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Ninth Lecture: Colors

We will accept that there are but three primary colors, and that from these three all colors may be made. It is also accepted that there are but three primary principles in Nature.
This primary condition or manifest principle in man is represented by the triangle. Red is the base of the material flesh. It is the color of the blood, or animal life, the force principle, or the first principle of Nature, the primary that calls together and binds and enspheres all things. It is that color which gives to the sense the inclination to self-preservation; which inclination, when carried into the intellectual realm of humanity, is selfishness. (Of course, the more intellectual the persons who indulge in selfishness may be, the greater ability they will have to make that selfish principle one of great evil and oppression.)
I take up the subject of colors mainly for this reason: There are thousands today whose sixth sense is being opened, so that they begin to have a conscious perception of thought-forms, of spirit entities, as they are called, and actually are, in some cases; and the sixth sense is one that ramifies in such a multifarious manner that it would take a whole evening's consideration to even present to you anything like an adequate idea of its extent.
As we begin at the lowest sense and come up to the highest, we find in their order that they expand in their utility and power. So, when we take another step beyond the five senses into the realm of cause, or rather make a nearer approach to cause, with this sixth sense, which reaches out more largely and broadly into that realm, and in many cases, in my own experience especially, with those persons whose minds are allied principally to sight, as the sixth sense, or, as some have called it, "the spirit eyes" are opened, first begin to see a variety of colors. Therefore, this subject of colors is in order, because of the teachings which are being given from time to time, not only here, but throughout the world wherever Theosophy has found a hearing. Those teachings, in fact, lead to the unfoldment of these higher senses that we are not now conscious of. The people that are most perfectly endowed by, or, rather, allied to, Nature in its purity, in its order and harmony, are those whose minds, when the sixth sense begins to be opened, will take cognizance of colors and forms.
Forms relate to the magnetism of the universe and the language of the Creator, because all forms are thoughts, and all thoughts are forms. Otherwise, they would never act upon our consciousness, or we would never be conscious of them. Therefore, when the "spirit eyes," or the sixth sense is opened, colors and forms present themselves before the vision. These are the thoughts we find employed throughout the Hebrew prophecies. "We find that the imagery, which was the language of creation, of beasts of varied characters, birds, creeping things, all varieties of animate and vegetable existence, was called into use to illustrate or express the "word " or thought of the Creator.
Thought imaged itself upon the mind of the prophets of antiquity, and we are not far remote in our natures from those old seers and sages. The thing for us to do is to live in accordance with the same methods with which they lived, and the same powers are ours. I do not think that the race has declined, or that the interior powers, which we once possessed, from eighteen hundred to six thousand years ago, have passed away by means of diminution or loss. God's laws never change. They are the same forever; and though, through foolish teachings, we may have believed that these interior powers belonged only to a special few; though we may have formed the idea of a god-man, or a man-god, who controlled his subjects, as do kings of the lower plane of existence, by edicts, and by being angry or pleased; and though we may have thought that the people at one period of the world were favored by this superior monarch, and that this favor has now been withdrawn, yet we should be sorry to believe this now. We believe that grand old book itself which tells us, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation, that the God, of whose thought it is the record never changes, works always by law and according to law, and that it is we who change. By virtue of these changes we are either come into more perfect harmony with his law, and become more cognizant of its workings, or into less harmony, and become less cognizant of its workings or of any higher principles of Nature.
The first color, then, that relates directly to the human organism, to the animal forces, is the color red. This has in it the property of heat, because its function is concentrativeness. It is magnetic to the extreme; and, because it is magnetic and concentrative, it is heating.
The second color is that outgrowth of the workings of the spirit upon the physical body, representing the mind and the first principles of mind, which is order, and is symbolized by the color blue, which is the counterpart of green, the symbol of Mother Nature.
The third color, that of sensation, is yellow. That is the color of sense. It represents in its character rest, harmony; rest, simply because sensation belongs to knowledge, and is of that golden perfection of spirit life. The yellow represents, therefore, perfection. The shade of color always has its own significance, which we will consider hereafter. These are the three primary or foundation principles that underlie all others.
The sun's spectrum, having the seven color-rays clearly defined, is representative of seven distinctly different principles. It is unquestionably a fact in Nature that there are seven distinct color-rays, as there are seven notes in music, seven sounds of harmony.
