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Re: As above, so below Part I

Jul 14, 2007 04:11 PM
by leonmaurer

Below is an overview of the metaphysical basis of the theory of ABC (1) -- 
which science was known to the ancient Hermetic philosophers -- some of which is 
now becoming speculated by respected physicists (2) who have come to the 
realization that current physical science could never arrive at a true 
understanding of primal beginnings by reductive analysis of existing conditions... Since 
its limited, materially and metrically oriented mathematics cannot explain, or 
its objective methods observe, the experience of consciousness (awareness, 
will) and its coenergetic (electrodynamic) field carried informational 
relationship to mind, memory, brain, body and senses... And, in addition, could never 
accept the reality of a zero point of absolute "empty" and "timeless" space 
that contains infinite information and infinite potential force, while also being 
infinitely subjectively willful and aware and finitely objectively existent 
(i.e., omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent) -- simultaneously... Analogous 
to the zero-point origin of infinite energy (ZPE) located everywhere in the 
Planck space vacuum between and within all the so called quantum particles... 
Each of which are nothing more than fundamental Space in varying degrees of 
vibratory motion as individual packets of energy or standing waves (3). 

Thus, the universe is a gigantic hologram, where all the information with 
respect to its entire structure from the largest galaxy down to the densest 
particles, is contained in every zero-point... Like the DNA, describing the 
detailed structures of the entire body, is located in every cell.   Thus, "As above, 
so below."

This fundamental zero-point reality is the primal source of cosmogenesis (4) 
and its fractally involved coenergetic fields in multidimensional hyperspace 
-- which is the only system that can fully predict all the observable 
properties and conditions of our visible and invisible physical spacetime continuum 
(that can only be symbolically described by physics) as well as explain all the 
informational and willful interactions between consciousness and mind, memory, 
brain, body, senses, etc. -- that is beyond the reach of reductive science 
under its present materialist paradigm.   




(Extracted from the current Newsletter published by

The full context of the "as above, so below" maxim is well established and 
interesting for Theosophists.   It occurs on the so-called "emerald tablet".   
One legend tells us the tablet was found in a caved tomb in the hands of the 
corpse of Hermes Trismegistus.   Sarah, the wife of Abraham is said to have 
found the tablet. Apollonius of Tyana did the finding according to another legend. 
  Yet another legend claims the tablet was found by Alexander the Great at 
Hebron - again in the tomb of Hermes

Exoterically, it is agreed that originally there were 42 books representing 
the hermetic philosophy.   Some of them have disappeared supposedly in the 
burning of the Alexandrian Library.   Now 16 books remain in the collection called 
the Corpus Hermeticum.    These 16 books are dialogues, the first being with 
Poimander, sometimes called God. (His name is also spelled "Pymander" and in 
that first dialogue he refers to himself as "The Divine Mind of the 
Sovereignity, the Shepherd of Men".) The emerald tablet consists of the second major 
component of Hermeticism.   Hermeticism also includes The Book of Thoth.   Today 
some people also cite the Kybalion, published in 1912 or 1909, as a fourth 
significant component of Hermeticism since it influenced numerous movements.   It 
was published anonymously by "three initiates".   However, with a publishing 
date more than two decades after Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine, it appears to 
this student as a rather late addition.

As for translations, there were originally Arabic translations of the tablet 
followed by a Latin translation around 1140 AD. For authenticity, we can note 
that some of the Hermetic dialogues were found at the Nag Hammadi site in 1945 
in Coptic.   Still earlier references to Hermes are in the classical writers.

The dramatic opening lines on the Emerald tablet:

    True, without falsehood, certain and most true, that which is above is 
    same as that which is below, and that which is below is the same as that
    which is above, for the performance of miracles of the One Thing. And as 
    things are from the One, by the meditation of One, so all things have 
their birth
    from this One Thing by adaptation. The Sun is its Father, the Moon its 
    the Wind carries it in its belly, its nurse is the Earth. This is the 
Father of all
    perfection, or consummation of the whole world. Its power is integrating, 
if it
    be turned into earth.

    You shall separate the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross, 
    and with great ingenuity and skill. Your skillful work ascends from earth 
    heaven and descends to earth again, and receives the power of the 
    and of the inferiors. So thou hast the glory of the whole 
world--therefore let all
    obscurity flee from thee. This is the strong force of all forces, 
overcoming every
    subtle and penetrating every solid thing. So the world was created. Hence 
    were wonderful adaptations, of which this is the manner. Therefore I am 
    Hermes Trismegistus having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole 
    What I have to tell is completed concerning the Operation of the Sun. 

