Michael's Talbot "The Holographic Universe"
on "Seeing Holographically"
"We human beings consider ourselves to be made up of "solid matter." Actually, the physical body is the end product, so to speak, of the subtle information fields, which mold our physical body as well as all physical matter. These fields are holograms which change in time (and are) outside the reach of our normal senses. This is what clairvoyants perceive as colorful eggshaped halos or auras surrounding our physical bodies."
Neurophysiologists have long been aware of this fact. In his early studies of vision, Pribram discovered that the visual information a monkey receives via its optic nerves does not travel directly into its visual cortex, but is first filtered through other areas of its brain. Numerous studies have shown that the same is true of human vision. Visual information entering our brains is edited and modified by our temporal lobes before it is passed on to our visual cortices. Some studies suggest that less than 50 percent of what we "see" is actually based on information entering our eyes. The remaining 50 percent plus is pieced together out of our expectations of what the world should look like (and perhaps out of other sources such as reality fields). The eyes may be visual organs, but it is the brain that sees.
This is why we don't always notice when a close friend shaves off his mustache, and why our house always looks strangely different when we return to it after a vacation. In both instances we are so used to responding to what we think is there, we don't always see what really is there.
Even more dramatic evidence of the role the mind plays in creating what we see is provided by the eye's so-called blind spot. In the middle of the retina, where the optic nerve connects to the eye, we have a blind spot where there are no photoreceptors. Even when we look at the world around us we are totally unaware that there are gaping holes in our vision. It doesn't matter whether we are gazing at a blank piece of paper or an ornate Persian carpet. The brain artfully fills in the gaps like a skilled tailor reweaving a hole in a piece of fabric. What is all the more remarkable is that it reweaves the tapestry of our visual reality so masterfully we aren't even aware that it is doing so.
This leads to a disturbing question. If we are seeing less than half of what is out there, what is out there that we are not seeing? What misspelled street signs and blind spots are escaping our attention completely? Our technological prowess provides us with a few answers. For example, although spiderwebs look drab and white to us, we now know that to the ultraviolet-sensitive eyes of the insects for whom they were designed, they are actually brightly colored and hence alluring. Our technology also tells us that fluorescent lamps do not continuously provide light, but are actually flickering on and off at a rate that is just a little too fast for us to discern. Yet this unsettling strobelike effect is quite visible to honeybees, who must be able to fly at breakneck speed over a meadow and still see every flower that whizzes by.
But are there other important aspects of reality that we are not seeing, aspects that are beyond even our technological grasps? According to the holographic model, the answer is yes. Remember that in Pribram's view, reality at large is really a frequency domain, and our brain is a kind of lens that converts these frequencies into the objective world of appearances. Although Pribram began by studying the frequencies of our normal sensory world, such as frequencies of sound and light, he now uses the term frequency domain to refer to the interference patterns that compose the implicate order. Pribram believes there may be all kinds of things out there in the frequency domain that we are not seeing, things our brains have learned to edit out regularly of our visual reality. He thinks that when mystics have transcendental experiences, what they are really doing is catching glimpses of the frequency domain. "Mystical experience makes sense when one can provide the mathematical formulas that take one back and forth between the ordinary world, or `image-object' domain, and the `frequency' domain," he states.
The Human Energy Field
One mystical phenomenon that appears to involve the ability to see reality's frequency aspects is the aura, or human energy field. The notion that there is a subtle field of energy around the human body, a halolike envelope of light that exists just beyond normal human perception, can be found in many ancient traditions. In India, sacred writings that date back over five thousand years refer to this life energy as pram. In China, since the third millennium B.C., it has been called chi and is believed to be the energy that flows through the acupuncture meridian system. Kabbalah, a Jewish mystical philosophy that arose in the sixth century B.C., calls this vital principle nefish and teaches that an egg-shaped bubble of iridescence surrounds every human body. In their book Future Science, writer John White and parapsychologist Stanley Krippner list 97 different cultures that refer to the aura with 97 different names. Many cultures believe the aura of an extremely spiritual individual is so bright it is visible even to normal human perception, which is why so many traditions, including Christian, Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, and Egyptian, depict saints as having halos or other circular symbols around their heads. In his book on miracles Thurston devotes an entire chapter to accounts of luminous phenomena associated with Catholic saints, and both Neumann and Sai Baba are reported to have occasionally had visible auras of light around them. The great Sufi mystic Hazrat Inayat Khan, who died in 1927, is said to have sometimes given off so much light that people could actually read by it. Under normal circumstances, however, the human energy field is visible only to individuals who have a specially developed capacity to see it. Sometimes people are born with the ability. Sometimes it develops spontaneously at a certain point in a person's life, as it did in my case, and sometimes it develops as the result of some practice or discipline, often of a spiritual nature. The first time I saw the distinctive mist of light around my arm I thought it was smoke and jerked my arm up to see if I had somehow caught my sleeve on fire. Of course, I hadn't and quickly discovered that the light surrounded my entire body and formed a nimbus around everyone else's as well. According to some schools of thought the human energy field has a number of distinct layers. I do not see layers in the field and have no personal basis to judge if this is true or not. These layers are actually said to be three-dimensional energy bodies that occupy the same space as the physical body but are of increasingly larger size so that they only look like layers, or strata, as they extend outward from the body.
