View Full Version : The Philosopher's Kaaba

01-01-2009, 07:09 PM
This is a Phoenix-thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=7) from the old site (http://alchemy-forums.forumotion.com/forum.htm).

The object of many of the world’s major religions is the attainment of peace, enlightenment and truth. Things any human being can’t deny. In regards to Islam, where the word in itself means obtaining peace through total submission to the Will of God Almighty, peace and love is at its core. A perfect Muslim, i.e. an individual who is totally obedient to Allah, does not gamble, use tobacco, alcohol or drugs and is modest, honest, truthful and loving neither false nor corrupt.

Islam originally meant: defiance of death or readiness for defiance of death. Does this mean that the goal of a practicing Muslim is to obtain the Elixir of Life?

The Islamic culture is a compound of ancient Semetic, Classical Greek and medieval Indo-Persian where, apart from the language, the Arabs contributed little. The following isa quote from Desmond Stewart’s book Early Islam:

Emerging from the desert with little but keen curiosity, the Arabs quickly adopted ideas and techniques from older societies, and developed many of their own. Today the West is indebted to Islam for many scientific terms, among them:

ALCHEMY = AL-KIMIYA: The medieval predecessor of chemical science.

ALCOHOL = AL-KUHL: A finely ground cosmetic powder, later a term for any highly refined or distilled substance.

ALEMBIC = AL-INBIQ: Literally, the still; a vessel used by alchemists – and today by chemists – for distilling liquids.

ALGEBRA = AL-JABR: The binding together of disorganized parts.

ALKALI = AL-QILI: Saltwort ashes, used in making lye, soap, paper.

AMALGAM = AL-MALGHAM: The alloy of mercury, which are used in alchemy and in the refining of silver and gold.

AZIMUTH = AL-SUMUT: An arc of the horizon used to reckon position.

BORAX = BURAQ: A white, powdery mineral used since early times in soldering, cleaning and the making of glass.

CAMPHOR = KAFUR: An aromatic tree gum often used in liniments.

CIPHER = SIFR: Literally, the empty; hence, nothingness or zero.

ELIXIR = AL-IKSIR: Agent for changing metals to gold; a cure-all.

NADIR = NAZIR: Opposite of zenith, that is, the lowest point.

ZENITH = SAMT: The upward direction; figuratively, the acme.
The gods of the Arabs, pre-Islam, had always been stars, idols and sacred stones. The symbol of the worship of the moon god in Arabian culture, and elsewhere throughout the Middle East, was the crescent moon. Allah, or al-Ilah (the god), can be traced to the South Arabian moon god Ilah. Henotheism, or the worship of only one god while not denying the existence of other gods, was part of the pre-Islamic society.

During the 6th century Mecca was the most prosperous and important city in northern Arabia. Apart from its function as a crossroads for the caravan trade where spices, perfumes, silk, metals, ivory and the like flooded in and out of the city on its way north and east to Syria and Iraq, it housed Arabia’s holiest shrine situated in the centre of the town.

Known as the Kaaba (or Cube, because of the shape) this shrine and temple, covered with an enormous cloth of black brocade during most of the year, contained over 300 gods and goddesses with Allah, the Creator of the Universe, as the chief deity. In one of the corners, embedded in the wall, was (and is) a hallowed meteorite known as the Black Stone. This stone is said to have been white originally but blackened by the sins of the world and the tears of the pilgrims. Edward Gibbon writes in his The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

The genuine antiquity of Caaba ascends beyond the Christian era: in describing the coast of the Red sea the Greek historian Diodorus has remarked, between the Thamudites and the Sabeans, a famous temple, whose superior sanctity was revered by all the Arabians; the linen of silken veil, which is annually renewed by the Turkish emperor, was first offered by the Homerites, who reigned seven hundred years before the time of Mohammad.
The tribe in control of Mecca was the Quraysh and they established the Kaaba to become so sacred that it was immune from attacks. As is well-known all Muslims annually pilgrimage to Mecca, in what is called the Hadji, during the first ten days of the month Dhu’l-Hidja, which is the last lunar month of the Islamic calendar two months after Ramadan.

What is interesting that just like the Christian world and its occult worship of a stone, the Emerald Tablet or Philosopher’s Stone, the Muslim world has a stone of similar importance. Although there is the argument regarding the stone as an allegory or a physical/material object. There have been many times in history where allgeory has been taken for fact and perhaps the Kaaba is such a time, as is the Holy Grail, instead of perceiving what the Stone represents.

Also the word Ka'ab in Persian is the word for Dream (if my sources are correct), and I must say it is a very similar word to Kaaba...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/41/Mosquée_Masjid_el_Haram_à_la_Mecque.jpg/530px-Mosquée_Masjid_el_Haram_à_la_Mecque.jpg (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/41/Mosquée_Masjid_el_Haram_à_la_Mecque.jpg/530px-Mosquée_Masjid_el_Haram_à_la_Mecque.jpg)

Anwyay I find all this interesting i.e. this post...

Thougths, comments?
i would say to you that the way of alchemy i see, generally involves much travelling and teaching, when you see something bad and you know how to improve it you can't just ignore it.
i am sure that there were many alchemists through the past though they may not have named themselves that, if they travelled many places of the world teaching, preaching, educating would we not surely be able to find the traces of such teachings even in our present day? that couldd probably explain how many cultures often have similar interests, but if you follow history many things change and distort over the years.

i would also like to say that i don't think the modern world is the best way for us to reach such a state of enlightenment for ourselves, much of the modern culture is based around improving, modernising, progressing whatever you want to call it, mostly it is about making our lives less challenging.

so perhaps there are fewer around on such a quest as there used to be, i myself know of my next task, but i wish i had a teacher, unfortunately at the moment there is no one for that, and that i must learn instead through teaching others, and remaining as impartial as possible always asking questions, i have a personal belief that a question is far more important than an answer, but that's another subject altogether.

do you know of anyone travelling the world in the way of the old arts currently? or can we only find people who have passed to the history books?
a good question would be who are the most recent philosophers that anyone knows of.
You raise some important points I think!

...a good question would be who are the most recent philosophers that anyone knows of.Well there are a few, but sadly they are FEW!

I am one!
And you are one too!

Don't put too much faith in those who are published or have a PhD... even the unknown silent philosopher can present great truths. But to answer your question I first have to understand what you mean by recent, but I suspect you are talking about 20th century and later... if so then you have:

- Carl Jung (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_jung)
- Colin Wilson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Wilson)
- Manly Palmer Hall (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manly_Palmer_Hall)
- Terence McKenna (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_McKenna)
Symbols in medieval Arabic alchemy from Kitab al-Aqalim by Abu 'l-Qasim al-Oraqi

Another sample of alchemical symbols in Kitab al-Aqalim by Abu 'l-Qasim al-Oraqi

Interesting essay HERE (http://muslimheritage.com/topics/default.cfm?ArticleID=712) (also where I found the above images)!

Look what you can find on eBay;

[links broken]

Their was a Latin copy of an 18th century book on their yesterday which didnt sell as it didnt meet its reserve (probably thousands) but it was refreshing to see a copy of such an old alchemy text still in circulation.

I did so enjoy seeing the words NOTAEMETAL LORUM.

The only problem with searching for the elixir or the pursuit of magnum opus is the cost of gold and silver.

I wonder how coin collectors would feel if they knew I was buying .9999% purity coins simply to melt them down in a crucible!