I grew up with altered states of awareness.  Later in life when I left home to go to college, I experienced an expansion of these abilities which included seeing auras and some unusual energy effects.  I have observed over many years the development of abilities in this vein and have watched what one thing led to after years of experience.  I am not an expert, I am a participant.  I am also a very careful observer and my sense is that utilizing the scientific method is a sound way to wards a better understanding of just what is happening.  I say use whatever tool you have.  It isn’t going to suddenly make an ability evaporate.  But there are some things that will assist with them.


There may be a physiological basis for psychic ability, since my sense is that psi is not JUST some etheric woo-woo energy but is based most likely in our body’s ability to pick up on weak signals and translate them so that they make sense enough for us to interpret them in a meaningful way.  To do this, the brain has to do some pretty amazing work for us in order to create a picture that we can relate to and that has enough of the original information within it to generate the right kind of picture.  I will explain more about this when I touch on seeing auras in a little bit.


My own gut sense based on what I have observed is that the mind actually goes through a shift in how it is used and how noisy it is.  This reduction in inner noise can help to boost awareness of the subtle field of energy that is all around us, and it is this subtle or low level energy that I feel contains a wealth of information.  Further, I feel that our bodies are perfect biological machines for picking this energy up.  It is not coincidence that electrical currents conduct with the help of certain metals like sodium, and sodium is moving all through our bodies.  I just think that on balance, it is far easier to filter out these signals than to pay attention to them, and this is what most people do.  But for the person who has psi ability, these filters are not in place, or it may just seem so.


I know that I have been and continue to be someone who spends a lot of time in what others would call a spacey kind of state of mind.  I have used this tendency to my advantage in my creative work as an artist, and I very much feel that this is in no way a detrimental state in any way, but our culture has a leaning in the other direction.  We do not see such “daydreaming” as productive because if we are doing that, we are forgetting to do the things that need doing like taking out the trash and feeding the dog.  And yet, it was Einstein who was riding on a trolley car who had a great discovery all as a result of his daydream of pretending to be a point of light moving at the speed of light away from a central point.  In that moment, Einstein had allowed himself to drift and engage in imaginative play when this great idea struck him.  Now I know that we aren’t talking psi ability here, but I know that for myself, all of my altered states, out of body experiences, and energetic experiences all had one thing in common; I allowed myself to drift away from the rational into what I now know to be a more whole-brained state.  It just SEEMS like we are being dreamy when we live in a world that is so left brained dominant. But I think that the two hemispheres of the brain are the two vital mirrors for our reality and if we are going to sense beyond our own physical senses, we have to first be at the root level in all of this and this means the brain and how it cooperates in signal processing.  Sound hi-faluting?  It’s not.


It’s just that the left brain is very good at sequential information while the right brain is more holistic, and I think, able to deal with things as a whole.  Considering the aura is a good example; the aura is made up of a series of “layers” of information all existing at once and being presented in the field we call the aura.  There is definite biological information being presented, emotional, mental, and for lack of a better word “spiritual” material.  And this is being presented all at once.  This is the kind of thing the left brain isn’t very good at.  It is very good at taking things one particle at a time, identifying it in a linear fashion and then developing a strategy for acting on that information in some way.  It is the right brain that leads us to those far-out places where anything is possible.  the right brain is the dreamer in this sense (not to say you can’t have a great dream in the left brain, it is just going to be different in some important ways).


Being able to dissociate is a big hallmark for many psychics.  this does not always mean being “spacey” but this aspect may help lead to it.  What is interesting to note is that I have had some psi experiences that were smack dab in the realm of spaced-out states of mind while others, like seeing auras, were triggered when I was powerfully present, focused, but devoid of mind chatter.  One of the most powerful experiences I have had was a past life experience that involved huge amounts of energy that fueled my ability to see and be present in multiple perspectives all at once.  In this state of mind, I was at once slightly dissociated, but also powerfully present.  It was a kind of balance that had been struck, but I was not tuned out, I was tuned IN.  I think that this is important to recognize.


