A Loving Look at Hermetic Philosophy
The first few books that I have read since the beginning of the year have been fairly pragmatic in the realm of personal development, mainly looking at tools that can help one emotionally or physically. This week I’m going to wander in to some territory we haven’t looked at in depth yet, and that’s spiritual growth. Although maybe less so in recent years, I do feel that when it comes to the personal development field, spirituality can be often overlooked.
A little about my history with Spirit/Source/the Holy/the Mystical/God/Atum, whatever you want to call it… I grew up in a non-spiritual house. I don’t know if I would have called us atheists, but I was raised with no example of expression of spirituality in any way. I was 18 when I first caught a glimpse of Spirit as it showed itself to me…. in a comic book.
I was deep in my exploration of comics and I had stumbled upon Grant Morrison (if you aren’t sure who that Is I’ve provided a link to an article that goes really in depth into his work). I had read most of his super hero work and just loved his writing style and wanted to dive into his indie stuff. And thus I found The Invisibles, a different take on the spy thriller that is chest high in weird. It’s the drug, sex and rock n’ roll of the comics world, knee deep in magick and conspiracy theories (probably one of the reasons I’m enamored with both as an adult). I loved it, and still do.
The Invisibles also showed me a different way of being. I saw, yoga, meditation, channeling, divination, sigil magick, shamanic magick, all in these pages, and being that of an inquiring soul, I had to find out more. If you’re curious I suggest watching this youtube video of Grant Morrison’s Dis-Info Convention Speech in the early 2000’s. And really, just do yourself a favor and read all of his stuff, it is pure gold.
So here I was, 18, starting to dig into magick, meditation, and examining Spirit. In this time I read the Bible, some Buddhist text, a little bit of Aleister Crowley and some of the basics on chaos magick. I’m a firm believer of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks, so that I did – and all of a sudden, I had a belief system. I knew that there was higher Source, and by practicing meditation and mental focus I found that I could introduce myself to mystical experiences.
And so, for the past 10 years of my life I’ve been (in some form or another) connected with Source, defined on my own terms. I guess this is the boon of living in a non-religious/spiritual family – I never had to strip myself of dogma, and I was free to live out what Martin Luther said – ‘Every man his own priest’.
“Alright, you’re a strange little man Zach, we get it. Where does this ‘Hermetic Philosophy’ you promised in the title come in?” Funny you should ask, this is where The Kybalion comes in.
What is the Kybalion? It’s rumored to be the core principles of Hermeticisim, passed down from the lips of the teacher to the ears of the pupil. Whether this is true or not is debatable and ultimately unimportant. What is important is the content inside of the book, which provides us with insight in to the seven core principles of Hermeticisim. Here is a list straight out of the introduction:
- Mentalism: “All is the Mind; The Universe is mental.’
- Correspondence: “As above, so below; as below, so above.”
- Vibration: “Nothing rests everything moves everything vibrates.”
- Polarity: “Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites.”
- Rhythm: “Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall.”
- Cause and Effect: “Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to Law.”
- Gender: “Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles, Gender manifests on all planes.”
Every time I see these principles, they spark a light inside of me. I love that this book goes in to depth with each of these principals, without ever overstaying its welcome. Throughout the text we are reminded that this is simply a small step towards greater integration with The All.
The All, or Atum as its known in the Hermetica, is that which is beyond comprehension…the Infinite, Source, God. Trying to define The All is seen as foolish. We are simply expressions of The All.
Before I dive off into Woo Woo territory or make you think I’m trying to convert you to a religion, I’m going to stop myself from diving into anymore of the actual content of the book. I feel that those who are curious will seek it out and hear its wisdom.
Rather, I’m going to talk about what I got out of the book as for my spiritual practice. The Kybalion along with The Hermetica, really strip down my thoughts about spiritual growth to a few simple pages. It provides knowing, not just blind belief. It gives me a few practical reminders of how to approach life in a positive way, and that alone is worth its weight in gold.
I suggest that anyone curious in Hermetic Philosophy start with The Kybalion, it’s the first gentle words of wisdom, that will reach those who are ready to understand.
If you’re interested in getting your own copy of The Kybalion, by purchasing through the link I’ve provided above it will directly support this blog, and for that I cannot express enough gratitude.
Now, I’m curious to hear your perspective: How do you connect to Spirit? Or are you of a different belief? Maybe you choose not to at all? Leave a comment down below and we can get this conversation started.