The 7 Hermetic Principles: The Keys to Self-Mastery
Self-mastery is the key to breaking out of the matrix. In our natural state, we are meant to be free and to express and utilize our natural powers to their fullest extent. The problem is, that many people are asleep, distracted, and preoccupied with the happenings in the matrix, which, by design, are meant to keep you subservient and zombie-like.
The foundation of self-mastery is the knowledge and application of the universal natural laws. One cannot circumvent these laws, and no one man is above them. Those who are successful, happy, and fulfilled know how to use these laws rather than being used by them.
Anyone experiencing a spiritual awakening or desiring to lead a more fulfilled and meaningful life should begin with a study of the universal natural laws. The best place to start is with Hermeticism, specifically, The 7 Hermetic Principles, as outlined and explained in The Kybalion.
What is Hermeticism?
Hermeticism is an ancient philosophical and spiritual tradition that dates as far back as the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. This tradition is based upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, who is considered to be a combination of the Greek God Hermes and the Egyptian God Thoth. The true identity of Hermes Trismegistus is largely unknown, but those who ascribe to this philosophy are less concerned with identity and more concerned with the teachings of Hermeticism.
The tenets of Hermeticism are contained in the Corpus Hermeticum, a collection of letters and writings which is a dialogue between Hermes Trismegistus and a perplexed disciple. These writings revolve around one major theme, that all of humanity is on a spiritual journey, intended to return to a state of unity with the Divine. Additionally, these writings and teachings have come to symbolize mysticism, interconnectedness, magic, hidden wisdom and alchemy.
The Kybalion and The 7 Hermetic Principles
The Corpus Hermeticum was condensed into The Kybalion and from there emerges The 7 Hermetic Principles. Think of The Kybalion as a guide to the most important universal principles, as dictated and explained by Hermes Trismegistus. The author, Three Initiates, is not a group of actual people, it’s a representation of the three planes of existence - the physical plane, the mental plane and the spiritual plane.
Knowledge and understanding of these three planes, and how they work together, is the first step in mastering the principles. Many of you already have an understanding of this, even if you don’t realize it, via the Law of Attraction. At its simplest form, the universal Law of Attraction states that your thoughts (the mental plane of existence) directly impacts your reality (the physical plane of existence). Taking this a step further, the spiritual plane of existence affects the mental plane of existence; your spiritual vibration affects your thoughts. Said another way, your spiritual health directly impacts your thoughts. As you can see, all three planes of existence work in tandem and directly impact one another.
The purpose of The 7 Hermetic Principles is to help us understand the universe so that we may be led to our true purpose, which is unity with the Divine. In this way, we are able to master ourselves on the physical plane and the mental plane by understanding and working with the spiritual plane.
“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
I. The Principle of Mentalism
“THE ALL is MIND; The Universe is Mental.” — The Kybalion
The entire Universe (The ALL), which entails all that is apparent to our material senses, can be considered and thought of as an universal, infinite, living mind. Everything in the Universe is mental. Taking it a step further, everything we know and perceive in the material Universe, meaning everything that we perceive to be “real” is a mental creation of The ALL. What is real was first created in the mental plane of existence by the thoughts of The ALL.
This principle can be used to explain the existence of psychic phenomena, spirits, otherworldly things, etc. because they were created from the mind of The ALL. While we may not be able to understand these things with our own minds, we can do so by tapping into the mind of The ALL.
“An understanding of this great Hermetic Principle of Mentalism enables the individual to readily grasp the laws of the Mental Universe, and to apply the same to his well-being and advancement.”
Thoughts are things - meaning that anything that can be perceived in our reality (anything you can touch, see, hear, taste or smell) must first be perceived in the mind. Therefore, you are at will to create your reality by perception in your mind first.
II. The Principle of Correspondence
“As above, so below; as below, so above.” — The Kybalion
There is always a correspondence between the laws and phenomena of the various planes of being and life. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, correspondence is defined as a relation between sets in which each member of one set is associated with one or more members of the other. As such, you will find elements of each of the planes of existence in the others. An understanding of this principle allows us to reflect on the interconnected nature of our mental, physical and spiritual aspects so as to shape our existence.
“This Principle is of universal application and manifestation, on the various planes of the material, mental, and spiritual universe - it is an Universal Law.”
I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase “as above, so below.” What’s in the spiritual realm is also manifested in the physical realm. Many things that we can see and touch here on the physical plane, also have a spiritual association and vibration.
Take, for example, frankincense. We can touch it, see it and smell it because it has physical properties. Frankincense also has spiritual properties as well. It is associated with cleansing, purification, protection and exorcism. Using it, usually by burning it, can evoke the spiritual qualities for which it is associated. Think of the story of the nativity - one of the things brought to baby Jesus by the 3 wise men was frankincense. Also, the Catholic church uses frankincense to cleanse and protect the altar, particularly right before holy communion.
