THE ROAD TO OLYMPUS
X - THE SEVEN KEYS OF
THE PRINCIPLE OF MENTALISM
The Principle of Mentalism states:
"The All is Mind; The Universe is
In this, the first of the seven Hermetic Principles, it is stated
that "the Universe is mental" and that the only essential reality of
all things is mind, for the Universe in itself is a mental creation.
We live within the mind of God, who maintains the Cosmos in the same
way someone sustains a thought by mental concentration.
The Kybalion, a compendium of Hermetic Principles, gives us two
aphorisms, which illustrate our knowledge.
1. The infinite mind of The All is the womb of the Universe.
2. The All creates in its Infinite Mind countless Universes, which
exist for eons of Time—and yet, to The All, the creation,
development, decline, and death of a million Universes is as the
time of the blinking of an eye.
It is thus that God, or the All Mental,
creates life through thought, just as man can create a Universe
within his own mind. The Great Creator visualizes creation and
projects this toward the cosmic egg, giving origin to life in its
infinite manifestations. In this way, the Hermeticist is not greatly
concerned with studying the chemical composition of the elements,
but prefers to study the Principle of Mind, the essential
composition of all that exists.
Animals, minerals, vegetables, men,
Gods, planets, galaxies, universes, matter, and energy: all is mind,
the Universe is mental. For this reason, in the entire Cosmos there
are the same laws, those of the mind.
Mental energy is manifested on an infinite scale of vibrations,
from the densest to the most subtle. The combination of these
vibrations, similar to the mixture of musical notes from a piano,
produces the different elements or material of the Universe, with
different characteristics between them, but with their intrinsic
nature formed by mind.
It is due to this that the ancient alchemists believed in the
transmutation of lead or any other metal into gold, as the intrinsic
composition of all metals is exactly the same: mind.
In particular, our physical body is mind; our bones, blood, nervous
system, intelligence, spirit, and our thoughts: all is mind.
The All Mind (God) is infinite, eternal, immutable, and unknowable.
The All Mind is neither energy nor matter, it is something superior
to this; it is a living and infinite mind, which can also be called
Spirit, or real essence.
The All Mind has always existed and will always exist; it is the
absolute, which is beyond all understanding.
All that is finite, mutable, and transformable cannot be The All.
Since nothing exists beyond this, in reality all which is finite
must really be nothing. The Kybalion places before us the following
Hermetic question: What is the Universe? If nothing can exist beyond
The All, then is the Universe all?
No, this cannot be so, as the
Universe seems to be made of multiple units and constantly changes.
Then, if the Universe is not all, it must be nothing. We still have
senses and feel the existence of the Universe. And if the Universe
is something and is not The AH, what can it be? Simply stated, it is
a mental creation of The All.
This is the origin of the well-known Hindu principle of "Maya." The
Hindus say that "All is Maya." Translated, this means All is
illusion. Certainly a thought of ours is illusion. If we have
imaginatively created the personage of a small, green-eyed old man
with a walking stick made from a branch of a tree, this personage is
a fantasy and an illusion from our material point of view, but
absolutely tangible, concrete, and real for the matter, elements,
or personages of our imaginative dream. A ghost is a ghost for the
physical man, but a material being for another ghost. It will pass
through wooden doors but not through "doors for ghosts" made of
An automobile manufactured by thoughts (imaginary) cannot collide
with a material vehicle, but it can collide with another imaginary
car, as it is on the same vibration, or within the same density of
We must understand that as sapiens, creatures of flesh and blood, we
are located on a specific vibratory level and we occupy a space in
the order of the Universe. We should
reflect on the fact that for us, matter is only that energy with
vibratory characteristics similar or identical to our own, and that
energy will be the opposite pole. On the other hand, for a man whose
body is made up of energy of a different vibratory state, matter
for him will be the energy similar to that constituting his body.
Therefore, neither matter nor energy exist; there exists only one
primordial energy, matter, or essence which comprises everything.
If we could escape from our classification in the Universe and join
the All Mind, participating in its nature, the Universe would
instantly disintegrate (only for us) as we would have changed the
observer's situation or position.
It is not difficult to understand that if from the point of view of
the absolute "all is illusion," then from our mortal situation
"nothing is illusion" because all that occurs affects what we can
see and feel. Now, as sapiens, we have been made in the image of God
and have within us the divine spark. If the corporal part of us is
finite, relative, and mutable, the divine spark or spiritual
essence is the absolute.
Reflecting on this will lead us to a
transcendental discovery: sapiens is the only being in the Universe
who participates both in the nature of the thinker (God—divine
spark), as well as in the structure of that imagined by the thinker
(material world— physical body).
By understanding this Principle, it is possible to get an idea of
the reason why man was created; he is the instrument used by God to
create the material of the Universe with his thoughts. The Supreme
Creator uses man's brain to
create life. Within this process of creation we can distinguish two
1. Man, God of his own Universe
2. Man, the organ of the creation of life (the sexuality of God?)
In the first stage, sapiens imagines an entire Universe within his
thoughts, a process astonishingly similar to creation by divinity.
It should be asked if in this Universe imagined by sapiens, there
are not also planets, galaxies, vegetables, minerals, and even
ourselves on another dimensional scale.
In reality, that which is
infinitely great becomes confused with the infinitely small. We
cannot say when something will become so small as to disappear or so
large as to disintegrate. We truly believe there is an entire
Universe in the thought of each man, and for him this passes within
a second; for those who live in his imagination, millions of years
could have passed.
In the second stage, life created by man within his imagination and
existing within his mental Universe passes from this world to the
Universe of God, where man himself lives; that is, his material
density is similar to that of his creator.
It is possible that the same may happen to man, and that at a given
moment he may pass to another Universe higher than the one we know.
The understanding that all is illusion ("all is Maya"), can perturb
one who is not prepared for this truth, for in his own vulgar
interpretation he would have us believe that if all is illusion, it
is not worthwhile doing anything, because ultimately nothing has any
value if "all is nothing." This
error should not be committed. It stems from placing oneself on the
level of an observer existing outside of this Universe.
The spiritual betterment promised by Hermeticism consists of the
development, strengthening, growth, and evolution of the divine part
of sapiens—what is usually called the Spirit. This essential part is
developed at the expense of the oneiric (illusory) and thus sapiens
can be converted into a mutant; an individual whose center of
gravity shifts from the illusory to the absolute existing within
himself (his own spirit, which is an emanation of God).
profound change enables the individual to gradually begin to
understand the truth and finally reach the knowledge of absolute
truth, which is immutable, immortal, and eternal, and which does not
suffer change as time goes by because it is beyond time. In the end,
only absolute truth is completely truthful, as relativity can only
encircle a small section of the absolute. It is due to this that Hermeticism, as proclaimed by the Kybalion, speaks of the wise and
the semi wise.
These latter are those who are limited to having
knowledge of the illusory world of Maya, the world imagined by the
Great Creator, without ever ascending to the original source of all
that exists. They are a species of sages from the world of phantoms,
the oneiric world. The true Hermetic sage becomes polarized within
the essential part of himself, and then his spirit manifests through
his own brain. He avoids the world of oneiric fantasy in order to
penetrate into the level of the Great Thinker, where the absolute
This explains why personality, the means of adapting to the illusory
in order to become blind in reference to its inherent nature,
impedes the individual's higher spiritual
development by blocking his contact with reality. Generally, the
more programmed a person is, the more difficult it will be for him
to elevate himself to the knowledge of the world of the absolute.
THE PRINCIPLE OF CORRESPONDENCE
The Principle of Correspondence states:
"As above, so below; as
below, so above."
This Hermetic Principle refers to the similarity between the various
vibratory planes or classifications that exist within the
arrangement of the Universe. The great scale of life runs from
matter to spirit, existing in the midst of an infinite vibratory
scale. Within this range, the same laws acting on density, for
example, also act on that which is spiritual or subtle.
There is a
correspondence or similarity among all cosmic phenomena, and the
study of this analogy enables one to reach the unknown commencing
from what is known. For example, astrology is based on the
supposition that man is a microcosm and he has inside himself an
analogous replica of the Universe, and that by means of this basic
outline, we are joined to the planets of our solar system and are
influenced by them.
The chart of the horoscope endeavors to reach
the design of our internal vital structure by means of the Law of
Correspondence. The planets manifest their influence through the
different parts of our body with which they correspond. We know that
Aries corresponds to the head and Pisces to the feet, and there is a
sympathetic connection between the zodiacal sign, its ruling planet,
and the area of the body dominated by it.
A talisman is an object
through which a magnetic relationship can be established between
the individual to be protected and the corresponding cosmic force.
The Cosmos influences man with its energy, but at the same time, is
also influenced by man.
