Color In The Visible And Invisible World - Part I
( Originally Published 1908 )
ALL that exists, the whole visible Universe, is a manifestation of Force, of vibratory energy differentiated not by velocity alone but by form; and every form has its color, as also its tone, or sound.
Thus certain colors are inseparably associated with certain forms of vibration, and, consequently, with conditions of substance. The color is in the substance, whether there be light by which to see it or all is darkness. For example: The potency of a drug or herb may be recognized by its color, and it will have exactly the same effect if administered in the dark as if taken in broadest daylight. Moreover, the form in which it is prepared may entirely conceal its normal color, for the great solvent Apas (water) has the power to hold the color latently, but therein lies its power. In therapeutic color-treatment — chromopathy — the patient continues through the darkness of the night to receive the restorative harmonizing vibrations of the color by which he is surrounded; and the effect of that color is from its explicit action upon the human sheaths.
In chemical research, the hints which color gives are but half-understood, and throughout the scientific world its power and mystery are greatly depreciated. In the chemical changes of atoms, all variations of colors indicate fundamental differences in either their constitution or their phase,—whether positive or negative. Dr. Babbitt's investigations led him to conclude that the positive, or active, color was always within the atom, and the negative, or passive, without. But to my under-standing this is only a half-truth, describing one atomic phase; and it is not corroborated by Occult study (clairvoyant), which distinguishes " ultimate physical atoms " by their direction of motion, the ever-spiral force moving from right to Ieft in the positive, and from left to right in the negative; the former pouring out force and the latter receiving it (see Bibliography).
There are as many grades, shades, and hues, of color as of musical tones and combinations of geometrical forms; so the further we go from the so-called primaries of red, yellow, and blue, the more intricate, baffling and mysterious are these color relations.
Blue has been called the negative in nature which holds all things. Now, replacing " blue " with indigo we have an Occult truth. From the earliest ages Eastern philosophers have associated indigo with the spiritual, or higher mind of man (the Causal Body) ; but the curious properties of indigo have always been as well known to the practical dyer as to the Occultist. It is lighter than any known liquid and as long as it retains its color and nature it is insoluble even in ether. Therefore, the dyer must extract the blue by means of deoxidation.
In this process, called " setting the blue-vat," indigo gives us a perfect object lesson of the transformation in a substance according to its negative or positive conditions. When being made soluble indigo loses its apparent color in proportion as the oxygen departs, becoming perfectly white in solution. Goods dipped in the white liquid are then hung in the air, when they swiftly turn blue as the indigo in them is oxidized. Repeated immersion in the blue-vat gives every shade of blue from " sky " to navy." As long as dyeing remained an art (until commercialized by the introduction of ana-line dyes), indigo was considered the only real blue dye (the woad of Gaul and Britain was a northern indigo and acted similarly) ; and with red, yellow, and brown, furnished the dyer with the natural substances from which he could make all the shades, tints, and hues his art required.
As you know that the earth vibration, Prithivi, Color in the Visible and Invisible World 261 is yellow, it is of interest in this study of the Tattvas to add one bit more of dyer's lore. Herbs which yield yellow dyes are the commonest ones in forest and field. They were called by our fore-fathers, " greening weeds," because green was obtained by dyeing the stuff first in the indigo-vat, and then greening it to the desired shade in yellow dye. Now, just as Akasha is the omnipresent Tattva, synthesizing all others, so indigo corresponds with Akasha not merely symbolically, but because it is Akâshic — a Prithivic form of Akasha — and holds other colors in synthesis.
You understand that the seven colors of the solar spectrum — so-called prismatic colors — distinguish the seven Logoi one from another; hence they are emanations from and manifest the characteristics of the Seven Hierarchies of Being, "each of which," says Mme. Blavatsky, " has a direct bearing upon and relation to one of the human Principles, since each of these Hierarchies is, in fact, the creator and source of the corresponding Principle." This statement confirms all the planetary correspondences and influences explained in earlier chapters.
