- THE AURA -
(Mr. Krieger is an independent student of auric effects and is widely read in the literature of the subject. Round Robin considers it a privilege to offer its readers this conspectus of contemporary data.)
By the Aura is meant a region of influence that envelope the human body. Its existence has been flatly asserted by innumerable occultists and sensitives, and established by innumerable experiments, conducted by many who were 'acceptable' to scientists, and by others not so acceptable. The deep-knowing of the sensitive is but imperfectly translatable into contemporary descriptive terms - so the sceptic must turn to the recorded data of pertinent experiments, for visual and physical demonstrations of the reality of the aura. From these experiments he may infer what he will.
Baron Charles von Reichenbach instrumentally demonstrated that there was a region of influence about the human body, about crystals, and about magnets. This region was especially apparent to sensitives, who also knew when an electromagnet was turned on or off.
This magnetic sense has been looked for by others: Sir Wm. Barrett designed experiments to reveal it, as did Dr. Stone of St. Thomas Hospital, London. Magnetism in the ordinary sense of the word was thought to be operative in a Mr. Johansen, who, in the experiments of Fritz Grunewald, influenced iron filings. Grunewald also stated that he had located 'magnetic poles' in the human body - these he associated with the Yogic Chakras. Curiously, if Johansen 'magnetized' another by means of passes, his 'lines of force' were weakened. If he made the same type of passes without another person his lines of force were increased. The medium Slade produced in a steel needle a magnetic north pole unaccompanied by the normally present south pole.
Other miscellanea: Dr. Paul Joire built a sthenometer to show the effects of an externalized nervous force. This was, in normally healthful people, more powerful in the right hand than in the left. This condition was reversed in such instances as hysteria and neurasthenia. He stated that this force could be stored for later use, being retained the longest by, in the order named, wood, water, linen, and cardboard. Joire's findings were corroborated by Dr. J. Barker Smith. A personal note is that the author constructed an instrument by using a piece of fine thread to suspend a horizontal indicator in a small glass fish bowl. The thread was passed through a piece of cardboard that served as a cover to stop wind currents. The indicator was at various times an eight-inch strip of very thin iron shim 4" long (probably "1/8" strip" is meant. Ed.) and similar strips of copper and paper. The hand held close to but not  touching the side of the bowl, the palm at right angle to the strip. After a period that varied from seconds to minutes the indicator moved, always counter-clockwise, with an unmistakable, slow, steady motion. It moved in an identical manner for two other men. No difference was noted for either the right or left hands. Application of mechanical vibration, the heat from a 60" watt lamp, static electricity produced an altogether dissimilar movement.
Effects called the results of emanations or radiations have been recorded by Dr. E. K. Miller, Director of the Salus Institute, Zurich, in experiments using the fingers as the source of the 'rays'. His findings were checked by Professor Farney of the Zurich Polytechicum. More findings by Dr. R.A. Watters, Col. Albert de Rochas, Professor Otto Rahn of Cornell University found that there were human radiations that affected other organisms.
Alexander Gurwitsch, Histological Institute of Soviet Russia, examined these mitogenic rays; his findings were subsequently verified by Rahn. These rays are said to be ultra-violet in character, with straight-line propagation, reflected and refracted by quartz, and most effective in the region of 1990 to 2500 Angstrom. They found that similar radiations were produced by such substances as onion cells, bacteria, yeast, the cleavage stage of animal eggs, plant seedlings, blood from frogs and rats, contracting muscles. Burr of Yale University demonstrated the existence of a type of electric field enveloping organisms ranging from salamanders to tomato roots and trees. This field was found to have a cyclic response that reached a maximum during the full moon. The interior energy of the human body was found to increase and change direction when there is a wound to heal. The principal tools of investigation were Burr-designed ultra-sensitive galvanometers.
Using similar methods Hornell Hart, Duke University, found that some subjects could willfully change the direction and intensity of the indicated response. There was usually a short delay between the giving of the request and the effect. Noted also by Dr. Starke R. Hathaway Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota.
Using a sensitive galvanometer and a photocell responsive to ultra-violet light, Hornell Hart noted marked reactions when certain persons approached but did not touch the cell. The galvanometer fluctuated when a girl bent back and forth over the cell, The fluctuations gradually decreased, but increased when she opened her coat. Of eleven subjects, five were good, one excellent. The galvanometer and photo-cell were most sensitive when hooked up in a manner that gave a minimum response to ultra-violet light.
In the foregoing, except in one or two instances the methods used by the experimenters in obtaining their results were not given because an adequate summary would be lengthy, and the first-hand accounts are to be had in the original papers. That which follows concerns the work of one man, Walter Kilner. Using his techniques one can literally see for himself the observable facts. There are, of course, experimenters we have not mentioned, who have seen, described and worked with the Aura, among them Cannon, Starr-White, and Bagnall. Some have used visual aids and some have not, but in both cases the recorded data are much the same. And the work of Francis Gerry Fairfield, in 1874, was in remarkable agreement with Kilner's results of thirty years later.