III. The Principle of Vibration
“Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.” — The Kybalion
Everything in the Universe is in vibratory motion. This is true of everything on the physical plane, the mental plane and the spiritual plane. This principle explains that the differences between different manifestations of matter, mind and Spirit result from varying rates of vibration. The higher the vibration, the higher the position in the scale.
This scale ranges from Spirit, at the top, to matter, at the bottom. Spirit vibrates so high and so rapidly that it appears to be at rest. Alternatively, certain forms of matter vibrate so low and so slowly, that they seem to be at rest as well. In between these two extremes are varying rates and levels of vibration that make up everything in our entire Universe.
“An understanding of this Principle, with the appropriate formulas, enables Hermetic students to control their own mental vibrations as well as those of others. He who understands the Principle of Vibration, has grasped the scepter of power.”
As the quote suggests, mastery of this Principle allows one to control their mental vibrations, which in turn can directly impact and affect their physical reality. You can attune your mental vibration to that of Spirit, or to anything for that matter, for use in manifestation on the physical plane. This principle can also be used to explain how people can affect and control the minds of others through things like hypnosis, for example, and through advertising. By getting people to be on a certain wavelength and frequency with respect to a product, service or idea, you can control their thoughts and reality regarding same.
IV. 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
The main point of this principle is that there are two sides to everything. In everything there are two poles, or opposite aspects, and that “opposites” are really only the two extremes of the same thing, with many varying degrees between them. This principle operates on all three planes of existence.
This principle can best be explained by examining the concepts of hot and cold. Hot is the absence of cold and cold is the absence of hot. Between the two, you have warm. As written in The Kybalion, “there is no such thing as ‘absolute heat’ or ‘absolute cold’ — the two terms ‘heat’ and ‘cold’ simply indicate varying degrees of the same thing, and that ‘same thing’ which manifests as ‘heat’ and ‘cold’ is merely a form, variety, and rate of Vibration.”
“An understanding of the Principle will enable one to change his own Polarity, as well as that of others, if he will devote the time and study necessary to master the art.”
Understanding this principle is the foundation of alchemy and transmutation. You can change the polarity of something and transmute it into something else, via the use of the Will.
V. 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
This principle builds upon the Principle of Polarity. With respect to any one thing — whether on the material, mental or spiritual planes — between the two poles, there is a measured motion which moves to and fro, in and out, backward and forward, ebb and flow. This principle explains the concepts of creation and destruction, of rise and fall and of life and death. As with all the other principles, it is a Universal law that no man can avoid.
“The Master of Hermetics polarizes himself at the point at which he desires to rest, and then neutralizes the Rhythmic swing of the pendulum which would tend to carry him to the other pole.”
The key to self mastery with respect to the Principle of Rhythm is to use it instead of being used by it. Knowing the rhythm with which something moves and where in the spectrum of polarity it is, means that you can adjust yourself accordingly and take appropriate actions.
VI. 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
For every cause there is an effect, and vice versa. Again, this principle operates within and across all planes of existence with the higher spiritual plane of existence dominating the lower physical plane. What’s important to take note of here is the concept of chance. Chance, otherwise known as luck, is non-existent. Whatever effect that has manifested, whether good or bad, was the direct and proximate result of a particular cause - what we deem as a “lucky” outcome was simply the result of a cause that you couldn’t see or perceive.
“The Masters, rising to the plane above, dominate their moods, characters, qualities and powers, as well as the environment surrounding them, and 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.”
Certain causes are beyond our control. Things such as heredity, the environment, the wills and desires of others that are stronger than our own, can prevent us from having and experiencing outcomes that we want. Knowing how to work with this principle, especially on the higher spiritual plane of existence, can help you rule on the physical plane.
VII. The Principle of Gender
“Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes.” — The Kybalion
There is gender in everything and on every plane of existence. On the physical plane this Principle manifests as sex and on the higher spiritual and mental planes this principle takes higher forms. Each gender has specific properties and characteristics that are important and that are vital to generation, regeneration and creation.
“This Principle embodies the truth that there is GENDER manifested in everything — the Masculine and Feminine Principles ever at work.”
This principle is not concerned with gender stereotypes or roles. The concept here is about the different properties inherent in masculine and feminine energy. Generally speaking, masculine energy is outward, assertive, exploratory and transformative. Feminine energy is creative, reflective, protective and nurturing. The totality of these energies are inherent in every single thing in the Universe.
The understanding and application of this principle allows us to create and regenerate things on any plane of existence.