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Human Arenas

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 321–341 | Cite as

Aetheric Energy: the Intangible Source of Human Celebrity?

ARENA OF ORIGINS

Abstract

All human beings have what I call an ‘aura pure’ within and around their living bodies, which I am visually aware of and express through my artistic practice: painting. Objectivistic science, which relies solely on externally situated perception, neither recognises as real, nor offers any explanation for this phenomenon which it regards as the product of purely subjective experience and hence to be neither demonstrably extant or quantifiable. On the other hand, natural inclusional science, which does not dissociate subjective from objective experience, recognises the vitality of a receptive-responsive relationship between intangible space and energetic flux in the formation of all living bodies. This raises the possibility that not only is the aura pure real, but that it can be understood as a vital, intangible expression of aetheric energy that contributes to the comprehensive life experience, personalities and consciousness of individual human beings. Celebrities have especially intense auras, which suggests that aetheric energy can become concentrated whenever and wherever certain qualities place a person at the focus of numerous others’ attention. Its psychological effects are very powerful and can be overwhelming, both for celebrity figures themselves and for those within their influence. This article explores the intangible source of human celebrity status and its individual and social repercussions, with especial reference to Western cultures.

Keywords

Aetheric energy Artistic expression Aura pure Celebrity Intangibility 

Introduction

I have been a painter for over 30 years. I have a special interest in the vibrant intangible qualities of the living human body and its inhabitant personality. I have chosen my practice to be in painting since I can represent the intangible vitality of human form most readily with a very material form of art. There is the tangible paint, the luminosity of layers of paint creating a glow, the physicality of the cotton, wood, pigment from the earth together creating work otherwise trapped in the artists’ consciousness. I use these material qualities to convey an impression of the flux of ‘aetheric energy’ within and around living human bodies that I am unusually aware of, which I call their ‘aura pure’ (see below). I have noticed that this aura is especially intense and complex around the celebrity figures I have chosen to represent, and have therefore wondered what role this energy might play in the process of becoming a celebrity and the extraordinary influence these personalities exert in modern culture. My enquiries have, however, been impeded by the limitations of objectivistic scientific praxis, based solely on external perception. Such praxis is unable to recognise or quantify aetheric energy as a ‘real’ phenomenon, regarding it at most as a product of purely subjective experience and imagination, alongside many other phenomena beyond the realm of tangible material existence, which it considers to be ‘paranormal’, ‘metaphysical’ or due to ‘extra-sensory perception’.

Recently, however, I became aware of a different scientific and philosophical approach to the study of natural phenomena, which does not isolate the experience and imagination of the observer from the observed. This approach is based on the evolutionary principle of natural inclusion, which holds that all tangible material bodies are products of the co-creative, mutually inclusive relationship between intangible space and energetic flux as receptive and responsive presences (Rayner 2017a, b, 2018). My awareness of the aura pure as aetheric energy within and around space not only corresponds with this mutually inclusive relationship, but also offers a possible new way of understanding the emergence and influence of celebrity status in modern human culture. My purpose in this paper is to explore this possibility and its implications for human understanding.

What Is a Celebrity?

The celebrity/star is an individual, who has existed during any time period and is known to thousands/millions of people for a particular human quality or ability. It will be agreed amongst ‘the knowing’ (fans/disciples, followers, the society, etc.) that this person exhibits or has exhibited a quality of human potential that society admires. This potential can be in the form of a talent—singing, painting, acting, writing, music, words, wealth creation, management, design, engineering, the arts as per what is considered to be ‘good’ within that discipline.

Celebrity can also be understood as an industry made of individuals which can be fun, light-hearted, glitzy, glamorous, money-making and/or intimidating. Celebrities often make themselves or are made to look extreme as archetypal individuals. Think of Che Guevara with his funky beret and deep set jaw a model of determination, trepidation and quirky as opposed to President Trump who has the hair, the pout intended to represent again determination and a real deal maker. Visually, a strong jaw indicates a strong personality—in real life, a strong jaw line is just that. It is what it is. The image is manufactured to represent a psychology of the individual.

Celebrities come in all shapes, sizes, dead, alive, human, animal, even animated. Emotionally, they are loveable and/or fascinating—this is a key factor in the process. Loveable by all definitions: admired, adored, loved, revered, penetratingly feared with a love of reverence. The celebrity can bring a type of hope, inspiration to the onlookers/fans/followers/viewers. There is an intrigue created around a celebrity—gossip who is doing what, where are they going, what are they doing?

Some definitions of celebrity can be derogatory as well as admiring. The online dictionary (www.dictionary.com) includes such synonyms as ‘Nob’ and ‘lord muck’ as well as ‘luminary’, ‘guru’ and ‘worthy’. The love/hate relationships we have with celebrities signify the contradictions held within our own value systems; be rich or be a decent person?

Through societal admiration, we can perceive some commonality of values. In Western society, this admiration is generally perceived as being given largely organically by fan/disciple/party-member consent. We know in the West we are manipulated by press haranguing but we are also free not to read newspapers, watch TV etc.… and can therefore ignore that intervention. In dictatorships, however, admiration of the governing hierarchy is powerfully enforced by propaganda and policing. This article looks to explore the largely organic process of society admiration that is not enforced by dictatorship.

In Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebrity), celebrity ‘refers to the fame and public attention accorded by the mass media to individuals or groups or, occasionally, animals, but is usually applied to the persons or groups of people (celebrity couples, families, etc.) themselves who receive such a status of fame and attention. Celebrity status is often associated with wealth (commonly referred to as fame and fortune), while fame often provides opportunities to earn revenue’. Mass media and its attention are correspondingly a key aspect of celebrity. The appearance and rapid rise of the mass media has created ‘celebrity’ as a specific phenomenon and industry.

Another important aspect of celebrity is a willingness to reveal oneself to public scrutiny, to open oneself to all the exposure you can get. The ‘reveal all’ story of the celebrity is required to expose as much of their personality, secretive parts of their lives, warts and all as possible. The current ‘reveal all’ story seems to be attached to historical sexual abuse which celebrities wish to have splashed in the press whilst at the same time, other celebrities show as much nakedness as possible.

The Manifestation of Celebrity as a Cultural Construct: Why Do We Need Celebrity as Part of Our Social and Psychological Functioning?

When one reads a novel, there is usually a central character with a few supporting characters. This is reflected by our own experience of life; ‘I’ am ‘one’ surrounded by a few supporting family and friends. This central ‘I’ is the only lens we can ever personally perceive through, notwithstanding the efforts of objectivistic science to set itself outside its influence. Through the process of exposure and reproduction through film and print this ‘I’ is revealed and so becomes familiar to each of us ‘many’ as part of the supporting cast of our individual lives.

Before the advent of film, ‘celebrity’ as we perceive it today in the ‘selfie’ generation as a heady promotion of ego did not exist. Fame historically was created through similar conceits but the intent differed. The Bible itself—a story reproduced from one to the many has been used for solace, manipulation and control alike. Royalty and emperors pushed their image and their intent to individuals through reproductions of their portraits on coins and in artworks. The most famous royals today from the past were those best at reproducing themselves, for example Henry VIII through the Holbein portraits and many others. For Henry VIII, the function of this process was mostly political (although one senses a little of the selfie gen in him!)

Fast forward to today with the splintering of the belief in God and the rise of Scientism: where does this very ‘human’ instinct for the attainment of fame move to?

We are predisposed through our innate genetic make-up, personal experiences and social needs to have values that lead us to accept certain information and energies given to us societally and by the same token to reject what appears unfamiliar or contradictory. It is this incoming energy which is being woven by society, to maintain the social fabric and I argue that celebrities are the beacons which highlight its current patterns of expression.

The celebrity is both a conceit and a construct. We perceive the pop culture world as a rapid paced colourful, gossipy world, effectively low-brow but within this conceit is a construct; the construction of a value system critical for our internal stability.

Please note throughout this paper that when I speak of ‘values’, the depth of meaning in this word is intended to be intense. All of us would kill or die for some of our values. Belief and values are essential to create the certainty needed to be a functioning human being able to relate sustainably to one another and our surroundings in a coherent rather than haphazard way. As babies, we are born with aetheric energy which is moulded by us and for us by ‘others’ around us in much the way that a river both shapes and is shaped by landscape. These others are adults, children, non-human organisms, fluids and solid structures that all preceded our coming into being and which we inherit. I can readily remember being aware of this moulding happening as a 2 year old.

Fixation of energies to determine good for self by means of the formation of what we call opinions, views and beliefs is a deeply embedded human condition dating all the way back to man’s earliest settlements. We can, for example, recognise from the earliest settlements a love of gold and a respect/awe for animals as evidenced by cave painting etc.

Values, the temporary fixation of the perceived good, fluctuate throughout history and consequently in our present. If one has lived for longer than 20 years one would have witnessed shifting values around gender, democracy, nationhood, religion, sexual conduct to name a few. It is this ongoing changing of the mind’s skeins of belief which go to make up some of our aetheric energy. Multiply this by all the organic matter we know about and you start to appreciate this extraordinary energy field.

Whilst the values of an individual are very limited in many respects, those few values that are held can become so powerful and deeply embedded that standing by them to the death (the ultimate) is a regular event in the both the present and past. Is this not the story of Adam and Eve? The couple’s value of pure knowledge was so magnetic they tempted and received the knowledge of death.

In Western culture, it could be argued that moral structures were first put into place by Moses and the 10 commandments. These 10 commandments set out a command for society which has stayed with us. I would now like briefly to explore the history of values and their representation in the body of celebrity prior to mass media.

Historical Analysis of the Celebrity Concept

Given our definition of celebrity as a phenomenon associated with mass media, fame and an ability to monetise this fame, the celebrity phenomenon of those criteria has only existed for just over 100 years, I would argue with the advent of press and film.

However, there are people who held the limelight at the time and continue to be handed down to us through history. The handed down characters has occurred through a very particular set of circumstances; the individual has to have left a legacy as material and aetheric energy; the icon appears.

This paper argues that the celebrity represents the value script of the current not historical society The icon entirely embodies a historical moment and has left a legacy from the time they were living but is resurrected or continued in the current society because the values concur with the current times.

Excuse the roughness of this historical gallop but a couple of thousand years after. The 10 Commandments arrived; there was an overlaying of gods and their attributes; Zeus—male anger and justice, Venus—beauty, Eros—erotic pleasure. The Narcissus of the Greek gods, this energy is very much present with us today: the value system of riotous anger, beauty, self-love and much more. This development of consciousness is critical to acknowledge since the values present in these gods have been partially resurrected in today’s values.

