"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".-- The Kybalion.
The Seven Hermetic Principles, upon which the entire Hermetic
Philosophy is based, are as follows:
I THE PRINCIPLE OF MENTALISM.
II THE PRINCIPLE OF CORRESPONDENCE
III THE PRINCIPLE OF VIBRATION.
IV THE PRINCIPLE OF POLARITY.
V THE PRINCIPLE OF RHYTHM.
VI THE PRINCIPLE OF CAUSE AND EFFECT.
VII THE PRINCIPLE OF GENDER.
These Seven Principles will be discussed and explained as we
proceed with these lessons.
A short explanation of each, however, may as well be given at this
I. THE PRINCIPLE OF MENTALISM
"THE ALL IS MIND; The Universe is
This Principle embodies the truth that "All is Mind." It explains
that THE ALL (which is the Substantial Reality underlying all the
outward manifestations and appearances which we know under the
terms of "The Material Universe"; the "Phenomena of Life";
"Matter"; "Energy"; and, in short, all that is apparent to our
material senses) is SPIRIT which in itself is UNKNOWABLE and
UNDEFINABLE, but which may be considered and thought of as A
UNIVERSAL, INFINITE, LIVING MIND.
It also explains that all the phenomenal world or universe is
simply a Mental Creation of THE ALL, subject to the Laws of
Created Things, and that the universe, as a whole, and in its
parts or units, has its existence in the Mind of THE ALL, in which
Mind we "live and move and have our being."
This Principle, by establishing the Mental Nature of the Universe,
easily explains all of the varied mental and psychic phenomena
that occupy such a large portion of the public attention, and
which, without such explanation, are non-understandable and defy
scientific treatment. An understanding of this great Hermetic
Principle of Mentalism enables the individual to readily grasp the
laws of the Mental Universe, and to apply the same to his
well-being and advancement. The Hermetic Student is enabled to
apply intelligently the great Mental Laws, instead of using them
in a haphazard manner. With the Master-Key in his possession, the
student. may unlock the many doors of the mental and psychic
temple of knowledge, and enter the same freely and intelligently.
This Principle explains the true nature of "Energy," "Power," and
"Matter," and why and how all these are subordinate to the Mastery
of Mind. One of the old Hermetic Masters wrote, long ages ago: "He
who grasps the truth of the Mental Nature of the Universe is well
advanced on The Path to Mastery." And these words are as true
to-day as at the time they were first written. Without this
Master-Key, Mastery is impossible, and the student knocks in vain
at the many doors of The Temple.
II. THE PRINCIPLE OF CORRESPONDENCE
"As above, so below; as below, so
This Principle embodies the truth that there is always a
Correspondence between the laws and phenomena of the various
planes of Being and Life. The old Hermetic axiom ran in these
words: "As above, so below; as below, so above." and the grasping
of this Principle gives one the means of solving many a dark
paradox, and hidden secret of Nature.
There are planes beyond our knowing, but when we apply the
Principle of Correspondence to them we are able to understand much
that would otherwise be unknowable to us. This Principle is of
universal application and manifestation, on the various planes of
the material, mental, and spiritual universe--it is a Universal
The ancient Hermetists considered this Principle as one of the
most important mental instruments by which man was able to pry
aside the obstacles which hid from view the Unknown. Its use even
tore aside the Veil of Isis to the extent that a glimpse of the
face of the goddess might be caught. Just as a knowledge of the
Principles of Geometry enables man to measure distant suns and
their movements, while seated in his observatory, so a knowledge
of the Principle of Correspondence enables Man to reason
intelligently from the Known to the Unknown. Studying the monad,
he understands the archangel.
III. THE PRINCIPLE OF VIBRATION
"Nothing rests; everything moves; everything
vibrates." --The Kybalion.
This Principle embodies the truth that "everything is in motion";
"everything vibrates"; "nothing is at rest"; facts which Modern
Science endorses, and which each new scientific discovery tends to
verify. And yet this Hermetic Principle was enunciated thousands
of years ago, by the Masters of Ancient Egypt.
