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Observations placeholder

David-Neel, Alexandra - Seeing Wangdu's double



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Immortality and Reincarnation – Alexandra David-Neel

A young man in my service had gone to visit his family. I had granted him three weeks leave, after which he was to purchase a food supply, engage porters to carry the loads across the hills, and come back with the caravan.

Most likely the fellow had a good time with his people. Two months elapsed and still he did not return. I thought he had definitely left me.

Then I saw him one night in a dream. He arrived at my place clad in a somewhat unusual fashion, wearing a sun hat of foreign shape. He had never owned such a hat.

The next morning, one of my servants came to me in haste.

"Wangdu has come back," he told me. "I have just seen him down the hill."

The coincidence was strange. I went out of my room to look at the traveller.

The place where I stood dominated a valley. I distinctly saw Wangdu. He was dressed exactly as I had seen him in my dream.

He was alone and walking slowly up the path that wound up the hill slope.

I remarked that he had no luggage with him and the servant who was next to me answered, "Wangdu has walked ahead, the load-carriers must be following”.

Two other men also witnessed Wangdu climbing the mountain.  We both continued to observe the man. He reached a small chorten, walked behind it, and did not reappear.

The base of this chorten was a cube built in stone, less than three feet high, and from its needle-shaped top to the ground, the monument was no more than seven feet high. There was no cavity in it. Moreover, the chorten was completely isolated: there were neither houses, nor trees, nor undulations, nor anything that could provide a hiding in the vicinity'.

My servant and I believed that Wanqdu was resting for a while under the shade of the chorten. But as time went by without his reappearing, I inspected the ground around the monument with my field-glasses, but discovered nobody.

Very much puzzled, I sent two of my servants to search for the boy. I followed their movements with the glasses but no trace was to be found of Wangdu nor of anybody else.

The same day a little before dusk the young man appeared in the valley with his caravan. He wore the very same dress and foreign sun hat which I had seen in my dream and in the morning vision.

Without giving him or the load-carriers time to speak with my servants and hear about the phenomenon, I immediately questioned them. From their answers I learned that all of them had spent the previous night in a place too far distant from my dwelling for anyone to reach the latter in the morning. It was also clearly stated that Wangdu had continually walked with the party.

During the following weeks I was able to verify the accuracy of the men's declarations by inquiring about the time of the caravan’s departure at the few last stages where the porters were changed.  It was proved that they had all spoken the truth and had left the last stage with Wangdu, as they said.

Many people attribute phenomena of this genre to the movements of the ‘double’, but others are inclined to see in them the effect of telepathic transmission, even if it is achieved unintentionally.

The source of the experience

David-Neel, Alexandra

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



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