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Principles that govern the universe.

Mention the name 'Hermes,' and the more sophisticated urban Filipino woman will most likely associate it with a famous expensive brand of ladies' bags and leather goods.

The more intellectual type, however, will most likely equate Hermes with the ancient Greek messenger of the gods, called Mercury by the Romans. Although popularly known as the herald and messenger of the Olympian gods, Hermes was also the god of trade, wealth, luck, fertility and travel.

Hermes Trismegistus, which means 'Thrice Great Hermes,' is believed to be the author of the Emerald Tablet. He is identified later with the Ancient Egyptian God of Wisdom, Thoth.

Many Christian writers, including Augustine and Giordano Bruno, considered Hermes Trismegistus a wise pagan prophet who foresaw the coming of Christianity. The epithet 'thrice great' is believed to have been applied to Hermes because he knew the three parts of the wisdom of the whole universe, namely: alchemy, astrology and theurgy.

The Seven Hermetic Principles listed below are contained in the 'Kybalion Hermetic Philosophy,' originally published in 1908 under the pseudonym 'The Three Initiates,' claimed to contain the essence of the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus.

All is mind

1) The Principle of Mentalism says that the universe is mental. All is mind. Everything that happens is the result of a mental state which precedes it. For anything to exist, thoughts had to come first. For example, before the table and chair exist, they must first exist in the mind of the carpenter. And before the birds and trees exist, they must first exist in the mind of God.

2) The Principle of Correspondence is probably the most famous Hermetic principle, which says: 'As above, so below.' There is always a correspondence between the laws of the various planes of existence, a harmony which can be achieved among the different planes (i.e. physical, mental and spiritual).

3) The Principle of Vibration says that everything is in a state of flux or motion. Nothing is at rest. Everything moves, vibrates and circulates. Energy, mind and spirit are merely the result of different vibrations.

4) The Principle of Polarity embodies the idea that everything is duality. Everything has two poles, and everything has its opposite. To manifest on the physical plane, there must be polarity. Opposites are identical in nature, yet different in degree.

5) The Principle of Rhythm refers to the flow of things. In everything there is a measured to and from motion, like a pendulum. There is rhythm between every pair of opposites or poles.

6) The Principle of Cause and Effect means there's a cause for every effect. Nothing happens by chance. There is no such thing as coincidence. What we consider to be coincidence is merely the occurrence of two events which may have unknown series of causes in between. This is also known as the Law of Causality.

7) The Principle of Gender says everything manifests itself as male and female, as Yin and Yang, as 'animus' and 'anima,' to use Carl Jung's words. Gender exists in all planes of existence. There must be balance between these two forces.

It is said that a conscious and in-depth study and understanding of the Seven Hermetic Principles will enable a person to understand the secrets of life and the universe.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Nov 13, 2018
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