Many psychics assert that there are seven main layers, or subtle bodies, each progressively less dense than the one before it, and each increasingly more difficult to see. Different schools of thought refer to these energy bodies by different names. One common system of nomenclature refers to the first four as the etheric body; the astral, or emotional body; the mental body, and the causal, or intuitive body. It is generally believed that the etheric body, the body that is closest in size to the physical body, is a kind of energy blueprint and is involved in guiding and shaping the growth of the physical body. As their names suggest, the next three bodies are related to emotional, mental, and intuitive processes. Virtually no one agrees on what to call the remaining three bodies, although it is commonly agreed that they have to do with the soul and higher spiritual functioning.
According to Indian yogic literature, and to many psychics as well, we also have special energy centers in our body. These focal points of subtle energy are connected to endocrine glands and major nerve centers in the physical body, but also extend up and into the energy field. Because they resemble spinning vortices of energy when they are looked at head-on, yogic literature refers to them as chakras, from the Sanskrit word for "wheel," and this term is still used today. The crown chakra, an important chakra that originates in the uppermost tip of the brain and is associated with spiritual awakening, is often described by clairvoyants as looking like a little cyclone whirling in the energy field on top of the head, and it is the only chakra I see clearly. (My own abilities appear to be too rudimentary to permit me to see the other chakras.) It ranges from a few inches to a foot or more in height. When people are in a joyous state, this whirlwind of energy grows taller and brighter, and when they dance, it bobs and sways like a candle flame. I've often wondered if this was what the apostle Luke was seeing when he described the "flame of the Pentecost," the tongues of fire that appeared on the heads of the apostles when the Holy Ghost descended on them.
The human energy field is not always bluish white, but can possess various colors. According to talented psychics, these colors, their muddiness or intensity, and their location in the aura are related to a person's mental state, emotional state, activity, health, and assorted other factors. I can only see colors occasionally and sometimes can interpret their meaning, but again my abilities in this area are not terribly advanced. One person who does have advanced abilities is therapist and healer Barbara Brennan. Brennan began her career as an atmospherics physicist working for NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center, and later left to become a counselor. Her first inkling that she was psychic came when she was a child and discovered she could walk blindfolded through the woods and avoid the trees simply by sensing their energy fields with her hands. Several years after she became a counselor, she began seeing halos of colored light around people's heads. After overcoming her initial shock and skepticism, she set about to develop the ability and eventually discovered she had an extraordinary natural talent as a healer.
Brennan not only sees the chakras, layers, and other fine structures of the human energy field with exceptional clarity, but can make startlingly accurate medical diagnoses based on what she sees. After looking at one woman's energy field, Brennan told her there was something abnormal about her uterus. The woman then told Brennan that her doctor had discovered the same problem, and it had already caused her to have one miscarriage. In fact, several physicians had recommended a hysterectomy and that was why she was seeking Brennan's counsel. Brennan told her that if she took a month off and took care of herself, her problem would clear up. Brennan's advice turned out to be correct, and a month later the woman's physician confirmed that her uterus had returned to normal. A year later the woman gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
In another case Brennan was able to see that a man had problems performing sexually because he had broken his coccyx (tailbone) when he was twelve. The still out-of-place coccyx was applying undue pressure to his spinal column, and this in turn was causing his sexual dysfunction.
There seems to be little Brennan cannot pick up by looking at the human energy field. She says that in its early stages cancer looks gray-blue in the aura, and as it progresses, it turns to black. Eventually, white spots appear in the black, and if the white spots sparkle and begin to look as if they are erupting from a volcano, it means the cancer has metastasized. Drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, and Co. came are also detrimental to the brilliant, healthy colors of the aura and create what Brennan calls "etheric mucus." In one instance she was able to tell a startled client which nostril he habitually used to snort cocaine because the field over that side of his face was always gray with the sticky etheric mucus. Prescription drugs are not exempt, and often cause dark areas to form in the energy field over the liver. Potent drugs such as chemotherapy "clog" the entire field, and Brennan says she has even seen auric traces of the supposedly harmless radiopaque dye used to diagnose spinal injuries, a full ten years after it has been injected into a person's spine. According to Brennan, a person's psychological condition is also reflected in their energy field. An individual with psychopathic tendencies has a top-heavy aura. The energy field of a masochistic personality is coarse and dense and is more gray than blue. The field of a person with a rigid approach to life is also coarse and grayish, but with most of its energy concentrated on the outer edge of the aura, and so on.
