Colour, Light and Art are Nutrients for Mind, Body, and Soul
The physical body can be seen as an informational energy field; it’s not at all a fixed structure locked into space-time, but rather a dynamic process, which is innately shaped by our consciousness. This means that the body is changeable and responds to our thoughts and emotions; illness is not something we are condemned to live out unless we perpetuate this notion in our thoughts. IONS (Institute of Noetic Sciences) published over three thousand cases of spontaneous remission in almost every disease, which suggests the idea that the mind and soul deeply influence the body, might be true.
In order to understand colour, we need first to understand a little bit about light, since light and colour go hand in hand. Light is made up of photons, which are units of light energy that can be measured in wavelength (nm) or frequency (Hz), where different wavelengths are perceived as different colours. Deepack Chopra describes photon’s as “carriers of informational energy which permeate the whole universe and make up our entire light-body”.
Light acts as both waves and particles, and photons travel through space and bounce off objects and can be absorbed through our eyes and skin. Everyday we are literally surrounded by an ocean of light, and the reason why certain objects appear to have a specific colour is because (in the case of something orange) most photons are absorbed and only photons with the orange wavelength are reflected.
We absorb photon energy through the eyes, skin and energy field
We now have technology that can measure the human energy field, and have discovered living organisms produce small amounts of low level light called bio-photons, which are ultra-weak photon emissions.
2009 Masako Kobayashi - physicist at Kyoto University invented ultra sensitive camera that can capture living light emissions. Bio-photons were first discovered as early as 1922 by Russian biologist Alexander Gurwitsch, which were later proved to exist by German biologist Dr. Fritz Popp in 1972.
We are discovering that light is significantly influential on the human body. Blue light for example plays a key role in melatonin production, the hormone responsible for healthy sleep as well as visionary experiences.
We actually have specific receptors in the eye besides the commonly known cones and rods, that only detect blue light.
Too little blue light and we can’t stay awake, and too much blue light, especially before bed, and we have trouble sleeping. Sleep problems are now very common for almost everyone, due to modern technology producing too much blue light especially from LED lights and screens.
We know that we need just under six hours of quality sleep to function properly and stay healthy - this means uninterrupted sleep that allows for all four sleep stages to occur.
Stage 1 is a state of dosing when we drop off to sleep
Stage 2 is light sleep
Stage 3 is deep sleep
Stage 4 is REM sleep when we dream.
Stage 3 deep sleep is crucial for brain health because only during this stage does the brain detoxify. If we are not getting enough quality sleep, when we may not even reach stage 3, then our capacity to think clearly and effectively is impaired and in the long term can cause Alzeimher’s disease.
There are two types of light worth mentioning. There is incoherent light, which we get from the sun and from electric lights, and then there is coherent light associated with laser light. The human body is able to absorb incoherent light and utilise photons for cellular energy. In addition the bio-photon emissions from living organisms are coherent like micro lasers, and it is now possible to measure bio-photon emissions for coherence versus incoherence to determine how healthy we are; incoherence shows up when there is oxidative stress from free-radicals and thus disease.
Dr Popp hypothesised that in addition to absorbing light from our surroundings, that we also absorb light through our food; when we eat plant food we take up their photons and store them. Foods with coherent light emissions are healthier for us and it has been found that foods grown organically and left longer to ripen in the sun are much more coherent than non-organic foods ripened without sunlight. In the same way, eggs from free-range chickens with plenty of time outside in the sun, have considerably more coherent bio-photon emissions than eggs produced indoors. It is thought that eating large amounts of industrial non-organic food contributes to illness.
White light (sunlight) contains all the colours of the spectrum, and the spectrum of visible light is associated with the Eastern chakra system and correlates to physical, emotional and spiritual energy. Specific colours are attributed to each energy centre, but vary from system to system.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the principle of The Five Elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Wood and Metal, specific wavelengths of colour are associated with the health of specific organs. Red for the heart, blue for the kidneys, yellow for the stomach/spleen, green for the liver and white for the lungs.
Here are a few examples of the efficacy of light photons to promote physical health:
The Individuation Journey necessarily involves periods where we will need to heal. Indeed shadow-integration can be stressful and lead to imbalances. Colour awareness can be very helpful to support expanded self-awareness. If we know we are fearful, then increasing exposure to blue photons through art, clothing and interior design can help us stay balanced. If we recognise that we tend to be ungrounded and overly passive we may consider wearing more red clothing. Conversely we can follow our own colour attractions, and pay attention to colour cravings to understand ourselves better. For example orange is the colour associated with the 2nd chakra that manages the energy of relationships and sexuality. In the colour healing system of Aura-Soma, orange is used to overcome trauma and is seen as a transition colour. It’s not uncommon in my experience to see people going through a divorce suddenly attracted to orange, going as far as wearing orange coloured clothes, even if they had never worn the colour before.
The Colour Wheel
Here is a basic list of colour associations to help those new to the concept (they are by no means definitive or extensive).
