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Kirlian Photography, the auras camera
Kirlian photography is
a photographic process that captures the
auras or biofields of persons or objects within the photograph. The
technique involves the photographing of subjects in the pressence of a
high-frequency, high-voltage, low-amperage-electrical field, which display
glowing, multicolored emanations known as auras or biofields.
The process of Kirlian photography is named after Seymon Kirlian, an
amateur inventor and electrician of Krasnodar, Russia, who pioneered the
first efforts on the process in the early 1940s. Even thought the process
has produced results it still is controversial.
There seems to be no evidence that Kirlian
photography is a paranormal phenomenon. Some experimenters think it
reveals a physical form of psychic energy. Another theory is that it
reveals the etheric body, one of the layers of the aura thought to
permeate all animate objects. The understanding of this latter aspect of
the process gives rise to the prospects of beneficial benefits of gaining
significant insights in medicine, psychology, psychic healing, psi, and dowsing. Critics repudiate the process by saying that it shows
nothing more that than electricity being discharged which can be produced
under certain conditions.
Experiments in photographing objects in electrical fields, prior to
Kirlian, was called "electrography" or "electrographic photography."
Little value was seen in the process, so scant attention was given to it.
Electrographic photographs were exhibited as early as 1898 by the Russian
Yakov Narkevich Yokdo (also given as Todko. Research in the fields was
published by a Czech, B. Narvratil, also in the early 1900s. The published
evidence of photographs of leaves coronas was presents by two Czechs, S.
Pratt and J. Schlemmer, in 1939.
The initial Kirlian experiments were simple. In his first experiment
Kirlian just photographed his hand, noting a strange orange glow radiating
from the fingertips. His wife Valentina was a biologist, and together they
photographed both animate and inanimate objects. Over the years, they
refined their equipment and graduated from back and white to colored
The principle of Kirlian photography, as well as all electrography, is the
corona discharge phenomenon, that takes place when an electrically
grounded object discharges sparks between itself and an electrode
generating the electrical field. When these sparks are captured on film
they give the appearance of coronas of light. These discharges can be
affected by temperature, moisture, pressure, or other environmental
factors. Several Kirlian techniques have been developed, but the basic
ones generally employ a Tesla coil connected to a metal plate. The process
is similar to the one which occurs in nature, when electrical conditions
in the atmosphere produce luminescences, auras, such as St. Elmo's fire.
Kirlian's work mainly gained attention in the west during the 1960. Its
reception was mixed. However, scientist met on the process at Alma Ata in
1966. Biophysicist Viktor Adamenko theorized that the energy field was the
"cold emission of electrons," and the patterns they formed might suggest
new information concerning the life processes od animate objects. One
finding of Adamenko and other Soviet scientists was that the biological
energies of human beings were brightest at 700 points on the body which
concurs with Chinese acupuncture.
There is evidence that Kirlian photographs do give indications of the
health and emotional changes in living things by changes in the
brightness, color, and patterns of light. At the University of California
Center for Health Sciences, a plant's leaf showed changes when being
approached by a human hand and pricked. Even when part of the leaf was cut
off, the glowing portion of the amputated portion still appeared on film.
Other researchers have found that changes in the emotional conditions of
humans can be detected by changes in the brightness, color and formation
patterns in the photographs. When psychic healers and the psychokinetic
metal-bender Uri Geller were photographed flares of light were seen
streaming from their fingertips as they performed their respective
Many Kirlian enthusiasts declare that the leaf phenomenon is evidence for
the existence of an etheric body. But, critics state the phenomenon
completely disproves Kirlian photography. The latter contention is that
"If the method truly photographed a biofield, then the aura should
disappear when an organism dies. The effect is produced solely by a
high-voltage electric field breakdown of air molecules between two
Supporters of Kirlain photography do, however,
foresee its applications in diagnostic medicine. It has been used in the
detection of cancer with only a sporadic success rate. Some envision that
it will eventually be connected to computerized tomography (CT) scanners
(advanced versions of axial tomography or CAT scanners, which utilize a
thin beam of X-rays to photograph an object from 360 degrees) and magnetic
resonance imaging(MRI). This latter method uses no X-rays, but employs
magnetic fields to produce images of body cells and water in tissues.
Kirlain photography has been used by the Soviets
in sports psychology to access an athlete's metabolic process and fitness.
Gertrude Schmeidler, The City College,
New York, 61.
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