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Lao Tzu, Life Hacks for Modern Times Part 1 - Color

Updated: Jun 2, 2018

“Colors blind the eye

Sounds deafen the ear.

Flavors numb the taste.

Thoughts weaken the mind.

Desires wither the heart.”

― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Buddhist, Taoist and Yogacara monks have promoted a lifestyle that avoids extremes. It is said that they have enjoyed longer and healthier lives because of it. So should we be avoiding our over-indulgent urban lifestyle for the sake of our health and well-being?

Extreme natures consume energy, vitality and can even be toxic. Things age and deteriorate at much faster rates. Could it be that certain things like color and smells steal away our senses and consume qi, leaving our eyes less clear and ears less attuned? Ancedotal evidence suggests that colors can affect our moods and our physiology. The field of color psychology has certainly permeated the world of marketing. For example, General Electric and American Express use the color blue to instill trust, calmness and dependability. Physiologically, studies show that prolonged exposure to the color yellow can cause loss of temper and make babies cry, and can even cause your eyes to fatigue.

All life is in a constant state of flux. If anything chronically interferes with its equilibrium, tipping the scale, one way or the other, can be catastrophic. If we concede to live in harmony with our internal and external worlds, the body’s innate healing properties can be unleashed. So how can we activate this with color? Each color has a distinct frequency or vibration due to wavelengths. Color therapy, also known as chromotherapy, is a healing modality facilitated through the use of these particular vibrations. Let us take for example the differences between red and blue. Red contains lower frequencies and longer wavelengths, whereas blue, has higher frequencies and shorter wavelengths. That is why the quick notes of drums can muster the will from within and help ignite our inner fire. Whereas the flute falls into the blue spectrum and can calm the nervous system, effectively decreasing heart rate and respiration. Furthermore, red is of physical nature, acting as a source for self-expression and manifestation. Blue is the color of emotion. Represented by feminine energy, magnetic in nature and manifesting in desire with the ability to uplift one’s state of being.

All the primary colors reflected in the rainbow carry their own unique vibrational signatures and healing properties. Consider the sun’s healing ability for instance! The yang nature of the sun emanates and disperses its energy to all living things. Without sunshine, we would be suffering from depression and vitamin deficiencies. On the other hand, when we are exposed to excessive amounts of sun we damage our skin, experience headaches, dehydration, nausea, and possible dizziness.

I think we can agree with a reasonable amount of certainty, that Lao Tzu’s push for modesty and moderation in the Tao Te Ching was and is a noble cause for us all!

The Lüscher color test is a psychological test invented by Dr. Max Lüscher in Basel, Switzerland. Take the Lûscher color quiz and see what it says about you. It was surprisingly spot on for me!

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