The Kybalion: Chapters 9 and 10

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 principles of Vibration and Polarity. Now, we come to a space of concept that we can more clearly visualize, and comprehend in a more manifest way. We encounter vibration at every turn of our human existence. Most of its true workings remain “hidden in plain sight”, but the more overt forms are those of our bodies moving, the action of mechanical mechanisms such as cars, the starting up of a computer, the notifications from our phones, and countless others.

Polarity is another principle that surrounds. The dawning of sun’s light from the darkness of a night, a choice of coffee over tea, walking to work or driving, etc.. The usefulness of the fine points of each of these principles comes in the recognition of their more subtle forms of expression and thus gaining awareness of the order that is abundant in the Universe.

Chapters Nine and Ten

Chapter Nine: Vibration

“Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.”

Having been a professional ballet dancer and loving music, this chapter spoke to me at multiple levels of experience. Movement and the resultant vibration it causes as the flow ripples through the fabric of energetic matter is the core principle in the desire to move.

Let me explain this more fully. When we dance or move, we are in effect by the vibrations caused disrupting energy. We are manipulating and moving through, in and around it in a very specific way. The rhythm that is established is the result of friction between how fast we are vibrating and what resistance we are feeling as we move. You can easily try this out by putting on a piece of music, and trying to remain exactly on the beat with your motions. The point of discord arises when the rate of vibration that is being set by the music itself is either faster or slower than your own vibratory rate of motion. To the observer it appears that you are off the music and not in sync with what they are feeling of the musical vibration themselves. The quote below speaks to this very observation:

“The Hermetic Teachings are that not only is everything in constant movement and vibration, but that the “differences” between the various manifestations of the universal power are due entirely to the varying rate and mode of vibrations. Not only this, but that even THE ALL, in itself, manifests a constant vibration of such an infinite degree of intensity and rapid motion that it may be practically considered as at rest, the teachers directing the attention of the students to the fact that even on the physical plane a rapidly moving object (such as a revolving wheel) seems to be at rest. The Teachings are to the effect that Spirit is at one end of the Pole of Vibration, the other Pole being certain extremely gross forms of Matter. Between these two poles are millions upon millions of different rates and modes of vibration.”

One of the first premises that is taught is magickal workings and interaction with non-corporeal forms is that of the distinction of difference between corporeal and non-corporeal substance is the density of matter. Not only is density a consideration, ascending from the densest forms (manifest life) on a scale of more refined and less dense matter (non-corporeal and spiritual substance), but the rate of vibration changes in accord with the density of what must be vibrated….

“The Universal Ether, which is postulated by science without its nature being understood clearly, is held by the Hermetists to be but a higher manifestation of that which is erroneously called matter–that is to say, Matter at a higher degree of vibration–and is called by them “The Ethereal Substance.” The Hermetists teach that this Ethereal Substance is of extreme tenuity and elasticity, and pervades universal space, serving as a medium of transmission of waves of vibratory energy, such as heat, light, electricity, magnetism, etc. The Teachings are that The Ethereal Substance is a connecting link between the forms of vibratory energy known as “Matter” on the one hand, and “Energy or Force” on the other; and also that it manifests a degree of vibration, in rate and mode, entirely its own.”

In fact, if we refer back to a quote from Chapter Six regarding the exercise of visualization and the mental processes required….

“The Teacher instructs the student to form a Mental Image of something, a person, an idea, something having a mental form, the favorite example being that of the author or dramatist forming an idea of his characters; or a painter or sculptor forming an image of an ideal that he wishes to express by his art. In each case, the student will find that while the image has its existence, and being, solely within his own mind, yet he, the student, author, dramatist, painter, or sculptor, is, in a sense, immanent in; remaining within; or abiding within, the mental image also. In other words, the entire virtue, life, spirit, of reality in the mental image is derived from the “immanent mind” of the thinker. Consider this for a moment, until the idea is grasped.”

What remains of the holographic image is a form of vibration. Think of a radio and how much static occurs until you tune to just the right frequency that vibrates at the same level of reception. Tuning in to the correct vibration (or signal of frequency) calls the image you are seeking into clarity.

This bears repeating from Chapter Six  and is most relevant in consideration of Vibration:

“The Hermetic Teachings concerning the process of the Mental Creation of the Universe, are that at the beginning of the Creative Cycle, THE ALL, in its aspect of Being, projects its Will toward its aspect of “Becoming” and the process of creation begins. It is taught that the process consists of the lowering of Vibration until a very low degree of vibratory energy is reached, at which point the grossest possible form of Matter is manifested. This process is called the stage of Involution, in which THE ALL becomes “involved,” or “wrapped up,” in its creation. This process is believed by the Hermetists to have a Correspondence to the mental process of an artist, writer, or inventor, who becomes so wrapped up in his mental creation as to almost forget his own existence and who, for the time being, almost “lives in his creation,” If instead of “wrapped” we use the word “rapt,” perhaps we will give a better idea of what is meant.”

