The Kybalion:Chapters 3 and 4

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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 Mind and the All.

Chapters Three and Four

Chapter Three: Mental Transmutation

“Mind (as well as metals and elements) may be transmuted, from state to state; degree to degree; condition to condition; pole to pole; vibration to vibration. True Hermetic Transmutation is a Mental Art.”

This chapter had me at the title. There is something very seductive about the thought of completely changing your mental processes.

Awareness of the Power of the Mind to overcome disease, change attitude and perception and create or destroy the physical vehicle that projects its product has recently come to the foreground as being the panacea for whatever ails you. This is vastly true, but there are also many other factors and components that must be aligned in just the precise way to set up the dynamics (or vibration) that will effect suitable change. The first step is transformation of the thought patterns before Transmutation or complete and utter replacement by something entirely different may be achieved.

“Transmutation” is a term usually employed to designate the ancient art of the transmutation of metals–particularly of the base metals into gold. The word “Transmute” means “to change from one nature, form, or substance, into another; to transform” (Webster). And accordingly, “Mental Transmutation” means the art of changing and transforming mental states, forms, and conditions, into others. So you may see that Mental Transmutation is the “Art of Mental Chemistry,….”

We read that the ancients, in particular the Egyptians, were well versed in what we would consider today to be of scientific and advanced branches that correlate to mystical philosophies. They were aware of both simultaneously, each feeding the other in an informed way and drawing conclusions of practice that comprised a wholistic approach to mundane and spiritual matters that has since been unparalleled. And, in fact, we see a form of mental chemistry playing out in modern society with the advent and proliferation of courses, coaching and books that are geared at changing the pattern of thought and thus effectively changing your life. These, however, often lack the attention to the Spirit of the individual and the effects of these treatments on that part of matter that lay within the formless state of the living mind of creation.

The premise presented here is that we have within our power the ability to affect everything in manifest form by use of the Mental processes and via the Mental planes. This task is not as easily accomplished as may be thought because there is insufficient connection made between what is required as deeper knowledge and what is only the basic “formulary” used for the quick fix. The need for understanding of the basic Universal Laws that control this principle of Mental change is paramount in the efficacy of effect.

In working backwards towards the foundational principle, we are told that

“The first of the Seven Hermetic Principles is the Principle of Mentalism, the axiom of which is “THE ALL is Mind; the Universe is Mental,” which means that the Underlying Reality of the Universe is Mind; and the Universe itself is Mental–that is, “existing in the Mind of THE ALL.”

And the natural conclusion then is:

“If the Universe is Mental in its nature, then Mental Transmutation must be the art of CHANGING THE CONDITIONS OF THE UNIVERSE, along the lines of Matter, Force and mind.”

If we think on the creation myths of the Ancients, in particular, that of Atum and the rising of the primordial mound it is the “thought” that stimulates awareness of the state of aloneness and the subsequent seeding of the waters to produce more of Itself. In Qabalistic philosophies, the same is true as the brilliance of mind of Kether fuels the desire to create from its Self-awareness and the polarized pair of Chokmah and Binah are the emanations from its singularity.

For me, 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. At the lesser levels described in The Kybalion, telekinesis and poltergeist activity would aptly fall into the designation of “psychic phenomena” and the tales of the Svengali-like mind control of hypnotists and the clinical techniques of the behavioral therapists fall nicely within “mental influence”

Chapter Four: The All

“Under, and back of, the Universe of Time, Space and Change,
is ever to be found The Substantial Reality-
the Fundamental Truth.”

Moving into the next chapter we carry with us a vital piece of information (or revelation, depending on your base philosophy) from the last paragraph of the former:

“We shall now proceed to a consideration of the first of the Hermetic Seven Principles–the Principle of Mentalism, in which is explained the truth that “THE ALL is Mind; the Universe is Mental,” in the words of The Kybalion. We ask the close attention, and careful study of this great Principle, on the part of our students, for it is really the Basic Principle of the whole Hermetic Philosophy, and of the Hermetic Art of Mental Transmutation.”

By and far this is probably the most paradoxical and enigmatic chapter of the book; primarily in its efforts to describe and define something that is indefinable and incalculable in its effects without the necessary interface of the (limited) concepts provided by the corporeal human mind. This is not to  say that we are to blindly accept any definition or conclusion as fact nor are we to dismiss what perceptions present themselves as the stuff of human will and mind putting its interpretation on the information given. I think that these are the precursors to the flexibility of mind and perception that is needed to even minimally wrap our attention around a concept that is limitless……

“Man considering the Universe, of which he is a unit, sees nothing but change in matter, forces, and mental states. He sees that nothing really IS, but that everything is BECOMING and CHANGING. Nothing stands still-everything is being born, growing, dying-the very instant a thing reaches its height, it begins to decline–the law of rhythm is in constant operation–there is no reality, enduring quality, fixity, or substantiality in anything– nothing is permanent but Change. He sees all things evolving from other things, and resolving into other things–constant action and reaction; inflow and outflow; building up and tearing down; creation and destruction; birth, growth and death. Nothing endures but Change. And if he be a thinking man, he realizes that all of these changing things must be but outward appearances or manifestations of some Underlying Power–some Substantial Reality.”

