The following extract is from an article by Dr. Robert Lanza entitled: “Evidence That Colors Are Emotions, Not the Properties of Light.” This elucidates how and why we perceive color through our emotions and not light per se. Moreover, these profound insights confirm the iStar Self-Assessment’s rationale for its own natural color scheme as is explained below.
“What is red? Green? Blue? This may seem like a question too dumb to merit a moment’s contemplation … The answer lies deeper than anyone thought. It involves our very selves. A … distinct circuitry comprising labyrinthine clusters of cells is connected with the other colors and cones—each associated with separate areas of the brain. When these cell architectures are stimulated via their respective cones in the retina, we have distinctive experiences: blue evokes the vastness of the sky and yields a much calmer feeling than red, and green conveys countless bygone centuries of plants and vegetation and is a comforting invocation of life.
Red was universally agreed on as the color for things like warning notices and railroad and, later, automobile stop signals. And why even culturally distinct nations and those antagonistic enough toward the West to want to thumb their noses at new modern conventions didn’t buck this rule. Obviously, the qualitatively attention-getting experience we call “red” is associated with a deep built-in pattern of emotions and neural connections.”
iStar Digital Badge
The iStar Digital Badge is a simple way to help picture and understand each other as whole human beings with diverse strengths and unique stories to share. Most important, it encourages individuals and teams to play to their strengths in realizing their goals.
The iStar Digital Badge uses colors to symbolize each of the five basic strengths. The Table below features each with an example of a natural correlation. This is informed by ancient philosophy as well as modern psycho-educational research and practice. Now further borne out by this new research on neuro-optics and perception described by Dr. Lanza.
The use of the five point star in a circle as well as its color alignments are based on in depth research into the history of ancient philosophy and symbolism.
Humans had been empirically observing and encoding life for millennia. They devised simple symbols for complex phenomena. For example, the first circle drawn by humans was 3500 years likely based on recurring images such as the full moon and the eye’s pupil.
Similarly, our attunement to natural colors is also rooted in prehistory. This is conditioned by earth’s rotation during 24-hours of light and dark. During the daytime we perceive bright, warm colors. These increase metabolic rates. Conversely, at night we perceive cool, dark colors, inaction, which decrease metabolic rates.
The cyclic nature of life was observed in various primal patterns of four such as:
The Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Life Stages: Birth, Youth, Adulthood, Death
Cardinal Directions: North, South, East, West
Natural Elements: Air, Fire, Water, Earth
The earliest written reference to the elements is in the Vedas of India 3000 years ago. By extension, the elements were also seen to manifest in naturally occurring phenomena.
Earth – Green
Water – Blue
Fire – Red
Air/Spirit – Yellow / Gold
Many ancient cultures created visual models using a four-part circle to illustrate these patterns. The three examples below represent Tibetan, Western Alchemical, and First Nations models. While the colors don’t always agree the underlying raison d’etre is remarkably similar.
However, the Pythagoreans added one more invisible element to round out the whole picture. This was Quintessence. Signifying the divine energy that held the universe and life together. They chose the star as the symbol of this fifth element and placed it in the circle to signify wholeness, health, and excellence.
The iStar model and color system is faithful to the ancient wisdom based on even earlier millennia of observation and encoding of natural cycles and phenomena. That modern neuroscience has the capacity and technology to explain the actual molecular and cellular processes underlying what we’ve known intuitively and philosophically for millennia, so much the better.