Yogi Philosophy - The Human Aura
( Originally Published 1903 )
IN our previous three lessons we called your attention briefly, in turn, to the Seven Principles of Man. The subject of the Constitution of Man, however, is incomplete without a reference to what occultists know as the Human Aura. This forms a most interesting part of the occult teachings, and reference to it is to be found in the occult writings and traditions of all races. Considerable misapprehension and confusion regarding the Human Aura have arisen, and the truth has been obscured by the various speculations and theories of some of the writers on the subject. This is not to be wondered at when we remember that the Aura is visible only to those of highly developed psychic power. Some possessing inferior sight, which has enabled them to see only certain of the grosser manifestations of the emanation constituting the Aura, have thought and taught that what they saw was all that could be seen; while the real truth is, that such people have seen but a part of the whole thing, the remainder being reserved for those of higher development.
Some teachers of late years have taught that the Aura was really the several principles of man, projecting beyond the space occupied by his physical body; but this is only true in the same sense that the light of the sun is a part of the sun—the rays of the electric light a part of the light—the heat radiating from a stove the heat contained within the stove —the odor of a flower the flower itself. The Aura is really an emanation of one or more of the seven principles of man—radiations sent forth from the principle itself—and not, strictly speaking, a part of the principle, except in the sense above referred to.
Each of the seven principles of which man is composed radiates energy which is visible to the developed psychic senses of certain of our race. This radiated energy is akin to the radiations known as the " X-Ray," and like them is invisible to the human eye unless aided by something which the human eye does not ordinarily possess. Some of the grosser forms of the Aura are visible to those possessing a comparatively undeveloped grade of psychic power, while the higher forms become visible only as the psychic faculties develop in power. There are but comparatively few in the flesh to-day who have ever seen the Aura emanating from the sixth principle, the Spiritual Mind. And the Aura of the seventh principle, the Spirit, is visible only to those beings far higher in the scale than the human race as we know it. The Aura emanating from the lower five principles is seen by many of us who have developed psychic power, our clearness of vision and range of sight being determined by the particular state of development we have reached.
We will try to give our students a general idea of the Human Aura and a hasty outline of that which pertains to it in this lesson, but it will readily be seen that the subject is one that could not be exhausted in a volume of considerable size. It is a difficult matter to condense information of this nature, but we trust to be able to convey a fairly clear impression of the subject to those of our students who will follow us closely.
As we have already stated, each principle radiates energy which, combining, constitutes what is known as the Human Aura. The Aura of each principle, if the other principles be removed, would occupy the same space as that filled by the Aura of all or any of the other principles. In other words, the several Auras of the different principles interpenetrate each other, and, being of different rates of vibration, do not interfere one with the other. When we speak of The Aura, we mean the entire Aura of the man, visible to one of psychic sight. When we speak of the Aura emanating from any particular principle, we distinctly refer to the principle.
The grossest form of the human Aura is, of course, that emanating from the physical body. This is sometimes spoken of as the " Health Aura," as it is a sure indication of the state of the physical health of the person from whose body it radiates. Like all other forms of the Aura, it extends from the body to a distance of two to three feet, depending upon certain circumstances which need not be mentioned at this place. Like all other forms of the Aura, it is oval or egg-shaped. (This shape common to the several manifestations of the Aura has caused some writers to refer to it as the "Auric Egg.") The physical Aura is practically colorless (or possibly almost a bluish-white, resembling the color of clear water), but possessing a peculiar feature not possessed by the other manifestations of Aura, inasmuch as to the psychic vision it appears to be " streaked " by numerous fine lines extending like stiff bristles from the body outward. In normal health and vitality these "bristles" stand out stiffly, while in cases of impaired vitality or poor health they droop like the soft hair on an animal, and in some cases present the appearance of a ruffled coat of hair, the several " hairs " standing out in all directions, tangled, twisted, and curled. This phenomenon is occasioned by the current of prana energizing the body to a greater or lesser extent, the healthy body having the normal supply of prana, while the diseased or weak body suffers from an insufficient supply. This physical Aura is seen by many having a very limited degree of psychic sight and to whom the higher forms of Aura are invisible. To the developed psychic it is sometimes difficult to distinguish, owing to its being obscured by the colors in the higher forms of Aura, the psychic, in order to observe it, being compelled to inhibit the impressions of the higher forms of Aura and to admit only the vibration of the particular form of Aura which he wishes to observe. Particles detached from the physical Aura remain around the spot or place where the person has been, and a strongly developed sense found in dogs and other animals enables them to follow up the " scent " of the person or animal they are tracking.
