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The Human Atmosphere, by Walter J. Kilner, [1920], at

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IN the last chapter proofs were furnished to demonstrate the great probability that auric visibility and colours depend upon ultra-violet rays, and that the power of perceiving them has not only been attained, but to a certain extent explained. The present chapter will be devoted chiefly to the investigation of various properties of auras, and to the forces generating them.

The aura has been constantly searched for in the dark without success, proving that it is not auto-luminous in the ordinary acceptation of the term. (Vide chapter iv.) It is now necessary to examine the conditions which govern its visibility. The best results are obtained in diffuse daylight, graduated to the proper extent. Endeavour has been made, without much success, to ascertain whether different coloured lights show up the aura more plainly, one than another. It can be detected to different extents through red, yellow, green and blue screens, which also give results that vary with the depth of colour. One important detail becomes more conspicuous when a red screen is employed, viz, the striæ of the inner aura.

At first sight the cloudlike appearance might suggest that the aura was some form of vapour. This is highly improbable for the following reason: the aura remains immovable whether the patient is hot or cold. The only conditions which would cause a vapour to seem stationary are such as govern the

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cloud banners seen on mountain peaks, where in a given time the amount of mist added corresponds exactly to that lost by diffusion and evaporation. In this case, however, every variation of the wind alters the position or shape of the cloud, but draught however great and movement of the body can produce no such change in the auric haze. Its structure is so delicate that likening it to an ordinary mist would be analogous to the comparison of the finest cambric to the coarsest canvas.

The most probable interpretation of the aura that can at present be given, is that it is the outcome of force emanation from the body, which like all forces is invisible, but becomes perceptible through its action, as will be more fully discussed in a later part of this chapter. A moment's consideration of this conception will show that it is neither so far fetched nor so preposterous as might be seen at first sight, and that parallels can be found in the animal world. Everyone is conversant that the human body generates heat, and consequently disseminates it in part into surrounding space as radiant heat. This, as is well known, consists of infra-red wave lengths transmitted through the ether. Again certain insects, etc., such as fire-flies and glow-worms have the power of emitting waves which are perceived as light. It is unnecessary to multiply instances.

If animals emit wave lengths in the ether which include most of the heat and visible portions of the solar spectrum, there would seem to be no reason why ultra-violet undulations should not be similarly produced. When these latter are emitted from the human body, some of them may be the true source of the aura surrounding men and women. This statement does not imply any specific part of the ultra-violet spectrum.

The present is the best time to consider whether there are other forces which produce like phenomena

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in any way resembling the aura. It is by no means needful that the exciting force should entirely correspond to the one issuing from the human body. Fortunately magnetism, electricity (whether from a static machine or from the poles of a galvanic cell), and radio-activity will supply three different forms of energy all producing somewhat similar appearances which can be seen under conditions like those required to make the human aura visible.

The magnetic haze is not quite so easily perceived as the human aura. The best effects are obtained when the background is perfectly smooth and black and illumination arranged, and dicyanin screens used as for the examination of the aura. It might be reasonably expected that the visible clouds would follow the magnetic lines of force, but as far as has been observed up to the present time such is not the case, although possibly the apparent discrepancies are entirely due to imperfect experimental conditions and will disappear as these are improved upon.

The magnets used in the following experiments were a six-inch horseshoe and an eight-inch bar, the latter blackened all over. Lately a strong permanent magnet built up of five horseshoes has also been employed, but shows no appreciable differences except that the haze is more distinct. The above were chosen in preference to an electro-magnet, which on account of its composite nature was not suitable.

On looking at a horseshoe magnet closed by its armature, a bluish haze about half an inch wide will be seen encircling it evenly. The central space will also appear cloudy. Directly the armature is removed a great alteration comes over the shape of the haze, which while remaining round the magnet, will be seen to become denser near the poles, the effect commencing about an inch above them and culminating at a little distance beyond them. A similar change occurs in the central space, but as this has

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fixed dimensions the mist merely becomes thicker near the free ends. From the poles themselves rays project into space, often being visible for several inches, and with the compound magnet they have been detected nearly a foot in length. For some undetermined reason the magnetic mist may be far more conspicuous on one day than another.

The rays issuing from the south pole have little or no tendency towards expansion, while those originating from the opposite pole become slightly fan-shaped, and the two sets amalgamate a short distance beyond the poles. When a bar magnet is examined in like fashion, the cloud will be seen enveloping its full length, but broader and denser as it approaches the ends. With this form of magnet the rays projecting from one pole are uninfluenced by those from the other, as they are as far apart from one another as possible, and their arrangements can be accurately noted. If a tintack be placed point outwards on the pole of a magnet, the mist will be brighter by the side of the nail and will concentrate at the point. As might be foreseen, if the two horseshoe magnets be held with their poles near to each other but not touching on the same plane, and one of them be rotated, the haze will be brighter when dissimilar poles are opposed to each other, and vice versa. Continuous rotation will thus give rise to alternating phases of brilliancy.

It will be unnecessary to say anything about the luminous cloud round the point of a highly electrified body, as everyone is conversant with it, especially as it has no connection with the present subject. However, the poles of a galvanic cell when disconnected are in a similar state, but owing to the very low potential, only a few people can distinguish the haze round them. The field of force becomes visible as a mist when searched for in the same manner as the magnetic cloud. As might be expected, the

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haze surrounds any conductor joining the poles. If a piece of wire be connected with the zinc element, and another with the carbon of the cell, and these two wires be so arranged that they shall be parallel with one another and about two inches apart, the whole intervening space will be faintly nebulous. If a non-conductor be placed between them, the cloud will no longer be so diffuse, but will concentrate round the wires. This haze has a bluish tinge.

A cloud, under similar circumstances, can he seen enveloping a radio-active crystal of Uranium Nitrate. The crystal first used was irregular in shape and the mist was massed at the smaller end, and was yellow in colour. On one occasion it was noticed that when the crystal was placed near a magnet, there was a mutual attraction between the clouds surrounding the bodies, which seemed to extend out towards each other a short distance, after which they lost their individuality, either because they actually blended, or because each nearer its own source masked the other as it grew fainter.

It would be superfluous to quote any more experiments, as sufficient have been mentioned to prove that under certain favourable conditions a haze can be visually detected round substances in which there reside certain forms of energy ordinarily demonstrable by other and less direct means.

If the aura be the outcome of a physical force proceeding from the body and acting on the surrounding medium, it would appear probable that external forces, other than the auric derived from a second person, would influence it, but in what manner, experiments alone can determine. Magnetism is the easiest force to apply, and consequently was the first used. The electro-magnet was found not to be nearly so convenient as a permanent one, and was therefore laid aside after several trials.

When the poles of a horseshoe magnet, after the

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removal of the armature, are held from six to eight inches away from the body of a healthy person, the observer will almost immediately be able to distinguish an increase of brilliancy of the aura at the part of the body nearest the poles, and simultaneously the haze projected from the poles of the magnet will become more conspicuous. This will in a few seconds concentrate into a single streak or ray joining the body and the magnet, and will have the same width as the poles including the space between them. Theoretically there ought to be two rays emerging from the body, one from each pole, and also, if the aura possessed any polarity, one should be brighter and larger than the other. This does not happen, perhaps on account of the proximity of the two poles of the magnet. If the magnet be moved about slowly, the ray will follow it and appear to be derived from the part of the body nearest the magnet. Thus the site of emission of the ray will be constantly changing, but no diminution in size or brightness can be detected. The one exception seems to be when a ray emanates from one projection of the body, such as the nose, elbow, or nipple, when it will continue so to arise even though the magnet may be closer to a plane surface of the body, confirming the supposition that the auric potential is greater on points.

When, instead of a horseshoe, one pole of a bar magnet is held a short distance from the body of a patient, a corresponding display will be produced, only less obvious. As far as has yet been ascertained neither pole of a magnet exerts a greater influence over the aura than the other. Consequently it is conjectured that the aura is equally acted upon by both poles of the magnet, and therefore as far as magnetism is concerned the aura does not possess any polarity. The mutual attraction of two auras belonging to different people is more intense than that between a magnet and the aura.

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One experience with the magnet is so curious that it is worth relating.

During the investigation of the aura of a woman, which had arrived at the stage of the c.c. bands, darkness due to a severe thunderstorm came on and the examination had to be suspended. It was hoped that the light would quickly improve, and to pass the time, the action of the magnet upon the aura was tested. The effect was surprising, because when the magnet was held near the patient, she screamed out and said that it caused her severe pain. She was tried in various ways, with her eyes shut, with the magnet covered up, etc., so that she should not know when the instrument was brought near her, but in every instance when the magnet approached her she felt it, never once making a mistake, so that it was impossible to doubt the genuineness of the sensation.

As it still continued dark the remainder of the examination had to be deferred. Three or four days later the patient returned for the completion of the investigation, when the action of the magnet was tried a second time. Not the slightest conscious sensation was aroused, and it was concluded that the peculiar conditions connected with the electrified state of the atmosphere must in some way have made her abnormally sensitive.

