While on the View From The Bunker, Derek Gilbert asked me about the significance of the rainbow flag consisting of only six colors instead of seven. I replied that the omission of the seventh negated the possibility of rendering the colors into a circuit – but didn’t elaborate.
An elaboration is certainly deserved.
To begin, electromagnetic radiation (EM radiation or EMR) is the radiant energy released by various electromagnetic processes.
“The electromagnetic waves that compose electromagnetic radiation can be imagined as a self-propagating transverse oscillating wave of electric and magnetic fields. This diagram shows a plane linearly polarized EMR wave propagating from left to right. The electric field is in a vertical plane and the magnetic field in a horizontal plane. The electric and magnetic fields in EMR waves are always in phase and at 90 degrees to each other.”
The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation from Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) radio waves to energetic gamma rays at the highest frequency.
The rainbow flag consist of only spectral colors.
The visible electromagnetic spectrum does not contain all the colors that the human eye and brain can distinguish. Purple variations are absent because they can be made only by a mix of multiple wavelengths. (Specifically combinations of lowest frequency, red and highest frequency, blue) Purple is a non-spectral color.
Including the non-spectral purple between red and blue allows for a continuous color ring that – for humans – appears harmonious even though purple is merely a combination of the high and low frequency ends of the visible spectrum.
In the 17th century, Isaac Newton discovered that prisms could separate white light into colors. He was the first to use the word spectrum (Latin “appearance” or “apparition”) and described the phenomenon in his book, Opticks.
Newton observed that, when a narrow beam of sunlight strikes the face of a glass prism at an angle, some is reflected and some of the beam passes into and through the glass, emerging as different-colored bands. Newton hypothesized light to be made up of “corpuscles” (particles) of different colors, with the different colors of light moving at different speeds in transparent matter, red light moving more quickly than violet in glass. The result is that red light bends (refracted) less sharply than violet as it passes through the prism, creating a spectrum of colors.
“Newton divided the spectrum into seven named colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. He chose seven colors out of a belief, derived from the ancient Greek sophists, of there being a connection between the colors, the musical notes, the known objects in the solar system, and the days of the week. “
Isacoff, Stuart (16 January 2009). Temperament: How Music Became a Battleground for the Great Minds of Western Civilization. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-0-307-56051-3. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
Interesting to note here that Newton’s illustration of prismatic colors included the word, purple at the end of the spectrum after indigo (or violet).
Although Newton perhaps didn’t realize that the seventh color was not a product of the refraction of white light, but one represented from the particular nature of human perception, he included purple in his illustration. By doing this he represented a very profound concept, that the colors from white light could be represented in a harmonious circuit – reflecting an important aspect of God. (more on this later)
God is light:
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 Jo 1:5-7
The nature of light reflects God in many aspects. Just as there are three primary colors, red, yellow and blue, God is Father, Son (the Word) and Spirit.
“This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” 1 Jo 5:6-7
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” Jhn 1:1-5
Various aspects of the phenomenon of light can be described by using three methods.
Rays or vectors:
Newton’s Opticks includes many illustrations.
Newton argued that the geometric nature of reflection and refraction of light could only be explained if light was made of particles, referred to as corpuscles, because waves do not tend to travel in straight lines.
In 1672, the English natural philosopher, Robert Hooke suggested that light’s vibrations could be perpendicular to the direction of propagation. Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695) worked out a mathematical wave theory of light in 1678, and published it in his Treatise on light in 1690.
Just as the whole of visible spectrum together appears white, light separated into its spectrum also reflects the nature of God. The non-spectral color, purple included in the harmonious color circuit profoundly illustrates God’s interaction with mankind.
The unification of the spectral colors into a continuous ring by the non-spectral combination of the highest visible frequency and the lowest is mirrored in the phenomenon of the Ox Circuit.
God wrote the Ten Commandments using a letter system that was holy to Him with His own finger:
“And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.” Deuteronomy 9:10
A better representation of a letter system that would be considered holy to the God of the Universe, who has no beginning or end, would be appropriately depicted in the form of a circuit. Consider that the “top” letter in the circuit would be the “mark” or (X) and that the other letters would proceed from left to right just as the constellations pass overhead in the night sky. This one letter, if known to “mark” the start and the end of the circular arrangement, would later evolve into separate forms over a vast period of time. The aggregation of the taus, when thought of as two separate ideas, could also be represented as the same mark combined, forming a new letter.
The combination of the taus would indeed appear as the Phoenician alf, mimicking the image of a bull or ox head turned to the side.
The representation of the first “sound-based” script as a circuit with the same sign, the sign of the cross, becomes separate letters when represented in a list. The limited or linear list has a beginning and an end and is unlike the nature of God, whereas a circuit has neither. The beginning and the end are both separate and yet are one, man as God—starting and ending with the cross.
Christ refers to Himself:
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. (Revelation 22:13)
Christ at the Cross (tav) – the head of the Ox Circuit, is both the beginning and the end, completing the circuit.
Purple has been considered to be the color of royalty for thousands of years. Purple, from the Greek πορφύρα (porphura), is the name of the Phoenician (“land of purple”) Tyrian (David Flynn discusses the significance of Phoenician city of Tyre in his book, Cydonia, The Secret Chronicles Of Mars) purple dye manufactured in classical antiquity from a mucus secreted by the spiny dye-murex snail (Latin Bolinus (fiery arrow)brandaris or Murex(pointed) brandaris). The dye was greatly prized because the color did not easily fade, but instead became brighter with weathering and sunlight. In Rome, only the Emperor could wear purple. Nero made the wearing of or sale of purple punishable by death.
The construction of the veil that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies in the Temple represented the image of Christ, but not only in its specific coloring, the verse as it appears in the Old Testament happens to reflect the nature of a circuit – 2 Chronicles 3:14 ( π )
“And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.”
Blue, (highest frequency of the visible spectrum, the first, the alpha, the aleph) Purple, (the connection of first and the last, the head of the circuit, the completion) and Red (lowest frequency of the visible spectrum, the last, the omega, the tav)
True royalty is to the connecting color purple as Christ is to the cross.
The rainbow is a symbol that was turned inside out. We perceive it in the dimension that was lost at the Garden of Eden from our fallen world. But just as we are mortally confined to the surface of the earth, the rainbow is incomplete. If we ascend and look down at the refracting water droplets with the sun behind, the whole circle appears.
The colors too represent the concept of a circuit – but only in the light of human perception, since it takes the human eye to construct the non-spectral color that joins – purple.
We must look to the cross (the tav, the purple) at the head of the circuit and understand what it represents.
The Light circuit, as we perceive it, is a representation of Christ that was created for us, specifically perceptible only to us, and constructed by the author of everything created. It also symbolizes the gift He provided – a path to eternal existence in His presence brought about through His interaction in His creation with us.