The 7 Hermetic Principles for Self-Mastery – The Teachings of Hermes-Thoth
Hermes Trismegistus may be associated with the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth. Consequently, the two gods were worshiped as one, in what had once been the Temple of Thoth.
Hermes, the Greek god was combined with Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom, to become the patron of astrology and alchemy. In addition, both gods were guiding souls to the afterlife.
The Hermetic teachings are found in all lands and all religions, their appeal is universal. In early days there was a compilation of certain basic hermetic maxims, axioms, and precepts, which were passed from teacher to student, which is called the “Kybalion”.
The Hermetic literature among the Egyptians, was the oldest Hellenistic writings on Greco-Babylonian astrology and on the developed practice of alchemy.
In tradition, Hermetic philosophy rationalized and systematized religious practices and explained personal ascension of the physical being.
As a divine source of wisdom, Hermes Trismegistus was credited with tens of thousands of highly esteemed writings, which were reputed to be of immense antiquity.
The Seven Great Hermetic Principles
The principles of truth are seven; He who knows these, understandingly, possesses the magic key before whose touch all the doors of the temple fly open. – The Kybalion
These seven Hermetic principles are the basis for the entire field of Hermetic philosophy.
The Principle of Mentalism
The all is mind; the universe is mental. – The Kybalion
The Principle of Mentalism embodies the idea that “All is Mind.” Everything that happens has to be a result of a mental state which precedes it. For anything to exist, thoughts had to form first, which then form physical reality or manifestation. “Your thoughts are seeds, plant positive seeds in your mind garden.”
The Principle of Correspondence
As above so below: as below, so above. – The Kybalion
The Principle of Correspondence expresses the idea that there is always a correspondence between the laws of phenomena of the various “planes” of being and life. As above, so below; as below, so above. This principle states that there is a harmony which can be made, agreement and correspondence between these planes:
- The Great Physical Plane
- The Great Mental Plane
- The Great Spiritual Plane
The outer world is a mirror of our inner world. If we hold thoughts of poverty and lack of good health, this will manifest within our physical bodies.
The thoughts and images we hold in our mind will attract their physical likeness to us in our external circumstance. This law works unceasingly for the good or the bad. By understanding this law, we can use it for our benefit instead of our detriment.
Earth is a school for practicing these laws of mind and spiritual control.
The Principle of Vibration
Nothing rests; Everything moves; Everything vibrates. – The Kybalion
Motion is manifest in everything in the Universe, nothing rests, and everything moves, vibrates and circles. This principle explains that the distinction between manifestations of Matter, Energy, Mind, and even Spirit, are the result of only different “vibrations”. The higher a person is on the scale, the higher the rate of vibration will be. Here, The ALL is said to be at an infinite level of vibration, almost to the point of being at rest.
Mental Transmutation is described as the practical application of this principle. To change one’s mental state is to change vibration. One may do this by an effort of Will, by means of deliberately “fixing the attention” upon a more desirable state.
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 Kybalion
Take, for example, hot and cold. Though they are opposites they are really the same thing. It is merely a matter of degree. The same could be said of spirit and matter. They are really the same thing.
Freeze water and it becomes ice (matter). Boil water and it evaporates and becomes gaseous fumes (spirit). They are identical in nature, but different in degrees.
The same principle also applies on the mental plane of reality. Take, for example, love and hate. They are the same thing but different degrees. The importance of this law comes in the understanding of one’s ability to transmute and change the vibrations from one extreme to another. This in reality is the study of alchemy.
The alchemists of the middle ages were preoccupied in changing base metals into gold. However, the real meaning of this comes in the understanding of changing one’s base thoughts and emotions into spiritual gold or soul realized energies.
Hate can be transformed by the power of your mind into love (gold). Your lower self can be transformed into your higher self. Your physical body can be transformed into your light body (ascension). Separation can be turned into oneness. Guidance by your negative ego can be turned into guidance by your soul, using the art of polarization.
