The Kybalion: Chapters 5 and 6

The Kybalion
By The Three Initiates
The Yogi Publication Society Masonic Temple
Chicago, Illinois. 1912

We continue our reading of The Kybalion and explore the concepts of the Universe as Mental energy and the Paradox of Divinity. These two chapters set the basis from which all other principles follow. There are a large number of quotes taken directly from the book in this discussion which seems fitting given the subject. The philosophies presented  are such that they require support even within their presentation. Each concept in these chapters is dense with layer upon layer of meaning and without the seed of thought that offered the multi-faceted beauty of the resultant flower, the flower would cease to exist and become merely the imaginings of something whose existence would be undemonstrative. The concept of The All and its action of creation in the form of the mental at its highest level reaches well beyond the most philosophical of thinking about the relationship of creation and creator.

Chapters Five and Six

Chapter Five: The Mental Universe

“The Universe is Mental–held in the Mind of THE  ALL.”

The first statement made is “The ALL is SPIRIT”. Followed by the obvious question of “But what is Spirit?”. This singular question has been one posed by countless seekers upon every imaginable spiritual and religious path. So where do we try to form a reasonable concept of something that is all-inclusive of everything it is as well as everything we would arguably state it isn’t?

Spirit is referenced as the “the highest conception of Infinite Living Mind”. The idea of Living Mind is not merely a composite of the definition of life and the idea of mind. This Living Mind is the most pure form of the idea of creation that produces those products that are of life.

The next step is definition of what the Universe is. Following the thought that the ALL remains whole in its form(lessness), not using the distribution of parts of itself to create what is outside of itself each possibility is eliminated coming finally to rest on the concept of creation via mental means.

The process is taken via the lens of The Law of Correspondence: As Above, So Below and the means by which Man creates..

“ ….in which MAN creates? –he CREATES MENTALLY! And in so doing he uses no outside materials, nor does he reproduce himself, and yet his Spirit pervades the Mental Creation. Following the Principle of Correspondence, we are justified in considering that THE ALL creates the Universe MENTALLY, in a manner akin to the process whereby Man creates Mental Images. And, here is where the report of Reason tallies precisely with the report of the Illumined, as shown by their teachings and writings. Such are the teachings of the Wise Men. Such was the Teaching of Hermes. THE ALL can create in no other way except mentally, without either using material (and there is none to use), or else reproducing itself (which is also impossible).”

As I stated previously, the idea of Mentalism is one that I grew up with having a background in Metaphysics and New Thought as a child. The power of the mind to create and further more to effect manifest life is one I read about in the lives of the Siddhis and Ascended Masters and Yogis. We learn in many spiritual paths that the highest aspiration is that of the heart, albeit in alignment with the mind, but that all loving compassion is the place of creation. Taking this concept to another level, however brings o the form of pure mind, the pure essence of idea and the concept of that idea from which it can become manifest.

Continuing with the concept of creation The Law of Gender comes into play. It is within the dynamics of polarity, specifically gender, which enable the flow of force and form uniting to create a singular from what began singular in nature….

“ THE ALL is ONE–the Two Aspects are merely aspects of manifestation. The teaching is that The Masculine Principle manifested by THE ALL stands, in a way, apart from the actual mental creation of the Universe. It projects its Will toward the Feminine Principle (which may be called “Nature”) whereupon the latter begins the actual work of the evolution of the Universe, from simple “centers of activity” on to man, and then on and on still higher, all according to well-established and firmly enforced Laws of Nature.”

As we move deeper into the streams of Being that comprise the Universe and the Laws that govern it, the need for surrender to the rough currents in rhythm and pace with the exerted effort of moving through the currents strongly and securely becomes the task of testing. Each is subsumed by the other; each moving in accord with the cyclical nature of our existence within that of the Universe. Each maintaining its own ground until the two seamlessly and effortlessly co-mingle into a singular and limitless state of being.

“ ..and You shall go on, and on, and on, to higher and still higher planes of life, for aeons upon aeons of time. The Universe is your home, and you shall explore its farthest recesses before the end of Time. You are dwelling in the Infinite Mind of THE ALL, and your possibilities and opportunities are infinite, both in time and space. And at the end of the Grand Cycle of Aeons, when THE ALL shall draw back into itself all of its creations–you will go gladly for you will then be able to know the Whole Truth of being At One with THE ALL. “

This is the goal of purpose. The evolution of the Spirit informed by the Soul’s lessons and the continual creation of a new state of being. Each, in turn being the necessary ingredient for the other to ascend the ladder of creative evolutionary process.

Chapter Six: The Divine Paradox

“The half-wise, recognizing the comparative unreality of the Universe, imagine that they may defy its Laws—such are vain and presumptuous fools, and they are broken against the rocks and torn asunder by the elements by reason of their folly. The truly wise, knowing the nature of the Universe, use Law against laws; the higher against the lower; and by the Art of Alchemy transmute that which is undesirable into that which is worthy, and thus triumph. Mastery consists not in abnormal dreams, visions and fantastic imaginings or living, but in using the higher forces against the lower-escaping the pains of the lower planes by vibrating on the higher. Transmutation, not presumptuous denial, is the weapon of the Master.”

Moving into the next chapter and having opened to the perspective that creation is formed from the mental process we come to what is considered the Divine Paradox.

