The origin of the 7 hermetic principles
Their traces are lost in the mist of the past centuries. There are no clear roots about their origin, as the complete creation is based on those principles, so their existence precedes the act of creation. But to define them in such a clear and simple way is said to be due to the one who is called “the Thrice Great”, “The Scribe of the Gods”, “the Master of Masters” – also called “Hermes Trismegistos”. It is said, that he had been incarnated 3000 BC in Egypt – and is regarded as a contemporary of Abraham. In some Kabbalistic teachings it is claimed, that Abraham acquired his mystic knowledge form Hermes personally.
It is also said, that he reached the age of 300 years and thus the Egyptians worshipped him as a god and called him “Thoth”.
From Hermes Trismegistos derived the name of the Greek god – the messenger between humans, gods and the underworld – who is known as Hermes and his name was transformed later on into Mercure in the Roman Pantheon.
Over thousands of years the hermetic principles were only passed on in secret “From mouth to ear”. That means that only those who proved themselves worthy enough received this profound wisdom directly from their master:
“The lips of wisdom are closed except to the ears of understanding” – Kybalion
If we look closely, the hermetic principles are part of all world religions – more or less hidden for the eyes of the common folk.
Even nowadays rules of all secret societies and occult teachings are based on the hermetic principles. The hermetic teachings are still alive – available to every seeker any time. With sour worldwide net they can be found easily. But those people never seek publicity – they are available for those who are honestly seeking!
But there is another reason, why the principles were kept in secret – not only to prevent the danger that this mighty instrument could be misused if it would fall into the wrong hands. They were hidden from the general public, because they are a master key for a self-reliant and independent life. But what the governing forces never wanted – and still try to prevent with all available means– is a self-determined population. Then there is no chance of manipulation or suppression. Then futile laws and social standards, which only serve to keep people small and obedient are exposed instantly. But on the other side, people lose their comfort zone and the illusion of security. The common patronization prevents them from seeing their own limitations: ignorance, laziness and the belief which justifies all false acceptance: “What’s the use – I can’t change it anyway!”
Then we can’t say that it was impossible to anticipate what happened, that something or someone unknown had been responsible. Even God is used as excuse: In his for us human beings unfathomable actions he is the cause of all pain and suffering.
Not to forget our favorite excuse, if we don’t want to be confronted with ourselves, we love to quote: This happens by coincidence. Then we don’t have to look for the “Why”. But in the Hermetic tradition coincidence is just another word for an unknown law! That’s where we can start with the most famous hermetic principle: The law of cause and effect.
The law of cause and effect
There is a little booklet called “Kybalion – A Study of hermetic Philosophy in ancient Egypt and Greece” – still available on the book market – which I can most warmly recommend! – In this book you find the law of cause and effect designated as the 6. Hermetic principle. I’d like to start with this one anyway, because every human being on this earth – no matter how intelligent or in which country he lives – everybody is familiar with this law!
We take it completely for granted and forget at the same time in how many areas of our life it is showing up and how little we are aware of its consequences!
For every farmer is self-evident, that he has to sow the seed of the crop, he wants to harvest later on. He’d never expect barley when he had sewn corn. In no area of the world a farmer would expect a harvest that is different from the seed he had brought into the soil. But when it comes to our thinking, talking and acting – we become blind for the impeccability of this law!
We ignore, what as a folk saying tells us: “What goes around, comes around!” We behave like a blind man. When we are in an awful mood and treat our surrounding harsh and gruffly, we become angry, when we are treated the same way. We don’’ even realize, that our behavior is the source of the reaction of our fellow men.
The principle in politics and economy
In those areas this principle is treated with contempt all the time! In our society it is common to pretend to take responsibility! In truth, those people don’t care at all about attributes like honesty or consequences for the population, they only care about having influence and earning a lot of money! That is obvious if you look at the clear-cut of the rainforests in South America. The governments are profiting from their tolerance of this depletion. They hesitate to stop these criminal actions, because of their personal advantages, not bothering the least, what this means for the climate, for the loss of so many precious protected wildlife, we can never replace.
Though factory farming is not only a crime to those tortured animals and the meat is the purest poison for the consumer, though those factories produce more CO2 than all the exhaust gas of the industry, there is still no law that stops this crime to human beings, animals and environment! The fatal consequences can’t be denied – but structures of authority and influence are only interested in short-sighted profit. And those, naively consuming this meat of inferior quality are responsible as well for this chain of cause and effect. They are responsible for the suffering of those poor creatures, because without them, this business wouldn’t be profitable. And as an effect of his careless behavior this contaminated meat ruins their health and causes high costs of medication. Additionally their state of illness afflicts their surrounding as well. But we are so used to an unhealthy society, that being ill has become a common state of our life. The chemical industry earns twice: First from those chemicals, the animals are fed with and second from the remedies the people need who became ill by eating their meat. What an insane paradox!!
