Chapter 1

The Hermetic Philosophy Simplified

by Three Initiates
"The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of Understanding"—The Kybalion.

Ancient Egypt

From old Egypt have come the fundamental esoteric and occult teachings which have so strongly influenced the philosophies of all peoples for several thousand years.

Egypt, the home of the Pyramids and the Sphinx, was the birthplace of the Hidden Wisdom and Mystic Teachings.

All nations have borrowed from her Secret Doctrine.

The following ancient countries liberally ate at the feast of knowledge which the Hierophants and Masters of Egypt so freely provided:

  • India
  • Persia
  • Chaldea
  • Medea
  • China
  • Japan
  • Assyria
  • Greece and Rome
  • etc

Since the days of Hermes, ancient Egypt had the great Adepts and Masters who have:

  • never been surpassed
  • seldom have been equaled

Egypt had the Great Lodge of Lodges of the Mystics. Her Temples accepted the Neophytes who later became Hierophants, Adepts, and Masters. They traveled to the world bringing precious knowledge willing to pass on to those who were ready to receive them.

All students of the Occult recognize the debt that they owe to these venerable Masters of that ancient land.

But among these great Masters of Ancient Egypt there once dwelt one of whom Masters hailed as “The .” This man, if “man” indeed he was, dwelt in Egypt in the earliest days.

The Master of Masters was Hermes Trismegistus who lived in Egypt. He was:

  • the father of the Occult Wisdom
  • the founder of Astrology
  • the discoverer of Alchemy.

The details of his life story are lost to history, owing to the lapse of the years, though several of the ancient countries disputed with each other in their claims to the honor of having furnished his birthplace—and this thousands of years ago.

The date of his sojourn in Egypt, in that his last incarnation on this planet, is not now known, but it has been fixed at the early days of the oldest dynasties of Egypt—long before the days of Moses.

The best authorities call him as a contemporary of Abraham. Some Jewish traditions go so far as to claim that Abraham learned mysticism from Hermes.

The Egyptians revered his memory for tens of centuries, calling him “the Scribe of the Gods”, giving his ancient title “Trismegistus” which means:

  • “the thrice-great”
  • “the great-great”
  • “the greatest-great” etc.

In all the ancient lands, the name of Hermes Trismegistus was revered, the name being synonymous with the “Fount of Wisdom.”

Even to this day, we use the term “hermetic” in the sense of:

  • secret
  • sealed so that nothing can escape, etc.

This is because his followers always observed secrecy in their teachings. They did not believe in “casting pearls before swine,” but rather held to the teaching:

  • “milk for babes”
  • “meat for strong men”

Those 2 maxims are used in the Christian scriptures but have been used by the Egyptians for centuries. This policy of careful dissemination of the truth has always characterized the Hermetics, even today.

The Hermetic Teachings can be found in all lands, in all religions, but never identified with any particular country, nor with any religion.

This because of the warning of the ancient teachers against allowing the Secret Doctrine to become crystallized into a creed. The wisdom of this caution is apparent to all students of history.

The ancient occultism of India and Persia degenerated and was largely lost because the teachers became priests and mixed theology with philosophy. This caused occultism to be lost amidst religious superstition, cults, creeds and “gods”.

This was also true with:

  • Ancient Greece and Rome.
  • the Hermetic Teachings of the Gnostics and Early Christians, which were lost at the time of Constantine

But there were always a few faithful and fearless souls who kept alive the Flame, tending it carefully, and not allowing its light to become extinguished. Thanks to them, we have the truth still with us.

When it was written down, its meaning was veiled in terms of alchemy and astrology so that only those with the key could read it. This was to avoid the persecutions of Church who fought the Secret Doctrine with fire and sword.

Even today, there are only a few reliable books on Hermetic Philosophy, although there are many references to it in books on Occultism. The Hermetic Philosophy is the only Master Key which will open all the doors of the Occult Teachings!

In the early days, the Basic Hermetic Doctrines, passed on from teacher to student, was compiled into as “THE KYBALION”.

It was merely a collection of maxims, axioms, and precepts, which were only understandable to students.

These formed the basic principles of “The Art of Hermetic Alchemy” which dealt in the mastery of Mental Forces, rather than Material Elements. It was the Transmutation of one kind of Mental Vibrations into others, instead of the changing of one kind of metal into another.

The legends of the “Philosopher’s Stone” which would turn base metal into Gold, was an allegory relating to Hermetic Philosophy.

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