musings on life, love and laughter from my spoken heart to yours

A word of Buddist Wisdom, Two Sides of the Coin and ROYGBIV…


“We are taught that suffering is one promise that life always keeps. So that when happiness comes we know it is a gift, and it is ours only for a brief time.”  U Aung Ko ~ Beyond Rangoon

I love the movie Beyond Rangoon, it’s not a popular pick, but it is one of my all time favorite movies. There is just something raw and honest about it even though it is a fictitious story, with fictitious characters  – it is based on true events and shares the truth about Rangoon [Berma], and the atrocities that have occurred there.

If you haven’t seen it I recommend it, but you may want to have some kleenex handy.

(Plus it has an absolutely gorgeous soundtrack.)

But none of this is my point. My point is the quote above. It is my favorite line from the movie. And I truly believe it and hold it in my heart. When life sucks, and sometimes it will, it is just the flip-side of the coin for when life is amazing, same coin – LIFE… but there are two sides. Sometimes life just… well, meh, sometimes it just carries on… not bad, not good. (would that be circling the edge of the coin?) But how boring would it be if life was forever in that realm? Seriously that would be like if there was only one colour, or one music genre, or one style of poetry, or object of beauty. It would be dull and monotonous. But thankfully life is full of variety. Ups and downs, highs and lows, good and bad.

BUT, we have rainbows. Did you know there are more shades of just green alone than we can fathom. There are so many genres of music its crazy! Acoustic, jazz, lyrical, classical, metal, country, grunge, punk, reggae… on and on… and they are all appealing to different people and sometimes we cross over and embrace opposing genres. Well emotions are like that too. We have ‘rainbows of emotion’ if you will. ROYGBIV – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. When we picture each colour in our heads they invoke a different emotion. For me the rainbow feels a bit like this: Red would be anger, control and power. Orange is bold and bright yet chaotic (frenzied). Yellow represents warmth and happiness. Green is general peacefulness. Blue is melancholy; so what of indigo and violet? To me they stir heart feelings, love: happiness tinged with sorrow, the bittersweet. But they all go together and they all balance each other out. And they can be blended to create new colours (new feelings).

If you know anything about the colour wheel then the two sided coin may make more sense. See the primary and secondary colours are opposites on the wheel, they are called complementary colours. For example: Red and Green are opposites on the colour wheel – they are complementary. I like that, these opposites are not negative but complementary.  So suffering and joy are complementary to each other. They balance one another out. Like the quote above, we experience suffering so that we can understand and receive the joy. So could we then assume that anger and peace balance one another? Or perhaps melancholy and boldness (mania) even the scale. I do not necessarily think that there are any negative emotions – there are however negative outcomes/reactions to emotion especially if we lack the ability to control them. But if we are truly in touch with our feelings, and we take the time to accept them, understand them and embrace them then we can find that balance that we so desperately need. I am working on this, sometimes I am successful – sometimes not so much. But that too is part of the human experience, part of that proverbial coin. 🙂


Author: myspokenheart

Blogger, life lover, silly-hearted daydreamer...

16 thoughts on “A word of Buddist Wisdom, Two Sides of the Coin and ROYGBIV…

  1. I was just looking for that quote to share with someone one Patricia Arquette’s twitter, and google brought me to your blog. I figured I wasn’t the only one who caught that line! I feel just the same as you about Beyond Rangoon, and especially those lines from U Aung Ko.


  2. Never heard of the movie. Now I’m going to watch it. And emotional wheel….hmmmm…I am going to take a closer look and see how the colors correspond for me.


  3. Reblogged this on wholeyjeans and commented:
    I have never reblogged before, so here goes . .

    It is very clear to me, as a visual person, that color brings to mind certain emotions. I have been very familiar with the color wheel since I learned about it in grade school. Myspokenheart puts a “spin” on the color wheel (pun intended) and suggests somewhat of an emotion wheel where all emotions have equal and positive effects on the paintings of our life.

    I loved this idea and thought I would share with you . . .


  4. This is SO COOL! I am entirely a visual person, very in tune with color. I dream in color, and thus color associations are so completely “me.” I had never given it thought before, but as I read, I was already thinking about the secondary, tertiary, and complimentary colors. Yes, the complimentary and tertiary emotions! I had never thought of it before. You are a genius!

    I see that others are sharing their color wheels. It feels very personal, but I am going out on a limb and trying it out as well:

    Red – Anger, Angst, Indecision
    Orange – Excitement, Thrill, Ideas
    Yellow – Freedom, Youth, Happiness
    Green – Natural, Whole, Truth
    Blue – Serene, Peaceful, Introspective
    Indigo – Meditative, Stirring, Sacred
    Violet – Mysterious, Transcendent, Subconscious

    As I look at the “wheel” I see the compliment of my angst as nature. The compliment of my peace as thrill. The compliment of my happiness as transcendence. As tertiary colors (mixing any color with the one next to it — as I envision Indigo somewhat of a blue-violet), I can see either side of my red hot anger is the mysterious subconscious and the thrill of new ideas.

    What a new way to look at all of this. Sorry — I didn’t mean to make my own post here, but it has really given me something to think about. I’m feeling quite ORANGEY about it all!


  5. Good thoughts … I agree, that in life, variety is good…not just variety in things we do … or in the peoples that exist … but even in our own self …. our own emotions. Nods nods. As you say, these things all go together, and they balance (hopefully) each other. And they blend too nods.

    So … my take on ROYGBIV … (I like the colour wheel thing … I will try to list what I feel on each colour … and see if the ones that could be complimentary are according to the wheel *smiles*)

    Red – Anger, quick-tempered, accusing … and interestingly … love
    Orange – Warmth, glowy, surrounding comfort
    Yellow – Smiling, bright and playful, goofy and loopiness
    Green – Home, nature
    Blue – Calm, wide open and vast, life
    Indigo – Native, rocks and deserts
    Violet – Unsure, cold without temperature, decisionless

    I realize some of these may not sound like emotions ….but they are to me *soft smile*


  6. Hello MSH,
    I think you hit the nail when you say there are no negative emotions, only negative reactions. Sometimes something painful happens and I want to cry about it – because I know that if i enter that sadness fully, it will help me cleanse myself from it. But if I run from that sadness, I damn the river, and who knows where those waters will spill over to?
    Lovely post. And just for fun.
    Red – Fire, passion, determination
    Orange – Warmth, summer, comfort
    Yellow – Friskiness, loudness, irrepressibility
    Green – Verdancy, succulence, stability
    Blue – Dreaming, far-sightedness, tradition
    Indigo – Playful, innocent, curious
    Violet – Thoughtful, mysterious, enigmatic


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