Here is a principle of feedback, whose exact dimensions we cannot
visualize. It is said that if a person throws a pebble into a lake,
this simple act will some day influence the boundaries of the
Universe in some way. Universal unity exists in the sense that all
is united to all; we cannot separate ourselves from people or from
our environment. You, the reader, are joined by an invisible thread
to each inhabitant of our planet and to all beings that exist in the
If you hate someone, you are destroying yourself. If you
wish to wreak revenge on someone, that force you set in motion will
eventually fall upon you. Let us remember the Christian principles
based on pure Hermeticism: "Do unto others what you would have them
do unto you" or, "Love one another." This Principle of
Correspondence is explained by the fact that "All is Mind; The
Universe is Mental." Mind energy is the common nexus of all that
As there is external correspondence (with that which is external),
this also exists within our body, and also in relation to the
opposite sex. Let us observe the likeness between the tonsils and
testicles or ovaries, between the spermatozoon and the medulla
oblongata in the brain, or the relation between this latter and the
sex. In this case, the loss of sexual sensitivity is often derived
from increased intellectual sensitivity and vice versa.
shown by an insatiable sexual appetite or lechery, which generally
leads to a deterioration of intelligence. With respect to the
opposite sex, we can see that the penis corresponds to the clitoris
and the uterus to the prostate.
Sympathetic magic is the art of establishing artificial
correspondence between a person and a wax figure, talisman, plant,
or any other object. In this way, the influence received by the wax
doll will finally be directed toward the individual who has served
as the model. Based on the same principle, an individual can enter
into correspondence with a tree or a plant, and transfer his own
illness to them, being thus equivalently healed.
Acupuncture shows us a case of the advantageous use of corporeal
equivalences, where through stimulation on the lobe of the ear, a
headache may be cured. At first, it is very difficult to believe
that there can be any relationship between the lobe of the ear and
the head, but concrete experience has proven that there is. It is
possible by means of the needles used in acupuncture to cure many
ailments or to lessen pain—all this by correspondence.
The study of the Hermetic aphorism "As above, so below; as below, so
above" is of extreme interest, as this explains the bonds of
reciprocal influence which exist between an individual and
terrestrial and celestial Nature. The environment, radiating its
forces upon us, brings about changes inside us and in the events
which occur to us daily.
On the other hand, our psychological
condition and our mental state are projected toward Nature, and as
a consequence of this, fortunate or tragic events may occur in our
lives. This Hermetic aphorism has great practical value, which will
be revealed only to the zealous student.
We will give some examples:
1. An individual keeps his room untidy and in complete disorder.
This material fact of a physical nature immediately
reflects upon the individual's psyche, and he is intellectually and
emotionally converted into a replica of the physical conditions he
maintains. His psyche will be the likeness of his room and vice
2. The same individual from the above example spends a whole day
scrupulously cleaning and tidying his room. As a consequence of
this, he experiences a careful cleaning of his psyche and feels
extraordinarily happy, "light," and comfortable.
3. An individual who is bitter and negative habitually meets people
who instinctively reject him, and without any rea son whatsoever
they may end up hating him.
4. A woman believes she is ugly and feels unattractive. Al though
she is really "fascinating," her mental attitude repels the opposite
Further explanation of these cases is not necessary.
Within the context of this important theme of the Principle of
Correspondence, we will take a close look at the relationship
between legal acts to which the individual is subject and the
concomitant dependence and lack of freedom, which takes place on
the plane of energy. To illustrate this, let us suppose that a wife
is not in harmony with her husband and they separate, but are not
Thus she is still firmly joined to her husband, and if he
is a negative individual who wishes evil to befall her, this woman
cannot become detached from these forces; she will continue to receive
them and they will surely continue to harm her even after ten years
apart from her mate. What is the reason for this?
The cause resides
in the aphorism "As above, so below; as below, so above," because
while there is a legal contract between both spouses, they still are in reality indissolubly joined so
long as the contract is legally binding. The laws of men project
their influence into the world of energy which we shall call the
"astral plane," "mental plane," or "fourth dimension" in order to
designate a place where the vibrations are much more subtle than
the material ones.
What occurred in the previous example also
happens to ordinary people who are joined by a contract forming a
legal entity, as in the case of a corporation. While the articles of
incorporation are in force, the partners will remain united and
each one will have some effect on the life of the rest, either
positively or negatively, and in turn will also receive from them a
force which will determine the important events in their lives. Thus
there is danger in uniting our lives with those persons affected by
heavy or negative Karma, which, in the case of a legal tie, will
inevitably fall upon us.
Through this Principle of Correspondence it is possible to
understand how immensely cruel it is to condemn a felon to life
imprisonment. As a result of a law of sapiens, this individual will
remain a prisoner indefinitely or permanently even after his death.
Life imprisonment basically means prison after death.
Those in this situation should not despair, and I wish to counsel
them to practice a kind of mental defense to attain freedom upon
death. This "way out" as we could call it, consists of repeating
the following prayer every day: "I free myself from the laws of man
and deliver myself into the hands of divine justice." In order for
this formula to be effective and for the individual to truly become
free, it is important that he should deeply feel what he is saying.
this is repeated mechanically, it will surely fail. It is different
when a prisoner is condemned to capital punishment, as in this case
death frees him.
We must also mention the enormous importance of astronomical
discoveries or observations for sapiens. If any individual should
discover a new star through his telescope and this star emits subtle
energy of a destructive nature (all bodies emit energy which might
be called "mass energy"), these forces will reach our planet in a
very intense form, as a mental channel has been created for them.
The temples of ancient Egypt were constructed so that during certain
times of the year a person, looking toward the sky through a
precisely situated opening, would see a specific star known to the
constructors, with which the subject would try to establish mental
contact in order to receive a positive influence from it.
It is also necessary to mention that this teaching of the seven
Hermetic Keys is basic, so that the student will discover himself
what remains hidden or what may be read between the lines.
I wish to conclude this commentary on the Principle of
Correspondence by honoring the memory of the extraordinary
Egyptians, who possessed great Hermetic knowledge before their
decline. Both laymen and ignorant archeologists have always
commented that in ancient Egypt people were so backward that they
worshipped animal Gods, which was considered the height of moral
decadence. As far as we are concerned, this was the manifestation of
ancient Hermetic wisdom.
To explain: the Egyptians had animal Gods,
not to be worshipped by them, but by the ordinary animals (those
not set up as Gods). The object of creating animal Gods was to
maintain the purity and elevation of the human race. These "magical"
methods were used to prevent animals from penetrating into the human
scale, from being incarnated as sapiens. In the chapter "The
Illusion of True Knowledge," we dealt with the incarnation of
consciousness which relates to this subject.
Upon receiving the
irradiation of man's consciousness, animals partly assimilate the
energy of the divine spark or magical fire, which then enables them
to enter into the human scale for the first time after they die as
animals. This occurs primarily with domestic animals or those which
for any special reason are constantly in contact with man, such as a
circus dog, for example, as he is exposed closely to human
I must pause for a moment to imagine the ironic smiles of those who
believe that certainly the writer of this book suffers from some
mental disorder. I think I understand them perfectly well, because
if I had not had the opportunity of verifying the absolute truth of
Hermetic science to my satisfaction, or if I was a neophyte in
these matters and was reading this book, I would think as they do.
On the other hand, if unbelieving readers could change places with
me for a few minutes by means of a magical transmigration, they
would completely agree with me. It is necessary to live the Hermetic
experience to confirm what has been learned intellectually. I also
feel obliged to state that in Hermeticism one does not believe or
disbelieve; one simply understands or does not understand.
We continue with the explanation of the animal Gods. When an animal
incarnates as a human being for the first
time, it will be like an individual on a very inferior level, with
very strong animal instincts, and will certainly cause great harm to
society. It will either become a delinquent or an immoral pervert as
it lacks adequate restraints on its instincts. This
animal individual must very gradually rise in level throughout many
reincarnations. It must be understood that if many animals are
converted into the sapiens species, humanity will face a serious
crisis, and this is precisely what is occurring now.
By means of ritual magic, the Egyptian priests sacrificed and
mummified a dog, for example, and buried it in a secret place. This
dog received a name and was anointed as "God of the dogs" at the
moment of its death. Thus, this animal was converted into the occult
guardian, which prevented dogs from entering into the human scale,
and it had been specially prepared for this. We reserve the complete
and profound explanation of this magical operation, which would
only serve to satisfy the curiosity of the unversed.
We must add that man can never reincarnate as an animal, and that
not everyone reincarnates, but this is a separate subject.
THE PRINCIPLE OF VIBRATION
The Principle of Vibration states:
"Nothing rests; everything moves;
This law indicates that everything in the Universe vibrates and
that nothing remains stationary. Matter, energy, and spirit are only
the result of different vibratory states.
The spirit represents the extreme pole of the fastest vibrations
whose frequency is so high that it appears to be
absolutely still. The other pole is formed by extremely dense
matter. Hermeticism states that between both poles there are
millions and millions of different intensities and modes of
vibration. We know that the molecules comprising matter are in
constant vibration, and that in turn, the atoms forming them are
also in constant motion and vibration. In their turn, the electrons
and protons are also vibrating rapidly.