By a piece of good luck in the autumn of the year 1916, a thunderstorm commenced during the investigation of the aura of another patient. Although the thunder and lightning were frequent and not far distant, yet the storm did not attain the severity of the one just mentioned. Whilst at its height, the effect of a powerful magnet, composed of five sections, held or moved about near different parts of the patient's body was tried. The result as regards exciting any sensation was absolutely nil, which was the more interesting as this person though in good health was of definitely hysterical disposition.

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[paragraph continues] It might therefore have been anticipated that she would prove more sensitive to influences of this nature than a non-neurotic individual.

The effects produced by static electricity are exceedingly interesting. For early experiments women, on account of the width of their outer auras, were chosen, but the same results are obtained with males and children, when due allowance has been made for the different shapes of their auras. There is a slight difference in the result according to the sign of the charge employed, and as the negative induces a change with an intermediate transitional stage, it will be considered first. One method of investigation will now be described.

The subject is placed upon an insulated stool with hands upon the head, to allow the observer to notice as accurately as possible the breadth of both auras, and to make a mental note of their brightness. As soon as these observations have been completed, a negative charge is given through a chain attached to the corresponding pole of a Wimshurst machine. Generally * within the fraction of a minute the outer aura will contract and grow more dense, while the inner will lose distinctness. From this stage onwards both auras decrease in brilliance, and in a short time the inner will completely vanish. Proof of this disappearance is furnished by watching the inner aura through a dark carmine screen, when eventually a void space will be discerned. The outer by this time will have contracted and become scarcely visible, only to be detected just outside the proper limit of the inner aura. If the charging be continued longer, the outer aura will also depart, leaving no traces. Directly the charge is dissipated the auras begin to return.

This experiment can be repeated so as to allow

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an examination of the aura during the whole length of time through the dark carmine screen, which if sufficiently deep in colour, will of course obliterate the outer aura, previous to electrification, in the ordinary manner. As soon, however, as the operation of charging the subject is commenced, the auras begin to alter, the inner fading, but the outer becoming visible through the screen as a result of concentration immediately outside the edge of the inner aura, which now looks coarsely granular without presenting any signs of striation. No modification except condensation, which makes it more opaque and in consequence distinguishable through the coloured screen, has been detected in the outer aura. As soon as this stage has been reached, the two auras commence fading rapidly, and as might be expected, the inner aura vanishes before the condensed outer, which is the last to go. Directly the charge is lost both auras return simultaneously, and during the procedure the outer aura does not show any condensation. With the hands on the hips and the elbows extended, a similar series of changes can be demonstrated. In the interspaces between the arms and the body, the outer aura is surrounded by the inner, and when the former is concentrated, an opaque bright mass is collected in the centre, presenting a wonderful appearance. All the other alterations occur exactly as has been described. These experiments must be performed on different occasions, as a second one shortly after the first is never really satisfactory.

When a positive charge is used, there is usually no massing of the outer aura, although occasionally it exhibits a tendency in that direction. Both auras vanish simultaneously.

Two Wimshurst machines were employed for these experiments. One large with eighteen inch, and the other small with ten inch plates, the latter giving a longer, the former a much thicker and more powerful

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spark. The early experiments were performed with the small instrument, and completely successful results could only be obtained when the machine was working at its very best. The large Wimshurst only occasionally failed to completely disperse the aura, and was altogether much more reliable.

One remarkable after-effect is the enlargement of the aura, the increase often reaching an additional fifty per cent. The best results were obtained by the employment of the large machine. When the greatest expansion is required, electrification should be prolonged for some short time after the complete disappearance of the aura. After its reappearance the aura continues to expand for a time up to the maximum and then remains stationary. Moderate degrees of enlargement can be obtained with comparative small charges. As soon as this phenomenon

. had been observed, it was studied with people healthy or otherwise, of both sexes and of all ages, and was found to be universal, and to show no greater individual variations than might have been expected.

In addition to alterations in size above described other changes may be noted. Immediately after the reappearance of the auras, the inner is slightly bigger and a little less plain but still shows striæ. It, however, very soon resumes its natural aspect. Coincidently the expansion is taking place, but, with few exceptions, it never attains its original brightness. It becomes indefinite towards the periphery and gradually fades away into nothingness. The impression given is that there is no real increment in the quantity of the haze, but that it has been distributed over a larger space. An appearance not identical with, but closely resembling the ultra-outer aura, is not infrequently produced. The temporary resumption of clothes makes no difference, as upon their removal the outer aura still remains expanded.

When a person showing an ultra-outer aura is

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electrified, the whole of the outer aura, as usual, is augmented in size, extending into the space occupied by the former. In two or three instances the whole aura did not diminish in intensity at all, or at any rate not to the same extent, as in cases where there had been no sign of an ultra-outer aura. The explanation is very easy if it be conceded that the ultra-outer aura is only an ill-defined extension of the outer and already occupies the space that will be filled by expansion, the result of previous electrification.

Owing to the lack of definition at the outer limits, there is often a difficulty in determining the size of the aura round the head after a subject has been electrified, but over the rest of the body, as far as can be judged, the whole aura is generally augmented proportionally, and so it retains its natural shape. Any local peculiarities are generally accentuated. Case 20 is a good example of this.

Case 19. (Figs. 20 and 21). V. S., a well grown girl, eight years old, of excitable temperament, but who had never suffered from any illness, with the exception of the usual infantile complaints, was inspected during the summer of 1915. Both auras were plain for a child of her age, and normal except for a slight bulge at the back, which commenced at the head and ended at the feet and was widest at the lumbar region. The bow although easily seen was not well marked. The outer aura was seven inches round the head, four by the sides of the trunk, and three by the legs; in front three inches; at the back five inches diminishing to three by the legs. The inner aura was two and a half inches wide.

Whilst standing upon the insulated stool she was positively charged from the large Wimshurst machine, for about five minutes. The auras quickly vanished in the ordinary manner, and rapidly returned directly the charge was dissipated. After a lapse of about a quarter of an hour, her auras were again examined.

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[paragraph continues] The inner had regained its natural state. The outer had enlarged. Round the head it was unaltered, but by the trunk it was three inches wider, and did not follow the outline of the body as closely as it had previously done. It was also broader by the legs being here four inches. In appearance it was very similar to the transitional aura of a girl fifteen or sixteen years of age, except that it was slightly wider by the thighs and legs. There was also an increase

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Figs. 20 and 21.
Young girl. Aura enlarged by electricity.

in size at the back and front. The bow-shaped bulge had become more conspicuous.

Case 20. I. S., a sturdy rather precociously developed girl, fifteen years of age, was inspected in July 1915, when in good health. Both her auras reached the average distinctness. The outer exhibited the transitional appearance natural to her time of life, being seven inches broad by the head and trunk, and four by the legs, the latter part being

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rather wide. A side view of the aura showed the breadth to be five inches in front, seven at the small of the back with the outer margin straight up and down, and four by the legs. Altogether it was a little broader than usual for her age. The inner was healthily striated and three inches in breadth.

She stood upon the insulated stool and was positively electrified for some minutes. The small Wimshurst

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Figs. 22 and 23.
Boy's outer aura. Enlarged by electricity.

machine was employed. The whole aura disappeared and, a few minutes after returning, had enlarged to ten inches by the head and trunk, six in front, nine at the back and six by the legs. The loss of distinctness was slight. The writer considers the size and shape to be a forecast of the mature stage, which in her case will be probably attained soon after her eighteenth year.

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Case 21. (Figs. 22 and 23). B. S., a schoolboy eleven years old, of excitable temperament but in good health, was inspected in 1915. Both auras possessed the average distinctness, and the outer was wide for his age, being as he faced the observer, seven inches by the head, five by the trunk, and four by the legs. When he turned sideways, it was four and a half inches in front, seven at the small of the back and four by the ankles. It was bow-shaped at the back, the curve commencing at the head and finishing at the feet. The inner aura was three inches wide and exhibited the natural striation. He was positively charged when insulated. The aura took rather a long time to depart, but afterwards, when it had completely returned, was found to be expanded while the bow-shaped curve was exceedingly plain. The figures were, as he stood facing, ten inches round the head, the same by the sides of the trunk, and six by the legs. A side view gave six inches in front and by the legs, and twelve at the small of the back.

Case 22. (Figs. 24 and 25). E., a tall, powerful, well made man, fifty years of age was examined in 1915. His outer aura was unusually wide and distinct. The inner was hardly as marked as had been anticipated from his physique. There was no sign of any ultra-outer aura. The outer aura was of good shape, ten and a half inches round his head, seven by the trunk and six by the legs. Sideways, it was six and a half in front and seven at the back. The inner showed striation clearly, being a little over four inches in breadth. Whilst standing on the insulated stool he was given a negative charge, and both auras vanished in the ordinary manner, only taking a rather long time. As an after-effect the outer was found to have considerably expanded, but at the same time had become proportionately less distinct and the distal margin was a trifle indefinite. There was no pseudo-ultra-outer aura. The size of the aura was

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fifteen inches round the head, ten by the trunk, nine by the legs, and the same width at the back and front. It was at first taken for granted that the aura after enlargement by statical electricity soon resumed its natural state, but this was found to be an error when

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Figs. 24 and 25.

examining a patient (case 48, which is described later on), who had been undergoing electrical treatment for curative purposes. On the first occasion the outer margin of the patient's aura was as sharply defined as usual, but on her third visit, (the aura was not inspected at the second), the outer had assumed an

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appearance indistinguishable from an ultra-outer aura, and which continued until the end of the course, although on one occasion an interval of a week elapsed, during which no charge was given and yet no contraction took place. In this case the ultra-outer aura appeared to be entirely the result of the application of statical electricity, but it had not been expected that a change in size induced in a minute or two would persist for several days.

