Angelology and Colour Mysticism in Babi-Baha'i Scripture

By Stephen Lambden

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #48
Center for Bahá'í Studies: Acuto, Italy
July 10–13, 2003
(see list of papers from #48)

published in Lights of Irfan, volume 5, pages 163-182
under new title
"Kaleidoscope: Some Aspects of Angelology, Light, the Divine Throne and Color Mysticism in Bábí and Báhá'í Scripture"
© 2004, ‘Irfán Colloquia

    "Say: O my God! O my God! I supplicate Thee by the blood of Thy chosen Ones through whom the Countenances of the Supreme Concourse (mala' al-a`la) and the companions of the Crimson Ark (ashab al-safinat alhamra') hath been dyed crimson (ahmarrat) to make me one that crieth out in Thy Name and is steadfast in Thy Cause. Thou, verily art the Powerful, the Mighty, the All-Gracious." (Baha'u'llah)

    "[7] Praise be to God Who hath caused the Light to circle round the twin Mounts of His Light and made the Light to revolve around the twin Spheres of His Light. [8] He hath caused the Light to beam forth in the Loci of His Light and made the Light to be retained in the Repositories of His Light. [9] [Again] hath He caused the Light to scintillate through the impulses of His Light and made the Light to shine resplendent in the Countenances of His Light.[10] Praise God! Praised be God! Worthy of praise is He Who establisheth His Own worth, for besides Him there is none other."
    (Baha'u'llah, Lawh-i kull al-ta'am)

    A kaleidoscope (Gk. kalos = beautiful + eidos = form) is an optical 'toy', a device in which beautiful colours and forms can be visually experienced. This brief paper will exhibit kaleidoscopic features in being something of a kind of kashkul ("begging bowl") to mix my metaphors of miscellaneous notes relating to aspects of cosmology, angelology and colour symbolism in Babi-Baha'i and other religious and mystical texts.

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