Without any fear of error, we can affirm that there is nothing in
the Universe that is not "mental matter vibrating at different
frequencies." Light, heat, magnetism, and electricity are only
different vibratory modes. That mysterious plane known as the
"fourth dimension" is only a vibratory state of high frequency. If a
person could make his physical body vibrate at a very high
frequency—let us call this frequency X—he would physically
penetrate into the world of the fourth dimension.
is not any such remote possibility that interests us, but only the
control of our own vibrations. Our thoughts, emotions, desires, or
impulses are only vibratory states. Our physical body is an assembly
of systems, which vibrate at the same frequency, and health is only
the harmonious vibration of the body. Illness is disharmony, and
death is the rupture of the vibratory cohesion of the biological
systems. In our personal life, everything revolves around
vibration; if we are happy it is due to a positive vibration,
sadness is due to a negative vibration.
Our thoughts will make us
more or less intelligent according to our mental vibration. Each
person has a mental wavelength of his own, according to the
vibratory frequency of his intelligence; the shorter the mental
wave, the more intelligent the individual and vice versa.
The difficulty some people have in communicating comes from their
different mental wavelengths. When their vibratory frequencies do
not coincide, mutual understanding is impeded. If we wish to
communicate with an individual and have him really understand us, we
must make an effort to adapt our mental wave to his vibratory state
in order to establish perfect affinity. This explains the surprising
differences between two persons who normally understand each other
well; one of them will have notably varied his mental wavelength,
either by lengthening or shortening it, leaving the other person
"out of frequency," just as if he tried to tune in to a certain
radio station on a wrong frequency.
There are different reasons for vibratory drops in people. Health
problems, depressive states, inertia, internal conflicts, and
intellectual apathy are some of the principal causes. In the case of
those individuals who permanently have a very long wavelength (of
low frequency), this is caused by the individual's lack of
The environment is also a very powerful influence on people's
vibrations, as we live within an ocean of vibrations that constantly
have an impact upon us, awakening similar forces within us. The
cosmic and terrestrial space which surrounds us is saturated with
vibrations, and they have an important influence on people. One can
sense in the inhabitants of a city, for example, either a positive
or negative vibratory atmosphere, and the same thing can occur with
a visit to a family home where we will immediately feel a warm and
positive atmosphere or a force which repels us.
What takes place in
our homes is that the vibratory radiation
of those who live there penetrates the physical structure,
impregnating it with positive or negative energy easily sensed by
the visitors. Thus, there are homes, which awaken in visitors an
intolerable sadness, or in some cases, visitors feel a profound
depression or even suicidal tendencies.
We receive the psychic states of those who live or work in these
places. The behavioral habits, the emotional states, the habitual
thoughts, and the moral and spiritual standards of the individual
determine the goodness or unsuitability of his vibratory state,
which in turn decisively influences his daily life. Family and human
groups in general are made up of whirlpools of energy which are felt
by those coming into contact with them.
Vibrations accumulate within
the individual, that is, he collects good or evil vibrations, and
there are times when he is a veritable time bomb due to the latent
forces within him. These forces are either destructive or creative,
and under the influence of an adequate detonator, will violently
explode, producing either favorable or negative events.
This force has the characteristic of greatly affecting anyone who
comes into contact with a person whose vibrations are intense, the
result being that one can be contaminated by what the "sender"
feels. This is especially true when a "sender" shares his troubles
with another and then feels great relief while the listener becomes
depressed. Perhaps the most vulnerable persons are those in
professions such as psychiatry, who are damaged or tainted by
contact with their patients' mental scars.
Those places where base passions are let loose, such as
bars or brothels, are the center of base and negative vibrations,
which noticeably harm those who frequent them.
Any man who wishes to be successful in his personal objectives or
who wishes to increase his capacity to accomplish things, either
spiritually or materially must, through self-discipline, raise his
vibrations in order not to be affected by what is called "bad luck"
It is necessary to practice strict mental hygiene in order not to be
affected by elements in the atmosphere surrounding us. There are
strong negative forces actually capable of killing a person because
their tone or basic note is destructive and capable of causing
disintegration. We know there are sounds (vibrations) which can
destroy the cohesion of matter (infrasonic) or which can produce
medicinal healing (ultrasonic). The power of the laser is well known
(vibration), its light can pierce the hardest material.
Sapiens unconsciously seeks a remedy for his vibratory disharmony
and resorts to good music, which reestablishes his internal
equilibrium. Nevertheless, there are musical rhythms so inharmonious
that they create negative states within people. The sound of certain
instruments have cadences that under certain conditions cause deep
sadness, as is the case of the "quena," a type of indigenous flute.
We also know the pernicious effect of sounds which exceed certain
decibel levels and which provoke considerable nervous fatigue
causing loss of both manual and intellectual efficiency.
The vibration of the spoken word also has a powerful effect on
listeners, either beneficial or harmful. There are those with great
personal charm, but whose voices, although not disagreeable, are
repellent. This depends on the result of the
impact of sonic oscillations. If this impact is harmonious with
ours, we will feel affection and liking, and vice versa. People are
not aware that they are received either well or badly according to
It is easy to verify the influence of an individual's oscillatory
energy. There is a very simple experiment, which consists of having
two groups of indoor plants which must be put in separate places.
One group of plants should be spoken to every day as if they were
human beings and given thoughts of love, friendship, and fortitude.
The other group should be abandoned to chance. As the days go by, it
will be seen that the plants spoken to and given positive attention
become very beautiful and grow faster, although they have the same
earth, light, and water as the others.
Another very simple experiment is to test the inductive power of our
vibrations on people. For this, it is necessary to contact someone
who does not like us. After overcoming the feeling of repulsion this
person provokes in us, we must make an effort to feel deep sympathy
and cordiality for him. After a short time we will see a radical
change in him and he will come to feel very friendly toward us. Many
times it is we ourselves who cause rejection due to our hostility
Through the Principle of Vibration, it is possible to understand
that curses really exist but have nothing supernatural about them;
they are only the condensation and projection of powerfully
destructive vibrations. The same phenomenon exists with blessings,
but acts inversely.
When a couple who are lovers speak words of love, the pleasure
experienced is not only due to the knowledge that
they are loved, but also to the vibratory influence of the words.
If we reflect on this, it is possible to conceive of the existence
of magical words, which are only the combination of letters that
produce oscillatory phenomena. The traditional karate shout (kiai),
for example, was originally conceived in order to effectively
paralyze the adversary. It had to be emitted in a certain tone and
frequency, because if it was not, it would have no effect.
The attentive student who meditates on the Principle of Vibration
will be able to understand things of great importance; the one
without eyes to see or ears to hear will remain on the threshold of
THE PRINCIPLE OF POLARITY
The Principle of Polarity states:
"Everything is dual; everything
has two 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."
This principle involves the teaching that unity as such does not
exist in the Universe because everything is dual; everything has two
faces or opposite poles. The most profound secrets of life are
hidden behind this simple fact, as it is polarity which maintains
the rhythm of life. If there were no opposite poles, life would not
The basic point to be understood in the study of
polarity is the fact that opposites are always present in the same
element; this law can never be applied to different elements.
Temperature has two extremes, cold and heat, but one cannot speak of
pole of temperature in relation to the negative pole of
electricity. The Principle of Polarity works along a vibratory
scale of degrees in which a strength is manifested, a gradation
which goes from the positive to the negative.
Thus, light and darkness represent two extremes of the same thing;
in one case there is the presence of light and in the other, the
lack of it. Love and hate are opposite poles of the same thing, that
is, the human feeling of attraction and repulsion. Spirit and matter
are the same thing, but are manifested in opposite vibrations. The
same is true with life and death and good and evil.
It is necessary to note that in these terms there is no absolute,
as no one can state what is absolute cold or heat, for example. We
simply speak of more or less of a quantity of something at a given
moment. Thus, undoubtedly, we could say that "love is less hate than
no love." And "fear is less bravery than pure bravery." The two
poles can always be classified as positive and negative, and their
difference is just a question of degree.
This is why Hermeticism
upholds the feasibility of mental transmutation, that is, of
transforming something into its opposite. Hate may be transmuted
into love, poverty into riches, cowardice into bravery, and
ignorance into wisdom, by means of sliding along the scale of
polarity. There is always an extreme positive and an extreme
negative, the positive pole being of a higher nature than the
negative. Courage is positive with respect to fear; light with
respect to darkness; love with respect to hate.
The Hermeticist, acting as a true scientist of the mind, can raise
his internal vibrations at will and transmute negative into
According to The Kybalion, "the undesirable is slain by changing its
polarity." Illness can be converted to health by changing its
polarity through the power of the mind, which polarizes at the
extreme opposite of what it is trying to overcome. Logically, it is
only possible to transmute opposites of the same thing, as it would
not be possible, in any way, to transmute a pear into a peach. On
the other hand, it is possible to transform a green pear into a
In occultism there is a well-known symbol found in ancient esoteric
books—the snake biting its own tail. Specifically, this represents
polarity, in which the two extremes are perpetually attracted and
seek to devour each other, although this never occurs. Vacuum
attracts plenitude, innocence and experience are mutually absorbed.