This Principle explains that the differences between different
manifestations of Matter, Energy, Mind, and even Spirit, result
largely from varying rates of Vibration. From THE ALL, which is
Pure Spirit, down to the grossest form of Matter, all is in
vibration--the higher the vibration, the higher the position in
The vibration of Spirit is at such an infinite rate of intensity
and rapidity that it is practically at rest-just as a rapidly
moving wheel seems to be motionless. And at the other end of the
scale, there are gross forms of matter whose vibrations are so low
as to seem at rest. Between these poles,there are millions upon
millions of varying degrees of vibration. From corpuscle and
electron, atom and molecule, to worlds and universes, everything
is in vibratory motion. This is also true on the planes of energy
and force (which are but varying degrees of vibration); and also
on the mental planes (whose states depend upon vibrations); and
even on to the spiritual planes.
An understanding of this Principle, with the appropriate formulas,
enables Hermetic students to control their own mental vibrations
as well as those of others. The Masters also apply this Principle
to the conquering of Natural phenomena, in various ways. "He who
understands the Principle of Vibration, has grasped the sceptre of
power," says one of the old writers.
IV. 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 Kybalion.
This Principle embodies the truth that "everything is dual";
"everything has two poles"; "everything has its pair of
opposites," all of which were old Hermetic axioms. It explains the
old paradoxes, that have perplexed so many, which have been stated
as follows: "Thesis and antithesis are identical in nature, but
different in degree"; "opposites are the same, differing only in
degree"; "the pairs of opposites may be reconciled"; "extremes
meet"; "everything is and isn't, at the same time"; "all truths
are but half truths"; "every truth is half-false"; "there are two
sides to everything," etc., etc., etc.
It explains that in everything there are two poles, or opposite
aspects, and that "opposites" are really only the two extremes of
the same thing, with many varying degrees between them. To
illustrate: Heat and Cold, although "opposites," are really the
same thing, the differences consisting merely of degrees of the
same thing. Look at your thermometer and see if you can discover
where "heat" terminates and "cold" begins There is no such thing
as "absolute heat" or "absolute cold"--the two terms "heat" and
"cold" simply indicate varying degrees of the same thing, and that
'same thing" which manifests as "heat' and 'cold" is merely a
form, variety, and rate of Vibration. So "heat" and "cold" are
simply the "two poles' of that which we call "Heat"--and the
phenomena attendant thereupon are manifestations of the Principle
The same Principle manifests in the case of "Light and Darkness,"
which are the same thing, the difference consisting of varying
degrees between the two poles of the phenomena. Where does
"darkness" leave off, and "light" begin? What is the difference
between "Large and Small"? Between "Hard and Soft"? Between "Black
and White"? Between "Sharp and Dull"? Between "Noise and Quiet"?
Between "High and Low"? Between "Positive and Negative"?
The Principle of Polarity explains these paradoxes, and no other
Principle can supersede it. The same Principle operates on the
Mental Plane. Let us take a radical and extreme example-that of
"Love and Hate," two mental states apparently totally different.
And yet there are degrees of Hate and degrees of Love, and a
middle point in which we use the terms "Like or Dislike," which
shade into each other so gradually that sometimes we are at a loss
to know whether we "like" or "dislike" or "neither." And all are
simply degrees of the same thing, as you will see if you will but
think a moment. And, more than this (and considered of more
importance by the Hermetists), it is possible to change the
vibrations of Hate to the vibrations of Love, in one's own mind,
and in the minds of others. Many of you, who read these lines,
have had personal experiences of the involuntary rapid transition
from Love to Hate, and the reverse, in your own case and that of
others. And you will therefore realize the possibility of this
being accomplished by the use of the Will, by means of the
Hermetic formulas. "Good and Evil" are but the poles of the same
thing, and the Hermetist understands the art of transmuting Evil
into Good, by means of an application of the Principle of
In short, the "Art of Polarization becomes a phase of "Mental
Alchemy" known and practiced by the ancient and modern Hermetic
Masters. An understanding of the Principle will enable one to
change his own Polarity, as well as that of others, if he will
devote the time and study necessary to master the art.
V. 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."--The
This Principle embodies the truth that in everything there is
manifested a measured motion, to and fro; a flow and inflow; a
swing backward and forward; a pendulum-like movement; a tide-like
ebb and flow; a high-tide and low-tide; between the two poles
which exist in accordance with the Principle of Polarity described
a moment ago. There is always an action and a reaction; an advance
and a retreat; a rising and a sinking.
