Chapter 14

Mental Gender

January 17, 2022

In the past 10-15 years, the dual-mind idea has manifested itself so strongly. Psychology students have been struck by its persistence which has led to many plausible theories on the nature of these “two minds.”

Thomson J. Hudson grew popular in 1893 through his theory of the “objective and subjective minds” which he held existed in every individual.

Other writers have theories on:

  • the “conscious and subconscious minds”
  • the “voluntary and involuntary minds”
  • the “the active and passive minds,” etc.

These have the underlying principle of “the duality of mind.”

The student of the Hermetic Philosophy smiles at these many “new theories” regarding the duality of mind. Each school adheres tenaciously to its own pet theories. Each claims to have “discovered the truth.”

The ancient philosophy knew the phenomenon of the “dual mind” and accounted for it by the theory of Mental Gender.

The Masculine Principle of Mind corresponds to the:

  • Objective Mind
  • Conscious Mind
  • Voluntary Mind
  • Active Mind, etc.

The Feminine Principle of Mind corresponds to the:

  • Subjective Mind
  • Sub-conscious Mind
  • Involuntary Mind
  • Passive Mind, etc.

The Hermetic Teachings do not agree with the modern theories on the two phases of mind, nor does it admit many of the facts claimed for the two respective aspects—some of the said theories and claims being very far-fetched and incapable of standing the test of experiment and demonstration.

We point to the phases of agreement merely for the purpose of helping the student to assimilate his previously acquired knowledge with the teachings of the Hermetic Philosophy.

Students of Hudson will notice the statement at the beginning of his second chapter of “The Law of Psychic Phenomena,” that: “The mystic jargon of the Hermetic philosophers discloses the same general idea” i.e., the duality of mind. If Dr. Hudson had taken the time and trouble to decipher a little of “the mystic jargon of the Hermetic Philosophy,” he might have received much light upon the subject of “the dual mind”—but then, perhaps, his most interesting work might not have been written. Let us now consider the Hermetic Teachings regarding Mental Gender.

The Hermetic Teachers impart their instruction regarding this subject by bidding their students examine the report of their consciousness regarding their Self. The students are bidden to turn their attention inward upon the Self dwelling within each.

Each student is led to see that his consciousness gives him first a report of the existence of his Self-the report is “I Am.”

This at first seems to be the final words from the consciousness, but a little further examination discloses the fact that this “I Am” may be separated or split into two distinct parts, or aspects, which while working in unison and in conjunction, yet, nevertheless, may be separated in consciousness.

While at first there seems to be only an “I” existing, a more careful and closer examination reveals the fact that there exists an “I” and a “Me.”

These mental twins differ in their characteristics and nature, and an examination of their nature and the phenomena arising from the same will throw much light upon many of the problems of mental influence.


The “Me” is usually mistaken for the “I” when the recesses of consciousness is not known.

A man thinks of his Self (in its aspect of Me) as being composed of feelings, tastes likes, dislikes, habits, peculiar ties, characteristics, etc. All of these make up his personality, or the “Self” known to himself and others.

He knows that these emotions and feelings:

  • change
  • are born and die away
  • are subject to the Principle of Rhythm and the Principle of Polarity which take him from one extreme of feeling to another.

He also thinks of the “Me” as being the knowledge gathered together in his mind, and thus forming a part of himself. This is the “Me” of a man.

But this is wrong.

The “Me” of many men consists largely of their consciousness of the body and their physical appetites, etc.

  • Their consciousness are largely bound up with their bodily nature, they practically “live there.”

Some men even go so far as to regard their personal apparel as a part of their “Me” and actually seem to consider it a part of themselves.

But even many who are not so closely bound up with the idea of personal raiment stick closely to the consciousness of their bodies being their “Me” They cannot conceive of a Self independent of the body.

Their mind seems to them to be practically “a something belonging to” their body.

But as man learn more about consciousness, he is able to disentangle his “Me” from his idea of body. He is able to think of his body as “belonging to” the mental part of him.

But even then, he is very apt to identify the “Me” entirely with the mental states, feelings, etc., which he feels to exist within him.

He is very apt to consider these internal states as identical with himself, instead of their being simply “things” produced by some part of his mentality, and existing within him—of him, and in him, but still not “himself.”

