A History of Auras
The Concept of Psychic and Spiritual Auras
The concept of a 'vital' aura is far from new, it dates back into the mists of history. Perhaps not the full body aura that we believe today but certainly auras were shown emanating from spiritual people or supernatural beings. Although for several centuries, mystics and occultists have described the aura (or halo) as completely enveloping the whole body.
The Ancient Egyptians depicted halos around the heads of pharaohs and other important personages as well as deities. The Ancient Greeks and Romans seem to have adopted the iconography and the head halo is still with us in Christianity. In India, the Hindu religion honour deities in the same manner.
In the late nineteenth century, from about 1880 onwards, science was beginning to be employed to attempt to elicit many psychic, mystic and paranormal answers. In a publication entitled 'Researches in Magnetism', Baron Karl von Reichenbach claimed that some 'sensitives' could see a red light being emitted from the south pole of a magnet and a blue light from the magnet's north pole. He claimed that some sensitives could detect the position of a magnet through thick walls and even when asleep. Not only magnets, light coming from crystals and finger tips was said to be witnessed. This energy was given the name of 'Odic Force'. It is interesting to note that Dr. John Ashburner duplicated the experiments and confirmed the results to be true.
Although now perhaps regarded as ESP, Dr. Joseph Rodes Buchanan found that students could correctly identify chemicals wrapped in brown paper and that were no way visible or tangible to them. Dr. Buchanan saw this as information being transmitted to the students from him by means of a an aura, which he called 'the nerve aura'. An interesting concept indeed.
The idea that auras were somehow generated by the mind and nervous system was taken further when, in the 1880s, Dr. Charle Féré observed glows being emitted by some patients suffering from intense mental anguish or hysteria, this he termed as the 'neuropathic aura'.
Although science had generally come to disregard such evidence, there were still some that were attempting to investigate unexplained phenomena. In 1900, Dr. Walter J. Kilner of St. Thomas's Hospital in London was still attempting to investigate auras by using scientific methods. His claim was that by using a specially prepared glass (coated in dicyanin dye) to view a subject standing against a black background, auras could be seen. He claimed that the subject's body was enveloped by an 'etheric double', in contact with the physical body and two layers of the 'aura proper could be seen to surround that.
A psychologist, Dr. Shafica Karagulla who was looking into the claims of Edgar Cayce that this energy field could be used to heal also claimed to be able to see auras and this became known as a form of 'higher sense perception'. Dr. Karagulla also became convinced that variations within the energy field could also be used for diagnosis of aliments. After Kilner's findings, Karagulla took this a stage further and put forward the idea that the physical body was surrounded by a physical energy field, which was overlaid by an emotional field that extended some eighteen inches from thee body and this, in turn, was enveloped by a mental field that extended six inches further.
This was added to when five 'vortices' were said to be seen, which could be associated with five chakras in Hindu philosophy. The concept of aura and chakra integration was put forward by Dr. Edward Aubert who said that on the basis of Karagulla's findings and the writings of others, "It seems that we live in a vast ocean of interlacing energies". He went further by saying, "Each person appears to have his own method of selecting energy". Again, following closely to the Hindu concept of chakras as energy focuses.
Coming more to the present day and with more technology becoming available, in the 1930s, several attempts were made to prove the existence of auras. Harold Saxton Burr claimed success in using an electronic apparatus to measure energy fields emanating from a living organism, a tree. He called this the Life Field or L-Field and pointed to variations in this field under certain circumstances, such as phases of the moon and even sunspot activity. A year or so later, Kirlian photography exponents claimed that this field had been photographed using their methods.
Science has become more positive about auras, although, in the main, not in any paranormal or occult sense. It appears to be more the input of writers that develop the mystic qualities of these energies an focus points. Arthur E. Powell suggested that the 'etheric double' is a distinct entity in it's own right and can be separated from the physical body but the separation takes away the subject's consciousness. Powell goes further by saying that the etheric double's function is to absorb vital energies, or prana, passing it to the physical body and that yoga is a practice whereby this can be achieved under a person's will. Powell makes a distinction between the etheric double and the 'astral body' which is able to disassociate with the physical body, carrying the subject's awareness with it.
Lyall Watson in 'The Romeo Error', stated that our psychical energy system as put forward by Burr, was William Tiller's (Stanford University) supposed concept of the 'somatic system'. From those findings, Watson infers that the 'human ensemble' is separated into seven auric levels, layers or bodies; the somatic system, the etheric double, a further three layers that associate with the mind and the 'spirit body'. Lyall Watson also puts forward the idea that poltergeist activity could be the result of 'second level' electromagnetic activity being used by the etheric body which that body can project. One Nelya Mikhailova claimed that readings of this electromegnetic field can register as being ten times greater that that of the Earth.
Although brief, the above might be of interest in seeing how the western concept of auras (and chakras) developed and where some ideas originated.
by Perception9 Paranormal Team
Ray Farrell - Perception9 Paranormal Team
1 comment/s, so far, on this item
farflappin - Sun 6th May 2012, 23:08
If anyone would like to add any further information about auras - as well as chakras - please send it in and we will be very pleased to include it.
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