Color Connections Part 1/3

Stimuli of the world profoundly affect us. Senses are navigational context tools, but they also determine mood and behavior. Color, like scent, is an especially powerful trigger. Most influence occurs on an unconscious level. We pay attention to strong stimuli but subtle ambience evades our conscious thought. 

The atmosphere, the feeling– somehow, color has the power to change our experience and opinion. Patterns of pigment and symbols found in nature have been copied for human manipulation: therapy, art, interior design, fashion, and insidiously, in advertisement. 

Color is an enigma in many fields of study but our relationship with the concept has an extensive history. The power of color has always intrigued us. Cultures have different but often overlapping associations, some which persist since ancient civilization. 

Color involves an easily understood magic. The psychospiritual aspects of color are as complex as the physics, physiology, and neurology, but our ability to connect to color on a personal level is simple. We exist in an elaborate ecosystem, the bright coloration of toxic flora and fauna doesn’t just warn us but any animal which perceives color. It’s always had meaning. 

 The simplicity (and magic) is the connection between our internal and external worlds. There is nothing specific about pigment or light itself, people with visual impairments have their own internal map of the world with complicated mental, emotional, and spiritual connections. Sensory perception is unique for each individual. 

Our bodies have been made as a part of the whole of reality. Cognitive processes have been translating the outside world since time immemorial. Human existence relies upon assigning meaning– it’s our curiosity, our animal instinct. Simply, we’ve evolved to excel at psychologically bonding with our environment. The union is so seamless, we rarely are aware of it.

Color is its own world divided between, and defined by, the inside and outside. 

On the outside is the pigment, photons, drama, and convoluted quantum physics. Certain atomic structures of pigment absorb or reflect specific wavelength behaviors of light. I always wondered how light could be a particle AND a wave, and discovered I should have learnt math if I wanted real answers to questions like that.

On the inside, our physiology goes through its own soap opera so that our brain may construct an image, vision. The optic nerve confounds me as much as quantum physics. The closer any piece of a puzzle is inspected, the more puzzles appear which combine to form the whole. Most have heard of a retina, but to understand the purpose of this tissue, we’d have to study the extensive process of rod and cone cells (photoreceptors). These cells receive light and send the information to our brain. 

We’ve absorbed the outside.

All this can be summarized with ‘connection’.

(optional reading: part 2, part 3)


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