So we are drawn back to the foundations of the concept that in order to form a place of reality, that reality must contain substance …

“Substance” means: “that which underlies all outward manifestations; the essence; the essential reality; the thing in itself,” etc. “Substantial” means: “actually existing; being the essential element; being real,” etc. “Reality” means: “the state of being real; true, enduring; valid; fixed; permanent; actual,” etc.”

Having this understanding as the base from which to draw, we find ourselves mentally moving in what is essentially limitless space. These are the concepts of the form and formlessness of matter and what we perceive as being solid as nothing more than the organized design of “interrupted energy” that takes on whatever shape it is directed to take. Moving backwards through the creating process gives way to the thought that the origin of this matter that we perceive is the primary source of the continual streams of energy that are acted upon it. Therefore that inceptual point of formlessness is part of everything and as such is the All from which everything emanates.

With this idea in mind we are brought to the concluding statement of the infinite and the living attributes of the All. And, the need for living mind to beget what is at once part of the whole and therefore part of the singular. This is:

The Principle of Mentalism
THE ALL is MIND; The Universe is Mental.

If we think in terms of consciousness and creation, the primal formless state of the Limitless All (or creator) is that of AM (existence). When observation and awareness is directed towards that AM, the I comes into being which stimulates the creation of something more than itself. This creative process begins with informed awareness, the mental aspect being the primary building block. Pure thought forms the concept which then can be acted upon by emotion and will. It is from this principle that the subsequent six principles emanate.

“THE ALL” is Infinite Living Mind–the Illumined call it SPIRIT!”

 

Next Post: Chapters 5, The Mental Universe and Chapter 6, The Divine Paradox
Resource:

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The Kybalion by The Three Initiates

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The Kybalion By The Three Initiates The Yogi Publication Society Masonic Temple Chicago, Illinois. 1912 Introduction: I have many favorite books that I return to frequently to refresh the information in my mind. So, naturally when I thought about the first book to discuss on this blog, The Kybalion came in front and center. Specifically, The Hermetic Laws outlined in The Kybalion are ones that I use in all of my personal work and refer to often in my teaching. The success and usefulness of this small volume is found in the statement made as part of the introduction to the book:

“Our intent is not to erect a new Temple of Knowledge, but rather to place in the hands of the student a Master-Key with which he may open the many inner doors in the Temple of Mystery through the main portals he has already entered.”

This thought of a universal application for the material contained is further supported here:

“The student of Comparative Religions will be able to perceive the influence of the Hermetic Teachings in every religion worthy of the name, now known to man, whether it be a dead religion or one in full vigor in our own times. There is always certain correspondence in spite of the contradictory features, and the Hermetic Teachings act as the Great Reconciler.”

These principles or Universal Laws were presumed to be set forth by Hermes Trismegistus, scribe of the Gods and also known in his form as Deity by the name Toth. We are told that:

“(But) among these great Masters of Ancient Egypt there once dwelt one of whom Masters hailed as “The Master of Masters.” This man, if “man” indeed he was, dwelt in Egypt in the earliest days. He was known as Hermes Trismegistus. He was the father of the Occult Wisdom; the founder of Astrology; the discoverer of Alchemy. The details of his life story are lost to history, owing to the lapse of the years, though several of the ancient countries disputed with each other in their claims to the honor of having furnished his birthplace-and this thousands of years ago. The date of his sojourn in Egypt, in that his last incarnation on this planet, is not now known, but it has been fixed at the early days of the oldest dynasties of Egypt–long before the days of Moses. The best authorities regard him as a contemporary of Abraham, and some of the Jewish traditions go so far as to claim that Abraham acquired a portion of his mystic knowledge from Hermes himself.”

Although there may be discourse of disagreement about who and what culture is responsible for these precepts, regardless of their origin they have served as the basis for most of the occult and mystical teachings throughout the ages and their influence is still the foundation of many Western and Eastern Traditions to this day.

