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Observations placeholder

Schwarz, Jack - Beyond Biofeedback by Drs Elmer and Alyce Green – Diagnosis via auras



Type of Spiritual Experience

Inter composer communication

Number of hallucinations: 1


A description of the experience

Beyond Biofeedback – Drs Elmer and Alyce Green

As we have mentioned many times, the persons with unusual powers of physiological self-regulation whom we have studied often seem to be aware of problems in other people, even if the other person is not conscious of the problem. Jack had this kind of awareness. He amused us on occasion by saying out loud what we were thinking but not saying, and sometimes we teased him in return by saying that this skill of his ought to make it easier to explain lab procedures to him.

That was all in fun, but we got down to some scientific questions when Jack described a pattern of radiation, called an aura, which he said he could see around the human body. In the aura, he said, physical, emotional, and mental characteristics of individuals were visible as patterns of coloured bands, streamers, and areas of light and darkness. He agreed to be wired up on some future occasion while we monitored the physiological correlates of his faculty of "reading an aura."

The subject we picked the morning of that experiment for Jack to "read" was Pam Walters, Dale Walters's wife. Jack had never met Pam before, and when I took her into the experimental room where he was sitting, already wired up and plugged in, I merely said, "Pam, this is Jack. Jack, please meet Pam." After they had greeted each other, Jack said, "Don't tell me anything about yourself. Instead, I'll talk for about half an hour, and then you can ask questions if you like."

 In the next half-hour Jack gave a detailed description of the major physical, emotional, and mental events that had occurred in Pam's life over the preceding nine years. Dale grew more and more impressed as the session went on, and was nonplused when Jack finally spoke of things that Pam had not yet mentioned to him. Pam had gone to the doctor the preceding day, and Jack told her what the doctor had said.

To me, one of the most interesting of Jack's comments to Pam involved what he called "growth rings." He said that they surrounded the lower half of the body, like the growth rings in a tree. It was by looking at those rings, he said, that he could tell how many years had passed since some event had occurred. For instance, he said that a major event had occurred in June, eight years previously.

 I asked later how he got the date and he said that he counted eight rings and about half of another ring. Since it was now December, the event must have occurred about June, eight years previously. Jack said that the event involved the most important change in Pam's life. Dale laughed and told Alyce and me that was within a month of when they were married.

In all, Jack talked with Pam about seventy minutes, an unusually long session, he said, because he wanted to give us a good chance to make recordings. In general, the physiological recordings merely reported that Jack was alive and healthy" During most of the session he continuously produced occipital beta, but we observed that when he was not actively speaking, but pausing as if to search for words, ideas, or feelings, the beta was replaced in his record by a burst of alpha and theta. It did not happen often. Most of the time he was as busy as if he were reading a book.

That demonstration raised a number of questions about "projection” that have not been satisfactorily resolved. Many people, including ourselves, have seen auras on occasion, but Jack sees them apparently wherever he chooses to.

The question is, Are the auras he sees always radiatory patterns of energy from the human body (remembering the idea that body, emotion, and mind, though different, are constructed of the same basic energy) or are they automatic mental projections of one kind or another that are used psychologically to interpret a "knowing"?

Sometimes when we "know" something in this way we tend to "see" it in the same way that we see a memory. We know a memory is inside, of course; but if it is not a memory, the image-making faculty sometimes makes internal things appear to be outside, a projection.

This is one of those problems that cause scientists to misunderstand psychics. Psychologists often have more trouble than other investigators with people like Jack Schwarz, because they rarely know much about energy fields but they know a lot about psychological projection, which they may use as a last refuge for explaining (away) phenomena they do not understand. The question of projection is compounded when Jack says that he sees colored auras around human figures in black-and-white photographs and on black-and-white-television screens. When questioned, Jack said that he felt that the auras were "there.”

I asked him to explain how he was able to name a specific disease, as he had done several times with members of our group and with other merely by "examining" the aura.

"It is not easy to believe," I said, "that the name of the disease is spelled out in little letters of light in the aura.”

Jack laughed and said, "No, that doesn't happen, of course, but after I have seen the auras of three or four hundred people who have a disease of a certain kind, I recognize it, the same as a seasoned doctor would recognize a disease from a particular skin colour or skin condition associated with it."

"But, how about the cases," I said, "in which you name a disease that you have never heard of or seen before?" Jack had correctly identified a strange disease which had no outer manifestation in a friend of ours. "I saw a dark spot in the aura," Jack said. "I wondered what it meant and the word 'lupus' just came into my mind."

The source of the experience

Schwarz, Jack

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items


Activities and commonsteps