There are many human energy fields. These include the physically measurable electromagnetic and magnetic fields generated by all living cells, tissues, and organs, and the body as a whole. But there are also biofields—subtle or putative fields emanating from these pulsing units of life— as well as our subtle energy bodies, channels, and aspects of self. Here are brief descriptions of the most important human biofields.
In biology, a morphogenetic field is a group of cells that leads to specific body structures or organs. For example, a cardiac field becomes heart tissue. Scientist Rupert Sheldrake, in the early 1980s, was the first to label a learning field that instructs the scientifically recognized ones, calling them the energetic or subtle morphogenetic or morphic fields.
Sheldrake suggested that there is an energy field within and around a morphic unit— the physical developmental unit of what later becomes a tissue or organ—that forms it. All living organisms—from cells to people—that belong to a certain group tune in to the morphic field and through morphic resonance develop according to the programs within that field. Resonance only occurs between forms that are similar, so a monkey would not take on the characteristics of a plant. According to Sheldrake, these energy fields serve as a database as well as a mental form.
Sheldrake’s theory seeks to explain why members of a family pass down certain behaviors and even emotions and why species might share common characteristics and developmental patterns. Various studies have also shown that even when separated, members of certain species acquire similar traits or behaviors, a puzzle that can be explained by morphogenetic fields. Subtle in nature, they are not limited to time or space. This theory would portray DNA as the recipient of information from human energy fields through the subtle body, which instructs it to act in certain ways.
Grandpa’s musical gifts might be then carried on to grandson via morphic fields rather than DNA. Morphic energy fields may instruct the epigenetic makeup, the chemical storage houses.
Sheldrake’s philosophy also holds that past life memories could pass from lifetime to lifetime through a soul’s morphic energy field. These memories would be nonlocal in nature and therefore not anchored in the brain or a particular life.
The word etheric is often used as a substitute for the terms subtle body or aura. There are actually independent etheric fields around every vibrating unit of life, from a cell to a plant to a person, as well as a specific etheric field that is connected to the body, as described under “Special Human Energy Fields” below.
The term etheric is a derivative from the word ether, which has been considered a medium that permeates space, transmitting transverse waves of energy.
When associated with the entirety of the auric field, it surrounds the whole body, hence why it’s a pivotal part of the human energy field.
As a separate energy body, which is a more substantial and popular view, the etheric body links the physical body with other subtle bodies serving as a matrix for physical growth. As Barbara Brennan, a contemporary expert on the aura, suggests, this human energy field therefore exists before the cells grow. Lawrence and Phoebe Bendit say the same of the auric field, asserting that it permeates every particle of the body and acts as a matrix for it.
Dr. Kim Bonghan links the etheric body and the meridians, suggesting that the meridians are an interface between the etheric human energy field and the physical body. The etheric body creates the meridians, which in turn form the physical body.
Special Energy Fields
There are many different biofields that regulate various mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical functions and these correspond to various parts of the subtle body. The following list of biofields is based on the work of Barbara Ann Brennan and others.
Physical field: Lowest in frequency. Regulates the human body. Etheric field: Blueprint for the physical structure that it surrounds. There is also an etheric human energy field for the soul. Emotional field: Regulates the emotional state of the organism. Mental field: Processes ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. Astral field: A nexus between the physical and spiritual realms. Free of time and space. Etheric template: Exists only on the spiritual plane and holds the highest ideals for existence. Celestial field: Accesses universal energies and serves as a template for the etheric fields. Causal field: Directs lower levels of existence.
Scientists have been investigating—and substantiating—the existence of the aura, the human energy field that surrounds our entire body, for over a hundred years, adding to the knowledge our ancestors already possessed. This field consists of multiple bands of energy called auric layers or auric fields, that encompass the subtle body, connecting us to the outside world.
The aura has been known by many names in many cultures. The Kabbalists called it an astral light. Christian artists depicted Jesus and other figures as surrounded by coronas of light. The Vedic scriptures and teachings of the Rosicrucians, Tibetan and Indian Buddhists, and many Native American tribes describe the human energy field in detail. Even Pythagoras discussed the field, which was perceived as a luminous body. In fact, John White and Stanley Krippner, authors of Future Science, list ninety-seven different cultures that reference the human aura, each culture calling it by a different name.
Science has been actively involved in penetrating the mystery of the aura since the early 1800s. During that time period, Belgian mystic and physician Jan Baptist van Helmont visualized it as a universal fluid that permeates everything. The idea of the aura acting like a fluid—or flowing—as well as being permeable has remained consistent throughout history. Franz Mesmer, for whom the term “mesmerism” was coined, suggested that both animate and inanimate objects were charged with a fluid, which he perceived as magnetic, through which material bodies could exert influence over each other, even at a distance. Baron Wilhelm von Reichenbach discovered several properties unique to this human energy field, which he called the odic force, and would later be ascribed to the subtle body.
