Auras. How long have I been seeing them? When did the white glow encircling people first become visible to me? At what moment did I recognize the colorful lights slowly dancing their unique paths around the humans in my life? I found the white illuminates easily visible at any time of day, while the colorful ones, like shy nocturnal animals, preferred to show themselves in the evening hours or during a venue with low lighting.
I can’t pinpoint the first moment when my senses were prepared, my consciousness receptive. I know it was sometime during the beginning years of intense spiritual searching. I had set aside my traditional Catholic practices and studied Buddhism, New Thought, and teachings from several cultures. Meditation, contemplative prayer, chanting, sound healing, massage, and other spiritual and holistic practices became daily dedications. I surrounded myself with people of similar interests and practices. Once during this time, when a gentleman was introduced to me, he paused then described a white light he saw surrounding my head. His eyes were kind and he smiled as he studied me, so I took it as a good thing. The brief interaction made me feel special.
Curious about auras, I perused the Internet, read books, had my auras read, all the while learning and wondering if auras existed and if humans could really see them. And then I began to see them. At times the auras were so vivid and colorful that I searched the room for the true source of the electromagnetic energy. Not able to identify an alternative source, I relaxed and enjoyed the visual display, accepting that the magical energy emanated from the person themselves. I could explain to you the physics of light, its studied properties, the ability of special cameras to photograph human auras, or discuss techniques to improve your ability to see auras. If you’re interested, there is a lot studied and written about light and auras. And it is written with much more authority than I have. But what comes to me is another question.
Why for most of my life did I not see auras? Why? Fundamentally, because of my lack of curiosity. Because my mind, my consciousness, my perceptions were not available for a new concept. Thus the ability to do something, to see something marvelous was unavailable to me; excluded only by my own dullness. Curiosity, and even more so, sustained curiosity is a powerful phenomenon. Like the secret ingredient of the alchemist, it is an essential and mysterious ingredient within us, the force within our being that drives us to take pause and look, to see.
The ‘ships not seen’ theory is based on accounts (some say folklore) of the indigenous people’s inability to see the ships of early European explorers as they sailed along the African and American shores. To quote Joseph Banks, a botanist on aboard James Cook’s ship of 1770, “Not one was once observed to stop and look towards the ship; they pursued their way in all appearance entirely unmoved by the neighborhood of so remarkable an object as a ship must necessarily be to people who have never seen one.”
The ships were ‘seen’ but not perceived by the mind. This notion is reflected in such everyday sayings such as ‘can’t see the forest amid the trees’ or ‘the trees among the forest’. What other wonders (as ships not seen) am I missing because I am not curious and something glorious sits before me, awaiting the moment when I simply pause and look up?