Does the Real World Contain Colors?

In the Writings of the Baha’i Faith, we read: O MAN OF TWO VISIONS! Close one eye and open the other. Close one to the world and all that is therein, and open the other to the hallowed beauty of the Beloved.
— Bahá’u’lláh, The Persian Hidden Words

I have written many times that I am endlessly fascinated by colors, their emotional effects, their psychological, and most importantly, their spiritual effects. Yet colors do not really exist. There are no colors! Color is one of the ultimate abstractions.

How the Mind Works: Revelations
“In fact, ‘external reality’ is a construction of the brain. Our senses are confronted by a chaotic, constantly changing world that has no labels, and the brain must make sense of that chaos. It is the brain’s correlations of sensory information that create the knowledge we have about our surroundings, such as the sounds of words and music, the images we see in paintings and photographs, the colors we perceive: ‘perception is not merely a reflection of immediate input,’ [the authors] write, ‘but involves a construction or a comparison by the brain.’ “For example, contrary to our visual experience, there are no colors in the world, only electromagnetic waves of many frequencies.” (Wikipedia) Definition of a Photon (Wikipedia).

The New York Review of Books continues:
“We can recognize and understand the actions of others because of the mirror neurons; …”


My view as a Baha’i is that one important purpose of physical reality is that it is a matrix. The way we learn about it, adapt, and react to to the physical world and its creatures trains our souls and provides a necessary yet evanescent and ultimately unreal classroom. In this matrix, we must have a definable form. In the next levels of reality we are recognizable but possibly formless or else of a nature or form that we cannot imagine from a physical perspective.

“The nature of the soul after death can never be described, nor is it meet and permissible to reveal its whole character to the eyes of men.”

“When the soul attaineth the Presence of God, it will assume the form that best befitteth its immortality and is worthy of its celestial habitation.”
— Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 156

Ordinary language cannot describe our metaphysical future states.

“Exalted, immeasurably exalted art Thou, O my Beloved, above the strivings of any of Thy creatures, however learned, to know Thee; exalted, immensely exalted art Thou above every human attempt, no matter how searching, to describe Thee! For the highest thought of men, however deep their contemplation, can never hope to outsoar the limitations imposed upon Thy creation, nor ascend beyond the state of the contingent world, nor break the bounds irrevocably set for it by Thee. How can, then, a thing that hath been created by Thy will that overruleth the whole of creation, a thing that is itself a part of the contingent world, have the power to soar into the holy atmosphere of Thy knowledge, or reach unto the seat of Thy transcendent power?

High, immeasurably high art Thou above the endeavors of the evanescent creature to soar unto the throne of Thine eternity, or of the poor and wretched to attain the summit of Thine all-sufficing glory!”
Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 327

“The dwellers of the kingdom of names have busied themselves with the gay livery of the world, forgetful that every man that hath eyes to perceive and ears to hear cannot but readily recognize how evanescent are its colors.”
Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 195

The world is continually proclaiming these words: Beware, I am evanescent, and so are all my outward appearances and colours.”
Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 257

Evanescent: “tending to vanish like vapor,” “vanishing, disappearing quickly,” “lasting only a short time,”  “deficient in fullness.”

A related article is here: The Abstract Third Reality (Note, that is not a picture of a Manifestation on the page. He is merely a saintly figure and identified as such on the statue’s placard.)


  1. amzolt · August 15, 2008

    Critically Important Post !

    Been struggling with the recovery from eleven months of extremely abusive medical treatment—body entered realms of etheriality—spirit became palpable…

    Truly appreciate your word pictures and speaking images.

    ~ Alex

  2. Pingback: Glimmers: Let There Be Light « Enochsvision’s Blog

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