Thursday, January 20News Written in the Stars

Extracts from alchemical tablets of Baha’u’llah : alchemy

All these are translated by Dr. Stephen Lambden, and are available at the following links at is website:


And when you hast comprehended [discovered] the [philosophers’] “Stone” (al-hajar) and partaken of its “substance”  in accordance with the extent of thy material needs, then detach it from the “fire” (al-nūr). [2] Then shall the “four elements” (`anāsir al-arba`a) be manifest before thee and you shall find thyself in great bewilderment.


And if thou desire  to practice [alchemy] according to the wondrous way (tarīq-i badī`) and the new Path (sabīl-i jadīd) and journey on your way, then gather up the essences (anfas) [breaths, spirits] of the minerals (ma`daniyāt) as well as  their souls (arwāḥ) and bodies (ajsād) according to the natural balance (bi-mizān-i tabī`) which hath been concealed from the eyes and minds of [God’s] servants. [2] Then effect purification until they [the constituents] are purged and cleaned of impurity and blackness. [3] This until each constituent manifest a color in accordance with the exigencies of the universe (bi-iqtiḍā-yi `ālam ) and its own natural constituency (ṭabī`at-i khūd). [4] That is to say, that which is characterized by whiteness (muqtadī-yi bayḍā) is whitened and each constituent capable of redness (qābil-i ḥamrat) becomes crimson and red. [5] Then blend these [constituents] together [but know that neither] a complete union of essence (mizāj-i kullī-yi wāqi`ī) nor a complete union of form (mizāj-i kullī-yi ūrat) will not result unless you  transform the whole, water [liquid constituency] (āb) [as something] flowing torrentially.


Take [then] its “Water” (mā’)! [3] It, verily, is the “male” [principle] (al-zakar) and its spouse is its “sister” which has been named “sulphur” (kibrīt). [4] When days have elapsed the “water” [liquid] (al-mā’) will conjoin [with?] its “Spirit” (nafs?) and a child (genesis,`birth’ al-mawlud) will be made manifest. [5] Should you witness [this “birth”] then thank God, thy Lord and Lord of all the worlds. [6] It assuredly is the “reddish egg” (al-bayat al-shaqrā’). [7] Within it We decreed the [existence of] “soul” ( al-ruh), “spirit” (al-nafs) and “body” [“Form”] (al-jasad). [8] We, verily, named this “egg” (al-bayḍat) the [philosophers’] “Stone” (al-hajar). [9] We, by God, have uncovered it[‘s secret]. [10] It is not concealed from the divines (al-`ulamā’), the mystics (al-`urafā) or the philosophers (al-ḥukamā’). [11] And your Lord is witness unto that which assert! [12] And should you attain it and God provide for you in this respect then this is but the beginning of the stage (maqām) of [alchemical] regulation.


As for that which thou hast asked about the discourse [statement] (qawl) of Mary [the Jewess].  [2] The foundation (aṣl) of the [alchemical] work (`amal) of Mary concerns the “white gum” (al-samghat al-bayḍa) and the “red gum” (samghat al-ḥamrā’). [3] The red gum [ is what] emerges from the white gum. And he who attains unto it hath attainted the Furthermost Extremity (al-ghāyat al-quswā). [4] It is the Oil of the [Alchemical] Sages (duhn al-ḥukama’) and their  sulphur  (kibrī) and also the reddish egg’ (al-bayḍat al-shaqrā’). [5] This is the meaning of Our saying:

لو لاالقمرلم تكن الشمس ولو لا الفضة لايكن الذهب

If it were not for the moon (al-qamar) there would be no sun (al-shams) and if it were not for the silver (al- fidda) there would be no gold (al-dhahab).”


