In her autobiography The Mirror and the Miracle Vicky Wall, the founder and innovator of the Aura-Soma® system, talks about the language of colour as a mirror which offers the possibility of recognising our truth to reveal the very essence of the soul, the deeper intuitive and wisdom aspects within us, the Miracle that We Are.
Colour is everywhere in our lives but we are not aware that it reflects the consciousness factor within ourselves. Consciousness can be defined as what it is manifest in all forms of perceptions, in all forms of knowing and it is consciousness that perceives what we are called to; whenever we are conscious of something, that something becomes the qualifying for consciousness. Consciousness is the possibility of knowledge, of “Knowing Thyself”, knowing the qualities and the potential that we are.
This concept underlies the core of the colour theory but it also recalls very ancient wisdom traditions with their profound teachings to support the individual in the process of self-awakening.
The first colour wheel has been attributed to Sir Isaac Newton, who, in 1706, placed the seven colour of the rainbow (from red to violet), created by the passage of light through a prism, into a natural succession on a spinning circle. The rotation of the circle blurred all the colours together so rapidly recreating the light/white from which they all come from, forming what we nowadays know as the colour rose.
The circle and the wheel are the most common and universal symbols, which can be retraced throughout all cultures. The circle represents the eternal perpetual motion, the ever becoming, the ever universally present, the Absolute unity, the Infinite potential, the Void. In the ancient times God was represented as a circle, the centre of which is everywhere and the circumference nowhere.
According to Buddha, the wheel (in Sanskrit. chakra; in Tibetan ‘khor lo) was an early Indian solar symbol of power, protection and creation. Originally it was an expression of the teachings of the Buddha himself as He was the one who had set the wheel of the Dharma in motion. This is why in the Buddhist tradition the circle/wheel signifies the completeness of the Dharma, the possibility of spiritual transformation through its own motion and chance of liberation from the endless cycle of Samsara, or the Wheel of Dependent Origination, called in Sanskrit Pratītyasamutpāda (प्रतीत्यसमुत्पाद) and in Pali paṭiccasamuppāda (पटिच्चसमुप्पाद).
“In Sanskrit the word for dependent-arising is pratityasamutpada. The word pratitya has three different meanings – meeting, relying, and depending – but all three, in terms of their basic import, mean dependence. Samutpada means arising. Hence, the meaning of pratityasamutpada is that which arises in dependence upon conditions, in reliance upon conditions, through the force of conditions.” Dalai Lama
In 1999 the Buddhist Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh simply described this concept in his book, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, as follows: This is, because that is. This is not, because that is not. This ceases to be, because that ceases to be.
The principle of dependent origination is related to the Four Noble Truths, which are a very fundamental aspect of the teaching of the Buddha because the realization of these Truths is equal the understanding of the true nature of existence, including the full knowledge of oneself.
In his very first sermon to the five ascetics at Isipatana, close to Benares, called The Discourse That Sets Turning the Wheel of Truth, immediately after the attainment of enlightment, the Buddha stated the Four Noble Truths in simple words:
- The Truth of Dukkha
- The Truth of the Cause of Dukkha
- The Truth of the Cessation of Dukkha
- The Truth of the Path leading to the cessation of Dukkha.
The literal meaning of Dukkha, generally translated as suffering, is “that which is difficult to bear” and it embraces also deeper concepts as imperfection, pain, anguish, affliction, impermanence, disharmony, discomfort, irritation, awareness of incompleteness, insufficiency and un-satisfactoriness. Craving or desire (Taṇhā) is the most tangible and immediate cause of suffering: every human action has its root in desire.
Desire hides the idea of not having, being frustrated, suffering. It means deprivation on some levels because wanting something hides a feeling of lacking of it; we only want things we do not have. For this reasons desire is by its own nature inherently unsatisfactory. Behind our craving lie what the Buddhists call the three poisons – Ignorance, attachment and aversion.
Ignorance is the lack of discernment, not understanding the way of things; attachment is the craving or desire for what we like; aversion is the repulsion for what we don’t like, or for what prevents us from getting what we like.
In the colour language the three primary colours (blue, red and yellow) are related to these tendencies, allowing us to bring an aspect of consciousness in a visual context. These three dispositions are not inherently negative within themselves, but they play a role within our daily life situations.
Their colour correlation offers the possibility to recognize the impulses/reactions we are driven by, bringing us the choice of becoming more and more conscious of our deeds in each moment: Wanting what we can’t have (Acquisitive) relates to Blue, Getting what we don’t want (Aversion) relates to Red, Not being able to distinguish between the two, not knowing what we want (Ignorance) relates to Yellow.
In the language of colour the solution to each tendency lies within the very same energy that fuels it: each poison is its own antidote, each colour contains within itself the possibility of a shift of consciousness; the energy is the same, we just consciously choose to use it differently and start to relate to it with mindfulness, awareness and acceptance – allowing.
When there is a predominance of blue, we need to practise trust and may be freed of the need to acquire. When there is a predominance of red, we have to practice detachment, not being identified with the different situation we live. When yellow is more evident in a colour selection, we have to practice consciousness in order bring more clarity by making friends with confusion and the desire to control.
At the centre of the wheel or colour rose we have the light/white/clear, correlated to suffering and the understanding of suffering, which gives birth to the three tendencies or dispositions. In the language of colour the clear/white means also Karmic Absolution. The word absolution comes from the Latin absolvere, which means to set free from the bonds, to release from obligation, which, in this case, is the karmic responsibility (responsibility = the ability to respond).
Karma is the Law of the Universe and it brings the possibility of learning from the seeds of our past unconscious (driven by desire) actions – which now manifest as the consequences of who we are – and be used to become more conscious and respond/enact in a new qualitative way to the events of our lives by upholding the natural order of the universe – Dharma.
In the ancient symbols we often find a dot at the centre of the circle. The dot represents the Will, Consciousness moving forward, guiding, leading our action. This icon is usually associated to the SUN, the Soul and in numerology to the 1. When we go to the centre, when we can act from the will of the soul, of the inner sun, from the inner being, we are no longer driven by desire, by the four elements (FIRE, AIR, WATER, EARTH) that trigger in us different sensations, and we can have a new vision of who we are, the potential and the talents that we carry.
The colours we choose are the manifestation of what we have done, the way we have done it and the potential that we can become: it may be a potential vehicle for self-recognition and self-awakening.
All colour spin around the centre, all colours come from the three primaries, all colours reflect consciousness. There is no difference between what you are, who you are, the colours you choose and you are called to, because they reflect the frequency of the consciousness hidden behind, and they are a mirror through which we can view the soul’s journey through time.
For the ancient Greeks, Iris, the Goddess of the rainbow, was the bridge that connected Heaven to Earth, God to man, delivering messages from the Divine and maintaining justice and order in the world.
According to the Buddhist tradition the rainbow connects the world of Samsara to the other world of the pure and colourless light of Perfect knowledge because it is the pathway that separates the mundane/profane world from the supernal and sacred realms. For this reason the rainbow is identified with the pathways of the Gods, leading to the change in man’s consciousness and the assimilation of God.