The Theosophical Forum – January 1936

TRANSACTIONS OF THE POINT LOMA LODGE: LIGHT AND COLOR

G. de P. — Brother Clark I believe spoke of light and color. Now the sevenfold solar beam we perceive as what we call white light or yellow light. We call it white light. Let this ray pass through a prism — and you have a beautiful series of colors. Now each one of these different colors is an individual color. Nature produces it every time under the right circumstances. We have here seven different forces of Father-Sun occupying space. Question: These seven different forces of the solar beam when joined form what we call white light. It needs all to form our common or ordinary light. Is white light then the most spiritual or the most material? To form the complete man we need all his seven principles.

B. de Zirkoff — It is neither the most spiritual nor is it the most material, as it combines all in one unity. I think that the white light referred to can be symbolically, or rather by analogy, spoken of as Space, and white light has within it the polarity of the most spiritual and the most material and all the rays in between. So is space that polarity which manifests as consciousness and substances — as the consciousness-side of the universe and the substance-side of the universe. If neither is unitary throughout in its methods of manifestation and functioning there should be and there is a perfect analogy from one realm to the other. Therefore we can see in white light the sum-total of all colors as the sun is the sum-total of all the energies of its own universe. And so is space by analogy that which doesn't merely contain all there is but is all that can have existence.

O. Tyberg — I quite agree with Mr. de Zirkoff. If you regard for instance the physical body as a representation of the spiritual as well as the material cause, white light stands in relation to all the colors as does the physical body to the organic body which manifests itself by six distinct forces or, as we say in Theosophy, by six principles. Those came out of the one, but that one we do not see, and that one is Darkness. It seems to me really that the most divine is darkness and the least divine, the most material, is the white light, that which we see in space.

L. Plummer — A reflexion has been going through my mind in this way: that as you may pass a beam of white light through a prism, causing it to split up into the seven prismatic colors, so this spectrum may be passed through a second prism, thus bringing the colors together, and making white light once more. Symbolically the prisms are like laya-centers. The light, which in itself is perfectly invisible until it strikes the eye, represents consciousness on its way to manifestation as a seven-principled entity, which latter is represented by the multicolored spectrum. The return of the consciousness-center into unmanifested life is here symbolized by the passing of the seven colors through the second prism. It does not seem, therefore, that white light in itself is more spiritual than colored light in general. Which of the colors is the more spiritual and which the more material, is determined by the law of correspondences, wherein it is found that each color is directly associated with one of the human principles. That white light is the sum-total of all the colors shows that it contains within itself, though undifferentiated, the spiritual as well as the material.

[Several more responses followed, here omitted for lack of space.]

G. de P. — The answers have been splendid. I think these thoughts are very suggestive if we do not wander off into too distant spaces of abstraction. Now for instance, this thought occurred to me, Mme. Chairman. All the different colors of the solar spectrum originate in the sun and are represented on our earth in the form of light, of forces — forces in the sun, every color of which is the outflow or efflux of a distinct force or principle. Question: Although all these forces and substances are in essence divine to us human beings with our scale of relativities, which one of the seven colors is the most spiritual, or the more spiritual color than some other color? That is a very interesting thought to me. It is suggestive.

[The meeting of April 14th was given over to a lively discussion of the Leader's question last quoted. Space does not permit the inclusion of the many interesting remarks, but the gist of them may perhaps in degree be gathered from G. de P.'s own comments which follow, from which also the Theosophical teaching will be made clear.]

G. de P. — May I ask the indulgence of the Chair to say a few words." Companions, I had it in my mind to ask you to think over this very interesting theme of thought not so much from the standpoint of color as a pigment, as one of the speakers has pointed out; but from the standpoint of recollecting that as the Sun is the vehicle of a Divinity, whatever flows forth from it is rooted in the Divine. There are seven — or ten — solar forces or elements. From these seven solar individualities, powers, forces, flow streams of substance or force, combined in the light which we receive and recognise by our eyes as daylight, white light. Pass this solar beam through a prism, and you have it broken up into its component parts, which we call colors. Question: Which one of these colors, forces, energies, rivers of life, is the most or the least spiritual? Is the question clearer now?

[Discussion]

G. de P. — I am very anxious to clear our thoughts with regard to the substantial meaning of this question. Now, the mere matter of color as a pigment or a light can be found in the science-books. We do not need to bother about that. But the seven colored rays of the solar spectrum are seven effluvia, seven auric flows of vitality, from the solar heart. That is what I am after — not so much the difference of the colors, and which one is to be preferred. That thought may be valuable to us as a side-thought; but the heart of my question, the essential idea, is: which one of these effluvia combining to make light as we understand it, which one is the most spiritual? Which one of these effluvia flowing forth from the Sun, its aura, the seven effluvia of its vital aura, of its life — which one, so to speak, comes from the Sun's highest part? Is the question plainer now?

