The Human Atmosphere, by Walter J. Kilner, , at sacred-texts.com
THE structure of the aura must now claim attention. It will, as might be expected, be found to be a composite not a simple phenomenon, and can be separated into three well defined divisions, with a fourth added for convenience. The names given to the different parts are respectively the Etheric Double, the Inner Aura, and the Outer Aura, while the fourth constituent is termed the Ultra-outer Aura.
The Etheric Double. Very soon after the aura had been detected one feature attracted attention, which at first sight was regarded merely as an optical illusion, but on further investigation proved a reality. This is the Etheric Double. It may be frequently seen through different coloured screens as a dark band adjacent to, and following the contour of the body, separating the latter from the true aura. Commonly it is from one-sixteenth to one-eighth of an inch in breadth, rarely more, keeping an uniform width all round the body. In disease this space will sometimes look much wider, but then it is presumably a pathological condition, and probably not identical with the natural phenomenon. The size varies with different people, and also with the same person under altered conditions. Occasionally it is so conspicuous that it can be seen at the most transitory glance; at other times a very careful examination is requisite for its identification, while not infrequently a special screen is imperative. In instances where there is a difficulty in distinguishing it, the aura proper is apparently in close proximity
to the body, but even then careful observation will generally disclose a difference in structure, the details of which can be elucidated by means of coloured screens.
Experience has shown that people who most commonly show the etheric double plainly, are patients with a neurotic tendency, in whom the aura does not quite attain the average standard of brightness. Should the aura be more distinct on one side than the other, the etheric double is sometimes more pronounced on the fainter side, and may be only detected with difficulty on the brilliant side. The following case will exemplify these conditions.
Case 17. X.E., a girl eighteen years old. Her aura for her age was wide and spatulate, (page 162), showing a trace of the ultra-outer aura, which was more distinct by the lower limbs, thus making the shape to appear almost normal. This partial ultra-outer aura has only been seen a few times. The usual hysterical bulge was conspicuous at the back. The outer aura measured ten inches by the head and trunk, and was contracted sharply at the upper part of the thighs, and diminished to four and a half inches at the ankles; viewed sideways it was six inches in front, and at the widest place, viz., the small part of the back, ten inches. The inner was striated throughout, but on the left side was by no means as bright as on the right, where it was normal. The etheric double, about an eighth of an inch wide, could be seen at the first glance all down the left side, but on the right and in front it could only be detected with great difficulty. At the back from the level of the shoulders to the middle of the gluteal region it was twice as broad, and from thence down the left thigh it resumed its previous width.
The simple experiments detailed below should be now undertaken with a subject showing a well marked etheric double. Complete success may not be obtainable
at any given sitting, as undetermined conditions not infrequently exercise an influence. For this reason considerable time may have to be devoted to the experiments, but since the results are at present only of theoretical importance it will not be necessary to obtain them for diagnostic purposes.
Any portion of the body can be utilized, but perhaps the most convenient part is the arm and hand, as the investigation is longer than most people care to remain uncovered. The arm and hand offer a further advantage—the observer can, with very little trouble, employ his own. As soon as the subject has been placed in a suitable posture, it will be advisable for the observer to sensitize his eyes in the usual manner with the dark dicyanin screen.
Exp. 1. Inspect the arm and hand of a subject held in front of a black background through a dark blue screen. The etheric double will then appear as a dark band without any striation or granules, adjacent to the body and quite distinct from the aura proper.
Exp. 2. Replace the black background by a white one, and regulate the light accurately. The etheric double will then be perceived as a dark line.
Exp. 3. Employ a green instead of a blue screen. Against the black background the etheric double will be seen as a dark line, but not so clearly as when the blue screen was used. The aura, too, will be visible but less distinct.
Exp. 4. When the same screen is used with the subject's arm before a white background, in a subdued light, the etheric double is dark.
Exp. 5. If a yellow screen be next chosen, the etheric double will remain dark against either a light or a dark background.
