"The aura of any form of life can be defined as the quality of a sphere of radiatory activity. Very little is as yet known about auras, and a great deal of nonsense has been written anent the matter. The aura is usually spoken of in terms of colour and of light, due to the nature of the vision of the one who sees, and the apparatus of response which is in use. Two words only describe an aura from the point of view of occult knowledge and they are 'quality' and 'sphere of influence'. What the clairvoyant really contacts is an impression which the mind rapidly tranlates into the symbology of colour, whereas there is no colour present. Seeing an aura, as it is called, is in reality a state of awareness. That the seer may in all sincerity believe that he has registered a colour, a series of colours, or light, is entirely true in many cases, but what he has really recorded is the quality of a sphere of radiatory acitivity; this he does when his own individual sphere of radiatory activity is of the same nature and quality as that contacted. Most seers register the astral range of vibrations of a person or a group and this through the medium of their own astral body. The impact of a truth or of a mental concept and it recognition, is an expression of a similar contact, carried forward this time into the realm of the mind." (Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 752)
"The essential point to be grasped, is that sensitivity to impression is a normal and natural unfoldment, paralleling spiritual development. I gave you a clue to the entire process when I said that:
"Sensitivity to impression involves the engendering of a magnetic aura upon which the highest impressions can play."
I would have you give the deepest consideration to these words. As the disciple begins to demonstrate soul quality, and the second divine aspect takes possession of him, and controls and colours his entire life, automatically the higher sensitivity is developed; he attracts into his field of consciousness the outline, and later the details, of the hierarchical Plan; he becomes aware eventually of the planetary Purpose; all these impressions are not things which he must seek out and learn
laboriously to ascertain, to hold and seize upon. They drop into his field of consciousness because he has created a magnetic aura which invokes them and brings them 'into his mind'. This magnetic aura begins to form itself from the first moment he makes a contact with his soul; it deepens and grows as those contacts increase in frequency and become eventually an habitual state of consciousness; then, at will and at all times, he is en rapport with his soul, the second divine aspect.
It is this aura which is in reality the reservoir of thought-substance upon which he can spiritually rely. This point of focus is upon the mental plane. He is no longer controlled by the astral nature; he is successfully constructing the antahkarana along which the higher impressions can flow; he learns not to dissipate this inflow, but to accumulate within the aura (with which he has surrounded himself) the knowledge and the wisdom which he realises his service to his fellow men requires. A disciple is a magnetic centre of light and knowledge just in so far as the magnetic aura is held by him in a state of receptivity. It is then constantly invocative of the higher range of impressions; it can be evoked and set into 'distributing activity' by that which is lower and which is demanding aid. The disciple therefore, in due time, becomes a tiny or minute correspondence of the Hierarchy -- invocative as it is to Shamballah, and easily evoked by human demand. These are points warranting careful consideration. They involve a primary recognition of points of tension, and their consequent expansion into magnetic auras or areas, capable of invocation and evocation.
These areas of sensitivity pass through three stages, upon which it is not my intention to enlarge:
i. Sensitivity to impression from other human beings. This sensitivity becomes of use in service when the needed magnetic aura has been engendered and is brought under scientific control.
ii. Sensitivity to group impression -- the passage of ideas from group to group. The disciple can become a receptive agent within any group of which he is a part, and this ability indicates progress on his part.
iii. Senstivity to hierarchical impression, reaching the disciple via the antahkarana, and -- later -- from the Hierarchy as a whole, when he has attained some of the higher initiations. This indicates ability to register impression from Shamballa.
It would be of value if we now considered three points which are concerned with sensitivity to impression, with the contruction of thought, and with responsiveness to subsequent invocative appeals. These three points are:
i. Processes of Registration.
ii. Processes of Recording Interpretations.
iii. Processes of Resultant invocative Response.
