The Hermetic Principles and Changing the Ruling Paradigm

I consider myself to be an initiate of the Mystery Schools and know in my heart of hearts that these teachings hold the key to unlocking the true potential of the human race. Religions of all different types around the world will espouse that their way is the only way and that the others are deceived and doomed.  While I believe that some of this bias comes from ignorance, I also believe that some of it is by design. If we all live in one collective consciousness and all derive from the same Mind of the Creator, how can one group be right, while the other is wrong? The truth is is that there is no one correct path. The idea that there is only one path is one of the most damning and dangerous falsehood ever concocted that has already caused so much pain, death and despair. We have all seen the effect of religious wars over time, and still feel their effects to this very day.

Being an initiate of a Mystery School has always required taking a solemn oath to not divulge the secrets of the order. While I believe that this is mostly symbolic, it is meant to test the will of the initiate, but it may serve an even deeper purpose.  I believe that the secrets (which are usually deeply veiled) that an order holds must be pondered upon at great lengths to understand. These teachings hold great truths that are inherent to unlocking our true potential.  They hold truths about the nature of our reality that science is constantly confirming (albeit hundreds, if not thousands of years later). They hold truths about the nature of our minds and of consciousness itself, which the initiate will come to understand IS reality. These teachings hold the sublime truth that we are all part of the One and that we always have been and always will be. They hold the truth that we are Spirit that has descended into Matter, but are capable of reattaining that Spirit by living within a moral code that inspires us to help the destitute and downtrodden.  I also believe that these teachings hold the key to saving the world from this dark path that we are currently on.

The modern church system has taken the lessons of Christ at face value and has presented them to the public in a watered down, non-symbolic manner. Whether this has been done out of ignorance, or by design, has stripped the true meaning from the Word and has drawn the veil over it’s power. The modern Christian teachings have also taught us that we are sinners and flawed and the only way to be saved it to accept Christ as our personal savior. This teaching is flawed and is used to demean the individual. I truly believe that these teachings were intended to control people and keep us locked in fear and servitude. As we all derive from God, and are a part of God, how can we be eternally flawed? At one point in time, Hermeticism was considered on-par with Christianity until it was squashed, along with other non-Christian religions during the late reign of Constantine the Great. This continued on, with brief periods of time where paganism was tolerated, until the reign of Theodosius, when paganism was wholeheartedly banned and pagans were persecuted, temples were destroyed and there was an attempt to destroy all remnants of pre-Christian religion.  It is imperative that we look at religions in a different light, and approach them with equal attention. We must also look at them allegorically, as opposed to treating them as historic fact and understand that each tradition holds important moral lessons for humanity.

The Hermetic teachings as presented in the Kybalion present a very different way of looking at our bodies, our minds, and our souls than contemporary Christianity. As I have previously discussed in my series on the Seven Hermetic Principles, these seven immutable laws govern the natural and supernatural world as we know it. The seven principles in and of themselves have an exoteric and esoteric meaning, and like the mystery schools of antiquity can be understood on multiple levels. One of the most striking revelations that an individual can take away from studying them is the concept of all things existing within a singular mind, or consciousness.  Science is confirming the concept of “infinite, living mind” as it uncovers the science of consciousness and the true nature of our existence. We all derive our being from vibrations and atoms that science has yet to fully understand, but we do know that we all come from the same origin. Not only every human, but all life as we know it (and some that we don’t currently think of as life, but will in time). In coming to terms with this concept the Hermetic student realizes that despite our subtle differences in appearance and belief system, we are all truly “One”. The Principle of Polarity teaches us that though things may seem opposed, they are truly just varying degrees of one another. Applying this to our thought process can help dismantle the “us versus them” mentality. It can help us understand our adversaries and can help them understand us as well. The Principle of Mentalism informs us that we are all created by and have our being within the infinite living mind that is the Universal Mind, therefore, as we are all made of and by the same substance we are all technically one.

Living our lives with the Hermetic Principles in mind can change the way we look at other people and their belief systems. It can help us overcome the prejudices that we have lived with our whole lives and help us see the greater picture. It can help us see that we are in-fact part of God and  In a time where we are all divided, we need these Hermetic Principles now more than ever.