A fortnight after the last charge had been given, the patient's aura was again examined and found to be of average distinctness, and to have returned to the dimensions noted at the first visit, except for a very slight haze four inches in breadth, which, however, did not in the least resemble an ultra-outer aura, and probably vanished within a few days.

The duration of the enlargement induced by a single application of statical electricity could be only determined experimentally, as was attempted in one of the two cases detailed below.

1. A patient received a just sufficiently large charge to cause complete disappearance of her aura, which on its return expanded to forty per cent. beyond its original size. Two days later she was inspected a second time for quite a different purpose, and it was found that the aura remained four inches wider by the trunk than it had been at the commencement of the previous examination, and exhibited ail the features of the ultra-outer aura.

2. In May, 1918, M. W., a strong and healthy lady kindly volunteered to submit to daily examination of her aura during an experiment to determine how long the electrically produced expansion would persist. The outer aura which was of perfect shape and well defined, could be accurately measured, and was found to have the following dimensions: Round the head and trunk eleven inches, at the upper part of the thighs, seven, and lower down five inches;

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in front, seven inches contracting to five near the ankles; at the back, five inches by the Shoulders and buttocks, without a bulge in the lumbar region, where it was eight inches. The inner aura was about three and a half inches wide over the whole body, except the thighs and legs, where it was slightly narrower.

She was placed upon the insulated stool and charged for three and a half minutes. The auras did not completely vanish. After a few minutes the haze was again inspected and measured. It had expanded and no longer displayed well defined margins, but showed a condition resembling an ultra-outer aura. As near as could be ascertained the outer aura was eighteen inches round the head and by the sides of the trunk, eight by the thighs and six by the legs. Sideways, it was ten inches in front, eleven at the small of the back, and by the ankles, six.

Next day it was noticed that the aura had regained its distinct margin, once more permitting of easy measurement. Round the head it was eleven inches, by the sides of the trunk fourteen, and by the thighs and legs eight; in front ten inches, and at the back at the broadest part eleven, and at the ankles eight. These figures show that the aura, although still bigger than normal, was considerably reduced in size, It had also recovered to a great extent its lost brightness. On the following day, as promised, the lady repeated her visit. Before examination it was expected that the outer aura would be smaller than on the day previous, but not exactly its proper size. However, when the dimensions were taken and compared with those of her first examination, the two completely tallied. In this instance the aura took over twenty-four hours and less than forty-eight to become normal.

If any conclusions may be drawn from two cases it would appear that no definite time can be laid

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down for the return of the aura to its proper size after augmentation, by electricity.

Enlargement of the aura by electricity can be obtained by other methods besides the direct charging of the patients when standing on an insulated stool. A quicker, and almost effectual way, is to hold an electric brush near a person under proper conditions. The brush used for this purpose consists of a thin brass rod nine inches in length attached to a glass handle, and with a number of tufts of tinsel fixed at right angles, which when spread out parallel with the rod form a large number of points in a row. When this is connected with a chain to one of the prime conductors of the Wimshurst machine and charged, a strong electric breeze is induced.

At the first experiment the electric brush was held near the spine of a patient and moved up and down, after which the aura was found to be increased in size, as is illustrated by the instance recorded below. It is of course impossible to conduct more than one experiment of this nature upon a patient in one day, owing to the length of time the aura takes to resume its normal state.

Case 23. C.E., not quite eighteen years old, had well-shaped outer and inner auras, without any abnormality, and rather wide for her age. The outer was eight inches by the head and trunk, and contracted to four by the ankles; five inches down the front and seven at the widest part of the back, where it was slightly bow-shaped. The electric brush connected by a chain to the positive conductor of the Wimshurst machine was held parallel to, and moved once down close to but not touching the vertical central line of the trunk in front of the body. No change in the aura could be detected. After a minute or two had elapsed, the brush was passed down the spine in a similar manner once, and the aura was again inspected. It had considerably enlarged, as

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round the head and by the trunk it had become twelve, and by the legs and in front eight inches, and at the small of the back twelve, the bow-shape still persisting. The girl was in due course placed upon the insulated stool and negatively electrified, when the aura vanished in the usual manner. After a period of some minutes, the aura was seen to have expanded still further, being two or three inches wider than before. Subsequent to both the application of the brush and to receiving a negative charge while standing on the insulated stool, the haze became less distinct, but especially in the latter case. The inner aura did not seem to alter.

The reason why the brush was held near the front and then at the back of the patient, was to determine whether static electricity influenced the aura directly by charging the granules composing it and thus causing them to repel each other, and bringing about expansion without any increase of substance; or whether the enlargement was due to an alteration in the auric forces, produced by the stimulation of the central nervous system. If the latter, it was thought extremely probable that the electric brush would produce more effect when applied near the spinal cord than elsewhere.

With the same object in view another experiment was made with a girl eighteen years of age, who had a distinct aura, wide round the head but narrow for her age by the trunk. She was healthy and evidently clever, but late in bodily development. The electric brush negatively charged was held near but not touching her forehead for not longer than a couple of seconds. The aura was at once re-examined and exhibited a large extension all over, but with this increase in size there was a corresponding decrease in clearness. It is hardly necessary to give detailed measurements.

Except in two instances the supposition that the

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electric brush would produce more effect when applied to the spinal cord, has always been confirmed. But these cases were not comparable, as the results were obtained under different circumstances.

In one case a gentleman remaining upon the insulated stool, as owing to an oversight he had not been asked to come down, while the brush was moved five or six times down and up the front of his trunk, when in addition to the local action aimed at, a charge was of course communicated to the whole body. In the other case the brush had been moved up and down the front of a woman for about one minute.

An electric charge resides on the surface of a charged body, and the human body forms no exception to the general rule. As apart altogether from electrified states produced under such experimental conditions as have been dealt with above, a surface charge varying from time to time in distribution and potential even on one and the same individual, investigations were undertaken to determine the relations, if any, existing between such local or general electrical states and the aura. Three artists' models, each on several occasions, and a number of other people, once or twice, have been examined, and some exceedingly interesting observations made, but only such as have any bearing on the matter in hand will be described.

The apparatus employed for the investigations consisted of ordinary single gold leaf electroscopes and proof planes. These instruments are so well known that there is no need for any description further than to state that the moveable gold leaf was about three inches in length and one-sixteenth in breadth. This size was selected after numerous trials as giving the best results. One electroscope (E.1.) was surmounted by a thin metal disc corresponding to the proof plane used. Sometimes the

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disc was replaced by a smaller condenser composed of two brass plates three quarters of an inch in diameter, insulated from each other by shellac. The upper plate was connected by an insulated flexible wire to the proof plane. Subsequently it was found more convenient to have a separate electroscope (E.2.), with a fixed condenser placed within the glass case. There was of course an attachment to permit the lower plate, which was in communication with the gold leaf, to be charged from the outside.

It is generally easy to charge an electroscope such as E.1. directly from the body, by placing the proof plane upon the extensor surface of the arm and then on the disc of the electroscope, and repeating the operation as many times as may be required to obtain the greatest divergence of the gold leaf. The sign of the charge will almost always be negative. Any part of the body may be treated as above, when, as frequently occurs, a sufficient charge cannot be communicated to the instrument, or it is necessary to economise time, it is preferable to employ the following method:—Charge the electroscope E.1. with electricity having the same sign, usually negative, as that of the surface electricity, till the gold leaf diverges a few degrees. If now the proof plane is held near to and above the metal disc *, after having touched any part of the patient, it will cause a still further divergence of the gold leaf. By repetition a rough comparison of the potential at the different parts of the body can be made.

When an electroscope of the pattern E.2. is used, the disc of the condenser connected with the gold leaf is charged from a static machine with electricity of the same sign as the skin possesses, while the proof

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plane attached by the flexible wire remains in connection with the earth. By this arrangement, when the proof plane is brought into contact with the surface of the body and then removed, an increase in the divergence of the gold leaf will take place. Immediately the proof plane is connected with the earth the gold leaf collapses to its former condition. By this method observations can be quickly made. Unfortunately this instrument is not quite as delicate as the previous one.

