Hermeticism, or Hermetism, is allegedly a tradition of philosophy/spirituality that dates back before our recorded history even began. And though many aspects of it indeed date back to extremely ancient times, Hermetic philosophy as a classification all its own originates from the Greco-Egyptian world (at least that’s where the origin can be objectively traced in a scholarly manner).
The teachings of Hermeticism has had a massive influence on the philosophies and religions of all races, nations, and cultures, for millennia. Indeed almost all great teachers have borrowed from Hermetic philosophy throughout history even up till modern times. One of the most famous recent transgressors being the critically acclaimed book “The Secret,” which was an international bestseller (though it only gives a half-truth).
The reason this ancient philosophy has fallen through the cracks of mainstream history is for two distinct reasons. According to the Hermeticists, the truth is only there for those who seek it, and higher knowledge is only for those who’ve proven themselves worthy. The other reason it has been so secret and underground for two thousand years is that it was considered a threat to the power of the medieval Catholic church (and Islam) in maintaining power over the masses. We at Cryptic Chronicles are lovers of all philosophies, especially such an enigmatic one as Hermetics. The backbone of the tradition revolves around these 7 Hermetic Principles.
The Principle of Mentalism
This is a hard philosophical viewpoint for many modern people to comprehend. But it’s actually quite simple. From the Hermetic perspective, all things in the material and the immaterial universe are created from the same thing when broken down. In a sense, all that exists is merely a form of energy. Which has been proven by modern science considering the molecules that constitute everything in material existence are mostly empty and in a constant state of vibration.
The philosophers of Hermetics believe in something called the All. That all things in the universe are made up of the same source. This All could essentially be thought of like God to them. Though it is an ineffable God beyond human comprehension and nothing like the egoic God from the Abrahamic religions. In a sense, we are simply the universe experiencing itself subjectively. With everything in existence being considered this thought energy of the All. Duality, while being very real in nature just as it is in humans, is actually an illusion. At everything’s core, all is one. However, this All is in and of itself unknowable and undefinable. Yet infinite and without limitation. From the limited human perspective, the universe can be thought of as the mind of the All. And in that thinking, we help mold the universe around us with our thoughts. Humans essentially have a universe inside them. That’s putting it crudely, but I think it gets the point across. An interesting side note is that the Hermetic view of the All is one of the philosophical views that inspired George Lucas in creating “the Force” from the Star Wars franchise.
Some claim this viewpoint has even inspired research into something called the holographic universe in modern physics. Experiments Have proven scientifically that matter acts differently depending on if it’s being viewed or not by a conscious being. The famous Double Slit experiment is another perfect example of the bizarre phenomenon of consciousness affecting physical matter. It’s food for thought that the ancients had a philosophy based around the whole thing thousands of years ago. But, don’t break down into an existential crisis just yet; there are still six more Hermetic Principles to cover.
2. The Principle of Correspondence
This Principle is represented in the book called “The Secret,” in which it’s called the law of attraction. According to Hermeticists, this Principle can help discover the truth to many paradoxes and hidden laws found throughout nature. To give an easy to understand example of the meaning of the saying “as above, so below” (which can be translated to mean a variety of different things all correct in their own way) the below part can be looked at as your subconscious and the above part your conscious mind. One’s whole life is run by the subconscious, with the conscious mind as the only filter of what’s allowed into the inside. Every day humans plant seeds into the subconscious that grow and bear fruit into material existence. While that’s quite an esoteric metaphor, it’s also 100% correct psychologically. Everything begins with the mind, and what’s allowed within it shapes how we interact with the world. There is no objective reality, and our perceptions govern how we comprehend existence.
People who always have negative thoughts age faster and have an unhealthy appearance. They’re unpleasant to be around and tend to have a negative influence on others. Not to mention their tendencies to become ill easily. They’re also faster to notice negative things and focus on them, putting a cloud over anything positive, and blinding them to things of good nature. What we focus on we become and how we train our minds to think is reflected in the outside world “As within, so without.” In Hermetic philosophy, a secret to human nature is that both limitations and strengths come from what we’ve programmed into our subconscious minds, which also has a significant influence on our perceptions of reality. Those who understand this Hermetic Principle can balance their perceptions. Able to see the truth of there being good in bad and bad in good and everything in between. It also becomes clear the magnitude of importance concerning what one thinks about, and to be careful about what they put into their subconscious. Still, this is just one aspect of this Principle.
3. The Principle Of Vibration
This is a Principle often mentioned by the greatest inventor in history (and possibly the smartest man who ever lived ), Nikola Tesla. One of the brilliant man’s lost inventions was a weapon said to use vibrations to destroy entire buildings. Tesla would set the machine to the vibration of the object and collapse it on a molecular level (allegedly.) The inventor was quoted many times, referring to all things in existence existing at different levels of vibration, which is a scientific fact often talked about by many of the greatest minds of the 20th century.
This Principle is all about the truth that matter is forever in a state of flux. No matter how solid something may seem, when it’s broken down, it is nothing but vibrating energy. Nothing is ever at rest or still. It only seems that way because of human limitations, but it’s just an illusion. Even solid stone is in a constant state of vibration. This is fascinating because the Principle of Vibration is another ancient Hermetic secret that modern science has proven.