It may come as a surprise to some students to learn that Blavatsky has given 
her own translation.   This is not found if you simply enter "as above, so 
below' into the Theosophical search engine.   She wrote it way back in 1877 in 
her book Isis Unveiled - less studied that her Secret Doctrine.

    Tradition declares that on the dead body of Hermes, at Hebron, was found 
    an Isarim, an initiate, the tablet known as the Smaragdine [emerald. RC]. 

    It contains, in a few sentences, the essence of the Hermetic wisdom.   To
    those who read but with their bodily eyes, the precepts will suggest 
    new or extraordinary, for it merely begins by saying that it speaks not 
    things, but that which is true and most certain.

    “What is below is like that which is above, and what is above
    is similar to that which is below to accomplish the wonders of
    one thing.
    “As all things were produced by the mediation of one being, so
    all things were produced from this one by adaptation.
    “Its father is the sun, its mother is the moon.
    “It is the cause of all perfection throughout the whole earth.
    “Its power is perfect if it is changed into earth.
    “Separate the earth from the fire, the subtile from the gross,
    acting prudently and with judgment.
    “Ascend with the greatest sagacity from the earth to heaven,
    and then descend again to earth, and unite together the power
    of things inferior and superior; thus you will possess the light
    of the whole world, and all obscurity will fly away from you.
    “This thing has more fortitude than fortitude itself, because it will
    overcome every subtile thing and penetrate every solid thing.
    “By it the world was formed.”

Then she immediately adds a comment to this translation adding some of her 
own knowledge.

    This mysterious thing is the universal, magical agent, the astral
    light, which in the correlations of its forces furnishes the alkahest,
    the philosopher's stone, and the elixir of life.   Hermetic philosophy
    names it Azoth, the soul of the world, the celestial virgin, the great
    Magnes, etc., etc.   Physical science knows it as “heat, light,
    electricity, and magnetism”; but ignoring its spiritual properties
    and the occult potency contained in ether, rejects   everything it
    ignores.   It explains and depicts the crystalline forms of the
    snow-flakes, their modifications of an hexagonal prism which
    shoot out an infinity of delicate needles.   It has studied them so
    perfectly that it has even calculated, with the most wondrous
    mathematical precision, that all these needles diverge from each
    other at an angle of 60°.   Can it tell us as well the cause of this
    “endless variety of the most exquisite forms,”* each of which
    is a most perfect geometrical figure in itself?   These frozen,
    starlike and flower-like blossoms, may be, for all materialistic
    science knows, a shower of messages snowed by spiritual
    hands from the worlds above for spiritual eyes below to read.

Next is perhaps the best general explanation of the philosophy of this maxim.

    Everything in the Universe follows analogy.   “As above, so
    below;” Man is the microcosm of the Universe.   That which
    takes place on the spiritual plane repeats itself on the
    Cosmic plane.   Concretion follows the lines of abstraction;
    corresponding to the highest must be the lowest; the material
    to the spiritual.   (SDi177)

The ways this principle is applied in Theosophy can at times be quite 
metaphysical.   In this case she immediately follows the above with this application.

    Thus, corresponding to the Sephirothal Crown (or upper triad)
    there are the three elemental Kingdoms, which precede the
    Mineral (see diagram on p. 277 in Five Years of Theosophy),
    and which, using the language of the Kabalists, answer in the
    Cosmic differentiation to the worlds of Form and Matter from the
    Super-Spiritual to the Archetypal. (SDi177)

Here is another rather abstruse application of the principle.

    Now the first, the second, third or primordial seven or Lipika, are
    all one. When they emanate from one plane to another, it is a
    repetition of - “as above, so below.” They are all differentiated
    in matter or density, not in qualities; the same qualities descend
    onto the last plane, our own, where man is endowed with the
    same potentiality, if he but knew how to develop it, as the highest
    Dhyan-Chohans.   (Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge)

It becomes clear that a serious study of the use of this principle would take 
us quite far afield.

Here are a number of quotation from Blavatsky on this principle.   It may be 
surprising how many such quotations there are and how forcefully she confirms 
her support for this principle.

    “As above, so below”; harmony is the great law of nature.

