Storytime guys - over the Easter weekend some sweet friends and I went for a walk on the cliffs. After some beautiful sunshine we got stuck in a rather painful hailstorm. Afterwards there was a load of rainbows around. (A bit like this :P) Having gotten all excited about reading about the Fruit of the Spirit (see my last blog) the rainbow sparked a very interesting conversation.
The theory is if God = light and God = love then white light = love
White light refracted gives you the colours of the rainbow.
Love refracted are joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
So… problem… there is traditionally 7 colours in the rainbow – but 8 fruits of the spirit other than love? Did God mess up? It’s just annoying. So I returned to some research into colour theory I was doing a while back. Geek out time…
At age 5 I was taught a rhyme to remember the 1st letter of the 7 colours Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. We were given Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Violet poster paints. I guess they missed out Indigo because it kind of feels like a fabrication (a mixture of blue and purple) so that the lovely Renaissance Painters could have a nice Godly 7 colour palette instead of 6.
What annoyed me was that with these crappy poster paints it was impossible to paint any green/blue and magenta. If you ask most people what the primary colours are you will hear Red, Yellow, Blue. But the problem is when you mix them, for example blue and yellow, you create a dirty green, not a pure one. So they cannot be the primaries.
There are different ways of mixing colour. Coloured paints will mix in a different way than coloured lights.
Paints or inks are known as subtractive colour. They're called subtractive because the more colour you add, the darker the colour gets. Their primaries are cyan, magenta and yellow.
You may recognize the colours from the sides of a newspaper as they are used in CMYK printing. They are used because by only using these 3 colours + black, you can create any other colour when on white paper.
Additive colour is mixing lights. Called additive, because the more light to have the closer the colour gets to white.
Although I’m an artist – I haven’t touched actual physical paint in literally years (I lie – I have painted a bedroom). I paint on the computer with photoshop. It uses a colour wheel, like below.
If we add together these additive and subtractive primaries we have 6 colours. In the colour wheel we also have some recognizable in-between colours, orange and purple.
So we have 8. Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self control. 8
It’s also cool how the lines between the colours are all very fuzzy – just like the lines between the definitions of the fruits of the spirit are all a bit fuzzy. Like goodness and kindness are kind of similar but different.
Here are the definitions of the Fruits of the Spirit…
Love ἀγάπη agape
Affection or benevolence
Joy χαρά chara
Peace εἰρήνη eirēnē
A state of national tranquillity, harmony, concord.
Exemption from the rage and havoc of war
Patience μακροθυμία makrothymia
Also translated forbearance, longsuffering,
slowness in avenging wrongs
[not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting]
Kindness χρηστότης chrēstotēs
Usefulness, i.e. morally, excellence
Refers not to sentiment, but to service and acts
Goodness ἀγαθωσύνη agathōsynē
Uprightness of heart and life. Rectitude of character.
Faithfulness πίστις pistis
Faith, fidelity, the character of one who
can be relied on
Gentleness πραΰτης praÿtēs
Self-control ἐγκράτεια egkrateia
Also translated Temperence - the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions
Here’s Newton’s thoughts on it from ages ago. Interestingly he picked out 8 colours too! And he based his spacing on the musical scale because that has 8 notes in it. So music ties into it too – weird! There seem some holes in this theory though. Definitely need to look into it more…
This website breaks everything colour related down into more depth than you could ever want if you were interested. www.huevaluechroma.com
I can’t help thinking that if ‘the works of men, are always operations in the realm of death’ and God is working in the realm of life – it’s like he’s painting with light (additive) and we’re painting with paint (subtractive).
So that's what I got :)