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Alchemy and Freemasonry: Is there a Connection?

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Both Alchemy and Freemasonry are ancient arts that relay a certain philosophy and method of personal growth, but do the similarities end there? There doesn’t seem to be a consensus on whether or not, Freemasonry and Alchemy are formerly linked together. However, as a student of Freemasonry and other esoteric traditions, the similarities are striking.

Alchemy is thought to have originated in Hellenistic Egypt, especially in Alexandria. It’s very possible that it goes back even further, although there is no definitive proof of this. Hermes Trismegistus is thought to be the father of alchemy and translations of The Emerald Tablet that are attributed to Hermes Trismegistus describe the alchemical process in veiled language. Most historians believe that alchemy was simply an early version of chemistry and that the ultimate goal of the alchemical process was to change lead into gold. Despite the fact that this was a procedure in alchemy that is thought to have been possible, true alchemists had a much greater work that they would strive for. The true alchemical process was to help connect the alchemist both physically and spiritually with the universe in which they resided. The process itself was not only to achieve a physical transmutation, but to also produce a mental and spiritual transformation as well. With each step of the process, the alchemist was shedding the superfluidities of life and learning to temper emotions in a pursuit of the betterment of self. The end result of this “Great Work“, was not only to extract the physical Philosopher’s Stone from the materials with which they worked, but also to extract the spiritual Philosopher’s Stone that was within their own being. This “Stone” being the perfected self, or illuminated soul. This process, like all other mystery traditions, required deep introspection of the individual and the coming to terms with inner demons and vices that keep one from their true potential.

Freemasonry has some obvious similarities with Alchemy, but may have some much deeper, symbolic connections as well. Though there is nothing definitive that ties modern Freemasonry to ancient Egypt, most Masons believe that the connection is there. Freemasonry uses many of the same systems that can be found in other Western Mystery Traditions that have their origins in ancient Egypt, and it could be said that the builders of the temples and pyramids in Egypt, may have been the first Master Masons. Like Alchemy, Freemasonry uses a series of steps, or processes to get the initiate from one point to another. The ultimate goal in Masonic Philosophy is the betterment of self, through introspection and acknowledgement of  immortality. The masonic initiate is encouraged to temper their emotions and control their vices. In this regard, the philosophy of the two traditions are on equal footing. As I have mentioned in the past, there is a strong correspondence of the Hermetic Tradition with Freemasonry as well. The Hermetic tradition being derived directly from the writings of the original alchemist, Hermes Trismegistus. Both traditions are searching for that which is hidden or lost as well. In Alchemy, it is the search for the hidden stone, or Philosopher’s Stone. In Freemasonry, it is the search for the lost word, or the Divine Name. It seems logical, on the surface, that the two traditions are similar, but does the similarity go even deeper?

As with all ancient mystery traditions, there is an exoteric aspect, and an esoteric aspect. The exoteric aspects become obvious rather quickly to the observer, but the esoteric aspects may take decades, or even lifetimes to come to light for the initiate. Alchemist and Freemason, Timothy Hogan has written extensively on alchemical symbolism that is hidden within free-masonic ritual. In his work The Alchemical Keys to Masonic Ritual, Brother Hogan goes into great detail regarding these symbolic connections. One of the key connections between Freemasonry and Alchemy is the use of metals. Metal’s importance in Alchemy is easily understood within the context. The Alchemist is made aware of the correspondence between the Seven Planets (Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mercury, and the Sun and Moon), the human body, and the Seven Metals (lead, tin, iron, copper, quicksilver/mercury, silver, and gold). Each metal is thought to have intimate connection to the planet of it’s origin and is also said to have a connection to certain essential organs in the human body.

How does this figure into Freemasonry though? Isn’t masonry about building with stone? Mysteriously, metallurgy and metal substances factor heavily in Masonic ritual and literature. Right off the bat, prior to initiation, the new candidate for masonry is divested of all metals. This is not only to remind him of the impermanence of material wealth, but more importantly it is to teach the student the concept of superfluidities and that which is lost and can be gained through trial and spiritual growth. Even though Freemasonry primarily uses the allegory of stonework, metals and metallurgy continually pop up throughout the various Masonic degrees, as well as masonic-related works.

