The Philosophers' Stone
Page 1

  1. Introduction                    (p.1)
  2. The four Concepts of the Stone
  3. Geometric components of the Stone
  4. Construction of the Stone

  5. The Secret of the Stone         (p.2)
        The Mute Book
  6. The Secret revealed
  7. Application of Colours
  8. Modern Interpretation
  9. Conclusions

    Index page



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PS 1 - Introduction

The Philosophers' Stone is a visual symbol combining the four principle Concepts of ancient philosophy.

It is not an ordinary stone.
The word 'stone' in the name 'The Philosophers' Stone' reinforces the fixed, universal, unmovable nature of the four Concepts.
In this sense the word 'stone' has the same connotation as the stone tables of the Ten Commandments which Abraham brought down from Mount Sinai.

The Philosophers' Stone was first used around 3000 BC in the ancient philosophy of Hermetic Alchemy, where it symbolised the transformation from base metal (the 'worldly') to gold ('spiritual fulfilment').
This philosophy was suppressed and lost during the reign of the first Christian Roman Emperor Constantine (300 AD).

The Philosophers' Stone reemerged in the 17th Century when its principles were readily spread through the newly discovered technique of book printing.

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PS 2 - The Four Concepts

The four concepts symbolised in the Philosophers' Stone are :
  1. the All in One

    Cosmos, Consciousness, God.

  2. the duality of existence

    Woman & Man     Ying & Yang     Matter & Mind

  3. the trinity of the human identity

    body   &   mind   &   spirit

  4. the four elements of ancient alchemy

    1. fire (energy = dragon head)
    2. air (intelligence = dragon wings)
    3. earth (substance = dragon legs)
    4. water (emotions = dragon "fish" tail)

Round vase with Ouroboros, by Claus 1993

(Ouroboros = dragon, snake or serpent biting its own tail.)

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PS 3 - Geometrical shapes of the Philosophers' Stone

The four concepts symbolised by the Philosophers' Stone are shown as geometrical shapes.
The shapes are :

I. The Circle of the Macro Cosmos
The Cosmos, God, or the 'All in One' is represented by the outer circle.
II. The Circle of the Micro Cosmos "Duality"
The concept of duality is shown in the inner circle.
The left upper half represents the male(Mind).
The right lower half the female (Matter).

III. The Triangle of the three Human components
The three components of the human identity are represented by the three sides of the triangle.
The body occupies the bottom side of the triangle
The mind occupies the left side of the triangle
The spirit occupies the right side of the triangle

IV. The Square of the four Alchemic Elements
The four alchemic elements are represented by the four sides of the square.
Fire occupies the top side of the square
Water occupies the right side of the square
Air occupies the left side of the square
Earth occupies the bottom side of the square

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PS 4 - Construction of the Philosophers' Stone

The ancient procedure for constructing the Philosophers' Stone goes like this :

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Copyright © 2004 Claus Furstner. All rights reserved.