The following file was sent in anonymously because of the Masonic links. It
deals with aura viewing techniques which rely on sensitizing the eye by
looking through dicyanin coated ‘Kilner Screens’.
THE HUMAN AURA: F.J. REBMAN.
AMERICAN FREEMASON, NOVEMBER 1912
THE Fellow Craft, by virtue of the degree he holds, is permitted to extend
his research into the hidden mysteries of nature and science; in fact he is
expected to make the liberal arts and sciences his study, that he may the
better be enabled to discharge his duty as a Mason and estimate the wonderful
works of the Almighty. To the majority of Masons this has no practical
meaning and is passed over simply as an empty phrase of the ritual. I fear me
much that even the question of: “What and Who is God?” very rarely, if ever
enters the mind of the Speculative Mason. And yet it is an interesting
question, even though there is no likelihood that it ever will be answered by
mortal man. That is, perhaps, the reason why it appeals to so few.
If it were not for the discovery every day, so to speak, of new mysteries,
laws and conditions in nature by scientists, inventors and other searchers
for truth, God the Creator and Great Architect of the Universe would soon be
forgotten altogether. Even as it is, small credit is given to Him, praise and
admiration generally being bestowed upon the cleverness and ingenuity of man’s
mind, which, after all is only a faint reflection (in part) of the infinite
wisdom of the Almighty.
We know so little of the marvellous mechanism of the Universe that, when by
chance a new discovery is made we are astounded, indeed, but only for a little
while. The interest taken in it soon fades away, wonderment ceases and the
discovery passes into every day life as a matter of fact which requires no
further thought or consideration.
Take, for instance, the electrical spark. But a few years ago its powers,
although known to man to be of enormous value, lay unharnessed and unused.
Today science has put a bridle on this energy and has forced it into service
for locomotion, lighting, picture motion, for transmission of sound and of
messages by wire as well as by ethereal waves, etc. It is even made to reveal
the framework of man’s body and his internal organs by means of the Roentgen
I remember well how, in the earlier period of the nineties, when Professor
Roentgen had made his wonderful discovery, even scientists scoffed at the
idea. The possibility of seeing and even photographing the bones of the
living body was ridiculed. It was in February, 1895, that the X-rays were
found. In April of that same year I published in London the first number of
the Archives of Skiagraphy, now the Archives of the Roentgen Ray.
In order to meet the charge that the photographs (radiograms) obtained by the
aid of Crook’s tube, were genuine and not faked, I had the original negative
glass plates mounted on wood-blocks and used them, instead of half-tones, for
printing the illustrations by a process then known as “colotype.” Doubting
persons were thus enabled to examine the prints as well as the negatives for
any traces of faking or “retouching.” In this manner, definite proof was given
to the world of the reality of X-ray technic. Doubts soon disappeared and
Roentgenology has become an important branch of physical science and is today
a powerful adjuvant to modern surgery.
And so it is with every discovery. Mankind is forever in the dark as to the
wonderful mysteries contained in nature, until a fortunate fellow-being finds
and points out something new and startling, and successfully brings it to the
attention of the masses. We require a guiding hand in all our doings.
This refers to the life of the individual as well as to that of nations and
the world at large. Our whole life is a continuous course of object lessons,
a progressive school, as it were. We are forever learning new things, that
is, we absorb knowledge from what we see, hear, read or otherwise experience.
We hold fast in our mind that which appeals to our taste or to our capacity of
understanding, and make it a part of our knowledge. Things which we are
unable to grasp we pass by, perhaps with wonderment, or we laugh at them or
consider them a joke or sheer nonsense.
Take, for instance, the claim advanced by certain individuals, –
“clairvoyants,” – that they are able to see an aura around the human body.
How few people have taken this claim seriously!
Occultists, theosophists, profess to possess this power also. It comes to
them by virtue of faith in their religious cult and tenets. We shrug our
shoulders, perhaps pity the “poor deluded creatures,” and dismiss the subject
from further thought.
