The colour wheel is a tool used by artists to help them with their colour choices. It is made up of six colour hues which coincidentally correspond quite neatly to six of the world’s major religions!

Something happened last night which I find very fascinating. For some time I have been watching a TV series called ‘Lost’ and last night I watched the very last episode of the final season. The title for this last episode was ‘The End’ which is also the title of a very significant song by The Doors, but more about that in a future post.

The thing I found so fascinating and interesting was the image of a stain glass window which displayed symbols of the world’s six major religions. This window, the room in which we see the window and an empty coffin were used to represent a heavenly afterlife (or the doorway to that heavenly afterlife). Now, the reason why this window was so fascinating to me was because on that very morning I had sketched out a colour wheel and linked each colour to a major world religion. The stain glass window in the penultimate scene of the last episode of the final season of Lost not only agreed with my choices of relgion but also grouped them in exactly the same order.

Stain glass window from Lost
Stain glass window from Lost
Sketch/notation of religious colour wheel
Sketch/notation of religious colour wheel

Light is at the centre of true religion as it is at the centre of colour

The colour wheel above shows the three primary colours of Blue, Red and Yellow and the three secondary colours. The secondary colours of Orange, Green and Violet are born out of the primary colours. Likewise, out of the six religions three are primary and three are born out of a parent religion. Therefore Judaism, Hinduism and Taoism are linked to the primary colours. Christianity and Islam are born out of Judaism and Buddhism is born out of Hinduism, so these three are linked to secondary colours.

The colour wheel can be neatly divided into warm and cool halves. Red, Orange and Yellow taking up the warm side of the colour wheel. Blue, Green and Violet taking up the cool side. The six religions can also be neatly divided into Eastern and Western religions. Taoism, Buddhism and Hinduism belong to the East while Christianity, Islam and Judaism are thought of as Western religions. In the diagram above the cool colours are allocated to the religions of the West and the warm colours represent the Eastern religions.

There are reasons for linking an individual colour to a particular religion such as Orange to Buddhism due to the orange robes worn by the Buddhist monks. But for now it is enough to say the order in which the religions have been placed around the colour wheel is appropriate and appears to be confirmed by the stain glass window in Lost.

Key themes in ‘Lost’ are those of ‘fate’, ‘destiny’ and ‘purpose’. If you have purpose you have meaning - when you have purpose you are not lost!

Every colour on the colour wheel has it’s compliment which is simply the colour opposite. When we replace colour with religion we see Hinduism is the compliment of Christianity. Buddhism is the compliment to Judaism and Taoism is the compliment to Islam. It might be interesting to explore this further to see if and how these pairs of religions really do compliment each other.

At the centre of the stain glass window is an image of the sun which represents the source (the light of truth or ultimate reality) from which all six religions originate. Without light there is no colour and there is no form, there is only darkness. Darkness is the absence of light but it is also it’s compliment. Without darkness there could be no light!

The six colours of the colour wheel represent all the colours in the universe. All the inumerable colours come from one light. That one light is made up of all the colours. The six religions we have been considering represent all true religion. The purpose of religion is to reveal the light of truth from which it originates. That one source of truth consists of many religious colours.