The first part of the essay was dedicated to establish the existence of the aura from many angles. We've seen it as an artistic principle, as part of the esoterical teaching and as a subject of scientific research. In the second part we resume some information taken from the eastern teaching, whilst the appendix is dedicated to the scientific interpretation of some fundamental terms of our research.
“ How to do it ”
With intellectual honesty we must admit that without adding the operating part, this work remains purely academic. Indeed, to know what the aura is and to know the position of the energetic centers is to conceive the subject in an abstract and basically fruitless way, unless we prepare for the direct experience. This means to know how to strengthen the conscience and to activate the chakras. The work, soon to be published, called “Rainbow Bridge”, in which we develop the methods used by a group of advanced experimenters in a ten-year long experience, is dedicated to this subject.
Let's deal with an ethical concept
Many religions and philosophies put man at the center of their attention, up to the point of considering him a reflection of Divinity. Therefore it would seem that these doctrines share the human centrality. If we get closer, though, we will see that this common denominator shows relevant differences.
We will not go too deeply into what is truth and what is dogma, or reality or imagination. What differentiates profane from initiatory ethics, popular from spiritual religion, hedonistic from idealistic philosophy, is the human element placed at the center of attention.
The exoterical doctrines put at the center of their attention the physical image, material life, corporal needs, passion and desires, idealisms and fears, virtues and faults and finally “sins”.
Spiritual philosophies have a different opinion; they put at the center of their attention the subtle sphere of the being, mind, conscience, and spiritual energy. They consider the physical body only as the shell of human identity, a means for his thoughts and a temple to build in order to host soul and spirit.
Is real man, then, soul, conscience and thought, or the physical body and its attributes? The most advanced consciences acknowledge man in the thought that animates him, considering the physical complement to use and preserve but not the main interpreter of the human being.
The Aura, sign of the inner condition
We've said that, on the contrary of sensations, the conscience is situated outside the body. It is the subtle conscience
, then, that surrounds the physical body with an energetic head called aura that reflects inner impressions.
The aura, then, is connected to the mind ( physical conscience ) through the nervous antenna of the spine, to which the seven energetic ganglia called chakras (*) are connected.
(*) Note: chakras and esoterical astrology
It is said that the main chakras are seven but there are many more subsidiary ones. Amongst these we must remember the chakras of hands, feet and head, which are 12. Twelve like Hercules' initiatory labors. Twelve like the signs of the zodiac and the sacred constellations. Twelve like Jesus Christ's apostles. Twelve like Israel's tribes. Twelve like God's breads. Twelve like the Keys of Philosophy. And we could list other correspondences in the symbolical meaning of this number.
The lighting of the centers of the head (the light of the royal wisdom) is remembered through allegories in the crown of kings. The crowns were made of precious materials and were decorated with jewels whose colors correspond to the colors of planets. It leads us to further information. In the previous chapter we mentioned the triangulation of the centers, in particular regarding heart, head and throat. This is only one of the many energetic triangulations possible that occur before and after the illumination and constitute the occult astronomy of the human body.
Like chakras can be considered the stars inside us, energetic triangulations reflect the stars of particular constellations. By following this principles we access a very refined section of the initiatory science, the esoteric astrology strictly connected with esoteric psychology. Both study the connections and energetic transformations of man in every distribution. We will only give this indication without going deeply into it, but ensuring the researcher of the importance and the interest of the subject.
In general terms the aura is the mirror of human evolution that, starting from the physical conscience progresses until the spiritual one. Following the postulate that man becomes what he thinks, the aura is the mirror of what man is.
By being impressed with what man thinks, tries and does, the conscience becomes the expression of his memories, the reflection of his intentions and the mirror of his desires and feelings. Every man lives inside his own aura that slowly changes, changing man, just as he, on his turn, can change his aura through the force of his thought.
It has been said that the “quality” of the conscience produces a “sphere of influence” that is expressed in the shape of colored halos of different hues. We can add now that there are as many of these halos as the areas of conscience in which man concentrates. It follows that to have a modest conscience and little mental concentration means to irradiate a small area with limited colors; on the contrary a very advanced conscience generates a wide and well organized aura with many aspects. In many cases they are the aura of the soul and the spiritual colors.
