I was chatting with someone the other week about life, the universe, and everything (which is one of my favourite sorts of conversation, always providing that my interlocutor enjoys tackling the subject with the same kind of relaxed exploratory humour as I do) when they suddenly leaned forward and asked me why it is that we can sense something that can only be described as a change in atmosphere – the bad vibes left by a recent argument when we enter a room, the kiss that we never witnessed but KNOW happened and other things that loosely come under the umbrella of human emotions that we have not been party to but can still almost taste in the air?
A good question. Something that I have often pondered, even as a child. A quick search on Google brought up loads of references to chi, chakra, negative and positive energy, auras, bioenergetics, luminosity, noetic balancing and many more seemingly pseudo-scientific terms for of the long-time and widely discussed concept of a human ‘energy field’.
Yoda describes the Force, possibly the most famous imaginary product of this idea, thus: “It’s an energy field, created by all living things. It surround us, it penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together.”
Is it completely unreasonable to imagine that human beings, and indeed many other living things, might be able to transmit some sort of energy – even charge the atmosphere in our immediate surroundings in some way? Let’s look at the facts. We generate heat and have mass, meaning that we can affect both the temperature and gravitational fields around us, and our nervous system emits millions of electric signals. Might each of us also produce our own unique energy field, underpinned by our personality and perhaps further modified by our situation and whatever we are experiencing at any one moment in time? Or could what we think of as ‘vibes’ emitting from other people be purely down to our subconscious minds intuitively recording infinitesimal physical signals and perceiving them as a kind of energy or aura?
My mother used to tell me that people came in two types: radiators and drains. (She could point out which camp someone fell into, too, with unnerving and unerring accuracy.) Her rather sweeping evaluations were definitely centred in some kind of truth, however. Some people do seem to emit a palpable positive energy, which can be highly infectious and make anyone dealing with them feel inspired, uplifted and energised. Conversely, other people appear to have a negative ‘aura’, and even a short spell in their company can leave one feeling mentally drained. I believe that this is largely down to personality but can be strongly affected by a range of additional factors including personal happiness, confidence and more. I recall how a talk to a room full of people about how they could use digital marketing tools, made at a time when I was very happy, caused them to quite literally buzz with responses, suggestions and ideas. I could almost ‘feel’ the effect that I was having at the time. So perhaps there is something here that we can harness for our own good too.
This is a subject that will probably (and maybe rightly) remain something of a mystery and continue to fascinate those who enjoy wondering about what makes us all ‘tick’. I cannot come to any firm conclusion myself, simply because I haven’t found enough evidence to either support or destroy the idea that many of us have what could almost be described as a sixth sense. For now, I am satisfied to remain an interested bystander and to take the guidance of my own intuitive observations, which have generally served me very well.