Recently Maggie sent me a scanned photo of her aura that was taken 10-15 years ago. She asked for a particular caption when I shared it on my blog: Maggie's Radiant Form. Glad to oblige.
Maggie wanted me to point out:
"There are two types, one like mine which shows the colours of your personal energies (everyone's is different) and the second Kirlian photos which is a lot of squiggles and lines. Only experts can read those with any accuracy. The first type you have to have the gift of sight or clairvoyance."
I told her that I didn't know much about aura photography and was skeptical that what is shown has any spiritual or metaphysical significance.
I've seen aura booths at the Oregon State Fair. My wife has had several people tell her that they could see a blue/green aura surrounding her, which happen to be her favorite colors. Freaky! (I asked Laurel, though, if she was wearing blue and green at the time -- she couldn't remember.)
And that's just about the extent of my exposure to auras. So I engaged in some Googling of the subject, which leads me to this admittedly quickly-arrived-at conclusion:
Auras are real. And also not.
I'm speaking here of the kind that can be photographed. Obviously something is producing the halo-like imagery around Maggie. Since we can see it, it's real. The question is, "what is it?"
The Aura Imaging web site offers up a lot of information on the subject. Here's how the AuraCam 6000 camera works.
The Auracam 6000 consists of one or two hand sensors which are connected through cables with the camera. Polaroid instant film is put into the camera and is adjusted and aligned to the customer. Once the customer puts their left and right hand onto hand sensors, the AuraCam 6000 begins to gather standardized biofeedback parameter data through the hand sensors.
The measured points of resonance are connected with certain organs and the electromagnetic field of the person; this information about the energetic and auric qualities of a human being are then delivered to the camera. Through a patented operation, these parameters are projected as a radiant, colorful aura field around the body onto the Polaroid film, along with the image of the person.
Several words caught my attention: "standardized biofeedback," "patented operation," "parameters are projected." And, of course, "customer."
Here's an interesting description of a skeptic's visit to a psychic fair, where he forked out $40 for two aura photographs. They turned out radically different. He says:
Indeed, a look at the actual process employed-described by Coggins [inventor of the Auracam 6000] "intensified Kirlian imaging"-shows it to be not the actual image of the body's unseen image field but the imitation of such a field based primarily on something called skin resistance. That is one of the physiological variables measured by a galvanometer as part of a polygraph or "lie detector," whereby an unfelt electrical current passes through the subject's hands and detects sweat-gland activity associated with nervousness.
Again, something real is happening here.
But what it seems to be is an electronics engineer making a gadget that lets entrepreneurs charge people for having their "aura" photographed. [Note: as the skeptic's article points out, Kirlian photography uses a different technology that doesn't involve a camera.]
Ever the diligent investigator, I invested 14 minutes of my time into watching a You Tube'd video from a Sci-Fi channel program that supposedly showed the validity of aura photography.
Not really. Not even close.
A supposed aura reader told a few people some things about themselves that made them go "why, yes, that's me!" I wasn't impressed, especially since the reader was looking right at the individuals and could gauge their personality from obvious clues (appearance, demeanor, style of dress, etc.)
Some aura readers, such as those my wife encountered, claim to be able to see auras directly, without the aid of any technology.
This article demolishes that notion pretty persuasively. Of course, believers will say that the failure of a few aura readers to demonstrate their ability in a controlled experiment doesn't mean that nobody can.
But until somebody presents demonstrable evidence that auras are a manifestation of a person's subtle etheric body, and not just manipulated electronic imaging or imagination, I'll remain an aura skeptic.
interesting but i believe that u have to be living to see auras
Posted by: iT | August 12, 2009 at 03:01 PM
I can see auras but they are not just around people. They are energy waves that go out from living beings. You can see them around trees, and all it takes is concentration. To me auras make total sense from a scientific viewpoint. We are beings of energy. Why would we think that energy ends at the visible flesh? We are made up of atoms and yet we find auras to be mysterious? Not at all in my opinion. I don't see colors, just the energy radiating outward, but I had a friend who did, but she was a mystic and I am not.
I had my photograph taken twice for aura colors and it's what you described. I had hoped for something a bit more spiritual but mine was bright red, orange and gold-- both times. My husband also had his done twice and again they were pretty much the same. One was at a metaphysical bookstore and the other one of the psychic fairs a couple of years later. I went looking for where I had a photo of mine online from a time when I wrote about auras but it was in my older blog: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/76/564/1600/Auracorel.jpg
I have been told by those who see auras that mine stretches out quite a ways. I suspect that varies with our energy.