These experiments, contrary to expectations, generally but not invariably, showed certain parts of the body such as the palms of the hands, nose, elbows, nipples, etc., most of them, it will be noted being points, to be almost if not entirely devoid of electric potential. *

Mrs. A., an artist's model, on one occasion after she had been undressed a considerable time and was consequently as free from external influences as possible, such as clothes, was found to be highly charged with electricity, and may be regarded as a typical case. Her aura was exceedingly distinct on that day. Her body was very carefully tested all over with the proof plane, at least once and in most parts several times, so that the results may be regarded as extremely accurate. (Figs. 26 to 28.) Except the forehead all the body showed a negative surface charge, which, however, was unevenly distributed. In front it was least on the central line of the thorax, but started increasing a little above the umbilicus, and gained its maximum just over the pubes. On the remainder of the front of the trunk, and on the thighs and legs it was as nearly as possible even. The sides and the greatest part of the back had the same potential, exceptions being over the seventh cervical vertebra where it was seemingly nil, and the sacrum

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where the potential increased from above downwards, until just above the gluteal cleft it reached the maximum for any part of the body. On two other occasions this woman showed no signs of a surface charge on any part of the body, with the exception of the lower part of the sacrum, where a considerable rise of

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Figs. 26, 27, and 28.
Surface electricity.
Number of dots denote intensity.

potential could always be detected. On these days her aura was not less distinct than usual.

Another artist's model, whose aura was generally well marked, usually showed very little surface electricity, but on one occasion when the surface electricity was well pronounced and evenly distributed all over the body, except the lower part of the sacrum and just above the pubes, where it was most

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intense, her aura was not as plain as usual. This may, however, have been due to some peculiar weather conditions, as other people's auras hardly reached the ordinary standard of visibility.

Quite recently a very healthy woman was examined with great care, as peculiarities, previously never found in a sound person, were noticed in the distribution of a very considerable surface charge. The whole of the right side showed a higher potential, causing the gold leaf of the electroscope to diverge twice as much as did the corresponding parts on the left side. The charges were distributed as a whole evenly, on the two sides. A similar condition is not infrequent in some cases of disease, such as epilepsy and hemiplegia, when the aura is also asymmetrical.

The importance of this condition was at once recognized, and to make absolutely certain that the peculiarity was genuine, the investigation was made with first one and then the other electroscope, with similar results. The customary inspection of the aura was undertaken immediately afterwards, but not the slightest difference on the two sides either in size, shape, or texture or colour could be detected either before or after a static charge had been communicated.

In August, 1917, another instance of asymmetrical distribution of surface electricity was met with. The charge was negative, and as regards each side evenly distributed, but as in the previous case, it was greater over the right half of the body than the left. Although the patient has not been well for some time, being anæmic, nothing particular to account for this peculiarity could be discovered.

An interesting effect was noticed when this woman stood upon the insulated stool and was given a negative charge, when the outer aura massed more extensively and took a longer time to vanish on the left side than on the right, from which it was inferred that

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there must have been some difference on the two sides, too refined to be appreciated by the eyes.

Men and children only differ from women in the distribution of the surface charge, in that they have no places of maximum intensity over the pubes and sacrum. As a rule surface electricity is well marked on the back of the forearm, where it is probably due to the abundant hair in that situation.

A local change both in the aura and the amount of surface electricity was displayed by a woman, forty-four years of age, a short time before entering a hospital for operation on account of osteo-sarcoma of the humerus. Over the body the charge was small, but well marked on the upper arm above and below the tumour, while none could be detected over the diseased part. The inner aura was coarser here than elsewhere, but still exhibited striation.

The results of these experiments can be tabulated, and will show that there are great differences between auric and electric conditions, which appear independent of one another.


Great deficiency or complete absence on points.


Most marked at points.

Very small on the forehead, palms of the hands, etc.

Well defined. Presence or absence of surface electricity makes no difference.

Usually negative but may be positive.

No polarity.

Increased by muscular movement.

Muscular movement causes no change.

Less on the flexor than on the extensor surface of the arm.

No differences on flexor or extensor surfaces.

Increased by friction of the skin.

Unaltered by friction of the skin.

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Moisture of the skin prevents accumulation.

Moisture of the skin makes no difference.

When the body is charged artificially the aura decreases or entirely vanishes. It usually enlarges afterwards.

The study of the aura has always had a great fascination for the writer, and one day when pondering over the subject, he wondered if it were possible by chemical means to induce alterations, either in size, texture, or colour, as he had previously noticed that the aura emanating from a part of the body which had been painted with iodine was different to the adjacent portions. If chemicals were applied to the body itself, pure effects might not be produced, and the interpretations of the results might remain doubtful, as factors additional to direct action on the aura might be concerned. The use of vapours applied at some distance from the body was therefore decided upon. As the first application happened to be made on the left side, this practice has generally been adhered to, though of course trials have been made on the right side, as well as over the whole body, to make certain that local differences do not exist. Besides, two different gases, such as chlorine and bromine, have been applied one on each side of the body, and the results have coincided with those obtained by the chemicals when employed separately on various occasions. These remarks, however, only hold good for a healthy subject with a symmetrical aura, and are correct for a single chemical, but not necessarily for mixtures of two gases.

Exp. 1. The first examination was performed with iodine in July, 1912. It is typical, and has been repeated many times with the same result, so that an account will be given in full. An artist's model stood facing the observer with her arms akimbo. The

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colour of the aura in the interspaces between the arms and body was a good blue and the same on both sides. The left side was fumigated with iodine vapour, obtained by pouring a few drops of Tinct: Iodid: Fort; into an evaporating dish and warming it with a spirit lamp, at a short distance from the body, towards which the fumes were gently blown. Directly this was finished an examination was carried out in the usual manner, when it was found that the aura presented different colours on the two sides, and then as the subject turned slowly round, the lines of demarcation apparently corresponded with the median lines back and front. The aura on the right side still retained its blue colour, but on the left it was red-brown and opaque. The colour was very peculiar, and certainly contained some admixture of others. With the c.c. bands the shade on the left side was darker with the blue, red, and yellow, but lighter with the green. This last colour was especially noticeable in the extensions of the band beyond the body, pointing to its presence in considerable quantity. Through the screens the hues were dissimilar on the two sides. (See table 5, series 1.)

Exp. 2. An European lady with a strain of Malay blood in her veins, showed an aura of a blue grey mixed with white, giving it an opaque appearance which is by no means uncommonly seen through the different coloured screens, but is rare to the naked eye. With the arms akimbo, the aura in the intervals between the arms and the body exhibited more green than round the body, and this colour was even more in evidence with the various coloured screens, through which the aura appeared of a grey-green colour, instead of the more usual blue-grey. (See table 5, series 2.)

Fumigation of iodine on the left side turned the colour to a red-brown, while the aura on the right side remained unaltered. The difference between the

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Blue & Green.


Blue & Green.
After fumigation with
Brown with little red.


Very fine blue.

Blue & Brown.

Green‑blue & little Green.

Blue & Brown.

Yellow & Green.

Green & Violet.




Red & Green.

All the colours

Red & Green opaque.
After fumigation
were the same with

Green & little Blue.
with Iodine.
the addition of red.

Green and little Blue.

Green & little Blue.






Colours unaltered

After the fumigation
through the different

with Bromine.


Green & Blue.





Reddish Green‑grey.


After fuming with

Grey‑blue, opaque


Blue & Green.



Blue & Yellow.

Violet & Blue.

p. 112 p. 113

two sides was very obvious. Examined through the different screens, the only alteration detected on the left side was the addition of red, which was especially marked when the red and orange screens were used. The effect of the chemical upon the size and shape of the aura was curious and interesting. The outer aura remained unchanged, but the inner receded from the body, giving rise to an appearance resembling an unusually wide etheric double. The inner was also undoubtedly diminished in breadth and less distinctly striated. Especial note was made of the fact that the two auras were obviously contiguous.

When a small amount of bromine is substituted for iodine, the alteration produced upon the aura is not always identical. Sometimes the haze will become a pure blue, at others an opaque green, while occasionally there seems to be an intermediate stage, when the colour is a mixture of blue and green without any blending. These chromatic effects were exhibited in the following three examples, in which the preliminary preparations were as nearly alike as possible.

Exp. 3. The aura of a tall well-made young man, twenty-three years of age, when facing the observer, with his hands on his hips and his elbows extended, looked bluish, but after the left side had been fumigated with bromine, the colour of the interspace was an opaque green, while the aura on the right side continued unaltered. Examination through the different screens showed the hue on the left side to be green, while the aura on the right side retained its normal colour. (See table 5, series 3.)

Exp. 4. B.F., a woman three and twenty years old possessed a wide well-shaped aura, of the ordinary blue colour mixed with a little grey. Fuming bromine was held near the left side of her trunk, and the aura on that size turned an azure blue, corresponding to the darkest shade in Rowney's specimen chart of

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paints. The inner seemed less distinct although its striation remained intact.

Exp. 4. D., a woman twenty-nine years old, manifesting undoubted signs of Raynaud's disease, had her aura on the left side fumigated with bromine. The colour, which was previously a blue-grey, became a pure blue mixed with green, the two colours not blending.

Until recently variations in the colour changes induced by bromine were attributed to some unknown differences in the auras themselves. This has been found to be incorrect, as the haze appears first to turn green, then blue and green, and finally becomes blue, according to the amount of bromine used. Unquestionably the aura of one person requires a much larger quantity of vapour before it arrives at the final blue stage than that of another. This may, perhaps, be due to idiosyncracy, but it is probable that the health factor must also be taken into consideration.