The seven qualities or primary creative energies that we have been talking about as principles are found in each and every one of us. As is shown in our new system of "Solar Biology," these seven are seven vitals or primaries. There are, in all, twelve spheres of uses or organic qualities in man; but the seven are the vital principles, without which man cannot exist. These seven, as they are known in music, in simple music demonstrated as a fact, have several octaves one above another, their vibrations differing one from the other. There are vibrations so rapid and others so slow so as to produce no discernible sound to the ordinary senses.
The time will come when we can distinguish sounds by their colors. In fact, we read that there are those who see, in every note of music, the color. Not only the color, but when these notes are interblended according to the law of order (which order is characteristic in the human mind, and music produces a harmony corresponding), there are those who see animate* forms springing forth from the key-board, like living, active, spiritual beings. Why? Because these seven creative principles, no matter how they are expressed, or how they are called into action, act under the same great law of the primal creative thought, the purpose of which was a harmonic Man.
We identify red with force, the animal principle in Nature. It is the lowest of all the colors. If you would sit in this room when the evening shades are coming on, and look at these colors on the star you would find that the yellow would disappear first. The order of their disappearance would be such that the red would be the last one to disappear in the darkness. It would become black, and would stand out before your eyes as if that were the only color on that chart; and that color would appear black, being the strongest of all the colors.
Pink we consider one of the seven. The idea embodied in that delicate tint is love. It is a combination and interblending of the red and the white; so that there arises a beautiful tint of the living, active, vital principle expressing purity of character. When there is white and enough of the red, there comes to be a manifestation of discrimination. It also expresses thought, repulsion at the least coarseness, grossness, or impurity in Nature. When we see the pink flower growing, notice the feeling which it produces in the mind, especially in those who have any susceptibility for the fine arts. How delicate it appears! We feel as if we were almost too coarse to touch that beautiful, delicate little blossom. It appears delicate, as this color is the discriminative, the pure element, and produces purity of feeling in all conditions. It is the principle that should be the one cultivated by all means more than all others, by those who are studying to unfold and perfect their own lives. What we want is purity of life, and by purity of life we obtain the purest mind potencies. We should therefore desire purity.
So, when your minds began to take cognizance of that beyond the five senses, and you see before your inner eyes this delicate tint of pink, you may know that you have succeeded thus far to attract to yourselves the influence that will work its beautiful work in you, will separate you from all inversions, all impurity, all misuse, and will lead your mind into the pure and the good.
The third principle, the principle order, is blue. We look up into the sky, and above us is that beautiful blue. Why? There everything works in exactly the order in which the Infinite Mind has placed it. There is nothing out of order there. No jostling together of worlds, no confusion. All is perfect order, and it is a perfect blue. Those of you who heard the discourse on order can readily apply the law, this evening, to the color blue.
The antithesis, the opposition of order in Nature, is represented by the color gray, indigo mixed with red. It is the combination existing in matter when order is being misplaced, confusion is being created. The law of order is being taken away from the chemical or vegetable substances. They are being decomposed. The indigo being the most powerful decomposing ray, the red being the most powerful concentrative ray, the two struggle together in their work of tearing down the old, whilst the red holds tenaciously to the life essences that are in the plant so that they may be formed into another organism. For the law of God in the workings of these seven principles allows nothing to be wasted. There is no such thing as retrogression in the divine law. Nothing in the world can retrograde in the absolute sense. Of course, man may be said to retrograde as a man, as an individual, as a personality, or a conscious ego; but, as to the essences of his being, there is no retrogression. As soon as retrogression begins in a person the divine law of fermentation comes in and begins to tear the man to pieces, to scatter his parts, and he begins to die. He may, of course, attract to himself and embody in himself a greater amount of the first principle, and thus be a strong animal; but as a strong animal he has to serve, so that there is no absolute retrogression after all. Indeed there cannot be. This principle of the red is struggling with the indigo in the plant to maintain the vital principles and to see to it that there is no retrogression in Nature. It lays hold of the life-essences of the plant, and organizes an insect existence which fills the air with winged insects. Millions crawl and fly in the season when vegetation decays in large quantities. Thus the principles of red and blue are overcome by that higher above them.