Under this principle the existence of an accessible truth to sapiens
in his habitual condition of life is denied, and we maintain that
all truth is semi truth, and it is only possible to reach absolute
truth by raising oneself above the Principle of Polarity, beyond
opposites, to reach the world of causes. Naive people believe that
the time will come when good will triumph over evil in the world in
a definite manner. According to this principle, the victory of
either good or evil is impossible.
Good and evil represent the two
extremes of something and are therefore absolutely relative. If a
fox enters a chicken coop and devours a chicken, it is very bad for
the hen, but very good for the fox that is only following the
natural principle of staying alive. In reality, evil works for good
and good for evil. Life works for death, for from the moment one is
born, one starts to die. Death works for life, as all destruction is
a transformation, which creates a new form of life. What
would happen to the light if there was no darkness? Does not light
owe its existence to the fact that darkness exists?
Solely from the
evidence that something exists, we must immediately know that the
opposite is also a reality.
Due to polarity man and woman are attracted and try to fuse.
the law of the eternal serpent who constantly bites its own tail. It
is very interesting to analyze the aphorism that "extremes meet." If
we apply this to love, for example, we can verify that it is easier
to transform hate into love than to convert indifference into love.
As opposites meet, the distance is shorter from one extreme to
another than from the middle of the scale to an extreme pole.
speaking, we may say that the shortest distance from one point to
another is not a straight line, but a circle.
This circle represents the gradual scale which runs between two
poles, the positive represented by number one hundred and the
negative by zero. These figures are entirely arbitrary and for
demonstration purposes only. We maintain that it is easier to cross
the bridge from zero to one hundred than to go from fifty to one
The drawing shows this, as the distance is much shorter
than if we lay out the circumference of the circle as a straight
line. In our example, number fifty is the symbol of eternal
indecision and apathy, representing those who are lukewarm who have
no place in the kingdom of God. This explains the phenomenon of
conversion, when one individual changes his ideology for a
diametrically opposite one.
This secret may act as consolation to
those with serious problems; they are closer to success than they
may think, only mediocrity has no remedy. Hermeticism maintains that
indecision is more fatal than error; the reason for this is clear.
Those who are able to read between the lines and digest this
knowledge will derive great wisdom.
The ancient alchemists held that it is possible to transmute lead
into gold. In some cases this referred to a material act, and in
others it was symbolic. Gold is only one end of the scale of metals;
therefore, the alchemist changed the vibration and the polarization
of the lead until it was transformed into gold. When this refers to
the transformation of the internal metals into spiritual gold, the
example is equally valid.
Following the Principle of Mental Transmutation employed by advanced Hermeticists, we will make a brief sketch of the
mechanism that must be employed, although this will be useless in
the hands of those who have not first reached internal unification
under the command of a "Superior I." This subject will be covered
in subsequent pages.
We have already explained that there are many planes of vibration.
As regards the Principle of Mental Transmutation, for the sake of
simplicity we will speak of two basic planes: the superior world of
causes, and the lower world of effects, as shown in diagram 5.
The lower world of effects is the physical plane; the superior
world of causes is the plane of the emanation of life. The
Hermeticist, in order to accomplish a process of transmutation,
rises to the world of his "Superior I" and polarizes himself through
his mind in the pole opposite to the vibration he wishes to
destroy. Recall that "the undesirable is slain by changing its
This is equivalent to rising above the effects or
phenomena which the individual may
be suffering at a certain time. By this process, a vibration is
changed degree by degree until one reaches what is desired. Even
though this might seem easy in theory, in order to achieve this in
practice, a rigid discipline and the prior creation of a "Superior
I" is required; otherwise, this will never be more than just theory.
Recall the aphorism from The Kybalion which says, "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." In order to put mental or alchemical transmutation into
practice, it is first necessary to learn to change the polarity of
our own mind, as otherwise we will not be able to influence our
All processes of transmutation, whether it is an
attempt to change our internal world or the material world, is
always a mental operation, as All is Mind. It is very interesting
for the student to be able not only to change his own mental state,
but also that of other people who are suffering from negative or
destructive vibrations of any kind.
From the point of view of the analysis of daily problems, polarity
is a very useful key, as it enables people to appreciate the true
value of their conflicts or obstacles, without magnifying or
underestimating them. The Hermeticist will know, for example, that
if he finds himself temporarily in a distressing situation, it is
possible to change this gradually, polarizing toward the opposite,
until the other extreme is effectively reached. The time required
for this operation will depend on the importance of what is desired,
as everything has its gestation time in Nature. Something of little
importance will be accomplished very quickly; a much larger project will
take a longer time to bear fruit.
Let us keep before us the great Hermetic lesson that "the
undesirable is slain by changing its polarity." Meditating on this
will enable the student to reach great knowledge.
THE PRINCIPLE OF RHYTHM
The Principle of Rhythm states:
"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
This principle teaches us that everything is subject to rhythmic
oscillation, which is manifested between two poles. There is action
and reaction, an ebb and flow, an advance and retreat, a rise and
fall, and this is applicable to absolutely everything.
the planets, Nature, man, nations, and civilizations, all are born
to reach the heights and then to decline and be destroyed, thus
fulfilling the cycle of life. This ebb and flow is manifested in our
physical body, in our emotions, feelings, instincts, intelligence,
and even in the different vital situations in which we live. It
refers to our personal projects, our relationships with other
people, our contact with Nature, and in general, everything that
forms a part of our lives.
The symbol of the Principle of Rhythm is the pendulum. Its
oscillation explains the action of rhythm, whose measurement toward
the left is the same as that toward the right. On a practical note,
we could even call this law, "the Law of the Pendulum." Creation
occurs according to the pendulum; there is an emanation of The All,
and an absorption follows.
Emanation is the time of creation and absorption is the stage in
which The All reintegrates its energy in itself.
We can compare this to the cycle of human respiration. The Supreme
Being radiates his energy until it materializes into a physical
creation, and when this reaches the summit, its maximum degree of
materialization, it then starts the opposite oscillation of the
pendulum until it again reaches dematerialization or death, and the
divine creative energy is reintegrated into its original source. In
the same way, nations reach the summit of their power and then
Nothing escapes this law; it is an absolutely
inevitable process. It is not easy, however, to determine when a
human being, a civilization, or a strength has reached its zenith.
What we do know with certainty is that decay inevitably takes place.
The Principle of Rhythm together with that of Polarity, previously
mentioned, are the forces which maintain the process of life, as
life is always a force which moves alternatively and rhythmically
between two poles. If we had to define life and death, we would say
that life is the oscillation between two poles, and death the
polarization of the force at one extreme for a time which surpasses
the equilibrium of Nature.
This polarization can be negative or
positive. It is negative when both poles are too close together,
each one of them losing a great part of its intrinsic qualities. It
is positive when it is possible to consciously destroy an
undesirable vibration and the polarity is changed, polarizing in
the extreme opposite direction.
In the case of negative polarization due to a weakening of the
opposite poles, a decay of vital forces is produced
which may end in the fusion of the poles; this is equivalent to
death. The secret of life is thus revealed in a simple manner: it
is the constant maintenance of the tension between two poles.
Truthfully, we could say that when a child is born, the opposite
poles of his life are very far apart and therefore the tension
between them is great.
But as the child grows older, the opposites
begin to join, and life declines. In this case, the two poles are
the conscious and the subconscious, or we may also speak of the
individual himself and his environment. The constant impact between
man and environment (stimulus) slowly depolarizes him, draining his
By examining man's vital functions, we can verify that polarity and
rhythm control the organism in its most delicate processes, and that
illness is always a disturbance of the rhythm or polarity. The body
needs to maintain a constant state of equilibrium, and the loss of
this implies an abnormal condition. Science calls this equilibrium
homeostasis. Homeostasis has not been sufficiently studied, and it
is certain that if scientists would use the Principles of Rhythm and
Polarity, they would discover many new things.
The functions of the heart, breathing, sleeping, and alertness are
all governed by the law of the pendulum. Sleep, for example,
provides us with the necessary alternation in order to maintain our
equilibrium. We know that the lack of sleep provokes serious
disorders, as it destroys organic equilibrium.
For a long time the knowledge of "biorhythms" remained in the heart
of esoteric schools. This consists of the vital cycles which affect
the human being with a positive or negative alternation. Today this
knowledge has become
popular and there are even pocket calculators for determining this
action. Nevertheless, only three rhythms have been revealed.
