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Transforming the Mind ~ by Peter Shepherd


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Forms and colors

At some deep experiential (and possibly also innate) level we subjectively identify ourselves and our motivational states with objective forms and the felt arousal of colors.

The telic state is experienced as 'being a cube', as stable as can be with no potential movement; a definite, fixed purpose. The 'blue' telic state contains emptiness, cold, stillness; the 'green' telic state is contemplative and relaxing.

Reversal is equivalent to a cylinder, which has limited movement in one direction (on a plane). This 'violet' process contains both telic planning and paratelic trying-out, and also telic panic if things go wrong.

The paratelic state is experienced as being a sphere, with unlimited movement. 'Orange' signifies playfulness and activity, 'yellow' spontaneity and openness, 'red' full arousal, warmth and substance; whilst 'white' is the illumination of insight at the peak of experiencing.

One could add to this the high-arousal relationships of red with anger and rage (fight responses) and yellow with cowardice and anxiety (flight responses). Also the low-arousal relationship of blue with depression and green with envy. The language is full of symbolic references to the basic forms in terms of psychological motivation. The sphere corresponds to 'play about' or 'lark around', and with a ball, ring or circus. The cylinder matches 'going straight' or 'toeing the line'. The cube is represented by 'to stand four square', 'fight our corner', to square up', to be 'square' and a 'square peg in a round hole'.

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