But cohesion, the fourth principle, green, is the potent conserver of organic life. It holds and binds together the life-essences. Vegetation takes that color because that is the principle which is most active. It is the symbol of the unfoldment of vegetable life. Therefore it expresses itself in this color, because, as we have shown you, as we advance in these seven colors higher and yet higher the immediately above contains all below. The color green, then, represents the mother-nature that preserves and holds together all things. It represents fertility; it represents growth, unfoldment. Therefore it looks after the preservation of its own, and gathers, and provides for those under its care. To provide is the province of the Mother Nature. Therefore growth is always expressed and symbolized in the Hebrew prophecies by the color green.
Take the twelve stones of the twelve signs of the Zodiac, and each of the twelve stones has its color. The foundation of the Temple is represented as having twelve stones, and the color of the stones is referred to in other places. Were it not that the color was intended to express a meaning as well as the stone, the color would not have been given in addition to the name. The name would have been sufficient. The stones, as crystallizations, are the symbols of all the principles which exist. Therefore, when we see a crystallization which is red, we can say that there is a single principle crystallized there. When we see pink, we see there two principles crystallized; when we see blue, we see three crystallized principles. So in green we have four principles. Yet, in each of these combinations, that which absorbs, or the color which rules, is the one which is active. But all the others must also be there, or else no organic form would be found.
Yet another strange fact. In the most of crystallizations there will be found a definite form. Some of the most beautiful formations and colors are found in crystals. The most exquisite colors upon which the eye ever looked are to be found in them. When we understand the language of colors we will begin to understand the Bible. None of us can ever know much about the Bible until we understand all that is symbolized by this star, all that is expressed in this system of the seven creative principles. The Bible is a book of science which deals with the workings of the laws of Nature. It in no sense tells of a God who issues edicts and then changes his mind. It tells of a people, it is true, who had thoughts of that kind. Now we have come to a time when people want facts. They want laws. And when wo have laws clearly defined then we will find that in that old book, the Bible, is more scientific knowledge than in any number of books which you could obtain, and this notwithstanding the great amount of error which has crept into the book, owing to its passing through the hands of a people on a low plane of unfoldment. There is no book its equal. You may go to the Vedas, the Shastras, all the sacred books and books of science, go where you will, there is none that deals so directly and so harmoniously with the central laws and methods of Nature as this book. There is none which can be compared with this for its mystic sayings. The Scripture writers' words could not be understood by the people, so they were put into similes for those who were thinkers upon the laws of Nature. They were expressed in the language of God; and the language of God is form. And, as we read the old prophets, we find, "I saw, and behold that beast had so many horns, so many eyes, and so many heads."
A person blind to the Esoterics of life says, "That is all nonsense." To Him so it is. But to those who understand them these symbols are full of meaning. So with those of us who possess the sixth sense, the principle of clairvoyance or clear sight, those of us who are dwelling in the Esoteric; — it is no matter by what name you call us,—you are aware that we are not associated or assimilated with any sect. We are the class who want knowledge and truth. We belong to ourselves. There is no truth for us save that which belongs to the law of divine order in Nature. We want the facts of things that are, not things which appear to be and are not.
The principle of green, then, in its ultimate, being that of the mother-nature or soul-power, the feminine, the coherent principle, it follows that when it is ultimated in the feelings of manhood and womanhood, it will be an expression of the principle of strength,—strength which will enable one to accomplish anything, to do whatever one wills to do. Thus, when we see the color green in its different shades, we see symbolized to us that strength, that maintaining power by virtue of which we can go on and unfold and grow and manifest the higher and nobler qualities of our divine selfhood.
Indigo-blue represents the fifth principle and belongs to the principle of fermentation. The principle of fermentation, however, is not always seen. Indigo-blue appears usually to the mind as black, representing death. If you take the real indigo-blue you will find it would be hard to distinguish it from black. It belongs, therefore, to that condition we call death. Black, again, represents evil, the adverse principle which destroys. Blackness or darkness is a symbolic expression of the law that is brought to light by the principle of fermentation, of the serpent, the adversary, the principle of evil, the tearer down of the unfit. If I should see before me an image of blackness, and that image of blackness continued to follow me, I should at once begin to turn my eye within, for something wrong, something that I was doing, something that I was thinking, some habit of life that was wrong and was causing this image of blackness to be ever present before me. I should go right into myself, and begin to study, begin to examine, begin to think, until I found out what was wrong; and when I did, the image would go.
