Monday, December 20, 2010

Week 8 : Let's impress people with the aura !

The aura

Louis XIV of France, also called "The Sun King".

     Have you ever heard somebody say "it's amazing how this person has a hudge aura!"? Mostly these words are dedicated to celebrities, to people of great influence, a charismatic person you know... This is what we can easily say while often we don't even know the real meaning of it. Is it due to the beauty, to the way you stand, the way you move ?

     It's been ages since this notion has appeared among the Humanity, then it was depicted as a halo, a aureola around a holy or a powerful character.  During the Ancient history  it was originally called "aura velificans" and was thought to be a air flow on the top of the head and in order to see it the character was drawn with a  inflated drapery.

The Western Facade of the Ara Paris.

Aiôn mosaic of the Arles Museum.

A Didracma Kamarina (415-405 BC), currency from the Berlin Staatliches Münzkabinett

     Plus it was linked with light during Augustus reign for philosophic and religious reasons. However it was just a representation and was never said to be seeable. The aura was just a meaningful term in art an poetry. It was not just air anymore but light and this is noticeable particularly in pictures representing holy people.

Islamic prophets

Saint Sava, an orthodox saint.
All saints
     A such phenomenon also exists in Indian spirituality, especialy the Hindu and the Buddhists. To them the aura is of seven colours corresponding to mental end emotional impression being the "subtle body". They are considered as the energies of the chakras. A human has 7 chakras that you can see on the picture below (from the top to the bottom : the Crown Chakra, the Brow Chakra, the Throat Chakra, the Heart Chakra, the Solar Plexus Chakra, the Sacral Chakra, the Base Chakra) 
         In the Western world, the aura has been described and explained in many different ways and by many different theories that are more or less occult like theosophy, neotheosophy, neoplatonism, kabala, . It is during the 60's that this topic becomes a real interest until now. To those that believe in auras, it is a field of luminous energy or radiation surrounding a person or an object. People often talk about the "etheric body", it is in fact the lowest layer of the aura, in immediate contact with the skin and connected to the "higher bodies".

     In addition to it, in 1939, the Russian Semyon Kirlian created a photographic apparatus (based on electricity tension) that enabled to see a phenomenon that some people believe to be the aura.
Kirlian effect observed on different people
     Indeed the theory says that the aura's color and shape is function of the state of mind and the state of health and a stuning experiment occured to confirm this statement, this experiment is called the "phantom leaf effect". A first picture of a leaf has been taken, then the leaf was torn so that only his "skeleton" remains and the result is amazing. 

     As you can see the light phenomenon resulting around the leaf's "skeleton" has the same shape that the entire leaf which would mean it follows a vital flow independently to the physical matter of the leaf. Some other experiments have been made with the Kirlian effect and are more or less an enigma for scientists.

     Neverthless skeptics are totally against the belief of a such thing as the aura and tend to demonstrate that in a scientific or a logic point of view this can't be. Useless to say that the fact that theosophist that believe nature spirit , gnomes and fairires can also be observed was an easy thing to rebutt for skeptics that think (to be short) some observations can be due to the use of drugs. Apart from that skeptics are really trying to fight against the easy ways to make people believe in auras.

    They refute the fact that the observation of the Kirlian effect corresponds to the aura because many "aura readers" interpret the results differently and there is no consensus on the meanings of the colours. According to them seeing auras is the consequence of a migraine, certain form of epilepsy, a visual system disorder, or brain disorder. Not to mention that synesthesia is a condition found in 1 in 2000 persons and can easily lead to the observation of a colored "aura".

     Even if skeptics have strong arguments, we have not been convinced totally, many other questions remain. As for an example, the way the Kirlian photography is explained doesn't go against the "mystical" theory it just doesn't prove it is absolutely true. 
     Plus  the aura is a very intuitive notion, that we can feel without seeing it. We have all experienced to see someone charismatic without knowing why. And we can easily understand the notion of aura and link it with it.. So according to skepics does love exist? 

     Many Indian beliefs are bound to this notion and with chakras. According to the posture the chakras are well or not. Easy to understand that when you stand in a good way for you body (your bones, your musles...) you feel better. The body and the soul are linked, noone can say the opposite. And someone that feels good, looks good, maybe it is far-fetched to say that looking good is a part of the charisma, but would you think an actor is charismatic as long as he looks sick ?

