The Aura

The human aura and its basic structures
Many books about the aura present themselves as if an aura looks a certain way regardless of who is watching. That is not correct, the way the healer, perceives another persons aura or energy field depends on several factors:
  1. The training of the counsellor. The aura will be perceived differently according to the training and form of meditation that the seer is using.
  2. Interference. The way the aura is seen depends on the degree of interference or contact between the involved parties.
  3. Training of the observed person
  4. The appearance of the aura is finally also dependent on the training the client is practicing.
Jes Bertelsen*: Energy and Consciousness

*Jes Bertelsen was our foremost teacher together with Bob Moore in regards to healing and the aura. Jes Bertelsens Vaekstcenter has just opened a website (in danish) here:

How the aura is perceived
  1. The etheric focus: If a healer his or her self development primarily has been using the chakra system, which is a system of reference with a strong etheric focus, he or she will learn to experience and scan the whole energy field in different more or less clearly differentiated qualities or vibrations.
  2. The astral focus: If the healer in his self development primarily has worked with dreams, catharsis, inner astral guides etc, he will most likely see the personality as a continuity, a potential for development in a homogenous often egg-shaped structure.
  3. The mental focus: A healer who is using a praxis that is primarily based on meditation, primarily mentally trained, will more radically turn towards the multi-dimensionality of the human consciousness and energy field. He will discover the inherent tendency in energy to circulate, return. A healer with a meditatively trained consciousness will see the aura as fundamental circulations.
  4. The spiritual focus: If a healer is working solely with the spiritual dimension, he might perceive the aura as being a result of a basic tension or polarisation between the essence-point (the original face), and the physical, represented by the contact with the earth. This mandala-form is found in the Christian mysticism, in alchemy and in some eastern spiritual techniques.
Edited from Jes Bertelsen: Energy and Consciousness
Heisenberg's famous law of Quantum physic, The principle of uncertainty: The more we emphasise one concept on aQuantum-physical object, the more uncertain the other concept will be. For example, if a particle is measured exactly in regards to its position, this particle does not have a well-defined momentum (mass times speed). Jes Bertelsen suggests that this law also work in connection to auric consciousness.
If we tune in to another aura, For example about a position, (a point or a blockage), the functions (for example colour, vibration, quality) becomes vague and vice versa. If the function is determined, the position becomes vague. The conclusion is that both the quantum physicist, and the observer / healer are influencing the observed.
Edited from Jes Bertelsen: Energy and Consciousness p.43
The principle of uncertainty and the ability to see auras. The principle of uncertainty is important to understand as these phenomena's have caused many contradictions and misunderstandings in books about the human energy field, and in people's subjective experiences.There is, on the other hand, also a risk that people seeing auras can misuse this principle of uncertainty, and justify a plain subjective haphazard vision, claiming that my intuition or sensitivity says this or that, and then this subjective statement is made an infallible source of wisdom, even if it perhaps not so uncommonly is a fantasy, escape, wishful thinking. It is not only in connection with the basic structures of the aura, that multiple ways of interpreting the seen exists. There is a principle of uncertainty at work in the very connection between the consciousness of the counsellor or healer and the energy dimension and the aura of another person. When a person meditates (in the real sense of the word), upon an energy field of another person, another way of functioning, another dimension of consciousness will open up.
When the information from this dimension is translated or is transformed into the language and dimensions of the normal consciousness, the principle of uncertainty is at work.
It is similar to a situation when a three dimensionality is to be reproduced two dimensional, [as for example when drawing a scenery from nature], it can only happen via artificial means like perspective, colour tones, twisting of structures etc. This does not mean that there is less clarity or accuracy on the healer's behalf. On the contrary, any added dimension will add clarity and information.
Edited from Jes Bertelsen: Energy and Consciousness
The law of resonance: If an object vibrates at a certain rate of vibration,
Everything in its vicinity that has the same vibration as a latent possibility will start vibrating at that frequency. This law for example also explains why we have to exercise caution when reading peoples auras.
When reading an aura, Remember Maybe the information you intuitively perceive is real in itself, is objective, but you are not objective, the situation is not objective. Your attitudes, your atmosphere The client's attitudes and atmosphere, how your atmospheres harmonise on conscious levels and on unconscious levels, all that adds or subtracts to your clarity and ability to go deep.