Looking at early Christianity, we can understand the values held within Christ. Firstly, Christ must have existed; a legacy only appears through happenings and remains of a person. The initial legacy that was left was the mass media of the day—the oral tradition. The divine was clearly a needed value in those times and personified in an individual. Salvation again personified by Christ was clearly important and has been a long-held societal value. However, behaviourally, the man himself does not accord with current twenty-first century values, which could be a reason why Christianity is diminishing. A man who speaks of peace—do not do unto others what you would not have done unto oneself but goes into a market place and upturns all the sellers there, in the name of God would not wash with twenty-first century law and shows a frustrated chaotic person, angered. This anger, the anger even of the Old Testament God is given righteous indignation as the justification—righteous indignation is not a value the West reveres today (New Testament Mark 12:31 and Matthew 21:12–17).

In terms of imagery, there is none surviving of Christ himself, even though imagery of people at that time did exist. There are at least two clear explanations for this lack of imagery; the belief that God was not to be represented (2nd commandment) or that the image and reproduction were not valued in the way that the oral and written accounts were. The image of Christ came to be important as Roman values of promotion and the concepts within the new Christianity matured. We see a flowering of Christ imagery after the Council of Trent (1563) raises the distinction between icon and image.

We see the earliest depictions of Christ as a rather young beardless boy in pre-Byzantine mosaics and later imagery to that of an incredible taut, usually white man with a well-groomed beard and piercing eyes (Januszczak 2017). I would say reflected in this movement of imagery of Christ is the movement in societal values; imperialist white supremacy, a deeply knowing kind person (the eyes) and a mature man rather than a boy. Of course alongside of this imagery came a huge leap in the ability to not only depict the human body and face in paint but also the acknowledgement of the individual in portraiture. Pre-Renaissance images are mostly not portraits but copies of the same types of facial expressions repeated.

History’s mass technology included written, oral tradition, art—statutes, mosaics, games, commemorative busts, plaques, architecture and coins to spread their message about their people and their ideas throughout the Empire. The Roman celebrity was initially used for court control. Aggrandise a person’s achievements to show the rest of the nation the right process of behaviour. As an example of a Roman celebrity, the Marcus Aurelius Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor 161–180 CE, setting forth his ideas on Stoic philosophy. ‘Meditations’ is apparently read by all ‘leaders today—industry and politics and it is considered, by reading this text they are better leaders.

Fast forward another thousand years or so and the concepts of ‘virtue’ and ‘sin’ arrived. These concepts in their original form were strong, powerful, almost super-human levels of the 7 virtues; prudence, justice, temperance and courage with the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, whilst the 7 deadly sins were to be battled against: pride, greed, lust, envy, sloth, gluttony and wrath. The Saints and Martyrs personified this battle and were the celebrities of the day although as stated above their function and intent were entirely different.

This saintly conflict has been watered down in Western society, possibly due to the rise of the opinion and freedom of the individual, where each person ‘stands on their own two feet’. Secularisation and objectivistic science’s re-invention of human purpose as a developmental mistake spinning, probably alone, in the vast infinite, has led each person in the West to determine their own values—liberalism. Those pockets in Western society which do not adhere to liberalism also have a very different appreciation of celebrity/value.

There is also a missing aspect of the Wikipedia definition (above) that ensures these historical individuals do not fall into the category of celebrity: that is the thirst for fame and status from the individual themselves. This thirst as a possibility was simply not available until after the Enlightenment and the fall of monarchical systems, where individual rights were subjugated to feudal law. For example, sumptuary law, which was adopted across most of Europe and Britain, forbade certain classes of individual to wear types of clothing. With this inability to individuate as a person, the ‘celebrity’ was a phenomenon which had difficulty appearing. Interestingly, most of the artists we are aware of from the Renaissance were written about by Vasari (1568), therefore revealing where industry specific individuals were given credence and individuated from the group they did achieve fame.

For most people, the ability to ‘improve’ oneself in society is a recent phenomenon, although an anomaly occurred in the Elizabethan era as evidenced by the increased number of actual portraits which still exist from this period. The rise of human rights and the individual alongside technological changes allowing the individual to announce themselves to the group allowed for the rise of the celebrity; alongside, this legal possibility came a thirst ‘to be significant. Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) goes so far to say that the entire history of humanity is based on recognition—the individual needs to be recognised by the other.

I could argue therefore that the first celebrities as we understand them today came through literature and art from the nineteenth century, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte etc. These writers often saw their popularity appear because of the small read easy pamphlets, lectures, published essays, journals etc. produced at the time and were spread widely. Film and its advent produced the first international celebrities as we would define them today with the Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin being our first global comedians, Greta Garbo being one of the first screen sirens….

As the mass media grows so too do the stars and their fame. Early mass media stars had and have some of the greatest levels of fame—almost unachievable today due to the splintering of the mass media and huge population increases. At that time in the twentieth century, the continued presence of the ‘culture of the colonies’ and the rise of institutions producing ‘fame’, i.e. the need for increasingly inventive money-making ventures (early MGM, twentieth century Fox and their associated agents, runners and hangers on) boosted the mass media technology to the stratospheric fame we associate with celebrity yesterday.

Moving into the twentieth century, we see the phenomena of the scattering of fame which has continued into today. With the effect of globalisation and the population explosion reaching into the hearts and minds of billions of people has become an endurance test. Celebrity fame is correspondingly fragmented across nations, countries, industries, gender, age and generations. This scattering of fame is more pronounced today than in the past when those few that became famous did so almost worldwide. Hence most of those nowadays perceived as famous, are only so in specific regions, within specific countries etc. Many more can have fame temporarily: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” – Andy Warhol 1968 (see Guinn and Perry, 2005).