But now comes Dr. Walter Kilner, of London, and tells us that the human body
is surrounded by an atmosphere, just like the earth and the other heavenly
bodies which we call stars, and just like everything else in nature that has a
body, whether animate or inanimate. And he tells us that everybody can see
it, and that it is not necessary to be a clairvoyant, or an occultist, or a
theosophist to perceive it. All we have to do is to use certain mechanical
means, or, let us say, certain chemical screens or filters, such as he has
devised, follow his instructions, and the hitherto invisible will be revealed
to our corporeal eye.
In fact we shall find that to see this aura or atmosphere is simply a matter
of training our visual organs to adapt themselves to certain wave-lengths of
light which lie beyond the ultra-violet rays and for that reason have thus far
escaped the notice of the people at large, being only apparent to a few
(clairvoyant, if you wish to use the expression) persons whose eyes are
constructed by nature so as to be able to accommodate themselves to these
Dr. Kilner’s book reminds me of the man who, whilst walking along the street
suddenly espies an airship sailing through the sky. He stands still, gazes up
into space and watches the progress of the aeronaut. Soon a crowd gathers
around him and all are craning their necks in the direction in which he is
looking. You happen to join the throng and ask: “What is to be seen?” “An
airship,” says the small boy. “Where? I cannot see it.” “Just look a little
to the right of the top of that flagstaff on the hotel over yonder.” You stare
for a moment or two, and – there it is for certain. Your eyes have found the
Dr. Kilner says: Look through this little glass filter for the space of 30 to
45 seconds and then look at that person in front of you and the aura will
become visible to your eyes. If you are quick of perception, you will find
it. If you are slow, it will take some time and require more practical
instruction, but you are pretty sure to discover it.
Now, what is the aura or the atmosphere of the human body? What does it
consist of? What does it look like? What it is, and of what it consists, we
are as yet not in a position to say. The study of this phenomenon is still
too young to enable us to give a definition of it. We do not pretend to know
whence or how this auric force emanates from the body. All we know at present
is that it exists and we can give a description of it.
The aura appears like a subtle haze that surrounds the whole human frame. It
varies in size, density and colour in each individual, and is also influenced
by the physical condition of its owner, that is to say by health and disease,
by normal and abnormal conditions, and also by the degree of mental
In bright (mentally) and healthy persons the aura is of a bluish tint, very
much like the vapour that rises from a burning cigarette lying on an ash-tray.
In the majority of cases, however, it is rather gray than blue, and in dull
people of the white race it has a muddy, grayish tint. In the coloured races
it is more of a chocolate colour.
We can judge of the mentality of a person by the colour of the aura. The
higher the development of the mental faculties and the more brilliant the
psychical qualities, the closer approaches the colour of the aura to the blue
of the ether in the sky. Perhaps as “auralogy” develops and our knowledge of
this force becomes more definite, the study of the aura will be employed as an
aid in diagnosing character, mental endowments, and thus fitness for certain
positions in the business world. Why not?
In India and other oriental countries, where the occult has been the theme of
study for centuries, the aura has always played an important rate. These
Eastern people have cultivated the human mind in a different direction from
the Caucasian races, who have ever striven to turn more to the practical,
materialistic side of life. See how far the hypnotic power has been developed
in India, where even the common street fakir can exercise a power over the
visual organs of his audience without direct control of each individual, a
power which is not as yet understood by the western peoples.
But they, on the other hand, cannot comprehend our development of the physical
powers of nature for practical use, such as steam and electricity. They
cannot understand the transmission of the voice over the telephone, or that of
light over the wire, or the workings of the telegraph or the Marconi
instruments. But, then, how many white men are there who understand any of
these mysteries? We simply accept as facts what by practical demonstration we
perceive to exist, and trouble little or nothing about the mechanical
In like manner as the instruments and mechanical contrivances just mentioned
have become accessories to and paraphernalia of modern business, will, no
doubt, the aura be employed by progressive man for his convenience and
necessities. If, in the early Christian era, the aura was perceived in holy
persons and depicted as a halo surrounding the head of the saint, or even the
whole body, as may be observed in many pictures of Christ, so the aura of the
human body may yet become the distinguishing badge of the wearer. In
criminology it should play an important part for pointing out mental defects
and moral inferiority.
