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Re: [steiner] Light: The Cosmic Messenger

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  • Seth Miller
    Kathy- Color is a very interesting topic. Goethe s basic idea was that color was the deeds and sufferings of light , and that in fact what is primary is the
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 7, 2006
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      Kathy-
       
      Color is a very interesting topic.  Goethe's basic idea was that color was the 'deeds and sufferings of light', and that in fact what is primary is the interplay of light and darkness, where color is a complex phenomena arising as the interaction of light and dark in various situations.  He noticed two primary color scales arising from a prism: the warm colors (yellow, orange, red) and the cool colors (cyan, blue, violet). 
       
      The rainbow is formed when these two scales cross (the yellow and cyan form the green) - this is the "light spectrum" and is the phenomenon that Newton focused on with respect to color.  But Goethe's process also naturally leads to the "dark spectrum", when the scales cross on the other side (the red and violet crossing to form magenta). 
       
      He found what he called the 'Ur-phenomena', or an almost archetypal example of the most basic idea, with respect to this theory in the natural example of the yellow sun in the blue sky.  He felt that the sun (a source of white light), when seen through the turbid medium of the atmosphere (a darkness), caused the warm spectrum to appear (hence the yellow sun), while the sky appeared blue because it was a turbid medium filled with light (from the sun) in front of a dark background (space).  This example was primary because it did not require a prism but was naturally occurring. 
       
      Dark in front of light ---> warm colors
      Light in front of dark ---> cool colors
       
      Needless to say, this is not the modern scientific understanding of either color in general or the sun/sky in particular, although it gives rise to a very usable color wheel that many artists prefer, as it utilizes complementary colors according to the phenomenology of human vision: when you stare at a reddish object for a while then look at a white wall, you will see cyan, the same complements occur between blue and orange, green and magenta... and so on.
       
      Check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color for a modern scientific perspective on color and
       
      The modern and Goethean approaches to color are not mutually exclusive, but are themselves complementary:
       

      Goethean

      Newtonian

      Exploratory experimentation

      Theory-based

      Process

      Facts

      Qualitative

      Quantitative

      Experiments and concepts evolve together

      Experiments designed to test previously formulated theories

      Many slightly different experiments are performed with the idea of bringing to light connections between all the different manifestations of a phenomenon

      “Experimentum Crucis” – a single, definitive experiment “worth 1000 others” that clearly supports one theory over another

      Experiments can only be understood in the context of all the others

      Isolated experiments make sense

      Look at relations

      “Prove” a single fact

      Make sense of the whole (holism)

      Make sense of individual pieces (reductionism)

      Look for primary, “Ur-phenomenon” and associated necessary conditions

      Everything rests upon a single, often minutely structured phenomenon taken out of the larger context

      All other phenomena follow from the primary phenomenon, through a process of complexification and the addition of new conditions (facts ‘fall out’ of the context)

      Experiments are used to “plug holes” in existing theory, not to explain related phenomena (the context is created from the facts as necessary)

      Good for situations with little previous conceptual framework (metaphor: site-assessment)

      Good for situations where there is a lot of prior theory that is already accepted (metaphor: brick-laying)

      Includes the observer as a necessarily important part of the whole phenomenon (the subject is included)

      Abstracts the observer from the phenomenon in order to isolate as many variables as possible (the object is primary)

      Requires exact feelings

      Requires exact thinking

      Insights reflect inner activity

      Insights reflect outer activity

      Periphery to center: the circle

      Center to periphery: rays from point

      Answers generate questions

      Questions generate answers

      Synthetic

      Analytic

       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Hope this helps.
      -Seth

      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Kathy Landes <katmoon@...>
      To: steiner@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 6:26:49 PM
      Subject: RE: [steiner] Light: The Cosmic Messenger

      I am taking an astronomy class and we talked about this topic tonight! I asked the teacher where color comes from. He said it’s what humans experience. I don’t think he had a real answer. I understand the spectrum of light……rods, cones, ect…..

      So Mathew, can you please tell me where color comes from? What does Steiner say? Or Goethe?

      Thanks for you help.

    • sarah
      When I did the Foundations course, our teacher told us that there is some evidence that humans could not perceive the colour blue before 300BC(?). I must do
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 8, 2006
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        When I did the Foundations course, our teacher told us that there is some
        evidence that humans could not perceive the colour blue before 300BC(?). I
        must do some research on this, because he said that it seemed that the
        ability to perceive blue came after humankind was able to understand The
        Other, as in grasping the Golden Rule, which simultaneously appears in the
        arts at that time. (I might have got the year wrong - bad memory for
        details). Before this time 'blue' sky was seen as 'light grey'.

        Then our teacher said that the next colour that we will perceive is a type
        of violet colour, and that 'grey' that we normally see could possibly be
        'violet', ie elephants, grey clouds, dolphins etc, might not be grey after
        all.

        It's just a theory, but it's interesting :-) Anyone heard of it or can add
        more?

        Sarah
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