Know also, O wayfaring seeker, that in the observable minerals (ma`daniy[y]āt-i ẓāhira) subtle (laṭīfa), glorious (jalīla) and invisible (ghaybiyya) dyes (sibghhā) are hidden [even] from the servants [of God] who have been successful in attaining this greatest [alchemical] result. [2] This even when it is though the life-force [of the minerals] that [is evident] a very powerful dye which is most-subtle, most-noble, most-powerful  and most eminent  [3] And know [also] that the most noble of minerals (ma`ādin) which bear a dye (sibgh) are four; namely,  [i] “Mercury” (zaibaq),  [ii] “Sulphur” (kibrīt),  [iii] “arsenic” (zarnīkh) and [iv] “Sal-Ammoniac” [Ammonia] (nūshādir).  [4] Their “bodies” (ajsād) are, [i] “Gold” (dhahab), [ii] “Silver” (fiḍḍa), [iii] “Lead”  [iv] “Iron” (ḥadīd) and [v] “Copper” (nuḥās).  [4] And the greatest of them all in the dimension [gate] of Redness (bāb-i ḥumra’) is “Gold” [produced?] from “Copper”; and in the dimension [gate] of Whiteness (bāb-i bayḍā) is the “Moon” (qamar = silver ?) [produced?) from “Lead”.

As for the “Soul” of redness” (nafs-i ḥumrat), it is “Sulphur” (kibrīt); while the “Spirit of whiteness” (nafs-i bayḍā) is “Arsenic” and “Mercury”. [6] The cleansing, uniting, and blending agent in the [alchemical] Work is “[Sal-] Ammonia[c]” (nūshādir).   [7] And this is all of the dimensions [gates] of the minerals (ma`adin ) which have been mentioned. [8] As for the divine mineral [metal, mine] (ma`din-i ilāhī) which is of “Father” (āb) and “Son” (ibn) and “Holy Spirit” (ruḥ al-quds), it has become known just as it was by means of enigmatic utterances and the subtle expositions of past times.


Now as regards the referring of the name “the [Philosopher’s] Stone” (ḥajar) to this entity [thing]. [2] The reason for this is in view of the fact that the [philosopher’sl “Stone” (ḥajar), by virtue of the spiritual power (quwwat-i ruḥānī) latent within it, is capable of effecting the removal of “Iron” (ḥadīd = base impurities?). [12] And this upright Pillar (rukn-i qawīm)[ the Philosopher’s Stone] furthermore, displaces and transforms all [natural] bodies [forms] (ajsad) through (its) spiritual might (qudrat-i ruḥānī) and Lordly power (quwwat-i rabbanī).


Then know that it is the [philosophers’] Stone alone that brings the [alchemical] “Work” (al-`amal) to realization. [2] Nothing external (khārij) enters into it and nothing internal (dākhil) emerges from it. [3] God, verily, created it a sign of His Power between the worlds.


Then know O questioner, that the basis of the [alchemical] task is the true understanding of the [philosophers’] Stone (ḥajar) and the differentiation of that which is hidden within it; its purification (tathīr) and unification (tazwīj). [2] The spirit of the Stone (nafs-i ḥajar) ought, through the instrumentality of its own self, to effect the purification (tathīr) and differentiation (tafṣīl) of the Stone (ḥajar). [3] For, if there be external interference the [desired alchemical] blending (mizāj) will prove difficult.

So take hold of the [philosophers’] Stone and, through the Azrael of torment (`izrā’īl-i `azāb [the Angel of Death], cause the “soul” (al-rūh) and “spirit” (al-nafs) to emerge from it [the “Stone”]. [2] Then strive to purify it [“the Stone”] such that it is cleansed and purified of those impurities that inhibit the alchemical reconstitution (tadbīr-i `amaliyyIih; within the “Stone”). [3] And then return again that which hath been extracted [from the “Stone”] to the body (jasad; or substance [of the “Stone”]) so that, through the confirmations of the Israfil of the Spirit (israfil-i rūḥ), that dead body (jasad-i murdih) is brought to life. [4] [Then] Thou shalt observe a wondrous creation,  “So blessed be God, the best of Creators (ahsan al-khaliqin)” (= Q. 23:14) for the “body” (jasad) cannot receive a contrary “spirit” (rūḥ-i ghayr) nor likewise, the “spirit” (rūh) receive a contrary “body” (jasad). [5] This is the Truth and no doubt is there about it. [6] Although this “soul” (rūḥ) and “spirit” (nafs ) appear to be two realities after the [alchemical] differentiation they are really united in substance (ḥaqīqat) and essence (dhāt) and are but a single reality.