This slideshow requires JavaScript.

27, Al-Basir, The Seer of All

31, Al-Khabir, The All-Aware

43, Ar-Raqib, The Watchful One

These three Names carry ideas which harmonize with each other, and they feel as if each responds or alludes to the others.  Using the inadequate metaphor of mortal perception, these teach the concept that the consciousness of the Divine envelops and includes everything.

The octahedron, or Platonic solid symbolizing air, seemed appropriate as a starting point.  Air (in contemporary terms this can be understood as the gaseous state of matter) changes shape to reflect the volume of whatever container it’s placed in, expands to fill the container, and entirely surrounds whatever object is placed within its volume.  Our consciousness is usually aware of three dimensions of perception, but God‘s perception is limitless, so I looked for shapes suggesting something of this idea.

On there are paper models for many, many different regular and irregular solids, and I found a compound of five octahedra.  This felt appropriate for a number of reasons.  Each face of each octahedron in the compound is a triangle, a symbol of unity (the unity, for example, of the three alchemical principals – Philosophical Salt/the material world, Philosophical Sulfur/the underworld, and Philosophical Mercury/the spiritual realm); although each full face is occluded by sharing space with other forms, the full face of each octahedron is still there “under” everything else.  Each octahedra has eight faces, suggesting the eight sides of an octagon needed to bridge the temporal cube of earth-bound structure with the limitless dome of the heavenly vault.  And in this form there are five octahedra – a reference to both the five extremities of the human form extending into space, and the five Pillars of Faith.