Posted by: Rain | August 12, 2009 at 04:13 PM
Why didn't you tell me you were going to put up a post about auras? I would have saved this article I came across awile ago about a study that showed the body emits low level light. They attributed this to purely physical causes not metaphysical. Very scientific and all that.
Like Rain I am able to see light or energy around people, animals and even supposedly inanimate objects like rocks or even cars. This energy field varies a great deal in intensity and quality. Sometimes it has color, sometimes it is similar to the energy waves of a mirage in the desert with no particular color.
To see this I have to clear my mind and gaze with concentration but without intention. Difficult to explain. Sometimes I can tell if the energy is benenficial or not or if the object/person is healthy, energized and aware or not. It's no big deal. I think most people can do this if they practice a little. I have been able to appreciate certain people, animals, trees, campsites, etc., and avoid others using this technique.
I used to occasionally go to a doctor who would be sitting on the opposite side of the room when you went to see him. As soon as you walked into the room you could feel his attention latch on to you. He said he was able to see how various organs and bodily systems were functioning, make diagnosis and determine treatment by looking into the aura. He was highly regarded by many who went to him.
Posted by: tucsoN | August 12, 2009 at 06:04 PM
The above is a video of James Randi testing an aura reader.
Posted by: j.tucker | August 12, 2009 at 08:18 PM
Worth a read:
The last paragraph sums it up, (salt)
Or perhaps the viewer of auras is experiencing an episode of transient focal neurologic symptom?
Posted by: JAP | August 12, 2009 at 10:31 PM
Anything the camera captures will depend on the technolgy used by the camera to capture the image, specifically the electro-mangnetic light spectrum. If its a heat sensitive camera it will depend on the body temperature of the individual, his/her physical condition, anatomy, hair covering, etc. Ppl have different fingerprint, it means nothing other than we are all unique, same with DNA.
Posted by: George | August 13, 2009 at 02:06 AM
The 'cameras' such as did mine are simple Polaroids and not capturing the colors. They are doing what Brian described, using the impulse from the finger and deciding what that means in terms of color. They create the color. I don't know how they figure out how far out to have the color extend but in those photos, it does vary. There are other kinds of cameras but the ones I have seen at the fairs are of that simple type. I have not talked to anybody who actually sees colors in auras regarding whether mine would be red.
As to it being transient. Auras are always there. We just don't look for them or concentrate on seeing them. What tucsoN described is what I believe about them. There is no reason to question their reality as they have zero 'spiritual' significance. Yes, the old masters painted them around saints but sinner or saint, we all are energy and we have them. The world is energy why would that present a spiritual dimension to auras? I don't see them as relating to a 'soul' if that's what some have been suggesting.
I think we sense auras whether we see them and it's why sometimes we feel our space invaded even though someone else isn't physically touching us. That can be positive or negative for how we feel about it.
Posted by: Rain | August 13, 2009 at 06:19 AM
This photo was taken with a polaroid and I was not attached to any electroids. The reader was very accurate when she swithched off the mike that was recording the reading, I told her she was reading more than the photo. The lady wanted to tell me something very personal and unfortunately I was with a friend who had very bad ulterior motives, who didn't want me to find out about my potential. He wasn't sitting with me but she did want to warn me (he's still a satsangi). Later on I did realise what she was talking about.
Posted by: Maggie | August 15, 2009 at 04:15 AM
Even with all our optical knowledge and experience, cameras are not perfect
Posted by: JAP | August 15, 2009 at 04:27 AM
Whislt I'm certain people believe they do see auras, without a doubt actually, I watched a docu on the 'machines' that purport to do the same.
OMG, they are beyond pseudo-science! It's worth doing a search for the docu (I think it may have been the BBC?) - because it shows how & why they work, and why they have absolutely nothing to do with peoples personalities or what not - and why, in controlled experiments, they are of practically no use because it is indistinguishable from day to day, person to person etc. But without the double blind experiments, people are liable to the star sign effect and interpreting the 'results' positively, if they are new-age inclined....
Posted by: Manjit | August 18, 2009 at 04:24 AM
So why do we believe so much in the Masters Radiant form????
Posted by: Maggie | August 21, 2009 at 04:26 AM