Brennan says that illness can actually be caused by tears, blockages, and imbalances in the aura, and by manipulating these dysfunctional areas with her hands and her own energy field, she can greatly enhance a person's own healing processes. Her talents have not gone unnoticed. Swiss psychiatrist and thanatologist Elisabeth Kubler Ross says Brennan is "probably one of the best spiritual healers in the Western Hemisphere. Bernie Siegel is equally laudatory: "Barbara Brennan's work is mind opening. Her concepts of the role disease plays and how healing is achieved certainly fit in with my experience."' As a physicist, Brennan is keenly interested in describing the human energy field in scientific terms and believes Pribram's assertion that there is a frequency domain beyond our field of normal perception is the best scientific model we have so far for understanding the phenomenon. "From the point of view of the holographic universe, these events [the aura and the healing forces required to manipulate its energies] emerge from frequencies that transcend time and space; they don't have to be transmitted. They are potentially simultaneous and everywhere," she says.
That the human energy field exists everywhere and is nonlocal until it is plucked out of the frequency domain by human perception is evidenced in Brennan's discovery that she can read a person's aura even when the person is many miles distant. The longest-distance aura reading she has done so far was during a telephone conversation between New York City and Italy. She discusses this, as well as many other aspects of her remarkable abilities, in her recent and fascinating book Hands of Light, A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field. Another gifted psychic who can see the aura in great detail is Los Angeles-based "human energy field consultant" Carol Dryer. Dryer says she has been able to see auras for as long as she can remember, and indeed it was quite some time before she realized other people couldn't see auras. Her ignorance in this regard frequently landed her in trouble as a child when she would tell her parents intimate details about their friends, things she had no apparent way of knowing. Dryer makes her living as a psychic, and in the past decade and a half has seen over five thousand clients. She is well known in the media because her client list includes many celebrities such as Tina Turner, Madonna, Rosanna Arquette, Judy Collins, Valerie Harper, and Linda Gray. But even the star power of her client list does not begin to convey the true extent of her talent. For instance, Dryer's client list also includes physicists, noted journalists, archaeologists, lawyers, and politicians, and she has used her abilities to assist the police and frequently does consultation work for psychologists, psychiatrists, and medical doctors.
Like Brennan, Dryer can give long-distance readings, but prefers to be in the same room with the person. She can also see a person's energy field as well with her eyes closed as she can with her eyes open. In fact, she generally keeps her eyes closed during a reading to help her concentrate solely on the energy field. This does not mean that she sees the aura only in her mind's eye. "It's always in front of me as if I'm looking at a movie or a play," says Dryer. "It's as real as the room I'm sitting in. Actually, it's more real and more brightly colored."
However, she does not see the precise stratified layers described by other clairvoyants, and she often doesn't even see the outline of the physical body. "A person's physical body can come into it, but rarely because that's seeing the etheric body rather than seeing the aura or the energy field around them. If I'm seeing the etheric, it's usually because it contains leaks or rips that are keeping the aura from being whole. Thus I cannot see it completely. There are only patches of it. It's kind of like a ripped blanket or a torn curtain. Holes in the etheric field are usually the result of trauma, injury, illness, or some other kind of devastating experience." But beyond seeing the etheric, Dryer says that instead of seeing the layers of the aura like tiers of cake piled one on top of the other, she experiences them as changing textures and intensities of visual sensation. She compares this to being immersed in the ocean and feeling water of different temperatures wash by. "Rather than getting into rigid concepts like layers, I tend to see the energy field in terms of movements and waves of energy," she says. "It's as if my vision is telescoping through various levels and dimensions of the energy field, but I don't actually see it neatly arranged in various layers."
This does not mean that Dryer's perception of the human energy field is in any way less detailed than Brennan's. She perceives a dazzling amount of pattern and structure — kaleidoscopic clouds of color shot through with light, complex images, glistening shapes, and gossamer mists. However, not all energy fields are created equal. According to Dryer, shallow people have shallow and humdrum auras. Conversely, the more complex the person, the more complex and interesting their energy field. "A person's energy field is as individual as their fingerprint. I've never really seen any two that look alike," she says.
Like Brennan, Dryer can diagnose illnesses by looking at a person's aura, and when she chooses she can adjust her vision and see the chakras. But Dryer's special skill is the ability to peer deep into a person's psyche and give them an eerily accurate status report of the weaknesses, strengths, needs, and general health of their emotional, psychological, and spiritual being. So profound are her talents in this area that some have likened a session with Dryer to six months of psychotherapy. Numerous clients have credited her with completely transforming their lives, and her files are filled with glowing letters of thanks.
