I get these from time to time, but I don't get the migraine headache. Just the light display. No black spot in the middle, but they blur my vision. They're a pain because I can't do anything about them. I just have to wait until they clear my vision so I can see again. Still, at least I don't get the headaches.
While sitting through one of these recently, I started wondering about the other kind of aura. The one many claim an ability to see around people.
There’s a good reason I don’t study auras. I can’t see them, and I have no way to test whether anyone else sees them.
Many people can describe an aura around a person, and the descriptions are consistent. Attempts have been made to photograph these auras but nothing has yet been convincingly shown. So, I don’t study auras.
That does not mean I dismiss them out of hand. It just means that, as yet, I can see no current way to test those who see them. I can, however, indulge in a thought experiment since it costs nothing but a little time and allows me to speculate on test devices that don’t exist yet.
Telepathy is an example of something that can be tested. I don’t think testing one telepath will do any good. I’d say you need two. There’s no reason to suppose a telepath could pick up anything I might try to send them, so no test where I look at something and expect the telepath to describe it can be valid. I’d be trying to ‘phone’ the message, when I don’t have a phone. Further, the guy with a phone, who didn’t receive the message, will get the blame.
So, take two telepaths. They can be in separate buildings. Take two copies of a set of a hundred random photos and give one copy to each. Tell them to sort them into whatever order they like, but that you want them both to come up with the same order. That’s a test, with results that can be statistically examined. All of the tests carried out so far are with one telepath, as far as I know. To me, that’s like Bell trying to test his first telephone before he’s built the second.
But how to test whether someone sees an aura? True, the human body does generate a weak electric field but I can’t see it. One possibility would be to take a group of volunteers, and four or five who can see auras. Let them examine the volunteers, separately and individually, and see if they all describe the same thing for each volunteer. The overall ‘aura’ description is well known so that doesn’t count. What you’d need to hear is that specific subjects showed colours, streaks, whatever – and they have to match.
Can it be faked? Sure. Card sharks can tell what you have in your hand by tiny markings on the backs of the cards. You don’t notice the marks, but the shark can spot them across the table. Suppose your group of aura-seers set up a code; “if the subject has a blue shirt, we all say there are red lines in his aura”, and so on. It doesn’t take many cues to make such a code. People can carry on semaphore conversations with only two flags each.
Even if they come from different areas of the country—or the world—the day before the test, it’s not possible to rule out a quick chat on the internet. So that test will never prove a thing, in that no matter how honest the experimenter and his subjects are, their honesty will be questioned. If there’s to be a way to test people’s ability to see an aura, it has to be controllable by the experimenter and cheat-proof.
First, you’d need to know what constitutes the aura these people see. Then you build a device that can generate the same thing. Starting with the body’s electric field seems reasonable to me. So you build a device that generates a field similar to that around the human body. Tweak and adjust until your subjects say they see an aura around the device. Now you have a test device, and can design a statistically-testable experiment.
The device must show no external indication whether it’s on or off. That will only be known to an operator who cannot see the experiment. Neither the subject, nor the experimenter taking notes in the room with the subject, have any idea when the machine is on.
At, say, fifteen-second intervals, the operator either turns the device on, turns it off or leaves it alone. The subject has fifteen seconds to decide whether there’s an aura or not. You’d need three runs with each subject: continuously on, continuously off and random on/off. Again, nobody but the operator knows which run is active. The operator can be a computer, for this kind of test.
Should this show that there are people who can see these electric fields as auras, then there’s a whole new study into just how they do it. Paranormal? Maybe, but there are precedents for such abilities in other species. Many marine predators ‘see’ electric fields and can track their prey using these fields. Some snakes, and some birds, detect infrared radiation and use it to track prey in the dark. How that information presents itself in their brains is unknown, but it is reasonable to assume that it’s overlaid on their overall view of the world. As what? An aura around the target animal?
Now, I know there are sceptics with the scoffometers turned up full at this point, but remember this is a thought experiment, not a claim. Remember I’m not actually talking about a paranormal ability, but an ability which has been demonstrated in other species but not, so far, in humans. Also, remember there are six billion people in the world. Are they all the same as you, with the same range of abilities as you? All identical?
I guess what you ultimately have to consider is, does evolution apply to humans or not? Are we, in terms of ability, six billion identical clones, or have a few mutants appeared from time to time, an occasional example of convergent evolution here and there? I’m not even asking ‘has it happened?’ at this stage. That question can’t be asked until after the thought-experiment device is really invented. I won’t invent it. As I said at the beginning, I don’t study auras.
I’m asking ‘is it possible?’