He determined that it shared similar properties to the electromagnetic field, which had previously been investigated by James Clerk Maxwell, one of the fathers of electricity. The odic human energy field was composed of polarities or opposites, as is the electromagnetic field. In electromagnetism, however, opposites attract. Not so in the odic field, where like attracts like.
Reichenbach also found that the human energy field related to different colors and that it could not only carry a charge, but also flow around objects. He described the field on the left side of the body as a negative pole and the right side as a positive pole, similar to the ideas of Chinese medicine.
These and other theories have revealed the aura to have a fluid or flowing state; to be comprised of different colors, therefore frequencies; to be permeable and penetrable; and to be magnetic in nature, although it also has electromagnetic properties.
Other research has underscored these subtle body theories and expanded one additional element of the auric human energy field: its connection to the inner sanctum of the human being.
For example, in 1911 Dr. Walter Kilner examined the aura with colored filters and a special kind of coal tar. He discovered three zones: a dark layer next to the skin, a more ethereal layer flowing at a perpendicular angle to the body, and a delicate exterior with contours about six inches across. Most important, the conditions of this “aura,” as he called it, shifted in reaction to a subject’s state of mind and health. In the early part of the 1900s, Dr. Wilhelm Reich furthered our knowledge of the human energy field and its qualities through experiments studying a universal energy that he named “orgone.”
During his studies, he observed energy pulsing in the sky and surrounding all animate and inanimate objects and beings. Many metaphysicians believe that orgone is equivalent to chi or prana. He also noticed that areas of congestion could be cleared to release negative mental and emotional patterns and thus affect change. This emphasized the connections between the subtle and the physical energies as well as emotional and mental energies.
Then in the 1930s, Dr. Lawrence Bendit and Phoebe Bendit observed the human energy field and linked it to soul development, showing that the subtle forces are the foundation of health. Their observations are mirrored and expanded by those of Dr. Dora Kunz, a theosophist and intuitive, who saw that every organ has its own field—as does the overall subtle body—which pulses with its own rhythm when healthy. When someone is ill, these rhythms alter, and problems can be intuitively seen in the field.
When Dr. Zheng Rongliang of Lanzhou University in China measured the flow of chi from a human body with a unique biological detector, he showed that not only does the aura pulse, but that not everyone’s human energy field pulses at the same rate or intensity. This study was repeated by researchers at the Shanghai Atomic Nuclear Institute of Academia Sinica.
Soviet scientists from the Bioinformation Institute, headed by A. S. Popow, actually measured the human energy field, or more specifically, the biocurrents manifested in the surrounding energy body. They discovered that living organisms emanate vibrations at a frequency between 300 and 2,000 nanometers. They called this field the “biofield” and discovered that people with a strong and widespread biofield can transfer energy more successfully. This research was later confirmed by the Medical Science Academy in Moscow.
A special form of photography is actually able to take pictures of the auric field. In the 1930s, Russian scientist Semyon Kirlian and his wife, Valentina, invented a new photographic process that involves directing a high-frequency electrical field at an object. The object’s pattern of luminescence—the auric human energy field—can then be captured on film. Contemporary practitioners are using Kirlian photography to show how the aura responds to different emotional and mental states, and even to diagnose illness and other problems. Medical science is now using a heat aura, as well as other imaging processes, to show the different aspects of the body’s electromagnetics.
One of the more compelling sets of studies in this area was conducted by Dr. Valerie Hunt. In A Study of Structural Neuromuscular, Energy Field, and Emotional Approaches, she recorded the frequency of low-millivoltage signals emanating from the body during Rolfing sessions. She made these recordings using electrodes of silver and silver chloride on the skin. Scientists then analyzed the wave patterns recorded with a Fourier analysis and a sonogram frequency analysis. The human energy field did, indeed, consist of a number of different color bands, which correlated to the chakras.
The following results, taken from the February 1988 study, showed color-frequency correlations in hertz or cycles per second:
+ Blue 250–275 Hz plus 1,200 Hz + Green 250–475 Hz + Yellow 500–700 Hz + Orange 950–1050 Hz + Red 1,000–1,200 Hz + Violet 1,000–2,000, plus 300–400; 600–800 Hz + White 1,100–2,000 Hz
While mechanically measuring the subjects, healer and aura reader Reverend Rosalyn Bruyere provided her own input, separately recording the various colors she intuitively perceived. In all cases, her renderings were the same as those demonstrated mechanically. Hunt repeated this experiment with other psychics with the same results.
But What Is The Auric Field?
We know it exists—but what is the auric field? Scientists including James Oschman, author of Energy Medicine, consider it a biomagnetic field that surrounds the body. As Dr. Oschman says, “It is a fact of physics that energy fields are unbounded.” This means that our biomagnetic human energy fields extend indefinitely.
