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The Human Aura: Astral Colors and Thought Forms
by Swami Panchadasi


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That interesting phase of occult phenomena, known as "thought forms," is so closely related to the general subject of the human aura that a mention of one must naturally lead to the thought of the other. Thought-forms are built up of the very material composing the aura, and manifest all of the general characteristics thereof, even to the auric colors. An understanding of the facts of the human aura is necessary for a correct understanding of the nature of the thought-forms composed of the same substance.

A "thought form" is a peculiar manifestation of mental activity on the astral plane. It is more than a powerful disturbance in the body of the human aura, although this is the place of its embodiment or birth in the objective world. It is formed in the following manner: A person manifests a strong desire, feeling or idea, which is naturally filled with the dynamic force of his will. This sets up a series of strong vibrations in the body of the aura, which gradually resolve themselves into a strong whirling centre of thought-force involved in a mass of strongly cohesive auric substance, and strongly charged with the power of the prana of the person.

In some cases these thought forms survive in the auric body for some little time, and then gradually fade away. In other cases they survive and maintain an almost independent existence for some time, and exert a strong influence upon other persons coming in the presence of the person. Again, these thought forms may be so strongly charged with prana, and so imbued with the mental force of the person, that they will actually be thrown off and away from the aura itself, and travel in space until they exhaust their initial energy--in the meantime exerting an influence upon the psychic aura of other persons.

A thought-form is more than merely a strongly manifested thought--it really is such a thought, but surrounded by a body of ethereal substance, charged with prana, and even carrying with it the vibration of the life energy of its creator. It is a child of the mind of its creator, and acquires a portion of his life-essence, so to speak, which abides with it for a longer or shorter time after its birth. In extreme instances it becomes practically a semi-living elemental force, of necessarily comparatively short life.

To those who find it difficult to understand how a thought-form can persist after separation from the presence of the thinker, I would say that the phenomena is similar to that of light traveling in space, long after the star which originated it has been destroyed. Or, again, it is like the vibrations of heat remaining in a room after the lamp or stove causing it has been removed, or the fire in the grate having died out. Or like the sound waves of the drum-beat persisting after the beat itself has ceased. It is all a matter of the persistence of vibrations.

Thought forms differ greatly one from the other in the matter of shape and general appearance. The most common and simple form is that of an undulating wave, or series of tiny waves, resembling the circles caused by the dropping of a pebble into a still pond. Another form is that of a tiny rotating bit of cloud-like substance, sometimes whirling towards a central point, like a whirlpool; and sometimes swirling away from the central point like the familiar "pin-wheel" fireworks toy. Another form is akin the ring of smoke projected from the coughing locomotive, or the rounded lips of the cigar smoker, the movement in this kind being a form of spiral rotation. Other thought forms have the appearance of swiftly rotating balls of cloudy substance, often glowing with a faint phosphorescence.

How to Become Psychic offers further advice on developing your psychic potential.