"The truth about Kirlian Photography" - Keith Buckingham-Hirst
In the seventies Kirlian photography was well known, if not well understood. However, these days Kirlian photography is better understood but not so well known. There are a lot of aura imaging technologies around today which for some reason or other have come to be known as Kirlian cameras. This is not correct, Kirlian cameras have come a long way since the seventies, but to be called a Kirlian camera it must make use of the Kirlian effect.
The Kirlian effect has been around for a long time and some startling claims have been made about its ability to measure; physiological, psychological and spiritual states. Claims of evidence of psychic abilities; distant healing, telepathy and any number of forms of subtle energy manipulations are routinely made. Perhaps the most startling and best know claim is the phantom leaf effect (see below). This experiment purported to demonstrate the existence of a morphogenetic field, a self-existent, pre-existent, organising energy matrix which controls and initiates cell growth. Kirlian imaging has been used to demonstrate the efficiency of organic foods over inorganic foods, natural remedies over synthetic drugs.
In certain circles, known generically as alternative, these claims are being accepted without question. Images are being produced which show changes and these changes are heralded as proof positive. However, what these changes mean is not clear, an organic pear showing a brighter image than a non-organic pear could be a measure of its moisture content as much as it nutritional value. There are, it would seem 'Kirlian researchers' and that title is available to anyone with a Kirlian device. Who demonstrate their work with little objectivity, as soon as they achieve the effect they were looking for or something appears which seems startling they cite it as proof of anything.
That is not to say that all 'Kirlian researches' are the same, it is just that the more sensational wins the day amongst people who are struggling to maintain their beliefs in a spiritual and mysterious world. In searching for objective prove of an apparently subjective world many are easy prey for misleading claims.
...what is the Kirlian effect?
The name Kirlian, pronounced (Keer-lee-an) is taken in honour of, Semyon Davidovich Kirlian, an electrician from Krasnodar, Kuban, Russia. He and his wife pioneered the process and dedicate a large part of their lives to experiment and research on the phenomena.
Kirlian first came across the phenomena when, in 1939, he was called to a research institute to pick up some equipment for repair. While he was there he witnessed the use of some high-frequency device being used as a treatment, which involved the patient holding an electrode in their hand. Electro-therapy was very popular, if not a little drastic, at this time. He noticed from between the patients hand and the electrode a tiny flash of light.
This set Kirlian thinking in a most unusual way, he wonder if he could photograph it by placing a film between the hand and the electrode. Why he thought this is still a mystery, however, he gave it a try.
The electrode was made of glass and so he knew it would spoil the film before he could switch on the machine. He then decided to substitute this for a metal electrode.
Knowing it to be dangerous, he was reported to have said as he grasps the metal electrode "Never mind, you have to make sacrifices for science." This first attempt was said to have been very painful and left a severe burn. [Ostrander & Schroder 1970]
Goghill (1988) defined the Kirlian images as the result of a high-voltage corona discharge caused by pulsed high-frequency waves and therefore explainable in terms of ordinary physics. He unfortunately neglected to continue to explain it in terms of physics, ordinary or otherwise. The physics of the Kirlian effect will be explored later.
History & Development
- 1777 - G. C. Lichtenberg, of Germany, records electrograms of sliding discharge in dust caused by electric sparks.
- 1880 - Nicola Tesla of USA demonstrates world-wide that connecting the human body to a high-frequency electrical circuit causes a bright fluorescence to appear around the body.
- 1892 - J. Nardkevitch-Yodko, of Russia, studies electrography and develops a method of investigating human energy states. His research was taken over by M. Pogorelsky in Russia and B. Navratil in Czehia'
- 1904 - Catholic priest, Father Landel de Morua, of Brazil, creates the electrographic (electro-discharge) camera.
- 1930 - Drs, Pratt and Schlemmer, of Prague, study contact prints of various subjects placed on the photographic film in an electrical field during electric discharges.
- 1939 - Russian technician Semyon D Kirlian (see above).
- 1970 - The book Psychic discoveries behind the iron curtain by S. Astander and L. Schreder is published and the work of Semyon Kirlian becomes known throughout the world.
- 1970s and 80s - Hundreds of enthusiasts all over the world are producing Kirlian photographs.