This is in the affairs of the Universe, suns, worlds, men,
animals, mind, energy, and matter. This law is manifest in the
creation and destruction of worlds; in the rise and fall of
nations; in the life of all things; and finally in the mental
states of Man (and it is with this latter that the Hermetists find
the understanding of the Principle most important).
The Hermetists have grasped this Principle, finding its universal
application, and have also discovered certain means to overcome
its effects in themselves by the use of the appropriate formulas
and methods. They apply the Mental Law of Neutralization. They
cannot annul the Principle, or cause it to cease its operation,
but they have learned how to escape its effects upon themselves to
a certain degree depending upon the Mastery of the Principle. They
have learned how to USE it, instead of being USED BY it. In this
and similar methods, consist the Art of the Hermetists.
The Master of Hermetics polarizes himself at the point at which he
desires to rest, and then neutralizes the Rhythmic swing of the
pendulum which would tend to carry him to the other pole.
All individuals who have attained any degree of Self-Mastery do
this to a certain degree, more or less unconsciously, but the
Master does this consciously, and by the use of his Will, and
attains a degree of Poise and Mental Firmness almost impossible of
belief on the part of the masses who are swung backward and
forward like a pendulum.
This Principle and that of Polarity have been closely studied by
the Hermetists, and the methods of counteracting, neutralizing,
and USING them form an important part of the Hermetic Mental
VI. 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."--The Kybalion
This Principle embodies the fact that there is a Cause for
every Effect; an Effect from every Cause. It explains that:
"Everything Happens according to Law"; that nothing ever "merely
happens"; that there is no such thing as Chance; that while there
are various planes of Cause and Effect, the higher dominating- the
lower planes, still nothing ever entirely escapes the Law.
The Hermetists understand the art and methods of rising above the
ordinary plane of Cause and Effect, to a certain degree, and by
mentally rising to a higher plane they become Causers instead of
Effects. The masses of people are carried along, obedient to
environment; the wills and desires of others stronger than
themselves; heredity; suggestion; and other outward causes moving
them about like pawns on the Chessboard of Life. But the Masters,
rising to the plane above, dominate their moods, characters,
qualities, and powers, as well as the environment surrounding
them, and become Movers instead of pawns. They help to PLAY THE
GAME OF LIFE, instead of being played and moved about by other
wills and environment. They USE the Principle instead of being its
The Masters obey the Causation of the higher planes, but they help
to RULE on their own plane. In this statement there is condensed a
wealth of Hermetic knowledge-let him read who can.
VII. THE PRINCIPLE OF GENDER
"Gender is in everything; everything has its
Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all
This Principle embodies the truth that there is GENDER manifested
in everything--the Masculine and Feminine Principles ever at work.
This is true not only of the Physical Plane, but of the Mental and
even the Spiritual Planes. On the Physical Plane, the Principle
manifests as SEX, on the higher planes it takes higher forms, but
the Principle is ever the same. No creation, physical, mental or
spiritual, is possible without this Principle. An understanding of
its laws will throw light on many a subject that has perplexed the
minds of men.
The Principle of Gender works ever in the direction of generation,
regeneration, and creation. Everything, and every person, contains
the two Elements or Principles, or this great Principle, within
it, him or her. Every Male thing has the Female Element also;
every Female contains also the Male Principle. If you would
understand the philosophy of Mental and Spiritual Creation,
Generation, and Re-generation, you must understand and study this
Hermetic Principle. It contains the solution of many mysteries of
We caution you that this Principle has no reference to the many
base, pernicious and degrading lustful theories, teachings and
practices, which are taught under fanciful titles, and which are a
prostitution of the great natural principle of Gender. Such base
revivals of the ancient infamous forms of Phallicism tend to ruin
mind, body and soul, and the Hermetic Philosophy has ever sounded
the warning note against these degraded teachings which tend
toward lust, licentiousness, and perversion of Nature's
If you seek such teachings, you must go elsewhere for
them--Hermeticism contains nothing for you along these lines. To
the pure, all things are pure; to the base, all things are base.