I think there is a level of dissociation that may be necessary in psi experience, and yet, within that “place” or space there is also a great deal of focus.  This is, I believe, simply a different type of focus.  I think we tend to want to define focus based on what we know from our mean level of focus, or what we know to be focus in most instances.  However, this precludes the possibility for other very valid forms of focus that are simply not the focus we use to get through our day in the usual way. This focus involves becoming more aware of the self and the body.  In doing this, I am aware that I am tuning into my own energy more.  As I focus on that energy, I am also tuning into  those subtle frequencies that are normally lost or filtered out or not noticed.  I think that for me, it is simply bringing in a very weak signal instead of being overcome by all the stronger ones, such as the vivid visual signals streaming in from my eyes, or auditory sensory stimuli from my ears.  I shift focus from those inputs and I feel as though I am tuning an inner radio to a distant signal from somewhere around Jupiter.  I turn the nob ever so slightly in my awareness and I get something….barely something…..but I just keep tuning it in….boosting the signal through awareness….and suddenly….there it is.  As a result of this, I have found that as my energy capacity has increased, so have the vividness of my psi abilities and inner experiences.  I think it’s a matter of focus and then signal boosting by learning to bring in more energy which acts in the same way as an amplifier does when taking a weak signal from something like an i-Pod or CD player.


Now, if you know how I write, you know that I do not normally write like this.  I am having to go about this in a much drier and more left brained way in order to make sense of this.  Some of this material, I just know, and in truth, I don’t think that I have ever given the signal boosting idea much thought, but it has always been there and obvious to me all along.  Really, I don’t think psi is woo-woo.  I think it is merely energy that carries information (like any energy does for us from radio waves to microwave transmissions in our commercial communications networks) and that is that.  What the “psychic” has been able to do is to locate that focus within themselves to tune in and then boost the signal.  The stronger the boost, the more complete the information in my experience.  As a result, I do think we all can do this, we just don’t have a good empirical way to explain it or identify it.  The problem here is that instead of turning on a phone to speak to a friend, we are having to access hardware and software in our own bodies in order to do this, and there are no on buttons to be found, or any of the familiar navigation buttons that we might find on electronics hardware to help us to find our way.


The issue of auras is an interesting one because I was able to observe what happened to me when I first began seeing them.  It was a set of very specific circumstances that took place and I am going to recount them here for what it is worth.  I was in college, I was late to class and this meant I had to run across campus in order to get to class on time.  The teacher was very clear about late arrivals; don’t bother if you are coming late to class.  As I sprinted across campus, all of my focus and energy was put into keeping my legs moving.  By the time I was nearly to the art building, I was huffing and puffing.  My body was starved for oxygen and all of my focus was on getting myself oxygenated and up those final two flights of stairs and into class just as the bell was beginning to toll.


I felt like I was about to pass out from all of this.  Within a few short minutes, I was seeing a brilliant haze around people in class and I considered that what I was experiencing was the aura (I had read up on it a good bit because I was fascinated with these kinds of things).  What I know took place was that my focus was placed in my body with few distractions.  I was very singular in my approach to all of this.  I also suspect that the awareness of energy was triggered by my awareness of my own energy field by being so focused on my body.  My mind was relatively free from mind chatter.  I was anxious, yes, but I my mind was not going a mile a minute.  My body was!


What I will share with you is that about a year after all of this happened, a somewhat skeptical friend of mine who I told this story to reported back to me that he had a friend who had begun to see auras after she had sprinted across campus in much the same way as I had.  My friend had not spoken to this person about my experience and was just relaying an interesting “coincidence” to me.


By being more focused on our bodies I think we are more focused on our own energy, which is connected to the body.  It is not some “overlay” that is coincident with the body.  they are of a piece.  for as much as the left brain wants to slice and dice all of this up into neat piles, all of these systems are part of an integrated whole.  By placing your focus on one, you are by necessity placing your focus on the other.  The linkage was quite easily created in that moment when I was focused on my body in that way.  In a sense, this experience began to relate me to my own energy field which I contend plays a vital role in “seeing” auras.  Now to make matters worse, I am going to tell you that you DO NOT actually SEE auras.  I know you think you do.  I know it seems like you do, but the truth here is that your eyes simply cannot pick up on the wavelength of energy where the aura resides.  Seeing energy?  No?  So what gives?