The 24day masculine rhythm, with 12 positive days and 12 negative
The 28day feminine rhythm, with 14 positive days and 14 negative
The 33day intellectual rhythm, with 16½ positive days and 16½
The rhythms of 40day, 56day, 92day, and 276day cycles have not
yet been revealed to the masses.
The object of this book is not to supply instructions on biorhythms
which would require a separate volume. Therefore, we will only give
an extremely important tip for those who follow the indications of
biorhythms in their daily life. These people should keep a diary in
which they note all happy or unfortunate occurrences, in order to
determine which of the rhythms has a greater influence in their
lives, as this is something that is entirely personal.
Some individuals will be very affected by the negative in the 24day
rhythm, while others will feel the negative cycle of the 33day
One of the most important aspects of the Principle of Rhythm is the
fact that each person creates his own rhythmic state according to
the nature of his acts, which take on a rhythm of their own when
repeated several times. By virtue of these events being repeated
periodically in an individual's life, these events or acts occur
without his will. That is,
events do not happen because the individual wants them to, but on
the contrary, he will be incapable of neutralizing negative events.
We will briefly illustrate how a negative rhythm is born: a person
becomes the victim of a theft for example, and as it is not a very
large theft, he does not bother to file a follow-up complaint with
the authorities. As a consequence of this, a negative rhythm is
formed and this individual periodically suffers losses of an
economic nature, which doubtlessly will occur during planetary
positions similar to those that existed on the day the first theft
Another easily verifiable example concerns marital
fights, which end by creating a rhythm of disharmony that will
provoke the arising of new and more serious problems. It is thus
that rhythms of wealth or poverty are created, happiness or
misfortune, harmony or disharmony, and once they are in motion, it
is very difficult to neutralize them. It is well known that
misfortunes come in "waves" as the flowing of the tide; that is,
they occur rapidly without the individual having time to react. On
the other hand, there are also streaks of "good luck" during which a
person experiences a series of positive occurrences.
From this it is
deduced that the individual takes on a rhythm at a certain moment
for reasons not always easy to establish, and as long as that rhythm
does not change, the positive or negative tone will be maintained.
Unfortunately, there are individuals who take on a rhythm of
different calamities from an early age which are then repeated at
each oscillation of the pendulum.
This is generally very difficult
to neutralize, as the longer it lasts, its power of fluctuation
strengthens. Those marriages that live with the result of negative
would do well to abstain from having children until the pendulum
moves to the other extreme, as the child would be born with an
unfortunate rhythmic vibration, fulfilling the biblical aphorism
that the children will pay for the sins of their parents.
Habits are formed by a rhythm and when they are pernicious, they
can only be destroyed by the creation of a new rhythmic state of an
The Law of the Pendulum completes the knowledge of mental
transmutation, as it teaches us that it is possible to rise above
rhythmic oscillation by becoming polarized in the pole where one
desires to remain, thus avoiding being carried by the ebb and flow.
Sapiens is a slave to the oscillatory movement of the pendulum, and
if he is successful in anything, it is because his actions happen
to coincide with the movement of the pendulum purely by chance.
People are absolutely subjected to the Law of the Pendulum, whether
it be regarding their finances, health, work, vitality, or love, and
are like leaves in a storm, blown here and there without having any
idea of where the tide of life is taking them. On the other hand,
the Hermeticist can surmount this Principle of Rhythm, even though
he cannot annul it. With his will power he can rise to the superior
plane of causes and let the rhythmic oscillation flow beneath him.
What is called the "Law of Compensation" has much in common with the
Principle of Rhythm. Compensation means equilibrium or balancing,
which occurs when "the measure of the swing to the left determines
the measure of the swing to the right." This determines the amount
of things a person can possess, as the individual has, in quantity,
the exact proportion of what he is lacking. It is thus that
a man who is rich lacks other advantages given to the poor.
know the saying, "lucky in cards, unlucky in love" or vice versa.
This aphorism indicates something about the idea we are discussing.
As we have already covered this point, it is therefore interesting
to state that absolutely all human beings are born with the same
quantity or margin of things they may have; the only variation is
Thus, let us say that we all have one hundred vital units (that
which we can in time possess) and one hundred negative units (that
which we lack). A rich man is one who has nullified the greater part
of his possibilities in order to concentrate his one hundred vital
units on making money. Love, spiritual sensitivity, family
happiness, or other things will certainly be among the things
lacking, or negative units.
Expressed in a different way, a man may
never have more than the symbolic one hundred, but this quantity can
be distributed among many things or concentrated on only two or
three. An even distribution results in a more balanced life, but a
life that will probably not be outstanding in any special way.
Concentration implies the sacrifice of many things.
Distribution of Vital Units
Riches: 45 units
Power: 20 units
Moral Nobility: 5 units
Love: 5 units
Intelligence: 10 units
Health: 10 units
Happiness: 5 units
Result: An individual who is rich and powerful, but very unhappy.
Distribution of Vital Units
Riches: 10 units
Power: 10 units
Love: 15 units
Friendship: 10 units
Moral Nobility: 15 units
Intelligence: 15 units
Health: 10 units
Happiness: 15 units
Result: A more balanced individual, with a richer life, filled with
These examples are absolutely arbitrary, and their only point is to
illustrate what occurs with the distribution or concentration of
vital units. The reader who is aware of this theory can set up
examples for different cases.
For example, we could map out the distribution of our muscular
capacity which we could entirely use up just by walking. Or, we
could walk, chop wood, swim, climb, and box, distributing our vital
energy into various areas. Similarly, we can use a fixed electrical
potential to supply one source of great power consumption, or divide
it among hundreds of ordinary bulbs.
According to the law of vital units, it is very interesting to
analyze what occurs when two people wed, thus sharing their vital
units. Or, in the case of a child's birth, this baby arrives with
its own one hundred vital units, which while under the parents'
care, increases "the family estate of vital units."
In conclusion, we would say that only those who are able
to rise above the Principle of Rhythm can consider themselves truly
THE PRINCIPLE OF CAUSE AND EFFECT
The Principle of Cause and Effect states:
"Every Cause has its
Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to
the Law; Chance is only a name for a Law not recognized; there are
many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law."
This law teaches us that nothing in the Universe happens by chance;
everything has a specific cause. What we call chance is only
something where its causes remain unknown. It is not possible that
something should exist apart from and beyond the laws, as this force
would be independent and superior to the Universe.
Applying the Law
of Rhythm to the Law of Cause and Effect, we could state that the
magnitude of an effect is always equivalent to the importance of the
cause which generated it. As we explained when discussing the
Principle of Polarity, there are two basic planes: that of causes
(superior) and that of effects (lower), and man in his daily life is
aware only of the latter. We live in the world of effects, and only
the Hermeticist has knowledge of the occult causes of events.
The most well-known manifestation of chance is what Hindus call
Karma, a word which we will use because it is the most adequate.
Karma endeavors to explain the relationship existing between events
currently happening to an individual and his actions in the past,
either in this life or in a previous one. Contrary to what is
believed, Karma is not always negative; there is also a positive
side of Karma, which is equivalent to our good deeds in the past.
The Law of Karma is intimately bound to reincarnation, a truth we
will leave aside for now.
Reincarnation is a very personal matter in which the individual
"feels" within him that it exists, and if he does not feel it, then
no argument will convince him. Furthermore, if it were possible to
produce proof, it would detract from the freedom of choice, as it
would pressure the individual; if an individual was convinced of the
truth of some occult phenomenon, he might enter an esoteric school
without genuine spiritual concern.
Nevertheless, in previous pages,
we suggested a method of intellectually conceiving what
reincarnation is: "a power which takes possession of matter." With
the experiment on indoor plants, we might realize that what we
really did was to "incarnate" a force in the vegetable matter which
survives the life of the plant and continues evolution indefinitely.
This is an analogy of what happens when "spiritual" energy
incarnates in an animal body, for when the animal dies, the spirit
continues incarnating in new bodies until completing an
evolutionary cycle in matter.
The Law of Cause and Effect gives us a rational explanation of the
apparent injustices in the world; we can understand why a child is
born crippled or dies at an early age; it is possible to realize why
some people with exquisite spiritual sensitivity live in poverty and
other true beasts swim in riches. This law clarifies the phenomenon
of child prodigies who show extraordinary musical potential from a
very young age, or the extraordinary possession of sudden wealth due
to a "stroke of luck."
We will shed further light on the reason why
an individual who works himself to
death never attains economic success and why, on the other hand,
fortune smiles on another who is habitually lazy. New light is thus
shed on historical events; we can understand how certain relevant
historical figures reached great power arising from nothing, as in
the case of Hitler. Certainly we do not know what cause placed him
in the position of power he occupied, for life is like an enormous
tapestry upon which history is woven stitch by stitch, and on which
all events are interwoven. This is the veil of Maya, which cannot be
penetrated by common mortals.
The action of Karma is one of the reasons why we maintain that "all
is written," as the present is always determined by our past acts.