I, too, can attest to Dryer's abilities. In my first reading with her, and although we were virtual strangers, she proceeded to describe things about me that not even my closest friends know. These were not just vague platitudes, but specific and detailed assessments of my talents, vulnerabilities, and personality dynamics. By the end of the two-hour session I was convinced that Dryer had not been looking at my physical presence, but at the energy construct of my psyche itself. I have also had the privilege of talking with and/or listening to the session recordings of over two dozen of Dryer's clients, and have discovered that, almost without exception, others have found her as accurate and insightful as did I.
Doctors Who See the Human Energy Field
Although the existence of the human energy field is not recognized by the medical orthodox community, it has not been completely ignored by medical practitioners. One medical professional who takes the energy field seriously is neurologist and psychiatrist Shafica Karagulla. Karagulla received her degree of doctor of medicine and surgery from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and obtained her training in psychiatry under the well-known psychiatrist Professor Sir David K. Henderson, at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital for Mental and Nervous Disorders. She also spent three and a half years as a research associate to Wilder Penfield, the Canadian neurosurgeon whose landmark studies of memory launched both Lashley and Pribram on their quest. Karagulla began as a skeptic, but after encountering several individuals who could see auras, and—confirming their ability to make accurate medical diagnoses as a result of what they saw, she became a believer. Karagulla calls the faculty to see the human energy field higher sense perception, or HSP, and in the 1960s she set out to determine if any members of the medical profession also possessed the ability. She put out various feelers among her friends and colleagues, but at first the going was slow. Even doctors who were said to have the ability were reluctant to meet with her. After being put off repeatedly by one such doctor, she finally made an appointment to see him as a patient.
She entered his office, but instead of allowing him to perform a physical examination to diagnose her condition, she challenged him to use his higher sense perception. Realizing he was cornered, he gave "All right, stay where you are," he told her. "Don't tell me any thing." Then he scanned her body and gave her a quick run-down of her health, including a description of an internal condition she had that would eventually require surgery, a condition she had secretly already diagnosed. He was "correct in every detail," says Karagulla. As Karagulla's network of contacts expanded, she met doctor after doctor with similar gifts and describes these encounters in her book:, Breakthrough to Creativity. Most of these physicians were unaware that other individuals existed who possessed similar talents, and felt they were alone and peculiar in this regard. Nonetheless, they invariably described what they were seeing as an "energy field" or a "moving web of frequency" around the body and interpenetrating the body. Some saw chakras, but because they were ignorant of the term, they described them as "vortices of energy at certain points along the spine, connected with or influencing the endocrine system." And almost without exception they kept their abilities a secret out of fear of damaging their professional reputations.
Out of respect for their privacy, Karagulla identifies them in her book by first name only but says they include famous surgeons, Cornell University professors of medicine, heads of departments in large hospitals, and Mayo Clinic physicians. "I was continually surprised to find how many members of the medical profession had HSP abilities," she writes. "Most of them felt a little uneasy about their gifts, but finding them useful in diagnosis, they used them. They came from many parts of the country, and although they were unknown to each other, they all reported similar types of experiences." At the end of her report, she concludes, "When many reliable individuals independently report the same kind of phenomena, it is time science takes cognizance of it."
Not all health professionals are so opposed to going public with their abilities. One such individual is Dr. Dolores Krieger, a professor of nursing at New York University. Krieger became interested in the human energy field after participating in a study of the abilities of Oscar Estebany, a well-known Hungarian healer. After discovering that Estebany could raise the hemoglobin levels in ill patients simply by manipulating their fields, Krieger set out to learn more about the mysterious energies involved. She immersed herself in a study of prang, the chakras, and the aura, and eventually became a student of Dora Kunz, another well-known clairvoyant. Under Kunz's guidance, she learned how to feel blockages in the human energy field and to heal by manipulating the field with her hands. Realizing the enormous medical potential of Kunz's techniques, Krieger decided to teach what she had learned to others. Because she knew terms such as aura and chakra would have negative connotations for many health-care professionals, she decided to call her healing method
"therapeutic touch." The first class she taught on therapeutic touch was a master's level course for nurses at New York University entitled "Frontiers in Nursing: The Actualization of Potential for Therapeutic Field Interaction." Both the course and the technique proved so successful that Krieger has since taught therapeutic touch to literally thousands of nurses, and it is now used in hospitals around the world.
The effectiveness of therapeutic touch has also been demonstrated in several studies. For example, Dr. Janet Quinn, an associate professor and assistant director of nursing research at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, decided to see if therapeutic touch could lower the anxiety levels of heart patients. To accomplish this she devised a double-blind study in which one group of nurses trained in the technique would pass their hands over a group of heart patients' bodies. A second group with no training would pass their hands over the bodies of another group of heart patients, but without actually performing the technique. Quinn found that the anxiety levels in the authentically treated patients dropped 17 percent after only five minutes of therapy, but there was no change in anxiety levels among the patients who received the "fake" treatment. Quinn's study was the lead story in the Science Times section of the March 26, 1985, issue of the New York Times.