- 1980s and 90s - Many researchers from all parts of the world start to develop new approaches to the application of bioelectrographic techniques in diagnosis. These include: I. Dumitresku, of Russia, P. Mandel of Germany, N. Milhomens of Brazil, A. Lerner of France, H. Oldfield of England, A. Konikevich in the USA.
- 1995 - Invention of the Gas Discharge Visualisation (GDV) Technique - new scientific approach based on digital video methods, modern electronic and computer processing of data.
- [Koroktov 2002]
A new generation of Kirlian devices
Kirlian Camera's have been around for a long time now, but until now we have not been able to analysis the resulting images with any degree of scientific accuracy. With the advent of the GDV technologies Kirlian Camera's have taken a massive leap forwards. Now with real-time video and digital photography combined with computer aided processing and calculation we have a valuable and accurate tool for analysing informative energetic states of humans, plants, crystals, and liquids. Using methodologies from various holistic systems, meridian channels, chakra systems as well as conventional medicine an analysis system has been built up over years of trials in Russia by a team of scientists working under the direction and vision of Dr Korotkov at St Petersburg University.
Dr Konstantin Korotkov Ph.D. is a highly regarded international scientist. His technique, known as the Gas Discharge Visualisation (GDV) technique, uses state of the art computer, electronic and optic technology in the analysis of glow characteristics of living organisms, including plants, seeds, blood samples and micro biological cultures.
He is on the cutting edge of GDV Technology, a rapidly advancing world respected science which has developed well beyond simple Kirlian Photographs. Based at the St Petersburg State Technical University, Prof. Korotkov has developed instruments and software, which allow the direct real-time viewing of changes in the human energy field. This has extraordinary implications for Medicine, Psychology, Biophysics, Forensic Science, Agriculture and Ecology. [Author 2002]
There has been a lot of research on the actual physical source of the GDV images. There is no doubt that the main source is the stimulation by EMF quantum emissions of the subject under study. This emission is amplified by the gas discharge manifesting near the surface of the subject. Experimental research has demonstrated the possibility of two main types of discharge [Korotkov 2002] an avalanche discharge and a sliding discharge along the di-electric's surface.
The principle of the Kirlian effect is explored in the diagram. The subject (1) is placed in on a dielectric plate (2). A transparent conductive grid is applied to the reverse of this plate. Voltage impulses are then applied by the generator of electromagnetic fields (5) between the subject (1) and the dielectric plate (2).
Under a high intensity field, the subject emits a burst of electrons and photons. In the air surrounding and in contact with the subject an avalanche or sliding discharge develops, which serve as an amplifier of the subjects weak emissions. In section b) of our diagram it will be noticed that the subject becomes R0 in combination with C0 Thus any change in the resistance and or emission from the subject will result in a change in the output of the system.
The changes which can take place are thought to be on a holistic level. Including the condition of the surface potential and the emission of weak electromagnetic fields and signals. As well as moisture on and just below the surface layer of skin, many consider the state of meridian lines which are thought to be conductive channels which run throughout the body. Along with this is the assumption of the morphogenetic field and or aura.
When looked at dispassionately, without the need to include such contentious issues as meridians, chakras, morphogenetic fields or auras. We can assume that there will be forces applied to any molecules placed within the vicinity of a high voltage field. When these forces are great enough, particles will change their energy levels and will eventually be released from their balancing charges altogether. Then the particles, principally electrons, will posses kinetic energy, collisions will occur with the surrounding molecules and more energy level displacements will take place. This will be a cascading effect and the multiple displacements will result in light emissions in the corresponding wave lengths associated with the amount of energy released.
The forces (F) under discussion are proportional to the charges (Q) and the distance (R).
F = K x Q1 x Q2 / R2
K is a constant given by 1/(4oµ) where µ is a constant equivalent to 8.854 x 10-12
Note that F is a repulsive force and while Q1 and Q2 remain either both positive or both negative a positive value for F will be found. Should Q1 and Q2 be opposite polarities then the value for F will be negative and a negative repulsive force is an attractive force. From this we can see that should the conditions change so will the resultant forces. If Q1 or Q2 are free to move or the forces are sufficient to overcome their binding forces then R2 will change rapidly. However, this movement will bring into play other charges in the vicinity. This is an extreme over simplification of the processes involved in the Kirlian effect to facilitate some way of visualising and understanding what is happening when the discharge occurs.