I have talked to physiological psychologists about this issue and they all have agreed when I asked them that if the brain were presented with stimuli that does not come from the five main senses, the brain will do its best to shoe-horn that information into a sensory portion of the brain so that it can make sense of it all. I don’t know for sure that the brain is even trying to make sense of ANYTHING.  It may just be doing its job as best it can.  If you are aware of information streaming in from a different source, then it seems the brain is duty-bound to try to make sense out of it.  So seeing them is itself a kind of neat trick.  It is also a very useful one since it creates a kind of hologram that is extremely useful for how much information it includes.  I resisted this idea initially, but I came to the conclusion that yes, my energy field DOES tune into the energy of others.  I am like a big antenna picking up these signals and then making sense of them in some way.  I knew this all came from my solar plexus.  But that is me.  I could feel how my own energy acted like a radio receiver, beaming in and allowing itself to be effected by the energy around it in a much more conscious way. Somehow the information was being flawlessly translated to my “eyes” for review.  After I made this realization I ceased being able to see auras for a couple of years.   But don’t worry: I kind of psyched myself out for a while—my inner vision returned and all is well.


Now all of this gets down to what I like which is the nitty gritty of psi ability.  It is itself a cautionary tale in how we are walking around in a sea of energy and it is important I think to realize that we do a lot to tune these waves out.  Perhaps we have to just to keep sane.  There is a lot said about psychic defense, and most of it is, to put it bluntly, misguided in some important ways.  So for the price of how much it costs to keep your computer running these next few moments, I will explain this to you, and bear with me because I know its a pretty big claim and is at odds with a lot that we know about psychic defense.


Psychic defense is very limited for the reason that you cannot keep energy at bay.  You can keep your awareness OFF the energy, but not the energy itself.  If you think about what you do when you create a barrier to defend yourself, what really do you think you are doing?  Have you observed closely enough to tell?  You will have to decide for yourself,  but I know what the answer is for me.  When we set up a defensive barrier what we are doing is creating  a way for our minds not to focus on something.  We are in effect creating a symbolic wall for awareness.  And yet, in all truth, our awareness has not limit once we are using the etheric or light body. the physical body certainly has limits.  You can only jump so high, you can only see so far, you can only process so much information at a time or squeeze someones hand only so hard before the muscles quit.  the etheric or energy body is not so limited.  What limits you in truth is your AWARENESS of what is going on around you, and a defensive barrier is a kind of hypnotic suggestion you make to yourself NOT to pay attention to something.  If you see how people set up walls of protection it is all the same whether it is white light or a brick wall.  It serve the same purpose.  You think you are keeping things out but what you really are doing is you are keeping it out of your current awareness.


Here is the other thing to realize which is that like energy attracts like energy.  Until YOU change your own energy, you will maintain an attracting effect to certain types of energy.  To understand this means some pretty thorough analysis of the people or their energy involved.  This is normally noted over a long period of time or from someone like me who is telling you about it so you can be more aware of it in the future.  The things that will hang you up the most will tend to reside within a cluster of things that will tend to repeat.  To see the repeat might take some observation on your part, but it is there.  I know a healer who explained to me that she had clients come to her who all were dealing with the same sorts of issues, all issues that she was dealing with also.  As she progressed through her life, there were different issues that would come up and so the clients who came in to see her would likewise shift and change in similar fashion.  Something happens when energy vibrates in sympathy; we take notice most often.  This is just as easily done with negative as positive energy.  What can be weird is how attracted we will be to someone even when the underlying energy is itself negative in nature!  Soul connections are very much like this but most people do not seem to get past the “Vibrating in sympathy” part to see the underlying issues involved.  It is really a big kind of trick in a way, and it is a trick we can overcome and understand better by learning a little about how sympathetic energy works.  it can go positive or negative, and regardless, it is the sympathetic vibration that feels so good to us!  I know this might be hard to take, but it is true, and if you are able to integrate this awareness, you can develop a level of understanding about what used to move and affect you and ascend into a still finer understanding.