    Such are the questions often put to us, and they have to be
    considered from every aspect.   To the first of the two queries
    the answer is: - We believe it because the first law in nature
    is uniformity in diversity, and the second -   analogy.   “As
    above, so below.”   (SDii699)

    “As above so below”; this apparent dualism is quite in keeping
    with all esoteric systems. -“Daemon est Deus inversus.”
    (BCW Vol 13)

    Always argue on analogy and apply the old occult axiom “as
    above so below.”   (Transactions of Blavatsky Lodge)

    As above so below.   Sidereal phenomena, and the behaviour
    of the celestial bodies in the heavens, were taken as a model,
    and the plan was carried out below, on earth.   Thus, space,
    in its abstract sense, was called “the realm of divine
    knowledge,” and by the Chaldees or Initiates Ab Soo, the
    habitat (or Father, i.e., the source) of knowledge, because it
    is in space that dwell the intelligent Powers which invisibly
    rule the Universe.”   (SDii502)

    How analogous this theory is to the law of planetary motion,
    which causes the individual orbs to rotate on their axes; the
    several systems to move around their respective suns; and
    the whole stellar host to follow a common path around a
    common centre!   Life and death, light and darkness, day and
    night on the planet, as it turns about its axis and traverses
    the zodiacal circle representing the lesser and the greater
    cycles.* Remember the Hermetic axiom: - “As above, so
    below; as in heaven, so on earth.” (IUi294)

    The fact that the terms of the alchemists, such as salt,
    sulphur, and mercury are transformed by Swedenborg into
    ens, cause, and effect, does not affect the underlying idea
    of solving the problems of the Mosaic books by the only
    possible method - that used by the Hermetists -   that of
    correspondences.   His doctrine of correspondence, or Hermetic
    symbolism, is that of Pythagoras and of the kabalists - “as
    above, so below.”   It is also that of the Buddhist philosophers,
    who, in their still more abstract metaphysics, inverting the
    usual mode of definition given by our erudite scholars, call
    the invisible types the only reality, and everything else the
    effects of the causes, or visible prototypes -   illusions.
    However contradictory their various elucidations of the
    Pentateuch may appear on their surface, every one of them
    tends to show that the sacred literature of every country,
    the Bible as much as the Vedas or the Buddhist Scriptures,
    can only be understood and thoroughly sifted by the light of
    Hermetic philosophy.   The great sages of antiquity, those of
    the mediæval ages, and the mystical writers of our more
    modern times also, were all Hermetists.   Whether the light of
    truth had illuminated them through their faculty of intuition, or
    as a consequence of study and regular initiation, virtually,
    they had accepted the method and followed the path traced
    to them by such men as Moses, Gautama-Buddha, and Jesus.

    Space fails us to present the speculative views of certain
    ancient and mediæval occultists upon this subject.   Suffice it
    that they antedated Darwin, embraced more or less all his
    theories on natural selection and the evolution of species,
    and largely extended the chain at both ends.   Moreover, these
    philosophers were explorers as daring in psychology as in
    physiology and anthropology. They never turned aside from the
    double parallel-path traced for them by their great master
    Hermes.   “As above, so below,” was ever their axiom; and their
    physical evolution was traced out simultaneously with the
    spiritual one.   (IUi427)

    No comprehensive idea of nature can be obtained except by
    applying the law of harmony and analogy in the spiritual as well
    as in the physical world. “As above, so below,” is the old
    Hermetic axiom. If Spiritualists would apply this to the subject
    of their own researches, they would see the philosophical
    necessity of there being in the world of spirit as well as in the
    world of matter, a law of the survival of the fittest.   (article by
    HPB: Kabbalist Views on Spirits)

(Whoops.   Could she actually have said that?   What are the implications?   
If there is here around us survival of the fittest where some non-survivors 
get eaten then what is above? If there is war on earth what is in heaven? Is 
there an ongoing "war in heaven?"   It reminds me of the occult saying "Nature 
spits out the lukewarm." Also it is worth noting that on the BN-study list we 
are starting to discuss the "bad" as well as the "good" of this issue of 

The talk list suggested some further quotes of interest.

    Occultism teaches that no form can be given to anything, either
    by nature or by man, whose ideal type does not already exist
    on the subjective plane.   More than this; that no such form or
    shape can possibly enter man's consciousness, or evolve in his
    imagination, which does not exist in prototype, at least as an
    approximation. (SD 1:282fn)

    Spirit is matter on the seventh plane; matter is Spirit-on the lowest 
point of its
    cyclic activity; and both-are MAYA. (SDi633)

    From Gods to men, from Worlds to atoms, from a star to a
    rush-light, from the Sun to the vital heat of the meanest organic
    being -- the world of Form and Existence is an immense chain,
    whose links are all connected. The law of Analogy is the first
    key to the world-problem, and these links have to be studied
    coordinately in their occult relations to each other.   (SDi604)

    The Universe is worked and guided from within outwards. As
    above so it is below, as in heaven so on earth; and man --
    the microcosm and miniature copy of the macrocosm -- is
    the living witness to this Universal Law, and to the mode of
    its action. We see that every external motion, act, gesture,
    whether voluntary or mechanical, organic or mental, is
    produced and preceded by internal feeling or emotion, will
    or volition, and thought or mind.   (SDi274)

    Occultism teaches that no form can be given to anything,
    either by nature or by man, whose ideal type does not
    already exist on the subjective plane. More than this; that
    no such form or shape can possibly enter man's
    consciousness, or evolve in his imagination, which does
    not exist in prototype, at least as anapproximation.

