Психолог Иоганн Сваммердам

Aura for a psychologist

In my other articles entitled Egregor for a psychologist and Energy for a psychologist, I commented on two concepts of the mystical model, concerning which an everyman has a false notion, due to vulgarization and profaning. There is nothing wrong in this as for the everyman who has plenty of false ideas about anything. But a psychologist should be able to navigate the client's inner world better than the client oneself, so it is comfortable to be able to recognize the limiting beliefs based on conceptual errors.

Let me specify once again that the mystical model is neither my favorite, nor alone my only working model, but it is convenient for setting and solving certain classes of problems.

Here I'd like to analyze the concept mentioned in previous articles on the mystical model, the meaning of which the popular notion has distorted beyond recognition.

The aura is not a colorful halo around the body by the pattern of which one's mental state is easy to diagnose. As I said above, the mystical model works with such categories as informational structures and information exchange. So, the aura is a person's informational structure, or as discussed in the article Energy for a psychologist, a personal informational ornament, or in other interpretations, the perceivable part of this ornament.

The information that describes a personality, is contained within it, and constitutes its very body (for a person is certainly a body of information), obviously has a structure. This structure can be imagined as a certain pattern, an “ornament”. This, certainly, is not quite right; the personality structure is much better described by a multidimensional network model that can not be visualized, but an ornamental analogy will fit our needs well enough. This structure can be more or less accurate, stable, regular, fragmented, or active. Having all of these properties (and some other that are indescribable without mathematics), it can be conventionally called strong. So let us call this structure an aura, noting that the philistine view of the aura as a luminous halo is as far from its essence as the concept of physical energy is different from the psychic one.

This analogy, being fairly convenient for explanation, gave rise to a misunderstanding that resulted in the erroneous impression that this "ornament" should be perceived visually as a radiating ornament indeed.

If one's empathic, observing and interpretive abilities are developed well enough, they can really perceive other people's aura non-verbally. Often it happens via sub-sensory informational channels. Whenever one draws a conclusion about any qualities of the other, formally this can be considered “interpreting the aural interaction”. Ideally, these conclusions should give a fairly complete picture and be perceived in the form of direct knowledge or empathic accession. In such case one feels approximately as one's interlocutor, perceives their state of mind, emotions, character traits as one's own, and is able to formalize and interpret these sensations. Such an action is called "reading the aura".

As any psychologist can see from this description, there is nothing supernatural in this empathic process. It is an ordinary working tool, or even a part of regular communication. Pictures of a color halo that imply or directly affirm this halo to be the aura, or quack crib notes that "decipher" such a picture are the disgusting result of vulgarization, and the afterward sacralization of the false understanding of this term and processing its meaning.

I must note that, same as in case of "energy", people who can visualize their subconscious perception really exist. They can do it due to the weak but still sometimes existing connection between their perceiving mechanism and their subconscious. But such people are rare enough, because for such a process and such a result to occur, we need a combination of several rather infrequent circumstances, namely:

– a person should be able to subconsciously "read the aura";

– the subconscious that has this knowledge should not have direct access to consciousness;

– but it must be strong enough to visualize the received information in the mind in the form of a picture;

– the consciousness should be able to interpret this picture on the basis of the "arrangements" about the meanings of each form and color on it.

This situation is nearly the same as in dream analysis, which I described in the article "On the nature of dreams", thus having the same shortcomings:

“Alas, the contact between consciousness and subconsciousness (as well as between subpersonalities in general) is normally weak in case of an ordinary person, so these messages reach us in the form of vague suspicions, apprehensions, unexplainable whims, and the like (find more about this in the article "What the engineer said about intuition"). But in a dream state, when consciousness is inhibited, these messages can be conveyed directly and in more detail. Say, if we dream that our friend does not act well, then it makes sense at least to considertheir attitude towards us. Perhaps the subconscious noticed something in their behavior that passed by our mind. Yes, it can be wrong, but it's never harmful to think.

The second difficulty of this communication is that with most people the speech center is exclusively occupied by consciousness, so the subconscious mind simply can not tell us anything with words. Also, it thinks a little differently, so that the images in dreams tend to be vague and mysterious, even if the subconscious mind presents them to us again and again, making its way into our conscious mind with important information”.

In this sense, dream dictionaries used to be remarkably useful in the past. They were a kind of phrasebooks translating messages from the subconscious to the conscious mind. Of course, the subpersonality that sent those message was also aware of those phrasebooks, and could easily transmit simple messages, guided by a dream dictionary. Just for example, one quote from Miller's dream book:

"To see a dream about having three legs or more means that your enterprise is more apparent in your imagination than in reality."

Isn't it convenient indeed?

Of course, regarding the normally slipshod work of these functions, seeing auras means trivially hallucinating and making arbitrary interpretations of these hallucinations. This is so much more often the case than the "normally" working mechanism that we could presuppose any "aura visionary" to be a hallucinator. It will rarely turn out wrong.

Moreover, as I wrote before, I am totally against developing and using the indirect, "visual" method, even if a person is able to do so, since it is impossible to ensure its correct working, and it is too easy to dress up the desirable in the garb of real. Besides, its interpreting capabilities are regrettably limited to the “prearranged” set of signs given by the subconscious, such as a dream dictionary in case of dream interpretation.

The "correct" aura reading technique that gives "direct knowledge" is so complex that I will not even try to spell it out here. But I can describe the technique of "reading the aura" by the "joining" method. I will describe it in a full, "laboratory" version, but with certain experience it is "packed" into an almost automatic action taking just a few seconds, and capable of giving a limited but appropriate assessment of a person's video recording, or even just a photo.

