Immersion in distant worlds: Indigo, lapis lazuli and ultramarine

Indigo and blue jeans blue: from luxury good to the most widely used textile dyeing agent Indigo (Ancient Greek: from India, the Indian) is named after its original and most common cultivation area, East India. It is one of the oldest natural, organic, colouring agents and is hardly soluble in water. The European equivalent is woad, a plant that was cultivated from the 17th century onwards. However, woad had less than ten percent of the colour intensity of Indian indigo, which is why true indigo was an important commodity and exclusive dye. At the end of the 19th century, with the development of organic chemistry, the production of a synthetic version of indigo succeeded. This resulted in the decline of natural indigo production and paved the way for inexpensive synthetic mass production. Real indigo was considered a luxury. Tuareg nomads rubbed indigo on their skin. Kings, religious dignitaries and warriors prized genuine indigo garments as precious robes. Blue jeans, dyed with synthetically produced indigo, made indigo known worldwide and led to a democratisation from the former luxury good. Today, indigo still reminds us, consciously and unconsciously, of distant countries and the discovery of the world in earlier times.

Lapis lazuli: semi-precious stone that unites heaven and earth in itself

Lapis is Latin for stone and lazuli is derived from Pashto, where it means sky blue. Lapis lazuli is found in Tajikistan, Chile and the USA. Pure lapis lazuli, however, is only found in the Hindu Kush, in the north-east of Afghanistan. It is precisely in the place of the world’s greatest unrest that the purest form of the natural and colour-giving pigment, which unites heaven and earth, is found.

Lapis lazuli is a very special rock in every respect. Genuine lapis lazuli is a mineral, highly complex and very lightfast pigment, which contains high proportions of the mineral lasurite as well as calcite, pyrite, diopside and sodalite. If you look at lapis lazuli under the microscope, you will find golden veins as well as transparent, red and blue particles underneath. The pigment appears volatile and light, which gives lapis lazuli great airiness and graceful expansiveness when used. Lapis lazuli unites heaven and earth in a very special way: its colour as an expression of inner energy qualities stands for the distance of heaven, while its nature as a rock carries the stability and firmness of the earth. Its healing properties, exotic origin and rare inherent connection have always made genuine lapis lazuli a luxury item. This longing for connection and deep blue inherent peace still endures today. It contributes – at least unconsciously – to the great fascination of this special colouring matter. Because of its rarity, lapis lazuli is even today more precious than gold.

Natural and synthetic ultramarine

Ultramarine is derived from Ultra Mare – from afar across the sea. It is reminiscent of its origin, because natural ultramarine is extracted from the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli in a very elaborate process. Due to its preciousness, however, it was prohibitively expensive and extremely rare. Its popularity and the fascination it exudes therefore demanded alternatives. Since the development of processes for the artificial production of ultramarine at the beginning of the 19th century, synthetic ultramarine has enjoyed great popularity in art and porcelain painting. Synthetic ultramarine contains the cavities of genuine lapis lazuli in its chemical structure, which give it volatility in effect with very high colour stability.

Yves Klein Blue

Yves Klein was fascinated by this blue, which reminded him of the sky of his native Nice, and sought to maximise its intensity. His works with ultramarine are world famous. He wanted to immerse himself, to drown in ultramarine, to experience it fully and surrender himself completely to the intoxication of the senses. Yves Klein was fascinated by the Orient, cosmology and monochromy. He explored monochrome experiences with ultramarine as well as emptiness. Klein provoked and celebrated the ecstatic experience of monochrome Ultramarine experiences to trigger emotions and make them immediately tangible. Walls in Yves Klein’s ultramarine blue trigger vibrations and intense reactions. An encounter with this colour is perceived as cool, sober and matter-of-fact as well as impulsive and reverent. In any case, the eye begins to wander, focusing is no longer possible, thoughtfulness arises as to where exactly the horizon is and what the secret of the connection between heaven and earth is to be found in – except in lapis lazuli and in genuine ultramarine.

Super-secret, mysticism and inner knowledge

Luxury is often associated with dark colours. Deep dark blue velvet by Armani and intense night blue tones by international fashion labels evoke thoughts of the Thousand and One Nights and something mysterious. What is the super-secret and what would happen if it were to be unravelled? Often, what cannot be explained in any other way wants to be understood as mysticism. The question is often not asked whether and in what way connections are sought. Thus “the secret” is not to know the answer, but rather to search for questions whose answers reveal the inner connections. Genuine esotericism describes the knowledge of inner connections, spiritual ways of knowing and the nature of the world. Esotericism is ancient Greek for “inner, belonging to the inner realm” and is often used incorrectly in linguistic usage. The knowledge of the inner connections made esoterics at all times equally sought-after and feared personalities. Famous esotericists were, for example, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras and Jung. Jung’s research into archetypes deals with basic characteristics of the soul and inner transformation, which are gaining in importance again, especially in our times – not least because the search for the fundamental questions of humanity is more topical than ever: Where do I come from, who am I, where am I going – and why? What is the goal? How and in what do I find orientation and support? What is the special quality that distinguishes human beings from matter?

Approaches to clarifying goals and penetrating these questions – on a scientific basis – form the core of Archiveda® – the holistic doctrine of the connection between sense and sensory perception. The Archiveda®-principle is based on the laws of logic and resonance as well as on the holistic lessons of colour and health of the Orient and Occident. Archiveda® serves to regulate energy between people and the environment. It promotes and strengthens the awareness of the connections between inner and outer impulses, actions and behaviour patterns. By means of structured work processes, success, orientation and location assessment are sustainably achieved.