If we follow the eastern teaching the meaning of the aura is enriched with precious details that we will try and resume.
The energy that vivifies the body is called prana.
The aura of health that expresses its conditions is essentially a physical-ethereal one (see bio-energy).
The astral aura marks the prevalence of the physical conscience, reflects the selfishness of passion and desires; it is the area in which the egocentrism of the common man polarizes its attention.
The mental aura is never wide but it starts to develop fast from the moment when man becomes conscious of himself by evolving his thought, developing his intuitive abilities and polarizing on the plane of intelligence the attention he used to pay to physical, emotional and passional achievements (astral plane).
To the development of the higher mental aura corresponds the decrease of the astral and emotional aura.
The higher mental aura develops in what easterners call buddhic plane and westerners call state of illumination.
The will, not to be confused with other similar aspects (see appendix) is the ability to transform the mind, converting the flows of passion, of wrong, fruitless or undesired thoughts and feelings, into conscious energy, in this way re-using the freed energy for the construction of neat and well qualified ideas.
This is, in short, the alchemic Arcane , in which the mental organization and the quality of the aura are transformed and their sphere of influence is widened; they become then the mirror of individual value.
Who is able to do that, perceives through his own aura the astral and mental vibration of a person or a group, recognizing their qualities through a mental con-tact whose first seed is empathy. The observation of the aura makes it superfluous to “listen to words” in order to determine the level of evolution of a person; it opposes an obvious, unequivocal and impossible to mystify against supposed presumptions. In order to organize a mind in order to qualify an aura, though, one needs to “educate oneself to decide” responsibly and with measure. Developing the “right decision” leads to being able to “discriminate”. Joining common sense to ability of choice, one reaches the correct initiatory apprenticeship in which the will changes the quality of the mind and transforms its ideas.
A real image of low profile doesn't really exist because, being vivified by desire, it stays in the aura only until the attention of reason turns somewhere else. After this it is removed and it falls in the sub-stratum called unconscious, where it keeps existing by associating with other ideas which have been eliminated but not forgotten.
The axiom “energy follows the thought” is true for all mental images, from those logically built to the fantastic and unreal ones. All that is thought creates images perceived by the aura.
Mental images can be of different nature:
The aura and the influences of “occult education”
- Those created when man reflects about himself;
- About the surrounding environment, facts and people;
- About his present family, ethnic group, people and race;
- About the social group he has joined by instinct, reason, intellectual or spiritual affinity;
- About his life and death.
“Sensitiveness to impressions involves the formation of a magnetic aura on which higher impressions can operate”
When the sensitivity of the conscience is sensibly developed, the aura attracts refined ideas and spiritual concepts and these “impressions” become a field of immediate knowledge which is not to be found outside. Direct knowledge is not learnt, not caught or held. It is there, in the conscience, ready to be transferred to the mind. This is why it is fundamental to be able to formulate perfect questions; in each good question there is always a good answer.
The aura becomes magnetic when the physical conscience starts moving towards the conscience (light) of the soul. When advancing, the contacts between the two aspects become more frequent, up to becoming a permanent link that many people call “Bridge”.
The easterner calls this bridge antahkarana and it is the link along which the higher impressions of the subtle conscience ( the aura is a combination of radiations, energies and orderly forces) can flow in the mind, enriching it with ideas. By developing this process, the initiate ends up by becoming a center of light of wisdom and the magnetic aura stays always receptive to the impressions coming from other men, from the group of election, or to receive spiritual impressions and of higher order. (*)
The old problem of bad interpretations
Even if the physical conscience becomes sensitive to impressions (which don't belong to it directly, but it assimilates them by osmosis) will the mind be able to interpret them correctly, seizing their true meaning?
Bad interpretations caused by ignorance or prejudice have poisoned the history of humankind. Mental development must always be accompanied by knowledge and intellectual abilities must proceed at the same rate as sensitivity of the conscience, otherwise the impression is obstructed and its meanings are deformed (see mental distortion).
