This post is a talk that was given at lodge in 2014 to the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis, also known as the Invisible College.
In studying the Monad and ancient mathematical symbols and the archetypes of creation, nature, art, science and architecture, I found an interesting idea. It seems that the first three symbolic symbols, which all numbers and shape, originated from, were being described by the seven Hermetic principles, the universal principles of all of life, in the book the Kybalion.
The ancient Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, Asian’s and the Persians understood how numbers were more than quantities and their geometric shapes were found throughout nature, that they were in fact, the building blocks of all creation. From the oldest drawings by humans depicting animals and nature, all of humanity in every age has shown reverence to nature by attempting to imitate it in art, architecture and science.
Today, we will only be going over two of the Hermetic principles found in the Kybalion, specifically, the Hermetic principles of THE ALL and Polarity, and for the sake of time, touching briefly upon the other five equally important principles. Any one of these Hermetic principles and how they relate to life could easily be a paper in themselves. I will be briefly discussing the Monad and Dyad, although the Triad and Tetrad play an equally important role in that of creation, according to Sacred Geometry.
The Kybalion states; The Hermetists believe and teach that THE ALL, “in itself,” is and must ever be UNKNOWABLE. They regard all the theories, guesses and speculations of the theologians and metaphysicians regarding the inner nature of THE ALL, as but the childish efforts of mortal minds to grasp the secret of the Infinite. Such efforts have always failed and will always fail, from the very nature of the task. One pursuing such inquiries travels around and around in the labyrinth of thought, until he is lost to all sane reasoning, action or conduct, and is utterly unfitted for the work of life. We will get back to this last sentence in a moment. (1)
The Monad, in Sacred Geometry is the ultimate symbol of all of creation, since all other shapes come from it and all numbers. The Monad also represents the number One. Some of the most intelligent people in history have written about the Monad, entire books, have been dedicated to it. Really studying this symbol is an amazing journey into many interesting fields of exploration, Sacred Geometry, Symbolic Math, Hermetics and its relation to nature, religion, art, architecture and science. (2)
If we represent the Hermetic idea of THE ALL as the Monad. We can understand why THE ALL and the Monad would both be Infinite and unknowable. The number pi (symbol: π) is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and is approximately equal to 3 to a series of never-ending numbers. The ratio and diameter of the circle is always Pi, an Infinite, unknowable number. It’s mathematically impossible to figure out Pi, although brilliant people have tried, no one has succeeded and many have gone mad trying.
Notice this sentence from the Kybalion, I mentioned before about trying to discover THE ALL; One pursuing such inquiries travels around and around in the labyrinth of thought, until he is lost to all sane reasoning, action or conduct, and is utterly unfitted for the work of life.(3) Traveling around is in a circle, which would mean trying to figure out something Infinite and without end, unknowable, Pi. This is why the Kybalion says THE ALL is unknowable, because I believe and it’s my opinion, the closer we come to the mind of THE ALL in human form, the more unstable we become. It is not within the human intellect to comprehend THE ALL, God, or whatever you want to call a Supreme Being of ALL Creation.
Therefore, humans creating and relating an image to God or the All is an attempt by the lower human mind to understand something that cannot be and will never be understood by the human mind. This is not really wrong. Swami Vivekananda said;
“From time to time, there have been reformers in every religion who have stood against all symbols and rituals. But vain has been their opposition, for so long as man will remain as he is, the vast majority will always want something concrete to hold on to, something around which, as it were, to place their ideas, something which will be the center of all the thought-forms in their minds. It is vain to preach against the use of symbols, and why should we preach against them? There is no reason why man should not use symbols. They have them in order to represent the ideas signified behind them. This universe is a symbol, in and through which we are trying to grasp the thing signified, which is beyond and behind. The spirit is the goal, and not matter. Forms, images, bells, candles, books, churches, temples and all holy symbols are very good, very helpful to the growing plant of spirituality, but thus far and no farther. In the test majority of cases, we find that the plant does not grow. It is very good to be born in a church, but it is very bad to die in a church. It is very good to be born within the limits of certain forms that help the little plant of spirituality, but if a man dies within the bounds of these forms, it shows that he has not grown, that there has been no development of the soul. If therefore, anyone says that symbols, rituals, and forms are to be kept forever, he is wrong; but if he says, that these symbols and rituals are a help to the growth of the soul, in its low and undeveloped state, he is right. But, you must not mistake this development of the soul as meaning anything intellectual. A man can be of gigantic intellect, yet spiritually he may be a baby. You can verify it this moment. All of you have been taught to believe in an Omnipresent God. Try to think of it. How few of you can have any idea of what omnipresence means!”