I would recall to your minds the knowledge that the aura, which each of you has created around the central nucleus of your incarnated self or soul, is a fragment of the over-shadowing soul which brought you into manifestation. This aura is (as you well know) composed of the emanations of the etheric body, and this in its turn embodies three types of energy for which you are individually responsible. These three types are (when added to the energy of prana, which composes the etheric vehicles):
i. The health aura. This is essentially physical.
ii. The astral aura, which is usually by far the most dominant factor, extensive and controlling.
iii. The mental aura, which is in most cases relatively small, but which develops rapidly once the disciple takes his own development consciously in hand, or once the polarisation of the personality is upon the mental plane. The time will eventually come when the mental aura will obliterate (if I may use such an inadequate term) the emotional or astral aura, and then the soul quality of love will create a substitute, so that the needed sensitivity does not entirely disappear, but is of a higher and far more acute nature.
In this threefold aura (or more correctly, fourfold, if you count the etheric vehicle) every individual lives and moves and has his being; it is this living, vital aura which is the recording agent of all impressions, both objective and subjective. It is this 'agent of sensitive response' which the indwelling self has to control and use in order to register impression, or to direct etheric or mental impression out into the world of men. Astral impression is purely selfish and individual, and though it may affect a man's surroundings, is not directed as are the other energies registered. It is the aura which predominantly creates the effects which a person has upon his associates; it is not primarily his words which produce reactions, even though they are supposed to embody his reactions and his thinking, but which are, in reality, usually expressions of his emotional desires.
All of us, therefore, carry around with us a subjective mechanism which is a true and perfect picture of our peculiar point in evolution. It is the aura which a Master watches, and this is a factor of major
importance in the life of a disiciple. The light of the soul within the aura, and the condition of the various aspects of the aura, indicate whether or not the disiciple is nearing the Path of Disicipleship. As the
emotional reactions lessen, and as the mental apparatus clarifies, the progress of the aspirant can be exactly noted. I would have you distinguish carefully between the astral and mental bodies, and that which emanate. The bodies (so called) are substantial in nature; the aura is essentially radiatory and extends from each substantial vehicle in every direction. This is a point which should be most carefully noted.
The problem of the aspirant as he 'engenders' his magnetic aura, is himself to withdraw, and thus lessen the extent and the power of the astral aura, and extend and increase the potency of the mental aura. It shoul be remembered that the large majority of aspirants are definitely polarised in the astral nature, and that therefore their problem is to achieve a different polarisation, and to become focussed upon the mental plane. This takes time and vast effort. Eventually -- as mentioned before -- the radiation of the soul is substituted in place of the hitherto present emotional activity of the aspirant; this emanation is, in reality, a radiation from the love petals of the egoic lotus."(Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle, p. 95/9)
"The 'sphere of radiation' (aura) is a potent instrument in service, and its extent and purity of contact should be cultivated by the pledged disciple. There is true occult teaching in the statement in The New Testament that 'the shadow of Peter passing by, healed'. His aura was of such a nature that it had a beneficent effect wherever and whenever it touched or contacted those in his environment. The control of the Christ over His aura was such that "He knew when virtue had gone out of Him" -- He knew, therefore, that healing energies had poured through one of His centers to a needy person or group of persons. It is the aura, and its potency of attraction, and its stability, which holds a group together, which also keeps an audience listening, and which makes an individual of importance along some definite line of approach to his fellow men. The 'sphere of radiation' is easily determined by those who seek it out and who watch the effect of the radiation upon people in their community and environment. One highly emotional person, working through an overdeveloped and uncontrolled solar plexus center, can wreck a home or an institution. I give this as an illustration. One radiant, creative life, consciously using the heart or the throat centres, can carry inspiration to hundreds. These are points well worth careful consideration. You must, however, bear in mind that these centers are brought into activity by the cultivation of certain major virtues, and not by meditation or concentration upon the centers. They are brought automatically into the needed radiatory condition by right living, high thinking, and loving activity. These virtues may seem to you dull and uninteresting, but they are most potent and scientifically effective in bringing the centers into the desired radiatory activity. When the task is done, and when all the centers are living spheres of outgoing, radiatory acitivity, they swing into each other's orbit, so that the initiate becomes a centre of living light, and not a composite of seven radiant centres. Think on this." (Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle, p. 174/5)