Psychological Change in the Human Aura: Prologue

The Aura in Daily Experience

by Gary Seeman, Ph.D. (retired)

You know someone who seems to suck the air out of the room and others who lift the spirits of everyone around them by their mere presence. How does this happen?

You feel as if you’ve been intimate for years, but you’ve just met. Conversation is so easy! Years later, you wonder where the magic went in that relationship.

A close friend is grieving his mother, who just died. But before he received the news by phone, she appeared to him so clearly it startled him, and she smiled.

A man has three waking visions that he’s on the roof of an enormously tall building, terrified. It’s a scene he’s never encountered, and he’s not afraid of heights. At the time he thinks this symbolizes his scary health problem. It’s June of 2001.

A woman struggles with the compelling strength of an addiction that suddenly takes over, despite her resolution to quit.

Someone tells you the holy man has blessed the apple slices by the door as you’re about to enter the home where he’s staying. As you swallow, your heart is melted by an intense, soft love that comes from below the depths of your mind, and you dissolve into tears. A few minutes later, he nods at you from across the room, and you’re moved by the same, melting love. Then you’re a foot away from him, in direct eye contact, and you feel nothing unusual.

Whenever you visit your family, you all find yourselves enacting the same painful dramas. It’s as if feeling takes over and thinking isn’t strong enough to withstand this.


You may have had some of these experiences. I’ve had most of them, including the waking visions suggestive of 9/11 (and I’m okay now). Such experiences suggest a mysterious connection between people, even at a distance of space and time. This series of articles explores that mystery. It revisits the old idea that there are subtle energies in the light of current scientific evidence. And it explores such experiences as phenomena that behave as one would expect energies to behave.

Because of experiences like the ones above and many that are more directly compelling, I have been interested in this idea since 1975. As I investigated further, I found I was able to develop some abilities to perceive such intuitions and that, paradoxically, doing so isn’t a worthy goal in itself. My doctoral research led me to find scientific confirmation of subtle energies and parallel observations across many spiritual traditions.

As a psychologist, I believe an energetic understanding of the human biofield, or aura, helps to unify previously disparate observations from different schools of psychology. I also believe an energetic understanding of our thoughts, feelings and sensations can lead to insights in understanding the compelling intensity of some experiences, the ways they steer our behavior and our sense of who we are. Knowing this may help us better understand and predict the energetic principles just described, including the steering effects of behavior and thresholds at which change is achieved. Such knowledge could guide more effective treatment. I also believe it is time to overcome prejudices about people who experience subtle energy phenomena and instead help them better understand their lived experience.

In the papers that follow, I offer a model of psychological change in the human aura. I’ll revisit some of the anecdotes above so you can relate the theoretical discussion to your own life experiences, including some you may not have considered “energetic.” I’ll also explore the scientific evidence and a tendency to believe science is at odds with subjectivity instead of seeing these as complementary ways of knowing.

I approach this subject as someone with an open mind who’s still learning about it. These papers are my way of exploring the model and thinking it through. I welcome your suggestions and comments and invite you to accompany me on this journey.

For the next article in this series, please select this link.

3/7/10 version