In an effort to distill the wisdoms found within old Hermetic axioms, we’re publishing a series of blog posts that dive into the theme of Hermetic Principles. We’ve shared about the Principle of Gender, and now we’ll cover the Principle of Polarity.
“Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.” ~The Kybalion.
Within this text, we find a designation of things as similar, if not identical, in their essence. Yet they differ in their expression, or rather, they are ‘different in degree’. What this is pointing to, is the similarity amongst what may feel like opposites.
There’s a kindred ‘sameness’ amongst two things that feel like they’re fundamentally different. Alas, they’re born of the same cloth, if you will. An example that is offered to explain this concept, is the notion of hot and cold. While, on one hand, someone may think these two are opposite, in reality, they are both temperatures. In their most fundamental definition, they are different degrees of the same thing; temperature.
The Middle Way
The principle of Polarity calls into view the notion of the middle way. There’s a path of reconciliation, of harmony, of balance and equilibrium. This is the path we are called to walk. What we can learn from this Principle is that there’s a gradual nature of how things slide along their spectrum of expression.
When we speak of temperature, for instance, we have varying degrees on the spectrum of cold to hot. Of course, there are incremental and gradual differentiations along the path from hot to cold. These gradual changes, especially closer to the center of this spectrum, are key to understanding the notion of equilibrium and balance. If we are able to understand, through the placement of both extremes on either end of the Polarity, we can then choose the centered route of neutrality and balance. Oftentimes, as you may come to realize, the path of the middle way is found through employing the Principle of Polarity to bring imbalance back into balance.
Now that we’ve gone over the basics around Hermetic Principles, it’s time we start diving into some of the specific Principles as reviewed in “The Kybalion”. For our second blog post within this series, we’ll discuss the Principle of Gender.
“Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes.”–The Kybalion.
When we speak about the principle of Gender, we may likely find ourselves navigating within the sensitive nature of gender identity. Above all else, we care that these conversations empower and uplift all. This is why this blog post will begin with that precise reminder; these teachings are designed to empower individuals to express themselves authentically in service toward the uniqueness we’re all designed to express in this world! Also, the purity of these teachings are important to maintain as they give us a solid foundation to orient ourselves when we are confused about where to go next. In this way, we can ensure that all folks stay empowered as creators of their reality.
Humans are born as two different genders, male and female, as so proven by biology and that the science of this is accurate. Of course, each individual has the freedom to express themselves as whatever (i.e. gender, sexual orientation, etc.) or whoever brings them the most joy. However, the foundational physicality or starting point is that we are all born either male or female and that there are real differences in that foundation. If you go for gender reassignment surgery, the first thing the doctor needs to know is where s/he is starting from. Hermetics creates this clarity.
What we seek to bridge is the gap that is sometimes found between our physical reality, and our mental thoughts around it. This gap, which forms a disconnection from our physical reality, can create undue stress and mental health issues. In order to stay balanced in our creative capacities and in order to achieve self-mastery, it would behoove us to understand the Principle of Gender.
Masculine & Feminine Differentiation
What we are speaking of, in this regard, are the components necessary for creation. In order to create, our universe needs an interplay between the masculine and feminine energies. These two distinct qualities come together to come alive. The expressions of these qualities come in many different shapes and sizes, textures and colors.
Perhaps we can understand these qualities of energy in different ways. Ultimately, the qualities of masculine and feminine are not exactly opposites of each other, they are simply different. They are distinct from one another. Within the Hermetic teachings, we find that men can’t take action on what hasn’t been birthed. Women have to birth it first. Otherwise the energy won’t be there. After all, we are experiencing ourselves within a feminine Universe, where the feminine came first in the design. While both are necessary for creation, the feminine recognized the need for the masculine in order to create. Therefore, the masculine is here to serve the feminine. Human kind is here to serve the Goddess, the beloved planet we get to call home for now. We, as a human family, are only here because of Her.
There you have it, an overview of the Principle of Gender, which permeates all we know and all we do! May this information serve to empower you in your embodiment and expression of the qualities of gender.
Alright, so everyone’s pretty familiar with the age-old archetypal relationship between student and teacher. The transference of key teachings, bestowed upon the student by the teacher, becomes a vehicle for the ongoing circulation of ancient wisdom.
Arguably the most valuable of ancient wisdom we have access to today are the Hermetic Teachings. Why, might you ask? Well, these teachings can be traced back as source code material for nearly all esoteric and ancient teachings, from every people, on every continent. Indeed, that’s a wide range.
In a reverent dedication to Hermes Trismegistus, three investigative students created a piece of work that has become a very powerful resource. This work is called “The Kybalion”, and it offers a summary of the teachings most fundamental. These teachings are the Hermetic Principles, and they’ve been promulgated through this treatise by the Three Initiates (whose identity spur their own air of mystery) since 1908. This crucial source of ancient wisdom has been a doorway for students of life to enter into a whole new way of living. So, are you ready to approach this door? Through this threshold awaits a new way of seeing, doing and believing.