Each person has a certain quantity of causes, which are held in
check for a period of time during his life, which forge the
individual's destiny as they materialize into effects. Only the
truly wise man can partially neutralize the effects of undesirable
We have already spoken of the Lords of Destiny or Archons who
govern the destiny of sapiens. In reality, they work with the Karma
of individuals, but from a collective point of view. It is the Karma
of humanity that they control and manage, and within this general
context they act as occult judges who reward or penalize the
actions of the human being.
The Principle of Cause and Effect acts parallel to this, that is,
the human being "punishes himself" with his own Karma; the Archons
plan and "stage" the action so the individual receives beneficial
lessons and can undergo important experiences.
There are people who in their past lives were extremely
rich and took advantage of the power of their money, and who in
their present lives are practically beggars in order that they may
themselves suffer the experiences of extreme poverty. He who had
murdered a fellow man will in turn die due to the direct or indirect
influence of his past action. The one who took advantage of love or
passion to enslave a woman will in this life be under the domination
of the female sex.
Occasionally a beggar will display terrible
arrogance and seem to despise the entire world, and this attitude
is not just simple psychological compensation, but has deeper roots.
Certainly this individual occupied a high position in his past
life, and as a result, his excessive pride survived the death of his
It can be debated that if we had lived previously in other bodies,
we would surely remember this, but this reasoning is infantile; when
the brain is destroyed, memory is erased. Nevertheless, instinctive
impulses derived from past experiences survive. For example, if an
individual had been condemned for theft in his previous incarnation,
he would in his present life be extremely honest, but compulsively
In the case of gambling we can see a direct action of the Archons of
Destiny, who choose which individuals will win the greatest prizes
and who will then have their lives entirely changed.
In the case of those who are already millionaires who win a
substantial prize, this will only increase or reinforce the events
previously decreed by the Lords of Destiny. Chance is only the
visible effect of a cause unknown to us. Generally, it is not
possible to establish all the causes which have provoked a certain
effect, as these are entwined one with
absolutely selfish manner. To help deceitful louts or ruffians could
eventually cause the destruction of a man who is valuable and
There is another aspect of great interest in what we are covering,
and this refers to the individual who commits a concealed theft,
enjoying ill-gotten gains or property he has not earned. This man
enters into a contract with Nature; someday he must return or pay
for what he stole. Therefore, if we are imprudent enough to help
this person, we will to a great extent be responsible for the
development of his life, and Nature will demand that we pay the
All that we need or desire belongs to the common pool of Nature,
which gives nothing, but sells us what we require, and it must
always be paid for. Nothing is gratis; we even have to pay for our
lives, for the moments of pleasure, for love, for serenity, for
knowledge, for power, and even for the air we breathe.
We do not
notice this, as we consider money as the only viable instrument of
payment. We are not aware that in cosmic commerce money has no
value, and other things are required, such as the "golden broth"
which we mentioned in previous chapters. To the "devil," for
example, one soul is more valuable than all the gold in the world.
The most important thing about the Law of Cause and Effect is that
the advanced Hermeticist can raise himself to the higher world of
causes by a prodigious effort of will. By polarizing himself on this
plane, he converts himself into a cause, and thus stops living the
effects which emanate from the higher plane. From the world of
causes, the Hermeticist can channel his life according to his own
planning, as he has the certainty that the causes placed into
movement by his
spiritual power will sooner or later materialize into concrete
THE PRINCIPLE OF GENDER
The Principle of Gender states:
"Gender is in everything;
everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender
manifests on all planes."
The seventh Hermetic Principle completes the knowledge of the laws
of Nature, showing us that gender is manifested in everything and
that the masculine and feminine forces are present in everything.
We must not make the mistake of confusing gender with sex, as sex
refers only to the structure of the genital organs and the
difference in adaptation between male and female.
Sex is one of the
many manifestations of the Principle of Gender and corresponds to
the physical plane, but as we are aware, there are many planes where
the Mind Principle exists, as does gender. Hermeticism maintains
that gender has an impelling nature, and that this nature acts even
in the atom, in which we find both the positive and the negative,
whose mutual influence creates energy. Instead of referring to
positive and negative poles, we can speak more appropriately of the
masculine and feminine, the generator and the conceiver. The
positive element of electricity is masculine, and the negative
element is feminine.
The feminine or negative is the womb of all electrical and magnetic
phenomena. The feminine energy seeks union with the masculine, and
absorbs from it that which is active, thus producing a new force.
Hermetic teaching also affirms that gravity is produced
by the attraction and repulsion of masculine and feminine
As stated in previous pages, analyzing our physical body, we will
discover that it possesses bipolarity. Thus, man is masculine from
the solar plexus down and feminine from this zone up to and
including the head, while with woman, the opposite is true. In this
manner we can observe that woman is cerebrally masculine, and man
cerebrally feminine. The principle of conception in man is in his
imagination, and in woman is in her uterus.
Within our bodies, the
right side is masculine or positive and the left side, negative; the
right cerebral hemisphere is positive and the left, negative. It is
possible, by means of the Principle of Gender, to understand the
hidden significance of the mystic or religious act of joining the
palms of the hands in prayer, which involves a process of generation
upon opposing positive and negative.
It is through the occult law that the student of Hermeticism can
create a new being, a mutant who will be conceived with superior
qualities of an acutely human being. There is no other real path for
spiritual evolution; all that does not involve using this secret is
pure fantasy, and from it only purely subjective results will be
From understanding this Law of Gender we can also realize how
deceptive it is to evade problems, difficulties, and obstacles,
considering them merely as hurdles, a waste of time, or irritating
situations. The Hermeticist must visualize problems as the negative
pole of life, that is, the force against which he must oppose his
positive generative energy in order to create what he desires.
understand this phenomenon we will achieve a completely new and
vision of the hurdles in our life, which will be nothing more than
the complement needed to develop our consciousness. Consciousness,
the precise quality we wish to attain, is the result of the
collision between inertia and our will power, directed by an
awakened intelligence. If this struggle between opposing forces did
not exist, Hermetic progress would not be possible, and neither
At this point we will reveal the great magic secret of mutation of
sapiens, or man of clay, into a Stellar Man. This transformation is
only possible if the subject enters into contact with a flesh and
blood Master who will be his spiritual Father. And who will the
The mother is the beast in the individual, that is, the
side of himself that is of a feminine or negative polarity,
spiritually speaking. It is thus that the initiate is a child of the
beast and the spiritual Master. The student who is facing a real
process of initiation (not symbolic) will find himself strongly
dragged by the pendulum in an oscillation which will suddenly bring
him closer to the Master, or to the beast.
There will be moments
when he will sense the overwhelming evidence of Hermeticism deep
within himself, feeling himself raised to high planes of awareness.
At other times, all will be darkness; the initiation will lose all
sense and purpose, and the student will believe himself submitted to
a cruel joke. Only the gradual stopping of this pendular movement
will enable him to reach the stability of conscious knowledge.
The Principle of Gender shows us that it is not possible for a
creation to exist without the presence of the father and mother
elements, and this is valid throughout the entire Universe,
including the process of initiation. This is the reason
why a solitary man, no matter how much theoretical knowledge he may
possess, can only reach subjective results because he lacks the
other generative pole.
This is why it is necessary to find a Master, and the significance
of this fact was stated previously. If a Master is not a mutant, he
is then a false master, but this term is relative. Although he may
be false in relation to that which is superior and optimum, he can
also be very true in relation to that which is inferior. Therefore,
it is necessary to clarify that although a Master is not a mutant,
he can be of great help for a student.
What he will not be able to
offer, in this case, will be knowledge of the absolute, nor could he
transmit the sacred flame, which according to fables was stolen
from heaven by Prometheus. This sacred flame is not an abstraction
or a symbol. It is a fact, and is the spiritual power symbolized in
the acronym INRI which appears over the head of Jesus Christ. Its
true Hermetic meaning is:
Inge Natura Renovatur Integral, but can
also be read as Jesus Nascente Renovatur Iao, or Igni Nitrus Roris
All these formulas were used by the early Rosicrucians
(unknown today) and they referred precisely to the divine fire, the
magic ferment of alchemists, which as we have already stated,
Nevertheless, one must not assume that it is sufficient to find a
Master in order to evolve. On the contrary, the disciple will
progress only to the extent that he himself handles the Principle of
Gender in a superior manner, because even though a positive or
active spiritual ferment is necessary, it is also nonetheless
indispensable that the student himself create a mental and etheric
being with the character and
qualities of the initiate. This is known as Theurgy, a secret
teaching we will study further on.
Continuing with the Principle of Gender, it is necessary to consider
the tremendous positive or negative influence that marriage can have
in a person's life. The influence is injurious when the union is so
inharmonious that it becomes dangerously destructive, and favorable
when there is true love and harmony.