Chapters One and Two

Chapter One: The Hermetic Philosophy The Kybalion’s authorship is simply stated as The Three Initiates. Who these initiates were has been the subject of much speculation and the publication of the material in 1912 by the Yogi Publication Society Masonic Temple has posed even further queries. Nonetheless, these seven tools are at the core of Western Hermetics and form the Universal Laws governing all magickal and alchemical working. The Kybalion is subtitled a Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece, and is dedicated to Hermes Trimegistus and his teachings that were offered and upheld as staples in the training of initiates of hermetic studies.

“To Hermes Trismegistus Known by the Ancient Egyptians as “The Great Great” and “Master Of Masters” This little volume of hermetic teaching is reverently dedicated”

The time-honored concept that when the student is ready the teacher shall appear and the doors shall be opened is affirmed in Chapter One:

“Where fall the footsteps of the Master, the ears of those ready for his Teaching open wide” and “When the ears of the student are ready to hear, then cometh the lips to fill them with Wisdom.”

So, in that spirit and assuming all are ready to broaden their perspectives or deepen what is already known, I’d like to share these principles with you, offer my understanding of them and hopefully whet your appetite to read more of this fascinating and essential book. Chapter Two: The Seven Hermetic Principles

“ The Principles of Truth are Seven; he who knows these, understandingly, possesses the Magic Key before whose touch all the Doors of the Temple fly open.”

My intent is to share with you the thoughts that presented (1.) as I meditated upon each of these principles and possibly serve to pique your own curiosity, fan the flame in your search for the truth and provide stepping stones towards your own deepening of Divine Understanding. They are outlined as below: 1. The Principle of Mentalism 2. The Principle of Correspondence 3. The Principle of Vibration 4. The Principle of Polarity 5. The Principle of Rhythm 6. The Principle of Cause and Effect 7. The Principle of Gender Each works collaboratively as well as independently of the other; something of the paradigm that is prevalent in much of esoteric study. As we move through subsequent chapters each of these concepts will be further elaborated upon, but for now a simple introduction to their basic nature will suffice.

The Principle of Mentalism

THE ALL is MIND; The Universe is Mental.

If we think in terms of consciousness and creation, the primal formless state of the Limitless All (or creator) is that of AM (existence). When observation and awareness is directed towards that AM, the I comes into being which stimulates the creation of something more than itself. This creative process begins with informed awareness, the mental aspect being the primary building block. Pure thought forms the concept which then can be acted upon by emotion and will. It is from this principle that the subsequent six principles emanate.

The Principle of Correspondence

As above, so below As below, so above

And in recent times the addition of “as within, so without” is the quintessential axiom that gives definition to the macrocosm and the microcosm being connected by similarities of dynamic and basic nature. It is this principle that inspires us to connect with our higher nature because of the reflection we see of it in the lower and physical realms. It is this principle that gives us pause to reflect on the impact we have at a larger scale based upon the inner workings of our own systems. To correspond is to affirm the “sameness” of a thing that will call to itself that of a similar nature.

The Principle of Vibration

Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.

This principle states that all of form is in a constant state of movement. Inertia is the non-movement form that remains vibration of a sort, nonetheless. Resonating with similar patterns of vibration attunes us to the subtleties held in each increment of dynamic. Vibration produces sound. Sound permeates our worlds. And it is the vibration of a sound that we respond to physically, energetically and etherically. Our breath and the subtlest of our movements disrupt the waves of vibration surrounding us as it sets into motion its own pattern of vibration.

The Principle of 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.

The Law of Polarity is the Universe filling what would be the void. It is the recognition of one state of being because of the acknowledgement of its polarized or opposite state of being. Each of these states is one in the same except for minute and un-observable differences that become more overt as the scale between each widens. Emptiness is the absence of fullness just as fullness is the absence of emptiness. They are both lacking in what the other has abundance of. Similar to the Principle of Correspondence, like attracts un-like that is simultaneously also alike as defined by the degree of its difference.

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.

I see this as the companion to vibration and to some degree a subset of the Principle of Correspondence. Rhythm provides the container or boundaries (or the lacking there of) and vibration provides the quantifier or needed disruption to produce the resultant cyclical rhythm. Expansion requires a state of contraction (as the necessary point of tension) to enable it to expand anew. Either state if held too long, would result in over compensation of the other, causing a new cycle of rhythm to be established. Stillness or inertness is simply an illusion; which relates back to the connection to the Principle of Vibration once again. The illusion is that of non-movement, which although it may appear unable to be measured is a lower and longer wave of motion or rhythm that may not be perceptible unless we are in resonance with its rate of vibration.

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.

