PJ's Personal Archives

A post to discussion list [color]

Around 1996 I was living in Seattle. My car needed fixing and I was taking the city bus to get to work. It was a long route, and I leaned my head against the window of the bus and sighed. I tried to go to sleep, but it was far too bouncy and I kept getting my head banged against the glass. Finally I just sat back and stared blandly out the window for awhile, with my eyes not really focusing on anything.

After some time, I realized that I could feel something inside my body. I wasn't even sure what it was at first. Something inside me. Some correlation outside me. I was a bit "spaced out" (altered state) from the monotony of the bus ride, so it took a bit to make the connection. Finally I figured it out: I could "feel" where "colors" were "touching" me.

I'd see a color out the window--something I'd focus upon--and I'd feel it in my torso, such as "kind of near the liver." I'd see a different color and I'd feel it "over here" instead. Every color, I could feel the "impact inside me" of it. It took a bit of time to actually become clear, what was 'causing' this feeling inside me. And when it did, it was so offbeat and unexpected, I suddenly got a lot more alert and thought to myself, "I've gotta be kidding! Is this possible?!"

I began to realize that the same colors impacted me in the same place. This got my attention, how consistently the different colors "impacted me" in the same area inside. Being a logical sort, this somehow seemed more relevent to me than the general fact that I could feel colors. I began marveling at this, thinking that color might mean a lot more than we know. I thought about how the colors we surround ourselves with must effect our health without our knowing it, if such colors really can be felt by the body.

I noticed that when I looked at artificial colors--say the green on a billboard--it didn't affect me nearly how the green in a rich tree would. It was so mild I could hardly sense it, as if it were diluted and incomplete somehow; but "real" things I could feel almost as clearly inside me as I might feel a person touching me. I made the mental note that this is why it took me a few minutes to figure out what was happening. I really only "felt" it at any degree worth noticing when I was looking at something 'real'.

As I looked for things to view, to "feel" their effect, I became aware of how much of the landscape was actually dead. I looked in one direction and what did I see? Apartment houses; parking lots; streets; billboards; signs and storefronts; a freeway; only here and there did I see anything alive, usually a tree. I had never really noticed this before.

This "effect" went on for nearly 1.5 hours on the way to work--3 different buses and waits at the bus stops.

From the last bus I had to walk a few blocks around to the building where I was working. There was a little mini-park nearby that I always wanted to visit, but I normally didn't go that route, as I seldom had time. But the bus was running just a couple minutes early that morning so I decided to take a detour. A winding sidewalk took me through very nice landscaping and little benches.

There were some flowers blooming here and there along the path, and I was astonished at how "pure and clean and powerful" the "feeling inside me" was with the flowers, as if they were some kind of "concentrated" color, somehow different than other sources of color. I wondered if gems would be the same. I wondered if this is why flowers and gems are so loved by people (in general).

I continued walking the winding pathway and musing about such things. As I rounded a tall hedge, at the moment my eyes landed upon something I felt as if I were nearly knocked me off my feet! WHAM! -- Right in the heart!!

I stopped short, mouth open in awe, in front of red rose bush. The effect of an entire bush of vividly deep red roses was such a "concentrated dose" that it literally took my breath away. This hit my body before my brain had any real chance to make any conscious notes about the flower or color. The feeling inside was SO powerful-- I am trying to think of words for something like that.

In the optometrists' office there is a machine that blows air on your eye. It has a super-brief but powerful feeling. It kind of felt as if something like that had "hit" my heart "from the inside." Not in any bad way -- in a GREAT way. But it was that sudden, shocking and impossible not to notice. It was so *physical* and intense.

As I stood there, still astonished, I thought to myself, "Wow! Maybe it's no coincidence that red and roses are associated with love! It really does affect the heart! So subconsciously, maybe humanity kind of figured out that if you see red roses, it affects your heart in some positive way. I mean I know it isn't conscious, but surely these things are 'innately' known, if true at all?"

This led me to a couple of minutes of thinking about how we have associated "love" with the "heart," when modern science might say it is merely a chemical manufactured by the brain. Yet in some clear but wordless way, it seemed "right" to me that considering "the heart" a focus for "love" feelings in a person was accurate.

I remembered a couple of times in my life when I was stricken was the most intense grief, from someone I loved dying, and how astonished I was during those times that my chest actually hurt, and how "heartbreak" seemed so literal.

I got to the other edge of the park. I wanted to go back through it, and feel the feelings inside me again, but it was time to go to work.

When I got to the building I worked in, I found it interesting how the office affected me. I took the elevator up, and walked through the building looking for something to "ping against" -- to "feel" like somehow the color was "rebounding inside me". But nothing was real inside, another observation I hadn't made before; bad lighting and and bland colors, neutrals, and so much artificial. It was if I had walked into some kind of dead-zone.

As my coworkers said hello and I walked toward my office, I had to quell the urge to turn and run--back outside to the beauty that was alive inside me, and away from what suddenly seemed like a plastic and rather surreal prison.

I wondered how mankind had gotten to the point of not MINDING that we trap ourselves in such dead environments. I suspected it's that we have become so inured that we can't feel anything, so it doesn't seem to matter.

I told myself that it was all very interesting, but I had things to do. So I focused on my work . . . and by breaktime, the perception had passed.

After effects:

This did open my mind a bit -- some to specific concepts (like color healing) and some to more intangible things I don't think I can put into words, but relate to some sense of connection with the living world around me. No real specific effects though, beyond being an interesting memory.


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