A fundamental issue in reading auras is ouer underlying understanding of what is. There are two opposite ways we can look at what is, Either we can start from the fact or belief that everything originates in God, that there is an original unity. The concept that all there is have retained more or less of the connection with this original unity, Or we can start from the observable fact that we have a physical body, and look at what else we have got, including the fact or belief that we connect with God somehow. Unity with God: Starting from the unity with God and moving towards the physical leads to a description of the original divine being encapsulated in sheath's more or less alienating the being from the divine. The physical: Starting from the physical leads to a description of auric layers of more and more spiritual nature. Which of these options we choose has deep consequences for our way of handling life.

* Rudolph Steiner is an important western source of information about the aura, but his description of the aura differs, and in order not to make it too complicated here, we focus on Yogananda and Osho.

The description of the aura from the body and out, is the model that easiest links in to ordinary dreams,various types of psychotherapy, and alchemy. The description of the aura and its sheaths, from the Divine to the physical is the model that clearest reflects the true dynamics of the forces that affect us, Not the ego but Spirit is the stronger.

the 5 sheaths of the human aura

The Human aura and its 5 sheaths:

  1. The bliss sheath or Causal
  2. The intellect or discriminative sheath (part of the astral)
  3. Mind or Manas (part of the astral)
  4. Life sheath or Prana (part of the astral)
  5. Gross matter, physical

We consist of three bodies: Causal astral and physical, and 5 sheaths:
The sheaths or koshas
divide these three bodies up in five layers Sheath's or koshas - screens of delusion.
The stages of being that are separate from God are referred to in yoga as sheath's or koshas.
All creation is encased in one or more of five koshas. These are screens of delusion, each of which, in descending order, obscures to a greater degree the real cause and essence of all creation, God.

The five koshas are:

  1. The bliss sheath
  2. The intellect or discriminative sheath
  3. The sheath of the mind, manas
  4. The life sheath or prana
  5. Gross matter.

The bliss sheath is that which covers and causes the causal world and body of man. The three sheaths of intellect, mind, and life are the coverings of the astral universe and astral body of man.The matter sheath manifests as the physical universe and body of man.
Edited from Bhagavad Gita
translated by Yogananda p. 62 - 63

From Spirit to matter

[…] As this consciousness flows outward from the causal body into the astral body, and then into the physical body, Drawn by the magnetism of sense attachment to matter, the fine expression of original cosmic consciousness becomes increasingly deluded and gross, losing its true Spirit nature.
Pure blissful intelligence or wisdom becomes discrimination. Discrimination distorted by the limitations of sense impressions becomes the blind whim-led mind. Expressing even more grossly, mind becomes life without cognising power. Life becomes inert matter.
Edited from Bhagavad Gita
translated by Yogananda p. 62 - 63
Sheaths or koshas
Inert minerals are enlocked in all five sheaths. With the unfolding of the matter sheath, the life sheath is revealed, and the resulting manifestation is the life in plants. When the life sheath is unfolded and the mind sheath becomes manifested, the animal kingdom is expressed. (Animals have perceptions and consciousness, but not the intellect to discriminate between right and wrong.)
When the mind sheath is unfolded, and the discriminative sheath is revealed, we have the manifestation of intellect or man, with the ability to think, reason, and guide his actions by discrimination and free choice.
When man rightly uses this discriminative power, the discriminative sheath is ultimately rolled back and the bliss sheath is revealed. This is the state of the divine man, with just a thin veil of individuality between himself and God.
Edited from Bhagavad-Gita
translated by Yogananda p. 63 - 64
The Causal body, Or the bliss sheath
To be grounded in the bliss sheath or the causal body, means to love God. To be ungrounded thus is to mistake the transient for the eternal. The Causal body lends its name from the fact that the lower sheaths, the astral sheath and ultimately the physical sheath, is created from the blueprint and the impulse that is the causal body. For the average person, the distance from the physical body and to the bliss sheath is 1 meter. The state of bliss can be described as a feeling of being home, really home.
To be really home refers to the conscious contact with God; so there is, even at this high level, a very subtle separation from God.