The Aura emanating from the second principle, or Astral Body, is, like the principle itself, of a vapor-like appearance and color, having a resemblance to steam just before it dissolves and disappears from sight. It is difficult to distinguish when it is inter-mingled with the other forms of Aura, but when the astral body is seen apart from the physical body its Aura may be perceived, particularly if the observer is not open to the vibrations from the principles sending forth Auras of various colors. Those of our readers who have ever seen an astral form, or what' is commonly called a "ghost" of high or low degree, will probably remember having seen a cloudy egg-shape vapor surrounding the more distinct figure of the astral form. This faint, vapor-like, oval cloud was the astral Aura. It, of course, becomes visible to one to whom an astral form "materializes."
The Aura of the third principle, or Prana, is difficult to describe except to those who have seen the " X-Ray." It looks something like a vapory cloud of the color and appearance of an electric spark. In fact, all manifestations of Prana resemble electric light or sparks. Prana has a faint rosy tint when it is in or near the body, but loses this hue as it gets a few inches away. Persons of psychic sight see plainly the spark-like particles of Prana being shaken from the finger-tips of persons giving so-called " magnetic treatments " or making mesmeric passes. It may also be seen by many persons who make no claims of psychic sight, to whom it appears like heated air arising from a stove or from the heated ground, that is to say, as a colorless something pulsating and vibrating. This pranic Aura is sometimes drawn away from a healthy strong person by a weak person who is lacking in vitality and who draws away from the strong one that which is needed by the weak one. In cases of this kind, the person drawn upon without his consent will experience a feeling of languor and lassitude after being in the company of the person who has absorbed a share of his vitality. In " Science of Breath," on page 6r, under the head " (2) Forming an Aura," we have given a method whereby one may render himself immune to this form of vampirism, conscious or unconscious. This method, while given in the book for another purpose, is equally efficacious in this instance. A stronger effect may be produced by forming a mental image of an Auric shell through which no force can escape or no outside influence enter without one's own consent. One may in this way also guard himself against infection from sources which might seriously affect him unless so protected. The pranic Aura is also poured out in mesmeric passes or psychic " treatments " of the sick, but in such cases the trained operator regulates the flow and takes the trouble to replenish the supply of prana within his system, which will generate and emanate a constant flow of pranic Aura. We need not dwell upon these points, as they are fully described in " Science of Breath,' which book will be read with a new light by the student who reads and thinks over what we have said about this feature of the Human Aura. The little book in question was written for the general public, who, while they will receive much benefit from it, cannot read from it the meaning which becomes perfectly clear to the student as he passes from stage to stage of these lessons. The little book, simple and unpretentious as it is, has many things hidden away in it which may only be read by the one who is able to understand. The student is advised to re-read the little book from time to time and notice how many things he finds in it which he never before discovered.