Industry, Nationhood, Age, Gender and Age-Specific Fame

An industry will have its own icons who may not even be known outside of the industry. For example, Peggy Guggenheim gained iconic status in the art world due to her incredible work in saving and buying art and her will to go into Nazi held territories to save art works. She embraced the most successful artists of her era.

A person can be famous in one country, yet unknown in another, famous in the eyes of your children and unknown to you. Even icons in the West are unknown in the East and Middle East, and vice versa. For example, the Bollywood actors barely hit the news in the UK. Heads of state in the Middle East occasionally wander onto our screens but are rarely given significant air time.

Age-specific icons, for example teenagers admire their own group of idols that adults will have not come across. Men and women admire different people for different talents. It is oft said that skinny models are much adored by women and ignored by men—an issue where women believe this is the way to become and men are not particularly concerned with this aesthetic.

One myth I would like to dispel is this, are our current celebrities our godhead replacements?

Words like these are familiar:

As a curious atheist with only an academic interest in religion I have over some time now come up with the following working theory: celebrities are modern day gods (Klein 2014).

Definition of God in the Abrahamic religions—omnipotent, omnipresent, omni-benevolent; just to repeat all powerful, present everywhere (an instant contradiction to the materialistic human material mind), all loving.

No human ‘icon’ manifests these qualities. As wonderful as Gandhi was and as honoured as he is today he holds no qualities close to omnipotence, omnipresence, omni-benevolence.

Celebrity today as we have seen is a product of mass media needs, financial needs and as I argue here celebrities have become beacons of values, hangers for these values even.

Fame Metrics

The celebrity industry assesses the popularity of a celebrity largely on the basis of an A–D listing (Worldwide Vital Marketing 2014): A—list actors being exceptionally successful, B—list usually TV actors, C—list actor is a character actor that is known by face and not by name, D—list appearing on celebrity game shows. This metric is based on their ability to bring in revenue.

I have painted celebrities and analysed the phenomenon for 15 years. This research has revealed the process of becoming a celebrity seems to take a predictable pathway that moves back and forth from Cinderella to Princess and back to pumpkin; from obscurity to glory and return. The pathway is the story of the lives of many individuals. Typically, for reasons to be explored later, we perceive it as up and down or positive and negative, with down/negative being ‘bad’ and up/positive being ‘good’.

Aetheric energy makes no such distinction between good and bad up and down, but can be observed as memory, consciousness, perception in appearance as energetic responsive flux. It is our bird’s eye view of this exposure and the ‘fame metric’ here and in particular relating to KM+, which gives us the indication as to society’s value focus/compass point.

Figure 1 illustrates a metric of fame. The visual can be viewed along a road or along a measurement. The minutiae within the scale are ultimately infinitesimal and can be measured by sales, how many people know the celebrity, adding up their net popularity on instagram, press etc.
Fig. 1

Illustration of scale of admirable celebrity from left KF to Icon by Degard including yellow brick road illustration

It is also possible to have a reverse of the celebrity framework outlined above, where the different societal groups can be referred to from a negative point of view, rather than a positive one.

Values can seem contradictory. There are a few people who become KM+ who shock us - this aspect i refer to as KM+/-. Contradictory moral narratives/values are an aspect of the social weave that can push a KM+ to icon status and potentially from icon to KM. The scale slides both ways.

Donald Trump: the perception of Trump is multi-fold. A big mouth, fraudster, big shot to a saviour of the American people—making America Great Again! His celebrity success reveals the value compass of the society. Trump offers a beacon which highlights the contradictory values of American society.

Jeremy Corbyn: the ordinary man made good, a voice for politics which is certain, although often offering what I call a ‘fantasy politics’; we will ‘do this and do that.’. A politician before he is in power can offer a great many promises which often cannot be put into practice. Jeremy Corbyn seems ‘weak’ but holds a following and offers a certainty of voice. It is the voice of certainty which attracts the UK voters regardless of the validity policy being espoused.

The contradictory KM=/− shows within one individual the intense fight of that society to arrive at meaning, a decision. The KM+/− in the end dies and we see the end of the reign of power and fear but the values that person invested into themselves and was invested with remain. A case in point is the Qin Emperor, Qin Shi Huang—a terrifying blood lusting dictator who made intense inroads to understand the afterlife. His remains were discovered in 1974 along with his terracotta army. His actual grave has not yet been opened by the Chinese government perhaps for fear of an aetheric re-birth of his terrifying power. The contradictory KM+/− status he held in society at the time, as a value beacon continued forging China’s future with the concepts of a whole China and strong leadership being part of their value system long term.

How Is a Celebrity Made?

Taking the entire phenomenon of KM+ celebrities, together we see there are common characteristics. What are these essential qualities and how are they achieved?

Good quality talent is an essential characteristic. Often, this is a multi-talented individual synchronising two talents. However, this can seem inconsistent at times. The packaged story appears “they have very little going for them and they have ‘gone viral’”. This ‘story-line’ is a created one since the truth is their fame is a consequence of their talent for promotion. Some youtube-ers spend hours and hours planning and editing video footage to make their events go viral. These people are instinctively good at self-promotion and are often inspiringly young to be that good! This kind of fame tends to be KM not KM+ because they cannot stay the test of time which is a KM+ requirement—knocking it out for years and years. The story behind this story is one of fantasy achievement—a life where we wiggle our nose and achievement occurs magically as in ‘Bewitched’!

Comebacks are also possible now. Performers can become silent and then attempt to recover their position. If they were KM+, they can push to return to this position.