The size of the aura is governed by sex and age as well as by physical
conditions of the body.
In boys, immature girls and in the adult male, its area hardly ever extends
beyond a distance of 3 to 4 inches from the frame. In woman it may be traced
to 24 or 30 inches. Woman enjoys a higher psychical development, and that, no
doubt, accounts for the superiority of her aura. As in size, so also in tint
the female aura excels.
Cold, heat, perspiration, air-waves, such as drafts or gusts of wind, do not
seem to influence the aura in any manner or form. The faint luminosity
surrounding the body is as steady as the cold light of the moon. I have
observed the aura in the same person when the body was simply streaming with
perspiration in a hot room, and again when the skin was cold as marble, but
there was no difference either in the size, colour or appearance of the aura.
In some persons the aura is intersected by peculiar radiations streaming from
certain portions of the body. They appear like sheaves or bundles of light
issuing from the body into space like the faint rays of a searchlight visible
at a great distance on the horizon. I call to mind a particular instance.
When giving a demonstration before several medical men, one of the doctors
present said to me:
“This is the second time I have come to a demonstration and, although I
have seen much of what you are pointing out, I still have grave doubts as
to the actual existence of the aura. I cannot as yet make up my mind to
accept it as a physiological fact. I am still tempted to place what I
have seen in the category of optical illusions produced by the use of the
coloured screens. But if you can answer me one question to my
satisfaction, I will capitulate and dismiss the feeling of uncertainty.”
I said: “Ask the question.”
Doctor. “Have you noticed anything unusual in the aura of this person?
Answer. “Yes, I have observed a band of light about two inches in width.”
Doctor. “So have I. Indicate its location.”
Answer. “It emanates from the right hip to the middle of the right forearm.”
(The subject was standing in front of us in a darkened room before a
black background with arms akimbo upon the hips. Of course the model
Doctor. “That settles it. I have been watching this phenomenon for quite a
while (and he pointed it out with his finger to the other observers,
who then noticed it also.) But why have you not drawn our attention
to it before?”
Answer. “I was waiting for you to find it yourselves. What I am anxious to
avoid is to be charged with resorting to suggestion, – hypnotic
Doctor: “Well, I can trust my eyes now after this demonstration. The aura
is a concrete fact. There is no illusion about it. I have observed
it also in a black cat walking about a room which I had covered with
black all around and in which I could not see the cat itself at all,
but I could follow the aura moving about distinctly. However, I was
inclined to attribute it to electricity rather than to any other
force. Now I am certain it was the aura.”
Let me say here that the aura is not a luminous body in itself. You cannot
see the aura in an absolutely dark room. But it is capable of illumination.
A certain amount of light must be admitted. It is best to filter the light
into the room through a very dark blue or green blind in the window, or a dark
blue or green mantle over a Welsbach gas lamp or an electrical bulb.
After a little practice I have found it just as easy to see the aura in broad
daylight, however, as in a specially prepared room, and I have taught others
to do the same.
According to Dr. Kilner’s instructions the observation room should be arranged
(1) A room with one window only, pointing to the north if possible, is
preferable, so as to admit light from one direction only.
(2) A double roller-blind made of very dark blue or green material, such as
is commonly employed for roller-blinds. These blinds should be so
arranged that one pulls down from the top and the other pulls up from the
sill of the window. They should overlap each other all the way, thus
allowing of absolute control and regulation of light.
(3) A dead black background 7 feet high and 6 feet in width. I have found
black flannelette the most serviceable material for this purpose. It
reflects no light and is cheap in the bargain.
THE HUMAN AURA: F.J. REBMAN.
Concluded from November issue.
AMERICAN FREEMASON, DECEMBER 1912
AT the beginning of the observation the lower blind is pulled up about half
way, or more, leaving a clear line of sky above. The subject to be examined
is now placed in front of the black background, which must be opposite to the
window about 8 or 10 feet away.