Blackness is used all through the Bible as symbolic of mourning and death. It belongs to the principle of destruction, the adversary, the evil thoughts which act to destroy. Black is usually found on the earth in swampy ground, where there is stagnant water, but sometimes, on looking across, the color seems to be indigo-blue. You may observe a pond of stagnant water, where fermentation has its full freedom of action. Look across the surface and you see the indigo blue quite distinctly because there is decomposition going on. The order of prior formation is being broken up and thrown off, leaving a distinct shade of black.
The sixth principle is represented by violet. We are told, by those who have analyzed it, that this color is the most powerful chemical ray which we have. But while it is the most powerful chemical ray, how quickly it will leave us! We have, perchance, a beautiful carpet of that exquisite color. The sun strikes it, and it disappears. It is an active principle, — the sixth, it transcends the five senses, and brings us, as a next step, to spirit, the divinest of all things of which we can take cognizance. The principle itself is not spirit, but the next step to sensation. It is the active agent. It is Gabriel, the archangel of the Divine. It is the chief actor, the chief minister in all Nature, because it produces sensation and rightly used ultimates in blessing. This deli-, cate tint, wherever it appears, is good, very good. But remember that, regarding all things that are good, the better they are, the more closely will they be associated "with those things which make the most potent factors for evil.
If in the imagining power of my brain I begin to read the language of God, and I see before me the image of a carnivorous beast, a destroyer of flesh, and I see that this beast is represented in red and in violet, I may say at once there is something determined to change my relation from this state of being to that of another. Why so? Because it has the ultimate power to change. Its function of red is force ; its form is that of a destroyer. Therefore it is about to tear and destroy, and has the power with which to do it; and being associated with violet would intimate death, violet alone would imply transition to a higher state. What beautiful tints of violet we see sometimes before the mind! I presume there is hardly a person before me who does not sometimes see these colors.
We are taught by our teachers that these forms and colors are "all imagination;" and so they are, but of the kind of imagination by which God made the world. Imagination is the most potent factor in the world. There is nothing having form in the universe but is the outcome or creation of the imagination of the Infinite Mind. We will learn also enough, sometime, to know that there is nothing, it matters not whence it comes, or in what form it may be shaped, but has a definite meaning. Every image means something. There is no such thing as chance in Nature. There is a law underlying all life. So watch these imagining powers. There is not a person before me to-night who has not, at times, on going to sleep, seen colors or images before the mind.
If you want to know the condition in which you are, just concentrate your mind and see what color first appears. If you find the red coming up before you, that being the color that portrays destruction, you had better stop. Perhaps you may begin to see the beautiful color of violet, or a tinge of yellow or gold, or perhaps a bright crystal green. Beware, however, lest you be deceived by the green. There are two kinds of green; one the beautiful crystal green, and the other the dark, swampy green, the one very good, the other very bad. The one is the divine mother which comprehends all life everywhere, under all conditions. The other, the selfish mother-love that would hold and retard.
We next have the seventh principle,—sensation, represented by yellow. All through the Hebraic prophecies you will find constant reference to "gold," the pure gold, the golden this and the golden that. (I refer to the Hebrew Scriptures because, as I told you before, they deal with the language of cause more than do any other books in the world.) Now why is this? Because gold expresses the nature and embodiment of the principle of yellow, or triumph, the perfection of the seven creative principles. Our Mongolian brothers understand the occult value of colors. The yellow flag is, with the Chinese, the symbol of the Divine. It is an expression of the perfection of the seven creative principles. Referring to the essences of life being conserved and regenerated, renewed and perfected in the organism of man, the principle therein is called God.
When the principle refers to the god-life, it is symbolized in a stone, in a crystal or y el low-stone, which you will verify on looking over the list of stones in the Bible. Oh, this beautiful yellow! How quickly, on entering a room where there is a great deal of yellow in the carpet, or on the walls, with a harmonious blending of a few other colors you will feel inspired, perhaps, to say: "Oh, I experience such rest." If under excitement, you seem to rest at once.
