PSYCHIC INFLUENCE OF COLORS
In all of Nature’s wonderful processes we find many evidences of that great principle of Action and Reaction, which, like the forward and backward swing of the pendulum, changes cause into effect, and effect into cause, in a never ending series. We find this principle in effect in the psychic relation of mental states and colors. That is to say, that just as we find that certain mental and emotional states manifest in vibrations causing particular auric astral colors, so do we find that the presence of certain colors on the physical plane will have a decided psychic effect upon the mental and emotional states of individuals subject to their influence. And, as might be expected by the thoughtful student, the particular astral colors manifested in the aura by the presence of some particular mental or emotional state exactly correspond with the particular physical colors which influence that particular mental or emotional state.
Illustrating the statements in the preceding paragraph, I would say that the continued presence of red will be apt to set up emotional vibrations of anger, passion, physical love, etc., or, in a different tint, the higher physical emotions. Blue, of the right tint, will tend to cause feelings of spirituality, religious emotion, etc. Green is conducive to feelings of relaxation, repose, quiet, etc. Black produces the feeling of gloom and grief. And so on, each color tends to produce emotional vibrations similar to those which manifest that particular color in the astral aura of the person. It is a case of “give and take” along the entire scale of color and emotions, according to the great natural laws.
While the explanation of these facts is not known to the average person, nevertheless nearly everyone recognizes the subtle effect of color and avoids certain colors, while seeking certain others. There is not a single living human being but who has experienced the sense of rest, calm, repose, and calm inflow of strength, when in a room decorated in quiet shades of green. Nature, herself, has given this particular shade to the grass and leaves of trees and plants, so that the soothing effect of the country scene is produced. The aura of a person experiencing these feelings, and yielding to them, will manifest precisely the tint or shade of green which is shown on the grass and leaves around him, so true is this natural law of action and reaction.
The effect of scarlet upon animals, the bull for instance, is well known—to use the familiar term, it causes one to “see red.” The sight of the color of blood is apt to arouse feelings of rage, or disgust, by reason of the same law. The sight of the beautiful clear blue sky tends to arouse feelings of reverence, awe or spirituality. One can never think of this shade of blue arousing rage; or red arouse feelings of spirituality.
It is a well known fact that in insane asylums, the use of red in decorations must be avoided, while the proper shades of blue or green are favored. On the other hand, the use of a proper red, in certain cases, will tend to arouse vitality and physical strength in a patient. It is not by mere chance that the life giving blood is a bright, rich red color when it leaves the heart.
When one “feels blue” he does not have the impression of a bright or soft blue—but he really is almost conscious of the presence of a dull bluish gray. And the presence of such a color in one’s surroundings, tends to cause a feeling of depression. Everyone knows the effect of a “gray day” in the Fall or Spring.
Again, who does not know the feeling of mental exaltation coming from the sight of a day filled with golden sunshine, or from a golden sunset. We find proofs of this law of Nature on all sides, every day of our lives. It is an interesting subject, which will repay the student for the expenditure of a little time and thought upon it.
Speaking of the general class characteristics of the three primary groups of colors, all occultists, as well as many physiologists and psychologists, are agreed on the following fundamental propositions, viz.: that (1) Red is exciting to the mind and emotions; (2) Yellow is inspiring and elevating, and intellectually stimulating; and (3) Blue is cool, soothing, and calming. It is also universally conceded that the right shades of green (combining the qualities of blue and yellow in appropriate proportions) is the ideal color of rest and recuperation, followed by a stimulation and new ambition. The reason for this may be seen, when you consider the respective qualities of blue and yellow which compose this color.
It is interesting to note that the science of medicine is now seriously considering the use of colors in the treatment of disease, and the best medical authorities investigating the subject are verifying the teachings of the old occultists, regarding the influence of colors on mental states and physical conditions.
Dr. Edwin Babbitt, a pioneer in this line in the Western world, gave the general principles in a nutshell, when he laid down the following rule: “There is a trianal series of graduations in the peculiar potencies of colors, the center and climax of electrical action, which cools the nerves, being in violet; the climax of electrical action, which is soothing to the vascular system, being in blue; the climax of luminosity being in yellow; and the climax of thermism or heat being in red. This is not an imaginary division of qualities, but a real one, the flamelike red color having a principle of warmth in itself; the blue and violet, a principle of cold and electricity. Thus we have many styles of chromatic action, including progression of hues, of lights and shades, of fineness and coarseness, of electrical power, luminous power, thermal power, etc.”
Read the above statement of Dr. Babbitt, and then compare it with the occult teaching regarding the astral colors, and you will perceive the real basis of the science which the good doctor sought to establish, and in which cause he did such excellent pioneer work. The result of his work is now being elaborated by modern physicians in the great schools of medicine, particularly on the Continent, in Europe—England and America being somewhat behind the times in this work.
The advanced occultist also finds much satisfaction in the interest, on the part of physicians and jurists, in the matter of the influence of color upon the mental, moral and physical welfare of the public. The effect of color upon morality is being noticed by workers for human welfare, occupying important offices.
The American journals report the case of a judge in a large Western city in that country, who insisted upon his courtroom being decorated in light, cheerful tints, instead of in the old, gloomy, depressing shades formerly employed. This judge wisely remarked that brightness led to right thinking, and darkness to crooked thinking; also that his court, being an uplift court, must have walls to correspond, and that it was enough to turn any man into a criminal to be compelled to sit in a dark, dismal courtroom, day after day.
This good judge, who must have had some acquaintance with the occult teachings, is quoted as concluding as follows: “White, cream, light yellow, and orange are the colors which are the sanest. I might add light green, for that is the predominant color in Nature; black, brown and deep red are incentives to crime—a man in anger sees red.” Surely a remarkable utterance from the bench!
The effect of color schemes upon the moral and mental welfare of persons is being recognized in the direction of providing brighter color schemes in schools, hospitals, reformatories, prisons, etc. The reports naturally show the correctness of the underlying theory. The color of a tiny flower has its effect upon even the most hardened prisoner; while the minds of children in school are quickened by a touch of brightness here and there in the room. It needs no argument to prove the beneficial effect of the right kind of colors in the sickroom, or hospital ward.
The prevailing theories, and practice, regarding the employment of color in therapeutics and human welfare work, are in the main correct. But, I urge the study of the occult significance of color, as mentioned in this book in connection with the human aura and its astral colors, as a sound basis for an intelligent, thorough understanding of the real psychic principles underlying the physical application of the methods referred to. Go to the center of the subject, and then work outward—that is the true rule of the occultist, which might well be followed by the non-occult general public.