Meister Eckhart
, a Christian mystic, says in a discourse on prayer: Thank you. That should be sufficient. […] A perfect person will be so cleared of self, so wrapped in God, so obedient to His willing, that his joy will be in the escape from himself and from mortal concerns, and in consciousness of nothing but Divinity […] He wants only what God wants, and want it Gods way.
Meister Eckhart, here from
Self Realization Fellowship Magazine, winter 2000
The astral body or aura
The astral aura contains and is interpenetrated by several sub-levels or layers of which the following 3 sheaths are significant:
  1. The discriminative sheath, or Intellect
  2. The mind sheath, or Manas
  3. The life sheath, or Prana
These sheaths describe together with the bliss sheath or Causal body, the eternal part of the human being interpenetrating the etheric double is the astral body, the vehicle of emotions, desires and passions - it is chiefly the brilliant ever-changing radiations of the astral body that clairvoyants perceive in describing the aura.

The astral body is in its turn interpenetrated by a more refined and subtle structure, termed the mind or mental body, the vehicle of thought, usually visible to seers as a golden nimbus encircling the head.
Ousley: The science of the Aura

The astral body is very weak, fragile, it has no tolerance. It does not want pain, but only pleasure and joy, and it always tries to sneak off in order to avoid suffering. However, there is no escape and pain is inevitable
Swami Shankarananda Giri:
Kriya Yoga Darshan, Theory and Practice
The discriminative sheath or Intellect: This sheath extends approximately one foot (30 centimetres) from the physical body and is reflecting to which degree the individual understands spiritual laws.

Your good habits help you in ordinary and familiar situations, but may not suffice to guide you when a new problem arises. Then discrimination is necessary.
Man is not an automation, and therefore cannot always live wisely by simply following set rules and rigid moral concepts. In the great variety of daily problems and events, we find scope for the development of good judgement.
Paramahansa Yogananda, here from Spiritual Diary
To be grounded in the discriminative sheath implies that there is coherence between observation and understanding. If there is resistance, rejection or denial of the observed facts, the consequences are rigidity, unbalance and ungroundedness on this level.
Bhagavad Gita says: Competing […] are two opposing forces or magnetic poles: discriminative intelligence (buddhi) and the sense conscious mind (Manas) […] Buddhi (the discriminative sheath) draws its right discernment from the super conscious of the Soul. […] Thus Buddhi intelligence draws the consciousness towards truth or the eternal realities, Soul consciousness or Soul realisation. There are several sub levels within the discriminative sheath itself and between the discriminative sheath and the next sheath towards the physical, the mind sheath or Manas. One can say that the higher archetypes serve as a bridge between these sheaths, as illustrated in the myth about Hercules' 12 tasks. The star signs in the zodiac and the planets in the solar system belong to the discriminative sheath.

The mind sheath, or Manas: Manas, the sense mind, is the subtle magnetic pole turned outward toward the world of matter. Manas, the sense mind, the subtle magnetic pole turned outward toward the world of matter, is the pons Varolii (part of the brain stem), which physiologically is ever busy with sensory coordination. Thus Buddhi intelligence draws the consciousness towards truth or the eternal realities, soul consciousness or self-realisation.
Manas or sense mind repels the consciousness from truth and engages in the external sensory activities of the body and thus with the world of delusive relativities, maya. […] “The mind (Manas or sense consciousness) gives coordination to the senses as the reins keep together the several horses of a chariot. The body is the chariot; the Soul is the owner of the chariot, intelligence is the charioteer; the astral body or aura; the senses are the horses.
The mind is said to be blind because it cannot see without the help of the senses and intelligence. If intelligence is governed by Buddhi, the pure discriminative power, the senses are controlled; if the intelligence is ruled by material desires, the senses are wild and unruly.
The Bhagavad Gita
Translated by Paramahansa Yogananda (p.5-6)
The mind sheath, or Manas: Mind is the creator of everything. You should therefore guide it to create only good. If you cling to a certain thought with dynamic will power, it finally assumes a tangible outward form. When you are able to employ you will always for constructive purposes, you become the controller of your destiny.
Paramahansa Yogananda, here from Spiritual Diary
To be grounded in Manas or the sensory mind, means to be open for sense impressions, sense awareness. To be ungrounded here means that the individual cannot distinguish between plain sense impressions and fantasy, memory or attitudes. Most people are not very grounded here, and what often is described as the emotions, desires and passions (Ousley) of the astral aura, is a consequence of the confusing and often opposing agendas that often rules us on this level. The archetypes as illustrated in good Tarot decks major arcana can be used as a tool for healing work on this level of consciousness. Two examples of good decks, the ones we are using, are Oswald Wirth and Arthur Waite's decks. The distance between the physical body and this part of the aura is approximately 2 inches or 5 centimetres.

