Some Remarks on Color
Now we must go to work. The subject for our consideration this evening is of profound and complicated interest. This seventh letter of mine has to do with the use of color and sound in meditation.
We have, as you know, dealt a good deal with the subject of sound in our earlier letters, both in studying the use of the Sacred Word, and in the study of forms and mantrams. It is a truism to say that sound is color and color is sound, yet so it is, and the topic I really seek to bring to your attention is not so much sound as sound, but the color effects of sound. I seek to emphasize especially the color aspect in this letter, begging you to remember always that all sounds express themselves in color.
When the Logos uttered the great cosmic Word for this solar system, three major streams of color issued forth, breaking almost simultaneously into another four, so giving us the seven streams of color by which manifestation becomes possible. These colors are:
Not unwittingly have I placed them in this order but the exact significance is left for you to discover.
I want to emphasize a second thought: These seven streams of color were the product of logoic meditation. The Logos meditated, brooded, conceived mentally, formed an ideal world, and built it up in thought matter. Then our objective universe flashed into being, radiant with the seven colors, with the deep blue or indigo for synthetic undertone. Therefore certain things can be posited about color:
I would here seek to put your mind at rest on the point as to whether the colors enumerated by me conflict with those enumerated by H. P. B. You will not find they do, but both of us use blinds, and both of us use the same blinds as those who have eyes can see. A blind is not a blind when recognized, and I offer not the key. One or two hints however I may give:
Blue-indigo, being cosmically related, and not simply analogous, may be used interchangeably for purposes of blinding. Let me illustrate:
The Lords of the Flame, in their work in connection with this planet, may be spoken of in terms of four colors:
I give the above illustration to demonstrate to you the great complexity involved by the use of blinds, yet also to show you that for those who have the seeing eye even the choice of these blinds is not arbitrary, but subject to rule and law.
It is therefore obvious to you why it is so often emphasized that in dealing with esoteric matters lower manas helps not. Only he who has the higher vision in process of development can hope to attain any measure of accurate discrimination. Just as the green of the activity of Nature forms the basis of the love aspect, or the indigo vibration of this love system, so will it be found upon the mental plane. More may not be said, but food for thought lies here. Orange also holds the secret for the Sons of Mind, and in the study of flame (which even exoterically blends all the colors) comes illumination.
In studying this question of color and sound in meditation how best shall we divide our vast subject? Let us consider it under the following heads:
Under these five heads we should be able to sum up all that has to be said at present. Perhaps little that I may say will be fundamentally new, for I give not aught which may not be found in that foundation book of H. P. B.’s. But in a newer presentation, and in the aggregation of material under one head may come enlightenment, and a further wise adjustment of knowledge. We will take up these five divisions later. Tonight I will only add a few further points to those already given.
Colors as manifested on the physical plane show at their crudest and harshest. Even the most exquisite of shades as seen by the physical eye is hard and harsh compared to those on the emotional plane, and as the finer matter of the other planes is contacted, the beauty, the softness and the exquisite quality of the different hues grow with each transition. When the ultimate and synthetic color is reached the beauty transcends all conception.
Colors – such as we have now to do with in evolution – are the colors of light. Certain colors, which are the left-overs from the previous solar system, have been seized upon as modes of expression by that mysterious something which we call “cosmic evil” (in our ignorance so we term it). They are involutionary colors, and are media for the force of the Dark Brotherhood. With them the aspirant to the Path of Light has naught to do. They are such hues as brown, grey, the loathsome purple, and the lurid greens that are contacted in the dark places of the earth, on the emotional plane, and on the lower level of the mental plane. They are negations. Their tone is lower than the note of Nature. They are the offspring of night, esoterically understood. They are the basis of glamor, of despair, and of corruption, and must be neutralized by the pupil of the Great Ones by the admission of the colors connected with light.
Certain colors belong more exclusively to the human Hierarchy, others to the deva. In their ultimate blending and intermingling comes eventual perfection…
Enumeration of the Colors
August 29th, 1920
Tonight we must continue our study on color and take up our first point.
In doing this I will make certain comments and give you certain data, impressing upon you nevertheless again the fact that I use the esoteric terms, and that the discussion is but for suggestive purposes. The very use of the word “color” shews the intention, for, as you know, the definition of the word conveys the idea of concealment. Color is therefore “that which does conceal.” It is simply the objective medium by means of which the inner force transmits itself; it is the reflection upon matter of the type of influence that is emanating from the Logos, and which has penetrated to the densest part of His solar system. We recognize it as color. The adept knows it as differentiated force, and the initiate of the higher degrees knows it as ultimate light, undifferentiated and undivided.