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. – The Kybalion
The Principle of Rhythm expresses the idea that in everything there is manifested a measured motion, a to and from, a flow and inflow, a swing backward and forward, a pendulum-like movement. There is rhythm between every pair of opposites, or poles, and is closely related to the Principle of Polarity. It can be seen that this Principle enables transition from one pole to the other, and not necessarily poles of extreme opposites.
We see this in our breathing…
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. – The Kybalion
This explains that there is no such thing as chance, there are no accidents in the universe. Everything in the universe is governed by laws. There are physical laws, emotional laws, mental laws, and spiritual laws. By understanding these laws, we can learn to operate in grace instead of karma. Many times, we don’t know the cause for the reason things happen to us. This is because there are seven dimensions of reality in which causation can occur.
The Hermetists understand the art of rising above the ordinary plane of cause and effect, to a certain degree. They do this by rising to a high plane of consciousness and, hence, becoming masters instead of victims, and causes instead of effects.
The average person on the street is an effect, not a cause. They are an effect and victim of thoughts, moods, emotions, desire, appetites, lower self, other people, biorhythms, the physical body, past lives, subconscious programming,
The basic cause of your life are the thoughts and images you hold in your conscious and subconscious mind. By learning to be absolutely vigilant and only allowing into your mind thoughts of God, love, perfection, perfect health, prosperity, joy, oneness, and equanimity, then this is all you will create both inwardly and outwardly. For your thoughts cause your reality.
In summary, be the cause, be the master, be the co-creator with God that you truly are, and then you are using this law and principle instead of allowing it to use you. If you are not a master, you are a victim. This is the law of polarity. Change your polarization with the power of mind and the power of your God given free choice.
The Principle of Gender
Gender is in everything; Everything has its masculine and feminine principles; Gender manifests on all planes.” – The Kybalion
This does not relate to the commonly understood notion of sex, but rather “… to procreate, to generate, to create, or to produce…” in general.
Mental Gender is described as a Hermetic concept which relates to the feminine and masculine principles. It does not refer to someone’s physical sex, nor does it suggest that someone of a certain sex necessarily has a matching mental gender. Ideally, one wants to have a balanced mental gender.
The Kybalion states that gender exists on all planes of existence (Physical, Mental and Spiritual), and represents different aspects on different planes. Everything and everyone contains these two elements or principles.
The Feminine principle is always in the direction of receiving impressions, and has a much more varied field of operation than the Masculine. The Feminine conducts the work of generating new thoughts, concepts and ideas, including the work of the imagination.
The Masculine principle is always in the direction of giving out or expressing, and contents itself with the “Will” in its varied phases.
It is said that there must be a balance in these two forces. Without the Feminine, the Masculine is apt to act without restraint, order, or reason, resulting in chaos.
The Feminine alone, on the other hand, is apt to constantly reflect and fail to actually do anything, resulting in stagnation. With both the Masculine and Feminine working in conjunction, there is thoughtful action that breeds success, which points out that both the Feminine and the Masculine fulfill each other.
Everything has a yin and yang. On the physical plane each person has a male or female physical body, however psychologically each person is androgynous with male and female qualities. Each person has a left brain and right brain.
The spiritual path is the path of balance and integration. Buddha called this the middle way.
It is the path of balancing the male and female aspects within self and also balancing the heavenly and earthly aspects within self.
This is achieved by “knowing thyself” and understanding these universal laws and balances that govern our being. To know God, we must understand God’s laws.
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the greeks especially, but not exclusively by a long shot, misunderstand the principles (use of plural is deliberate) of polarity. dualist pairs are imaginary constructs. reality contains polarity that both exists and shifts infinitely. in the symbol of yin and yang what occupies the most important region to contemplate is the infinite edge between the two shapes. those shapes, what appears to be tear drops, are only the shadows of the infinite spheres projected onto a flat plane.