The above peculiarities of bromine were discovered accidentally. On one occasion a much larger quantity of the chemical than usual was inadvertently employed for the fumigation of an artist's model. The vapours were so abundant that the evaporating dish had to be carried immediately out of the room, but on the way it was held for an instant near the woman's side. Some of the gas reached her right side, which was unprotected, and of course there acted upon the aura, though to a less extent. No thought was given to the result, as it was taken for granted that the whole aura would be of the same colour, whether blue or green. Directly the examination commenced, however, a great contrast was noted on the two sides, the right being an opaque green and the left a blue. A further test was undertaken at the very first opportunity to corroborate this observation. The subject chosen was a perfectly healthy woman thirty years of age. Her left side was slightly fumigated with bromine,

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while the right was protected. The aura, previously a blue colour, changed to an opaque green. Subsequently it was dosed bountifully with the vapour, when it turned a blue of quite a different shade to the natural colour. After each of the applications, the aura was examined through the various screens, and in each instance showed considerably more green than before.

It is worth remarking that bromine is the only vapour which has been found to produce dichroic changes in the aura, though further investigation will probably discover other substances with similar properties.

As modifications in the colours of the aura take place upon exposure to the action of bromine and iodine, it would indeed be strange if their congener chlorine did not possess some similar influence, which was found to be the case, though contrary to expectations, this element was less active than the other two. The aura in every case without a single exception, when treated with chlorine, turned more opaque and a yellow green, the tint, however, not being identical with the one produced by bromine.

Exp. 6. A woman had chlorine applied to her left side. The gas was generated by the usual process, viz., the action of sulphuric acid upon a mixture of salt and di-oxide of manganese. The colour of the aura which was originally blue, now changed to an opaque green. Examination through the dark carmine screen showed that the inner aura had lost distinctness and striation, and could only be detected with difficulty. For the other changes noted, see table 5, series 4.

A green shade is the easiest to produce, and has been found when the aura has been acted upon by ammonia, carbonic acid gas, or the fumes of strong hydrochloric acid, as well as by chlorine or bromine.

It may with justice be objected, that the vapours

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did not act directly upon the auras, as has been supposed, but that the skin was influenced and through it the auric forces, making the change of colour secondary. To obviate as far as possible this error, an artist's model was asked to resume her shift, and her side was then fumed in the usual manner with iodine. After disrobing, a result identical with the previous experiment was seen to have been produced. As in all these tests only a small quantity of the chemical was used, the greater part could never have been near the garment, and any of the vapour which did come into contact with it would, probably on account of the temperature, be deposited as a solid, so that, if by any chance some of the gas did permeate the meshes of the material, it must have been a very minute quantity. The chemical would afterwards have to traverse the air-space between the shift and the body, thus making the amount of iodine that could have possibly reached the skin so infinitesimal, that its action might be absolutely ignored.

It was always noted that when one side of the body had been treated with iodine vapour, the aura turned a red-brown, and this colour was confined to the same side, being limited by the middle lines of the body back and front. The other side remained either unaltered or changed in a different manner.

The next step would naturally be to apply the vapour to the spine. A few drops of the tincture of iodine was placed in an evaporating dish, warmed until fuming, and then moved down the spine of a patient twice, keeping as accurately as possible to the centre. The result was that the aura turned a red-brown, the colour being equally distributed on the two sides. This even distribution always took place when a large or moderate quantity of the chemical was employed.

The aura of a healthy woman was a blue-grey, the colour being exactly the same on the two sides of the

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body. Her back was fumed by passing an uncorked bottle of Tinct: Iodid: Fort: rapidly down, but not touching, the spine once. No change in the aura could be detected on the left side, while the colour on the right became the red-brown usually seen as the effect of this vapour.

This last experiment has been repeated a good many times upon different people, varied only by the quickness of the movement and the number of times the bottle was passed down. The results were:—with slow movements or when repeated several times, for the auras on the two sides of the body to be equally or nearly equally affected; with one, or at the most, two quick passages of the bottle for one side to remain unaltered, and the other to become a red-brown; and lastly, the aura on one side became the usual red-brown while the other was only partially converted, retaining more or less of its original colour. These results corresponded to the extent of fumigation. The deep colouration occurred as many times on the right as on the left.

In considering the effects of electricity upon the aura it was thought that the ozone might possibly have determined some of the alterations observed. For this and other reasons many experiments have been tried with this agent. The gas was generated by means of an ozone tube connected with the large Wimshurst machine. Sometimes the patient stood so that one side alone should be influenced by the gas, and at other times both sides were alternately exposed to its agency; again at other times the subject was made to turn round several times slowly so that the whole body might be affected as evenly as possible.

A colour change was observed in every instance, and in many cases the haze became more distinct and sometimes more opaque. The hue attained was a red-brown, not very unlike that produced by

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iodine. The alterations caused by ozone were not exactly alike on every occasion, but generally the differences could be explained as depending upon either abnormalities of the aura due to ill-health, or the direct effects of electricity.

K.E., aged thirty-two had a very good shaped aura, the colour of which was a blue-grey, but, when looked at through the deep blue screen, mixed with a small amount of yellow. She leaned over the ozone tube placed upon a chair, the inner tube only being connected with the electrical machine. No colour change was induced. Both tubes were then excited. The aura then turned a red-brown. On the opposite side the aura became more opaque and a whitish tinge was superadded to the original colour. Subsequently she stood upon the insulated stool, and was negatively charged and a few minutes later was examined again, when the outer aura was round to be enlarged in the usual manner. There was no further alteration in the colours, as the left side remained a red-brown, while the right was an opaque grey-blue.

Although static electricity had never so far been noticed to cause any alteration of colour, vet, as it was thought advisable to eliminate any chance of this change being overlooked, the air was first charged as above described.

It seems curious that when one side of a patient had been exposed to ozone, there should be any alteration of the aura on the other side of the body. but this phenomenon has been frequently found to occur. The same effect has often, only to a less extent, been noticed when applications of other chemicals have been made. At first it was thought that it might be caused by a minute trace of the gas reaching the opposite side. This supposition was, however, negatived by the application of a very small amount of the gas, which gave rise to no extra opaqueness and no heightening of the blue colour. The

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difference of the two colours on the two sides remained after the subsequenting charging proved that electricity had no action in inducing the colour change. The only explanation that can be offered is the asymmetry of the aura. (See page 209).

Attention must now be directed to the changes in the aura that can be brought about (1) voluntary efforts upon the part of the subject, and (2) suggestions to a subject in a hypnotic state.

In the investigation of the effects due to volitionary efforts, several essentials are necessary to ensure success. The patient should have well marked outer and inner auras; must be in good health; ought to take an intelligent interest in the subject; possess great powers of concentration; and, lastly, have perseverance if not at first successful.

Case 24. The first favourable opportunity occurred during the inspection of the aura of a young woman G., just under twenty ears of age, whose development had been delayed. Her case was interesting on account of the rapid growth of her aura, which in less than eighteen months had increased in breadth two inches by the side of her waist. Her natural functions had been established, and she looked a picture of health. Her aura was very distinct, perfect in shape, and even in brightness all over the body and showed no signs of rays—in short an ideal one for the purpose. Before commencing the experiment, she was allowed to see how the aura emanating from the tip of one finger could be voluntarily extended or diminished, and she was asked to reproduce the phenomenon in her own case. In this she almost immediately succeeded, and was then requested to try and induce prolongations from various parts of the body. The first place chosen was the crest of the ilium, from which, theoretically, rays should not unfrequently be observed to originate, though in practice, are rarely seen. In about half

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a minute the inner aura on the selected part commenced to look brighter and then to gradually extend outwards and upwards as far as the external margin of the outer aura. The girl then relaxed her efforts, and the ray rapidly receded.

The next point chosen was on the lower part of the thorax, while she was standing in the same (position, viz, facing the observer. Rays of all kinds (page 52) and also patches of light are not uncommonly seen in this part. The result was unexpected, as instead of projecting outwards, the whole of the inner aura from the sixth rib to the crest of the ilium became bright without any extension, constituting, in fact, a large pseudo-ray. The two shoulders were the next spots selected. Here there did not seem to be any difficulty, as the rays manifested themselves almost immediately, running upwards and outwards.

The patient now turned sideways, and concentrated her efforts in the projection of a ray from the tip of her nose. The ray appeared at once, and stretched out seven or eight inches, and was actually prolonged beyond the limits of the visible outer aura. As by this time the girl was evidently becoming tired, she was requested as a last experiment to emit a ray from one of her nipples. This she did immediately, but the whole of the inner aura in front of the breast became brighter.

It has already been pointed out that the aura over prominences of the body is by far the most susceptible to external influences, owing to the fact that the auric potential is greater on points than on plane surfaces. It is only natural to suppose that volitional efforts would produce better results at these points. The above mentioned experiments taken in conjunction with many other similar ones prove the correctness of this supposition. But in coming to this conclusion it must not be forgotten that the concentration of the mind on a given spot chosen

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for experimental purposes is comparatively easy, when a distinct portion of the body is selected, but the difficulty is increased when a small area in the midst of a large plane surface is chosen. In every instance it has been noticed that as the subject becomes weary, the power of concentration is lessened, and the effects usually produced diminish in intensity and become diffused.