§ 2. The Work of Kilner
Walter Kilner did most of his work while a technician at St. Thomas Hospital, London. It is from his book, the Human Atmosphere, that the following data are derived.
The Kilner-Bagnall technique for viewing the aura consists in conditioning the eyes by means of a light filter. This filter may be made by dissolving the blue dye dicyanine in rubbing alcohol and containing the solution in a narrow, thin-walled transparent cell. For a period of some minutes have all light reaching the eyes come through the cell. Then, in a light just sufficient to reveal the subject's outlines against a dark or light background, look, not stare, just to one side of the body. The trick is to use the more sensitive parts of the retina as in looking indirectly at a star. If conditions are optimum a kind of haze will be seen enveloping the body to a depth of some inches. This is the aura.
The aura appears to have three aspects: the etheric double, the inner aura, and the outer aura. Although the respective lines of demarcation are fairly distinct, the effect is not that of separateness or layers, but one of an interpenetration of the physical body and the three coexisting other bodies which are progressively more extensive and correspondingly less dense, viewing from the physical body outward.
The etheric double is the most difficult to see. It follows the body outlines exactly, and varies in thickness from skin to boundary from 1/16" to 1/8". This aspect seems relatively unaffected by tests or physiological changes. It appears dark gray in color.
The second aspect is the inner aura, which has a boundary-to-skin depth of 3 to 5 inches. It is the brightest of the three, and has the appearance of excessively fine grains so arranged as to present a striated appearance. The striae, too, are fine beyond description; and run at right angles to the body. They show no intrinsic color. They seem to be collected into bundles, with the longest lines in the middle, and the shortest outside. The bundles are masses together; and their shapes cause the outlines of the inner aura. It looks gray to varying shades of blue, its brightness varies as the health, and it roughly follows the body contours. Such pathological disturbances as indigestion, floating kidneys, bruises, appendectomies, affect both the intensity and the structural effect.
The outer aura is seen as a "faint amorphous cloud, and appears entirely structureless, capable of being illuminated, but not, in the ordinary acceptance of the word, auto-luminous" (Kilner). Its depth is 5 to 8 inches, or more. Its color varies as the intelligence - the more intelligent, the person the bluer it is. It is affected in depth and intensity by sexual disorders such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, lactation, and other 'nervous' disorders such as neurosis, paralysis, and epilepsy. These usually produce a distinctive swell of the aura in the region proximate to the lower end of the spine - the dorsal bulge. This aura is fullest about the head.
- Editor's Note -
Considerations of space make it necessary to present Mr Krieger's article in two successive issues; the second part will appear in Round Robin for May.
Students of human radionics, of cryptaesthesia, 'pendulum' phenomena, carbon force or 'Vitic', prana, the chakras - and a dozen other related subjects, should undoubtedly be familiar with all known facts about the auras of human beings and animals, and the etheric duplicates of objects. This knowledge is imperative, and we recommend Mr Krieger's admirable summary for their purposes. It is for this reason too, that in accord with Mr Krieger's own suggestion we offer a short bibliography at this time, rather than at the conclusion of the whole article.
- Partial Bibliography -
- The Human Atmosphere Walter Kilner
- Origin and Properties of the Human Aura Oscar Bagnall
- The Story of the Human Aura George Starr-White
- The Invisible Influence Alexander Cannon <Full-text>
- Laboratory Investigations into Psychic Phenomena Carrington
- A Retrospect and Forecast of Animal Electricity Dr. Henry Fotherby, Annals of Psychic Science, Aug.-Sept. 1907. <Full-text>
- Discharge of an Electroscope Without Contact. Dr. Imoda, Annals of Psychic Science, 1908. <Full-text>
- Articles by Dr. Sidney Alreutz, in 1st International Psychical Congress, 1921; and in Proceedings of SPR, Vol. 32.
- Article in Third Congress, Sir Oliver Lodge, & Rev. Drayton-Thomas.
- Suggestion or Nervous Radiation? Jan. 1924
- Metapsychic Phenomena from the Biological Viewpoint May 1925
- Emanation from the Fingers Oct. 1926
- On Radiations Oct.1927 - Dec. 1927 - March 1928
- Nervous Energy in Hypnosis Nov. 1924
- The Human Fluid April and May, 1932
- Articles in Mar. 1926, 1 Jan. 1927, May 1935, Nov. 1935, Mar. 1936, Sept. 1936, Jan. 1937, Nov. 1937.
- Biological Source of Radio-Activity. Dr. R. A. Walter's Archives of Physical Therapy, May 1931.
- Invisible Radiations of Organisms, Dr. Otto Hahn, Berlin, 1936.
- Some Experiences Concerning the Human Aura. Dr. Gerda Walther, Jour. ASPR, Sept. 1932
Vol.II, 1; vol. III, i; vol.viii, 3; vol. I, 10.
(Examine our Auric Research index for further resources.)
(Article concluded in May Round Robin.)