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Kybalion, the

Category: Books sutras and myths

The Kybalion: Hermetic Philosophy is a 1908 book which purports to be  the essence of the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus, published anonymously by a group or person under the pseudonym of "the Three Initiates". 

The "Three Initiates" who authored The Kybalion chose to remain anonymous. As a result, a great deal of speculation has been made about who actually wrote the book.  Because William Walker Atkinson’s book The Arcane Teachings, bears many similarities to The Kybalion, those who appear not to understand that there is only one spiritual world say he wrote the book.  But why should he bother if he had written the Arcane teachings?  Whoever they were they used the work of the English philosopher Herbert Spencer. 

It doesn’t actually matter who, what or why they wrote the book or even whether it was based on Hermes Trismegistus, it contains some interesting ideas, which are indeed common to all mystic thought. Please note that I did not derive the concepts and descriptions for this website from the Kybalion, but from all observations of mystic experience.  If you notice that the ideas in the Kybalion tie in, it is merely an acknowledgement that there is only one spiritual world. 

If I roughly summarise its content it states that 

  • Energy and spirit - Energy vibrates – known as The Principle of Vibration – all energy moves, vibrates, and spirals. The differences between different manifestations of Matter [form] , Energy, Mind, and Spirit, are the result of different degrees of  "vibration".
  • Levels and layers - There are three basic planes of being
  • The All – the Ultimate Intelligence the sum of all function is at an infinite level of vibration. There are said to be millions upon millions of varying degrees between the highest level, The All, and the objects of the lowest vibration.  The Intelligence hierarchy 
  • Spiritual experience is ultimately gained by ‘mental alchemy’ -  transforming your mental state and manipulating the various functions of the mind.  The higher a person is on the spiritual path, the higher the rate of vibration will be.  To change one's mental state is to change vibration. One may do this by an effort of Will, by means of deliberately "fixing the attention" upon a more desirable state. 
  • Contrast - The Principle of Polarity embodies the idea that everything is dual, everything has two poles, and everything has its opposite. All manifested things have two sides, two aspects, or two poles. Everything "is" and "isn't" at the same time,  there are two sides to everything, opposites are identical in nature, yet different in degree, extremes meet, and all paradoxes may be reconciled. 
  • Intensity - The Principle of Rhythm embodies the idea that in everything there is manifested a measured motion, a to and fro, a flow and inflow, a swing backward and forward, a pendulum-like movement. This principle explains that there is rhythm between every pair of opposites, or poles, and is closely related to the Principle of Polarity. 
  • Cause Effect chain - The Principle of Cause and Effect explains that there is a cause for every effect, and an effect for every cause. It also states that there is no such thing as chance, that chance is merely a term indicating extant causes not recognized or perceived. 
  • Masculine feminine and yin and yang - The Principle of Gender embodies the idea that gender is manifested in everything. The authors state that this does not relate to the commonly understood notion of sex, but rather "... to beget; to procreate, to generate, to create, or to produce..." in general. Gender is manifested as the Masculine and Feminine principles, and manifests itself on all planes.
    Mental Gender is described as a Hermetic concept which relates to the masculine and feminine principles. It does not refer to the physical gender of someone, nor does it suggest that someone of a certain physical gender necessarily has the same mental gender. Ideally, one wants to have a balanced mental gender - Balance.
    The Masculine principle is concerned with language and communication, as well as intellect,  reason and the "Will".  The Feminine principle is passive and receptive, but is also creative and imaginative and balances the masculine with inspiration, wisdom and emotion.



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