In the above instance when a ray was desired from the nipple alone, the inner aura round the whole breast was also affected to a less degree. Had this effect been confined to a single instance, the diffusion might have been attributed to fatigue, but the same experiment has been repeated by different women always with the like result, even though the patient may have been quite fresh. The phenomenon is probably due to the intimate physiological connection between the gland and the nipple, which prevents the one from being affected without a corresponding change in the other.

As soon as the investigation had proved that the emission of rays from the inner aura was, at any rate to some extent, under the control of the individual, the enquiry was naturally pushed in the direction of voluntarily induced colour changes, which, it was thought, might prove not merely of great interest, but of considerable importance in the support of the theory advanced in chapter vi., viz, that colour alterations were frequently the foundations of the lighter and darker patches seen in the complementary coloured bands. In order to carry out the necessary experiments, the services of an artists' model, who was the subject of many ordeals until she emigrated, were requisitioned.

Case 25. A widowed woman, twenty-seven years of age, the mother of two children, had her aura examined in the ordinary manner. It was distinct and of a grey-blue colour. As she faced the observer,

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the outer aura surrounding the head and trunk was about ten inches in width, but narrowed a short distance below the level of the pubes and became four by the ankles. When she turned sideways, the aura in front of her trunk was five and four inches lower down. At the back it was four inches by the shoulders, bulging outwards until it became eight inches at the small of the back. It contracted suddenly just below the buttocks to four inches, keeping nearly the same width down the extremities. The inner aura was three inches by the head and trunk, and a little less further down. The complementary coloured band showed only one patch on the sacrum, otherwise was even all over the body. With her hands resting on her head, the extensions of the band by the sides of the body were alike on the two sides. As she stood facing the observer, with hands upon hips and elbows extended, the auras in the inter-spaces were similar in colour and density on the two sides. She was in excellent health, but, as might be surmised by the shape of the aura, of a hysterical temperament.

It was thought advisable to commence with attempts to project rays from different parts of her body. This she accomplished without much difficulty, but as the experiments differed from the ones quoted in the last case by only minor variations, they will not be described. It is worth recording, however, that the first ray took longest to appear, while each successive one was more and more prompt, until the last one flashed out almost instantaneously. She could perceive her own aura easily, and see rays quite distinctly, sometimes even before the observers.

She was now directed to make attempts to induce colour changes in the aura. As the use of colour names would have introduced not only an unavoidable source of uncertainty and error, but also a factor of unknown importance involving additional strain

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and probably the waste of a considerable amount of energy, precision was obtained for any instructions given, by drawing the woman's attention to any object, e. g., a book, of the colour required.

Exp. 1. As she stood with her hands upon her hips, she was first requested to make the aura in the left space of the same colour as a certain red book (darker portion of crimson alizarine of Rowney's specimen sheet of colours). *

In about a minute she said, "she could see the aura change in hue, becoming a scarlet red, but could not make it the same colour as the book." Afterwards she pointed out scarlet-vermilion as the colour attained. The observer's impressions were as follows: At first there was no alteration in the aura, both sides being alike; soon an indefinite and almost indescribable change took place, and ultimately the whole aura seemed to vanish, leaving the space black; the haze then re-appeared and disappeared two or three times, when the space became red-grey (grey and vermilion), instead of being as at first a blue-grey. At the commencement of the change only the inner aura was affected, and the part nearest the axilla was decidedly the most coloured and densest portion. The woman was asked to maintain the altered condition until the black background could be exchanged for a white one, to allow of examination with the complementary coloured bands. With the blue complementary coloured band the right extension preserved exactly the same hue as it had prior to the experiment, but the left extension was much darker with the blue and yellow complementary coloured bands, while with the red it was at first darker and, as the subject became fatigued, lighter. In order to eliminate errors due to uneven illumination, she was turned with her back to the observer, but

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this made no difference in the colours. It is interesting to notice that on two or three occasions, different observers have seen and remarked upon the disappearance and return of the aura as above described.

Exp. 2. She was now requested to change the aura on the right side to a blue colour, which she accomplished with comparative ease. The colour attained was the darkest shade of permanent blue. After raising her hands and placing them on her head, the aura on the right side continued blue, while on the left side it retained the red tint (experiment i) even down the thighs and legs. The effect produced by the different colours on the two sides was weird and bizarre in the extreme.

Exp. 3. While standing with her hands up, she attempted to alter the colours of the aura on the left side to yellow. She said "she could plainly see that colour," but for the observer, although the hue had changed somewhat, it never became a true yellow. The nearest colour on the chart was the darkest shade of Roman ochre. Of the colours red, yellow and blue, she found the last the easiest, and the yellow the most difficult to produce.

Interesting as these experiments undoubtedly are, they were considered only as a prelude to the following, which, not so striking, are more valuable. The chief aim all along was to obtain a coloured ray emanating, not from any projection of the body, but from a circumscribed area, part of a large plane surface. For this purpose certain new conditions were necessary, first that the aura surrounding the ray should not be affected in any way, or at the most to only a slight extent. This meant that the subject should be able to concentrate his or her mind upon a very limited area. A second condition was that the rays should issue at right angles from the body and proceed straight towards the observer. In all probability this would cause the ray to be invisible in the ordinary

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way, as the skin makes a bad background. And lastly that the subject should be able to keep the ray constant for sufficient time to permit a critical examination with several complementary coloured bands.

The writer, aware of the many inherent difficulties, was agreeably surprised at the results of the first trials, which were not a little due to the painstaking efforts of the model, who before they were finished, was beginning to lose the power of concentration from sheer weariness. Her power of perceiving the coloured rays was of the greatest assistance, as she could give the signal when to look for them.

Exp. 4. A small area, half on the breast and half on the sternum, was chosen for the first trial, and the model was asked to turn the aura at this place red. Within a minute she said "she could see the spot red," while it still remained invisible to the observer. However, with the complementary coloured bands a patch was seen darker with the yellow, but lighter with the red.

Exp. 5. In the next test the woman was asked to emit a red ray from a small space over the abdomen, not exceeding an inch in diameter, without mentioning or otherwise indicating its exact position. As soon as she was ready, the abdomen was examined with the blue complementary coloured band, and the spot, a little above and to the left of the umbilicus, was immediately detected, and the writer placed his finger upon the exact centre of the place, over which the change had been produced.

Exp. 6. Mrs. A. then attempted to alter the hue of the aura over an unknown place on the thorax, choosing yellow for the colour. When she was ready the spot was searched for by the aid of the blue complementary coloured band. A patch about two inches in diameter, darker than the rest of the band, but not clearly defined, was discovered upon the upper half of the left breast, and the writer put his

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finger on the centre of the dark patch. This, instead of coinciding with the middle of the place upon which she was concentrating, was only on the edge of it, about half an inch from the true centre. The diffuseness of the colour change evidently arose from fatigue.

The effects of suggestion while in a hypnotic state will now be considered. The differences between these effects and the phenomena recorded above is by no means as fundamental as might have been imagined, since in the one case, the results are brought about by the individual's own efforts, while in the other an outside suggestion is accepted and put into force. In the hypnotic state the objective mind has been cut off from the outside world, allowing the subjective mind to exert more active control. The writer believes he is stating the point correctly, but confesses that his main interest centres in the physical aspects of the results obtained.

Dr. A. Douglas suggested that it might be interesting to ascertain whether changes take place in the aura during hypnosis, and with this object brought a lady who had kindly consented to place herself at his disposal for the necessary investigations.

(Case 26.) A thorough examination of Miss X.'s aura was made prior to any experiments. Her outer aura was spatulate in shape, rather broader above the shoulders than usual, but had no other peculiarities. The inner aura was a little wide. Striation could be easily seen, but by the right side of the thorax and in the small of the back was coarse. The blue complementary coloured band in these regions was darker, which was also the case on the left side of the thorax between the sterno-xiphoid and subcostal planes, following the contour of the ribs.

Exp. 1. Dr. Douglas induced a hypnotic sleep of the first degree. The outer aura diminished in size round the body and became less distinct, while the inner, although retaining its natural width, was by no

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means plain. Above the shoulders both auras were increased in size and clearness, but striation was less marked. The inner aura could be clearly seen above the head, a rather unusual circumstance as the hair greatly interferes with its recognition. Directly Miss X. was roused from her lethargy, the auras commenced to return to their normal state, which was reached in a few minutes.

Exp. 2. Dr. Douglas then put her into a cataleptic state, as she stood facing him. Her left arm was lifted and her hand placed upon her head. The condition of her aura was the same as in the last experiment, except that the inner was much brighter and more opaque round the arm and hand, where also no striation could be detected. The moment she was recalled, the aura quickly regained its original condition.

Exp. 3. She was now passed into the trajectory state. Almost immediately the inner aura all over the body disappeared, leaving a dark void space nearly two inches wide. (Compare page 91.) Just outside this empty space the outer aura was massed, looked opaque and at the same time contracted. Nothing remained visible in this dark space through the deep carmine screen. When the screen was laid aside and the room darkened, a bright ray was observed proceeding from the patient's left elbow towards Dr. Douglas, who was standing about two feet away. This ray was nearly three inches wide and quite straight. Near its termination it spread out a little. As soon as she began to revive, the inner aura commenced to return, but had not completely regained its normal condition before another test was initiated.