What can be expected from a Kirlian camera?
From a true Kirlian camera you will not get a pretty head and shoulder photograph.
Whilst I have nothing against this type of camera it needs to be said that they are not any thing like a Kirlian camera. All Kirlian cameras utilise the Kirlian effect as outlined above. The Kirlian effect produces images based on the quantity and distribution of the auric or electromagnetic field with which it interacts. While colour images are available, the emphasis is on quantity and distribution, not quality, as depicted by colour symbolism. Do not be misled, be informed, and if you want Kirlian photography ask questions.
Let's be clear, any conducting substance placed on the plate of a Kirlian camera will produce a discharge, place a coin on the plate and you will see a glow around it. The glow will be relatively stable and continuous. However, a biological subject such as a finger will show a very different discharge pattern.
The difference between a subject and a test object is how the analysis is made. Over the years many comparative experiments have been conducted and a system of analysis has been adopted in which many different parameters are used to establish the energetic constitution of the subject, such as glow area, brightness, density and fractility. Along with this a mapping system has been devised where different areas of different fingers correspond to different areas of the body in this way a more complete analysis can be performed.
Originally Kirlian photographs were transferred directly onto photographic film, now with the advent of digital photography, images can be processed and analysed directly by computer and corresponding printouts obtained.
With the use of adaptive equipment and procedures it is possible to take photographs of not only human fingers, but among other things, oils, plants, unicellular organisms, crystals, and water. The photographing of water samples is proving very rewarding in research into the effects of conscious and spiritual transmissions. The images (right) speak for themselves but a Kirlian photograph was taken of a small vial of water, next, a Reiki master sent healing into the water, which remained in place and was not physically touched by anyone. The vial was photographed again and the resulting image clearly showed the effects of the healing.
This is just one experiment of the many conducted by the author and the research possibilities of Kirlian photography are limited only by the researchers own imagination.
When conducting experiments with a Kirlian device it is important to follow standard scientific procedures. An experiment is an observation, that is, we observe what will happen when. An experiment should not be designed to prove a theory; we should have no desire other than an accurate conclusion. Experimental design is a skill in itself which is beyond the scope of this article so I will just give you two examples of badly designed Kirlian experiments which have been widely publicised.
- The phantom leaf experiment
This experiment purported to show an organising, structural field associated with living things. A whole leaf was photographed and then a section was removed and the leaf was photographed again but this time it still showed the whole leaf. In order to create this effect the leaf is pressed on to the plate while it is being cut and only the cut part is removed. If the leaf is moist enough, moisture will be left on the plate and it is this which produces the phantom effect. When the leaf is carefully removed, cut and then repositioned on the plate the effect is not observed.
- Cornflakes have no energy
In this experiment a cornflake was placed on the plate and a photograph was taken, no glow was observed and so it was assumed that cornflakes have no energy. The Kirlian effect relies on a conducting medium; a corn flake is completely dry and does not conduct electricity. Therefore, no Kirlian discharge could be observed. A better method would be to moisten the cornflake before hand or compare a vial of water with and without the cornflake.
It should be noted that I am here saying nothing about the conclusions of these experiments just the methods employed.
Kirlian and spiritual development
The mapping system mentioned briefly above has been extended to include the seven major chakras. This means that the state of the chakra system can be closely observed and analysed. Suitable software can graph the balanced condition of each chakra. This has lead to significant and empowering steps in regard to a person's personal and spiritual development.
Kirlian and Health
In some countries certain advanced Kirlian devices are classed as medical devices and are used extensively in hospitals and clinics to aid diagnosis. However, when used in this way it is important to realise that the Kirlian photograph session is conducted under clinical conditions and by specially trained medical personnel. You are unlikely to find these conditions at mind body spirit shows so a good Kirlian practitioner will not offer medical advice at MBS events.
Kirlian and whole person analysis
If Kirlian cameras measure energy differences and fluctuations from finger tips, what does this say about the person as a whole?