For every action there is a reaction. This is a basic principle that we drill into our children so they will be responsible adults. There is no discrimination between good or bad, just simply response that becomes the cause that has an effect that becomes the cause of a new effect, ad infinitum. This is the principle that causes us to hesitate, pause and think before we react so that we can respond instead. This is the premise that we are not insignificant in the larger scale of the Universe, be(the)cause if we did not exist the overall result of what we consider to be the Universe would not be the same definition we have of it since we would not be part of it.  This is the principle that keeps us up at night trying to problem solve the best resolution to the difficult choice we must make. Each action creates a different chain of reactions in response to what issued forth initially catalyzing the cause.

The Principle of Gender

Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes.

Gender and polarity are often points of confusion. Although gender is an aspect of polarity it is a dynamic point of differentiation in its own right. Gender spans more than the physical dissimilarities that separate a man from a woman. Its energetic principle is one of expansion and contraction moving in a rhythmic force of release and receipt. On the Qabalistic Tree of Life the Pillar that provides Form is the Feminine Gender. This is the gender of receipt, contraction and boundary. The Pillar that provides Force is that of the Masculine. This is the gender of release, expansion and expulsion of formlessness. Both working rhythmically are the necessary actions for the eventual manifestation in Malkuth, the physical world. It is the container of the feminine egg that receives the insemination of the masculine sperm; the two quickening into the first stirrings of human life. In Conclusion: We don’t have to look too far to find these principles running through every level of our existence. Recognizing them is just the first step. As we explore their deeper meanings, formulate our own definitions and begin to apply the dynamics of their energies, the magick and mysteries of our place in the mind of the All will begin to reveal itself affirming that we are co-creators in the Great Work. In the next post we will begin the process of looking with deeper scrutiny at the individual Laws and their inherent impact and interaction with one another.

Next Post: Chapters 3, Mental Transmutation and Chapter 4, The All

Reference: 1. Excerpted in part from the post: The Universal Laws of the Kybalion (The Magickal Pen)

Resource:

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

 

5.1.2014- A note from one of my friends that The Kybalion, as well as several other books can be downloaded from Itunes for those of you with IPads!  

Catching Up!

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I have not posted on this site for quite some time and I wanted to let you all know why. In the past several months, I have been busy in the process of hiving and birthing a new coven – Coven of the Mystic Path.

This coven came into being at the Winter Solstice!

Read more about this auspicious energy here…

Temple of the Cosmic Spheres: All Systems, Go!

My thanks to you all for being patient during this process and please check back on January 1.2016 as we continue this adventure together discussing new books and finishing the Kybalion…

Blessings…. Robin

The Path

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This lengthy poem was inspired after last weekend’s Climbing the Tree ritual. The Climbing the Tree weekend is hosted by the Tradition to which I belong, The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel. This is a large event requiring much planning, so it is only held every several years (the last being in 2009) and provides the experience of walking the lightning flash of the Qabalisic Tree of Life as an experiential grouping of 10 mini-rituals.

The Tree is laid out on the grounds of Seelie Court and participants move through the Tree, walking the paths and having a ritual experience in each of the spheres in accord with that sphere’s energy. I have had the honor of taking on the role of as one of the spheres for the past 3 runs, but never had the opportunity to actually walk the Tree in its entirety as a participant. This year, I had the good fortune to be able to experience the full Tree!

I wanted to share this writing as a source of inspiration for seeing the potential that is held in being a participant in your own spiritual journey. The lessons of the Qabalistic Tree are ones that are relatable to everyone’s mundane and spiritual experiences and the goal of study is one of self-knowledge and growth.

I invite you to walk with me on the Path of my experience of the Tree. The beauty is that you do not have to know anything about Qabalah to appreciate what this writing has to relate. You have but to set your foot upon the Path and be open to where that path may lead…….

I step upon the Path
And Earth’s energy
Stands as fertile ground.

Water flows from
Deeply hidden wells
Fire streams from
Sun’s quickened light
Air breathes life into
Earth that rises and shifts
Urging me onward.

The tool of my re-making
In heart –body –mind
And will is found.

I move along the path
Into the night sky temple
Of the moon where star
And dreamscape weave
A tapestry that tells of
Cycles of knowing and
Illusion’s sacrificial release.

The path is lit from celestial sky
And all clears with each step
Forward into clarity of mind
That holds creation’s intent
Breathed into life from
Library’s inspired great halls.

I move now with mind
Seeking the victory of
Beauty’s face and come
To pause in awe of Mother
Nature’s surrounding gifts.

Their power and wild beauty
Held within my own physical
Form now awakened and verdant
Mantle claimed as Gaia’s own.

I walk with tears of gnosis
Streaming from gates long
Needing the power of heart’s
Release and step out into the
Vast potential of the unknown.