The life sheath, or Prana: The term Prana refers to that which is infinitely everywhere
With reference to us humans prana can be described as something that flows continuously from somewhere inside us, filling us and keeping us alive, it is vitality. Ancient texts […] tell us that someone who is troubled, restless, or confused has more prana outside the body than within. The amount of prana outside the body is greater when we feel unwell; at those times the quality of prana and its density within the body is reduced. Too little prana in the body can be expressed as a feeling of being stuck or restricted. It can also show as a lack of drive or motivation to do anything; we are listless or even depressed. We may suffer from physical ailments when prana is lacking in the body […]
On the other hand, the more peaceful and well balanced we are, the less our prana is dispersed outside the body. And if all the prana is within the body, we are free of these symptoms.
T.K.V.Desikachar: The Heart of Yoga p. 54

Interpenetrating the physical body is the etheric counterpart or double. […] it is the vehicle of the life-forces which flow into man from the outer world - from the atmosphere, the sun, planets, cosmic rays. It vitalises and sustains the physical body. The health body, the etheric, is the main distributor of prana. It is also itself of the opposite sex of the physical, and therefore carrier of the main challenges in our dealings with the opposite sex. The aura is […] an unfailing guide to the health condition. In sound health the vital rays or streams into the auric atmosphere imparting to it a clear, radiant brilliance; in failing health the colour tones are dull and dark, whilst disease is indicated by nebulous spots or patches over the part affected.
Edited from: Ousley: The Science of the aura

The life sheath is almost totally identical with what is termed the etheric aura.
In the road map here presented it belongs to the astral aura, and as such it is both physical and eternal, non-physical at the same time. The tantric Master Osho says that it normally takes the etheric sheath 3 days to vaporise and disappear after death. The life sheath can be seen sitting closely around the physical body as a bluish smoke. It is the blue-print for the physical body or matter sheath, forming and creating the growth and changes of the body during the development years, as well as providing the physical body with life and vitality.
To be grounded in the life sheath means to be in good health and to have a healthy lifestyle. It seems that for most people it is the reality that we live relatively unhealthy, ungrounded in the life sheath. The nadis belong to the life sheath and may be seen as myriads of brilliant tubes of energy.
Disease is said to be of physical origin when it results from the wrong living, working, or climatic conditions, the spread of infections etc. Disease which results from the wrong mental, emotional and spiritual outlook and consciousness is of non-physical origin.
Health is the true condition of man's spiritual being an aspect of the all-pervading life itself. It is a normal inherent power and may be said to be a law of the great Creator for all things in manifestation, for every conscious entity. In its source Health is spiritual and absolute, and cannot separate from its own nature nor identify itself with that which is not of the same rate of vibration as itself.
S. G. J. Ousley:
The Power of the Rays: The Science of colour Healing

The physical body The matter sheath, The temple of God: One day your body will be burnt and reduced to ash; don't be attached to it. However, without a body no knowledge is possible, so use your body for God realisation.
Mahavatar Babaji, here from Dr Shdema Goodman:
Babaji, Meeting with Truth

Real life auras From Barbara Brennan Hands of Light p.105
how different auras look

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