The observer stands close up to the window and gazes for one-half to three-
quarters of a minute (30-45 seconds)-not more-through the dark green glass
filter which contains a solution of dicyanin (a certain coal-tar preparation)
into the bright light of the sky, pulls down the upper blind over the lower
until the room is well darkened and turns toward the subject.
Care must be had not to allow any white light rays to enter the eyes whilst
darkening the room. This can be easily avoided by keeping the dark filter in
front of the eyes until the upper blind has been pulled down.
Now put away the dark filter and gaze through the light green filter at the
body in front of the black background about 8 feet away. After a few seconds
the observer will notice that the body has lost the sharp definition of
It seems to gradually melt away into space. The outstretched hand looks as if
it were covered with a large glove, like that of a catcher in a baseball game.
The interstices between the outstretched fingers show a cloudy effect, faintly
luminous. This becomes more strongly pronounced when the hand is slowly moved
upward and downward.
If now both hands are moved upwards and the finger-tips made to rest upon the
top of the head (both arms should be bare) two triangular spaces between the
head and the forearms and the shoulders and upper arms will be formed. These
spaces will have the appearance as if they were filled with a slightly
luminous, smoky haze or atmosphere. This is the aura. It can also be
observed around the outer edge of the arms, especially around the elbows.
The light green filter may be dispensed with altogether after it has been used
for about three minutes. The eyes in the majority of the cases are by that
time sufficiently sensitized to receive the impressions of the short light
waves which radiate from the aura. Moreover, they are then thoroughly
accustomed to the darkened room and the surroundings. Many people do not
require the light dicyanin screen at all.
I take occasion here to warn the observer not to use the green glass filters,
especially the dark green, longer or more often than I have indicated above.
The object in using them is to partially and temporarily paralyse the rods and
cones of the retina. An unduly prolonged sensitization disturbs the vision
almost completely for the time being, and small or no results at all will be
obtained by over-sensitization.
Should the observer find that he has transgressed this rule, let him rest his
eyes upon the black background for quite a while, but without straining them.
Gradually the optic nerves will tone down again to normal conditions.
If you are not successful in your first attempt, do not become disheartened;
rest the eyes for at least 30 minutes before you resort again to the use of
the dark green filter.
Failure, in the majority of the cases, is due to over-exertion and to
straining of the visual organs; also to excitement and to expectation of
seeing lustrous emanations of light proceeding from the body.
Do not look for searchlights or fireworks. The aura is only a hazy film that
surrounds the body, not unlike the nebulae in certain constellations of stars,
for instance in Orion; only more modified, more rarefied, fainter.
The following procedure will act as a good path-finder. Let the subject
stretch out a hand with fingers spread apart as far as possible. Now let
another person with hand extended in a similar fashion, put the finger-tips
close to the tips of the opposing hand and withdraw them slowly to a distance
of from 5 to 8 inches in a horizontal direction, returning them again in the
same slow, measured manner, but repeatedly. The fingers of the two hands will
appear as if elongated, as if the hands were pulling molasses candy.
You can do this with your own hands, by standing with your back towards the
light and withdrawing and approaching the out-stretched spread fingers of the
two hands. The fingers draw out like candles until the limit of the
overlapping auras of the opposing fingers is reached, when the connecting
lines suddenly snap off like India rubber bands. One can almost hear it.
These sheaves of light may be drawn from the elbow, the nose, the chin, the
ears, etc. I call this experiment the first regular step in the observation
of the aura. I have seen rays drawn out from the elbow to the length of 24
inches before they snapped off, in the presence of a dozen of observers
who simultaneously breathed a long-drawn “Ah” when the snap came. When once
the eye reacts to this phenomenon, the rest of the observation becomes easy.