We enumerated the colors yesterday and in a certain order. I seek again to enumerate them thus, only this time reminding you that the one Ray of which all the others are but subrays, might be regarded as a circle of sevenfold light. Too apt is the student to picture seven bands, striking down athwart the five lower planes till they contact the earth plane and are absorbed into dense matter. Not so is it in fact. The seven colors may be regarded as a band of seven colors circling and continuously shifting and moving through the planes back to their originating source… These seven bands of color emanate from the synthetic Ray. The indigo subray of the indigo Ray forms the path of least resistance from the heart of densest matter back again to the source. The bands of color form a circulating ring which, moving at different rates of vibration, passes through all the planes, circling down and up again. What I seek to bring out specially here is that these seven bands do not all move at the same rate, and herein lies hid the key to the complexity of the matter. Some move at a swifter rate of vibration than do some of the others. Hence – as they carry their corresponding monads with them – you have here the answer to the question as to why some egos seem to make more rapid progress than do some others.
These colored rings do not follow a straight unimpeded course, but interweave in a most curious manner, blending with each other, absorbing each other in stated cycles, and grouping themselves in groups of threes or fives, yet ever moving onwards. This is the real foundation to the diamond pattern upon the back of the serpent of wisdom. Three major lines of color should be portrayed as forming the lattice work on the serpent’s skin, with the four other colors interweaving. Some day some student of color and of the Divine Wisdom should compile a large chart of the seven planes, and superimposed upon those planes should be placed a seven-colored serpent of wisdom. If correctly drawn to scale some interesting geometrical patterns will be found as the circles cut across the planes, and some impression will be conveyed occularly of the complexity of the matter of the seven rays…
Certain brief statements seem to be in place:
I seek to call your attention here to the fact that it is not yet permissible to give out the esoteric significance of these colors, nor exact information as to their order and application. The dangers are too great, for in the right understanding of the laws of color and in the knowledge (for instance) of which color stands for a particular ray lies the power the adept wields.
Comments on the Colors
Certain colors are known and it might be well if we here enumerated them. The synthetic ray is indigo, or a deep blue. It is the Ray of Love and Wisdom, the great fundamental ray of this present solar system, and is one of the cosmic rays. This cosmic ray divides itself, for purposes of manifestation, into seven subrays, as follows:
- Indigo… and a color not disclosed.
- Indigo-indigo… The second subray of Love and Wisdom. It finds its great expression on the second monadic plane, and its major manifestation in the monads of love.
- Indigo-green… The third subray, the third major Ray of Activity or Adaptability. It is the basic ray of the second system. It is the great ray for the deva evolution.
- Indigo-yellow… The Harmony-Ray.
- Indigo-orange… The Ray of Concrete Knowledge.
- Indigo… and a color not disclosed. The Ray of Devotion.
- Indigo-violet… The Ray of Ceremonial Order.
Now you will note that I do not name the two colors, indigo-red and indigo-blue, nor do I apportion them to certain rays or planes. It is not that it is not possible to do so, but it is the withholding of this information that creates the puzzle. Certain things you must always remember in dealing with these colors:
- That I have given their exoteric names and application, and that of all I have given only two correspond with their esoteric application, – indigo and green. The Synthetic Ray and the Activity Ray are at this stage the only two of which you can be absolutely assured. One is the goal of endeavor, and the other is the foundation color of Nature.
- That the other five colors with which our fivefold evolution is concerned, change, intermingle, blend, and are not esoterically understood in the same sense as you might imagine from the use of the words, red, yellow, orange, blue and violet. Esoterically they scarcely resemble their names, and the names themselves are intended to blind and mislead.
- That each of these three colors and the other two are only understood as yet through four of their lesser subrays. This is the fourth round and only four subrays of these colors have as yet been glimpsed. By remembering these three points undue emphasis will not be laid upon apparent information, and the student will wisely reserve his opinion.
- Yellow is another of the colors that have come to us from system 1. The blending of blue and of yellow in that system had much to do with the production of activity. Yellow harmonizes, it marks completion and fruition. Note how in autumn, when the processes of Nature have run their course and the cycle is complete, the yellow of the autumn is spread upon the landscape. Note also that when the sun pours unimpeded down the yellow of the harvest is also to be seen. So it is in the life of the spirit. When the fourth plane of harmony or of buddhi is achieved, then is consummation. When the work of the personality is completed, and when the sun of the microcosm, the Ego, pours unimpeded down into the personal life, then comes fruition and harvest. The at-one-ment, or the harmonizing has been made, and the goal has been reached. Blue and yellow blended result in green, and the synthetic blue or indigo (the love and wisdom aspect) dominates when the plane of harmony is reached. It leads then to the third plane of atma whereon the green of activity predominates…
Excerpted from Letters on Occult Meditation – Letter VII – The Use of Color and Sound
By Alice Bailey and Djwhal Kuhl.