Black: is grounding and protective. Black absorbs all light photons and can be a transition colour; I notice young people who are differentiating from society tend to wear black for a period. People in cities tend to wear black also, I suspect because it has a protective quality to it; it is a colour that reveals less and doesn’t send invitation signals to others since it doesn’t stimulate the senses much. Black is a colour sometimes attributed to the West in the medicine wheel; the place of healing and transformation, death/rebirth and underworld journeys. In Alchemy black is associated with the stage of Nigredo and the inner process of putrefaction and decomposition representing phases where we confront our inner reality, in order to purge false identities and ideas about who we think we are. At times it can represent a spiritual death.
White: is generally about purity and innocence. It reflects all light photons and thus contains all the colours. For this reason it is sometimes worn by healers and spiritual seekers. White much like black can also be a transition colour, as we embrace purification processes. In Alchemy it relates to the Albedo stage when we are able for a time to overcome inner darkness and experience revelations and insight; we discover and connect with an inner source often in the depths of the darkness. It correlates sometimes to the Crown chakra (7th) and thus our connection with Divinity and all things transcendent. In the medicine wheel white represents the North connected with strength and maturity.
Red: is a colour that quickly gets our attention, which is one reason why it's often used as a warning sign for possible survival dangers such as stop signs and hazard signs. It's stimulating effect encourages movement and fast responses. It correlates to the 1st chakra, which relates to survival drives, sexuality as a procreative force, tribal connection and sense of belonging. It is also deeply connected to blood; the blood of kinship and also blood as vitality. Red feeds the 1st chakra and tends to stimulate confidence, courage and action taking. In TCM it is the colour of the fire element and thus supports the heart and nourishes joy. Symbolically red can represent the feminine due to its connection with menstrual blood and red ochre earth. In Alchemy it is associated with the stage of Rubedo where energy is directed toward manifesting a fully awakened life. In the medicine wheel red represents the East connected with inspiration and guidance.
Orange: is an uplifting joyful colour, and correlates to the 2nd chakra relating to sexuality as a pleasurable experience, relationships, creativity and money. It can be a transition colour used to process trauma, especially sexual trauma. Studies show that the colour orange can create physical effects such as increased hunger, heightened sense of activity, increased socialisation, boost in aspiration, stimulated mental activity, increased oxygen supply to the brain, increased contentment, and enhanced assurance.
Yellow: is stimulating to the mind, and thus ideal in social places like cafés. It correlates to the 3rd chakra relating to personal power, and social integration - how we connect honourably with others. Yellow nourishes self-esteem and confidence in our capacities. Yellow is also the colour of the Sun associated with the archetype of the Self (the ordering principle of the psyche), and by extension life purpose and creative self-expression. In TCM it correlates to the Earth element and the stomach/spleen. An imbalanced spleen is often caused by over-worrying and constant thinking, where ideas circle but are never resolved or integrated. The colour yellow helps activate the memory, encourage communication, enhance vision, build confidence, and stimulate the nervous system. In the medicine wheel yellow represents the South connected with culmination, abundance and harvest.
Green: is a balancing colour, connected to abundance and growth, correlating to the heart chakra (4th) related to love and caring, and to heart-mind awareness. In TCM it correlates to the Wood element and the liver. Imbalances of the liver can express as anger issues and resentments; repressed anger can lead to headaches. Notably green foods such as spirulina, chlorella and wheat grass juice all benefit the liver. Green is a colour that helps alleviate anxiety, depression, and nervousness. Green also brings with it a sense of hope, health, adventure, and renewal, as well as self-control, compassion, and harmony
Blue: is a calming colour, correlating to the 5th chakra relating to self-authorship, and the expression of personal truth. It is also connected to the sky and thus can represent the Divine masculine. Deep blue can also represent the depths of the feminine unconscious, and is sometimes connected to the West in the medicine wheel and thus relates to soul work and spiritual development. Deep blue can also represent the night sky as the Egyptian goddess Nuit - the Great Mystery. In TCM it is associated with the element of Water and the kidneys/adrenals. Imbalanced adrenals are often caused by underlying fears.
Violet: is commonly considered a colour of both royalty and spirituality; the highly prized ancient purple dye was reserved only for kings and emperors, and high level clerics often wore amethyst rings. It correlates to the 6th chakra relating to clear perception, insight and visionary experiences. It is also considered a colour that stimulates transmutation (in the alchemical sense of lower frequencies to higher ones).
Pink: is often experienced as a gentle, soft and nurturing frequency associated with maternal love. It is essentially red intensified with white light, bringing red to a whole new level. Pink is a useful colour to use for healing and processing past childhood hurts and disappointments; it is associated with the heart chakra and unconditional love.
Art positively affects wellbeing
Tests have been done with art in hospitals, and the results showed that recovery rates from illness and surgery increased in patients who were surrounded with art on the walls. In particular, landscape scenes and abstract images tend to work better. For example images of water are very healing to the psyche. It is thought that the complexity of original art work has a stronger healing effect than prints and poster copies.
Colour awareness can be an invaluable asset for anyone consciously embracing their individuation journey. Through observing our colour attractions and aversions we can learn a lot about ourselves, and awareness of the power of colour to bring balance and wellbeing empowers us to take notice of our evolving colour wheel cycle so that we can work cooperatively with our own personal unfoldment. The effects of colour can at times be subtle and at others profound depending on our personal situation, and yet actively working with colour can make a big difference to the quality of our lives.