Mental irradiation and magnetism of the aura are at the fundament of the occult education that we call today knowledge through contact. It is given by the contact with ideas coming from the sphere of the higher conscience, with which a link must be voluntarily built.
(*) Note. Charismatic personalities
The Guardian of the Threshold - Or rather, the duty to go beyond oneself
Charismatic personalities can belong to two different polarities. There are negative and positive charismas and they are both magnetic, that is attractive. Let's omit talking about what is the attractive power of negative charisma because the history of humankind is full of the damages caused by followers of egocentric destructive charismatic personalities. Let's only remember that an egocentric story-telling is the mark of negative magnetism. A little attention is enough to recognize it.
Positive magnetism is of an expansive type and it frees the energies of the person who is affected by it, whilst negative magnetism is of a hedonistic type and attracts the energies of the person who surrounds it towards itself.
Positive charismatic personalities are characterized by a very close connection with the superior Ego, so close that it can be manifested through the physical conscience. Indeed, a person with an advanced conscience is said to embody an ideal, personifying a principle.
Even those who are close to the initiation (real and non-symbolic) perceive the influence of the superior Ego (superior conscience and physical ramification of the conscience of the soul); therefore they start feeling “attracted” towards abstract ideals, participating impersonal projects of an intellectual, political, scientific, artistic or spiritual nature. Impersonal projects, subtle ideas and abstract ideals have always an aspect that is easy to understand, perhaps only by looking behind the words. They are the opposite of the selfish kind. They don't run after personal advantages, don't satisfy selfish impulses and they don't please personal egocentrisms or elitist fanaticisms to the detriment of others.
Another characteristic of the positive charismatic personality is that it has learnt how to communicate with the best part of oneself and to be able to communicate strength and constructive enthusiasm. This must not be confused with exaltation and excitement originated by an alteration of the conscience and by a psychic balance. Exaltation and excitement, on the opposite of enthusiasm, are accompanied by depression which is easily transmitted to the people around (see energetic vampirism).
Charismatic personalities are perceived as a leading example that many people would like to follow, imitate and accompany. The difference between the two polarities is where it leads and why.
Simple souls, credulous, superficial or conceited people don't have many defenses against negative story-telling and the metaphor of the Pied Piper is an excellent example of this. We have now reached a sufficient number of information to pass to a more advanced idea.
The guardian of the threshold is an allegorical image originated by the observation of how difficult it is to overcome one's limits that must be, nevertheless, surmounted. In order to arrange the idea we will use the usual axiom but we will widen it.
It is true that we are what we think and we are prisoners for a long time of our thoughts, of what we want and what we believe. Since a limited conscience can only produce little thoughts, we are prisoners for a long time of small truths and small convictions whose boundaries we must learn to break.
In this case the following sentence is suitable: the initiate must break the mirror of illusion. The mirror of illusion is ourselves with our small beliefs and habits. It is not a morale aspect but the limits repeated in time (and in lives) create an image called Karma (destiny in the wider conception of the cause-effect law) so deeply rooted that it becomes a permanent obstacle difficult to overcome for a young mind. Here is the guardian of the threshold. Not only the small ideas but the karma as well is the obstacle between “ the two sides of the same conscience”.
We are at the questions: how can the mind overcome itself and annul the guardian of the threshold?
Many doctrines, religions and philosophies are so coarse that they oppose mind against mind, creating devastating conflicts in the whole nervous system. The mind that annuls the mind or the mind that silences the thoughts are fibs, tortuous speculations that seriously risk to compromise mental stability. Thoughts, though, can be controlled, the mind can be educated and the conscience can be amplified; this is true, indeed it is desirable, without creating (penitential) conflicts or confusion between reason and physical conscience, through a (holy) alliance between the earth (physical reason) and the inner sky (subtle or spiritual conscience). For its peculiarities this “alliance” in the west is called Ars Pontificia.
