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Why Color Matters

We often want to escape complexity by settling into black and white thinking. Either or. Yes or no. With me or against me. But like it or not, the world is not so simple, and, thankfully, the human condition not so flat.

Color matters, difference matters, and colorful thinking means ‘both and’. Yes, and no. Both in and out. In fact, one of the foundational philosophical points in the bhakti tradition reflects this colorful thinking - in sanskrit ‘achintya bheda abheda tattva’ means inconceivably simultaneously one with and different from. We are spiritually one with and different from each other (similar in essence as souls but eternally individual), and we are also one with and different from Krishna (we are made from his energy). We are one with him in quality, but not in quantity. He is the big flaming fire and we are but sparks.

This ‘and both’ thinking is generous. It makes room for everyone. This doesn’t mean throwing out all clear thinking or straight answers but it does mean having the bandwidth to accommodate many rights, many firsts, many yes/ ands. When Waze offers us multiple routes to get to our destination, one may be shorter than the other, but all get us to the same destination. So we appreciate all.

This colorful thinking can dissipate envy, ease anxiety, and encourage us to take up our service and our spiritual journey in ways that best work for us. As long as the destination is clear, the details can be different. And therein lies the joy.

Thinking in color creates space, creates joy, and honors our differences. As we gear up for our annual HoliDC festival of colors next weekend, we want it to signify this. We want everyone to come and be reminded that color and colorful thinking can make us all better, and the world a better place.

As Krishna says in the Gita, “Know that all beautiful, glorious, and mighty creations spring from but a spark of My splendor.” Let’s create a little glorious beauty at HoliDC!

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