He sees that he may change these internal states of feelings by all effort of will, and that he may produce a feeling or state of an exactly opposite nature, in the same way, and yet the same “Me” exists.

And so, he is able to set aside these various mental states, emotions, feelings, habits, qualities, characteristics, and other personal mental belongings—he is able to set them aside in the “not-me” collection of curiosities and encumbrances, as well as valuable possessions.

This requires much:

  • mental concentration
  • power of mental analysis.

But this can be done if he is able to imagine how the process may be performed.

After this laying-aside process has been performed, the student will find himself in conscious possession of a “Self” which may be considered in its “I” and “Me” dual aspects.

The “Me” will be felt to be a Something mental in which thoughts, ideas, emotions, feelings, and other mental states may be produced. It may be considered as the “mental womb,” as the ancients styled it-capable of generating mental offspring.

It reports to the consciousness as a “Me” with latent powers of creation and generation of mental progeny of all sorts and kinds.

Its powers of creative energy are felt to be enormous. But still it seems to be conscious that it must receive some form of energy from either its “I” companion, or else from some other “I” ere it is able to bring into being its mental creations.

This consciousness brings with it a realization of an enormous capacity for mental work and creative ability.

But the student soon finds that this is not all that he finds within his inner consciousness.

He finds that there exists a mental Something which is able to Will that the “Me” act along certain creative lines, and which is also able to stand aside and witness the mental creation. This part of himself he is taught to call his “I.”

He is able to rest in its consciousness at will. He finds there not a consciousness of an ability to generate and actively create, in the sense of the gradual process attendant upon mental operations, but rather a sense and consciousness of an ability to project an energy from the “I” to the “Me”—a process of “willing” that the mental creation begin and proceed. He also finds that the “I” is able to stand aside and witness the operations of the “Me’s” mental creation and generation. There is this dual aspect in the mind of every person.

  • The “I” represents the Masculine Principle of Mental Gender and the Aspect of Being
  • The “Me” represents the Female Principle and the Aspect of Becoming

The Principle of Correspondence operates on this plane just as it does upon the great plane upon which the creation of Universes is performed.

The two are similar in kind, although vastly different in degree.

These aspects of mind give the master-key to these dimly known regions of mental operation and manifestation.

The Feminine Principle:

  • always tends to receive impressions
  • has much more varied field of operation than the Masculine Principle.
  • generates new thoughts, concepts, ideas, including the work of the imagination

The Masculine Principle:

  • always tends to give impressions or express.
  • contents itself with the work of the “Will” in its varied phases.

Without the active aid of the Will of the Masculine Principle, the Feminine Principle rests content with generating mental images which are the result of impressions received from outside, instead of producing original mental creations.

Persons who can give continued attention and thought to a subject actively employ both of the Mental Principles-the Feminine in the work of the mental generation, and the Masculine Will in stimulating and energizing the creative portion of the mind.

Many persons really employ the Masculine Principle. But few are content to live according to the thoughts and ideas instilled into the “Me” from the “I” of other minds.

We are aware of Psychic Phenomena such as Telepathy; Thought Transference; Mental Influence; Suggestion; Hypnotism, etc.

People have explained these under the “dual mind” theories.

In a measure, they are right. There is clearly a manifestation of two distinct phases of mental activity.

But if such students will consider these “dual minds” in the light of the Hermetic Teachings regarding Vibrations and Mental Gender, they will see that the long sought for key is at hand.

The Vibratory Energy of the Masculine Principle is projected toward the Feminine Principle of another person through Telepathy.

The latter takes the seed-thought and allows it to develop into maturity.

This is the same way how Suggestion and Hypnotism operates. The Masculine Principle of the person giving the suggestions directs a stream of Vibratory Energy or Will-Power toward the Feminine Principle of the other person, and the latter accepting it makes it its own and acts and thinks accordingly.

An idea thus lodged in the mind of another person grows and develops, and in time is regarded as the rightful mental offspring of the individual, whereas it is in reality like the cuckoo egg placed in the sparrows nest, where it destroys the rightful offspring and makes itself at home.