We now approach the most interesting features concerning the Human Aura, and we think that some of the facts to be stated in this lesson will be a revelation even to many who are perfectly familiar with the three manifestations of the Aura which we have just mentioned. Some may doubt many of the statements which will be made, but we beg to say to such people that they have the means at their disposal to develop and unfold psychic powers of a sufficient degree to see these things for themselves as thou-sands of others before them have done. Nothing of the occult teachings need remain hidden to any one who doubts. Every one may enter the occult world for himself—providing he pays the price of attainment, which price is not of gold or silver, but of the renunciation of the lower self and the devotion to that which is highest in man. Some, it is true, break into the psychic world without having fitted and purified themselves by the proper methods, but to such the acquired faculties are a curse rather than a blessing, and such are compelled to retrace their steps with much suffering until they enter in by the right door, the key of which is readily found by all who seek for it in the proper spirit.
To return to the higher manifestations of the Human Aura, we again call your attention to the fact that the Aura is seen by the psychic observer as a luminous cloud, nearly oval in shape, extending from two feet to three feet in all directions from the body. It does not terminate abruptly, but gradually fades into faintness until it disappears entirely. It really extends quite a distance beyond its visible point. It presents the appearance of a luminous cloud of constantly shifting colors, certain colors, however, . being predominant in each person, from reasons which we will consider in a few moments. These colors originate from certain mental states of the person whom the Aura surrounds. Each thought, emotion, or feeling is manifested by a certain shade or combination of colors belonging to that particular thought, emotion, or feeling, which color or colors. manifest themselves in the Aura of that particular mental principle in which the thought, emotion, or feeling naturally originates, and are of course visible to the observer studying the composite Aura of the thinker. The developed psychic may read the thoughts of a person as he can the pages of an open book, providing he understands the language of the Auric colors, which, of course, all developed occultists do, although the person who stumbles accidentally into the psychic world on rare occasions will see nothing but the reflection of wonderful colors appearing in a luminous cloud, the meaning of which is not known to him.
We think it better, before proceeding further, to give you a general idea of these Auric colors, and the thought, feeling, or emotion to which each belongs. These colors shade and blend into thousands of combinations, but the following table will perhaps give you a fair idea of the subject, and will enable you more readily to understand what we will have to say a little later on in this lesson.
Auric Colors and Their Meanings
Black represents hatred, malice, revenge, and similar feelings.
Gray, of a bright shade, represents selfishness. Gray, of a peculiar shade (almost that of a corpse), represents fear and terror.
Gray, of a dark shade, represents depression and melancholy.
Green, of a dirty shade, represents jealousy. If much anger is mingled with the jealousy, it will appear as red flashes on the green background.
Green, of almost a slate-color shade, represents low deceit.
Green, of a peculiar bright shade, represents tolerance to the opinions and beliefs of others, easy adjustment to changing conditions, adaptability, tact, politeness, worldly wisdom, etc., and qualities which some might possibly consider " refined deceit."
Red, of a shade resembling the dull flame when it bursts out of a burning building, mingled with the smoke, represents sensuality and the animal passions.
Red, seen in the shape of bright-red flashes resembling the lightning flash in shape, indicates anger. These are usually shown on a black background in the case of anger arising from hatred or malice, but in cases of anger arising from jealousy they appear on a greenish background. Anger arising from indignation or defense of a supposed " right," lacks these backgrounds, and usually shows as red flashes independent of a background.
Crimson represents love, varying in shade according to the character of the passion. A gross sensual love will be a dull and heavy crimson, while one mixed with higher feelings will appear in lighter and more pleasing shades. A very high form of love shows a color almost approaching a beautiful rose color.
Brown, of a. reddish tinge, represents avarice and greed.
Orange, of a bright shade, represents pride and ambition.
Yellow, in its various shades, represents intellectual power. If the intellect contents itself with things of a low order, the shade is a dark, dull yellow ; and as the field of the intellect rises to higher levels, the color grows brighter and clearer, a beautiful golden yellow betokening great intellectual attainment, broad and brilliant reasoning, etc.
Blue, of a dark shade, represents religious thought, emotion, and feeling. This color, however, varies in clearness according to the degree of unselfishness manifest in the religious conception. The shades and degrees of clearness vary from a dull indigo to a beautiful rich violet, the latter representing the highest religious feeling.
