The L-field is a name proposed by the Yale Professor of Anatomy Harold Saxton Burr for the electromagnetic field of any organism. Burr held that the study of this field offered great promise for medicine since it exhibited measurable qualities that might be used in prognosis of disease, mood and viability. The voltage measurements he used are not in doubt but the scientific community has all but ignored Burr’s term and his interpretation of the field as a blueprint-like mold for all life. However, progress is currently being made in the use of electromagnetic therapy to aid the healing of broken bones.

Beginning in the 1930s H.S. Burr’s seminal work at Yale aimed at a gradual accumulation of hard data to support the hypothesis of the bio-electric field as having emergent, unexplained qualities and acting as a causal agent in development, healing, mood and health. Burr set up a series of experiments, later repeated by other researchers, which demonstrated some properties of these EM fields which he called Life-fields (L-fields).

He showed that changes in the electrical potential of the L-field were associated with changes in the health of the organism. By leaving some trees hooked up to his L-field detectors for decades he found correlations between such things as the phases of the moon, sunspot activity, and thunderstorms. He found the axis of EM polarity in a frog’s egg could predict the spinal axis of foetal development, which he interpreted as suggesting that the L-field was the organizing matrix for the body. His insistence that the L-field has primacy over the physical aspects of the organism eventually resulted in Burr being accused of “wishful vitalism”.

In his work with humans, he wrote papers detailing his successes in charting and predict the ovulation cycles of women, locating internal scar tissue, and diagnosing potential physical ailments through the reading of the individual’s L-field. As there was little interest in Burr’s work, few other scientists even attempted to duplicate Burr’s result.

Student and colleague Leonard Ravitz carried Burr’s work forward. Ravitz focused on the human dimension, beginning with an investigation of the effects of the lunar cycle on the human L-field. He concluded that the human L-field reaches a peak of activity at the full moon. Through work with hypnosis he became convinced that changes in the L-field directly relate to changes in a person’s mental and emotional states. Most intriguingly, Ravitz showed that the L-field as a whole disappears before physical death.


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