The Seven Hermetic Principles | 1. Mind | Part One
The Principle of Mind (All is Mind)
The Principle of Cause and Effect
The Principle of Vibration or Sound
The Principle of Correspondence
The Principle of Polarity or Opposites
The Principle of Rhythm or Cyclicity
The Principle of Gender
The first Principle of Mind could be said to represent ‘the absolute’ aspect of Reality transcendent and immanent at the same time
The other six principles represent the way in which this Mind Principle manifests as ‘the relative’, although in actual fact both the absolute and the relative are indivisible as non dual Reality itself.
Excerpt From “The Seven Laws of Reality and Being – Max Corradi
In the history of humanity on earth true Hermetic knowledge has been transmitted, all the way through the ages most of the time secretly, and many have been the holders and adepts which manifested this knowledge, not only in the Eastern and Western spiritual traditions but often as ‘ordinary’ lay people involved in arts, literature, politics and science. An example of this in the West are figures like Paracelsus, Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo, Dante Alighieri, Marsilio Ficino, Isaac Newton, William Shakespeare, Giordano Bruno, Cornelius Agrippa, William Blake, William Walker Atkinson, Thomas Troward and Albert Einstein to name only a few. In the East, on the other hand, there have been many spiritual adepts or Teachers from the Buddhist, Hindu, and the others spiritual traditions of knowledge that have realized the Truth of Mind and its Principles.
The Hermetic tradition in particular speaks of seven Hermetic Principles, seven Laws or Principles which govern Reality and Being. These are unchangeable Laws like the physical law of gravity, but unlike the law of gravity they apply to all the different levels of Reality, (mind, energy and physical level). These seven principles were also expanded and commented by the great Hermetic scholar and metaphysician William Walker Atkinson in his book published in 1908 called ‘The Kybalion’ which I quote at the beginning of each chapter.
The seven Hermetic Laws of Reality are not exclusive of each other, in the same way as the law of gravity is not exclusive of the law of lift on the physical plane, but work in synergy to shape the minds and phenomena of infinite sentient beings and their environments.
In practical terms we can use any law of nature, but we cannot alter it. For example, we can use the law of gravity and the law of lift and fly through the sky on a big airplane, but if we jumped off a cliff, gravity would pull us down and we would injure ourselves and die. Therefore we can understand that by opposing any natural law we place ourselves in an inverted position with regard to the law itself, and therefore, it appears as though the law itself is working against us with a definite purpose, where in real sense this inversion is entirely caused by ourselves, by our ignorance of the law and not from any change in the action of the law.
This is the reasons why in theistic religions one often finds the concept of God’s punishment, where the real meaning behind it is only one’s ignorance and the subsequent inverted position in regard to the these unchangeable laws of Reality. On the other hand, if one has knowledge of these laws one can use them at one’s own advantage by using skilful methods, which will be explained in part two of the book, and achieve new life conditions and fulfillment.
In relation to this, although in part one very profound concepts regarding Reality, the Universe and Being are explained in a very simple and straightforward style, some readers might be tempted to skip and jump directly to the more practical methods presented in part two. But in fact, in connection with the methods described therein, while anyone may obtain some degree of success by practicing them alone, still in order to obtain any marked degree of success it is necessary to have first reflected and understood the main principles concerning Mind and the seven Principles of Reality as a whole. Nevertheless by studying, reflecting and making use of the skilful methods outlined in chapter eight, new life conditions such as a healthier, calmer, more joyful and fulfilling life experience can be achieved.
The Principle of Mind The first Hermetic Principle says that everything, from the whole material universe, its energy, the phenomena of life and all the different sentient beings contained therein are nothing other than Mind, Pure Being, all encompassing Awareness.
This is an infinite and eternal energy, ‘mentative’ in its nature, out of and in which all things are evolved manifestations. All is Mind, and all is in Mind, all things are centers of mental activity and energy, in the Great Universal Ocean of Mind Energy. What is generally known as Spirit or God in the West is also the uncreated Principle of Mind.
Sometimes this Mind is called ‘all pervading ocean of Mind power’ because it contains within itself all the power, force and energy that there is. It is the source from which all forms of energy and matter arise. Sometimes it is called ‘infinite living Mind’ because we cannot fully describe it and it is the source of all life. It can also be defined as infinite all pervading uncreated Awareness of Pure
Being. What are the characteristics of this Mind or Reality Principle? According to the Hermetic tradition Reality is an absolute unity; it is a state of total liberty, whole, complete, and perfect as it is, without a cause, infinite and beyond time and space, formless, indivisible and immutable, immanent and transcendent without contradiction. Reality can also be defined as infinite substance, infinite play of energy, infinite play of life, infinite law, infinite love, and infinite Mind.
Mind creates spontaneously according to circumstances. It is the unconditioned and absolute ground for all that exists. In itself it is ‘all that is’, in its creation it is ‘all that appears’.
The universe, including sentient beings, is manifested in and by infinite all pervasive uncreated and uncompounded Mind, and since the creator and its creations are of the same nature, sentient beings are of the same nature as all pervasive Mind. Moreover, since Mind is immanent in its creation, at the heart of every conscious sentient being there is the presence and power of Pure Being. As the Ground or potentiality of all that appears, Mind is beyond any Laws, but its manifestation is governed by unchanging Laws.
