The Double or Forerunner


Some thoughts about etheric doubles (forerunners) as a proof that OBEs are not hallucinative.

In the field of OBE there is a very interesting phenomenon which is not brought in OBE literature and OBE webpages: the observation of "doubles" or "forerunners" (I do not know if this term exists in English - it is the translated version of a German term). The doubles (forerunners) are an unconscious form of subtle body separation. This phenomenon is not observed by the OBEer him-/ herself – who is the origin of the apparition – but instead by other persons. For that reason, reports about this phenomenon are not found in OBE articles but elsewhere in literature, e. g. in reports about apparitions of persons before, during or after their death.

A special form of the double is the forerunner – as a result of the OBEer’s thoughts and imagination, the OBEer unconsciously sends his subtle body to the location on which his thoughts are fixed (mostly his home). Here, the double does all the automatisms which usually are done when arriving at home; this is similar to "false awakening". In this way, these unconscious OBEers announce their homecoming by sounds like that of steps or sounds at the coat rack. In rare cases, the OBEers can even be seen.

Because these events are observed by other persons and, in the case of "forerunners", are verified some minutes later by the actual homecoming of the announced person, I concern these events as an additional verification of OBEs (besides those of NDE, where physical events in other rooms are reported detailedly later by the NDEers).

I was very astonished when my wife told me that she is accustomed to the audible form of this phenomenon, which lets her know that I shall arrive some minutes later (she does not believe in OBEs, but well in telepathy, and she interprets this phenomenon as a form of telepathy). To make you familiar with the phenomenon of the double, below are some reports of observations of my mother in law and some friends. (Ballabene)

"While meditating in our yoga circle, I reached a state in which I was nearly unconscious of my physical body. The room became more brilliant in color and then I saw Vayu (Alfred) entering the room and sitting down at the side of Guru Ananda. This seemed quite real, and quite as he always did, with one little difference, namely that he was holding a bunch of yellow flowers in his hands.

Then I started to reflect about this and it seemed strange to me, because Vayu was known to have his own circle at the same time. Looking again to the place where Vayu was sitting, he had vanished." (Ant.)

"My mother in law an I went to see the movie "Counte of Monte Christo". Just before the beginning of the movie, she noticed that she had forgotten something important at home and, therefore, I left the cinema. Then after a while (the home was not far away from the cinema), she saw me entering the cinema coming towards her and sitting down beside her. She felt that this was my double, who looked like me as before, besides the fact that a shine was around me and that I seemed a bit larger. Some moments later, the door opened and I entered in reality". (Ballabene)

"On Easter Sunday in the evening, I had begun to tidy up my room, arranging my scripts etc. I didn’t manage to finish my work and all the paperwork was piled on my bed, so I went to sleep in the bed of my brother Reinhard, for he was at his new house that day.

I slept uneasily and woke up several times. Repeatedly, I heard sleeping noises and sighing which came from the bed, and I think I can remember that they came especially from the foot of the bed. When I woke up again, I saw my brother going out over the head of the bed and going to the loo. He wore strange glasses. Then I fell asleep again.

In the morning, I remembered all this. The whole thing seemed strange to me – extrasensory perception? Had I heard the sleeping noises of my brother from former nights or from the very night when I heard them? Are our subtle substances maybe incompatible? The more time passes, the more unlikely it all seems to me, but I know that I was wide awake and I had seen the whole room. In the other waking periods I always had looked at the watch, just in this one I didn’t." (Alay.)

"My mother sat in the car (no dream) and watched as I was returning from my walk in the forest. She had read for an hour and her eyes were strained. I was tired from my long way, too. At a distance of 300 meters she saw me coming towards her, whereat she noticed someone who was taller than me and went just behind me (body to body). She was startled and saw that it was my image, but she later described it as having been very light-coloured. The nearer I came, the more my double shrinked. At a distance of only a few meters from the car, it was only half a head taller than me." (Anag.)

"When all chelas gathered around the gurus after the lesson, guru Ananda saw the double of yogi D. right next to him. It was about a hand’s width taller and a bit paler than him, but dressed in the same clothes.

On the morning of the same day, yogi D. had returned from a long holiday trip and he was still very tired." (Guru Ananda 1979)

"Eight years ago, my husband, our son and I were in Greece. We were at the beach and all in good mood – sorrows and problems were far away. I just had a guilty conscience because I had promised my parents to call them on the phone. But I hadn’t done this yet. Suddendly, I was overcome by a strong tiredness and had to think intensely of my father. I went to our camper van and laid down for a short nap. I remembered very well the dream I had then:

I was in my parent’s garden and through the back entrance I entered their house. My mother stared at me speechlessly. I went on to the bedroom and I was surprised to see my father lying in bed despite the wonderful weather. He trembled terribly and didn’t notice his surroundings. I sat down on his bed and, again and again, I recited a mantra. Then I walked out again, I went past my mother and into the garden, where some neighbours stood at the fence. Then I woke up.