As every Hierarchy is itself septenary, containing the seven colors of the spectrum, the permutations in colors are myriad, but the ruling or distinguishing color of a Hierarchy gives the hue to that septenary, for its influence is paramount. This is the primary source of all the Tattvic permutations and comminglings. To this infinite gamut of color in the realm of Nature the solar spectrum it-self bears witness, for long ago, Sir David Brewster succeeded in counting not seven only but 2,000 Frauenhoefer lines which registered as many distinct tints and hues of color. Only the Tattvic Law can explain these as visualizing the varied geometrical forms of etheric vibrations. The seven prismatic colors correspond to simple, or primary forms; and their infinite variations to permutations of these.
As of everything throughout the Kosmos, there is septenary division and progression of races; and, as is quite generally understood, we are the Fifth Sub-race of the Fifth Root-race. We are in the Fourth round of this evolutionary cycle; that is, our globe is at the lowest arc of the planetary chain, the deepest involution of spirit in matter, and the period of the fullest development of pure intellect; a combination that has produced the gross materialist,— the intellectual giant sans soul. But it is of profound significance that we are far past the middle of the round. Thus all is preparing for the Fifth round in which matter will lose its density. Why? Because faculties will be developed that enable man to perceive the withinness of all things. In Occultism, " There is no ` above ' as no below,' but an eternal ` within,' within two other withins, or planes of subjectivity merging gradually into that of terrestrial objectivity,— this being for man the last one, his own plane."
Just as every thought has form and consequently color, so sounds which, you know, are differentiated one from another by form, have their distinguishing colors, hues, and tints. Speech, which is sound in this physical world, echoes as color in the astral sphere around us and has its influence. All the wonderful harmony of color that delights our eyes has its correspondence with an inaudible harmony of sounds. The entrancing colors of nature,- the blue dome of the sky, the violet and purple of distant mountain heights, the green cadences of forest and meadow, the gold of the sun-lit fields of ripening grain, the red of the igneous rocks and the fresh-turned earth,— all these are the visible tones of the "Harmony of the Sphere."
" The totality of the Seven Rays," says Mme. Blavatsky, " spread through the Solar system, constitute, so to say, the physical Upâdhi [basis] of the Ether of Science." To the seventh sense these inaudible sounds will be as perceptible as are the colors of musical tones to the clairvoyant now. The rudiments of the sense of sound exist in the minutest fragments of the Universe. The subtle space-granules — Sûkshma-A kasha — are everywhere, sound is inherent in them, not to be disso-ciated from them; but the sound varies, as you know, according to the form of the vibrations moving through this all-pervading space. It en-wraps and penetrates even the minutest conceivable atom in the proportion of being greatly in excess of that atom; and color attends and irradiates this marvellous world of activity.
The perfected man who has evolved these higher senses = and woe to him if he misuse them; his fall will be abysmal — comes into possession of seven soul-senses, so to speak, corresponding with the physical senses but as much finer and more subtle in their vibratory force as the soul is higher than the body. It is these spiritual senses that will carry us beyond gross matter. The soul-senses corresponding with the sixth and seventh are the ability to recognize true inspiration, and the capacity to know the truth of being; that is, to communicate with spiritual intelligences in the wordless spaces of Chit-Akâsha, or spirit-space, which is the " knowledge-space " of Swâmi Vivekânanda.
Not words but color and thoughts communicate ideas on this plane, and their vibrations are of varying degrees of subtilty; for every plane follows' the fundamental law of septenary unfoldment. It is a region of marvellous color; etheralized, luminous colors of exquisite rainbow hues, ripple and flow with inconceivable velocity, not to be compared to anything upon the physical plane. Here is the light that never was on sea or land. The invisible world is radiant with it.
Dr. Babbitt calls it: " Psychic light, the direct messenger and servant of the spirit in its relations to the outward world." He further affirms that these psychic colors " reveal the primary laws of force "; and it was upon these that he based his wonderful and successful system of color therapeutics (Principles of Light and Color). There are from eight to ten octaves of color in sunlight of which not quite one is visible to ordinary human eyes. But culture improves the range of even physical vision, as artistic training constantly gives proof.
Realize now, that man is compounded of all these forces, being an aggregation of atoms through varied combinations and permutations, forming a center of the highest activity, through and upon which these myriad forces play continually. These forces are therein further trans-formed and pass out as evil or beneficent influences, according to the use man has made of them, to find their affinity in other centers. Up to this point, though you have studied only the five-fold nature of the Tattvas, every opportunity has been seized to impress upon you that they are vehicles for a higher, directing and overruling force,— that they are differentiated forms of that one dual force. We have found correspondence of the Tattvas from Prithivi to Akâsha with five of the human sheaths, but there are seven sheaths. The logical mind at once demands : Are there not then seven Tattvas?