Modern equipment can now measure the heart’s fields—the strongest of those originating from an organ—up to fifteen feet away. As for the aura’s job, science has determined that this magnetic field conveys information about events taking place inside the body, rather than on the skin. Its purpose is therefore vitally linked to our internal health.
The biomagnetic human energy field is composed of information from each organ and every bodily tissue. The heart’s currents determine its shape, as the heart is the body’s strongest electrical producer. The primary electrical flow is therefore established by the circulatory system. As well, the nervous system interacts with the circulatory system and creates distinct flows, seen as whirling patterns, within the field.
We cannot fully understand the function of the aura without knowing what it is made of—and we’re still working on that. Barbara Ann Brennan summarizes scientific research to suggest that it is made of “plasma,” tiny—perhaps subatomic—particles that move in clouds. Scientists propose that plasmas exist in a state between energy and matter. Brennan says that this “bioplasma” is a fifth state of matter. Rudolf Steiner, a brilliant author and philosopher, suggested that the human energy field is made of ether, an element comparable to a negative mass, or a hollowed-out space. We can only surmise, but perhaps the field is actually made of both electromagnetic radiation (specifically magnetism) and an antimatter that allows a shift of energy between this world and others. Thus the propensity of healers to deliver healing energy based on intention is a matter of creating enough intensity in the “here and now” energies to access an equivalency in the antiworlds. What we accomplish within our own field can be delivered like an instant message on the Internet to another individual’s energy field.
Barbara Ann Brennan proposes seven basic layers of the auric field. These graduate from the body, linked with each of the seven basic chakras. The chakras also attune to different subtle bodies, which combine to compose three basic planes. These planes are accessible through the auric fields.
Brennan is also able to intuitively perceive two levels beyond the etheric, which she calls the cosmic plane. She associates these with the eighth and ninth chakras. The eighth appears fluid to her, while the ninth is composed of a crystalline template.
The Twelve-chakra System And The Auric Field
The twelve-chakra system furthers Brennan’s ideas about an eighth and ninth chakra, as well as higher human energy fields.
Auric fields are graduating layers of light that manage the energy outside of the body. Auric fields connect to the chakras, creating a symbiosis between what happens inside and outside of a person.
The Seven Rays
The Seven Rays are the seven attributes of God. As a system, the Seven Rays explains that our subtle human energy fields act as transformers to convert high vibrational energies into form—the physical body. Every body contains the energies of all the rays, just as every physical body has chakras, but our particular soul and personality rays determine our potentials for strengths and weaknesses. This also means that energies affecting an individual’s subtle bodies can result in mental, emotional, or physical illness to the physical body.
The concept of the rays originated in Vedic literature, where they are associated with the seven rishis, advanced masters who acted as agents of the absolute.
Each ray has a different color, symbol, chakra entry and exit point, occult energy, and symbology specific to its role. Radionic practitioners frequently use the Seven Rays to augment their diagnosis and treatment of patients following a spiritual path.
The Assemblage Point: Clustered Energy Lines
The assemblage point modality describes a cluster of human energy field lines or strings that penetrate the subtle body at a particular point. While they are not part of the physical body, they immediately surround it, passing through the chest and out of the back. Each string is about one centimeter in circumference or less. The strings closest to the body are strongest and most intense; those farther away diverge and their energetic power diffuses.
Practitioners report that the entry point is quite tender and between one-half and one centimeter in width. Research using infrared digital thermometers and image scanners shows that this point is about 0.2 degree centigrade lower than the surrounding skin.
There are several theories supporting the existence of the assemblage point.
Paraphrased, these center on the understanding that we are composed of an oscillating energy field with an epicenter: the assemblage point. The form of this human energy field is dependent upon the location and entry angle of this point, and in turn regulates someone’s biological and emotional state. However, the position of this point is determined by the biological activity inside the body. By working with this point, we can positively affect our health and lives.
Highly negative situations, such as rape or financial ruin, can shift the assemblage point into a detrimental position, thereby causing physical and emotional upheaval. Childhood trauma and drama can prevent the assemblage point from even settling in a healthy position; it seems the point settles into a specific point at about seven years of age. The various shifted positions—too far up or down, to the right or the left—adversely affect the entire system, especially the brain.
Practitioners often use stone crystals or electronic gem therapy to shift and shape the Assemblage Point.
Our exploration of human energy fields has included the measurable and the subtle, as well as the universal. The excursion has incorporated natural and artificially created fields, as well as various human varieties. We’ve discovered that every living organism, from small to great, emanates and is affected by fields of energy that, in large part, create the foundation for life itself.
This article on subtle energy fields is excerpted from The Subtle Body by Cyndi Dale.
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