Philosophy in Red, Philosophy in Purple: Lebenswelt given, Weltanschauung Achieved, Lifeworld Contra Worldview


  • Terry L. Allen


Introduction:  Light, energy, and color are corporate players in a dynamic drama, an integrated presence easily taken for granted and universally experienced. The use of color is itself a common diagnostic and therapeutic aspect of alternative forms of medicine. In both traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine reference is made to human “chakras” that are believed to represent positions, or regions of energy and life force associated with the human body. Ayurveda, in particular, is a concept from the ancient Sanskrit and has been practiced in India for thousands of years. The word “chakra” is also from the ancient Sanskrit language and refers to specific energy fields that are represented by designated, specific colors that are in turn themselves associated with certain centers of energy in the body. The color red, for example, is connected with the root or base chakra said to be located at the base of the spine. It is the lowest of the chakras and refers to one’s grounding and rooted stability in this life. Its element is earth. The highest of the chakras is referred to as the crown chakra and is thought to be associated with the crown of the head. Its element is thought, and its color is purple. In this paper I will refer to these colors as metaphors for interdependent but nevertheless contrasting aspects of human experience--lifeworld and worldview. Philosophy in red will be presented as the lifeworld or Lebenswelt. It refers to the pre- and unconscious factors and experiences that ground or anchor human individuals and communities in physical and historical-cultural lifeworlds for which they have no reflective or chosen responsibility. Philosophy in purple will in turn refer to worldview as Weltanschauung and represents the human capacity for the work of ontology through reflective practices that are self aware and open to inquiry. These forces (red and purple) serve to complement and support one another in a healthy individual and society. A community that permits and encourages inquiry and growth in its members as self reflective individuals who share in sense and meaning making activities that can make a difference, provides a nurturing stability and sense of identity characteristic of the red zone out of which the purplizing process of authentic philosophic dialogue and wonder can be experienced.


How to Cite

Allen, T. L. (2016). Philosophy in Red, Philosophy in Purple: Lebenswelt given, Weltanschauung Achieved, Lifeworld Contra Worldview. Analytic Teaching, 28(1). Retrieved from