So the best place to be is one where the chaos of someone else’s energy just does not matter.   The way through this is by healing the issue in you that is causing the sympathetic vibe to begin with. So often the sympathetic vibe has to do with an issue we have with other people.  Maybe someone’s manner is annoying to you, or they are abrasive, perhaps they are jealous, full of envy, or chaotic emotionally.  See, you would not have a problem with such people if you yourself was not at peace with what all of this is about.  When you are, you understand that the person is merely dealing with a lot of emotional baggage and you let them go through their machinations without it affecting you.  It is simply a non-issue.  Yes, they could be annoying, but they are not heart-rending.  You are more neutral.  In this neutral place you are also, perhaps paradoxically, more capable of anchoring compassion in the moment instead of getting upset.


All of this is energy 101.  I know it all sound behavioral, but energy IS feeling, so out of what you pick up from people is itself feeling, but feeling that is held at something of a distance from your own feeling awareness.  But it is there.  As you become more neutral, far more slides off your back and does not affect you.   THIS is the true nature of psychic defense. You can set up walls all you want, and yes you will keep things out, but it will be a limited form of exclusion. It is a good place to start, though, until you have mastered the refined art of healing yourself in order to be clear enough to not be affected by that sea of energy.  Most often we put up walls out of fear or anxiety, and fear and anxiety only breeds more of itself.  Putting up a wall against what we fear only delays dealing with the issue in ourselves.  I know this may not be what you wanted to hear, or maybe it is in fact just what you needed to hear.  Use mainstream defensive skills, but know that the ultimate “defense” is where it simply no longer affects you.


Now having said that, I will also say that I have had to set up very clear boundaries with some people in my life simply because of the chaos that the brought.  I also know that in that moment, I still have an issue with it myself, but I have also learned that I cannot heal chaos by staying in chaos.  I have to get to a different place in myself that is capable of healing that weird attraction to the drama that created the attraction in the first place.  It has been a real trap to try and fix it by going down into the mire.  That never works unless you are perfectly clear, and most often when we descend into the depths, we just simply aren’t clear by definition.


All of this is a work in progress for all of us, and some of these ideas will take a while to mature in you.  For now, as you look at auras, it is helpful that you just SEE them until it is time that you feel them.  In feeling them, you may receive more information and more directly, and yet it will also be something that will feel more like an empathic response or experience.  This places you much closer into the field of awareness of the energy, so you do need to develop some skill in being able to be more neutral.  It can be difficult to be neutral when you suddenly sense someone’s deep state off anxiety, for example, but it can be done by not allowing yourself to take it on as if it is yours.  There was a time when I was swept away by this sea of energy until I learned to stop and ask myself if what I was feeling was really me.  Once I did that, I was able to discern who this was coming from and realize it wasn’t mine.  Once I did this, I no longer identified with it.  I didn’t NEED to make it mine.  I could understand that this was simply what another was going through and I could let it go and focus on other things, or perhaps tell a story that would get that person’s anxiety into a little more lighthearted space.  It is methods like this that can keep you from taking on the woes of the world.  We each have free will and sometimes it is not up to us to fix everything that someone is going through.  It is a curious fact that pain exists to help us to learn to no longer feel it.  Without that feedback, the pain can continue. This is one reason why anti-anxiety drugs most often do nothing to fix the underlying anxiety which is best fixed by no longer having a fixation on the hurt or fear that is bringing on the anxiety.  Numbing it takes out the one necessary catalyst within the self that can propel someone out of just such a state. I know that this might seem cold, but it is true that most people will not change until they are at the end of their rope.  Sometimes we just need a powerful enough incentive for change.  Until then, we tend our wounds probably long past their expiration date.

Learning how to navigate through all of this in a healthy way is one important step towards developing abilities in this arena.  I also know that what I have passed on to you may seem unconventional, but I suspect it does not get much press for the simple fact that it takes substantive change, and this is no easy task!  But it is worth it, I think.