Of course, as with most things in life, it’s important to embody one’s learned wisdom. So, you’re encouraged to read up about these Principles and then explore what it looks like to experience the understanding of them as a felt sense.
The propagation of these teachings is key for the ongoing development of an empowered populace. So, it’s only important to study these teachings insofar as the seeds they carry can be sown in the fertile ground of your mind and heart. Only then, when these seeds can germinate within you, can they grow to become mature and actualized. Only then, will you become a walking expression of the Arcane Truths.
Throughout the next few blog posts, we’ll explore the Principles and how you may notice their presence in your life. Once you enable the witness to really acknowledge the Principles at play, you’re free to play! Witnessing and observing (as with most things) comes first. So, enjoy the next few blog posts where we’ll dive deeper into the Principles.
My journey seeking truth started at a very early age when my concept of right/wrong seemed so…simplistic. There was always a right answer, and a wrong answer; a right way to be, and a wrong way to be; the right thing to say and well, ok, lots of wrong things to say, to be fair.
In short, there were plenty of things for me to react against and resist. Why can’t I do that? Why can’t I say this? Why do people get so upset over unimportant misunderstandings all the time? Why do people get upset when I ask so many questions. Ha!
Time to Wake Up
At some point, it became clear that there was really no clarity at all—different people experience the world in different ways. An objective way of viewing the world, one that can be measured and manipulated predictably (in alignment with scientific laws), is not how people make decisions or relate to one another. The world operates mostly on subjective experiences which we cannot so easily measure and compare. This is where we primarily hang out.
Expressing our subjective experience is limited by the capacity of our language to contain increasingly abstract concepts within the limitations of language, especially as we try to express concepts like meaning and life purpose.
You and I can agree that the chicken crossed the road because we can see it do so, but the question remains: Why? Is this related to the chicken’s life purpose?
The less concrete the concept, the harder it is to express. Also, the more likely we’ll miss nuances in the experience which differentiate others’ experiences from our own. This is because our brain makes assumptions that may not necessarily be true. When our understanding differs from the message that was actually delivered (aka true reality), we can experience upset proportional to the size of that gap.
And this is where we miss out BIG. By projecting our own experience on to others…that is to say, by assuming their experience is the same as ours, we miss huge opportunities to expand our idea of what’s possible.
Don’t Let Others Put You In a Box
Fairly often I have the experience of people wanting to put me in a box. Ageism, sexism, and racism absolutely play an important part. Often people assume that if they can’t do it, or couldn’t do it when they were my age, that I must not be able to as well. Because we have the same skills, abilities, talents and strengths, right?
What’s hilarious to me is when it occurs to me that different people put me in diametrically opposed boxes. Older white guys almost never hire my ‘Chief Spiritual Officer’ services, while older women are almost always interested in what I have to say about the energy of their people and business.
Some people assume certain things about my education because I grew up on a 100-acre farm in the middle of nowhere Ohio. Others assume certain things about me because I work for myself and own my own home.
And I react to these assumptions. There have been many years of my personal development experience working on not becoming attached to others’ stories.
I actually had someone ask me once if I’ve ever been poor (presumably because I don’t worry about finances anymore). Since when does being well-off financially mean I haven’t experienced poverty?! To me, my past history with ‘being poor’ is my motivation to keep my finances expansive and abundant.
And then I catch myself—how are they to know if I don’t actually express my thoughts, feelings, reactions, and experiences in a way that they can understand?
Instead of being fed the proverbial silver spoon, what I did to excel financially was learn how the system works and then put it to work for me. I often don’t do what most people are likely to do given the circumstances. That’s part of my strategy for success. If you do what everyone else is doing, you’ll get the same results.
There are very few people that I see day-to-day that I’d like to emulate. Not because they’re doing anything wrong or even undesirable to me, just that I have my own unique mission that I’m on, so I’m up to different things than most people.
In short, if I wanted to end up like everyone else, then I would copy their actions and behaviors. But I don’t, and there are very few people that I’d like to be when I grow up. So what that tells me is that I must discover different actions. Hence the world’s wisdom traditions: Hermetics, Shamanism, Meditation, Magick.
And that’s why I seek. I seek to find an alternative to the predominant narrative, an alternative system to the current paradigm which clearly has not worked out so well for so many people. It’s easy to see that through the immense suffering in this world.
So I encourage you to ask yourself, why are you taking the actions everyone else seems to be taking. What results are those actions yielding, and is that what you want? Who are the people that you want to emulate? What actions are they taking? What’s one different action you can take to move towards the life you want to live as opposed to the life you have now?
The key to getting out of your box is to break down the walls that are keeping you in. Those walls are simply thoughts that keep you in the same field you’ve always played in. It’s time to break the walls, and think (and act) outside the box. It’s time to exit the Matrix.