Another health professional who lectures widely about the human energy field is University of Southern California heart and lung specialist W. Brugh Joy. Joy, who is a graduate of both Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic, discovered his gift in 1972 while examining a patient in his office. Instead of seeing the aura, Joy initially was only able to feel its presence with his hands. "I was examining a healthy male in his early twenties," he says. "As my hand passed over the solar plexus area, the pit of the stomach, I sensed something that felt like a warm cloud. It seemed to radiate out three to four feet from the body, perpendicular to the surface and to be shaped like a cylinder about four inches in diameter."
Joy went on to discover that all his patients had palpable cylinderlike radiations emanating not only from their stomachs, but from various other points on their bodies. It wasn't until he read an ancient Hindu book about the human energy system that he found he had discovered, or rather rediscovered, the chakras. Like Brennan, Joy thinks the holographic model offers the best explanation for understanding the human energy field. He also feels that the ability to see auras is latent in all of us. "I believe that reaching expanded states of consciousness is merely the attuning of our central nervous system to perceptive states that have always existed in us but have been blocked by our outer mental conditioning," says Joy. To prove his point, Joy now spends most of his time teaching others how to sense the human energy field. One of Joy's students is Michael Crichton, the author of such bestsellers as The Andromeda Strain and Sphere, and the director of the motion pictures Coma and The First Great Train Robbery. In his recent bestselling autobiography Travels, Crichton, who obtained his medical degree from the Harvard University Medical School, describes how he learned to feel and eventually see the human energy field by studying under both Joy and other gifted teachers. The experience astonished and transformed Crichton. "There isn't any delusion. It is absolutely clear that this body energy is a genuine phenomenon of some kind," he states.
Chaos Holographic Patterns
The increasing willingness of doctors to go public with such abilities is not the only change that has taken place since Karagulla did her investigations. Over the past twenty years Valerie Hunt, a physical therapist and professor of kinesiology at UCLA, has developed a way to confirm experimentally the existence of the human energy field. Medical science has long known that humans are electromagnetic beings. Doctors routinely use electrocardiographs to make electrocardiograms (EKGs) or records, of the electrical activity of the heart, and electroencephalographs to make electroencephalograms (EEGs) of the brain's electrical activity. Hunt has discovered that an electromyograph, a device used to measure the electrical activity in the muscles, can also pick up the electrical presence of the human energy field.
Although Hunt's original research involved the study of human muscular movement, she became interested in the energy field after encountering a dancer who said she used her own energy field to help her dance. This inspired Hunt to make electromyograms (EMGs) of the electrical activity in the woman's muscles while she danced, and also to study the effect healers had on the electrical activity in the muscles of people being healed. Her research eventually expanded to include individuals who could see the human energy field, and it was here that she made some of her most significant discoveries. The normal frequency range of the electrical activity in the brain is between 0 and 100 cycles per second (cps), with most of the activity occurring between 0 and 30 cps. Muscle frequency goes up to about 225 cps, and the heart goes up to about 250 cps, but this is where electrical activity associated with biological function drops off. In addition to these, Hunt discovered that the electrodes of the electromyograph could pick up another field of energy radiating from the body, much subtler and smaller in amplitude than the traditionally recognized body electricities but with frequencies that averaged between 100 and 1600 cps, and which sometimes went even higher. Moreover, instead of emanating from the brain, heart, or muscles, the field was strongest in the areas of the body associated with the chakras. "The results were so exciting that I simply was not able to sleep that night," says Hunt. "The scientific model I had subscribed to throughout my life just couldn't explain these findings."
Hunt also discovered that when an aura reader saw a particular color in a person's energy field, the electromyograph always picked up a specific pattern of frequencies that Hunt learned to associate with that color. She was able to see this pattern on an oscilloscope, a device that converts electrical waves into a visual pattern on a monochromatic video display screen. For example, when an aura reader saw blue in a person's energy field, Hunt could confirm that it was blue by looking at the pattern on the oscilloscope. In one experiment she even tested eight aura readers simultaneously to see if they would agree with the oscilloscope as well as with each other. "It was the same right down the line," says Hunt.
Once Hunt confirmed the existence of the human energy field, she, too, became convinced that the holographic idea offers one model for understanding it. In addition to its frequency aspects, she points out that the energy field, and indeed all of the body's electrical systems, is holographic in another way. Like the information in a hologram, these systems are distributed globally throughout the body. For instance, the electrical activity measured by an electroenceph alograph is strongest in the brain, but an EEG reading can also be made by attaching an electrode to the toe. Similarly, an EKG can be picked up in the little finger. It's stronger and higher in amplitude in the heart, but its frequency and pattern are the same everywhere in the body. Hunt believes this is significant. Although every portion of what she calls the "holographic field reality" of the aura contains aspects of the whole energy field, different portions are not absolutely identical to each other. These differing amplitudes keep the energy field from being a static hologram, and instead allow it to be dynamic and flowing, says Hunt.
