View Full Version : The Image of Allah

09-20-2016, 11:36 PM
As it is well known it is forbidden to portray Allah (God) in Islam. But IMO they portray "him" all the fucking time:






12-10-2016, 12:47 AM
An interesting thing I've been meditating on lately is the "Law of Limitation"

These Mosques I think explain very well the concept of taking an image-less thing or no-thing and limiting it through geometry.

12-10-2016, 01:09 AM
...and limiting it through geometry.

Isn't it the opposite? Liberating it into a work of art that express complexity, chaos, unity and beauty all at the same time?

Ah, wait I see what you mean... thought you meant it was limited by geometry. LOL.


12-10-2016, 01:25 AM
Haha right, not that It's limited by geometry, but that it uses geometry to express certain aspects of itself (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?4759-Re-Interpretation-of-the-Emerald-Tablet).

A square within a circle expresses a different "limitation" than say a triangle inside a circle. But these limitations are endless, even with a finite number of geometrical expressions. Because as soon as you've exhausted the expression of "circle" you now have to attach meaning to the circle. Does it designate an area or is it a metaphor for unity? Etc etc etc.

Laws of limitation and laws of adaptation are quite interesting alchemically.

Greg Marcus
02-07-2019, 06:52 PM
Geometry and proportion. Ideas they inherited from the Greeks.

There's a fad prevelant on the internet that calls itself 'Sacred Geometry". I'm talking about the material that includes terms like "flower of life", "seed of life", etc, completely centered around the extended hexagon construction. All of this is bogus, its a remedial half-assed syncretism that was a new age workshop in the 80s/90s.

The only "real" tradition of 'sacred geometry' is this, relating to the layout and construction of sacred temples and churches, whether they are egyptian, hindu, jewish, or even churches (especially after the crusades when they brought these ideas back to Europe). I'm sure everyone is familiar with Newton's obsession of the description of the Temple from the OT.

A square within a circle expresses a different "limitation" than say a triangle inside a circle.

The circle/square/triangle actually is directed related to Islamic cosmology.. It was discussed a little bit here (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?1858-The-Square-amp-Compass).


That was something I took from Cosmology and Architecture in Premodern Islam by Samer Akkach. I uploaded the rest of the images (https://photos.app.goo.gl/6P4TVecr2DFPWSrP9) but they are out of order.

But these limitations are endless, even with a finite number of geometrical expressions. Because as soon as you've exhausted the expression of "circle" you now have to attach meaning to the circle. Does it designate an area or is it a metaphor for unity? Etc etc etc.

And that's exactly what they do, they attach meaning. Metaphysical exegesis was a large part of Greek geometry. (that's what is different about Euclid's Elements, which largely seperates the technical geometry from the metaphysics). The circle is an excellent example:

From Chris Carter's "Millennium" series:

[Frank] : The snake is symbolic of divine life. It embraces cyclical systems. Unity, multiplicity, evolution, involution, birth, death.
[Old Man] : The circle is about as good as it's gonna get. No beginning, no end. No boundaries. Yet nothing but what lies inside the circle and what lies outside.

Plato's Timaeus:

And as the world was composed of solids, between the elements of fire and earth God placed two other elements of air and water, and arranged them in a continuous proportion−−

fire:air::air:water, and air:water::water:earth,

and so put together a visible and palpable heaven, having harmony and friendship in the union of the four elements; and being at unity with itself it was indissoluble except by the hand of the framer. Each of the elements was taken into the universe whole and entire; for he considered that the animal should be perfect and one, leaving no remnants out of which another animal could be created, and should also be free from old age and disease, which are produced by the action of external forces. And as he was to contain all things, he was made in the all−containing form of a sphere, round as from a lathe and every way equidistant from the centre, as was natural and suitable to him. He was finished and smooth, having neither eyes nor ears, nor there was nothing without him which he could see or hear; and he had no need to carry food to his mouth, nor was there air for him to breathe; and he did not require hands, for there was nothing of which he could take hold, nor feet, with which to walk. All that he did was done rationally in and by himself, and he moved in a circle turning within himself, which is the most intellectual of motions; but the other six motions were wanting to him; wherefore the universe had no feet or legs.

Later on in Timaeus:

When the Creator had made the soul he made the body within her; and the soul interfused everywhere from the centre to the circumference of heaven, herself turning in herself, began a divine life of rational and everlasting motion.

... which describes the circumpunct (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circled_dot), and later the "centrum", which is displayed again and again in alchemical and rosicrucian images.


The tradition I know best is Kabbalah, and here is Isaac Luria:

Bear in mind, that before the emanations were emanated, and the creatures were created, the Upper Simple Light (Or Elyon) had filled the entire Existence. And there was no empty space whatsoever, namely as empty atmosphere, a hollow, or pit. For everything was filled with that Simple Boundless Light (Ayn Sof Or), and there was no such part as head, and no such part as tail. That is, there was neither beginning nor end, for everything was simple or smooth Light balanced evenly and equally in one likeness or affinity, and that is called the Endless Light.

And when, in His simple and smooth Will, the desire arose to create the world and to emanate the emanations, to bring to light the perfection of His deeds and His Names and His appellations--which was the cause of the creation of the world-- behold He then contracted (Tzimtzum) Himself in the middle point which is in Him, precisely in the middle, He contracted the Light. And the Light has withdrawn to the sides around the middle point, and there has remained an empty space, atmosphere, and a vacuum surrounding the exact middle point. And the Light has withdrawn to the sides around the middle point.

And behold, this contraction was equally balanced around that middle empty point in such a manner that the vacuum was circular and in complete balance and sameness all around.

It was not in the shape of a cube, which has straight angles, because the Boundless also withdrew His Light in a circular form equally on all sides. This is due to the fact that the Endless Itself is equal. That is, since the Endless Light is in complete omniparity, it follows that It must contract Itself in omniparity on all sides.

It is a well-known fact that in mathematics, or geometry, a sphere or circle is the most balanced and uniform figure. This is not true of the cube with its angles, or of the triangle or of any other form that might be considered. It was therefore necessary for the middle point to be contracted in the form of a circle. And behold, after the contraction mentioned above, It drew from the Endless Light one line (Kav) direct from His circular Light from above downward, and it gradually descended by evolution into that hollow or vacuum.

The point of tzimtzum, the circumference etched out by the Ray (kav). Kabbalah teaches that there are only two real motions of in creation, the straight line, and the circle.. any other apparent motion in reality being a combination of those two. They also come to represent the basic duality/polarity - male/female, odd/even, positive/negative, with the line being male and active and the circle representing female and passive. The circle is also connected to the female by being compared to the "womb", especially this circle that's among the first acts of creation. (and represents the first "limitation")

As such it also represents the first step from "unity" to multiplicity/differentation, as it divides the "uncreated" Ein Sof from the space in which Creation is to take place.

What is happening in the design of the mosque is a limitation - of space. And in all these traditions the creation of space takes place before anything else. The greeks have it Point-Line-Triangle-Tetrahedron. The book by Samer Akkach pictures it Point-Line-Square-Cube. And Luria above is describes Point-Line-Circle-Sphere. The last one is the only one that partakes in the perfection of the circle/sphere. Also, the talk of only "circles and lines" points directly to the geometry of straight edge and compass. Although its been proven that all constructions of SE&C can be done with compass alone.