a component of self", then
that is the colored filter through which the words will be viewed, and from that filter, the warrior's own understanding will be limited at best, and often even thwarted altogether. Why? Because when we do not allow ourselves to even consider what might lie beyond what we already "believe", we have closed off the energetic connection to the realm of all possibility, and have confined ourselves to our own narrow and rigid belief systems.
The double is not a theory. It is not a religion. And it is not a belief system. To the warrior who has experienced her double, it is simply what-is. To the warrior who has not experienced her double, it remains as an energetic potential in the realm of all possibility which must be forced to go through the motions of actually occurring.
So much of this Toltec path (or any serious path of Knowledge) lies within our ability to set aside what we "believe" and deal instead with what we have never even considered - those concepts and otherworlds which exist beyond the worlds and in the realm of actual experience. But that's where the ego can become fragile and fearful and slam on the brakes with blanket statements such as, "I don't believe in the double." Obviously, the ego may not want to believe in the double, for the simple reason that the double tends to represent something "larger" than the sum of our human parts - and the ego is not particularly forgiving of anything which it may perceive as "greater" than itself.
I mention this primarily as a tool for our own awareness, and it is a tool I use ruthlessly in my own journey. If I find myself recoiling and stating, "I don't believe in this or that!" it is often helpful to turn and look the demon in the face and ask oneself why I am so closed to the possibility which elicits such a response in the first place. Most often, I will discover that my "beliefs" are generated as a comfort zone for the ego, rather than based in any sort of actuality. And, of course, once this is *seen* and acknowledged, it is a relatively simple matter to put the ego aside, shift awareness to a more fluid position, and look at the whole concept from an entirely different point of view. So, it's awareness OF the ego that essentially enables us to BYPASS the ego when dealing with matters of the double, the nagual, or any other unknown which may be frightening to our animal-humanform awareness.
To limit the double is to limit the self. To limit the self is to defeat the purpose of the double. To see and acknowledge only the tonal self is nothing more than a manifestation of the ego's insecurities. Please consider that - for it is ultimately the insecurities of the ego which have the greatest potential to derail the warrior entirely. If you are given to meditation, this is a topic which almost always yields new insights & perspectives. What do we have the potential to BE when we set aside ego and belief, and open the door to the manifestation of "all possibility"?
So ultimately, the double represents the other half of the dual assemblage point of man. We perceive the tonal with our 5 ordinary senses. We perceive the nagual with the *other* senses (no way to know how many) which are inherent in the energetic construct of the double. When these assemblage points overlap (through dreaming, meditation or gnosis/silent knowing), the warrior gains glimpses of her connection to the infinite. When the two assemblage points conjoin at death, the warrior may be said to inhabit the totality of herself, achieving what some have referred to as "ultimate freedom."
Of course... my personal sense is that the ultimate freedom of our totality is most likely only one more step in an infinite journey. From the wholeness of our totality, we embrace the first step of the next evolution.
To learn more about the double, visit my website at...