The Seven Hermetic Principles (Laws), Part I

Meet Hermes Trismegistus

Hermes Trismegistus  is  something of a puzzle. What do we know of him? Was he a real person; a name for a collective; an Egyptian, Greek or Roman God; a secret password into the hidden mysteries of  the ages; or, perhaps, a bit of all of the above?

Trismegistus isn’t Hermes’ last name; it is an ancient Egyptian word meaning ‘thrice great.’ Before the time of Moses, histories tell of a great teacher, a contemporary of Abraham, living in Egypt. During this period Egypt was home to many teachers, masters and mystics. Temples of learning and secret wisdom were thriving throughout the land; these temples were visited by searchers from many countries, accounting for the threads of similar knowledge that run through the ancient teachings of India, China, Assyria, Greece and Rome. Some writings postulate that it was in this time and place that ‘The Hidden Wisdoms’ and Mystic Teachings were born, and that Hermes Trismegistus was the ‘Master of Masters,’ the greatest teacher of all.

What made the ‘thrice great’ so memorable? Why is his name, out of all the many teachers, masters and adepts of that period, the one most remembered? What did he leave to humanity?  A clue to that question is in another sobriquet for Hermes: ‘Scribe of the Gods.’

Hermes is credited with being the father of astrology. The title, ‘Scribe of the Gods,’ isn’t coming so much from the ‘what’ he did (astrology) as it is from the  ‘why and how’ he did it. To make astrology useful, it was necessary to identify the underlying concepts that make it ‘work.’  Hermes recognized that the entire universe is an interdependent organism and, as such, there had to be laws governing its existence. These laws could not be ascertained or proven through science at that time; yet they did exist, and Hermes was able to divine them. His greatness comes from revelation … the knowledge of God, of the world and of man.

In retrospect, looking at science, astrophysics, astronomy and astrology now, it is difficult to image a world without such scientific frames of reference. We could consider that an ingenious fellow looking up at the Egyptian night sky might see patterns, connections, geometry and want to know: How do the stars and planets hang there? How can this be understood and discussed? How can the intricacies, the relationships between time, space, matter, and God be explained? Thus, through revelation (scribing information from God), the ‘Scribe of the Gods’ developed a body of work in the form of astrology and, later, alchemy*. 

Hermes was able to identify, explain and master information unattainable and undiscerned through the science of his day. His Seven Universal Laws of the Material Universe were considered so powerful that they were hidden from all except those initiated into a secret society or wisdom school; hence the word hermetic, meaning completely sealed. Until the last century, his teachings have remained tightly locked away from those deemed unprepared to understand them.

In the 20th century humanity entered a spiritual renaissance. Hidden teachings and ancient wisdoms began to circulate in books and ‘truth‘ societies, and Hermes Trismegistus reappeared on the scene unsealed. Through the years his works in the form of secret writings, axioms and precepts have been compiled and published as The Kybalion.  The meaning of the title has been lost for centuries, but its content is alive and commanding.

*Hermetic Alchemy refers to the transmutation of lower vibrations into higher vibrations, rather than the mythical turning of base metal into gold.

The Kybalion by three Initiates is the major reference for the Hermetic teachings presented on SRi. The seven principles being presented here are only a small part of his revelations.


And so we begin with the first Principle, as stated from The Kybalion by Three Initiates:


“THE ALL is MIND;  the Universe is Mental [held in the Mind of THE ALL] …THE ALL is SPIRIT, which in itself is UNKNOWABLE and UNDEFINABLE, but which may be considered and thought of as AN UNIVERSAL, INFINITE, LIVING MIND.”

It is quite amazing when you consider that this principle was introduced in the days before Moses, and here we are today with quantum physics , the string theory and the unified field theory. Today’s great scientific ‘discoveries’ are proving this principle, that MIND FORMS MATTER. The material universe is a universe of Mind substance. This Mind substance permeates the entire cosmos, visible and invisible. When you align your mind to Mind substance and you put your mind to something, it materializes because your mind and the thing you are forming are the same substance. For example, H2O can appear as water, steam or ice … the same substance in different forms. In the universal sense, there are infinite possibilities because Mind is infinite.  The book by Rhonda Byrne and subsequent movie “The Secret” is basically employing this principle.  

On the face of it, this first principle of all being Divine Mind and we existing in a sea of Mind substance is deceptively simple.  Yet it is inescapable that as modern science uncovers ‘proof’ of the mental nature of our existence, we find ourselves both freed and imprisoned by our own minds and mind creations.

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