The Kybalion by The Three Initiates (The Seven Hermetic Principles)
My score for The Kybalion: (5/6)
For details and reviews, go to the Amazon page.
My list of books which I read and reviewed.
Being a principle-centered person, I’ve always been searching for the fundamental truths by which everything works. The Kybalion is one of my favorite books for many reasons, but probably the most significant reason is that it presents the thousands of years old Hermetic principles. They also call them axioms, laws, or rules and there are seven of them.
What I found interesting is that most of the principles discussed in the Kybalion had been thought of as a complete nonsense up until recently when science proved some of them right. Those 7 axioms are as old as their founder Hermes Trismegistus (Kybalion) who lived in the 2nd century AD. For instance, he recognized that every single particle vibrates and nothing is still. He called this the principle of vibration.
These days, anyone who took at least high school physics knows this law from textbooks.
When we add all the remaining principles, the Hermetic philosophy is born. In a way, the Hermetic principles were created by a sheer imagination and “sensing the true nature of things” (maybe we can call it awareness). It’s so interesting to combine the spiritual and data/science-driven world and see some similarities and agreements.
My Notes on The Kybalion
1# The Principle of Mentalism
“The All is Mind; the universe is mental.” — The Kybalion
This principle tells the truth that All is Mind. It explains that the All is the Spirit which can not be defined and is, in fact, unknown. The Spirit is the manifestation of the Mind and hence is, what we call, the material universe.
The Mind is the creator. The spirit is the product.
The all, there is, is Mind and hence Spirit.
Implying, our “small” minds are manifestations of the Mind.
On one hand, I doubt the principle of mentalism will ever be proven (academically). After all, it says it’s unknown and undefined in the definition of this axiom.
On the other hand, though, if you’ve ever meditated or just been super present and aware, you might have felt like being a part of something bigger which you could not have truly explained or described by words.
This is just my personal opinion, but I think the something bigger is the Mind which we are a part of and its creation.
Moreover, the manifestation of the Mind and our minds, in particular, have already been documented in many books. In a way, anything material, which we have created, must have originated in our minds. For example, someone must have imagined the first car before it could have been invented. The same logic can be applied in aggregates for the Mind.
2# The Principle of Correspondence
“As above, so below; as below, so above.” — The Kybalion
This principle embodies the truth that there is always a correspondence between the various planes of being.
Understanding this principle gives hope for solving many paradoxes and secrets of nature.
One can find out the name of a painter, just from the style of the painting in hand.
One can also find a painting that was made by a painter just by knowing his name and his drawing style.
The principle of correspondence helps men to reason from the Known to the Unknown by examining only a part of the substance which can be examined by our senses and awareness, and find out the rest, using the law of correspondence.
Hence, this principle is the bridge for the principle of Mentalism. This is how the Kybalion could observe undefined and unknowable.
Personally, I like to think about it using the following metaphor: Imagine you are by a lake and you can see the surroundings on the surface of the lake as a reflection. If you just look at the reflected image on the surface, you can see the surroundings. The unknown became known even without using your senses directly.
3# The Principle of Vibration
“Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.” — The Kybalion
Today, this Hermetic principle is endorsed by modern science, yet it’s thousands of years old.
Firstly taught by the Masters of Ancient Egypt.
It explains the differences between different manifestations of matter, energy, mind, and spirit.
Depending on the frequency of vibration, we can get a different outcome.
The mind and the spirit have the highest vibration. In fact, so infinitely high that it’s almost at rest. (Similar to a moving wheel that seems to be at rest.)
At the other end of the scale, there is “matter” which has the lowest vibration and might seem to be at rest too.
Anything between varies in the vibrating frequency. The point is that nothing is resting. Everything is in motion.
4# The Principle of Polarity
“Everything is dual; everythin has poles; everything has its pairs of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degrees; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.” — The Kybalion
What this principle says is that everything has two poles, is dual, and has two opposites.
Consider following examples:
- heat and cold
- light and darkness
- hard and soft
- sharp and dull
- large and small
- black and white
- short and tall
- love and hate
- Good and Evil
If we take short and tall, though opposites, they are really the same thing. The only difference is the degrees of those things.
Likewise, heat and cold. If you look at a thermometer, there is not really a line that says cold or heat. We have two extreme poles and many degrees between them.
The art of polarization: is a practice of influencing the poles (of oneself or others) and going from one pole to the other, using your Will.
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.” — The Kybalion.
This principle is manifested in day and night, destruction and creation of nations, birth and death, a swing of a pendulum and much more. In fact, everything has a to and fro motion.
In a sense, everyone is experiencing a movement between the opposite poles.
Most people live their life like a swinging pendulum. Hermetists discovered a way how to overcome the effects of this principle by the use of Neutralization.
They have learned how to use this principle instead of being used by it.
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.” — The Kybalion.
Nothing happens for no reason. There is nothing like chance.
Every cause has its effect and there is an effect from every cause.
Hermetists understand this and so trying to be the causes, not the effects.
They do it by their will and choice.
Masses of people carried along, obedient to the desires and wills of stronger than them. They are moved like pawns on a chessboard. In the hands of effects.
I enjoyed a scene from a movie called, the Matrix Reloaded where Merovingian is saying to Morpheus that people are defenseless to what happens to them or what they are doing to others because of the law of causality. Morpheus argues that there are free will and choice that everyone posses. They just have to be aware enough to accept it.
7# The Principle of Gender
“Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Gender; manifests on all planes.” — The Kybalion.
This principle conveys that there is gender manifested in everything that the Mind creates. On the lower physical plane, the gender is sex (male, female). On higher planes, this principle takes different forms but the fact that everything is created with genders reminds.
Moreover, all things have both genders; masculinity and femininity.
Some people are more masculine, others are more feminine.
Without gender, the universe would not exist. ALL would not be the MIND; the universe would not be mental.