Re: copper to gold

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Posted by Jonah on August 22, 2000 at 17:49:05:

In Reply to: copper to gold posted by ard on August 16, 2000 at 06:33:37:

Hi. First, let me point you to Keven Brown's article on alchemy, "Hermes Trismegistus and Apollonius of Tyana," in _Revisioning the Sacred: New Perspectives on a Baha'i Theology_, ed. Jack McLean (Kalimat: 1997).

Then there are two quotations that I found: Kitab-i-Iqan pages 156-58 and Gleanings pages 196-97. Here they are:

from Gleanings:

XCVII. Consider the doubts which they who have joined partners with God
have instilled into the hearts of the people of this land. "Is it ever
possible," they ask, "for copper to be transmuted into gold?" Say, Yes,
by my Lord, it is possible. Its secret, however, lieth hidden in Our
Knowledge. We will reveal it unto whom We will. Whoso doubteth Our
power, let him ask the Lord his God, that He may disclose
unto him the secret, and assure him of its truth. That copper can be
turned into gold is in itself sufficient proof that gold can, in like
manner, be transmuted into copper, if they be of them that can apprehend
this truth. Every mineral can be made to acquire the density, form, and
substance of each and every other mineral. The knowledge thereof is with
Us in the Hidden Book.

from the Iqan:

It is evident that nothing short of this mystic transformation could
cause such spirit and behaviour, so utterly unlike their previous habits
and manners, to be made manifest in the world of
being. For their agitation was turned into peace, their doubt into
certitude, their timidity into courage. Such is the potency of the
Divine Elixir, which, swift as the twinkling of an eye, transmuteth the
souls of men!

For instance, consider the substance of copper. Were it to be protected
in its own mine from becoming solidified, it would, within the space of
seventy years, attain to the state of gold. There are some, however,
who maintain that copper itself is gold, which by becoming solidified is
in a diseased condition, and hath not therefore reached its own state.

Be that as it may, the real elixir will, in one instant, cause the
substance of copper to attain the state of gold, and will traverse the
seventy-year stages in a single moment. Could this gold be called
copper? Could it be claimed that it hath not attained the state of
gold, whilst the touch-stone is at hand to assay it and distinguish it
from copper?

Likewise, these souls, through the potency of the Divine Elixir,
traverse, in the twinkling of an eye, the world of dust and advance into
the realm of holiness; and with one step cover the earth of limitations
and reach the domain of the Placeless. It
behooveth thee to exert thine utmost to attain unto this Elixir which,
in one fleeting breath, causeth the west of ignorance to reach the east
of knowledge, illuminates the darkness of night with the resplendence of
the morn, guideth the wanderer in the wilderness of doubt to the
well-spring of the Divine Presence and Fount of certitude, and
conferreth upon mortal souls the honour of acceptance into the Ridvan of
immortality. Now, could this gold be thought to be copper, these people
could likewise be thought to be the same as before they were endowed
with faith.

O brother, behold how the inner mysteries of "rebirth," of "return," and
of "resurrection" have each, through these all-sufficing, these
unanswerable, and conclusive utterances, been unveiled and unravelled
before thine eyes. God grant that through His gracious and invisible
assistance, thou mayest divest thy body and soul of the old garment, and
array thyself with the new and imperishable attire.

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