The spontaneous Will of Reality is universal energy. The pure logic of Reality is universal Law. The essence of Reality is universal Life. There is nothing in the universe which is about ‘non-being’, the whole multidimensional universe is thriving with life and unending being. The Principle of Reality always remains itself without any changes, indivisible and immutable, and, likewise, each sentient being is identical with it in the totality of its essence, nature, and substance.
Reality, Mind can also be described using the three aspects of the potential, the ideal and the concrete. The potential is Pure Being itself, Mind‘s potentiality not particularized in any way, not yet brought into form nor thought. The ideal is the particularizing of the potential into a certain spontaneous manifestation beyond or within time and space. The concrete is the physical manifestation within space and time in visible form.
Mind is the forerunner of states. Mind is chief; mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts with pure mind, because of that, happiness follows one, even as one’s shadow that never leaves.
Whatever harm an enemy may do to an enemy, or a hater to a hater, an ill-directed mind inflicts on oneself a greater harm. Neither mother, father, nor any other relative can do one greater good than one’s own well-directed mind.
The Buddha | Dhatmapada
Mind, Pure Being and Beings
Having established the characteristics of Mind, let’s analyze now the relationship between Mind and sentient beings.
Since all pervasive Mind is infinite in space, there is no finite spot which can be considered its center and yet, at the same time, every point of activity may be called its center. Mind extends in every direction infinitely and its circumference is nonexistent. The great ocean of all pervasive Mind has its center everywhere and its circumference nowhere.
This great ocean of Mind (oneself) is filled with an infinite number of centers of energy, where each dynamic individual being is such a center for himself or herself, a ‘center of living Will’ and each one has the whole universe or dimension circling and revolving around him/her. To symbolize this relationship between Mind and beings some spiritual Teachings employ the symbol of a circle with a dot in the middle.
Some beings are the centers of a tiny dimension, and some have huge dimensions revolving around them. There are centers so expanded and exalted that the human mind cannot grasp, but even the tiniest point of activity is a center in itself and for itself. The lucid Expanse of Pure Being and beings are integrated beyond any finite conceptual logic.
The Principle of the great ocean of Mind also entails that infinite space and all contained therein is occupied by the ‘Mind stuff’, an all pervasive Awareness pulsating with life and energy, in the depths of which there is a timeless calm and on the surface of which are waves, currents and whirlpools pulsating in rhythmic fashion. Each dynamic individual being is the center and the totality of the infinite universe revolving around him, and yet there are virtually infinite numbers of beings. As far as space extends there is the infinite Principle of Being and an infinite number of beings to fill this vast expanse of Mind. The individual or personal manifestations of Mind, are centers of ‘mentative’ energy in the great ocean of universal ‘mentative’ energy.
Although no example can fit the description of Reality, one possible example could be an ocean, an infinite body of water, where water is ‘the totality’ and at the same time, ‘infinitely individualized’ in each water molecule. Another example is the sky or space, in this case an ‘aware all pervasive reflective space’ at the same time generalized as the totality of all events and meanings and individually reflecting itself as aware individual beings. All sentient beings are self reflections of the uncreated all pervading pure and lucid Expanse of Pure Being which recognizes itself through them.
Mind’s Generic Character
Now we come to the generic character of this universal Mind power, which can be summed up in the words ‘total universal goodness’ beyond the relative conflicting concepts of good and evil. Whether one is a human being, an animal, a ghost, an angel or a demon, one’s Fundamental Mind of Pure Being does not change in any way, it is and remains a ‘total universal goodness’ beyond the relative conflicting concepts of good and evil. Its generic tendency or expressive power is always toward more life, wisdom, love, and liberty both in generic and individual terms. Since it is a universal principle it can have no particular interests to serve, and therefore its activities are always equal. For this reason on the relative level the positive pole, being closer to its essential principle, always overcomes the negative pole. Just as water, electricity, or any other physical force will not work contrary to its generic character, so Mind will not work contrary to its generic character, nevertheless one can so easily place oneself in an inverted position in regard to it and, therefore, even though it appears as the principle itself is working against oneself with a definite purpose, this inversion is entirely caused by the individual, and not from any change in the generic character of the principle. In a nutshell, it’s not the generic character of the all pervasive Mind which creates strife in the world but the inherent freedom within Mind that allows each individual being to not recognize his identity with Mind and therefore to place himself in an inverted position in regard to 23 Mind’s generic character followed by the subsequent suffering that it entails which manifest through the Law of Cause and Effect.
The Principle of all pervading Mind and the fact that one is always the center of this infinite play of Reality for oneself accounts for all the claims that have ever been made for the creative power of one’s intentional thoughts over phenomena. The reason lies in the fact that each being is the center of his own universe made up of ‘Mind stuff’, and therefore has the power, by directing his own intentions, thoughts and emotional energy, to control or shape all things contained. If the Universe is in essence a manifestation of all pervasive Mind and therefore made up of ‘Mind stuff’, then Mind must have the highest power over its phenomena.
To Be Continued- Next Post