Dangerous Scientific Knowledge
There is an excellent documentary called; dangerous Knowledge, that looks at four brilliant mathematicians – Georg Cantor, Ludwig Boltzmann, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing – whose genius has profoundly affected us, but which tragically drove them insane and eventually led to them all committing suicide. Georg Cantor, believed he was God’s messenger and was eventually driven insane trying to prove his theories of infinity. Ludwig Boltzmann’s struggle to prove the existence of atoms and probability eventually drove him to suicide. Kurt Gödel, the introverted confidant of Einstein, proved that there would always be problems which were outside human logic. His life ended in a sanatorium where he starved himself to death. And finally, Alan Turing, the great Bletchley Park code breaker, father of computer science, died trying to prove that some things are fundamentally unprovable. All these Scientists were mathematically chasing Infinity. (4)
There is also a film called Pi, written and directed by Darren Aronofsky back in 1998. It’s in black and white and it’s about is a man whose obsessive pursuit of Pi leads to severely self-destructive behavior. I highly recommend watching this film and studying it metaphorically after reading this paper. (5)
The Kybalion states;
The first of the Seven Hermetic Principles is the Principle of Mentalism, the axiom of which is “THE ALL is Mind; the Universe is Mental,” which means that the Underlying Reality of the Universe is Mind; and the Universe itself is Mental—that is, “existing in the Mind of THE ALL.”(6)
Under and behind all outward appearances or manifestations, there must always be a Substantial Reality. This is the Law. Man considering the Universe, of which he is a unit, sees nothing but change in matter, forces, and mental states. He sees that nothing really IS, but that everything is BECOMING and CHANGING. Nothing stands still-everything is being born, growing, dying-the very instant a thing reaches its height, it begins to decline—the law of rhythm is in constant operation—there is no reality, enduring quality, fixity, or substantiality in anything— nothing is permanent but Change. (7)
“The Universe is Mental—held in the Mind of THE ALL.”—The Kybalion (8)
What came first, the circle or the dot? How are the circle and the dot, related?
How is it possible to get the dot inside the circle without breaking the circles diameter?
As stated before, the Monad in Sacred Geometry represents the number One. The number One in ancient mathematics cannot be cannot be added to itself, subtracted from itself, divided or multiplied by itself. The Monad therefore shows again, the same mathematical characteristic as THE ALL.
The Kybalion states;
Man CREATES MENTALLY! And in so doing he uses no outside materials, nor does he reproduce himself, and yet his Spirit pervades the Mental Creation.(9) Everything we see around us that we call reality came from a thought from THE ALL brought down to a Finite material level.
The point within the circle was the Egyptian, Chinese and Mayan symbol for “light.” (10)
In many myths, the universal creating process begins with an expansion from a divine center, like the very first Biblical command; “Let there be Light.” In Hindu mythology, the dimensionless Brahma speaks aloud the word aham, “I Am”, a word made of the first, middle, and final letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, which represents the circles three parts, the center, the radius, and the circumference, and our own spiritual center, psychological reaches, and outer material form. The opening compass represents the first manifestation of God’s light and the Brahma’s voice, illuminating and vibrating the universe into existence, as expanding states of self awareness, which we call, “nature.” (11)
When we look at these ideas, we can see how everything started from the thought of “I AM?” becoming “I AM which was followed by Light.
The Infinite and finite question we should be asking ourselves is, “I AM, what? If your definition is religious, political, family-oriented, cultural, gender or social, then look deeper within.
Principle of Polarity manifests when THE ALL begins to Create—hearken to it for it points the difference between half-wisdom and wisdom. (12)
When the Monad has thought the vesica piscis (Latin for “fish’s bladder”) is created . From this shape, a triangle, square, and pentagon can be produced. And the relationship between these figures justifies the existences of all further number and shape principles. (13)
We can see when the Monad creates the Vesica Piscis and balance is created. We can also see why in Latin is means “fish’s bladder” and it became the Christian fish symbol, many centuries later.
