“In the state of ‘whiteness’ one does not live in the true sense of the word. It is a sort of abstract, ideal state. In order to make it come alive it must have ‘blood’, it must have what the alchemists called the rubedo, the ‘redness’ of life. Only the experience of being can transform this ideal state into a fully human mode of existence. Blood alone can reanimate a glorious state of consciousness in which the last traces of blackness is dissolved, in which the devil no longer has an autonomous existence, but rejoins the profound unity of the psyche. Then the opus magnum is finished: the human soul is completely integrated.”
Rubedo is a Latin word meaning redness that was adopted by alchemists to define this fourth and final major stage in their magnum opus. Both gold and the philosopher’s stone were associated with the color red, as rubedo signaled alchemical success, and the end of the great work.
Once the inner light has been discovered it must be made into the only reality in our consciousness. After having descended into the unconscious, into the darkness, into the underworld, we found the Light, we found the volatile Spirit. Now the volatile Spirit, or quicksilver, has to be fixated or coagulated. This means that our conscious, or attention, must completely penetrate our unconscious, or soul, or everything that lies hidden in ourselves. By doing this we fixate (that is bring it into the conscious) the volatile and make it durable. When everything in ourselves has been purified and the Light appears, we have to fixate this Light and make it durable so it remains always present.
White sulfur, attained during albedo, is also called: "the bodies composed of pure essence of the metals". The metals are the contents of the soul, and now they have been reduced to their pure essence. Now that the soul has been penetrated with the pure light, the alchemist has to make it permanent.
In the eastern philosophies rubedo corresponds with the formation of the ‘diamond body’, an term fitting for the pure and permanent Stone of the Philosophers.
In Christianity, rubedo corresponds with the resurrection of Christ. Jesus ‘fixates’ the light garment of Christ. Jesus has left behind the old body and brought his inner divine self, the Christ body, into his consciousness, and made it his own reality. What Jesus did two thousand years ago, each of us can do the same, because we are all sons and daughters of the divine, and we all carry the divine essence, or the Christ body, within ourselves.
When rubedo has been realized the alchemist has accepted his spiritual inheritance. He has become what he always has been, but never knew he was. He has realized his divine essence while still in his physical body. It is the same as what the gnostici called pneuma, the divine spirit in each man that is concealed in the deep darkness of the world, but can be made conscious again. When rubedo has been manifested man is master over both the physical as the spiritual world. He has become a King master over himself.
When the unification of all energies of the four aspects of totality has been achieved, a new state of being arises that is no longer subject to changes. Chinese alchemy calls it the ‘diamond body’ which corresponds with the ‘corpus incorruptibile’ (untouchable body) of the European alchemy. It is also the same as the ‘corpus glorificationis’ (glorified body) of the Christian tradition.