Origins: Hermetic philosophy, according to my sources, had it's birth in Egypt about 3000BC, it was one of the 12 brotherhoods initiated to school adepts to guide the human race through the maze of progress as our race grew.
Now the truth is that in the main stream the origins of Hermetic philosophy are obscure at best, but it is generally agreed that Egypt is the birthplace, and were perfected by the arts of Hermes Trismegistis, the real life archetype for the Egyptian god of knowledge (Thoth) and the Greek god of magicians (Hermes). In point of fact the name Hermes is where the word Hermetic comes from.
Hermeticism is not a religion, but the philosophy, or science of identifying the keys or key forces at work in the universe, and putting them to work as adepts or magicians in magic or Alchemy. A quick word about Alchemy. Alchemy is thought by the uninitiated to mean the formation of gold from base metals. I submit the Emerald tablet of Hermes for your consideration
The Emerald tablet
[/color][/b]Truth! Certainty! That in which there is no doubt!That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above, working the miracles of one. As all things were from one. Its father is the Sun and its mother the Moon. The Earth carried it in her belly, and the Wind nourished it in her belly, as Earth which shall become Fire. Feed the Earth from that which is subtle, with the greatest power. It ascends from the earth to the heaven and becomes ruler over that which is above and that which is below. And I have already explained the meaning of the whole of this in two of these books of mine." From Jabir ibn Hayyan [Holmyard 1923]
So for even the uninitiated it should be obvious that Alchemy is not concerned with the transmutation of base metals to gold, but to the attainment of spiritual enlightenment through the exaltation of the subtle self. The Emerald tablet formulates the Hermetic axiom, "As above so below." so now, although the origins of Hermeticism are obscure, the resultant system of "magick" is the fruit of the tree germinated from that root.
The Hermetic principles.
The Hermetic axioms are the basic formula of Hermticism. "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
1.The principle of mentalism. "The all is Mind; The Universe is Mental."
2.The principle of correspondence. "As above so below; as below so above"
3.The principle of vibration. "Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates." 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."
4.The principle of rhythm. "Everything floats 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 swing to the left; rhythm compensates."
5.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 a Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law."
6.The principle of gender. "Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes"Source. The Kybalion
The Divine paradox
"The absolute universe and the relative universe." The half wise, recognizing the relative unreality of the universe, Imagine that they might defy it's laws.--Such are vain and presumptuous fools, and they are broken against the rocks and torn asunder by the elements by reason of their own folly. The truly wise, knowing the nature of the universe, use Law against laws; the higher against the lower; and by the Art of Alchemy transmute that which is undesirable into that which is worthy, and thus triumph .Mastery consists, not of abnormal dreams, visions and fantastic imaginings, or living, but in using the higher forces against the lower--Escaping the pains of the lower planes by vibrating on the higher. Transmutation, not presumptuous denial is the weapon of the master."--The Kybalion.
Possibly one of the most perplexing statements I hear regularly is from folks who are motivated by essentially "Mystical" philosophy who announce something like. "Well this life is just a dream and it doesn't matter what I do anyway, I'm not real." Now although that statement isn't entirely false it certainly isn't entirely true. As a matter of fact, from the absolute point of view, it's entirely true. We exist in the mind of The All as a dream or result of meditation, We are finite created forms, in the mental universe created in the mind of The All. In the mind of The All. is the absolute reality of existence and in the finite mind of man we find relative perception of the universe.
There have been many great masters incarnate in this plane, whose talents have been as to the talents of gods to the rest of us, and there are higher beings whose talents and skills, are as gods compared to the greatest masters and adepts. These masters and beings are bound by the laws of the relative universe, as they also are not The All. So imagine the presumption of you and I, thinking to deny these laws, making the universe a dreamland where we are as gods... The master transmutates, using higher law against lower, never repressing or denying but transcending. When we ascend and The All. draws us into itself, only then are we part of the absolute formula of the universe. All is in The All., The All. is in all... "While all is in The All., it is equally true that The All. is in all, To him who truly understands this truth hath come great knowledge"--The Kybalion. I don't think I'm going to expound on this, it looks like a fruitful source of meditation for the serious student, for the non-serious there is no need...As above so below.
There have been many great masters incarnate in this plane, whose talents have been as to the talents of gods to the rest of us, and there are higher beings whose talents and skills, are as gods compared to the greatest masters and adepts. These masters and beings are bound by the laws of the relative universe, as they also are not The All. So imagine the presumption of you and I, thinking to deny these laws, making the universe a dreamland where we are as gods... The master transmutates, using higher law against lower, never repressing or denying but transcending. When we ascend and The All draws us into itself, only then are we part of the absolute formula of the universe. All is in The All, The All is in all...
"While all is in The All, it is equally true that The All is in all, To him who truly understands this truth hath come great knowledge"--The Kybalion.
I don't think I'm going to expound on this, it looks like a fruitful source of meditation for the serious student, for the non-serious there is no need...As above so below.
I have been deliberately vague in expounding on the basic tenets of Hermetic philosophy, I don't have nearly enough space to devote to some of the techniques and mindsets native to this discipline. The student who is serious will find, through research and meditation, the secret of Hermeticism and the art of transmutation through the Alchemical laws and axioms. The idly curious will either point at the gaps in my presentation, or they will do their own research and find they have set upon a voyage of discovery without knowing it For anyone else there is no benefit in a detailed explanation of Hermetic doctrine, the information is available readily; and this particular doctrine is not considered secret by virtue of the Hermetic axiom The law of use. "The possession of knowledge, unless accompanied by a Manifestation and expression in Action, is like the hoarding of precious metals--A vain and foolish thing. Knowledge, like Wealth is intended for Use. The Law of Use is Universal, and he who violates it suffers by reason of his conflict with natural forces."--The Kybalion. As above so below
We are the Microcosm, we are the Macrocosm
The Macrocosm calls we hear
We answer yes we answer no
We are the Macrocosm the glory of Godhead
We are but the Microcosm falling short being human
We see people from yesterday
We see people from today
We go through our day and live and learn
This is the Microcosm
We are born
We see people from yesterday
We see people from today
We go through our life living and learning
We are born
This is the Macrocosm
Sleep is the death of the Microcosm
Death is the sleep of the Macrocosm
As above so below