In my latest book, The Colour of the Soul, the main female protagonist wakes from an eleven month coma with the ability to sense auras. But how common is this condition? Can anyone really see the colour of a soul? In this short article, I’m going to explore the science behind auras.
The first question to answer is what is meant by the term aura? Definitions vary, but an aura is generally described as a subtle field of energy surrounding the body of a living creature that is regarded as an essential part of the individual. Auras are often associated with spirituality and reflect the mental or emotional state of the emitter.
The most common explanation for people who claim to be able to see auras is that they are suffering from synaesthesia. According to Wikipedia, synaesthesia (or synesthesia in the US) is a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. In layman’s terms, this means one sensory organ is cross-wired in the brain and affects other senses. Examples include people who can hear colours or see sounds.
The proportion of the general population suffering from synaesthesia is unknown, but it is estimated to be around 3%. That’s a HUGE number. If the figure is correct, that means as many as 200 million people in the world experience the condition in one form or another. Of course, not all will see auras, and for many, the symptoms will be very mild.
If we consider the five senses (touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste), there are twenty ways in which a synaesthete might experience an unusual sensation.
What about seeing a flavour? How about tasting a sound? Even smelling a texture? Scientists have studied the way the senses combine and have found that even in non-synaesthetes, one sense can have a strong impact on another. For example, a study conducted by Oxford University concluded that users perceived the taste of crisps differently depending upon the sound of the crunch.
Going back to the original topic, do some people have the ability to see the colour of a soul? Based on the evidence, in my opinion the majority who claim to possess this skill are probably experiencing synaesthesia.
So what exactly was Annalise seeing in The Colour of the Soul? In the first chapter, she has been in a coma for eleven months when a mysterious woman injects a dangerous drug into her drip. The nurses use a defibrillator to restart her heart and she wakes with the ability to sense auras.
When I wrote the book, I envisioned that during the resuscitation, the areas of her brain associated with picking up subliminal clues from the way a person behaves became mixed up with her sense of sight. Effectively, her subconscious was informing her conscious mind about somebody’s persona by overlaying colours on her vision.
But why is her mother’s aura dark? And why can’t she see an aura around her boyfriend?
To get the answers to those questions and more, you will have to read the book!
I can see the colour of your soul.