“THE ALL creates in its Infinite Mind countless Universes, which exist for aeons of Time—and yet, to THE ALL, the creation, development, decline and death of a million Universes is as the time of the twinkling of an eye.”—The Kybalion (14)
“The Infinite Mind of THE ALL is the womb of Universes.”—The Kybalion (15)
In the Vesica Piscis, we can see the womb of the Universes and if we add as horizontal line between the points and add diagonal line, we get the center point of the womb of the Universes and the Christian cross symbol.
You will notice that this center point within the Vesica Piscis is contained by the two center points of the Monad.
In my opinion, the Vesica Piscis becomes the Dyad and creates the Hermetic idea of Polarity. When I found this, I later thought about the idea that; the center point within the circle is Infinite because it is the line, without boundaries, never ending but when the line meets the centers of two Monads, Infinite thinks about Infinite and becomes contained Finite and Nature, thus Polarity is created. Both Monads are circles, therefore, as I have shown Infinite creating Infinite from thought.
The great Fourth Hermetic Principle—the Principle of Polarity embodies the truth that all manifested things have “two sides”; “two aspects”; “two poles”; a “pair of opposites,” with manifold degrees between the two extremes. (16)
On the Physical Plane, they illustrate the Principle by showing that Heat and Cold are identical in nature, the differences being merely a matter of degrees. (17)
Hot – Cold
What is hot or cold is really only a matter of our perspective, both hot and cold are the same thing.
There is no absolute standard-all is a matter of degree. There is no place on the thermometer where heat ceases and cold begins. It is all a matter of higher or lower vibrations. The very terms “high” and “low,” which we are compelled to use, are but poles of the same thing-the terms are relative. So with “East and West”—travel around the world in an eastward direction, and you reach a point which is called west at your starting point, and you return from that westward point. Travel far enough North, and you will find yourself traveling South, or vice versa. Light and Darkness are poles of the same thing, with many degrees between them. The musical scale is the same—starting with “C” you move upward until you reach another “C” and so on, the differences between the two ends of the board being the same, with many degrees between the two extremes.
Good and Bad are not absolute—we call one end of the scale Good and the other Bad, or one end Good and the other Evil, according to the use of the terms. (18)
And so it is on the Mental Plane. “Love and. Hate” are generally regarded as being things diametrically opposed to each other; entirely different; irreconcilable. But we apply the Principle of Polarity; we find that there is no such thing as Absolute Love or Absolute Hate, as distinguished from each other. The two are merely terms applied to the two poles of the same thing. Beginning at any point of the scale we find “more love,” or “less hate,” as we ascend the scale; and “more hate” or “less love” as we descend this being true no matter from what point, high or low, we may start.(19)
Therefore, what is good or bad, right or wrong, is only a matter of our perspective of life, which is based upon our environmental and cultural conditioning since we were children.
The key is to keep our personal awareness in life in a high thinking, high conscious state.
One of the main problems with the world today, is that many people are living most of their lives in a low thinking and low unconscious or low conscious and high not thinking states, living in a pre-environmental and cultural programmed automaton state. Therefore, they become easily caught up in the propaganda and distractions of the world around them.
Thinking and not-thinking are the same thing, so are conscious and unconscious, only separated by degrees of thought.
Today, many people say and think, I am God. According to Polarity Infinite and Finite are the same thing, only separated be degrees. So does polarity tell us we are a God?
The Kybalion states;
Do not make the mistake of supposing that the little world you see around you—the Earth, which is a mere grain of dust in the Universe—is the Universe itself. There are millions upon millions of such worlds, and greater. And there are millions of millions of such Universes in existence within the Infinite Mind of THE ALL. And even in our own little solar system there are regions and planes of life far higher than ours, and beings compared to which we earth-bound mortals are as the slimy life-forms that dwell on the ocean’s bed when compared to Man. There are beings with powers and attributes higher than Man has ever dreamed of the gods’ possessing. And yet these beings were once as you, and still lower—and you will be even as they, and still higher, in time, for such is the Destiny of Man as reported by the Illumined. (20)
When I have thought about these idea’s, I understood the dot as being an entire inward, internal universal Infinite pattern of the WHOLE, the circle, constantly creating universe after universe with a high archetypical purpose. We are just one of the universes, created by thought and since everything is created with the same thought, everything while appearing materially different is the same. The actual knowledge and purpose of creation is unknown and as we have seen, the closer approached the more unbalanced and insane we become.
To really understand the principle of Polarity, we need to understand Polarization.