One of Hunt's most startling findings is that certain talents and abilities seem to be related to the presence of specific frequencies in a person's energy field. She has found that when the main focus of a person's consciousness is on the material world, the frequencies of their energy field tend to be in the lower range and are not too far removed from the 250 cps of the body's biological frequencies. In addition to these, people who are psychic or who have healing abilities also have frequencies of roughly 400 to 800 cps in their field. People who can go into trance and apparently channel other information sources through them, skip these "psychic" frequencies entirely and operate in a narrow band between 800 and 900 cps. "They don't have any psychic breadth at all," states Hunt. "They're up there in their own field. It's narrow. It's pinpointed, and they literally are almost out of it."
People who have frequencies above 900 cps are what Hunt calls mystical personalities. Whereas psychics and trance mediums are often just conduits of information, mystics possess the wisdom to know what to do with the information, says Hunt. They are aware of the cosmic interrelatedness of all things and are in touch with every level of human experience. They are anchored in ordinary reality, but often have both psychic and trance abilities. However, their frequencies also extend way beyond the bands a associated with these capabilities. Using a modified electromyogram (an electromyogram can normally detect frequencies only up to 20,000 cps) Hunt has encountered individuals who have frequencies as high as 200,000 cps in their energy fields. This is intriguing, for mystical traditions have often referred to highly spiritual individuals as possessing a "higher vibration"than normal people. If Hunt's findings are correct, they seem to add credence to this assertion.
Another of Hunt's discoveries involves the new science of chaos. As its name implies, chaos is the study of chaotic phenomena that are so haphazard they do not appear to be governed by any laws. For example, when smoke rises from an extinguished candle it flows upward in a thin and narrow stream. Eventually the structure of the stream breaks down and becomes turbulent. Turbulent smoke is said to be chaotic because its behavior can no longer be predicted by science. Other examples of chaotic phenomena include water when it crashes at the bottom of a waterfall, the seemingly random electrical fluctuations that rage through the brain of an epileptic during a seizure, and the weather when several different temperature and airpressure fronts collide.
In the past decade science has discovered that many chaotic phenomena are not as disordered as they seem and often contain hidden patterns and regularities (recall Bohm's assertion that there is no such thing as disorder, only orders of indefinitely high degree). Scientists have also discovered mathematical ways of finding some of the regularities that lie hidden in chaotic phenomena. One of these involves a special kind of mathematical analysis that can convert data about a chaotic phenomenon into a shape on a computer screen. If the data contains no hidden patterns, the resulting shape will be a straight line. But if the chaotic phenomenon does contain hidden regularities, the shape on the computer screen will look something like the spiral designs children make by winding colored yarn around an array of nails pounded into a board. These shapes are called "chaos patterns" or "strange attractors" (because the lines that compose the shape seem to be attracted again and again to certain areas of the computer screen, just as the yarn might be said to be repeatedly "attracted" to the array of nails around which it is wound).
When Hunt observed energy field data on the oscilloscope, she noticed that it changed constantly. Sometimes it came in great clumps, sometimes it waned and became patchy, as if the energy field itself were in an unceasing state of fluctuation. At first glance these changes seemed random, but Hunt sensed intuitively they possessed some order. Realizing that chaos analysis might reveal whether she was right or not, she sought out a mathematician. First they ran four seconds of data from an EKG through the computer to see what would happen. They got a straight line. Then they ran the same amount of data from an EEG and an EMG. The EEG produced a straight line and the EMG produced a slightly swollen line, but still no chaos pattern. Even when they submitted data from the lower frequencies of the human energy field, they got a straight line. But when they analyzed the very high frequencies of the field they met with success. "We got the most dynamic chaos pattern you ever saw," says Hunt.'' This meant that although the kaleidoscopic changes taking place in the energy field appeared to be random, they were actually very highly ordered and rich with pattern. "The pattern is never a repeatable one, but it's so dynamic and complex, I call it a chaos holograph pattern," Hunt states.
Hunt believes her discovery was the first true chaos pattern to be found in a major electrobiological system. Recently researchers have found chaos patterns in EEG recordings of the brain, but they needed many minutes of data from numerous electrodes to obtain such a pattern. Hunt obtained a chaos pattern from three to four seconds of data recorded by one electrode, suggesting that the human energy field is far richer in information and possesses a far more complex and dynamic organization than even the electrical activity of the brain. What is the human energy field made of? Despite the human energy field's electrical aspects, Hunt does not believe it is purely electromagnetic in nature. "We have a feeling that it is much more complex and without doubt composed of an as yet undiscovered energy," she says . What is this undiscovered energy? At present we do not know. Our best clue comes from the fact that almost without exception psychics describe it as having a higher frequency or vibration than normal matter-energy. Given the uncanny accuracy talented psychics have in perceiving illnesses in the energy field, we should perhaps pay serious attention to this observation. The universality of this perception even ancient Hindu literature asserts that the energy body possesses a higher vibration than normal matter may be an indication that such individuals are intuiting an important fact about the energy field.