Light Blue, of a peculiarly clear and luminous shade, represents spirituality. Some of the higher degrees of spirituality observed in ordinary mankind show themselves in this shade of blue filled with luminous bright points, sparkling and twinkling like stars on a clear winter night.
The student will remember that these colors form endless combinations and blendings, and show themselves in greatly varying degrees of brightness and size, all of which have meanings to the developed occultist.
In addition to the colors mentioned above, there are several others for which we have no names, as they are outside of the colors visible in the spectrum, and consequently science, not being able to perceive them, has not thought it necessary to bestow definite names upon them, although theoretically they are known to exist. Science tells us that there exist what are known as " ultra-violet " rays and "ultra-red" rays, neither of which can be followed by the human eye, even with the aid of mechanical appliances, the vibrations being beyond our senses. These two "ultra" colors (and several others unknown to science) are known to occultists and may be seen by the person of a certain degree of psychic power. The significance of this statement may be more fully grasped when we state that when seen in the Human Aura either of these "ultra " colors indicates psychic development, the degree of intensity depending upon the degree of development. Another remarkable fact, to those who have not thought of the matter, is that the " ultra-violet " color in the Aura indicates psychic development when used on a high and unselfish plane, while " the ultra-red " color, when seen in the Human Aura, indicates that the person has psychic development, but is using the same for selfish and unworthy purposes—" black magic," in fact. The " ultra-violet " rays lie just outside of one extreme of the visible spectrum known to science, while the " ultra-red " rays lie just beyond the other extreme. The vibrations of the first are too high for the ordinary human eye to sense, while the second consists of vibrations as much too low as the first is too high. And the real difference between the two forms of psychic power is as great as is indicated by the respective positions of these two " ultra " colors. In addition to the two " ultra " colors just alluded to, there is another which is invisible to the ordinary sight—the true primary yellow, which is indicative of the Spiritual Illumination and which is faintly seen around the heads of the spiritually great. The color which we are taught is characteristic of the seventh principle, Spirit, is said to be of pure white light, of a peculiar brilliancy, the like of which has never been seen by human eyes—in fact, the very existence of absolute " white light " is denied by Western science.
The Aura emanating from the Instinctive Mind consists principally of the heavier and duller shades. In sleep, when the mind is quiet, there appears chiefly a certain dull red, which indicates that the Instinctive Mind is merely performing the animal functions of the body. This shade, of course, is always apparent, but during the waking hours is often obscured by the brighter shades of the passing thoughts, emotions, or feelings.
Right here it would be well to state that even when the mind is calm there hover in the Aura the shades indicative of the predominant tendencies of the man, so that his stage of advancement and development as well as his " tastes " and other features of his personality may be easily distinguished. . When the mind is swept by a strong passion, feeling, or emotion, the entire Aura seems to be colored by the particular shade or shades representing it. For in-stance, a violent fit of anger causes the whole Aura to show bright red flashes upon a black background, almost eclipsing the other colors. This state lasts for a longer or shorter time, according to the strength of the passion. If people could but have a glimpse of the Human Aura when so colored, they would be-come so horrified at the dreadful sight that they would never again permit themselves to fly into a rage—it resembles the flames and smoke of the "pit " which is referred to in certain orthodox churches, and, in fact, the human mind in such a condition becomes a veritable hell temporarily. A strong wave of love sweeping over the mind will cause the entire Aura to show crimson, the shade depending upon the character of the passion. Likewise, a burst of religious feeling will bestow upon the entire Aura a blue tinge, as explained in the table of colors. In short, a strong emotion, feeling, or passion causes the entire Aura to take on its color while the feeling lasts. You will see from what we have said that there are two aspects to the color feature of the Aura ; the first depending upon the predominant thoughts habitually manifesting in the mind of the person; the second depending upon the particular feeling, emotion, or passion (if any) being manifested at the particular time. The passing color disappears when the feeling dies away, although a feeling, passion, or emotion repeatedly manifested shows itself in time upon the habitual Auric color. The habitual color shown in the Aura, of course, changes gradually from time to time as the character of the person improves or changes. The habitual colors shown indicate the " general character " of the person; the passing colors show what feeling, emotion, or passion (if any) is dominating him at that particular time.