The consequences of the ignorance
In Bob Proctor’s book “You were born rich” there is a chapter, which demonstrates impressively, how impeccable the law works. In the chapter “I and money” he describes a meeting in the Edgewater Beach Hotel in 1923. Eight men were meeting there, who controlled more money than the USA Government at that time. They came together to influence the politics of their country – of course in their own favor. And then Proctor describes, what had become of those mighty personalities 35 years later: In summary – they died either completely bankrupt, or had committed suicide, or died miserably of cancer, or one went insane, one was sent to SingSing, and one was pardoned from prison to die at home. Not one of them died peacefully – the effect is always in direct relation to the cause that had been set!
The law functions always and everywhere independent whether the person is a celebrity or a poor devil.
The only problem therein is, that we don’t see the bigger picture. We ignore or forget the cause, when the effect is hitting us. Sometimes the causes date back in the past, sometimes we just ignore, what we did, sometimes we are not even conscious of the underlying cause. There is not such a thing like an unkind, averse fortune!
In the universe nothing ever gets lost. The so-called butterfly effect demonstrates significantly, that even the smallest things can cause big effects. The lap of a butterfly’s wings in New York can cause an earth quake in Tokyo. This is similar to the snowball effect, where one little snowball can trigger a huge avalanche.
Cause and Effect in our everyday life
In the Kabbalistic teaching gossip is worth than murder. If you kill someone, you set a clear cause and you have to be clear of the consequences. But when you are gossiping you don’t have the control, what and how your words are spread. The rumor you started can be expanded or can turn into something complete different from what you said. May be the affected person loses his or her job or is banned from his or her family or even commits suicide. The damage of someone’s reputation is called “mobbing” in modern society. Mean motives can lead to ruin the reputation of a person just because someone doesn’t like or because he/she doesn’t get what she or he wants from this person. The one who started the rumor will without any doubt pay the price – like those celebrities described in Bob Proctor’s book.
But neither those famous men nor the perpetrator of the gossiping understand what avalanche they had triggered – which finally came bake and stroke themselves!
That means for each of us to be very careful with what we bring into the world. Even if we forgot completely, what we had said or done years ago, the consequences will with one hundred per cent certainty find him or her!
As a folk saying goes: “Many a little make a mickle”. For example when a family farther treats his wife and children with rigor and cruelty and forces them to fulfill his will without considering their personalities or needs, then he will have to pay the bill at the end – he will end ill, lonely without anybody who cares for him. This describes only one option, how the law can work. The universe has a lot more alternatives, we can’t even think of!
Just look at the fate of the famous actor Marlon Brando, never ever caring about his children, who died miserably and isolated. The mighty autocrat, the Shah of Persia – who had suppressed and tortured his nation. He had to flee in disgrace from his country and finally died of cancer in exile.
When we have a reasonable self-love, it should be for our own benefit to think about the possible implication of what we say and how we act. The boomerang of the conformity to the law can catch up with us in the same intensity as the cause we once had set. Thoughtless speaking, shortsighted acting – practically we can’t afford this, if we empathize a fulfilled life. In addition we avoid others to suffer from our actions – which would redound upon us as well!
The big advantage of the law
If we take consciously responsibility for our life, if we take care that all we say and do doesn’t harm anybody, but make the world a bit a better place, then the law works with the same pinpoint precision – all the good comes precisely back to us. May be we receive the effect in a completely unexpected surprising way – but it will come with the same inevitable certainty as with the negative cause. We don’t have to expend effort, we know for certain – it works!
There is a beautiful example in the biography of Yogananda, when he wanted to demonstrate the law to his younger brother. He told his brother, he would go by train to the city and spend a day there without having a penny in his pocket. So they went to the station and waited for the train. A man who stood not far away, watched them and finally approached Yogananda and asked him, if he is the famous man, he always had wished to meet in person. When Yogananda confirmed his assumption, he asked him, if he could invite him for lunch and spend the day with him. Of course he would pay the ticket to the city and home as well. For this man it was a great honor to spend time with such a holy man. The brother was stunned – how things fall in place, because Yogananda was in accordance with the laws.
And there is another reason that makes it worthwhile following the laws: We elevate our vibration. Jealousy, hatred, revenge and gossiping have a low vibration, so we don’t even meet people of this low consciousness. We don’t have to struggle, to defend and protect ourselves – which costs a high amount of energy and makes life laborious and stressful. But we attract people and constructive circumstances, similar to our own vibration, that makes life a lot easier, and we can effortless trust the people in our surrounding. We can even change a tight and hostile situation just because of our pure presence and thus help everybody involved in it without any effort!
We will have a look at the underlying principles in the next chapter, when we talk about:
The seven hermetic Principles:
The hermetic principles of vibration and attraction.