Doppleganger vs Possessed by Bob
Something that I've been thinking about recently that has me confused, not that everything is crystal clear in this story, but is Dale's doppleganger Mr. C an entity unto himself or does he only exist as a vehicle for Bob? Hawk, or someone, described the doppleganger as your shadow self. Can the doppleganger exist in the real world without Bob? Was the person that killed Laura Leland's doppleganger? And if Bob left Leland as he died was that Leland's doppleganger or was that Leland himself that died on the cell floor?
Agreed. The degree to which Cooper's doppelganger can exist without BOB's involvement has yet to be seen, depending on what happened in Part 8 this week. But Leland was definitely himself, possessed by BOB.
I'm also struggling with the use of doppelgangers in TP/TPR. My reading is that we have the following possible doppelgangers:
1) Coop / Mr C: I think this one is pretty well established (S2/FWWM/S3), but as noted, what if any relation is BOB to the existence of a doppelganger? Also, can the original Dougie (S3) be considered a doppelganger or is he just a manufactured tool of Mr C?
2) Mike's arm/tree / arm's doppelganger: before Coop leaves the Black Lodge/Waiting Room (S3) the arm announces it has a doppelganger, doesn't it? What was the significance of that?
3) Laura / Laura's doppelganger: I think this has been intimated during the series. It seems that sometimes Coop is talking with Laura in the Black Lodge/Waiting Room ("Who are you?" "Laura Palmer") and at other times with her doppelganger (doesn't she say she's not Laura, but knows someone like her?)
All suppositions on my part, any light shedding (or theories) welcome.
I believe that the doppelganger Cooper is an autonomous entity that happens to carry Bob around for the ride.
If BOB had indeed left MrC in Part 8, then we are seeing MrC as an entity unto himself. Same evil character, but BOBless.
It would seem, they are all unique, and the other factor would be the "different species" mentioned in the Secret History
We can also note that Coopledanger, does not have the drastic shifts Leyland did, which could be attributed to level and duration of control Bob had. Was he sometimes just an influence, being able to take total control for periods of time, or was he in total control at all times?
In short, Bob ('an inhabiting spirt'in a Dopleganger would be a symbiant, but in a human more of a parasite/infection
Hawk says that his people call doppelgänger "dweller on the threshold". I haven't found this term in first peoples' mythology, however it's quite important term in hermetic/occult/freemason-spiritual tradition. According to that, the "dweller" is part of us as a concentration of all negative (all previous karma). On the path to the light everybody has to face this dweller (or - as sometimes it is called) - guardian of the threshold, which is actually part of you. By combating it, we (together with the "dweller") can access the ultimate light. This concept is similar to the Jungian concept of shadow. From this point of view, The Return is a story about Cooper's ultimate trial by combating the shadow self. Now, interesting turn is, that dweller (being already dark enough) is "enhanced" by a demon, which is "riding" him as a vehicle, apparently. Dweller has his own personality apparently, and is in control/symbiosis with BOB parasite. Somebody (Philip Jeffries - or his dweller?? - or ???) wants BOB out of doppelgänger to be "with BOB again". A bit messy and complicated, however it is very interesting how it will turn out in the end.
Some initial info about dweller for those, who are interested (google has many nice results too):