1 colour is better than 1000 speeches
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.” Carl Gustav Jung
MEANING AND SYMBOL
We Homo Sapiens species were a gracile constitution, less robust than the Neanderthals, a minority. However, Homo Sapiens has overturned the parts to the point of extinction of the rival species: an anthropologist today believes that the key element was “gossip”, a greater ability to communicate abstract and creative elements that allowed the growth of tribes with an increasing number (more than 150 units), with consequent economic advantage and higher adaptability compared to the adversaries.
The human mind succeeds in perceiving colours and images, giving shape to objects, recognizing them, interpreting them. The ability to reorganize, classify, memorize or remove arises from this first phase of sensory perception. The signalling sensation is codified and then it acquires meaning and becomes a symbol, which is a constitutive and necessary mutation to communicate.
Information to be communicated needs a shared code, but to be understood requires a meaning, which is a third external element.
Precisely in order to communicate, man has invented a procedure to agree on signs, gestures, and words. This agreement is born in a group, in which all people share the meaning of some keywords, which are then the founding and symbolic values of that group.
A common or influential action implies cooperation of three elements: an initial conceptual idea, signs, and thoughts to codify and interpret it and a cultural awareness that gives it meaning. The symbol is necessary to transform the communication-action into common action.
SYMBOL AND UNCONSCIOUS
“Whatever the unconscious may be, it is a natural phenomenon producing symbols that prove to be meaningful.”
Carl Gustav Jung
Meanings and symbols allow conscious activity, rational thinking, logic, and language. But our conscious mind uses words, meanings, symbols that have an unconscious origin. The symbolic world is not something that is simply outside of us but is also within us: a form of primary (semantic) language is inscribed in us from birth; in our unconscious, the symbol is present as content and as a mechanism even before the word and language.
The unconscious is a great reservoir and inside we can find everything: at first, we discovered inadmissible desires, traumas, removing and repressions. Then over time, we have outlined a collective unconscious and an absolute unconscious.
‘Everything of which I know, but of which I am not at the moment thinking; everything of which I was once conscious but have now forgotten; everything perceived by my senses, but not noted by my conscious mind; everything which, involuntarily and without paying attention to it, I feel, think, remember, want, and do; all the future things which are taking shape in me and will sometime come to consciousness; all this is the content of the unconscious’ (CW8, para 382). ‘Besides these we must include all more or less intentional repressions of painful thought and feelings. I call the sum of these contents the “personal unconscious”’ (CW8, para 270).
‘The term archetype is not meant to denote an inherited idea, but rather an inherited mode of functioning, corresponding to the inborn way in which the chick emerges from the egg, the bird builds its nest, a certain kind of wasp stings the motor ganglion of the caterpillar, and eels find their way to the Bermudas. In other words, it is a “pattern of behaviour”. This aspect of the archetype, the purely biological one, is the proper concern of scientific psychology’. (CW18, para 1228).
Carl Gustav Jung
We close our eyes for a moment: dark. A sense of insecurity, of danger, a feeling of uncertainty that no one has explained to us but that everyone perceives more or less intensely. The meaning of darkness is innate and shared, a symbol contained in the absolute unconscious.
UNCONSCIOUS AND EMOTIONS
Symbols, meaning and sense when they are in the unconscious are in their purest, most exciting, illogical and irrational form.
A concept, an idea reaches its maximum meaning when it is unconscious, which involves us, overwhelms us and motivates us to do anything. Expressing an emotion with words is sometimes impossible and giving a name to the emotion, known as “affect labeling” is a technique used to decrease their intensity and trying to control them.
But on the contrary, if we want to improve and increase emotional involvement, we have to forget words and give space to colours.
EMOTIONS AND COLOURS
The symbolic value that we all give to colours is unconscious. The sensations that give us the “warm colours” and “cold colours” were born in the mists of time, before language, and have a universal value which is present in the collective unconscious.
Vivid colours, “lifelike” colours are a symbol of life and creation, an even deeper meaning present in the absolute unconscious, a legacy which comes from the animalistic ancestors of man. Why ? The answer is all around us: plants and animals for 450 million years have communicated this concept as true artists, capable of giving life to forms of creativity and aesthetic expression perceptible by species different from their own. Performances with a refined taste that, as we know from Charles Darwin, indicate a good state of health and a good genetic assortment.
It is therefore for a true work of reproductive and sexual selection that all life forms have refined artistic skills and ornaments: bright fruits, showy plumage, incredible singing skills, elegant dances and iridescent petals.
A “colourful symphony” to communicate emotions,
which leave us “speechless” !!!