Today’s write up is another special request. (I am going to need to put a glass bowl on the piano for donations.) We will be delving into the New Age pseudoscience of Indigo, Crystal, Rainbow, and Star children, developed by Nancy Ann Tappe.
The idea of “Indigo” children was originated by Nancy Ann Tappe (1931-2012) in the 1960s and 1970s and first published in the 1982 book “Understanding Your Life Through Color”. Using the idea that certain people have a detectable “aura color”, Ms. Tappe originally identified 11 “life colors”, later claiming to find a rare 12th Indigo one. These people were “special”, with high intelligence or psychic powers claimed.
This concept is in no way new. Since the most ancient times, people have claimed special powers. Visions and trances fill the holy texts of the world. The Oracles of Delphi used trances. Those with special afflictions were deemed cursed or blessed by the gods. Julius Caesar is a good example. He either had epilepsy or the long term effects of malaria, and would sometimes have uncontrollable fits. He tried to hide this problem, but for those around him, they saw it as a human body struggling with all of the divine power it contained. Various holy men or prophets have collapsed into a fit, only to have arisen later with new divine revelations.
In the Victorian Age, all sorts of pseudoscience practitioners developed their ideas, scamming their customers for the new “revealed truths” that science had given them. Even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer of Sherlock Holmes, a fictional character well known for his genius and logical reasoning, was taken in by such charlatans.
The hardest part of this research was to find ANYTHING on Nancy Ann Tappe. Even a website devoted to her has no bio, just a photo section. All it reveals is that she was in the military once, and went to church at some point.
Nancy Tappe used “synesthesia” to see the color auras around people. Something similar can be done with “aura photography”, sometimes called Kirlian photograpy, which is actually just a trick of photographic development. Recently, I shared an aura picture of a coin with friends. What do you think the coin’s personality type is?
This concept is a new play on the idea that “genius requires madness.”The original writings discussed Indigo children as especially gifted and not able to conform to societal standards. Later authors such as Doreen Virtue added Crystal children around the year 2000, claiming that they have a universal consciousness and can communicate telepathy. They are sometimes called Rainbow children for their aura, or some authors list Rainbow children as a even newer subset. Star children are the newest group, “given” to us by aliens who can one day either return to their ET family or will lead the human race “to the new level.” The idea is that the process is accelerating, and one website claimed that 95% of the population were Indigo children now.
These ideas have permeated the modern world, and all types of games saying “What Color are You?” are based on this. Mine usually come up as some variant of blue. Horoscopes have evolved into using some of the ideas as well.
In reality, it is a load of nonsense. Every legitimate scientific experiment done has shown this idea to be false. In many cases, the children have been found to have ADHD, or trouble learning the standard way, or just felt lonely or alienated. Often the children’s parents wanted to believe that their children are unique, and end up isolating them more, even home schooling them. They often group the children with like-minded families, which only reinforces the belief. While many of these children grow to be well adjusted adults (often rejecting their parents ideas), others struggle with a lifetime of troubles, conflicted by the ideas they were taught with their lack of proven abilities.
There are lots of books and films on the subject, and it is easy to find “evidence” to back up the ideas from “experts.” James Randi has a standing $1 million offer if you can prove these abilities.
In the modern world, it is easy to suffer feelings of isolation and depression. Our population has access to information undreamed of by previous generations. Jobs rarely use the full potential of the worker’s mind. With longer lifetimes as well, we can imagine the life we wish, and understand that we have not reached that goal. We want, and should, be able to do more.
I will fall back on science. Each of you is unique, based on your DNA/RNA and life experiences. Even twins don’t have the same personality. You are already special, without all of the hocus pocus gobbledegook.
Fred Rogers, who also expressed his ideas starting around the same time as Nancy Tappe, said it best, and I will let him close for me.
“One of the universal fears of childhood is the fear of not having value in the eyes of the people whom we admire so much.”
“Everyone longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving.”
“Mutually caring relationships require kindness and patience, tolerance, optimism, joy in the other’s achievements, confidence in oneself, and the ability to give without undue thought of gain. We need to accept the fact that it’s not in the power of any human being to provide all these things all the time. for any of us, mutually caring relationships will always include some measure of unkindness and impatience, intolerance, pessimism, envy, self-doubt, and disappointment.”
“As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has- or ever will have- something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”
If you want a good book, skip the Aura section and buy”You Are Special: Neighborly Wit and Wisdom From Mister Rogers”.