If we take a closer look at the research work done over the years we find that when finger tip images have been taken of people with specific health issues it was discovered that defects in the discharge glow were observed regularly, not only on specific fingers but specific sections of these fingers. Acupuncture, the well know Chinese system of stimulating meridians, has contributed greatly to the current understanding of Kirlian images. Hours and hours of dedicated work has lead to a sector diagnostic system. A special mention should be made of:
- I. Dumitresku, of Russia
- P. Mandel of Germany
- N. Milhomens of Brazil
- A. Lerner of France
- H. Oldfield of England
- A. Konikevich in the USA,
- K. Korotkov of Russia
Such researchers have given freely of their research in the hope that it will be expanded upon for the benefit of the whole of mankind. It is interesting to note that in the field of Kirlian research very few patents and claims of intellectual copyright have been sought. Compare this with the pharmaceutical industry.
Below I have included a diagram representing the work of Dr Konstantin Korotkov which is still ongoing at St Petersburg State University, where the author studied under this remarkable man.
Given the health issues mentioned above how does this help in an analysis of the whole person?
The answer can be found in Holistic Diagnostics or Mind Body Connection. Given this principle a very detailed and life enhancing analysis can be performed. This principle can be best explained by a couple of examples.
The right side of the body represents the masculine, positive, outward moving side of us. It is the male side and so could indicate problems with men or masculine issues. Problems here may mean problems in reaching out or moving forward, an inability or a refusal to take the initiative. Rigidity here could indicate a rigid view of the masculine role. Pain in the right side can be caused by physical strain or over exertion but this could just as well be on an emotional or spiritual level. Think, where are you being too masculine or assertive, or where are you refusing to be so. Astrologically it is associated with the positive polarity.
The left side of the body represents the feminine, passive, inward moving side of us. It is the intuitive, introverted and passive side. It shows our perceptions of the female role and relationships with women. Problems here may indicate problems with feminine issues and relationships with women. There may also be an inability or a refusal to receive from others or an in appropriate use of the feminine principle. Pain on the left side may well indicate that you are not open to your intuitive side. Ask yourself, where are you being call upon to recognise the woman within or adopt a passive role. Stiffness on this side may mean that you are too rigid about what is your feminine side or the female role. Astrologically it is associated with the negative polarity.
The bladder's main association is with control and more specifically with control issues that have been instilled in us from childhood. Problems here mean that we are holding on, holding back, not expressing our desires, ideas or emotions. It is a refusal to go with the flow. Conversely it could be the reverse of the above, depending on the problem. We could be resentful or hurt by a person or situation but will not let it go or eliminate it. Sometimes a bladder problem can be caused because we are shy and wish to be away from the limelight. Astrologically it is associated with the planet Venus and the sign Libra.
Blood of course is oxygenated in the lungs and carries this oxygen throughout the whole body, which highlights the need for correct breathing. It also carries a host of other substances and nutrients, it also plays an important role in the elimination of toxins. In a perfect world the blood delivers good things and carries away the bad. Problems with the blood can occur when we are feeding our bodies with too much negativity. Anger too has its effects on the blood. Detoxifying the body regularly is an excellent idea but maintaining pure thoughts and emotions will greatly assist the blood to carry out its many functions. The blood seems to absorb our thoughts and emotions as readily as it absorbs oxygen from the lungs. Astrologically associated with the planet Mars.
Every organ and structure in the body has associations attached to it so by combining Kirlian photography, Holistic Diagnosis and Sector Analysis, a very detailed picture of the whole person can be built up.
I hope that this brief overview of Kirlian photography has given you a firm base from which to build and if knowledge is power, you feel slightly more empowered. This overview has concerned itself with just one technological tool which as been deployed in an even greater field of research, the study of the energetic and subtle states of life, the universe and everything.
- Gibbs, Keith. Advanced Physics, Cambridge University Press, 1988
- Korotkov, K, G. Human Energy Field, Backbone Publishing Co., 2002
- Snellgrove, Brian. The Unseen Self, C.W. Daniel, 1996
- Ostrander, and Schroeder, L. Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain, Abacus, 1970
- Rae, Alastair, I. M. Quantum Mechanics 2nd edition Adam Hilger, 1986
- Saxton Burr, H. Blueprint for Immortality, C.W. Daniel, 1972
Keith Buckingham Hirst
The Libra Centre
t: 01492 621076
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