Hermeticism is based on writings of Hermes Trismegistus, a practitioner of Gnosticism. Hermes wrote several letters to enlighten his disciples. The letters influenced the whole Italian Renaissance thought and culture.
Humans have a tendency to fall into lazy habits quite easily. Left untrained, our minds prefer the path of least resistance. A mind is a powerful device – in fact, the most potent one we have at our disposal. To let it wallow in laziness and ineptitude is perhaps the greatest waste of potential that you could commit.
What we understand is that the universe runs on several laws. However, what you need to understand is that these laws can be leveraged with the right amount of innovation, motivation and perseverance.
Let’s take the law of gravity, as an example. Anything heavier than air should ideally fall to the ground. While apples have been falling for eons, we now have objects weighing tons that can fly, like helicopters and airplanes.
Mastering the Self
While humans have tamed several things around them, what they haven’t been able to do consistently is to look inward and master themselves. The pursuit of self-improvement has boomed in recent years. There are thousands of books that talk about how you can control every facet of yourself.
The mastering of oneself is important and can greatly influence how you can lead your life. When you have more control over your actions, you tend to be less emotional and more practical. While emotions are important to cultivate personal relationships, you need to distance yourself from it when you need to make a critical decision related to more pragmatic issues.
There are several methods of arriving at this destination of total mastery of the self. One such tradition that existed over 2000 years ago is the ‘Principles of Hermetic Revival’. Ages ago, any thoughts that did not adhere to the norm were strongly persecuted by law. This meant any sort of alternative thinking was put down and with vehemence. Hermeticism was rediscovered in the 15th century and has been growing in popularity ever since and we have a much better understanding of it today.
Hermeticism – What Is It?
Basically, Hermeticism is based on writings of Hermes Trismegistus, a practitioner of Gnosticism. Hermes wrote several letters to enlighten his disciples. While these were lost to the Western world, it was rediscovered in the 15th century and translated into Latin in the court of Cosimo de Medici. These letters had such an impact on the country that they influenced the whole Italian Renaissance thought and culture. There is also a book called The Kybalion which talks about the Hermetic Principles including the core concepts and meaning. The Kybalion principles are basically a summary of Hermeticism and it also offers valuable insight into the human psyche.
Hermes Trismegistus is credited with several writings including the Emerald Tablet and the Corpus Hermeticum. There is an air of myth about his existence, but nevertheless, what he shared with us has helped many people realize their dream of living a much more abundant and rich life.
Let’s move on to the 7 Hermetic laws and unlocking the true potential within you –
7 Ancient Principles For Mastering The Self
1. Principle of Mentalism
“The All is mind; The Universe is Mental.”
The first principle states that the mind controls all and is all – the universe is nothing but a manifestation of mental energy. All phenomenon that occurs in the world such as life, matter and energy are all components of the living mind. What this basically implies is that the mind is in charge of your reality. You need to think constructively for positive changes to take place in your life. This is perhaps one of the most important principles of Hermeticism which forms the basis for the rest. It says that there is more to our thoughts than we perceive, and the stronger they are, the easier they are able to manifest your reality.
Bottom line – The mind controls everything in and around you, so if you think it, you can be it.
2. Principle of Correspondence
“As above, so below; as below, so above. As within, so without; as without, so within.”
The second law states that there is a correspondence between the happenings on different planes that is manifested in reality as life and being. Understanding this helps us look outward into different layers for answers. There are patterns that exist in higher and lower layers which point to solutions that you require. The Principle of Correspondence can be thought of as cosmic level geometry. Geometry enables us to map out various shapes and paths based on simple equations. The application of Correspondence has the same function and something as complex as the cosmos can be explained based on previously established observations and conditions. Simply put, correspondence relies on patterns to resolve problems and conflicts an individual may have.
Bottom line – Learn to look beyond yourself when facing problems.
3. Principle of Vibration
“Nothing rests; Everything moves; Everything vibrates.”
This principle states that nothing ever is truly at rest – matter, energy and even the human spirit have their own characteristic vibrations. A classic example of vibration encompassing all types of senses is frequency. Frequency ranges from infrasound at 1 octave to 7 octaves of music (audible sound), to visible light, and then finally heat. What this hermetic principle is trying to instil is the fact that even thoughts have their own vibration and you need to focus them positively so they manifest in ways that can benefit you.
Bottom line – Cultivate positive vibrations within yourself, and it will spread positivity all around you.
4. 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 fourth principle states that there are 2 polar opposites that are found in everything and these are essentially 2 different states of the same thing. What is being implied here is that the emotional range experienced by us, love or hate, happy or sad, are just transitions of the same being. These aren’t hurdles to leap over but 2 expressions of the same thing. This can be controlled with a trained mind, and the process of modulating your mind is called mental alchemy. Life has several things in store for you – good and bad. You need to make sure that you keep a calm state of being regardless of either.
Bottom line – Understand that you will be happy and sad at certain times. React to situations if required on merit, regardless.
5. 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.”
While we know that polarity exists, the transition between them is called the rhythm. Everything that has a transition has a rhythm. Moving in and out, backwards and forwards, rising and falling, just to name a few. Nothing in the world is ever still and consistent, it is ever changing. This works to help you cope with events that are emotionally significant for you. You need to be aware that things that you own now will disappear in time, and things you lose will come back to you in time. If you are experiencing a mental excess, give yourself time to come back to neutral before it ramps up again. This helps increase your mastery of self to control your emotions better.
Bottom line – Learn to treat good times and bad times the same because both don’t last forever.
6. 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.”
This is perhaps something that we are a bit familiar with because we’ve studied about Newton’s third law of motion which states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This is pretty much the same law but applied cosmically across all planes of existence rather than just the physical. What this principle encourages us to be our own cause – be the person who is the first mover rather than just reacting to circumstances. When you just react to things you’ll find yourself stressed out and fatigued at the end of the day. Take charge of your situation and meet challenges head-on instead of having them creep up on you when you aren’t ready.
Bottom line – Don’t just react to situations, take charge of them before they overwhelm you.
7. The Principle Of Gender
“Gender is in everything; Everything has its masculine and feminine principles; Gender manifests on all planes.”
This principle talks about how masculine and feminine genders exists across all planes and things and not just sex. The principle of Gender can also be observed in the mental and spiritual realms. Each gender has their own unique property that manifests itself differently. Masculine energy is conquering, dominant, and progressive. While the properties of feminine energy are protection, prioritization, mindfulness, receptive, and nourishing to life. Too much masculine energy leads to loss of perspective, and extreme recklessness without being mindful of anyone else. Excess feminine energy leads to one being too involved in the present and being overly introspective without any reason. Ideally, both energies should be balanced in our self to get the most out of yourself.
Bottom line – never be too aggressive or too defensive with opportunities, strive to find balance.
Summing it up
Life is not going to be easy on you or anyone else but what you need to remind yourself every time you feel discouraged is that though life is a hard master, it is rewarding of your efforts. You need to steel yourself for the effort that is to come, and prepare to achieve and accept success. The hermetic principles are a method with which you can hone your mental faculties to get more out of yourself irrespective of where you are in life. These are guidelines which give you direction in life – things that help alter perspective and perception so you can break through mediocrity and become what you’re always meant to be.
It can be hard, unlearning all the years of negative thinking and working towards positive habits but it is something that you need to do, and the best time is right now!