1. Settle down opposite to the person and enter into an active meditative state (see "Meditation for dummies").

2. Evoke the maximum sympathy for the person, accepting them entirely (I usually refer to this state as "love"), without any criticism or reservations. In meditation, this is somewhat easier than usually.

3. Perceive the person as yourself, identify with them. This is the most difficult part, including you knowing that what you see in your vis-a-vis is your habitual appearance in your habitual clothes, in your habitual posture, with your habitual face expression. You've always been in this body, having this face, and so on. This is not always obtained from the first attempt, but rarely anyone can not make it at all.

After a while you will find that this identifying gives you unusual, extraneous emotions, a feeling of the state of your vis-a-vis, sometimes including as much as their kinesthetic sensations. If your meditation is complete, there will be no mixing with your emotions and self-perception, since there will be none of these. Everything that you will feel will belong to your vis-a-vis. This merging should be boosted to its maximum depth. Then do the following.

4. It is necessary to feel, fixate, remember the received information in detail, "walk" through it several times, sinking into the most important and large components, since you will have to interpret it separately.

5. Drop out of meditation, trying to keep the impression in mind.

6. Interpret the received impression according to your knowledge and experience, describe it by means of terms and concepts.

7. Make the validity check by asking several questions to your vis-a-vis, aiming at comparing the information you received with the respondent's answers. If it is congruent with their answers, it can be used. If not, give it up and take care to improve your skill.

Basically, especially at first, you should always monitor the quality of the result and avoid using it without confirming its adequacy.

To illustrate the above-given technique, and do a little boasting at the same time, I will give an example of a photo interpretation that I made a few years ago at the psychological forum http://www.b17.ru/forum/message_id.php?id=168881.


Lyubov' Oleinikova
Consultant in psychology, Saratov
№294 | 25.11.2011-10:54

285 | Lebedev Alexander wrote

Would you like me to fortune-tell a bit? Beware that I may accidentally reveal somethings you'd like to keep in secret.


Say what you like, You aren't annoying me. I'm interested to hear what you'd say.

Lebedev Alexander

Online consultant in psychology, Saint-Petersburg

№295 | 25.11.2011-11:08

You are a tight-lipped person, but when you let yourself speak out, you are straightforward and tough. You dislike hypocrisy in others, too. You've felt lonely, I think, since high school. There were friends in you life, but they didn't linger, or this friendship wasn't as deep and sincere as it could've been. You are a good listener and can lend a shoulder to cry on. You may have either kidney or alcohol problems. There are no authorities for you. You are cautious and examine everything. I guess you are a smoker. You may have done some esoteric practices. You don't feel at home where you live. I'm afraid, there's no place at all where you might feel cosy enough. You are responsible but not very diligent. Carrying out systematic responsibilities does not impress you too much. You suffered a loss about a year ago, or a year and a half. And you still cannot get over it.


This is about all. Could be mistaken, since the photo is too small.

Lyubov' Oleinikova

Consultant in psychology, Saratov

№296 | 25.11.2011-11:46

295 | Lebedev Alexander wrote

This is about all. Could be mistaken, since the photo is too small.


Everything is correct. Thank you. I'm planning to visit StP in March and would like to meet you.


I will add here that this “joining” technique doesn't go equally well with anyone. Moreover, it does not come cheap to everyone. I personally had lots of difficulty while learning to use it.

I can't help remembering my first case of applying it successfully. At that period I was trying to perform this technique at every opportunity, and once again I did it while preparing to get off the train which I took on my way to my summer cabin. Next to me was a guy, also going to get off, and I habitually tried to "connect" to him. At one moment, he put his hand into his pocket, and I felt a lighter in my palm. He took out his hand, and I was surprised to see exactly the lighter that I felt, and exactly in the same position.

Unfortunately, like any non-primitive technique, the “joining” may be performed erroneously at any stage. In particular, most errors are made by unworked people, who refuse to accept, and, consequently, perceive some aspects of their interlocutor. To succeed in this technique, one needs a benevolent, calm and cynical tolerance to absolutely anything that one can come across in a human being.
And, of course, there are always some personal restrictions. For example, I hardly read doctors and military men. I have no idea why.

This description is very short, it lacks lots of detail. However, it contains all the important elements, which means you can try to master this technique yourself, with good chance for success. However, if serious difficulties occur, you'd better to find a mentor than to force the result. Executive errors can be easily corrected by external control, but if they are not, the risk of autosuggestion, hallucination, substitution of reality by the desired is quite large. It is too easy to get stuck in these.

I can't say that such analysis always gives the complete picture. Its completeness depends on how deeply the fusion goes, how broad the scope of attention is, how good the ability to memorize the sensations is, and also on the quality of knowledge that allows these sensations to be interpreted. Nevertheless, in a psychologist's work, is not always necessary to completely describe the client's personality. Often the “joining” is required only to clarify or refine some individual details of the client, or to control one’s state. (At a certain level it is easier than asking the client questions and understanding the answers). Or it is a way to verify the client's sincerity.

I will stress once again that, as I wrote in the article "Energy for a Psychologist", there is no magic, or secret forces of nature, or telepathy involved. The more conventional information channels got shut out (in order to investigate this technique), the worse the “reading” went, until it became completely impossible when all of those channels were blocked.

And there's just one thing to add. Since at least some of the incoming information normally goes through the sub-sensory perceptive channels, under certain conditions it is possible to develop the ability of partially receiving information even "from behind the back", i.e. without seeing the interlocutor. It is mostly used to play tricks, but occasionally it proves useful in other matters.

©Johann Swammerdam

Translated by Maria Queder
Перевод Марии Кведер


© Иоганн Сваммердам (Александр Лебедев)

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