Ancient Hindu literature also describes matter as being composed of anu, or "atoms," and says that the subtle vibratory energies of the human energy field exist paramanu, or literally "beyond the atom." This is interesting, for Bohm also believes that at a subquantum level
beyond the atom there are many subtle energies still unknown to science. He confesses that he does not know whether the human energy field exists or not, but in commenting on the possibility, he states, "The implicate order has many levels of subtlety. If our attention
can go to those levels of subtlety, then we should be able to see more than we ordinarily see."
It is worth noting that we really don't know what any field is. As Bohm has said, "What is an electric field? We don't know. When we discover a new kind of field it seems mysterious. Then we name it, get used to dealing with it and describing its properties, and it no longer seems mysterious. But we still do not know what an electric or a gravitational field really is. As we saw earlier, we don't even know what electrons are. We can only describe how they behave. This suggests that the human energy field will also ultimately be defined in terms of how it behaves, and research such as Hunt's will only further our understanding.
Three-Dimensional Images in the Aura
If these inordinately subtle energies are the stuff from which the human energy field is made, we may rest assured that they possess qualities unlike the kinds of energy with which we are normally familiar. One of these is evident in the human energy field's nonlocal characteristics. Another, and one that is particularly holographic, is the aura's ability to manifest as an amorphous blur of energy, or occasionally form itself into three-dimensional images. Talented psychics often report seeing such "holograms" floating in people's auras. These images are usually of objects and ideas that hold a prominent position in the thoughts of the person around whom they are seen. Some occult traditions hold that such images are a product of the third, or mental, layer of the aura, but until we have the means to confirm or deny this allegation, we must confine ourselves to the experiences of the psychics who are able to see images in the aura. One such psychic is Beatrice Rich. As often happens, Rich's powers manifested at an early age. When she was a child, objects in her presence would occasionally move about on their own accord. When she grew older she discovered she knew things about people she had no normal means of knowing. Although she began her career as an artist, her clairvoyant talents proved so impressive that she decided to become a full-time psychic. Now she gives readings for individuals from all walks of life, from housewives to chief executives of corporations, and articles about her work have appeared in such diverse publications as New York magazine, World Tennis, and New York Woman.
Rich often sees images floating around or hovering near her clients. Once she saw silver spoons, silver plates, and similar objects circling around a man's head. Because it was early in her explorations of psychic phenomena, the experience startled her. At first she did
not know why she was seeing what she was seeing. But finally she told the man and discovered that he was in the import/export business and traded in the very objects she was seeing circling his head. The experience was riveting and changed her perceptions forever.
Dryer has had many similar experiences. Once during a reading she saw a bunch of potatoes whirling around a woman's head. Like Rich, she was at first dumbfounded but summoned her courage and asked the woman if potatoes had any special meaning for her. The woman laughed and handed Dryer her business card. "She was from the Idaho Potato Board, or something like that," says Dryer. "You know, the potato grower's equivalent of the American Dairy Association.
These images don't always just hover in the aura, but sometimes can appear to be ghostly extensions of the body itself. On one occasion Dryer saw a wispy and holographic-like layer of mud clinging to a woman's hands and arms. Given the woman's impeccable grooming and expensive attire, Dryer could not imagine why thoughts of mucking around in some kind of viscous sludge would be occupying her mind. Dryer asked her if she understood the image, and the woman nodded, explaining that she was a sculptor and had tried out a new medium that morning that had clung to her arms and hands exactly as Dryer had described.
I, too, have had similar experiences when looking at the energy field. Once, while deep in thought about a novel I was working on about werewolves (as some readers may be aware, I have a fondness for writing fiction about folkloric subjects), I noticed that the ghostly image of a werewolf's body had formed around my own body. I would quickly like to stress that this was a purely visual phenomenon and at no time did I feel I had in any way become a werewolf. Nonetheless, the holographiclike image that enveloped my body was real enough that when I lifted my arm I could actually see the individual hairs in the fur and the way the canine nails protruded from the wolfish hand that encased my own hand. Indeed, everything about these features was absolutely real, save that they were translucent and I could see have been frightening, but for some reason it wasn't, and I found myself
only fascinated by what I was seeing.
What was significant about this experience was that Dryer was my house guest at the time and happened to walk into the room while I was still sheathed in this phantomlike werewolf body. She reacted immediately and said, "Oh my, you must be thinking about your werewolf novel because you've become a werewolf." We compared notes and discovered
that we were each observing the same features. We became involved in conversation, and as my thoughts strayed from the novel, the werewolf image slowly faded.