The most intriguing connection is that of the importance of the Sun and the Moon in both Alchemy and Freemasonry. The Sun and the Moon allegorically represent the masculine and feminine principle. The Sun being the masculine and the Moon being the feminine. In Alchemy, as previously stated, the Moon is equated to silver and the Sun is equated to gold. These are the two most powerful metals in the alchemical hierarchy.  It should be no big surprise then, that the Sun and Moon (silver and gold) feature prominently in Freemasonry as well. The two Deacons (junior and senior) in the lodge setting carry wooden rods that are topped with symbols. The Junior Deacon’s rod is topped with a Moon symbol and the Senior Deacon’s rod is topped with a Sun symbol. References to the sun and moon also figure prominently into the Masonic ritual and come up time and time again.

Since both Freemasonry and Alchemy are veiled traditions that are illustrated with symbols, it is up to the individual student of these varying disciplines to explore their connections further. If you would like to know more, take a look at some of the links that I have posted below. Best of luck on your own Magnum Opus!

 

Alchemy and the Transmutation of a Freemason

Is there any connection between Alchemy and Freemasonry?

Scottish Chemistry

Alchemy in the Entered Apprentice Degree

The Philosophical Background for Masonic Symbolism

The best and most commonly used description of what Freemasonry is, is that it is  “a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols”. The reason that this is the most popular descriptions, is because it is the most accurate description that can be given for it. What does this mean, exactly? There is no simple way to describe the degree system that the initiate goes through as part of the Masonic system. The reason for this is that the experience is meant to be trans-formative for the individual and no one person will find the same path to illumination. Freemasonry holds the keys in it’s ritual, but it is up to the individual to truly find the “light”. In the following lecture, distinguished Brother W. Kirk MacNulty discusses the philosophy in Masonic symbolism and it’s connection to other philosophical systems, such as Hermeticism and Neo-Platonism.

 

The Point of a Sharp Instrument-Top 10

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In this installment, I presented the argument that modern science owes a lot to the Ancient Mystery schools and several esoteric schools of thought. The Royal Society was a group of thinkers/scientists/philosophers who joined together to research and present new concepts and inventions and was made up of individuals who were deeply connected with the ancient traditions of alchemy, Hermeticism, and Freemasonry.

Esoteric Wisdom and the Birth of Modern Science

 

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The Emerald Tablet-What is it?

The legend surrounding the Emerald Tablet is that it is a tablet that was made/created by Hermes thousands and thousands of years ago and were said to be made of a crystalline substance that was indestructible . It is said to have existed before the great deluge and is also said to have contained the keys to the great Alchemical tradition. It was kept protected in the Pillars of Hermes or some say the Pillars of Enoch which also contained sacred items and manuscripts. These ancient teachings were stored in these pillars to protect them against disaster and were said to survive the great flood because of this. These same pillars can be found throughout the ages in various traditions. The pillars of Freemasonry (the pillars on Solomon’s Temple), the pillars on the High Priestess tarot card, and the pillars on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, to name a few. The contents of the tablet and other sacred manuscripts made their way into various esoteric and mystical writings throughout the ages and have been kept alive by various mystery traditions to this very day.  In the linked article, the author delves into the contents and history of the Emerald Tablet. Hope you enjoy!

The Emerald Tablet

 

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Alchemy and Astrology-The Divine Union

In the following article, the nature of Alchemy and Astrology are discussed. Their paths interwoven with spiritual and philosophical teachings for the seeker of Divine Wisdom. As the two schools of thought are intertwined and understood, a student will come to realize the connection they have to all of the other paths of the Western Mystery Traditions. Hope you enjoy!

 

Astrology and Alchemy

 

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Alchemy in Our Time

A nice discussion on the various aspects of Alchemy, from the spiritual to the physical. Alchemy is much more than turning base metals into gold.  It was revered by many of the greatest minds of the time until it was written off as superstition.  What it has to teach is as relevant today as it was hundreds of years ago…if you have eyes to see it.

