I can’t stress enough the importance of critical thinking and understanding instead of memorising.
Dualism versus Hermeticism is one of the brilliant examples.
Hermeticism is probably one of the oldest teachings passed down from one generation to another since unknown times.
Yet, Hermeticism has subsequently been altered and modified to fit newly emerging philosophies and obscure interests.
As a result, the body of work that has survived is crippled and fundamentally inconsistent with its original version.
Most of the so-called Hermetic principles have been reduced to Dualistic concepts.
What is Dualism?
Generally speaking, Dualism signifies the separation of mind and matter. However, it has a much larger impact on different aspects of our thinking and perceiving various phenomena.
For instance, the division of all things and phenomena into two: good and evil, man and woman, white and black, active and passive, and the subsequent associations between these things.
We have been cultivated to unconsciously accept that man is good and active while woman is ‘evil’ and passive. After all, Eve is to blame for all our trials and tribulations, as she gave in to temptation – at least, according to the Bible.
This dualistic mode of thinking has affected and modelled our thinking and perception at every level.
The following example will illustrate the fundamental difference between Hermetic and Dualistic thinking and perception of the world and its phenomena.
Newton’s third law states that “to every action, there is always opposed an equal reaction.”
However, according to Gurdjieff’s Law of Three, three forces enter every manifestation, phenomenon, and event. These three energies have been called in various ways. Gurdjieff further explained that all energies are active, but they act differently. Therefore, I prefer to use the terminology active, reactive, neuter, or double. These names better reflect their nature.
Theoretically speaking, Hermeticism is a philosophical system based on the purported teachings of Hermes Trismegistus. Presumably, Hermes, the Greek god of interpretive communication, was combined with Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom. The name itself means “Hermes the Thrice-Greatest.” Not ‘twice-greatest,’ but thrice.
The famous “As above, so below” is only a dualistic reiteration of the Hermetic principle, “As above, so below and in between.”
Nobody noticed, and most people would never think about it accordingly.
We have been consciously misled and miseducated.
Unlike Dualism, which implies dividing the world and its phenomena into two, Hermeticism is based on the principle of Triplicity.
Unimaginable efforts have been put in to erase Triplicty, yet, it has survived.
The Kabbalistic Tree of Life has three so-called Pillars. Alchemy deals with the so-called three ‘Essentials,’ while Astrology discerns between the three Qualities. Altered and diminished, the Hermetic principle survived and was embedded into the esoteric teachings. These represent energies, genders, and the reason why things manifest themselves in the way they do.
The Kybalion, initially published in 1908 by “Three Initiates,” allegedly consist of the “seven Hermetic principles, upon which the entire Hermetic philosophy is based.”
Yet, most of them are simply dualistic reflections, derivates of the “As above, so below.”
Even more, the fourth principle states that “everything is dual.” That is, however, anything but Hermeticism.
The seventh principle, the principle of gender, states that “everything has its masculine and feminine principles.” That is one of the greatest dualistic deceit.
Everything is indeed gender. However, there are three genders: feminine, masculine and androgynous.
Androgynousness have been eliminated, while the attributes of masculine and feminine have been inverted.
Just like Christianity, another ancient tradition, Hermeticism has been hijacked, misinterpreted and misused.
Whereas their core teaching has been modified to fit the emerging monotheism and patriarchy, some of their original features survived. Some of it was embedded into the new doctrines, others by various alternative means such as the deck of cards.
Gurdjieff called the process of hiding teachings in art, folklore and ordinary objects such as the deck of cards Legonomism.
Apparently, the deck of cards is a tool for entertainment and playing various games, yet, by its structure and spiritual architecture, it is a vehicle for preserving and transmitting unaltered ancient knowledge.
And at this point, we are back to square one.
Don’t believe everything it is written, don’t believe everything they say.
Apply rational criticism to everything you learn, and think for yourself.
As I always said, learning is a matter of understanding and not memorising.
Many authors, teachers and schools of thought claim to be Hermetic. However, most of them are only Hermetic by name but not by content.
My advice is to chew before swallowing.
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