The Hermetic Principles

1. Mentalism

“THE ALL is MIND; The Universe is Mental.” – The Kybalion.

This Principle embodies the Truth that “All is Mind”. It explains that the All (which is the Substantial Reality underlying all the outward manifestations and appearances which we know under the terms “Material Universe”, “Phenomena of Life”, “Matter”, “Energy”, and in short all that is apparent) is Spirit which in itself is unknowable and indefinable, but which may be considered as a Universal, Infinite, Living Mind.
It also explains that all the “phenomenal” world or universe is simply a Mental Creation of the All, subject to the Laws of Created Things; that the Universe, as a whole, and in its parts, has its existence in the Mind of the All, in which mind we “live, and move and have our being.”

2. Correspondence

“As Above, so Below; as Below, so Above.”  

This Principle embodies the Truth that there is always a Correspondence between the laws and phenomena of the various planes of Being and Life. The dynamics of cells are parallel to the dynamics of galaxies. Just as a small laboratory or computer program can simulate the behavior of stars billions of light years away, the consciousness of an individual being can confer with the Ultimate Consciousness that existed when there was only the word.

3. Vibration

“Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.”

This Principle embodies the Truth that “everything is in motion”, “everything vibrates”, “nothing is at rest”, facts which modern science endorses and which each new scientific discovery tends to verify. It explains that the differences between different manifestations of Matter, Energy, Mind, and even Spirit result largely from varying rates of Vibration. From THE ALL, which is Pure Spirit, down to the grossest form of Matter, all is in vibration; the higher the vibration, the higher the position in the scale. The vibration of Spirit is at such an infinite rate of intensity and rapidity that it is practically at rest – just as a rapidly moving wheel seems to be motionless. At the other end of the scale, there are gross forms of matter whose vibrations are so low as to seem at rest. Between these poles, there are millions upon millions of varying degrees of vibration.

4. 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 Principle of Polarity embodies the truth that two seeming opposites are in truth compliments that differ only in degree – the obverse and reverse sides of the same coin. Opposites are really only the two extremes of the same thing. This principle applies in all realms. Hot and cold are but different aspects of the same temperature gradient. Any characteristic in nature or cosmic experience has it’s own gradient – large and small, high and low, black and white, sharp and dull, male or female. Where does each pole end and the other begin? What about the shades of good and evil? The crucial point here is that all such polarities are only different vibrations on the same continuum. One can be transmuted into the other.

The same Principle operates on the Mental Plane. Let us take an extreme example – that of  “Love and Hate”, two mental states apparently totally different. And yet there are degrees of Hate and degrees of Love; These opposing sentiments are simply different degrees of the same thing.

5. 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.” 

This Principle embodies the truth that everything manifests itself in a pattern of to and fro, up and down, in and out. The movement in one direction is always compensated for by a return. There is always an action and a reaction, an advance and a retreat, a maximum and a minimum. This is in the affairs of the Universe, suns, worlds, men, animals, mind, energy and matter. This law is manifest in the creation and destruction of worlds; in the rise and fall of nations; in the life of all things; and finally in the mental states of Man.

Understanding of the dynamics of this principle makes it possible to mitigate some of its more extreme effects. We can recognize that fatigue, followed by rest leads to renewed energy. Anger gives way to remorse and pain succumbs to release. By being aware of the rhythmns, one is less likely to resist their flow, thereby reducing the buildup of extremes.

6. Cause and Effect

“Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to the Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law” 

This Principle embodies the fact that there is a Cause for every Effect, and an Effect for every Cause. It explains that “Everything happens according to the Law”. Nothing ever “merely happens”. There is no such thing as Chance.
The Hermetists understand the art and methods of rising above the ordinary plane of Cause and Effect, to a certain degree. By mentally rising to a higher plane they become Causers instead of Effects. The masses of people meekly let themselves be carried along, obedient to environment; the wills and desires of others stronger than themselves; heredity; suggestion and other outward causes moving them about like pawns on the Chessboard of Life. But the Masters, rising to the plane above, dominate their moods, characters, qualities and powers, as well as the environment surrounding them; they become Movers instead of pawns. They help to play the game of life, instead of being played and moved about by other wills and environment. They use the Principle, instead of being its tools.

The Hindu concept of karma is an illustration of the principle of Cause and Effect, as is the Christian admonition,”as you sow, so shall you reap.” Human societies are only now learning the dramatic effect of this principle in ecological systems. Now humankind must become more aware of cosmic law in the realm of consciousness, in its role as Conscious C0-Creators of the Universe.

7.  Gender

“Gender is in everything; Everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes.” 

This Principle embodies the truth that there is Gender manifested in everything; the Masculine and Feminine Principles ever at work. No creation, physical, mental or spiritual, is possible without it. Every being and every plane in the cosmos contain the dual elements of Yin and yang, feminine and masculine. Even in apparent single-sexed entities, one aspect is the receptive nurturer, while another is the expressing creator. Fully aware cosmic beings seek harmony in living their dual nature (Gender), honoring the ebb and flow (Rhythm) called for by the organic developements in self, society, solar system, and cosmos. Everything and every person contains the two Elements within it, him or her. Every Male has the Female Element; every Female contains the Male Principle.

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