Movies in the Aura
The images that psychics see in the energy field are not always static. Rich says she often sees what looks like a little transparent movie going on around a client's head. "Sometimes I see a small image of the person behind their head or shoulders doing various things they
do in life. My clients tell me that my descriptions are very accurate and specific. I can see their offices and what their bosses look like. I can see what they've thought of and what's happened to them during the last six months. Recently I told a client that I could see her
home and she had masks and flutes hanging on her wall. She said, `No, no, no.' I said yes, there are musical instruments hanging on the wall, mostly flutes, and there are masks. And then she said, `Oh, that's my summer home.'" Dryer says she also sees what look like three-dimensional movies in a person's energy field. "Usually they're in color, but they can also be brown, or look like tintypes. Often they depict a story about the person that can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour to unfold. The images are also incredibly detailed. When I see a person sitting in a room I can tell them how many plants are in the room, how many leaves are on each plant, and how many bricks are in the wall. I usually don't get into such minute description unless it seems pertinent.'"
I can attest to Dryer's accuracy. I have always been an organized person, and when I was a child I was quite precocious in this regard. Once when I was five years old I spent several hours meticulously storing and organizing all of my toys in a closet. When I was finished, I told my mother not to touch anything in the closet because I did not want her messing up my carefully ordered arrangements. My mother's account of this incident has amused the family ever since. During my first reading with Dryer she described this incident in detail, as well as many other events in my life, as she watched it unfold like a movie in my energy field. She, too, chuckled as she described it. Dryer likens the images she sees to holograms and says that when she chooses one and starts to watch it, it seems to expand and fill the entire room. "If I see something going on with a person's shoulder, such as an injury, suddenly the whole scene widens. That's when I get the sense that it's a hologram because sometimes I feel I can step right into it and be a part of it. It's not happening to me, but around me. It's almost as if I'm in a three-dimensional movie, a holographic movie, with the person.
Dryer's holographic vision is not limited to events from a person's life. She sees visual representations of the operations of the unconscious mind as well. As we all know, the unconscious mind speaks in a language of symbols and metaphors. This is why dreams often seem so nonsensical and mysterious. However, once one learns how to interpret the language of the unconscious, the meanings of dreams become clear. Dreams are not the only things that are written in the parlance of the unconscious. Individuals who are familiar with the language of the psyche—a language psychologist Erich Fromm calls the "forgotten language," because most of us have forgotten how to interpret it—recognize its presence in other human creations such as myths, fairy tales, and religious visions.
Some of the holographic movies Dryer sees in the human energy field are also written in this language and resemble the metaphorical messages of dreams. We now know that the unconscious mind is active not only while we dream, but all of the time. Dryer is able to peel
back a person's waking self and gaze directly at the unceasing river of images that is always flowing through their unconscious mind. And both practice and her natural, intuitive gifts have made her extremely skilled at deciphering the language of the unconscious. "Jungian psychologists love me," says Dryer.
In addition, Dryer has a special way of knowing whether she has interpreted an image correctly. "If I haven't explained it correctly, it doesn't go away," she states. "It just stays in the energy field. But once I've told the person everything they need to know about a
particular image, it begins to dissolve and disappear. Dryer thinks this is because it is a client's own unconscious mind that chooses what images to show her. Like Ullman, she believes the psyche is always trying to teach the conscious self things it needs to know to become healthier and happier, and to grow spiritually.
Dryer's ability to observe and interpret the innermost workings of a person's psyche is one of the reasons she is able to effect such profound transformations in many of her clients. The first time she described the stream of images she saw unfolding in my own energy field, I had the uncanny sensation she was telling me about one of my own dreams, save that it was a dream I had not yet dreamed. At first the phantasmagoria of images was only mysteriously familiar, but as she unraveled and explained each symbol and metaphor in turn, I recognized the machinations of my inner self, both the things I accepted and the things I was less willing to embrace. Indeed, it is clear from the work of psychics like Rich and Dryer that there is an enormous amount of information in the energy field. One wonders if this is perhaps why Hunt obtained such a pronounced chaos pattern when she analyzed data from the aura.
The ability to see images in the human energy field is not new. Nearly three hundred years ago the great Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg reported that he could see a "wave-substance" around people, and in the wave-substance a person's thoughts were visible as images he called "portrayals." In commenting on the inability of other people to see this wave-substance around the body, he observed, "I could see solid concepts of thought as though they were surrounded by a kind of wave. But nothing reaches [normal] human sensation except what is in the middle and seems solid.Swedenborg could also see portrayals in his own energy field: "When I was thinking about someone I knew, then his image appeared as he looked when he was named in human presence; but all around, like something flowing in waves, was everything I had known and thought about him from boyhood."