Royalty must maintain their royal position or they fall to KM. Usually, this position is maintained through engagements and retaining their position in the original households.

We can see, relating back to our historical analysis, there are values which have been held through the renaissance of Greek gods and goddesses. Beauty, humour, sex, intelligence, wealth, ruthlessness, sweetness, originality (arts and science), abundance, anger, extreme acts of impetuousness, violence or courage as in Zeus, Aphrodite, Ceres, Ares, Hermes, Apollo, Eros, Prometheus and in current culture Narcissus.

Health and consequently energy are needed for the individual to push themselves to be active to function. Being functional is fundamental to human existence and a key condition of celebrity and is required for the Herculean task of long-term persistence. In the main, one’s given talent repeated and promoted throughout one’s life is an essential part of KM+. Good-quality talent can, however, leave one lingering in KM at a low level for all of one’s life. There must be more to it than this talent and persistence over time.

One of the features we see as part of the construction of celebrity is leapfrogging on existing KM+. KM+ can be an individual and/or a business. Businesses include Disney, Cartoon Network, the BBC, Louis Vuitton, Apple, Microsoft—to name a few. Leapfrogging is part of reputation-building where one party literally leapfrogs with the other to create an ultra-brand—a larger profile and status.

KM+ business is the sum of thousands of hours of effort on the part of mostly KFs. A business person may choose to stand as a celebrity leader thereby becoming an industry specific KM+ or even icon.

The institution creates its expertise as part of the overall fabric for the people who wish to be KM+. Today, we have corporations focused entirely on the reproduction of sound/music—radio, the reproduction of short films—TV, film etc. Therefore, those that wish to be famous in sound need to go to those corporations and connect with them to achieve the outreach/exposure.

Kids with talent leapfrog using KM+ business to become KM and potentially KM+ themselves. Persistence is the difference, however, between the KM actors who then vanish from our screens and those that seem to stick. Selena Gomez is one of the very few child actors, amongst thousands who acted in ‘Wizards of Waverley Place’ but used her additional skills as a singer plus her leapfrog relationship with Justin Bieber to become one of the most famous celebrities of her generation. Further celebrities who have followed the same trajectory are Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande. These celebrities have as KMs leapfrogged with an existing KM+. KM+ often marrying them further securing their exposure position.

More recently, artists have been associating with top fashion designers, for example, recently, the Jeff Koons Louis Vuitton collection (Vuitton n.d). Fashion constantly hungry for new looks—the new black! absorbs, leapfrogs with other industries to re-style itself becoming ultra-brands.

There is another principle which is key to the concept of this essay, the hanger principle. Celebrities are often used as hangers and use themselves as hangers onto which industries can promote themselves and values can be furthered. The film industry is an obvious example with the many abuses of power of its starlets coming to the fore; how rising stars were requested to tirelessly promote the interests of the studios against their own better judgement. Figure 9 illustrates the ‘me too’ hanger principle running through the British tabloids recently.

Might the ‘hanger principle’ explain the production of celebrity in Western culture which has run alongside the rise of capital? Certainly, in cultures that have a less capitalist outlook and where the values of the society are more clearly defined by the top of the hierarchy, there are also fewer celebrities.

In Western culture, ‘push power’ is represented by the many platforms of communication which have been created online, offline, TV, film, radio, advertising in its many varieties, books, magazines, social media engagement. The middle East and China use the same processes but limits the use of knowledge to hold the state values rigid.

It is the intent with which the push power is employed that is interesting to observe. The main types of push power seem to be
  • To sell

  • To control people—with fear, manipulation, opinion

  • To inform

To sell and to inform are the most oft used push power devises in the West. To inform is often coloured by the informant’s desires to ‘sell’ or ‘control’ creeping in—academics and encyclopaedic knowledge is the closest to inform. Celebrities must work persistently with push power to achieve their promotional ends.

Aetheric Energy and the Aura Pure

But all the above is not enough! The proportion of people who achieve KM+ status is tiny compared with those who have all the necessary attributes just described. Something more is needed to convert potential into actuality. What is it? Commonly, this is put down simply to ‘luck’—being suitably placed to attract the right kind of attention. But this only begs further questions: what does being suitably placed mean; what is it that causes one person to be noticed and another not? Why do some people experience a delay in recognition, even for years?

The aura pure is the entire embodiment of all the energies of an individual. The energies include the material body, face and all our associated physical attributes; health, skeletal features, cellular, genetic disposition. The aura pure however includes the energies of mind, of consciousness and also of the intangible unexplored energies which we all ‘know’ implicitly but rarely discuss openly due to fear of dismissal in a predominantly materialistic culture.

These energies are known to all of us through vibe and karma—we have a sense if someone is ‘our kind of person’ or not! Celebrities can ‘turn on’ a type of energy—a sudden flash of the smile, that energy is sensed and is aetheric energy. Its totality makes up the aura pure.

The paintings represented in this essay are from ‘an aetheric collection’ which can be fully viewed at www.degard.org. This collection started in 2002.

How I have come to have this ability, I cannot be sure, but I do actually see aetheric energy and the aura pure and as an artist I decided to paint it. The aetheric energies are awe-inspiring when I see them and when I describe them to people on themselves. We live oddly alone lives knowing mainly our own voice, our own sights and the ticking of our own heart. To have confirmation of that those thoughts, emotions, memory, desire, truth by another—as in when I see people’s aura pure is a tremendous enlightenment.

