If you take three bottles – one red, one yellow, one just white, plain white – and just put into these three bottles the same water, the yellow bottle will deteriorate first. Then the others will deteriorate. The red bottle of water will deteriorate in the end, last. Yellow is a death color. That’s why Buddha chose yellow as the robe for his bhikkhus – because Buddha says that to die from this existence absolutely is nirvana. So yellow was chosen as a death color.
Hindus have chosen ochre, a shade of red, as the color for their sannyasins, because red or ochre is the color of life – just the opposite of yellow. It helps you to be more alive, more radiant. It creates more energy – not only symbolically, but actually, physically, chemically. So a person who is very energetic, alive, deeply rooted in the love of life, will experience red as the first color because his mind is more open to red. A fear-oriented person is more open to yellow, so the sequence will differ. A very silent person, one who is very still, will experience blue as the first. So it will depend.
There is no fixed sequence because there is no fixed sequence of your mind. Each mind differs in orientation, in tendencies, in structure, in character. Each mind differs: because of this difference the sequence will be different. But one thing is certain: each color has a fixed meaning. The sequence is not fixed, it cannot be, but the meaning of the color is fixed.
For example, yellow is a death color. So whenever it happens first it means you are fear-oriented – that your mind’s first opening is for fear. So wherever you move the first thing you will notice will be fear, or the first reaction of your mind in any new situation will be fear. Whenever something strange is there the first response will be fear-filled. If red is the first color in your inner journey then you are more rooted in the love of life and your reactions will be different. You will feel more alive and your reactions will be more life affirmative.
A person whose first experience is yellow will always interpret everything in terms of death, and a person whose first experience is red will always interpret his experiences in terms of life. Even if someone is just dying he will begin to think that he must be reborn somewhere else. Even in death he will interpret rebirth. But for the person whose first experience is yellow, even if someone is born he will begin to think that he is going to die some day. These will be the attitudes. So a red-oriented person can be happy even in death, but a yellow-oriented person cannot be happy even in birth. He will be negative. Fear is a negative emotion. Everywhere he will find something to be sad and negative about.
For example, I said that a very silent person will feel blue, but this means a silent person who is inactive at the same time. A silent person who is active at the same time will feel green as the first experience. Mohammed chose green as the color for his fakirs. Islam has green as the symbolic color. That is the color of their flag. Green is both – silent, still, but also active. Blue is just silent and inactive. So a person like Lao Tzu will first begin to feel blue; a person like Mohammed will begin to feel green first. So the symbolic system of colors is a fixed thing, but the sequence is not fixed.