The “Art of Polarization” becomes a phase of “Mental Alchemy” known and practiced by the ancient and modern Hermetic Masters. An understanding of the Principle will enable one to change his own Polarity, as well as that of others, if he will devote the time and study necessary to master the art.(21)
The highest response to anger is hate if left unbalanced. The Kybalion says; The Master of Hermetics polarizes himself at the point at which he desires to rest, and then neutralizes the Rhythmic swing of the pendulum which would tend to carry him to the other pole.
This Principle and that of Polarity have been closely studied by the Hermetists, and the methods of counteracting, neutralizing, and USING them form an important part of the Hermetic Mental Alchemy. (22)
When we feel a negative thought like anger, that is the time to act, before we react to it. I was once told; the best response to anything in life is to “think slowly and carefully and respond even slower.” When we polarize the negative emotion of anger and the high degrees of anger leading to hatred and move it to a state of happiness, we don’t have the physical, emotional and karma damage done by the anger and hatred.
Besides learning to use the fundamental principles of Mental Transmutation or Mental Alchemy, using the Hermetic Principle of Polarity and polarization, the principle of polarity has a much higher purpose.
The Kybalion states;
By an understanding of the practice of Polarization, the Hermetists rise to a higher plane of Causation and thus counter-balance the laws of the lower planes of Causation. By rising above the plane of ordinary Causes they become themselves, in a degree, Causes instead of being merely Caused. By being able to master their own moods and feelings, and by being able to neutralize Rhythm, as we have already explained, they are able to escape a great part of the operations of Cause and Effect on the ordinary plane. The masses of people are carried along, obedient to their environment; the wills and desires of others stronger than themselves; the effects of inherited tendencies; the suggestions of those about them; and other outward causes; which tend to move them about on the chess-board of life like mere pawns. (23)
Rising above these influencing causes, the advanced Hermetists seek a higher plane of mental action, and by dominating their moods, emotions, impulses and feelings, they create for themselves new characters, qualities and powers, by which they overcome their ordinary environment, and thus become practically players instead of mere Pawns.
The Master of Hermetics polarizes himself at the point at which he desires to rest, and then neutralizes the Rhythmic swing of the pendulum which would tend to carry him to the other pole.
What the Kybalion and ancient geometric shapes are telling us is that we can transmute our feelings, emotional states and passion at will. This would mean the ability of total self control.
“Rhythm may be neutralized by an application of the Art of Polarization.” —The Kybalion.(24)
By using polarization to neutralize the Hermetic Principle of Rhythm, we can use polarity to rise above the Rhythm and Vibration of the pendulum of life. Ugliness, beauty, hatred, love, peace, war, exists now and will always exist in our world because of polarity. The drama of life severely affects people and their ability to think.
Many people today think that life is tough and the world is changing in a negative way but fail to see that this is the principle of polarity in action and it has always been this way. We see how nature has been trying to balance our attempts to abuse and destroy it. The large natural disasters we are seeing are nature’s way of using polarization to bring back a balance of polarity. Many negative things we see happening to people and groups of people are karmically related. Whether we think something is just or unjust, it’s just our perspective based upon our pre-conditioned thinking. How can someone claim the world is unjust and unfair, it is only a persons perspective of the world, that makes it so. The more reactive we become to the drama of life, the more we lose our sense of direction and become unbalanced and as the Kybalion says; we then move about on the chess-board of life like mere pawns. We play the game of life being moved about this way and that way by stronger influences and powers and wills. We are used by the Principle of Cause and Effect, instead of using it and are slaves on the lower planes of life. We need to ask ourselves the real question; are we really living life by reacting to the negativity in it? What about karma? I don’t believe that God makes mistakes; therefore, everything has a purpose, no matter how cruel or horrible it is, it has a purpose. Remember, light and dark are the same things and in the Bible it states; I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (25)
There is a little circle within which human reason must move. It cannot go beyond. Every attempt to go beyond is impossible, yet it is beyond this circle of reason that there lies all that humanity holds most dear. All these questions, whether there is an immortal soul, whether there is a God, whether there is any supreme intelligence guiding this universe or not, are beyond the field of reason. Reason can never answer these questions. All our ethical theories, all our moral attitudes, all that is good and great in human nature, have been moulded upon answers that have come from beyond the circle.(26)
There is only One real Truth and it is deep within each of us. It is up to us to explore and know the Truth for ourselves, until we do this, all our knowledge and beliefs, are just the opinions and intellect of other people and their experiences.
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