The student who has read the preceding lessons will realize readily that as the man develops and unfolds he becomes less and less the prey of passing passions, emotions, or feelings emanating from the Instinctive Mind, and that Intellect, and then Spiritual Mind, manifest themselves instead of lying dormant in a latent condition. Remembering this, he will readily see how great a difference there must be between the Aura of an undeveloped man and that of the developed man. The one is a mass of dull, heavy, gross colors, the entire mass being frequently flooded by the color of some passing emotion, feeling, or passion. The other shows the higher colors and is very much clearer, being but little disturbed by feelings, emotions, and passions, all of which have been brought largely under the control of the will.
The man who has Intellect well developed shows an Aura flooded with the beautiful golden yellow betokening intellectuality. This color in such cases is particularly apparent in the upper part of the Aura, surrounding the head and shoulders of the man, the more animal colors sinking to the lower part of the Aura. Read the remarks under the head of "Yellow " in the color table in this lesson. When the man's Intellect has absorbed the idea of spirituality and devotes itself to the acquirement of spiritual power, development, and unfoldment, this yellow will show around its edges a light blue of a peculiarly clear and luminous shade. This peculiar light blue is indicative of what is generally called " spirituality," but which is simply " intellectual-spirituality," if you will pardon the use of the somewhat paradoxical term —it is not the same thing as Spiritual Mind, but is merely Intellect impregnated by Spiritual Mind, to use another poor term. In some cases of a high development of this intellectual state, the luminous light blue shows as a broad fringe around the golden yellow of the Intellect, the fringe or border often being larger than the center itself, and in addition, in special cases, the light blue is filled with brilliant luminous points, sparkling and twinkling like stars on a clear winter night. These bright points indicate that the color of the Aura of the Spiritual Mind is asserting itself, and shows that Spiritual Consciousness has either been made momentarily evident to the man or is about to be made so in the near future. This is a point upon which much confusion has arisen in the minds of students and even teachers of occultism. The next paragraph will also have some bearing upon the matter.
The Aura emanating from the Spiritual Mind, or sixth principle, bears the color of the true primary yellow, which is invisible to ordinary sight and which cannot be reproduced artificially by man. It centers around the head of the spiritually illumined, and at times produces a peculiar glow which can even be seen by undeveloped people. This is particularly true when the spiritually developed person is engaged in earnest discourse or teaching, at which times his countenance seems fairly to glow and to possess a luminosity of a peculiar kind. The nimbus shown in pictures of the great spiritual leaders of the race is the result of a tradition arising from a fact actually experienced by the early followers of such leaders.
The "halo" or "glory" shown on pictures arises from the same fact. When we again look upon Hoffman's wonderful picture, " Gethsemane," we will experience a new understanding of the mystic glow around the head of the great spiritual Teacher whose deep and true teachings have been obscured from the minds of many of those who claim His name, by reason of the ignorance of the generations of teachers who have lived since His death, but whose teachings are a living truth to occultists of all races, lands, and outward apparent differences of belief.
Of the Aura of the seventh principle, Spirit, we can say but little, and that little has been handed down to us by tradition. We are told that it consists of a "pure white " light, something unknown to science. No man among us has ever seen this light and none of us ever will (in this stage of development). The sight of this wonderful effulgence is reserved for beings far higher in the scale than are we, but who were once mortals like unto us, and like whom we shall in due time be. " We are Sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be " ; but we are on The Path, and Those who have gone before send back cheering messages to us. After long ages we are going home.