The Hermetic concept of marriage is quite different from the common
one. It is not necessary for there to be a marriage contract to
give this union its name. We will explain this proceeding from the
opposite angle: there may be a couple (and this, unfortunately, is
frequent) who have entered into a legal and lawful marriage, but who
absolutely lack the aptitude for achieving what we could call a
matrimonial aura, and therefore they can be married for twenty years
without forming this aura.
The matrimonial aura is a hidden
offspring, a mental child of both mates; it is a closed positive
magnetic field which joins, harmonizes, and protects the couple,
making the marriage truly "established" or really formed, according
to the laws of Nature. It is not the laws of man which wed two
people; it is only Nature which joins or separates them, according
to prevailing conditions. The matrimonial aura is the true secret of
conjugal happiness and union.
When this does not exist, there is
nothing, no matter how many certificates have been issued by
competent authorities. Hermetically, only that which is joined by
the occult bond of the bipolar orb is a marriage, which is formed
solely by true and genuine love. Couples who lack this occult child of love are not married, they are joined solely by
passion, personal convenience, loneliness, or habit.
Religions which consider marriage something indestructible and
irreversible, binding the parties for life under the penalty of
serious sin, urgently need to modify that commandment, for this
approach means proceeding inversely, as the sapiens beast generally
does. This approach means trying to maintain the artificial union of
the family by an unnatural imposition instead of a clear and
beautiful manifestation of love. Is it not preferable to teach
people to truly love?
In truth, if a family is not joined by genuine
love, it is only a group of beasts who live together under
obligation or for convenience, a situation that relates to more
people than we would like. It is superfluous to say that happiness
is only possible in homes where there is a real marriage, for
otherwise there is only a poor imitation of an ideal situation, as
there is only one tie which will keep man and wife united in a true
way—love. The lack of it is the only thing that conspires against
the stability of the family.
We wish to conclude this brief study of gender, suggesting that the
reader try to discover for himself all that lies between the lines
and meditate deeply on this subject, as the most profound secrets
are revealed with this key. For our part, we are not interested in
revealing too much; only enough to provide the tools for the growth
and development of the initiate.
XI - THE
To bring about Hermetic realization, it is not enough to find a
Master, but it is necessary to have a disciple, a candidate who is
converted into a true student of the mysteries of life. It is not
that easy to find as people are used to the traditional concept of
education or learning which maintains that all the student needs to
do is study with perseverance to become a savant in a subject.
also believed that greater or lesser advancement depends on the
quantity of knowledge that the individual receives from his teacher
or from the school to which he belongs. In this way, if an
institution exhibits an inflated "program of Hermetic studies" or
"esoteric studies," the individual would feel very inclined to
believe he has found the right path. Again, it is necessary to
underline the enormous difference which exists between a study
program and an initiatic school. In a study program the individual
is there only to learn things, which may or may not be useful, which
may be real or subjective.
In any case, the individual will not obtain salvation (will not be
freed from the collective soul of the species), but in any event
will advance along his path of development, attaining the necessary
merit to continue his progress and perhaps become free in a future
In an initiatic school the disciple has an opportunity to reach true
evolution, to free himself from the collective soul of sapiens and
convert himself into an authentic mutant or Stellar Man. A person
who has been able to enter an initiatic school will need a series of
indicators or points of reference to become oriented in the work
accomplished there. Otherwise, he will become prematurely
disillusioned when he cannot understand the sense or contents of the
disciplines and instructions.
Perhaps the greatest obstacle a
student may encounter is the fact that it is useless to study
Hermetic theory, since his intellect is not sufficiently advanced to
unveil the mysteries presented to him. However intelligent an
individual may be, he will find that reason and logic are not
sufficient to understand the profound truth necessary to reach a
very high state of awareness in which his intellectual powers attain
We have already mentioned that a human being lives in a permanent
dreamlike state, interrupted only by slight sparks of awareness,
and although he appears to be awake during the day, he is in reality
a somnambulist with a very low state of alertness. Thus, sapiens'
reason and logic are intellectual instruments of oneiric fantasy.
This is very difficult to become aware of, because of natural
obstacles to self-observation presented by the subtleties of human
consciousness. For this reason, intelligence alone is not enough to
become aware of
events which take place in the world of waking reality. Thus, the
student cannot at first rely on the strength of his reasoning. The
student must learn to think with "another brain" so that "another
reasoning," superior to the ordinary, can be born within him.
can only be attained through true and not symbolic initiation. True
initiation induces profound and concrete changes in the student's
psychological structure. Initiation, however, is a painful and
difficult process, and will be successful only with the neophyte's
superhuman effort. This will be explained in more detail in
For the moment, we will limit ourselves to
describing the conditions which a disciple must possess, and the
internal and external obstacles he must overcome. In general terms,
the schools do not choose their disciples from among the most
intelligent candidates, but rather from those who have characteristics
which make them especially fit to face the specter of their own
bestiality, as in truth they must.
A good guide for selection would
be more or less the following:
1. To possess spiritual gold (internal content)
2. To be free from prejudices or be capable of overcoming them
3. To have consciousness of one's own insignificance
4. To ardently yearn for initiation (the complete process) as the
most important thing in life
5. To practice loyalty, dedication, constancy, and faithfulness
toward the School
6. To possess a flexible and agile intelligence
7. To harmonize oneself with the fundamental keynote of the School
8. To willingly comply with the instructions received
9. To be free from mental disturbances of a certain nature
We can appreciate how purity, the intellectual factor, professional
titles, or social position do not count for much. What is basically
sought is the individual's inner nature, and his capacity to
dedicate himself to a Hermetic task which lasts not only for all
this terrestrial life, but will furthermore determine his future
No true School wishes to waste its time with individuals
who "cheat," that is, who delude themselves in their yearning for
spiritual excellence and their firm determination to become
converted into superior beings. The Schools prefer to dedicate their
efforts to those who effectively maintain a constant line of action
in their work toward initiation. It is necessary to clarify that it
is only possible to become a disciple after a period of trial in the
An individual, however, may remain forever as a simple
student without ever becoming a disciple, because he does not have
the required aptitude for it. There is an "easy path" and a
"difficult path" which are the paths of the student and of the
disciple. Each has disadvantages and privileges, and therefore no
one, without an exhaustive analysis of the matter, can state that
"he will never be satisfied" until he becomes a disciple.
To explain these differences, we will compare both options:
Obligations: Very few. These specifically refer to living a life
following high moral and spiritual principles, and to practicing
kindness and brotherhood. Logically, the student must also comply
with the rules of the institution.
Tests to be passed: These are relatively simple, and do not demand
great effort to be passed successfully.
Attainments: Dominating and channeling of one's character,
overcoming complexes, inhibitions, and frustrations. Learning to
handle mental power in order to channel it toward the goal of
overcoming oneself or helping others. Knowledge of the mysteries of
life and the fundamental causes of all that exists. Preparation for
complete fulfillment in a future incarnation. In summary, the
student evolves to a great extent, but does not achieve Hermetic
death; he is not completely freed from the collective soul of
Obligations: Tremendous and difficult to accomplish. The disciple
must be willing to renounce his self during a certain period and
take an oath of absolute obedience to his instructor. He must be
willing to renounce everything, if this is required.
Tests to be passed: Very few individuals can endure them. In the
novel Zanoni, one of these tests is described: the meeting with the
specter on the threshold. Nevertheless, in real life this experience
is less spectacular than the description in Edward Bulwer Lytton's
novel, but more difficult due to its subtlety. The negative part of
Nature (which could be called Satan) reacts against the disciple,
who is faced with all kinds of negative reactions, as the powers of
darkness attempt to prevent his arrival at Olympus.
Attainments reached in the case of triumph in the tests: After
Hermetic death, the disciple is converted into a mutant or Stellar
Man, an individual who has reached the peak of evolution as a
terrestrial man, and who must start his evolution on a higher level.
He reaches the immortality of his essence through the practice of
conscious reincarnation, and crosses the veil of the Maya, reaching
absolute truth. He is beyond good and evil, beyond opposites, beyond
pleasure and pain; beyond happiness and misfortune; beyond life and
These are not symbolic achievements, but are absolutely real
and true. However, at this point the neophyte is impelled to ask a
series of questions. The neophyte will wonder if there is an attempt
to convert the initiate into a "Superman," an invincible and
indestructible being who cannot become ill or die, and who does not
need to eat or carry out normal biological functions. Many ask
themselves, for example, why Cagliostro died in prison, deducing
from this and from the countless hazards in his life that he was not
a true initiate.
For our part, we accept Cagliostro and the Count of
Saint Germain as two of the greatest Hermetic Masters who have ever
existed, and deny, at the same time, the alleged death of Cagliostro
in prison. Even if this had occurred, it would not in any way make
this great man any less brilliant.
Appearances are generally
deceptive, and Masters of the stature of a Cagliostro take great
care when they reveal their true purposes in order not to suffer
negative reactions from the human beast. In this case we can apply
the popular saying that "those who dine with the Devil should use a
long spoon." That is, those who intervene in worldly matters in
order to save sapiens from inconvenient situations or to ease
or improve their life conditions, end up being crucified by those
they have tried to help.