Exp. 4. The last experiment was repeated. The inner aura was greatly diminished, but did not this time completely vanish. The outer aura was in the same condition as during the last experiment. Suddenly the inner aura increased in brilliance, and

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coincidently the woman regained consciousness, although not recalled by Dr. Douglas.

During the time Miss X. was in the hypnotic sleep, if a hand was held near her body, the mutual attraction was not as strong, nor did the aura turn as bright as usual, while the interval before any change could be detected was considerably longer than under ordinary circumstances.

A week later Dr. Douglas brought the same lady a second time for investigations with coloured screens in the various stages of hypnosis.

Exp. 5. Miss X.'s aura was inspected and presented the same appearances found at the preliminary examination described on page 125. The details of further examination with coloured screens are set forth in the table. (See table 6, series 1.)

Exp. 6. Hypnosis of the first degree was induced. For general details see page 125. For screen colours sec table. (Table 6, series 2.)

Exp. 7. Dr. Douglas, without rousing her, then passed Miss X. into the trajectory state. The larger portion of the inner aura had vanished, but what remained was investigated through blue and violet screens and presented quite a different colour to the outer aura. While the inspection was in progress, a sudden change came over the auras, both becoming brighter, more especially the inner. Dr. Douglas said that she was returning to consciousness of her own accord, without having received any instructions from him. He had scarcely finished speaking before she was full awake.

Exp. 8. As Miss X. was standing in the same position, during examination through the dark blue screen, Dr. Douglas, without the writer's knowledge, again induced a hypnotic state of the first degree. An immediate alteration in the auras was noticed, and while it was being described to him, Miss X. passed into the trajectory state. This, too, the writer

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Normal. 1A.

Blue. 0A.

Greenish Red.









Yellow & Violet.

Yellow & Violet.


1st stage of hypnosis.





Yellow, Blue, and Green.
Bright Blue.

Violet Blue.


2nd stage.






Blue & Red.
Blue & Red.


Arm flaccid.
Aura less plain.





Greenish yellow.


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instantly discovered. As normal consciousness returned, the auras increased in brilliance.

Exp. 9. Miss X. was next sent into a hypnotic sleep, and a suggestion was made to her that one arm was flaccid and could not be moved. It was placed in the same position as in the previous experiments, only her hand was supported against her hip by her garments at the waist. She was then awakened. The experiment was devised to imitate as far as possible complete paralysis of a limb.

The auras, especially the inner in the space between the arm and the trunk, were not as bright as those on the other side, which were normal. The colours as seen through the screens are noted in table 6, series 4. Immediately permission was given to move the arm, the auras reverted to their normal condition.

Exp. 10. The subject now stood with her hands resting on her head, and while in that position the aura was again inspected, and found to be normal. Without putting her to sleep, Dr. Douglas made passes along the internal surface of the upper arm and forearm, in which region alone the aura became less conspicuous but did not completely depart. This portion was also devoid of sensation, as was demonstrated by pinching or pricking. As soon as the passes were discontinued, sensation gradually returned, and the aura became tari 5assu normal.

It is very interesting to note that there was no such intensification of the aura round Dr. Douglas' hand, while he was making the passes, as is generally seen when the motions are imitated by other people.

Exp. 11. Miss X. when in her waking state was requested to change the colour of her aura, either locally or on one half of her body. The result was a dismal failure. She was afterwards put into a hypnotic sleep, and was instructed to alter the colour of the aura on the left side to red. She was unable to do this, but after some time the aura turned a dirty grey-ochre.

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[paragraph continues] Miss X. was then asked to make the aura on the right side blue. This she accomplished tolerably well. When she raised her arms. there was a contrast between the colours of the aura on the two sides. When she was turned, it could be seen that the auras on the two sides were dissimilar, and that the lines of demarcation were the vertical median lines back and front. This was what might have been anticipated.

Exp. 12. She was next desired to tinge a small portion of the aura on her chest yellow. This little patch, invisible to the naked eye, when examined with the blue complementary coloured band, showed up instantly. These experiments demonstrate that Miss X., in her natural state, had no power whatever to change the colour of her aura, but when in a hypnotic state, was, to a slight extent, capable of following the instructions given to her.

On a third occasion Dr. Douglas brought another lady who kindly offered her services for experimental purposes.

Mrs. Y.'s aura was examined in the usual manner, and was found to be well shaped, wide, and blue. The outer aura was of average distinctness, but the inner barely reached the standard of clearness for health, although striation could be easily seen. There was a well developed ray proceeding from her right shoulder upwards to the limits of the outer aura.

Exp. 13. While this lady was facing the observers, Dr. Douglas sent her into a slight hypnotic sleep. The outer aura then diminished in brightness and showed a tendency to mass just outside the inner. This latter did not contract, but became less marked.

Exp. 14. She was now passed into the trajectory state. Both auras became still more indistinct, but neither completely vanished. During the time she was in this condition, a ray proceeded from her left elbow and reached to the crest of the ilium.

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Exp. 15. A suggestion was then made during her sleep, that the aura over the left side should separate from the body so as to leave an interval between it and the body. The aura showed no change on the right side, but on the left side, in response to the suggestion, seemed to contract and to mass about six inches from the trunk, but left no void space between the body and the aura, and whenever Dr. Douglas ceased prompting, it immediately returned to the same state as on the right side. A curious phenomenon occurred during the experiment. viz., that the aura on the right side turned a brighter blue while the left took on a greenish hue. Directly Mrs. Y. became conscious, her aura regained the natural shape, but the colour alterations persisted for some time. It was noticed that this lady's aura did not disappear during hypnosis to the same extent as Miss X.'s under similar circumstances. Another interesting fact was elicited. When a hand was held close to the subject's body during hypnosis, the rays proceeding from the observer's fingers were normal, but the subject's aura did not respond with the usual alacrity or to the same extent as when she was in her normal condition.

Exp. 16. Mrs. Y. was next given a negative charge from the small Wimshurst machine while standing on the insulated stool. Her auras were greatly diminished but never quite obliterated. Afterwards, when she was charged with positive electricity, the whole aura disappeared. In both cases the return to their natural condition was slower than usual.

Exp. 17. Mrs. Y. was next requested to make an attempt to turn her aura red on the left side. There was certainly some little alteration in the right direction, but it was not very definite. This was a fair result for a first attempt, and there is little doubt that she could have succeeded if she had practised for a short time.

Dr. Douglas proposed that she should be hypnotized

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and the experiment be then repeated. Under these conditions a change to purple, not red, was obtained. She was next instructed to turn a small spot on the chest red. The colour changed sufficiently to be detected by means of the complementary coloured hands. A second trial was made during the same sleep. This test was more successful as the patch could be distinguished by the unaided eye as having a different colour. She also complained of having a peculiar sensation at the affected spot.

The greater portion of this chapter has been devoted to a comparison between the aura and the hazes that surround certain inorganic substances, and to the effects produced by various agencies. It is now necessary to see how far the details collected can assist in the recognition of the force or forces generating the aura, and the differences of these from other forces. But in order to allow a comparison to be made, it will in the first place he necessary to outline the main characteristics as far as known of the forces underlying the phenomena connected with the aura.

The force or forces that give rise to the human aura are probably generated in the body itself. It seems hardly possible that the two auras can be the products of one force, when it is recollected, firstly that the inner aura is striated, and that its margin is fairly well defined, and that it is frequently prolonged into rays passing into or even through the outer aura without any concomitant alteration in the latter. Again occasionally in disease, the inner aura disappears locally in toto, or what is more common, leaves a partially void space. This empty space, when it does not include the whole width, is situated close to the body, superficially resembling a very broad etheric double, while the residue of the inner aura may retain its lineation, or may become granular. In none of these cases does the outer aura invade the territory of the inner, but it may be simultaneously

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affected. The inner aura can be made to vanish by artificial means from every part of the body, leaving a void space, as when acted upon by electricity or by a chemical. (See pages 91 and 113.) Secondly, the outer aura is entirely nebulous with an indefinite distal margin, its visible proximal edge coinciding with the outer border of the inner aura. The presumption that there must be more than one force concerned, is thus further strengthened by the crenated appearance of the inner aura and the phenomena associated with the production of rays. Were both auras produced by one and the same force, it would be reasonable to expect that the outer aura would also show a tendency to adapt a wavy outline, the results of varying activities in adjacent areas, and would also participate to some extent in the production and emission of rays.

Thirdly, the outer aura is more developed round the trunks in females from the age of puberty upwards than in males, and there is no corresponding increase or modification of the inner aura.

It must, therefore, he concluded that there are at least two forces at work, one of which, that originates the inner aura, may be called the inner auric force, or shortly I.A.F.; and the other that gives rise to the outer aura, the outer auric force, or O.A.F. Even should it he eventually proved that the two auras are only two different manifestations of one and the same force, for practical purposes it will probably be advantageous to treat the subject as if two forces were present.