G. de P. — Madame Chairman: Just like Brother Tyberg, I feel that all that has been said has been beautifully said, informative, instructive; and personally, putting myself in the mind of each speaker, I think I can truthfully state that I agree with everyone, which means, however, coming to the answer that I was hunting for, I agree with none! A strange paradox! Everything that has been said has been true; but yet it was not that one answer to the question that I was seeking for. In all humbleness of spirit, with all the reserve which I feel that I should make, subject to correction by a greater mind than anyone here, than my own certainly, I would say this: that not one of the colors in essence is superior to any of the others. They are all divine in origin. That statement was made. But by comparison on the plane of material existence, and having in view the work which each of the effluvia from the Sun does on this scale of matter, of differentiated life, we are bound to make distinctions (and this was not what I had in mind), and say that Atman is colorless, Buddhi is yellow, and so on. Kama is red.

But now listen carefully. As Brother Fussell pointed out — and I speak of it in especial because the same thought was running in my mind — do not get it in your heads that red is an evil color. It is no more evil than gold or than green or than yellow or than any other color. It is misuse of force which is evil, not the force itself. "Desire [Kama is the Sanskrit term] first arose in the bosom of It" — the Boundless — the spiritual yearning, the desire to manifest its transcendent glory. Every time you have an aspiration in your heart for greater things, every time you yearn to become at one with the Spirit within you, you are in the Kama-principle; and every time when in this beautiful aspiration you guide your steps wisely, with wisdom, then you are likewise in the color of the indigo, Buddhi-Manas, both working together.

Now, here is the answer that I was aiming for. Anyone of the seven colors of the Solar spectrum is itself septenary — or denary, as you will. You can divide it into seven or ten; and these subdivisions merely repeat in the small what the great originates. Isn't it obvious? You cannot cut a slice out of an apple and get something different from the apple. Consequently, every minutest portion of infinity contains every essential element and force that infinity contains. Consequently, every subdivision or sub-plane contains its own repetitive septenary which it derives from the surrounding universe. The microcosm simply repeats the Macrocosm.

Now, then, examine: A man whose swabhava or swabhavic character let us say is in the red or kama, if he lives in the Atman part of it is living on a far higher plane than a man whose essential swabhava is golden yellow, and yet who lives in the lower. Do you get my thought? It is the principle that you live in that places you on the Ladder of Life. If you live in the Atman, the highest part, the spirit, the essential Self, the divine part of any color, of any force, of any element, you are matched only by your own feelings, and you are in the higher state of consciousness, and living far more nobly than a man who may be dwelling let us say in the indigo, but on a very low plane of it. A humble man born in a humble station of life, without education, crippled in body, everything against him — I am using this as an illustration — but nevertheless who has the mind of a Seer and the heart of a god, is planes above a man who is born with a golden spoon in his mouth, with all the education that the world can give to him, and yet who lives with a heart filled with vipers and evil.

Now this is not politics. I plead with you, this is Theosophy. I am not referring to politics at all. H. P. B. once told her students that an artist — and you know what irregular and foolish lives artists often live — that an artist who in his heart sincerely yearned to be a better man, and to live a better life, even if he failed constantly, had greater chances of chelaship than a priest in a church who was wearing the skin over his knees hard by kneeling and praying to "Almighty God" every day, and who inwardly had a heart which was a den of vipers. That was the idea. It is the plane on which you live which places you where you belong. The thing is to strive to live in the highest plane where there is no color, where all is colorless glory. As soon as you descend into color, you descend into manifestation and differentiation producing a corresponding amount of maya, and consequent ignorance. Color shows manifestation, differentiation, the world around us, matter, in their densest and most condensed form.

Now take the spectrum: Red, orange, yellow, run through the scale to the ultra-violet. A new red begins, and if you follow it into invisible light, you will be passing upwards, till you reach a still higher red, after passing through the intermediate stages. Deduction: There is a divine kama, there is a debased kama; there is a divine Buddhi, there is a human Buddhi, which is the reflexion of the other. The point is that every plane is subdivided and is patterned after its grand plane. Therefore no matter in what station of life a man may be born, no matter to what "Ray," as some say, he may belong, this does not place him. What places him is where his consciousness is focussed. If it is focussed upwards, rising into the Atman, into the colorless sphere, then he contains divinity. In the Absolute no one color is more spiritual than any other, because all are born from the heart of Divinity. When we come down into the worlds of differentiation, of existence, then we are obliged to make divisions. In the abstract — and this is not contradictory of what has been said — it is perfectly true that the more rapid the vibration, the greater the frequency of vibration a color has, the closer to matter it is; because what we call matter, physical matter, is intensity of vibration, of force. That is what produces the atom, the electrons, and all the rest of it. Modern science is now saying that they are all composed of energy-points, points of electricity, intense vibration. The greater the frequency of vibration, the more condensed the substance is. Follow out the thought, but do not jump to the conclusion that because violet is a very intense vibration, therefore it is the least spiritual of the colors. There is an Atman to the violet, a Buddhi in the violet, and so on down the scale. It is a tangled theme of thought, and I asked the question to try to clarify our ideas. I think we have succeeded!


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