     Also as we said the faculty to see tha aura has something to do with the "third eye" in some mystical religions. Well some animals like some lizards, frogs, lampreys, fishes, arthropods have a "parietal eye" on the top of their head that looks like a dot (brighter or darker according to the species). Let's see the photographs below.
     The role of this eye can be photoreception, regulation of a cycle in the biochemical, physiological, or behavioural processes, the production of hormones for thermoregulation.
Third-eye, Brad Holland
     Birds and mammals like us have not this organ but we have the gland linked with this organ. Intuitively again we can think we have biological dispositions for more receptivity than just what we can touch or see. Maybe our psyche is linked with it?
Non-contractual photograph of Sigmund Freud

     And most of all Skeptics use scientific arguments while it is very well known that Science cannot explain everything. There were times when Science couldn't find explanations for phenomenons like the blue color of the sky, but it didn't mean the sky was not blue and even if in a time some mathematical calculations could have proved the sky was red. 

     Why won't we follow our intuition in order to simply try to find answers to make this phenomenon clearer? Why would we skepticaly refute every questionable thing? Don't skeptics know that the first step of a scientific research is intuition. That was clearly explained by René Descartes in his Discourse on the Mehtod.

     We are not for or against the belief of the aura, we just believe this is still something to be explained. Maybe something close to what is described in mysticism has a reality, but is would go far beyond the complexity that we reach with the current state of the scientific research. When we see the time and work that is needed to completely find the functions and the roles of a single protein in a living being it is easy to understand that a global phenomenon like the aura still isn't explained.

     Maybe we have many hints in researches that have already been done. Indeed, we are all emanating energies like heat, radioactivity (130Bq per kilograms) and it could be because of the state of our organs, all that is in it, psyche has a major role for everything but it certainly isn't magical. It probably is due to something that goes over the complexity  of the living far beyond the molecular cocktail, genetical programs, the many physical laws so that it isn't easy to handle for the Science.
          In order to finish on a funny note here are some exercices to see the aura or the etheric body, you can make it with your friends during a dinner. Here are some web sites extracts : 

 The energy almost always moves from left to right around the circle. It feels very unpleasant to stop, and usually it is impossible to stop the entire flow. The feeling of building something up between your hands is that of a tickling sensation with pressure, somewhat like static electricity. When the energy body edges touch each other, there is a feeling of tingling and of pressure. When the energy body edge touches the skin, there is a feeling of tickling and pressure on the skin surface. When you draw circles on the palm, you can feel the tickling outline

Most people see a haze around the fingers and hands when trying to sense the aura. It looks somewhat like the heat wave over a radiator. It is sometimes seen in various colors, such as a blue tint. Usually, most people see it as colorless in the beginning. The energy bodies pull like taffy between the fingers as the haze from each fingertip connects to the haze at the fingertip of the opposite hand. When you move the fingers so that a different fingertip is facing it, the haze will at first follow 

In order to see the etheric body you can also put you hand like this with your fingers that you fold this way behind a white background.

You will perceive between those two finger a little light shadow tainted in blue that surrounds your fingers and to the closest point you will perceive the etheric currents as little lines that tend to be confused and that will trigger a little tingel. You'll have the impress of a little sticky layer due to the etheric fields.
If you do the same thing with using one finger of each hand, you'll observe the current alternating passing from one finger to the other creating a little conic shape. The more you will practice, the easier it will be for you to see the etheric body and you will notice his thickness variates according to the state of health or the fatigue.

Webography :


  1. Yes, I think a lot of people have played these games. I certainly have when I was in the metaphysical phase of my life a few years ago (which involved a year long interest in zen buddhism born out of too many screenings of "Seven Years in Tibet" does not take much sometimes).
    I learnt a lot about the history of aura and its representations while reading your blog. I knew a little bit about the Kirlian effect and phospenism, that is the process of controling one's energy production, and thus one's auratic imprint...This is simply fascinating stuff, not on a mythical level, but more on a biological/organic one. Cells have an energy, a power we have only begun to explore...especially brain cells which we know so little about. As you point out in your blog, the body is until now what we see of it on macro and microscopic levels, but there is much to be discovered yet which we cannot yet know because we lack the mental abilities to do so--until we manage, one day, to open that third eye you allude to in your work.

  2. Well, this is for sure a matter of opening a third eye, and the whole question remains in what does this third eye really refer to ? Also above these all mystic ways of explaining, we wanted to stress on the fact that the aura is something that is quite common, in our everyday-life we see people that we notice because we feel something "special" about them. So it's funny how something we all experience is the basis of mysticism, skeptics furor and an enigma for Science.