Continuing with the false concept of "Superman," we wish to ask the
reader to imagine how he would feel if he was Clark Kent, Superman
of American comics, the man who arrived from the planet Krypton. At
first this may seem very desirable, but after reflecting a while, it
is easy to understand what a terrible punishment it would be, to be
physically immortal and indestructible, illness proof, danger proof,
immune to any attack, able to resist desires of the heart or sex, to
be constantly and inflexibly virtuous and perfect.
If such a being
existed, he would truly be a creation of the devil, a mechanical
robot, a being absolutely inhuman and unhappy, and deserving of
great pity. We must remember that we learn from our failures and
not from our successes, and that we appreciate things only when we
are in danger of losing them. The spice of life is the lack of
knowledge about what the future holds for us, constantly facing the
danger of losing all we have or of failing to reach our desires.
Having everything and never losing anything would be unbearable and
The great Hermetic Masters are not free from danger, illness, or
death, and this is precisely what is most beautiful, sublime, and
human about their existence—the fact that being so powerful in their
fight for others, they are so reluctant to use their spiritual
strength for their own benefit. We know that Jesus refused to save
himself when faced with the threat of crucifixion, but this does not
mean that he was an impostor. On the contrary, it means that he
resignation and meekness the terrible ordeal imposed on him by his
The great Kabbalist Eliphas Levi said that "those men (the great
initiates) found it preferable to govern kings than to be kings
themselves." Is it possible to understand this? It is not difficult
to understand that a truly important man should prefer to pass
through life unnoticed, occupying a second-rate or third-rate
position, fleeing from the fame, riches, and honors which mortalize
The candidate for initiation must choose the easy or difficult
path, but it should be done impartially and consciously, considering
that if he chooses the path of the student, in the future he may
become a disciple. If he endeavors to turn himself prematurely into
a disciple, his failure may be so crushing and painful that he will
become irreversibly traumatized, and in this case must await
another opportunity in a future incarnation.
Whatever the choice, the student is faced with internal barriers
that he must be aware of in order to have a clear idea of what is
happening to him at a given moment. These barriers, among others,
are: vanity, pride, egotism, and self-sufficiency.
When the individual has a very high degree of self-importance, this
becomes the main barrier against facing Hermetic truth without
prejudice; he believes he knows everything and "is above these
tricks." Of course, he uses this or some similar rationalization out
of ignorance of the subject, as without doubt he has never before
been to a Hermetic School of Initiation, and without having lived
through this experience, he can have no opinion.
There are others
whose contact with a school has not been felicitous, and whose pride
has been seriously wounded as they were not able to overcome the
ordeals they faced. Torn apart by this feeling, and in order to save
their precious pride, they discredit the Teachings and the School,
alleging for some reason (which they always find) that the School is
deficient, useless, or dangerous.
Returning to the four main obstacles which face the candidate for
initiation, it is necessary to state that vanity is not only the
narcissism of the individual, but also refers to his hollow
knowledge—that knowledge which has neither content nor any truly
essential, profound, or transcendental significance.
pride require that a person should constantly appear before others
as having power, importance, or intelligence, which without doubt
he does not possess. Pride is an infantile endeavor to fight against
one's own weakness, assuming a strength one lacks. Egotism leads the
individual to believe that he is the center of the Universe, and
that all revolves around him. On the other hand, self-sufficiency is
only ignorance of what one does not know.
In summary, these defects make man exaggerate his own importance and
believe himself to be superior to common mortals, looking down on
all those who don't have his same educational level, social
standing, or economic status. Only the experience of day-to-day
living will eventually convince him that he is not as privileged as
he had thought. The real harm that this situation creates regarding
an individual's possibility of Hermetic evolution consists in his
unconscious rejection of all he hears, except when it comes from
people with an image, prestige, or fame superior to his own.
In reality there is no possibility that the candidate will
authentically face Hermeticism with his intelligence until he lives
the esoteric experience which Gurdjieff described as "the experience
of his own nothingness/' which is basically becoming aware of his
own impotence to escape from the general conditions which guide
This means realizing that it is not possible to attain
what one desires, because things turn out differently than we
expect, or simply do not occur, and moreover, undesirable events
also happen. It would be more to the point to state that what Gurdjieff called "our own nothingness" is, in truth, the practical
realization that one is absolutely programmed physically,
instinctively, emotionally, and intellectually; that it is
impossible to disrupt the program, as this cannot be destroyed or
modified in its fundamental and profound structures.
Thus, the more
important and inflated image a man has of himself, the less likely
it is that he will be able to understand Hermetic philosophy. The
program rejects Hermeticism, as it is not incorporated in cultural
community values, and if it were, people would blindly accept it.
But such acceptance would have no value, as people would not go
beyond imitation and superstition.
In other words, it is important
to genuinely and intrinsically recognize one's own smallness and
insignificance in order to take the first steps to initiation,
otherwise, it would not be the individual himself who would be a
student or disciple, but the "false being," the "mask," or the
"person," that is to say, the personality.
maintain that personality and the program are very similar, and as
long as the student is not able to raise himself above his own
personality, he will not come into
contact with his true being, let alone attain knowledge of the
truth. For the Hermeticist, "personality" has a "diabolic" sense, as
it is the mechanism which keeps the "essential I" dormant and a
At the beginning of his initiation, the student must endeavor to
transcend his cerebral programming, even for a few minutes, for it
will permit him to "see himself" to a certain extent. In order to
transcend his program, he must force himself to be as impersonal as
possible, leaving all previous concepts or ideas aside, as if he was
a living intelligence flying through the Universe, but without a
To be impersonal involves impartiality, peace,
freedom from fear, and a lack of faith and "anti-faith." There is
nothing more dangerous than those neophytes who are possessed with a
"holy faith" or those who are dominated by blind "anti-faith."
Neither can ever approach Hermeticism in a truly intelligent way.
It is necessary to insist that the neophyte must clearly understand
that if he approaches a school, it is not to be taught, since this
is not the function of initiatic schools; Hermeticism is a science
prohibited to Homo sapiens. He is admitted to the School only to
give him an opportunity to demonstrate the value of his internal
content, that is, the power of his latent spiritual force.
force does not exist, or is too scant, the individual is closer to
the animal. This would make the leap he is trying to take completely
impossible, due to the immensity of the abyss between the opposite
poles: animal and man. The degree of spiritual force required
indicates the magnitude of the distance an individual is from the
animal condition. The neophyte is placed under very special vital
conditions, and is given the tools necessary to enable him to raise
his state of consciousness and have access to knowledge.
knowledge is in the School, but is not made available in the same
manner as a science, a discipline, or any technique is taught; it is
the disciple who must grasp this basic knowledge, which is always
veiled. Thus it is necessary to "have eyes to see and ears to
hear." This grasping of knowledge will only be possible if the
student, with a supreme effort of consciousness, is able to
penetrate the veil of allegories, parables, comparisons, and
Only those who are guided by their spirit or "essential I"
will learn the truth. Those who are motivated solely by curiosity,
egotism, or purely passional interests cannot reach the light of
truth. This is fortunate, as there could be no greater curse than a
Stellar Man or Stellar Woman who is villainous, immoral, or
irresponsible; it is certain this cannot come to pass.
When sapiens shows his internal value, he is worthy of being helped
and prepared for his subsequent and planned mutation. Gradually,
Hermetic science will cease being a prohibited knowledge for him, as
he will be found worthy of the high honor of knowing the Universal
Summarizing, Hermetic knowledge is only for a small elite, but
anyone who is deeply moved by an authentic spiritual restlessness,
may form part of this elite. Furthermore, the populace does not
desire this knowledge; on the contrary, they despise it, confirming
Jesus' words, "do not throw pearls before swine."
There are many who were born swine, are happy in that state, and
will die swine.
It is practically certain that this Hermetic secret will
shock many people who would wish this knowledge to be freely given,
and who will see in its prohibition a sign of egotism or weakness.
Those who think this, should observe Nature, where abundance and
mediocrity are synonymous, as superior organisms are scarce and
appear only rarely and after a rigorous process of selection, as
they form the elite of the species.
Although the neophyte does not arrive at an initiatic school "to be
taught" as we have already stated, he must attend lectures or
instructional classes. How is one to understand this paradox? It is
very simple: instruction is not for teaching, but rather to destroy
the disciple's cerebral program to a certain extent, so he will
gather his own knowledge through a process of interior illumination.
The lectures are not to be memorized or "learned," but they are the
spiritual and intellectual ferment for the profound transformations
which must be produced within the student.
Nevertheless, for these changes to be effective, it is necessary to
know how to listen so that everything received during instruction
reaches one's reasoning faculty in an integral form, as sapiens
usually understands only what he wishes to, and rejects whatever
conflicts with his self-esteem, inferior passions, or personal