From Indaco 5 – sixth lesson – 11 January 2003
The topic is practically limitless, and therefore what follows is necessarily limited in scope. It may be of some use nonetheless.
It is worth, before going on to talk about colours, taking an overall view of the function of sight and making a few general, but pertinent, comments.
As for sound, with which it shares its basis, it is to be noted that when we look at or listen to something we partialise reality. In other words: the search for a tree in the landscape or a sound in the universe demands the sacrifice of reality as a whole. It is tantamount to saying that if we listened to silence and focussed on nothing, we should hear and see everything, whereas we are in fact constantly looking for the part of the whole, thereby losing the grandeur of the synthesis in the analysis. Spying through the keyhole (as I have said before about the field of vision) means seeing at most God’s big toe. And, for those of us who are lucky enough, that means having the vision that is normally accorded to us.
In writing this lesson, I came upon some notes dated March 1976, when some of you were very young and I, who was then about 40 years old, was already pursuing things in the same direction as now. I reproduce here the entire text, but I do not remember its context: “Ultimately, regarding time, if we consider the present in the words of the psychobiophysicist Todeschini (the heroic adventure of reading whom I have already warned you against), replacing the concept of psychic with that of functional energetic unit, in line with Reichian principles, we must reasonably conclude that vegetotherapy, especially as regards the unblocking of the eyes, leads to a lengthening of vital perception. Indeed, the present is the time required to overcome the inertia of the oscillators (our cells, insofar as they generate variable electromagnetic currents – author’s note) in our sense organs. When we liberate the threshold values of the oscillators in the broadest sense (feeling), thereby enhancing their responsiveness, with Reich we accelerate the formation or dissolution of “presents” by multiplying the capacity for persistence, thus lengthening the perception of life itself, in terms of an objective (because determined by the subject) temporal possibilism.” After more than thirty years, this little page remains, without question, clear.
Sunlight, and obviously not sunlight alone, reaches the earth, and the eye picks only a small fraction of electromagnetic radiation. And there is no doubt that life in all its aspects is calibrated by light, whether we see it or not: from emotions to enzymes, from neurochemistry to hormonal functions, from vitamins to muscular and behavioural responses, everything is related to light. One might say that the body itself is made up of trillions of solar cells within a vaster acceptor-transmitter context.
It goes without saying that the eyes are the primary intermediaries in this context. It is clear that since they receive two billion bits of information per second out of the three billion (Jacob Liberman, Light Medicine of the Future) which reach the brain through electromagnetic radiation, the information will be “passed” on and transformed into orders from/to the cerebral centre, which is certainly not alone. It is clear also how limitations to the reception of the full spectrum of light have a negative impact on derived functions, but I do not wish to enter upon a discussion about sunglasses or northern winters, let alone our living and working environments, because it would lead us away from our discussion about colour. Suffice it to say that our health depends largely upon our eyes. Just consider that one quarter of our nutritional energy is consumed by the eyes and the brain, with all that this entails in somatic-emotional terms, that approximately two billion bits of information per second are processed by our sight, and that practically all the information we receive and store passes through the eyes. Perhaps this is the reason why torturers in the past would often overlook the eyes of their victims, as if in an unconscious act of self-respect. Inevitably, emotional pathologies are linked to changes in various aspects of visual acuity (neuropeptides). This is not to say that impaired vision signifies being wrong in the head, but that two-thirds of those with emotional problems also have sight-related problems, naturally in an extensive sense (for example, distortions in the field of vision, a test which I would ask my patients to do on a yearly basis in order to assess their improvement). We may discuss this elsewhere, also making connections with the Ajna chakra, which is the energetic point of reference.
Exceptional circumstances aside, the eyes are paired, and this has the function of lending depth and perspective to what we see, as well as to the reality of our lives. Minimal effort is required to discover that closing one eye makes it difficult to pick up a small object within reaching distance (e.g. a needle), and therefore to determine its location. Light is received by the eyes and is broken down through combinations of three primary colours into the seven colours of the rainbow by the cones, while the rods, by far the more numerous, are used in twilight and are not connected with colour at all. Having been transformed into electromagnetic currents, the impulses travel at approximately 400,000 km per hour and are used partly to generate the image, partly to regulate vital functions.
The optic nerves leave the eyes, crossing at the optic chiasm. Thus inverted, they follow the optic tract to the lateral geniculate nucleus, communicate with the hypothalamus and then, through the optic radiation, run to the cortical cells and the visual cortex. The optic fibres are almost entirely crossed, unlike those related to hearing, which are in part homolateral. So the right eye leads to the left hemisphere and the left eye leads to the right hemisphere, or the logical, masculine, and the analogical, feminine, hemispheres respectively. I do not wish to go into the respective inherent properties of each hemisphere (see ‘Stress and Related Matters, Part Two’), but I do wish to draw your attention to the central positioning of hypophysis and epiphysis, those two great teachers. They are, in other words, implicated in the functions of both hemispheres. On the other hand, the hypothalamus (with the amygdala as a neuropeptide receptor “hot spot”) has among its various functions the supremely important role of regulator of the autonomic nervous system, which is made up of sympathetic and parasympathetic. As always, male and female, yin and yang, right and left, logical and analogical, etc., etc..
We learn from neurolinguistics that we use eye movement to obtain a wide range of types of information, for instance down-left movement for auditory information, and down-right movement for kinaesthetic information, relating in other words to muscle movements.