The method of alliance
The only way, natural as well as realistic, is to build the inner connection, the well known bridge of conscience, between reason and mind and between physical and subtle conscience. How? By learning to build mental images because mind and conscience are made up by these “bricks”. The point is that by elevating the tone and the frequency of the images (the increase of the psychic vibration is given by the intensity, called mental focusing) the minor simile (physical mind) attracts (by the law of similitude) the major simile (subtle conscience). In this way the bridge is built through the method called visualization (art of), by far the most powerful instrument of any kind of meditation that involves the physical mind.
The matter can be widened.
In the previous paragraph we referred to the principle « similes cum similibus » according to which the simile recalls its simile. This principle is confirmed by the small individual conscience that tends to go back near the huge conscience of the macrocosm just as much as it tends to have its small fragment back. In this context it is quite natural to try and measure the real size of conscience. That is, how big is conscience?
Both the eastern and the western teachings agree on the idea that the individual aura (of man) is part of the bigger planetary aura (see akasha, reflecting ether and anima mundi) that, on its turn, is linked to higher cosmic influences (see esoterical astrology: solar force, planetary forces, force of the signs of the zodiac, of the constellations, cosmic-nuclear energy in its different levels).
Here ends the essay and I hope I have provided sufficient information to organize the phenomenon called aura. Before closing, though, let's see the meanings of some essential terms otherwise equivocal.
Many specific terms can be reversed in common meanings. Therefore we will use an authoritative scientific source in order to have the correct interpretation.
Love : desire for accomplishment, to join, to merge with something or someone different from oneself. It has cosmic origins, nature and functions. Its manifestations express the law of attraction, of the tendency to closeness, to contact, to unification and fusion.
Creativity : the irruption in the conscience of mental elements of different levels that can be translated into lines, forms and symbols. Generally it is developed in a spontaneous, sudden and imperative way. They are impulses that act directly on the super-conscious without being warned by the physical conscience. A period of gestation follows; it can be easy but more often is hard and troubled (see crisis) just like physical gestation. Proportions and mutual relationship between spontaneous creation and conscious activity can be varied and complex.
Wisdom: it is different from the knowledge resulting from mental activity; it is knowledge acquired through experience and completed through love. It is a form of light that reveals the world of the meaning beyond the exterior form. Every inspiration of the superior Self and every contact with the superior Self bring the precious gift of wisdom.
Crisis : they must not be considered morbid for themselves; sometimes they are indeed points of passage to a superior level, chances for changing, developing and advancing. Every crisis can be a spontaneous process or a forced one for dis-identification (see dis-integration). To the acceptance of the change must follow the proposition of a progressive overcoming through the use of appropriate techniques.
Will : it is the closest psychological function to the ego, its direct expression and source of all choices, decisions and commitments. Through its discovery we perceive inside us of being a living subject provided with the power to act changes in the personality, in others and in circumstances. It has a leading and regulating function like the helmsman. Psycho-synthesis uses techniques to inspire, develop, strengthen and lead it in the right way.
Good will : it is the individual will with the task to discipline itself and to choose consistent goals. It must not be confused with desires, ambitions and idealistic aspirations of so many good people; it is the steady proposition.
Strong will : “...in the strength of the will is his power…” by developing the strength of the will we make sure that an act of will has enough strength and “fire” to realize the proposition.
Wise will : it is the ability to develop the most efficient strategy with the least effort.
Transpersonal will : expression of the superior Self, it works from the super-conscious levels of the psyche. Its action is perceived by the ego like an attraction or a call (see vocation). This is the start of a dialogue between the two states of conscience. Otherwise the call from the top can assume the shape of an imperious demand. The superior Self orders the physical ego to transcend the limits of life and “normal” conscience, but the conscious ego is often rebellious.
Universal will : it is the will of the universal Self, the conscience that participates to the individuality and to the universality and it is in contact with the transcendent. Basically to join it means to be in harmony with the rhythms of universal life and to take part in it voluntarily; it is the deep aspiration and the highest need, although often not acknowledged, for humanity.
Assaggioli (op cit) “ Wisdom” ; “ Psychic conflicts” ; “The Act of Will” ; “Lessons on psycho-synthesis”