    Spirit is matter on the seventh plane; matter is Spirit - on
    the lowest point of its cyclic activity; and both-are MAYA.

The hermetic maxim of "so above, so below" was also given very prominent 
notice when she placed it as a footnote as early as page 2 in her introductiory 
"Key to Theosophy."

She relates:

    THEOSOPHIST. It [the name "Theosophy"] comes to us from the
    Alexandrian philosophers, called lovers of truth,
    Philaletheians, from phil "loving," and aletheia "truth." The
    name Theosophy dates from the third century of our era,
    and began with Ammonius Saccas and his disciples
    [footnote here], who started the Eclectic Theosophical system.

The footnote reads:

    Also called Analogeticists. As explained by Prof. Alex. Wilder,
    F. T. S., in his "Eclectic Philosophy," they were called so
    because of their practice of interpreting all sacred legends
    and narratives, myths and mysteries, by a rule or principle of
    analogy and correspondence: so that events which were
    related as having occurred in the external world were regarded
    as expressing operations and experiences of the human soul.
    They were also denominated Neo-Platonists. Though
    Theosophy, or the Eclectic Theosophical system, is generally
    attributed to the third century, yet, if Diogenes Laertius is to
    be credited, its origin is much earlier, as he attributed the
    system to an Egyptian priest, Pot-Amun, who lived in the
    early days of the Ptolemaic dynasty. The same author tells
    us that the name is Coptic, and signifies one consecrated
    to Amun, the God of Wisdom. Theosophy is the equivalent
    of Brahm-Vidya, divine knowledge."

Variations of that reference also occur in the Theosophical Glossary and in 
the glossary at the back of her Key to Theosophy under "analogeticists."

There were still more references to "as above, so below" and they are not 
exhausted by this list.

Yet after all this, Angelo's full question has not been addressed.   He 
wanted to know how this applies to daily life.

In my view, how to live "daily life" is not the major specific topic of 
Theosophy.   (Maybe people will disagree with that.)   Most of the written material 
of Theosophy has to do with what is true.   Another large part of the written 
material has to do with proof and supporting argument for her claims of what 
is true.   From this we must often reach our own conclusions and meanings for 
how a knowledge of this truth affects our daily living.

This line of thought leaves questions like: how would our life be different 
if we routinely went about our affairs with a consciousness of our place in the 
universe?   Wouldn't our feelings and our deeds be different than otherwise?

On the talk list Dorothy directly addressed this question of daily living and 
expressed the matter so well that I asked her permission to quote her words 

    Everything is filled with Divine Spirit.
    You are an aspect of Divine Spirit.
    Remember that always that Divine Spirit is you.

    All thoughts are a reflection of Divine Thought.
    All your thoughts come from Divine Mind.
    Be sure your thoughts are worthy of the Divine Mind in you.

    All desires are a manifestation of Divine Desire.
    All your desires are driven by Divine Desire to experience the
    life given you.
    Learn to make every desire reflect your highest goals.

    Everything is composed of Divine Substance.
    You are made of Divine Substance.
    Treat every thing with the reverence due Divine Substance.

Blavatsky would agree with Dorothy.   Here are Blavatsky's words.

    As in the Microcosm, MAN, so in the Macrocosm, or the
    Universe.   Every "organ" in it is a sentient entity, and every
    particle of matter or substance, from the physical molecule
    up to the spiritual atom, is a cell, a nerve centre, which
    communicates ... with the brain-stuff or that substance on the
    plane of divine Thought in which the prime ideation is
    produced. Therefore, was man produced in the image of God
    -- or Divine Nature. Every cell in the human organism
    mysteriously corresponds with a like "cell" in the divine
    organism of the manifested universe; only the latter "cell"
    assumes in the macrocosm the gigantic proportions of an
    intelligent unity in this or that "Hierarchy" of Beings. This,
    so far as the differentiated, divine Mind is concerned, on its
    plane of ideation. This eternal or ABSOLUTE THOUGHT --
    lies beyond and is, to us, inscrutable (H. P. Blavatsky,
    "Problems of Life").

This subject will be continued in next month's newsletter.


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