Connections are of course unlimited, as always. It is reminiscent of the Dagnini reflex, whereby compression of the eyeballs reduces the pulse rate, which can be useful when dealing with tachycardia, or the massage below the nape towards the exterior which is used in Reichian therapy to open the energy channels of the eyes, and which many years ago was the subject of a communication of mine resulting from having “seen” that the connection was established through the cervical ganglion which is to be found in the same area. Not to mention the activation or deactivation of that master of masters, the epiphysis, with its melatonin. We may say, without exaggeration, that on the eyes depend longevity, and therefore life itself. It is no coincidence that in old age, almost without exception, we see less, only to close our eyes, or have them closed, in death. That is not to say that those who are myopic or presbyopic will die earlier or later, just that sight, and therefore the perception of what we call reality, changes with age.
Whereas someone who is blind sees nothing, if we close our eyes, we see black; likewise, if light encounters no object, nothing is seen. Colour then becomes the discriminating factor.
If we allow a ray of light to pass through a prism, it will be broken down into the seven colours of the rainbow (which is the result of the same process, with sunlight passing through billions of suspended droplets in the aftermath of a storm). The same happens in the eye. In real time, with three primary colours at its disposal, the retina manufactures impossible chromatic combinations. Just think of the time-lapse when you turn your head, and the entire image is destroyed and rebuilt, appropriately coloured, completely seamlessly!
Eye, skin and brain evolve from the ectoderm, the outer layer of the embryo. They are the interface between us and external reality, the other and me, self and non-self, and the eyes both assess from a distance and gauge distance. But can a quality be described? Can we speak of “how” we see, as well as of “what” we see, or think we see? The answer, clearly, is no.
Cosmic energy generates light, but energy is matter. Colour, which results from breaking down light, is heat, and has the characteristics thereof, for instance density. The visible spectrum ranges from infrared to ultraviolet, and luminous radiation causes structural modifications in the objects it strikes (largely reflection and absorption). Infrared radiation is emitted by a body which has a temperature higher than that of the body in question. At the other end of the scale, ultraviolet radiation constitutes, along with visible radiation, more or less 10%.
Visible colours have the following wavelengths:
red: +/- 0.750 micron (or, if you prefer without the zero nanometres)
orange: +/- 0.656 micron
yellow: +/- 0.590 micron
green: +/- 0.530 micron
blue: +/- 0.480 micron
indigo: +/- 0.460 micron
violet: +/- 0.400 micron
Higher up the scale we have infrared, further down ultraviolet.
In the scale above, “+/-” refers to the fact that each colour has a range of its own, and merges into the one next to it. This is one of many points of view. That said, the shorter the wavelength the greater the energy (see also ‘Sound and Energy’), and viceversa. Light (energy) generates the movement of electrons around a nucleus. Colour thus influences life and the functions of Reich’s equation, which you will recall as tension-charge-discharge-relaxation.
There is an excess of colour and behaviour corresponding to character and temperament, and a lack in what we repress. Many years ago, I had the following test for my patients: in a noiseless room with my patient lying on a bed in a state of total relaxation, I displayed a sequence of coloured 30x30cm surfaces, the only things in the room to be illuminated, and asked the patient to concentrate on the colours they saw. It took about 15 minutes. Obviously each tone of colour required a different plate, generally with three per colour. I witnessed the widest range of responses and associations (which would later be developed), from joy to nausea, from exultation to terror, with one or more colours eliciting both positive (consensus) and negative (censure) responses. If therefore we “show” something we hide what we are, but we suffer for this (I have already mentioned that every case of maladjustment is detrimental to functionality), swinging between desire and its opposite. With colours, too, therefore, there is one we identify with and one we reject, and which we will obviously need. Thus, by extension, the harmony of the seven colours determines our health and balance. Hence it is possible to work in chromotherapy. Roughly speaking:
BLUE: dependence, passivity. Oral.
YELLOW: energy, domination, leader, explosion. Psychopathic.
RED: servilism, restrained energy, resentment, hatred. Masochist.
These, too, are among the many points of view, and may serve in therapy, or for cheap and imprecise assessments (like these), but also for many easy and effective colour-based tests, like the pyramid, or Luscher, test. The following are a series of questionable and possible associations, which are to be taken lightly:
RED: possession, lead, magnetite, garnet, ruby
ORANGE: sensation, tin, coral, amber, yellow amber
YELLOW: power, iron, topaz, amber
GREEN: love, copper, emerald
BLUE: connection, mercury, turquoise, blue sapphire
INDIGO: intuition, silver, quartz
VIOLET: knowledge, gold, amethyst, diamond. O2 becomes O3
Obviously, we also use colours in radionics in order to “pass” their therapeutic effect to the patient, along with other useful expedients.
Through colours, therefore, it is possible to know what we need, while trying not to make the mistake of favouring the dominant colour. Among the often extremely difficult ways of healing with
colour (we can cite Bhattacharya, Mandel, Guinard, Dinshas, Garudas, Pythagoras, Goethe, Heliopolis, the Egyptians, and so on ad infinitum), there are also soft and elementary methods. Food, for example, gems, solarised or natural liquids. If you have patience, you can also follow the rhythms connected with the hours of the day, or the days of the week, to promote the energy of things, as well as your own. Always keeping in mind, however, the colour you need, even if it irritates you. You will end up loving it; and then, when the rainbow is balanced, you will be too.
I wrote a booklet many years ago in New Zealand, which was never published, on character types, colour and food. It was called Little Psychoanalytic Kitchen,and opened with the words “Make food, not war”. We can start with cooking to reach heaven. Just think, with no more than three colours!