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Colour Energy

The History of Colour Energy
by Inger Naess

During the past two hundred years, four men in particular fought for the same idea that the colour energy of light could be beneficially utilized.

Baron Karl von Reichenbach was a business man and chemist who discovered paraffin and creosote. He also discovered that everything gives off a light. Around the same time, Dr. Edwin Babbitt, invented an apparatus he called the Chromolume. He would suspend coloured glass in a window so that the sun could shine through the glass and down onto a patient.

John Keely's theory was that the atmosphere contained endless elements of energy, which he called cosmic particles. He believed that their different vibrations could be isolated and then stored or converted into usable energy sources - for car engines for example. Keely discovered that he could make a small, light model airplane fly freely in a room by playing a certain note on a violin.

Wilhelm Reich studied at the University of Vienna and worked in the field of neuro-psychiatry. His theories did not find favour in Europe, and in the 1930's he moved to America. Reich discovered an energy, which he called Orgon. He believed that this energy was the universal life-force and that it vitalized everything - plants, minerals, animals, birds and people.

Reich built an instrument - the Orgonscope - which allowed him to observe this energy. This box was to be used outdoors, and the temperature inside the box was significantly higher than outside of it. If someone lay in the box, s/he would tan even without direct sunlight. Cuts, wounds, and other injuries would heal faster and painlessly when the accumulated energy from the box was focused on the injured areas.

Other thinkers and scientists have also written about the relationship between light and energy. Isaac Newton's Optics, published in 1704, is the foundation of today's knowledge of light and the colour spectrum. Newton used a prism to investigate the seven light energies - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet - that can be seen in a rainbow. The importance of this discovery was that the spectrum could now be seen with the naked eye. The spectrum can also be seen through a raindrop or dewdrop when the sun shines through it.

Johann Wolgang von Goethe published his Colour Teaching in 1808. His writings on colour are almost as popular as his literary work Faust. Goethe's theory about colours is an invaluable tool for everyone who works with colour.

In 1877, Dr. S. Pancoast published a paper entitled, Blue and Red Light and Its Rays as Medicine. It is primarily about red and blue rays and their respective stimulating and calming effects on people.

Danish physicist Niels Rydberg-Finsen (1860-1904), a Nobel Prize winner for medicine is another well-known scholar. He was internationally famous for his work with light and colours. He proved that ultraviolet radiation has enormous biological effects, and could be used to treat tuberculosis and smallpox. He founded a light institute for the treatment of skin tuberculosis and discovered a way to reduce smallpox scarring by using red light rays.

Albert Szent-Gyorgi, a Nobel Prize winner who discovered vitamin C, developed the idea that all energy absorbed by our bodies comes ultimately, from the sun. By studying photosynthesis, he noted how the sun's energy is stored in plants, which are, in turn, eaten by humans and animals. In this way the energy of the sun is passed on and used as energy in our bodies.

Max Luscher, a Swiss psychology professor, is probably the best-known contemporary authority on the use of colour to analyze personalities. Some twenty years ago, Luscher developed a colour test as a method for mapping out different personalities.

Another well-known author on colour, is Britain's Theo Gimbel. Gimbel was a student of Rudolf Steiner. He has written on the subject of the stimulating effect of red on under-active people and the calming effect of blue on aggressive personalities.

This is an edited extract from Colour Energy by Inger Naess and the book is available in the Soothingminds online shop.