The Principle of Vibration teaches that the differences between manifestations of matter, mind, energy, and spirit result primarily from varying rates of vibration. From the solid diamond to the wind blowing across a green field, all things are in differing states of vibration. You may have heard New Age spiritualists talk about raising their vibrations, well they’ve borrowed from Hermeticism whether they realize it or not. Both the seen and unseen exist in vibratory motion. Hermetic masters taught that it is possible to learn to control one’s mental vibrations, and therefore the vibrations of not only their body but their spirit too. Allegedly they could also use this ability to control the vibrations in others as well.
4. The Principle Of Polarity
Often regarded as the most critical Hermetic Principle for attaining enlightenment, the Principle of Polarity reveals that there’s harmony found in the chaos of nature. Like and dislike is the same thing, just in differing levels of polarity. A thermometer is a perfect example because the temperature goes up and down depending on the level of heat (or lack thereof) around it. Heat doesn’t exist without varying degrees of coldness and vice versa. This metaphor can be used for nearly everything in existence because when you break it down, everything is simply in varying degrees of polarity.
Good can’t exist without evil, and evil would cease to be without good, as well as the almost infinite opposing shades of grey between them. They are the same thing, just opposites. Darkness and light are two sides of the same coin. Wherever a shadow is cast, there has to be a light source. Just as there are a conscious mind and subconscious, man and Woman; wet and dry; sharp and dull; love and hate; no matter where you look in the universe, everything exists in differing levels of polarity, and ALL have their opposite. It’s a natural phenomenon found throughout all existence. All truths are merely half-truths.
Through this Principle, all paradoxes may be reconciled. Opposites are the same, differing only in degree. Once the Principle of Polarity is genuinely embraced and understood, the Hermetic philosopher will cease being insulted or repulsed by differing opinions. Their egos will no longer be threatened by opposing views. Hence why throughout history, Hermeticism has never caused war or violence to spread its teachings. The dark side of this enlightenment is the destruction of many naive outlooks about the world. But, for the first time, it will start to make sense. The Hermeticist will cease to react, and instead respond, becoming a player on the chessboard, no longer a piece.
5. The Principle of Rhythm
The Sun always sets, and the Moon always rises. This Principle is all about the cycles that are present in all aspects of nature (including humans.) All things rise and fall, and nothing is beyond change or entropy. In everything, there’s a measure of motion. Even history and all human civilizations are subject to these cycles and rhythm. But, it goes beyond even that. According to Hermetic philosophy, this Principle governs people, animals, the mind, energy, stars, worlds, and the entire universe.
This Principle is seen in creation and destruction, life and death, the rise and fall of nations, and, more practically, the mental states of human beings. Upon the realization of the Principle of Rhythm in oneself, it’s much easier to manipulate the cycles within the Hermeticist’s psyche, and step back and see the patterns of life in an objective light. Nothing can stop the Principle in any way, but its effects can be manipulated to a certain degree. Through practice, it can be used as a tool, instead of just being used by it. It also enlightens a person to see the hidden truths found within human history and, indeed, the world around them. Often after this Principle had been embraced and fully realized, other people that complain about the world around them seem infantile in their lamentations. Anyone who has ever attained a level of self-mastery higher than ordinary people have used the Principle of Rhythm to a degree, though usually unconsciously.
6. The Principle Of Cause And Effect
This would be the Principle that most could interpret as the way western civilizations commonly view karma. In Hermetic philosophy, there is no such thing as chance. By truly understanding this Principle, a person can become a cause, instead of just an effect. Every action thought, and word spoken becomes vitally important. Not only in the way they interact with the world, but in the way they allow the world to interact with them.
Most people are just carried along in obedience to the world around them (usually unconsciously) with the will and desires of others manipulating them in countless ways. This Principle manifests typically unseen to the ordinary person, moving them around like a pawn on a chessboard, to the point that many people live a life that’s been wholly constructed for them by outside sources. Social conditioning, hereditary conditions, religion, family, friends, and social status can all put people in a little box; they’re unaware they’re trapped inside. However, the nature of this Principle goes far beyond mundane life. As the old maxim goes: “What you reap is what you sow.”
7. The Principle Of Gender
Sacred Geometry is the very building blocks of the universe, and within it, the mathematical calculations that give form to all things in existence. Considering the Principle of Polarity, Hermetic philosophers and indeed great thinkers and scientists throughout history have spoken of the feminine and masculine natures found in all things. One does not exist without the other. The Principle of Gender works in every direction of generation, regeneration, and creation. This can be a difficult concept to grasp on a surface level, but even if things don’t seem to have both masculine and feminine energies to the naked eye, they always do in geometry and mathematics.
The Yin Yang is one of the oldest symbols to represent the union of masculine and feminine energies. Masculine energy is focused; however feminine energy is random and creative. Both are completely equal in every way; just two sides of the same coin. An example of how this energy is in everything is that your conscious mind is masculine, and your subconscious mind is feminine. Even our very brains are a good example. The left side of the brain is masculine; it’s practical, orderly, linear, strategic, and to the point. The right side is the feminine; it’s where creativity, art, passion, emotions, and imagination comes from. Even the manliest man and the girliest girly girl have the duality of these energies inside them, whether they know it or not. Female energy is brimming with creative potential and endless possibilities. Male energy is logic-based and straightforward, incredibly powerful, and to the point. Just keep in mind these energies have only a small role in sexual orientation and should be considered energies that make up the building blocks of reality itself. The genders found in human beings are just a manifestation of this Principle in the universe.