The concentration of aetheric energy which the person brings to oneself and develops into celebrity figure in a way that interests me. I asked myself such questions as what is the difference in aetheric energy between a celebrity performing and the same person just out and about? What about sport? What do sports people have in common—if anything? Surprising results appeared.

The aetheric energy of celebrity is usually much more involved than that of a KF. KFs exhibit much less energy. This should not necessarily be interpreted as either good or bad: it is simply more or less and as such comes with the potential to attract more or less attention. What interests me is that aetheric energy displays distinctive kinds of patterns, which affect the kind of cultural influence it has and arises from.

Aetheric Energy Outreach

Aetheric energy that is spread horizontally denotes outward influence out—a spreading wide of aetheric energy.

The aetheric energy which makes up the entire aura pure of Winston Churchill (Fig. 2) is enormous. It is as if this energy spreads across the entire world and even tumbles like a cascade to the far right of the painting—Winston’s energy creates an entire landscape of its own accord—there is no planet Earth left in his aura pure; almost only the tiny region just around him at 10 Downing street in this photo.
Fig. 2

Winston Churchill aura pure – oil on canvas, 2016, Degard

The aetheric energy of Richard Branson (Fig. 3) is far more contained than Winston but nevertheless spread wide across the landscape. The landscape is a true place—a bit of artistic licence with Branson’s beloved (I think!!) Necker Island in the background. The photo shows Branson looking like the everyman superman, a tower of strength. This painting is influenced by Turner’s ‘Heaving in Coals by Midnight’. Branson’s aura pure stretches across the landscape with almost machine-like looking objects and organic forms, to my eye, although others have claimed they see other forms. It is this enormity of outreach that has led us to know Branson and admire him for his considerable good work (Fig. 3).
Fig. 3

Richard Branson aura pure, oil on canvas, 2017 by Degard

Fig. 4

Elvis aura pure, oil on paper and wood, 2015

Promotional Aetheric Energy

Aetheric energy that appears like a flame from the head seems to be self-promotional. I have seen this many times. I think the flame says, ‘here I am—see me’.

I am sure you feel a mix of intrigue and scepticism as you are reading this. I did! Until one day at a lecture by Rev. Professor June Boyce Tillman on Hildegard of Bingen, I realised two things: firstly, that the flames of Elvis Presley and Beyoncé that I had been drawing in 2015 (Figs 4 and 5) were almost identical to the aura pure flames that Hildegard had been showing in the eleventh century (see Fig. 6, her nuns did the drawing, depictions of her visions). Secondly, that my name which is a merge of my first name and maiden name was the same—Degard.
Fig. 5

Beyoncé aura pure, oil, silver leaf on wood, by Degard, 2016

Fig. 6

Hildegard of Bingen, with self-promotional flame

The certainty that Hildegard had seen and put onto paper, these visions and so had I independently around 1000 years later, made a striking impression on me. Researching this area for 15 years I have only discovered a handful of drawings which evidence the concept of the aura pure worldwide: Saint Hildegard is one of them.

Aetheric Energy of Athletes

Another interesting phenomenon I have noticed is the aetheric energy of athletes.

Elite athletes whilst they are playing/participating/in a match, race etc. nearly always have their aetheric energy absolutely tightly around their bodies. I imagine this is to use the energy of the aetheric for the ultimate performance (Figs. 7 and 8).
Fig. 7

Christiano Ronaldo aura pure, oil on canvas, 2016—Ronaldo in the corner, aiming to score a crucial goal in a Portugal World Cup qualifying match (Degard)

Fig. 8

Mo Farah at 2012 Olympics, the winning moment aura pure—pen on paper, by Degard 2013

Celebrities as Assembly Points Revealing Current Cultural Values

The Compass, Values, the Bird’s Eye View

The psychic Edgar Cayce once described a dream in which, floating above the USA, he was aware of distinctive kinds of energy, and hence distinctive colours, radiating from different parts of the country, each of which was associated with a different activity such as healing or commerce (Todeschi and Liaros 2012). If we rise above the celebrity culture to view the many celebrities en masse we can see another phenomenon taking place. Above, the details of talent and leapfrogging there is an intangible fabric being woven. If we can call such an intangible presence a fabric, then where do the fabric threads assemble?

I would like to suggest that en masse celebrities have become a compass, a beacon for a type of values conduct. This is a reworking of the morality of the saints and sinners and of the 10 commandments.

Perceived Admirable Values as Seen Through the Promotion of Celebrity

An analysis I recently made of a section of celebrity news in Hello! Magazine in October 2017 revealed a strong bias towards being loved, mothering, charitable giving and stamina as values which celebrities are being used to promote.

Further in the Wikipedia biography of Coco Chanel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coco_Chanel), her life is summarised as follows:

‘Chanel was known for her lifelong determination, ambition, and energy which she applied to her professional and social life. She both achieved financial success as a businesswoman and catapulted to social prominence in French high society, thanks to the connections she made through her work. These included many artists and craftspeople to whom she became a patron.’This lifelong determination and working until her death at the age of 87 assist in her legacy building qualities. The Christian work ethic is absolutely in play in modern society—to work hard is considered a positive value.

Professional, social life and French, European and British high society, artists—she was extremely well connected and effectively Churchill managed to get her pardoned of potential war crimes. Her reputation took a battering due to her collaboration with Nazi’s, Nazi sympathisers and spy activities it seems for both sides in the war. Her connections in particular Churchill, assisted her to side-swipe this dangerous reputation damaging situation.

In Business, she was the richest woman in France before WWII.

