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Home >> Seeker’s Solace  >> Know Thyself: It is all about perception

Know Thyself: It is all about perception


Now, as far as the objects are concerned, when an object absorbs all colours except one and reflects it back, the object is then said to possess that colour.

In this case, the red colour that we think to be the quality of the cube is actually the quality of the sunlight that hits it. The only thing is that this cube–due to its peculiar construction or composition of paint–reflects red alone from the spectrum of seven colours and absorbs all the rest. And, therefore, we call it red in colour.

Suppose, it had reflected all the colours of the spectrum, we would have called it white. Suppose, it absorbed all the colours and reflected none, then we would have called it black.

Now the question is, ‘Is the colour red a characteristic of the cube in front of us or is it the characteristic of light that comes from the sun?’ The only characteristic the cube has is to reflect red and absorb the rest. That’s the only thing. The colour does not belong to the cube. It belongs to light; it belongs to the sun.

So, the first characteristic of the cube that we identified–the red colour–has now disappeared. Red is the colour and it belongs to light. It does not belong to the object that is in front of you. So it is with all objects.

Having eliminated one characteristic of colour, let us now proceed to the next characteristic which is shape.

The word ‘cube’ comes from ‘cubeh’ that in Arabic is called ‘Kabbah’. The cubical structure is called the Kabbah. The Kabbah you see in Mecca, it actually means ‘a cube’.


Look at it carefully, in a perfectly logical manner. Shape–we say it’s a cube. Why? Because, it has six sides, we would say. We know that. We see the cube in the classroom and the school. In fact, the word ‘cube’ comes from ‘cubeh’ that in Arabic is called ‘Kabbah’. The cubical structure is called the Kabbah. The Kabbah you see in Mecca, it actually means ‘a cube’.

Now, let us take a good look at shape. Observe it very carefully.

You might have sat in a car on a rainy day. You would have seen the raindrops falling on the windscreen. If you looked at the electric pole in front of you through the wet screen, you would have noticed that it is bent, not straight. It appears bent because the pole is seen refracted through the water drops on the windscreen.

But you’d say, ‘Well, it is straight, but since I am seeing through a particular kind of glass, it appears bent’ or you’d say, ‘it’s actually yellow, but I am looking with my sunglasses on, so it appears green.’

Now the interesting question here is, suppose you were born with a lens the shape of which was like the raindrop on the windscreen, would you have grown up believing that the pole outside is bent? It is possible you may call it straight, to use a word, but you might think straight means bent.

I don’t know if you grasp this, whether you understand this.


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