I.A.F. apparently acts intensely across a very circumscribed area, and the distribution of lines of force can be easily detected, and the part of the aura in which these lines are made manifest has been termed the inner aura. Whether I.A.F. affects the aura beyond the visible striated portion is unknown. If not, the division is a natural one, otherwise it is

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empirical. On the whole this force is distributed fairly evenly over the whole body, but the breadth of the inner aura by the sides of the trunk shows that it must be rather more powerful in that situation than over the limbs. Although continuous the force is not constant, as projections in the form of unstable rays are common, and these beams are continually changing their positions. * They pass through the outer aura, but their transit cause no alteration outside their direct route. This is so easily modified by any local affection of the body, as to make the inner aura an extremely sensitive tell-tale, even though the deranged tissues may be some distance beneath the surface. It is, also, more or less under voluntary control; its activities being more easily augmented than inhibited.

O.A.F. has certainly a wider range of action than I.A.F., and shows no visible indications of lines of force. As one result of its action is produced round the whole body a nebulous haze, which displays greater range in size, shape, and texture than does the inner aura, and whose outer limits are impossible to determine accurately. At times this outer aura must reach out a considerable distance, especially when accompanied by an ultra-outer aura, or when it has been expanded after the dissipation of a communicated electric charge. Compared with the inner aura, it is far less under its owner's control, which has indeed only been demonstrated in the case above recorded

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of a lady in the hypnotic state, and in a few instances in which more or less complete colour changes were produced by voluntary efforts. Even these changes always commence and are more evident in the inner aura.

Different states of ill-health, either general or local, react upon the forces and indirectly on the two auras, altering them, but not of necessity in the same manner. With a local affection it is by no means uncommon for the inner aura to lose all its striæ and to be transformed into a denser and more opaque mass, of a different shade or colour to the adjacent portion, or its striæ may become coarse and in appearance quite unlike the fine lines of health. Occasionally a space utterly devoid of inner aura may be seen. Whenever a change takes place over a large portion of the body, the inner aura may or may not be correspondingly narrower on one side than the other. When a contraction of the inner aura takes place, it is accompanied by some modification of texture, and constantly by further ill-defined changes, which will be referred to later on. The outer aura varies less than the inner. Its colour, texture, and distinctness may change, but as a rule the chief alteration is in breadth; it contracts but never entirely vanishes, except under the influences of some external force artificially applied. Pathological changes, involving large portions of the body or affection of the nervous system, may cause wide-spread alterations of this aura, which in certain circumstances are diagnostic. The outer aura may be contracted while the inner retains its proper breadth, but the converse does not occur, as the outer never maintains its normal size after the inner has shrunk. *

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The writer has been repeatedly asked whether the origin of the aura is electric or magnetic. Although he himself at first believed in the electro-magnetic origin of the phenomena discussed in this book, he was particularly careful to return very guarded answers, and preferred, in the absence of exact knowledge, to designate the forces concerned as "auric"—a term involving no claim to any real understanding of their nature, cause or action. As soon, however, as attempts were made to identify the auric forces with either electricity or magnetism, difficulties arose.

Consider, first, the case of magnetism. The haze round a magnet possesses polarity which, as before mentioned, can be demonstrated by placing two horseshoe magnets close to, but not touching, each other in the same plane. On rotating one, it will be found that the haze between the magnets is brighter when dissimilar poles are in opposition and vice versa. On the other hand, by no known means can magnetic polarity be shown to be a property of either aura. The outer aura is uninfluenced by a magnet; the inner is acted upon by either pole in precisely the same manner, and seemingly with the same intensity, and no repulsive or inhibiting power has yet been discovered. This alone is sufficient to demonstrate that auric and magnetic forces are not identical.

Again it would have been expected that if the auras were of electro-magnetic origin, they would have shown local and general disturbances or inequalities referable to the amount and distribution of surface electricity. That such do not occur has already been pointed out, and it has not been found possible to establish any relation between the natural surface electricity and the aura; in addition to which the nature of a communicated charge makes no apparent difference in the effects produced.

It has been suggested that the aura is due to radioactivity. The conjecture appears to the author to be

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very improbable, in fact almost impossible, but he feels that unless some reference is made to the subject a certain number of readers will consider that one possible origin of the aura has not been studied.

Radio-activity is to a slight extent a universal property of matter, and it would be astonishing if the human body showed no traces of the phenomenon. For the comparisons between the human aura and the mist surrounding a radio-active body, it will be needful to employ some substance possessing the property to a marked degree. Uranium salts seem to be as suitable as any.

The cloud enveloping a crystal of uranium nitrate differs from that round a magnet, inasmuch as it is irregular and composed of rays which run out to the margin, and are more numerous where the haze is widest. It does, indeed, bear a superficial likeness to the inner aura, which, moreover, it attracts and is attracted by. Probably all resemblance stops here. Radio-activity is due to the disruption of atoms, and is met with to any appreciable degree, only in certain elements with the highest known atomic weights, which, if they occur at all in the human body, are present in the very minutest traces. Iron (Fe—55.9) is the element with the highest atomic weight which is at all plentiful in the body. It, however, is possessed in ordinary circumstances of none of the properties under consideration. It seems, therefore, impossible that the aura should be caused by the radio-activity of the elements which enter into the composition of the body, and the difficulties in accepting such an explanation of its origin become insuperable when it is considered that in life the aura is to some extent under voluntary control, while after death it disappears entirely.

Whatever the true nature of the auric forces, there can be no doubt that the phenomena to which they give rise are intimately connected with and dependent

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upon the activities of the central nervous system, as the following examples will show:

1. The electric brush applied to the spine produces instantaneous enlargement of the aura, while applied to the median line of the body in front it has no effect. (See page 102.) The reason is obvious, as the spinal cord and the large nerves proceed from it near the surface at the back, and can be easily stimulated, but there are no great nerve centres near the front. The same effect is produced by holding the brush close to the forehead.

2. Changes in the shape and size of the aura occur as results of severe nervous disease, e.g., epilepsy, hysteria, hemiplegia, and when fully developed remain constant; while if due to a transient nervous disturbance, such as sciatica, herpes zoster, etc., on recovery the aura gradually returns to its normal condition.

3. All kinds of impairment of mental powers automatically causes a diminution in size and distinctness of the aura, which is also narrower in the weak-minded. These facts afford support to the contention that the higher brain centres are intimately concerned with the output of auric force.

4. When a patient becomes faint the aura loses a good deal of its brightness and is reduced in size. The changes are probably the result of temporary nervous exhaustion.

Temperament, or the sum total of the mental and physical powers of individuals, has already been noted as exercising a great influence upon the aura—an influence mainly proportional to the mental endowment. The aura is affected not only in volume, but also in quality, as is illustrated by the coarse-grained, grey auras of dull and unintelligent people. It is unnecessary to enlarge further on the existence of an intimate connection between the central nervous system and the aura, a better understanding of the

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nature of which will prove the key to the solution of many problems.

Answers are also required to many questions, such as the causes determining the actual shape of the normal aura, and the sexual differences; the mechanism of the discoloured patches seen with the c.c. bands; the nature of the striæ of the inner aura, and the changes associated with granulation, etc. At present little more than the descriptions of observations actually made can be attempted.

This is, perhaps, a good place to answer an enquiry constantly made, as to the existence of the aura round a dead body. Although inspection of a corpse has always been repugnant to him, yet the writer has on several occasions made such an examination, but has in no instance observed any trace of an aura. It is only right to state that in each case several hours had elapsed since death. The time of the departure of a human being has always been felt too solemn an occasion to be occupied with experiments, however pregnant with interest.

The disappearance of the aura is only what might have been expected in view of the results obtained in hypnotic states, and the diminution of distinctness seen when a patient in a bad state of health is examined.


91:* The time required for electrification to induce the changes described, varies on different days in the same subjects, and also with each individual.

104:* A greater degree of accuracy may be obtained by attaching three or four small thin pieces of ebonite to the upper surface of the disc of the electroscope for the proof plane to rest on, thus allowing the distance between the disc and the proof plane to be always the same.

105:* As the skin, unless moist, is a very poor conductor of electricity, the increase of potential on points is not present as is the case with conductors.

123:* The names of all the colours mentioned in this book are taken from Rowney's sheet of colours.

135:* These rays afford a solution to a problem that greatly puzzled the writer when he was experimenting with mechanical means for the detection and measurement of N rays. The difficulty was that sometimes a large deflection of the recorder was obtained, too great in fact for measurement, even though the rays encountered obstacles of the most diverse nature, while at other times, under the same physical conditions, the results were negative. It can now be easily understood that a deflection took place whenever one of these rays fell upon the needle, and that when no ray was present the needle remained stationary. The writer ceased experimenting along these lines after having come to the conclusion that whatever the issue might be, there seemed to be no prospect of its being useful for diagnostic purposes, as he had at first hoped. Directly he held in his hands the means the aura could be made visible and submitted to examination, he felt that better and more comprehensive could be obtained by studying the seen rather than the unseen.

136:* Case 42 is, up to date, the only apparent exception to this statement, and in all probability would have been found to comply with the rule, had not the presence of an ultra-outer aura rendered impossible the exact determination of the outer limits.

Next: Chapter VI. Complementary Colours