Yes, or no, according to the definition we give the word. If we restrict it to " art elemental condition of matter," there are but five; if we adhere to our higher signification, " a form of motion," that is, force within substance, there are seven. In the Upanishads, emphasis is everywhere given to the " five elements," and when a sixth principle is mentioned, it is consciousness or understanding. If seven are enumerated, both of these faculties are included. Thus power of choosing and directing is always implied. In the Dharma Shastra this explicit statement is made: " With the minute particles of the five perishable elements, every existing thing has been formed in its sequence and or-der." Who or what is the Former? The highest Principle. This is a very clear distinction which should be kept in mind.
Intuitionally we know there must be seven forces corresponding with the seven sheaths; so we seek to identify the two upper sheaths with what the fine inner sense has foreseen,- the Omnipresent Spirit, Atma, and its individualized ray, the human soul,— the forces behind all force, and penetrating all. Thus, the sixth and seventh Tattvas correspond to Buddhi and Atma — soul and Spirit. The latter is described by Mme. Blavatsky as " the Auric Envelope impregnated with the light of Atma."
Naturally, these two higher Tattvas are as concealed from the average mortal as are the sixth and seventh senses from the materialistic mind; for just as Akasha — the all-pervading ether of space — has become cognizable only to comparatively recent science, and is yet but half-understood, a baffling paradox, so men generally cannot yet grasp the power and significance of the higher Principles and the planes of consciousness to which they will lead.
Until shortly before she was taken from her work here, Mme. Blavatsky was not permitted to reveal any information concerning the Tattvas. The embargo was, however, removed in time for her to state some facts in the appendix to the third volume of the Secret Doctrine, where she gives the names and powers of the higher Tattvas. She explains : " The doctrine of the seven Tait-vas (the principles of the Universe and also of man) was held in great sacredness and, therefore, secrecy in days of old, by the Brahmans, who have now almost forgotten the teachings. Yet it is taught to this day in the schools beyond the Himalayan Range."
The sixth Tattva is Anupâdaka, described as "The first differentiation on the plane of being, or that which is born by transformation from some-thing higher than itself." It is the first garment, or sheath, of the spirit, and the color is said to be yellow. This I believe is its positive phase, and that negatively it is violet, which identifies it with Mercury whose phases correspond. The seventh Tattva is Adi, the primordial universal Force. It is the vehicle containing potentially all things --Spirit-substance, Force and Matter,
" In Esoteric Cosmogony," says Mme. Blavatsky, " it is the Force which we refer to as proceeding from the First or Unmanifested Logos — Spiritual substance." The Sanskrit meaning of the word is "first, and in the Upanishads, Adi is described as " The first, i. e., Om.".
As nearly as we can comprehend in our present stage of evolution, this highest Principle is a ray, a spark from God's self, which permeates the en-tire being, radiating from center to circumference. This makes perfectly clear and realizable St. Paul's affirmation that " He be not far from every one of us: For in Him, we live and move and have our being."
This one out-going energy is differentiated in the sheath but not in Itself. It is the Will of God; and man's will, when controlled by wisdom and understanding, shares in this spiritual power. This is the conquest of the Argus of fate.
If you comprehend what this implies, you will be convinced beyond the possibility of forgetting, that Higher Manas — well named the Causal Body — has power to mould every cell, molecule, and atom in the lower sheaths to whatever measure of purity and harmony the soul may dictate. Manas is spiritual self-consciousness in itself, and Divine consciousness when united with Buddhi. But only through a spirit of aspiration and self-consecration to the highest can this union of Atma-Buddhi-Manas be attained, and realize for us the full activity of the spirit.
You already realize that the physical self which you know best is a sensitive harp played upon by myriads of vibrating waves. The Principles, or sheaths, are the tones in the human octave; and the individual keynote is the tone and has the color of the Principle most highly developed. The self clearly proclaims itself, its stage of progress or evolution through the colors which permeate it through and through, and radiate in its enveloping aura.