“What Hermeticists know as “the Law of Paradox” is an aspect of the Principle of Polarity. The Hermetic writings are filled with references to the appearance of the Paradox in the consideration of the problems of Life and Being.”

We have an idea of the nature of polarity and it being the manifest form of the All’s Infinite Mind and the slippery slope of philosophical pursuits when the attempt to pigeon-hole the truisms into one side or another occurs. The first paradox that we are presented with is the illusory state of the world of existence. This is not a new concept to some streams of spiritual path with the sole intent being that of piercing through the veils of illusion and seeing the state of the existence as it is and thus ending the cycle of incarnation into physical form.

“The first thought that comes to the thinking man after he realizes the truth that the Universe is a Mental Creation of THE ALL, is that the Universe and all that it contains is a mere illusion; an unreality; against which idea his instincts revolt….schools of thought. From the Absolute point of view, there is nothing Real except THE ALL, no matter what terms we may use in thinking of, or discussing the subject. Whether the Universe be created of Matter, or whether it be a Mental Creation in the Mind of THE ALL–it is unsubstantial, non-enduring, a thing of time, space and change. We want you to realize this fact thoroughly, before you pass judgment on the Hermetic conception of the Mental nature of the Universe. Think over any and all of the other conceptions, and see whether this be not true of them.”

By definition these two terms are designated as:

Absolute- A state off perfection independent from anything to support that state

Relative- Those things needing further clarification and dependent on something else to help formulate definition.

Using these definitions we can see where both are applicable to our understanding of the Universe. Even if we view the Universe as a state of unreality that is ever-changing in its form and thus revealing of its relativity, this view is in itself an absolute conclusion that has been formulated from something needing more clarity.

“Absolute Truth has been defined as “Things as the mind of God knows them,” while Relative Truth is “Things as the highest reason of Man understands them.” And so while to THE ALL the Universe must be unreal and illusionary, a mere dream or result of meditation,–nevertheless, to the finite minds forming a part of that Universe, and viewing it through mortal faculties, the Universe is very real indeed, and must be so considered. In recognizing the Absolute view, we must not make the mistake of ignoring or denying the facts and phenomena of the Universe as they present themselves to our mortal faculties–we are not THE ALL, remember.”

The reminder is one of timeliness and grace. The enjoyment and fullest expression of what we have as our resources as the first and foremost path to absorbing and being absorbed by that, which is ultimately greater than our comprehension may allow.

“We may only see through the unreality of this world and the Universe after having risen through the various planes of evolution and been reabsorbed into the Infinite Mind of the ALL.”

I repeat my impression of the duality of the Mental Universe and the All from the previously mentioned chapter (5). As we move deeper into the streams of Being that comprise the Universe and the Laws that govern it, the need for surrender to the rough currents in rhythm and pace with the exerted effort of moving through the currents strongly and securely becomes the task of testing. Each is subsumed by the other; each moving in accord with the cyclical nature of our existence within that of the Universe. Each maintaining its own ground until the two seamlessly and effortlessly co-mingle into a singular and limitless state of being.

“Nor do the Laws of Nature become less constant or effective, when we know them, likewise, to be merely mental creations. They are in full effect on the various planes. We overcome the lower laws, by applying still higher ones–and in this way only.”

The admonition is one given against the arrogance of man to presume him/herself to have “arrived” spiritually at a point of exception from the Universal Laws. This state is one to which many a seeker falls prey as the Universe appears to welcome the traveller into its elitist “club” of mysteries. In the desire to become one with the Universe and thus the All that created it perception narrows rather than expands as one small area of knowingness is replaced by another that although vaster in its reach is still only a piece of the greater source that contains it and conceptualized its form from a state of formlessness.

“The Hermetic Principle of Mentalism, while explaining the true nature of the Universe upon the principle that all is Mental, does not change the scientific conceptions of the Universe, Life, or Evolution. In fact, science merely corroborates the Hermetic Teachings. The latter merely teaches that the nature of the Universe is “Mental,” while modern science has taught that it is “Material”

The Paradox is one of Finite Cognition and Infinite expression. This scientific conclusion, which is based upon human concepts about the material (or manifest) state of the world, is the first rung on the ladder of the evolutionary expanding of man’s consciousness. This expansion is shaped and formed by what we think and the conclusions we draw from that thought process. I return again to the premise that we are Divine beings having a physical experience.

“We do not live in a world of dreams, but in a Universe which while relative, is real so far as our lives and actions are concerned. Our business in the Universe is not to deny its existence, but to LIVE, using the Laws to rise from lower to higher–living on, doing the best that we can under the circumstances arising each day, and living, so far as is possible, to our biggest ideas and ideals.”

As we come ever nearer to the realization of that Divinity we shatter the veils that are the first layer of the illusory state of our existence. There are many more that will follow but, in conclusion…

“We are all on The Path–and the road leads upward ever, with frequent resting places.”

Next Post: Chapters 7, “The All” in All and Chapter 8, The Planes of Correspondence


If you would like to follow along, this text may be purchased at Amazon or is available free on-line at:

The Internet Sacred Text Archive

Or as a Free Download on ITUNES


One thought on “The Kybalion: Chapters 5 and 6

  1. Pingback: The Kybalion: Chapters 9 and 10 | The Sacred Literary

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