I immediately thought of this dream – I searched for the next telephone for a phone call abroad.

My mother answered and she was very annoyed because I had went past her without greeting her. She was very angry and even accused me of not being on holiday at all. She told me to come immediately because my father had a strong malaria attack again and the doctor had advised her to bring him to Gießen to the university hospital. She needed me more than ever. I tried to assure her that I was thousands of kilometers away from her, but she didn’t believe me. She said she had seen me in the garden, walking past her without greeting, going straightly into the bedroom and sitting down on my father’s bed. She told me not to lie to her, because even the neighbours had seen me.

However, my father didn’t have to go to the hospital. My mantras – or maybe the medication? - had helped.

I don’t have any clue how I created this ‘doppelganger’. Obviously, I am frequently ‘running away’ from my body. Years later, something similar happened. But I will tell this later maybe … " (from an OBE letter)


Below some more reports from literature.

Unknown Source (from DNZ, an old German newspaper)

Klara Lettinsky, chemist in Hanover, tells the story of her double:

"February 1943. It is a cold winter in war. It is Friday evening. Carrying my grocery bag, I open the front door. I live as a lodger on the fourth floor. When I finally arrive there, I hear footsteps behind me. Strangely light footsteps. I stop and wait for a moment to see who is coming there. The steps are approaching, but no one can be seen. I am starting to get nervous.

And then the incredible …

A young woman appears on the landing. My image! I had read somewhere that apparitions of the double of oneself do exist. But I did not believe it then. Now … now, my double is standing right before me!

Motionless as a statue, the apparition stands on the stairs and is looking at me constantly.

I yell: "Who are you, what … what do you want from me?"

No answer.

Suddendly, the apparition turns around, running down the stairs. I rush behind her. As I pass the front door, the silence of the evening surrounds me. No one can be seen. I stare into the darkness, shaking my head. Maybe it was just my imagination. My nerves are on edge recently. All the loneliness is not good for me. I suffer from hallucinations …

I decide to mention this to my doctor. Totally bewildered, I go up again, with the grocery bag still in my hand. I have just arrived at the first floor when I hear the explosion. A dull grumbling sound makes the windows tremble. I am scared to death. The sound came from the top of the building.

I live in the subleased room of a retired tutor. The old lady has rent another room to a war-disabled student.

Doors are opened. I can hear screams. The whole house is on the move.

Being out of breath, I arrive at the fourth floor. The door is unhinged. Plaster is crumbling from the walls. The apartment is devastated. The kitchen looks worst.

On the matress, the war-disabled student lies, dead. He had turned on the gas tap. Obviously, an electric spark had caused the explosion.

I would have died as well or at least been hurt severely if I had been in the apartment. My double had saved my life.

Later in my life, my double saved me from danger again on two occasions. It was in Bad Pyrmont. I was there for theraphy and wanted to visit a friend. When I was on the way, my double appeared. I turned pale with shock. As soon as she had vanished, I decided to postpone the visit. On the next day I heard that the sons of my friend had fallen ill with typhus. One of them died. The house was put under quarantine. If I had visited her, I would have become infected as well very likely.

The third time my double appeared, she prevented me from embarking a plane that crashed later."


Wladimir Lindenberg: "Gottes Boten unter uns" (God’s messengers among us)

p. 120. Ernst Reinhardt Verkag, München, Basel, 1967

"Lu Timmermans was my friend. During our studies in Bonn, we spent together wonderful hours of deep conversation – conversation as only young people could have with enthusiasm and persistence, through days and nights, over a glass of wine, ignoring all tiredness. We could not go deep enough into the mysteries of nature, religions and world views.

Lu went to Brussels to visit his father, the famous composer, and his relative, the writer Felix Timmermans. I myself went with him to the train.

A few days later I was about to cross the Remigius street. I have to admit that I never have been very careful when crossing the street as it should be common with a well-educated person. So, this time again, I didn’t look around to make sure no car was coming. I just had set foot on the street when I saw my friend Lu on the other side of the street, as he stopped me waving his hands wildly and with every sign of horror. I hesitated and got back on the pavement. In the same moment, a car passed me by – it would have run over me inevitably. I took a deep breath to overcome my fright, and then I wanted to thank Lu for saving my life. ‘How strange’, I thought, ‘he is supposed to be in Brussels!’ I searched for him but couldn’t find him. But I had seen him physically. I called his mother on the phone. ‘You yourself went with him to the station!’, she said, a bit annoyed.

A few days later, Lu wrote to me: ‘I hope you are well and nothing has happened to you. On monday, I sat in my room reading, but suddendly and for no reason – I didn’t think of you before – I was fearing for you and was overcome by a feeling that I had to protect you. This state did only last for a few seconds, then the fear passed away. Please write and tell me if you are well."


© Alfred Ballabene (Vienna) translated by Corra