Most significantly at the end of this biography, there is a section on legacy. The desire …

‘A lot of people in this world don’t want the iconic figure of Gabrielle Coco Chanel, one of France’s great cultural idols, destroyed. This is definitely something that a lot of people would have preferred to put aside, to forget, to just go on selling Chanel scarves and jewellery.’ – Wikipedia on Coco Chanel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coco_Chanel). Therefore, her lifetime was an intoxicating mix of wealth creation, intrigue and social connections. However, she left an ongoing legacy which turns her into an icon, i.e. the business of Chanel lives on very successfully.

Overall, my analysis of the key values being promoted into the fabric of society includes the following:-
  • Positive: being loved, mothering, being a father, wealth creation, wealth spending, charity and spending, assertiveness, knowing your own mind and speaking it, peace-making, freedom winning, original unique thinking,

  • Negative: pushing the body beyond its limits—distortions (drinking, surgery etc.),

  • Contradictory: beauty, intelligence, social connections, racism, sexism, abuse of power.

As we can see from this very powerful list—please keep in mind that people are prepared to sacrifice their lives for any of these values—that the positive and negative values are not that surprising. The surprises lie in the contradictory values. The perception is that these values are negative, e.g. racism, but it is clear from my research and analysis that the still powerful and widespread acceptance of these ideals hold strong.

Beauty has had a shifting tide with beauty being re-worked continuously. Photoshop and filters allow the most contorted physical body to be normalised towards the beauty ideal. The ideal however is in flux. The ideal is no longer the Venus de Milo but a hybrid man/woman—diversity is the ideal which is rising into the positive zeitgeist.

Intelligence as interpreted as the ‘straight. A student’ is not always the key to success for many celebrities today. Original intelligence which is a unique quality retains its value. Politicians and celebrities are often keen to highlight their poor education as a positive status.

Racism: we have seen many major political leaders express racist and sexist remarks with no outcome. They might move along the KM+ scale a little but they will not lose their KM+ status for having racist views.

Social connections—the concept of social connection usually of the upper classes to each other and monarchy is potentially contentious ground today. It is clear however that ‘who you know’ is still extremely powerful, to be able to leapfrog and provide the hanger principle one needs to be involved with those people.

I am further working on a new painting series taken from press cuttings—the three examples shown in Fig. 9 are from UK press, Daily Mail on one particular week, February 2018.
Fig. 9

Celebrities, The Media and the aura pure (3 of 100): Daisy Ridley aura pure—oil and pen on newspaper, 2018; Pamela Anderson aura pure—oil on newspaper, 2018; Sophie Wright aura pure—oil on newspaper, 2018

This series encompasses newspaper cuttings from January 2018 to May 19th, 2018 which is the date of the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. From these three clippings which I took randomly of the celebrities included in the paper on these days in early February 2018, one can clearly see a feminist vs sexuality vs abuse agenda being promulgated. Some celebrities keen to show their sexuality and womanhood, some prepared to stand up for the outcomes of this ‘Hollywood couch’ abuse in the Me-Too campaign (women against being manipulated and used on sexual grounds) and others losing their jobs, as a result of the campaigning therefore potentially threatening the Me-Too campaign. The celebrities are acting out of their own desire for exposure and an inner integrity.

Their aura pure tells a very different story. The great circles around Daisy Ridley show a protection, the rectangular marking on Pamela Anderson on the right-hand side also show protection and buildings! and intense the self-outpouring of Sophie Wright’s aetheric energy is intense.

The aura pure and the press, mass media, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook etc. reflect, reinforce, and reaffirm the values that our society deem important but the aura pure is the intangible. We believe that it is the repeated reinforcement these values are impounded into our sub-conscious. However, society, the mass of individuals and their continually moving aetheric energies are creating a greater fabric, a true fluidity of meaning and sentience which the press and socials constantly attempt to catch up with. The fabric of society is both material and aetheric creating a weave of activity, values and energy which cannot be fully manipulated by one dictator or an over-invasive press.

Celebrities often believe that their actions are in friction with the exposure the media requests of them. This results in intense fear and personal conflict with the media. The celebrity to continue to increase or sustain his/her status needs exposure but this exposure may itself have a detrimental effect if the celebrity is cast in the wrong values light.

This conflict that celebrities seem to wage with the press, where they assume it is the combination of press intrusion and reputation management that dictates their popularity is nonetheless, I am arguing, due to a fundamental misconception. The misconception is that the celebrity’s battle is with the media and not the society. Any one individual is usually powerless over the value compass of an entire society—unless you are a dictator, i.e. the value creator. At any given moment, the values fabric of the society is shifting. The press, institutions and authorities are not necessarily aware of this shifting tide and continually seek to understand it using pollsters and surveys which are sometimes catastrophically off target,

Tides can turn quickly. Fashion, taste as we perceive it can seem to be fickle. Sleek packaging quickly decomposes leaving only a residue of truth. For all the funny films of Robin Williams, his tragic suicide will have brought his status down a notch. The icons and celebrities in our world cultures reveal the values we prize. The media tabloids are simply repeatedly reinforcing those values that are already culturally embedded.

Social, Political and Psychological Implications

In a recent essay, Rayner (2017b) came to the following conclusions:

‘Living organisms display sentience and depend for their sustainability on forming relationships with one another and their surroundings, from which they gather the sources of energy they need to thrive.

Evolution is a product of co-creative fluid relationship, not selective preservation of favoured varieties and removal of others.

Emotionality is an expression of natural energy flow.