On looking over the world today we see that there has never been a time in its history when humanity has been so ill at ease, so oppressed by business and the cares of life. Go through our stores today, and you will find that yellow is more extensively used than ever before. In carpets, on wall-papers, in everything relating to home and surroundings, yellow is manifesting itself. And those of you who are familiar with our work, "Solar Biology," will have noticed that the planet Uranus is at the present time in a position leading the minds of men to think and reach out after spiritual causes, or a knowledge of the laws of life. Now the color of gold relates to the laws of life. Golden yellow, the base of spirituality, is in "sensation." In other words, sensation acts as the hand of the spirit, by means of which cognizance is had of material conditions, and people brought under the sway of the spirit.
On looking back over the history of our earth, we see how the mental conditions and tastes of humanity have been influenced by forms and images. Take, for example, a horse-shoe. People all now have a horse-shoe. They do not know the meaning, however, of what they have got. They have something really which has a magical power like Jacob's famous rods. Jacob made a bargain with La ban, his father-in-law (who had been in the habit of cheating him), that he, Jacob, was to have all the ring-streaked, the striped, and the speckled cattle as his personal reward, and Laban agreed. So Jacob peeled rods, that they might be alternately white, and set them in the water-trough, so that as the cattle drank they looked at those bright rods. And, behold! the cattle that were born were ring-streaked and speckled. That is an evidence of a law of Nature. The image of a thought presenting itself before the mind will impress itself upon the soul, the principle of which afterwards finds expression. Thus the world has been living up to the prophecies and carrying out the very things that were active in the great cause-mind a long time before. We are acting these out in our love for the principle of yellow. We are seeking rest; but the world is as yet finding little of it, I think.
We have said enough to enable the student to make up his combinations, and it will be unnecessary for me to go farther. If you have been enabled to hold the primates in your minds, you will be enabled to deduce, or induce, the colors that are made therefrom. You will see what are the combinations and what principle is expressed in a given color, which may be put before you. You now have a key to an unlimited variety of shades and colors. All there is for you to do is to study up a little as to what combinations and leading colors are in any particular shade, and then you will understand the mental conditions they express.
I want, by way of conclusion, to say a few words about the seven-pointed star as a geometrical figure. The laws of chemistry in Nature are expressed on this chart. Take the primary force and the second companion, discrimination, unite them as positive and negative, male and female, and the product invariably will be fermentation. The positive dominant principle that determines to hold and bind, and this discriminating principle that wants to get free from bondage and to act on its own account, represent, together, the stragglings of Nature in fermentation. The discriminating principle wants freedom, and obtains it only in fermentation. Let us take the next two, discrimination and order. The result of those conjoinedly is transmutation. In the case of the two principles, discrimination and order, discrimination struggles with the old order, and tries to inaugurate the new; and the action which is engendered by the two forces creates luminous potency, which is fire, and transmutative in its operation. Next, let us take order and cohesion. Here we have rest. The result is sensation. Here we have the perfectly organized man, with the divine mother acting within him and keeping all his parts cohering and working together in perfect harmony. How beautiful are the sensations and delights of such a life, if every part of the human being be perfect.
Take cohesion and fermentation. Those who indulge in intoxicating drinks know that the fermentation will master the strongest men. In these cases we have cohesion and fermentation united, and the result is like the force we find in an electric battery. Cohesion holds together, binds the atoms of metallic substances, and when we bring into contact with it the fermentative acid principle, which liberates the material qualities, force is the result. We are about to have our cars run, we are told, by electricity. The force of electricity is strong enough to run the world, and, as the greater includes the less, there is a certainty that electricity could run our railways.
Take transmutation, and here we see fermentation has done its work. An insect is born, and transmutation begins its work also; the grosser elements are thrown off, and a condition of discriminating and obtaining the right kind of food is the result of that work.
If we put transmutation and sensation together and add to the workings of transmutation the sense of right and wrong, which is the highest principle, we bring into activity the perfect law of order.
I have now gone around the diagram. As you possess a copy of this star, think it over; unite two adjacent points into their ultimate, and you will arrive at correct conclusions every time. The seven-pointed star will be the key to a wonderful system of chemistry in the not distant future; for seven is the perfection of all that is, though not of all that is to be. It is the perfection of physical nature.

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