"The lips of wisdom are closed, except to
the ears of Understanding".....The Kybalion.
From old Egypt have come the fundamental esoteric and occult
teachings which have so strongly influenced the philosophies of
all races, nations and peoples, for several thousand years. Egypt,
the home of the Pyramids and the Sphinx, was the birthplace of the
Hidden Wisdom and Mystic Teachings.
From her Secret Doctrine all nations have borrowed. India, Persia,
Chaldea, Medea, China, Japan, Assyria, ancient Greece and Rome,
and other ancient countries partook liberally at the feast of
knowledge which the Hierophants and Masters of the Land of Isis so
freely provided for those who came prepared to partake of the
great store of Mystic and Occult Lore which the masterminds of
that ancient land had gathered together.
In ancient Egypt dwelt the great Adepts and Masters who have never
been surpassed, and who seldom have been equaled, during the
centuries that have taken their processional flight since the days
o the Great Hermes. In Egypt was located the Great Lodge of Lodges
of the Mystics. At the doors of her Temples entered the Neophytes
who afterward, as Hierophants, Adepts, and Masters, traveled to
the four corners of the earth, carrying with them the precious
knowledge which they were ready, anxious, and willing to pass on
to those who were ready to receive the same. All students of the
Occult recognize the debt that they owe to these venerable Masters
of that ancient land.
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.
As the years rolled by after his passing from this plane of life
(tradition recording that he lived three hundred years in the
flesh), the Egyptians deified Hermes, and made him one of their
gods, under the name of Thoth. Years after, the people of Ancient
Greece also made him one of their many gods--calling him "Hermes,
the god of Wisdom." The Egyptians revered his memory for many
centuries-yes, tens of centuries--calling him "the Scribe of the
Gods,' and bestowing upon him, distinctively, his ancient title,
"Trismegistus," which means "the thrice-great"; "the great-great";
"the greatest-great"; etc. In all the ancient lands, the name of
Hermes Trismegistus was revered, the name being synonymous with
the "Fount of Wisdom".
Even to this day, we use the term "hermetic" in the sense of
"secret"; "sealed so that nothing can escape"; etc., and this by
reason of the fact that the followers of Hermes always observed
the principle of secrecy in their teachings. They did not believe
in "casting pearls before swine," but rather held to the teaching
"milk for babes"; "meat for strong men," both of which maxims are
familiar to readers of the Christian scriptures, but both of which
had been used by the Egyptians for centuries before the Christian
And this policy of careful dissemination of the truth has always
characterized the Hermetics, even unto the present day. The
Hermetic Teachings are to be found in all lands, among all
religions, but never identified with any particular country, nor
with any particular religious sect. This because of the warning of
the ancient teachers against allowing the Secret Doctrine to
become crystallized into a creed. The wisdom of this caution is
apparent to all students of history.
The ancient occultism of India and Persia degenerated, and was
Iargely lost, owing to the fact that the teachers became priests,
and so mixed theology with the philosophy, the result being that
the occultism of India and Persia has been gradually lost amidst
the mass of religious superstition, cults, creeds and "gods." So
it was with Ancient Greece and Rome. So it was with the Hermetic
Teachings of the Gnostics and Early Christians, which were lost at
the time of Constantine, whose iron hand smothered philosophy with
the blanket of theology, losing to the Christian Church that which
was its very essence and spirit, and causing it to grope
throughout several centuries before it found the way back to its
ancient faith, the indications apparent to all careful observers
in this Twentieth Century being that the Church is now struggling
to get back to its ancient mystic teachings. But there were always
a few faithful souls who kept alive the Flame, tending it
carefully, and not allowing its light to become extinguished.
And thanks to these staunch hearts, and fearless minds, we have
the truth still with us.
But it is not found in books, to any great extent. It has been
passed along from Master to Student; from Initiate to Hierophant;
from lip to ear. When it was written down at all, its meaning was
veiled in terms of alchemy and astrology so that only those
possessing the key could read it aright. This was made necessary
in order to avoid the persecutions of the theologians of the
Middle Ages, who fought the Secret Doctrine with fire and sword;
stake, gibbet and cross.
Even to this day there will be found but few reliable books on the
Hermetic Philosophy, although there are countless references to it
in many books written on various phases of Occultism. And yet, the
Hermetic Philosophy is the only Master Key which will open all the
doors of the Occult Teachings!
In the early days, there was a compilation of certain Basic
Hermetic Doctrines, passed on from teacher to student, which was
known as "THE KYBALION," the exact significance and meaning of the
term having been lost for several centuries. This teaching,
however, is known to many to whom it has descended, from mouth to
ear, on and on throughout the centuries. Its precepts have never
been written down, or printed, so far as we know. It was merely a
collection of maxims, axioms, and precepts, which were
non-understandable to outsiders, but which were readily understood
by students, after the axioms, maxims, and precepts had been
explained and exemplified by the Hermetic Initiates to their
These teachings really constituted the basic principles of "The
Art of Hermetic Alchemy," which, contrary to the general belief,
dealt in the mastery of Mental Forces, rather than Material
Elements-the Transmutation of one kind of Mental Vibrations into
others, instead of the changing of one kind of metal into another.
The legends of the "Philosopher's Stone" which would turn base
metal into Gold, was an allegory relating to Hermetic Philosophy,
readily understood by all students of true Hermeticism.
In this little book, of which this is the First Lesson, we invite
our students to examine into the Hermetic Teachings, as set forth
in THE KYBALION, and as explained by ourselves, humble students of
the Teachings, who, while bearing the title of Initiates, are
still students at the feet of HERMES, the Master.
We herein give you many of the maxims, axioms and precepts of THE
KYBALION accompanied by explanations and illustrations which we
deem likely to render the teachings more easily comprehended by
the modern student, particularly as the original text is purposely
veiled in obscure terms.
The original maxims, axioms, and precepts of THE KYBALION are
printed herein, in italics, the proper credit being given. Our own
work is printed in the regular way, in the body of the work. We
trust that the many students to whom we now offer this little work
will derive as much benefit from the study of its pages as have
the many who have gone on before, treading the same Path to
Mastery throughout the centuries that have passed since the times
of HERMES TRISMEGISTUS-the Master of Masters-the Great-Great. In
the words of "THE KYBALION" :
"Where fall the footsteps of the Master, the
ears of those ready for his Teaching open wide." -- The Kybalion.
"When the ears of the student are ready to hear, then cometh the
lips to fill them with Wisdom." -- The Kybalion.
according to the Teachings, the passage of this book to those
ready for the instruction will attract the attention of such as
are prepared to receive the Teaching. And, likewise, when the
pupil is ready to receive the truth, then will this little book
come to him, or her. Such is The Law. The Hermetic Principle of
Cause and Effect, in its aspect of The Law of Attraction, will
bring lips and ear together-pupil and book in company. So mote it