Exp. 6. Frequently when examined through a dark red screen the etheric double will continue a black band round the body, similar to, but more
defined than when other screens are used. Occasionally it will appear, instead of a void space, finely granular with a tendency to striation, but even then differing greatly in colour and texture from the inner aura.
Exp. 7. When the etheric double is examined against a white background through a deep carmine screen with the light properly arranged, it may become a rose colour, quite different to the carmine tint the white background has assumed. When carefully looked at this will appear lineated, and the fine striae to be the source of the colour.
The use of coloured screens has been found to be absolutely necessary for the detection of certain constituents, as well as the elucidation of some of the attributes of the aura, so that a few words on the action of the different screens will not be out of place, although the digression may appear very elementary. Since all the colours behave in a similar manner, red alone will be considered in detail.
1st. Upon looking through a dark red screen all white objects will seem red, red substances will become lighter in shade, and all the other colours are darker. This can be clearly seen if, in the ordinary daylight, a piece of white and a piece of black paper be placed side by side, and across them is laid a strip of red paper of a moderate shade, half on the one and half on the other. When this arrangement is examined through a deep red screen the red paper will be found to have lost nearly all its colour, and the contrast between it and the black paper will be increased. On the other hand the strip and the white paper will approximate in colour.
2nd. Keep the papers in the same position and view them through the pale red screen. The red paper will then have a darker tint, but the contrast between it and the white paper will remain unaltered, each having gained proportionately more red colour.
Theoretically, the red paper ought to show out more against the black, but the result depends upon the purity of the black.
Should the red paper have a very dark shade, the contrast between it and the black paper will remain unchanged, while that between the red and the white papers will be lessened.
The reason for these effects is obvious when it is recollected that white daylight is composed of all the colours of the visible solar spectrum, and that an object appears white when it reflects the whole of these colours in the proper proportions, but becomes coloured when it reflects a portion of the spectrum, absorbing the remainder. In the majority of cases a coloured object absorbs a limited amount of light, so that it reflects its own coloured rays with the addition of more or less white light. The shade depends upon the proportion of the white light mixed with the coloured rays, and is really a quantitative expression. If the white light which is being reflected by the coloured object has those rays, that are similar to the ones absorbed by the object, abstracted by any means, then the object will have a darker hue. This is what is done by the coloured screens.
As daylight is limited in quantity, a dark red screen will absorb the whole of it, with the exception of the red rays which are transmitted through it to the eyes. These rays are also limited in quantity. The white paper in the above experiments reflects practically all the daylight falling on it, including the red rays. These are the only rays not absorbed by the screen, consequently the white paper when seen through the red screen must appear red. The red paper, if not too dark, reflects the red rays mixed with a large proportion of others that are absorbed by the red screen. The red and white papers appear similar in colour when viewed through the red screen,
because the former absorbs a portion of the white light which, had it been reflected, (as it is by the white paper), would have been absorbed by the screen. When a pale red screen replaces the dark one, all the red rays will be transmitted with the addition of a large quantity of the remaining rays of the spectrum, so that the red paper will have its colour intensified by being observed through this screen. It will be necessary to bear in mind that the light red screen will act precisely in the same manner in a dim light as the dark does in a bright. When these experiments are repeated, the results may not be exactly as described, on account of the differences in the colours used, and the amount of light employed, but the principle will remain.
One other experiment is needed. If a red hot coal, either in the dark or in the light, be looked at through a red screen of any shade, the red colour of the coal will appear intensified, as it is self-luminous, and thus colour is added to colour.
It is a fair inference to draw from these experiments, that the etheric double is quite transparent, and surrounds the body closely. When observed under very favourable conditions it is distinctly striated with delicate lines of a deeper hue than the encircling and apparently homogeneous stroma. It is probable that the whole of the etheric double receives its tint from these coloured lines. The hue is a beautiful rose, which certainly contains more blue than there is in carmine. It is difficult to understand how this rose tint can be seen against a white background coloured with the carmine screen, and as yet there is no satisfactory explanation forthcoming, unless the etheric double be self-luminous, or some phenomenon with the ultra-violet portion of the spectrum be involved.