Into Sun’s great downpour
Harmonious center of
Golden strands that demand
The sacrifice of full light’s scrutiny.

I scream into a breath that offers
Up true release and heat rising
From within empowers my intent
As I leave this place of synthesis
Ablaze with strength newly found.

The sun sets behind me as
Sharpened knife and the
Sword of truth challenge
And give fearsome dare.

Tears now flow freely
Reflected in shimmering
Blade of light and what I
Knew of myself is surrendered
To the pointed test of true worth.

From these fires of tempering
Comes new form that will wield
Its measure of might as warrior
As Goddess and as guardian
Of the sacred Great Work of self.

Courage has been tested
And mercy now awaits
What has been purposefully
Broken down to be birthed anew.

I walk to a place of mercy
I stand crowned as King of
My worldly and spiritual domains
The choice of ruler-ship and weight of
Responsibility now mine to claim.

Like pieces on a chess board
Each move affects the next
Each calculation of mind
Brings reality of heart’s consequence.

There is no winning play as the
Board continually changes and
The pieces transmute as the
Players evolve and grow.

Flexibility and mastery over
What holds me in chains as servant
Rather than ruler over how I would
Construct and command my
Worldly and spiritual domains.

The final realization is one hidden
In plain sight and boldly echoes
The truth of free will’s choice to move
Confidently in changing course and
Not lose sight of drawing to me
What is held dear in those conquests.

I breath deeply taking in all that has
Been learned as the next challenge
Awaits and the choice now at hand
To cross the abyss deep and wide.

I step moving cautiously along a
Path whose end cannot be seen
So great the veiling of light and dark
Faith and a silent promise my only guides
As I stand precariously balanced mid-point
Shedding the last of my mortal identity.

Mother’s voice calls to me gently
Into arms of dark black sea softly
Reminding of all that has been given
And what more remains in hopes
And wishes and dreams.

Time holds no false enchantment
As lifetimes flow as one and every
Pearl of dark sea’s creation has
Potential to be the great manifest one.

Dip deep into the waters
Drink freely from their source
Take one dream as heart’s most cherished
And bring it through the womb of manifest birth.

I breathe into the vision of potential’s hope
The path now one of nebula and galaxy
Of cosmos and starry birth.

I move as witness to the birthing of the Universe
The light of my being scattered as seeds
Of star-filled light moving and flowing
The memory of this potent exchange
Holding the understanding of re-union
And dissolution of what is contained in
Body of light and flesh and bone.

From this eternal cycle of cosmos
An awakening of key held within
Human’s birthing light and deeper
Place of manifesting star’s gift of sight.

I breathe out the light of wisdom
And enter the brilliance of liminal space
That blinds me from the child of the
Limitless All that I am.

What lays hidden in my being
That cries out to be brought
Into the crown of immanence.

I stand in the silence
No words or thoughts
No emotions or action
Can articulate the gnosis
That fills by Spirit and Soul.

All and nothing awaits
The next step upon this
Never ending Path.

The journey begins anew
The possibilities change
And every step has been taken
In all of its many forms.

And as the return of worldly
Affairs and knowledge of my
Place within.

I remain steadfast in my devotion to the Great Work
As the Kingdom of my manifest being
Seeks the Foundation that has been created
By the Glory-filled Victory of my inner Beauty.

Beauty that has been forged by my will to action honed
By the courage of justifiable Might
And cooled in the expansive waters of Mercy.

I have seen the fear of my own reflection in the
Knowledge of all parts of myself claimed by the Great Abyss
And these fears have been soothed by the ebb and flow of
The Dark Mother’s Understanding and my Celestial Father’s
Cosmic Wisdom.

I have experienced this and more in my journey upon the Path
Where the Crown of my Divine Kingship shines in brilliance
For all to see.

Writing Delays!

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Hi Everyone… Thank you for following my blog. As time will have it, back to college, new job interview and a move back home for one of our kids has soaked up all of my writing time these past few weeks.

I will be caught up with everything by mid-month, and back to posting regularly.

Good luck to everyone with back to school and end of summer duties!

Blessings… Robin

Welcome!

Welcome to The Sacred Literary! I love to read and would like to share the treasures I have found along the way with you. My intent is to feature a book and then offer commentary and insights that I have experienced through its reading. These will not be reviews of the books, but simply my own findings and perhaps some inspiration for you to take a new or closer read. I am most interested in your comments and welcome any suggestions for discussion of books you have found to be keys to unlocking your own spiritual truths. My hope is that this blog will be a shared effort from which deeper wellsprings of knowledge may flow freely. Please join me in late April as we explore the Universal Hermetic Laws of: kybalio