Alchemy in Our Time

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The Seven Hermetic Principles-The Principle of Rhythm

Everything moves in cycles and fluctuates. So is the rhythm of the cosmos…

The Principle of Rhythm states that everything in the universe moves through cycles and fluctuates.  This is true of the material, mental and spiritual plane.  We’ve all heard the statement that history repeats itself.  What is not typically realized about this statement is that all cycles repeat and that history is just one in many cycles that repeat over and over again.  The seasons transform before our eyes.  Night turns to day and day to night.  Our emotions ebb and flow.  Periods of sadness are often followed by periods of joy and vice versa. Difficult times in our lives are often followed by periods of relaxation and ease.  Civilizations rise, peak and then inevitably fall. These patterns are always self similar.

Even our lives follow this same cyclical pattern. Birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age, then death. After death, our spirit goes though a cyclical process of it’s own, progressing from one dimension to another, inhabiting other bodies as it advances in it’s growth. This tide-like ebb and flow is present in all aspects of life, whether it be tiny microbes in water, to giant stars in the heavens.  The only constant is change.

Once the individual can grasp this concept and begin to see the patterns, they can live in harmony with this rhythm.  As is true of all of the Hermetic Principles, the only way to true mastery is through the understanding and integrating these principles into ones life.  It is not until someone has learned to work with the system rather than against it that they will make the next step forward.

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The Seven Hermetic Principles-The Principle of Correspondence

The second of the seven Hermetic principles may be the most profound. Most readers will probably be familiar with the saying, “As Above, So Below” .  This often misunderstood phrase sums up the concept behind this principle, but what does it really mean?

Explaining it is no easy task. the easiest way to explain it is to say that there is a correspondence between all of the different levels of manifestation, both physical, mental, and spiritual. But what does this mean? It means that all of manifestation eminates from the same source and therefore, there are inherent correspondences within all aspects of being. These correspondences may be physical, mental or spiritual. Or they may be all of the above at the same time.  All matter in the universe is made up of atoms which have eminated from the ether. These atoms in turn manifest all of the varying forms of matter that we see.  It goes much deeper than this however.

Researcher/physicist Nassim Haramein has determined in his studies that the mass of the universe is present within the proton of an atom: 

All of the information of the whole is contained within the singular. This is saying that all of the information in the universe is present at the atomic level. A universe worth of information within something barely visible with our most advanced equipment? A miniature universe within a particle of the whole? Yes.  You may have heard the explanation that man (humankind) is a miniature of Deity, or that God is within each of us. This is actually a literal statement! We are miniature representations of the whole. The solar system is a living being with the sun and it’s planets as it’s heart, it’s organs, etc. Our bodies contain a solar system within as well. Our sun is our hearts circulating our life giving blood throughout or bodies, akin to the way our sun radiates life sustaining heat and nutrients to solar system. Within our solar system, each planet is also a living being that is interacting with the others around it.

This balance that exists between the several layers of manifestation in our solar system is true of all other aspects of the universal whole.  This is also true of the microcosm.  With our organs are smaller universes of cells. Within them universes of atoms, etc. Each level containing high levels of organization. All connected in this invisible web of Mind from the All.  All of these planes of correspondence in turn, effect one another on multiple levels and work together and are therefore, indispensable.

This concept is also true on the mental plane of being as well.  One’s concept of self-consciousness can be broken down into multiple levels as well.  There is the I, which is the self or mental understanding of ones being.  There is also the me (physical body), that stands apart from the I.  The I controls the me as mind over body.  However the me, is the outward manifestation of the I.  It is the representation of the individual self on the physical plane.  As above (the I), so below (the me).

Understanding this concept on the familiar plane that we exist in will help us to understand the concept throughout all levels of manifestation.  It shows us the interconnectedness of each aspect of existence from the tiny to the gargantuan. It unveils our connection to the whole in a most profound way.  I encourage everyone to explore this Hermetic Principle as deeply as you can and I can assure you that you will pierce the veils around us that keep these deep truths Hermetically sealed.  These principles are the keys to the many doors of life’s greatest mysteries.

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