Continuing the thought of the Qabalistic process, what is described above can be likened to the emanation of the energy of the spheres in the involutionary process from the Crown (or SOURCE) of Kether. I would recommend that you take a little side trip here and read through this basic information about the Qabalistic Tree of Life for a baseline of knowledge:

This is the premise of vibration that as we ascend on the scale the vibration is lighter in frequency and the sound is higher pitched. As the vibration slows, the sonorous sound of low pitch reaches deeply into stimulating us at a physical level. Think of the parade and the resonance of vibration felt usually in the stomach as the drums pass. The high pitch of flute is barely noticeable other than that of an irritating buzz that floats on the air like the hum of a bumble bee. The lower the vibration the greater the opportunity for something concrete and visceral to be experienced. However, this is not the only component needed, the mental construct or idea to be acted upon must be fueled with focused intent.

“A little reflection on what we have said will show the student that the Principle of Vibration underlies the wonderful phenomena of the power manifested by the Masters and Adepts, who are able to apparently set aside the Laws of Nature, but who, in reality, are simply using one law against another; one principle against others; and who accomplish their results by changing the vibrations of material objects, or forms of energy, and thus perform what are commonly called “miracles.”

As one of the old Hermetic writers has truly said: “He who understands the Principle of Vibration, has grasped the scepter of Power.”

We have now reached the point where more of these principles are overlapping in their meanings and are interwoven one within the other. And, so this observation bears repeating from Chapter Eight’s post….

“It is a fact well known to modern science, as well as to the Hermetists who have embodied the truth in their “Third Hermetic Principle,” that “everything is in motion; everything vibrates; nothing is at rest.” From the highest manifestation, to the lowest, everything and all things Vibrate. Not only do they vibrate at different rates of motion, but as in different directions and in a different manner. The degrees of the rate of vibrations constitute the degrees of measurement on the Scale of Vibrations–in other words the degrees of the Fourth Dimension. And these degrees form what occultists call “Planes” The higher the degree of rate of vibration, the higher the plane, and the higher the manifestation of Life occupying that plane. So that while a plane is not “a place,” nor yet “a state or condition,” yet it possesses qualities common to both. We shall have more to say regarding the subject of the scale of Vibrations in our next lessons, in which we shall consider the Hermetic Principle of Vibration.”

If we think about this definition, more clarity is given to the reasoning behind employing specific types of spiritual work that presumably raising the vibrational scale within the individual as a means of evolving. These practices have predominately an energetic component as the vehicle through which matter (or an identifiable physical effect) is created.

Kundalini Yoga is a prime example with purpose being to awaken the potent fire-like energy that sits at the base of the spinal column. This energetic elixir moves up the central column (etherically aligned with the physical spinal column) coiling around each of the subtle chakra centers, stimulating nerve, glands and subtle fields in a way that changes the vibratory rate of the practitioner. One of the goals being that of opening the Higher chakra centers thus making the practitioner a beacon of Light, self and Divine awareness and positively effective in mundane affairs and interactions.

Breath and mantra have long been used as means of transforming the individual’s vibratory rate. Specific breathing techniques (Breath of Fire) and a mantra such as “Om Mani Padme Om” work to regulate and refine the physiologic and adapt it to a higher rate of vibration that is more Universal in its energy. Specific positions sustained in Yoga practice working cohesively with all of the “limbs” of Yogic practice stimulate certain physiologic centers that are directly related to activating the subtle Spiritual centers. In these ways we strive to elevate ourselves to a place of resonance with the Divine. Words vibrate. The sound is at times held in the silence. This is my interpretation of the Principle of Vibration:

Principle the Third: The Principle of Vibration

Ripples of sound
waves of form
shaken to the Core
stirred, quickened and stimulated
by the Cosmic touch.

Grid of matter- interwoven and formed
by friction, movement- displacement
whose resonance gathers the discord of harmony
back into itself.

The chord is struck and its echo
in frenzied activity darts here and there
reverberating in a cavernous chamber
nautilus-like paths guiding the
trajectory of motion.

All appears silent and still of form
until microscopic probes of light and energy
reveal the seeming chaos of matter
each moving in concert with the other
creating the illusion of solidity
and opaqueness of Light.

The chord is struck again
and all play a game of musical chairs
each rushing hurriedly to claim a new
crevice, pocket or fold in the web of time.

the illusory mask of a calm
Sea in a field of matter
pointing towards the horizon
of manifestation.

Chapter Ten: Polarity

” Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.”
Now, we move into waters that continually shift, take on new form and etch out evolved paths that nonetheless are still interconnected despite the disparity of semantics. The concept of polarity generally is only identified within the ideas of male and female, right and left, up and down, white and black, and all the other attributions that are used as definition. Opposition is certainly part of this state, but that is only a small piece of a much larger piece of the puzzle.

