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Breath of the Compassionate



According to Mohammed, Allah created the 18,000 universes by means of the Nafs ar Rahman, the Breath of the Compassionate. The Nafs ar Rahman is represented in Islamic art and architecture by the geometric construction of an octagon star and cross.


The square, representing form itself, is expanded into an octagon star and contracted into a cross by means of the extension and inversion triangles. This star and cross together forms a single Breath.


Manifestation contains five such breaths. Words for soul in Hebrew and Arabic (both of which share the same Semitic 3-letter root verb base) have breath as their root meaning. In the Hebraic mystical tradition the number "5" (the letter hei) is associated with breath and being. Five is also the number of souls potential in the human experience. The Sufi tradition contains a parallel teaching concerning five subtle points of spiritual energy.


Within the five octagon stars, four contain the Hebrew words: Barchi Nafeshi Et Havaya

“My soul blesses (and is blessed with) the Source of Being.”


The Arabic script in the center contains the name Al-Baqi

“The Eternal” or “that which remains when all that is transient has gone.”


Whereas the Breath of the Compassionate is descriptive of Islamic Cosmology, this copperwork also incorporates the mystical Hebraic cosmology The rose can be seen manifesting above within a web known in Kabbalah as the malbush, or Divine Garment forming the architecture of Divine thought though which all potential life forms emerge.

More on the Breath of the Compassionate at my Art Song Garden blogspot.


Acid etched copper, fretwork, enamels, oxides, magenta acrylic mirror. Mounted on cedar.



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