Other requisites for successful observations are an open mind, freedom from
prejudice and avoidance of over-anxiety and of nervous anticipation of
One sensitization of the eyes lasts from two to four weeks. I have used the
dark green filter but very seldom and then only for 5 to 10 seconds, and have
had people come to a second demonstration two weeks after the first, quite
able to see the aura distinctly even in broad daylight, without having
recourse to either the dark or light green filter between times.
To me it seem to be a matter of education of the sense of vision rather than
of a sensitization of the retinal region.”
Dr. Kilner states that the too free use of the dicyanin screens affects the
eyes perceptibly. I found this to be the case when I first began to make
observations. My eyes for days felt as if filled with onion fumes, causing
them to smart and run with tears.
But I am convinced that this was really due to eye strain, produced by gazing
too eagerly and intently in a dark room at an object only faintly visible at a
distance of about eight to nine feet. When I learned how to control my eyes
with proper care, I experienced no further trouble.
When the dark green filter is used too much – for one to two minutes or more,
the power of vision becomes dimmed to such a degree that nothing but gray
patches are visible in the darkness, and it becomes difficult to discern even
the form of the subject under observation. The effect is practically the same
as if gazing into the bright light of the sun itself.
The aura can be divided into three distinct parts, viz:
(1) The Etheric Double.
(2) The Inner Aura.
(3) The Outer Aura.
Dr. Kilner says that for the want of a better expression he has borrowed the
term of Etheric Double from Occultism, for this part of the aura.
1. The Etheric Double consists of a faint dark grey, almost black envelope,
which surrounds the whole frame. It appears like a crayon mark outlining
the contour of the body when placed against a white or a background of a
light tint. (The room in which I have given my demonstrations is stained
with a light, soft-green, flat paint, which gives no reflection. This
seems to give even better results than the white curtain recommended by Dr.
It is best observed between the fingers, if spread out, and lies about one-
eighth of an inch from the skin. Between it and the skin is a clear,
transparent space. Another part of the body where it may be observed to
advantage is along the shoulder and neck, particularly if the observer
stands about three to four feet to the rear of the subject.
In this region the line recedes as much as a quarter of an inch, that is to
say the clear, transparent space between the dark line and the skin is
about a quarter of an inch wide, sometimes more, sometimes less, as it
varies in each individual.
The thickness and consistency of the line also varies in individual cases
from a thirty-second to a sixteenth of an inch. The cause of this
difference will, no doubt, become apparent as our knowledge of the aura
The consistency of the Etheric Double seems to be governed by the physical,
hygienic condition of the body. I have seen it vary in the same individual
at different times, although the aura itself was not affected. And again,
I have seen persons who could widen or contract the space between the
Etheric Double and the body at will by at least a sixteenth of an inch. The
effect was very much the same as if puffing out and retracting the cheeks
in slow movements.
This Etheric Double, practically speaking, disappears; or, shall I say,
cannot be distinguished, when the subject is placed in front of a dark
2. The Inner Aura proceeds from the Etheric Double. It may be compared to a
band of mist from 1 1-2 to 3 inches in width, which follows the contour of
the body under normal conditions in an accurate outline. The width of this
band depends on the individual, but may vary even in different parts of the
body in the same individual. Its color, consistence and brightness are
also individual properties.
Dr. Kilner has evolved a regular system by which the Inner Aura can be used
as a guiding symptom in diagnosing diseased or pathological conditions. It
seems to reflect the physical state of the anatomy like a mirror, and
internal disorders, such as incipient tumours, fibroids, etc., may be
discovered by reflex action in the Inner Aura. Of course, it goes without
saying that it requires an experienced eye to find the flaws in the aura.
But I will not go into details here, which interest principally the medical
man. Dr. Kilner deals fully with the subsect in his book, which was
primarily written for the medical profession.
The beginner will find it a little difficult at first to find the Inner
Aura and to distinguish it from the Outer Aura, of which I shall speak
anon. But if he will use the carmine screen, he may be greatly aided in
his efforts. There are two carmine screens in the outfit designed by Dr.