Looking to exit the Matrix? Join us for our next Empower Thyself program and initiation into the Lineage of King Salomon, a Hermetic Order seeking to bring Light and Love to all people, while achieving our spiritual purpose.
I feel incredibly blessed to be living at this time. Sometimes that feels like a risky thing to say. Then come numerous negative and critical thoughts, with questions like: How could you say such a thing? Don’t you realize how much pain people are going through? Aren’t you paying attention?
I remind myself that COVID has hit everyone’s life a bit differently. So unique are the impacts depending on your particular blend of work, location, family/kids, etc. that it’s really hard to understand what the person you pass on the street is going through without asking them to reflect on it. And you don’t, because of ‘social distancing,’ which is actually more ‘physical distancing,’ and less ‘social distancing.’ Anyway, I think most people would rather not reflect on all the ways the pandemic and associated lockdowns have upended their lives. The thought can be overwhelming, and our collective emotional resources are at an all-time low, so why add any unnecessary burden like critical thinking or discursive discussions.
Further, despite the inordinate emotional cost of just getting out of bed in the morning, we have an important presidential election bearing down upon us with potentially huge impacts on the psychological health of the nation (any possible the world). In truth, stakeholders in the US election go beyond the electorate and include international business interests, geopolitical strategists, and environmental policy makers the world over. If you can’t vote in the US election, you can still spend money on misinformation and other forms of advertising to influence the modern American consumer to swing into alignment with your political agenda. It’s already happened at least once.
In this and other cases, technology has changed the nature of our reality in important ways that we are just coming to terms with. For example, Facebook ‘fact checkers’ who have marching orders to keep their corporation out of litigation are pissing people off left and right who think they are actually checking for facts. Scientists, professionals, politicians, media icons have all been banned from the platform for posting things that the government will potentially come after the corporation for with greedy hands looking for judgments imposing huge fines to ease the burden of their depressed revenues due to lockdowns that they themselves imposed. I blame whoever came up with the job title ‘fact checker’ for this terrible misconception. Really, many people are righteously insulted that their years of training, research, and peer-reviewed analyses, not to mention their professional reputations, are being mislabeled and insulted by millennials working for minimum wage that aren’t required to have finished any particular collegiate course of study yet have the power to label anything you post on Facebook as ‘false information.’
So yes, people are pissed off and exhausted with FB and COVID and the experience of LIFE generally right now.
But the question remains—if it will set us free, what is truth?
Certainly science doesn’t purport to prove anything. People forget that everything we know is a likelihood, a thesis, subject to change as the quantum universe continues to evolve. Remember that the dimension of time can only be shown by applied mathematics using an imaginary number. We had to make something up to fit time into our equations for how the universe works. So time doesn’t really exist, just relative movements in a universe that we are still grasping to understand.
Our experience of reality is irresistibly colored by our perceptions, such that two onlookers viewing the same scene can walk away with very different understandings of what happened. Eye-witness legal testimony is often woefully inaccurate and it’s one of the easiest forms of evidence to get thrown out of court. My cognitive psychology professor made a healthy consulting fee out of debunking it, and it was probably the easiest money he’s ever made.
Yurii Perepadia, a graphic designer and illustrator from Ukraine, created the following optical illusion, which everyone experiences slightly differently depending on how much you use your peripheral vision to take in the image. Try for yourself and show someone else:
Created bu Yurii Perepadia, a graphic designer and illustrator from Ukraine.
So where my rambling is taking us, if you’ve made it this far, is that we have to trust in something much larger than ourselves to get through this time with any semblance of sanity. We can’t really trust ourselves as individual units in this vast unknown universe. We are at serious risk of getting torn apart mentally, emotionally, and spiritually if we find our psyches built on a foundation of sand rather than stone when the tide comes in (I checked, and I believe flooding is next after scourge and fires in the apocalypse).
What we DO know is that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. There’s simply no other explanation for consciousness. Seriously, go look and tell me what you find.
And we can start caring deeply for our own mental and emotional health by tapping into that eternal part of us that easily rises above the current state of the world, and sees a much bigger picture. This is why I feel blessed. I’ve done the work, and continue to do the work, to keep my head above water, focused on who I am as an eternal being, and put everything into perspective and relationship with my God-self. That is my source of strength, resilience and power.
Is that true or just a convenient story? Well, I’ll leave you with these words which I keep on my altar from a Tibetan lama (teacher): “Whatever, on its destruction or intellectual analysis, ceases to convey an idea, like a vase of water, is relatively existent; all else is ultimately real.”
With this definition of truth, not from science but from a wisdom tradition, go forth and rebuild your foundation friends. Build your foundation on what is ultimately real, and find that a new day dawns in your life brighter than the one you find yourself in today.
Happy Equinox friends!