With the completion of so many homes, buildings, and cottages here at Mount Soma, I have learned a great deal about color.
First, I learned that samples of paint chips are nearly useless. Many times, a group of people would put their heads together to pour over paint chip samples and finally came to an agreement. After the paint went on the wall, everyone was amazed (and occasionally horrified) how different it looked.
Second, a color may look great on one wall and completely different on another, even in the same room. Throw in the different times of day, and direct or indirect sunlight, and you would be certain it is a different paint entirely!
A significant percentage of the population is colorblind. I count myself in that category, at least to some small degree. My experience is that I see all the colors. I know all the colors. However, it is as if the color receptors are just weak. In certain lighting, or up against certain other colors, a color can get somewhat ‘lost’.
To understand color and our relationship with it is to understand LIFE. We all have some types of ‘receptors’ that are weak. For some people, it is about dancing. Everyone can see what a good dancer looks like. But the integration of that in our own bodies may be weak. Knowing a good dancer when you see one does not make you a good dancer.
With others, it is as if the ‘intelligence receptors’ are weak. They know what logic is… but to follow along in a conversation and arrive at a logical conclusion evades them. Confusion, emotion, brain fatigue, or tangential thoughts take over. To be completely honest, I feel sometimes that my weak color receptors gave me the gift of understanding the weak ‘mental receptors’ that many people live with throughout their lives. It helps me understand how some are baffled by my inability to distinguish colors at times. It is indeed difficult for us to imagine what life must be like for another with a weak receptor in an arena where ours is strong.
Now, combine this with the second point above: In life, anything can be viewed from many different angles, perspectives, belief systems, and contexts. The possible combinations of situations are endless. How is it possible then to fathom the hue, tone, shade, feel, and truth of a particular color? How can one fathom their way through life?!
And trying to mix paints defies everything. To make your own custom colors is a mind expanding and humbling experience. No wonder creativity is so elusive for so many!
Now the first point, namely, sample paint chips. It is very challenging, if not impossible, to learn about life from paint chip samples. At best, it is knowledge with a small “k.” To find Knowledge within yourself is what life is ultimately about. Scholars are not scholars if they have not found Truth within themselves. Teachers are not teachers if they do not know their subject from within. Yet, so many go out into the world with their deck of ‘paint chip samples’ and believe themselves to be authorities, scholars, teachers, gurus, etc. They wear their paint chips as badges of honor, degrees of accomplishment, or licenses to practice.
Some may read all this and find it to be depressing, “How will I ever figure it all out?” But never forget, the beauty of life lies in its unfathomable, sublime, and elusive nature. It is something to be in eternal awe over. Beauty lies in the elusive nature of Maya, the Goddess, the Source.
The parallels of color with life are endless. Jyotish (the study of the interaction of the spectrum of variables that form life, existence, and its function and operation) is the study of color. “Jyotish” even means light.