Homeopathic principles make use of the similarity of substances and the resulting canceling out of the third product that is an aberrant expression of that similarity. One might not consider this to be polarity in action, but in act it is the creation of the antithesis produced by things of the same quality that sets up a new form of polarized response that acts on much the same way of repellant as light repels and (supplants) the dark.

“Light and Darkness are poles of the same thing, with many degrees between them. The musical scale is the same–starting with “C” you move upward until you reach another “C” and so on, the differences between the two ends of the board being the same, with many degrees between the two extremes. The scale of color is the same-higher and lower vibrations being the only difference between high violet and low red. Large and Small are relative. So are Noise and Quiet; Hard and Soft follow the rule. Likewise Sharp and Dull. Positive and Negative are two poles of the same thing, with countless degrees between them.”

We see the dynamics of polarity at every turn within our mundane world. Everything that we formulate the mental attitude towards that is true by specific degrees is thus in turn only made a reality by what it is not! This is an important consideration in what we cling so tightly to as our truisms and absolutes. This is also the required flexibility and adaptability to what flows through our minds and ultimately is responded or reacted to by our hearts.

“Love and. Hate” are generally regarded as being things diametrically opposed to each other; entirely different; unreconcilable. But we apply the Principle of Polarity; we find that there is no such thing as Absolute Love or Absolute Hate, as distinguished from each other. The two are merely terms applied to the two poles of the same thing. Beginning at any point of the scale we find “more love,” or “less hate,” as we ascend the scale; and “more hate” or “less love” as we descend this being true no matter from what point, high or low, we may start. There are degrees of Love and Hate, and there is a middle point where “Like and Dislike” become so faint that it is difficult to distinguish between them. Courage and Fear come under the same rule. The Pairs of Opposites exist everywhere. Where you find one thing you find its opposite-the two poles.”

If we use this information in application to what we have learned of the Principal of vibration, we could say that what makes the varied layers of distinction between the scales of polarity of any given thing is perhaps its vibratory energy. Emotions, thoughts, what we experience in the sensorial world are all subject to the fluctuations of vibratory state. Perhaps the changes in that state are what come to be perceived as the differing polarities; which in that thought process infers that all emanates from the same singular source…..

“The student who is familiar with the processes by which the various schools of Mental Science, etc., produce changes in the mental states of those following their teachings, may not readily understand the principle underlying many of these changes. When, however, the Principle of Polarity is once grasped, and it is seen that the mental changes are occasioned by a change of polarity-a sliding along the same scale-the hatter is readily understood. The change is not in the nature of a transmutation of one thing into another thing entirely different-but is merely a change of degree in the same things, a vastly important difference.”

In conclusion…

“A knowledge of the existence of this great Hermetic Principle will enable the student to better understand his own mental states, and those of other people. He will see that these states are all matters of degree, and seeing thus, he will be able to raise or lower the vibration at will–to change his mental poles, and thus be Master of his mental states, instead of being their servant and slave. And by his knowledge he will be able to aid his fellows intelligently and by the appropriate methods change the polarity when the same is desirable. We advise all students to familiarize themselves with this Principle of Polarity, for a correct understanding of the same will throw light on many difficult subjects.”

Many will be familiar with the adage:

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

Using that as a frame of reference, I would also add that;

…Polarity is only a matter of difference to the eye that cannot truly behold the beauty

of differing scale of light seen within a singular form….

I love the energy of word to word and playing one in the polarity of the other. This is my interpretation of the Principle of Polarity:

Principle the Fourth: The Principle of Polarity

Each hovering within their own nature
Each compelled to seek the other for completion
One containing the mirror divided, yet equal
opposite ~ yet united
discord and separation.

Splintered cells which once held
the magnetic nature of wholeness
and graceful duets of shape, form and mass
moving in rhythm
guided as curious travelers
towards the destination of a harmonious Soul.

This harmony exerts its cunning charms
and the similarities of Spirit contained within
each that calls itself One magnify and extend
reaching beyond its true measure
forcing the issuance of
the scale’s final decree.

And what is the final discourse of this dual nature
in which all is bathed, purified and reborn
in the shadow of its own reflection?

The final comfort taken in the vision of the
opposing quality held in the supple vise of
Universal Law.

Next Post: Chapters 11, Rhythm and Chapter 12, Causation


Additional Reading:

About the Qabalah in the Western Hermetic Tradition:

The Magickal Pen: Geburah’s Might – section on Qabalah Boot Camp-Just the Basics

WitchVox: Thirteen Keys to the Qabalistic Tree of Life

About the use of Mantra:
The Sacred Vessel: Sensing the Subtleties: Part 5- Hearing


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

Sacred Texts On-line

Or as a Free Download on ITUNES

One thought on “The Kybalion: Chapters 9 and 10

  1. Pingback: The Kybalion: Chapters 11 and 12 | The Sacred Literary

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