Organisms are primarily needful, not selfish.

Opposition, enmity, competition and co-operation are human constructs based on definitive logic, not necessarily natural occurrences.

Love is a natural occurrence, not a human construct.

Wholes and parts, in the sense of completely definable entities do not exist naturally.’As described here, the aura pure is the sum total of the material and the intangible energies in and around us: it is who we are but is ignored by materialistic thinking based on abstract rationality. We are not abstracted from space but dynamic inclusions of space. We are sentient beings, we are vulnerable, and we are conscious. Although we might locate sentience in our nervous system we have no concept of how it actually arises.

There is an implicit ‘knowing’ within us that we speak of in terms of vibe, karma and their inherent co-creative values. This knowing extends to all live bodies from quantum scale outwards but is denied by objectivistic perception in spite of the abundance of scientific evidence that it exists (e.g. Marman 2016). The concept of the ‘biofield’ as a massless field that surrounds and permeates the physical human body (Kreitzer and Saper 2015) is in close alignment with aetheric energies whilst lacking consideration of the receptive influence of intangible space. When I see aetheric energy, this energy is aware and relates directly to the person, the person as material form is present and the aetheric energy appears and is intensely filled with memory and powerful layers of thought.

With the new philosophy of natural inclusionality, we can swiftly see how a communitarian economy based on co-creative fluid relationships between receptive space and responsive energetic flux could develop (Rayner 2010). Such an economy, where all peoples live together as needful, co-creative individuals and groups imbued with a sense of belonging within Nature, would be almost unimaginably different from what we have currently. All disciplines would be transformed. A profound impact on the psychological health of the entire society could manifest (cf Kalsched 2013). If each person is understood to be a needful, emotional, sentient-included-person, the strife and hardship of alienation, selection, abuse, suffering and discrimination would be greatly reduced. Celebrity itself might not be as powerful an industry since we would all perceive this meaningful recognition in ourselves and have no need to reach for it in another.

Overview

I have taken a snapshot of a small number of celebrities in this short paper. Clearly, a more comprehensive piece of work could be done on this concept including hundreds more celebrities along the scale from relatively unknown to icon. Further, being saturated in Western culture, I have restricted my treatment to Western values only.

The values we hold dear are a clear mix from Judaic, Christian and Muslim virtues; loving and being loved (love thy neighbour as thyself), mothering (Christ as a child being highlighted), being a father (Mohammed having many children, Abraham having hundreds of children)—as distinct from fathering—quite a different proposition.

As we would expect, wealth creation and being able to make money significantly is considered a high value but so is showing that you are wealth spending—charity, spending on material possessions and on business ventures. This comes as a surprise to me since wealth spending was not always considered something to take pride in. Being assertive, knowing your own mind and speaking it—i.e. certainty which has its extremes as Zeusian angry politicians, lawyers etc.—is strongly valued. Iconic figures have, however, achieved great national freedom through peace-making and freedom winning. Cleverness is as ever on the positive list but much more closely aligned with original unique thinking,

I skimmed the surface of powerful negative values since the media who I have been using as research and my own interpretations over the years of the KM+ tend not to highlight these. Clear 10 commandment negative values are evident with murderers being put in prison or executed, fraudsters being put on trial and in prison. These are obvious. The less obvious are pushing the body beyond its limits—distortions. The rise of cosmetic surgery and a middle generation who neither look old or young—‘a surgery generation’—is considered at its extremes negative. This is because of a reinterpretation of what is perceived to be beautiful. The surgery generation are however considered positively in general. Beauty is linked to sexuality and sexual reproduction in some ways.

The contradictory values are the surprise as highlighted with racism and sexism being contradictory not negative values. This shocks many because the value is contradictory with many people on either side of the value system.

Aetheric energy reveals all these twists and turns of human attention. Aetheric energy shows the build of wealth in the energy, the connections to others, the great expanses of outreach in some icons. Aetheric energy can show us, non-judgmentally what a person’s real intent is in their lives. The Aura Pure in my view is the answer to many long standing dilemmas in theology and our lives personally. Have we got free will? What is the soul? Is there an afterlife? The aura pure shows that a person builds up specific aetheric energies—given to them at birth and chosen by them through their lifetimes; skeins, strands, threads and swathes of energy which we absorb to ourselves. Because these energies remain with us, they feel like we lose choice through them; but we chose them in the first place and to continue as a vital aetherically energetic being, we continue to draw further energies to us and refute others. There is always choice but there is stability too; in the same way there is always weather, the clouds move, the rains come and go—there is an eco-system of aetheric energies.

As a final note, I would like to consider the impact on our personal lives of this thinking. Firstly, the understanding of the aetheric energies and the impact on our personal psychological health; I believe that many diagnoses are misunderstood as psychological when they are effects of aetheric energy movements. Objectivistic science recognises a type of geomagnetic field within which we exist and have around our bodies but what objectivistic science has not been able to quantify is memory and consciousness.

Aetheric energy and the aura pure give the solution to how the body and mind and soul manifest and create our conscious sentience and our free will. We are the very creators of our own maelstroms, neuroses and addictions but we are working with a weather system of energies to be understood. Our own personal values highlight the direction of our lives. Analyse those values and one can more deeply analyse and diagnose an individual’s issues. See which celebrities you like the most—they will highlight your values and expectations of life and how you have woven and focused your aetheric energy which like any cloth is able to be unravelled and remade.

References

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agility HouseHertfordarthouseCowbridge, HertfordUK

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