Kilner. One is rose-colored, the other a deep carmine. The former is used
in a semi-darkened room; the very deep one should be employed if there is a
strong flow of daylight from the window. The observer must stand with the
back to the window and the subject in front of a white background. Against
this background the aura will have a grayish tint. When peering through
the carmine screen the outlines of the Inner Aura will be sharply defined.
If the model should extend one arm horizontally over the adjoining black
background and the other over the white background, the difference in the
appearance of the Inner Aura against the two backgrounds will be quite
If the background should be arranged in wavy folds from the top downwards
and about three inches in width, the following experiment will prove of
interest. Let the subject move the arm at full length very slowly up and
down, direct your eye above the arm and follow the movement by gazing
steadily along one of the folds in the curtain. You will now find on
comparison that the fold disappears almost completely with the movement of
the arm to a distance of about three inches above or below the outline of
the arm. The deep recess in the fold naturally appears much blacker than
the outer ridge, but where the Inner Aura begins to intervene, this deeper
black becomes blurred; in fact almost obliterated. To make this experiment
the eye should have been practiced with observation for at least half an
hour, the room should be well lighted, and none of the glass filters should
be used. The naked eye will spot it at a distance of about five feet.
To the artist, painter and sculptor, the aura ought to offer a fascinating
phenomenon. I venture to say that its careful study must needs become a
great aid in pronouncing with the brush the rotundity of the body, more
than can now be observed in oil paintings generally, which to my eye at
least, appear as a rule, too flat. I have always missed in portraits a
certain something, which I have been unable to define, may I say the
stereoscopic effect, until I began my studies of the aura. The aura, it
seems to me, should supply this want.
3. The Outer Aura is possibly only an emanation or effluvium of the Inner
Aura. It is a filmy extension which becomes extenuated until it is lost
into space, like smoke or haze. But it has the same colour as the Inner
I have already mentioned that in boys, immature girls and in the adult male
the Outer Aura is scarcely visible and becomes a negligible quantity. In
the adult female it is worthy of notice. It surrounds the form like a
balloon of fairy haze, even to the extent of thirty inches.
The Aura cannot be seen through the clothing. At any rate the means at our
hands under present conditions are inadequate to assist our vision in
discovering it. That, perhaps, is an argument against the assumption that the
aura is an effluvium of heat or moisture proceeding from the skin, for if it
were it ought to be visible outside of the dress, since body-heat goes beyond
the textile covering, and so does moisture also.
It is much more likely that the auric force emanates from the nervous system,
for it assumes very peculiar and strongly marked shapes in persons afflicted
with nervous affections or with skin diseases. For instance in cases of
Hysteria the Inner Aura bulges out in the small of the back (the patient
standing sideways) to the extent of 5 to 6 inches and becomes a landmark in
In Epileptic subjects it is almost entirely absent on the side of the head
which is affected. Unmistakeable diagnosis.
In Herpes Zoster the Inner Aura disappears completely over the spot where the
disease is located.
Whether the Inner and the Outer Aura are two forces differing from each other,
has not as yet been determined.
Certain it is, however, that the Inner Aura can be controlled by the will,
that is to say, that its size, denseness and colour can be influenced by the
will power of its owner. I have seen the colour changed from a bluish-gray
into a rosy, even a crimson tint, by an effort of the will, although only for
a short time.
Also rays of light can be shot out from any part of the body at will by almost
any individual. If, for instance, the subject should hold out the elbow and
the observer point a finger towards it at a distance of, say, sixteen inches,
no connecting rays will be visible between the finger and the elbow until an
effort of the will is made by one or both persons. The ray will then shoot
forward and continue till recalled.
This brief discussion is only a condensed resume of Dr. Kilner’s teachings,
but I trust it conveys some idea of the importance of his findings. Aside
from its usefulness to the medical man, who can apply it with case and comfort
as a reliable means in diagnosing disease, it should prove of interest to the
Mason for the reasons stated above, and fascinate him who loves to explore
mysterious and hidden forces of nature.
I will end with saying that the same peculiar luminosity may be observed
around both the positive and negative poles of a horse-shoe magnet, if hung up
before a black background.