The normal method is for the Masculine and Feminine Principles in a person’s mind to co-ordinate and act harmoniously in conjunction with each other.

Unfortunately, the Masculine Principle in a person is often too lazy to act. Its display of Will-Power is too slight.

The consequence is that such persons are ruled almost entirely by the minds and wills of other persons, whom they allow to do their thinking and willing for them. How few original thoughts or original actions are performed by the average person?

Are not the majority of persons mere shadows and echoes of others having stronger wills or minds than themselves?

The trouble is that the average person dwells almost altogether in his “Me” consciousness and does not realize that he has such a thing as an “I.” He is polarized in his Feminine Principle of Mind, and the Masculine Principle, in which is lodged the Will, is allowed to remain inactive and not employed.

The strong men and women of the world invariably manifest the Masculine Principle of Will, and their strength depends materially upon this fact. Instead of living upon the impressions made upon their minds by others, they dominate their own minds by their Will, obtaining the kind of mental images desired, and moreover dominate the minds of others likewise, in the same manner.

Look at the strong people, how they manage to implant their seed-thoughts in the minds of the masses of the people, thus causing the latter to think thoughts in accordance with the desires and wills of the strong individuals. This is why the masses of people are such sheeplike creatures, never originating an idea of their own, nor using their own powers of mental activity.

The manifestation of Mental Gender may be noticed all around us in everyday life. The magnetic persons are those who are able to use the Masculine Principle in the way of impressing their ideas upon others. The actor who makes people weep or cry as he wills, is employing this principle. And so is the successful orator, statesman, preacher, writer or other people who are before the public attention.

The peculiar influence exerted by some people over others is due to the manifestation of Mental Gender, along the Vibrational lines above indicated. In this principle lies the secret of personal magnetism, personal influence, fascination, etc., as well as the phenomena generally grouped under the name of Hypnotism.

The student who has familiarized himself with the phenomena generally spoken of as “psychic” will have discovered the important part played in the said phenomena by that force which science has styled “Suggestion,” by which term is meant the process or method whereby an idea is transferred to, or “impressed upon” the mind of another, causing the second mind to act in accordance therewith.

A correct understanding of Suggestion is necessary to intelligently comprehend the varied psychical phenomena which Suggestion underlies.

But, still more is a knowledge of Vibration and Mental Gender necessary for the student of Suggestion. For the whole principle of Suggestion depends upon the principle of Mental Gender and Vibration.

Teachers of Suggestion explain that it is the “objective or voluntary” mind which make the mental impression, or suggestion, upon the “subjective or involuntary” mind.

  • But they do not describe the process or give us any analogy in nature whereby we may more readily comprehend the idea.

But if you will think of the matter in the light of the Hermetic Teachings you will be able to see that the energizing of the Feminine Principle by the Vibratory Energy of the Masculine Principle Is in accordance to the universal laws of nature, and that the natural world affords countless analogies whereby the principle may be understood.

In fact, the Hermetic Teachings show that the very creation of the Universe follows the same law, and that in all creative manifestations, upon the planes of the spiritual, the mental, and the physical, there is always in operation this principle of Gender-this manifestation of the Masculine and the Feminine Principles.

When the principle of Mental Gender is once understood, the varied phenomena of psychology at once becomes capable of intelligent classification and study, instead of being very much in the dark.

The principle “works out” in practice, because it is based upon the immutable universal laws of life.

We shall not enter into an extended discussion of, or description of, the varied phenomena of mental influence or psychic activity.

Through the theory of Mental Gender, the student can bring order out of the chaos of conflicting theory and teachings.

The purpose of this work is not to give an extended account of psychic phenomena but rather to give to the student a master-key whereby He may unlock the many doors leading into the parts of the Temple of Knowledge which he may wish to explore.

We feel that in this consideration of the teachings of The Kybalion, one may find an explanation which will serve to clear away many perplexing difficulties—a key that will unlock many doors.

What is the use of going into detail regarding all of the many features of psychic phenomena and mental science, provided we place in the hands of the student the means whereby he may acquaint himself fully regarding any phase of the subject which may interest him.

With the aid of The Kybalion, one may go through any occult library anew. The old Light from Egypt will illuminate many dark pages and obscure subjects.


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