In most instances, if you are on a spiritual path that works with personal alchemy and the natural laws that govern its work and resultant product, you will come across seven basic principles. These seven are identified by many names, depending on the philosophy they are defining and have been reworded to adapt accordingly. Their fundamental properties outline the basic concepts that align with science with metaphysics and everything being driven by the natural order (or chaos) of our Universe.
I first came across these principles in a book called The Kybalion, whose authorship is simply stated as The Three Initiates. Who these initiates were has been the subject of much speculation and the publication of the material in 1912 by the Yogi Publication Society Masonic Temple has posed even further queries. Nonetheless, these seven tools are at the core of Western Hermetics and form the Universal Laws governing all magickal and alchemical working.
The Kybalion is subtitled a Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece, and is dedicated to Hermes Trimegistus and his teachings that were offered and upheld as staples in the training of initiates of hermetic studies.
“To Hermes Trismegistus
Known by the Ancient Egyptians as
“The Great Great” and “Master Of Masters”
This little volume of hermetic teaching is reverently dedicated”
The time honored concept that when the student is ready the teacher shall appear and the doors shall be opened is affirmed in Chapter One:
“Where fall the footsteps of the Master, the ears of those
ready for his Teaching open wide”
“When the ears of the student are ready to hear, then cometh
the lips to fill them with Wisdom.”
So, in that spirit and assuming all are ready to broaden their perspectives or deepen what is already known, I’d like to share these principles with you, offer my understanding of them and hopefully whet your appetite to read more of this fascinating and essential book.
The Seven Principles of Hermeticism which form the Universal (Cosmic) Laws are:
The Principle of Mentalism
THE ALL is MIND; The Universe is Mental.
If we think in terms of consciousness and creation, the primal formless state of the Limitless All (or creator) is that of AM (existence). When observation and awareness is directed towards that AM, the I comes into being which stimulates the creation of something more than itself. This creative process begins with informed awareness, the mental aspect being the primary building block. Pure thought forms the concept which then can be acted upon by emotion and will. It is from this principle that the subsequent six emanate.
The Principle of Correspondence
As above, so below; as below, so above.
And in recent times the addition of “as within, so without”. The quintessential axiom that gives definition to the macrocosm and the microcosm being connected by similarities of dynamic and basic nature. It is this principle that inspires us to connect with our higher nature because of the reflection we see of it in the lower and physical realms. It is this principle that gives us pause to reflect on the impact we have at a larger scale based upon the inner workings of our own systems. To correspond is to affirm the “sameness” of a thing that will call to itself that of a similar nature.
The Principle of Vibration
Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.
This principle states that all of form is in a constant state of movement. Inertia is the non-movement vibration that is vibration of a sort, nonetheless. Resonating with similar patterns of vibration attunes us to the subtleties held in each increment of dynamic. Vibration produces sound. Sound permeates our worlds. And it is the vibration of a sound that we respond to physically, energetically and etherically. Our breath and the subtlest of our movements disrupts the waves of vibration surrounding us and sets into motion its own pattern of vibration.
The Principle of Polarity
Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.
The Law of Polarity is the Universe filling what would be the void. It is the recognition of one state of being because of the acknowledgement of its polarized or opposite state of being. Each of these states being one in the same except for minute and un-observable differences which become more overt as the scale between each widens. Emptiness is the absence of fullness just as fullness is the absence of emptiness. They are both lacking in what the other has abundance of. Similar to the Principle of Correspondence (or resonance) like attracts un-like that is alike defined by the degree of its difference.
The Principle of Rhythm
Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum-swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.
I see this as the companion to vibration and to some degree a subset of the Principle of Correspondence. Rhythm provides the container or boundaries (or the lacking there of) and vibration provides the quantifier or needed disruption to produce the resultant cyclical rhythm. Expansion requires a state of contraction (as the necessary point of tension) to enable it to expand anew. Either state if held too long, would result in over compensation of the other, causing a new cycle of rhythm to be established. Stillness or inertness is simply an illusion; which relates back to the connection to the Principle of Vibration once again. The illusion is that of non-movement, which although it may appear unable to be measured is a lower and longer wave of motion or rhythm that may not be perceptible unless we are in resonance with its rate of vibration.
The Principle of Cause and Effect
Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.
For every action there is a reaction. This is a basic principle that we drill into our children so they will be responsible adults. There is no discrimination between good or bad, just simply response which becomes the cause that has an effect which becomes the cause, ad infinitum. This is the principle that causes us to hesitate, pause and think before we react so that we can respond instead. This is the premise that we are not insignificant in the larger scale of the Universe, be-cause if we did not exist the overall result of what we consider to be the Universe would not be the same definition we have of it because we are part of it. This is the principle that keeps us up at night trying to problem solve the best resolution to the difficult choice we must make. Each action creating a different chain of reactions in response to what issued forth catalyzing the cause.
The Principle of Gender
Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes.
Gender and polarity are often points of confusion. Although gender is an aspect of polarity it is a dynamic point of differentiation in its own right. Gender spans more than the physical dissimilarities that separate a man from a woman. It’s energetic principle is one of expansion and contraction moving in a rhythmic force of release and receipt.
On the Qabalistic Tree of Life the Pillar that provides Form is the Feminine Gender. This is the gender of receipt, contraction and boundary. The Pillar that provides Force is that of the Masculine. This is the gender of release, expansion and expulsion of formlessness. Both working rhythmically are the necessary actions for the eventual manifestation in Malkuth, the physical world. It is the container of the feminine egg that receives the insemination of the masculine sperm; the two quickening into the first stirrings of human life.
We don’t have to look too far to see these concepts running through every level of our existence. Recognizing them is just the first step. As we explore their deeper meanings, formulate our own definitions and begin to apply the dynamics of their energies, the magick and mysteries of our place in the mind of the All will begin to reveal itself affirming that we are co-creators in the Great Work.
The Sacred Texts (on-Line)
By The Three Initiates
The Yogi Publication Society Masonic Temple
Chicago, Illinois. 1912
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