Hermetica: Lost Wisdom of the Pharaohs ~
The Emerald Tablet, also known as Smaragdine Table, Tabula Smaragdina, or The Secret of Hermes, is an ancient text purporting to reveal the secret of the primordial substance and its transmutations.
Hermes, surnamed Trismegistus, is generally regarded as the father of this Art; but there are different opinions with regard to his identity. Some say he was Moses; all agree that he was a very clear-sighted philosopher, the first extant author on the subject, and was also of Egyptian extraction. Others say that Enoch invented the Art, and, before the coming of the Flood described it on the so-called emerald tables, which were afterwards found by Hermes in the valley of Hebron. Many assert that it was known to Adam, who revealed it to Seth; that Noah carried the secret with him into the Ark, and that God revealed it to Solomon. But I do not agree with those who claim for our Art a mystical origin, and thus only make it ridiculous in the eyes of a scornful world. If it is founded on the eternal verities of Nature, why need I trouble my head with the problem whether this or that antediluvian personage had a knowledge of it? Enough for me to know that it is now true and possible, that it has been exercised by the initiated for many centuries. ~Philalethes - Transmutation of Metals.
The availability of Hermetica provided a seminal force for Renaissance culture, philosophy and thought. It is the primary influence in alchemy and modern magic. Though the oldest extant texts of popular Hermetism date back to the Third Century B.C., its roots may be far older. Hermetic philosophy seems to have developed in Egypt, and its mythology supports this view.
The god, known as Hermes in the Hellenistic period, was called Thoth in ancient Egypt. He is patron of sciences, writing, mathematics, and he was a master magician. Thoth dispensed the highest wisdom and was a scientist and keeper of records.
Hermes-Thoth is accredited with categorizing the "secrets of nature," and is the father of the correspondence system, a system of analogies used in qabalah. These sympathetic relationships among varying planes of the cosmos give the magician "control" over his environment. Because Hermes revealed this "secret" network, Hermetic science is initiatory in nature, as is the revelation of any God. It is a Mystery which one must enter in order to attain its specific experience.
The value of Hermes-Thoth's revelation extended past the Hellenistic period, and was highly succesful hrough the Middle Ages and up to the time of Sir Isaac Newton, and his scientific revolution. The value of the Hermetic viewpoint, with its correspondences between Macrocosm and Microcosm, was rediscovered in the 19th Century "magical revival."
Hermes-Trismegistus, or Thrice-Great Hermes, is said to be the author of the bulk of Hermetic literature, including the famous Emerald Tablet containing the basic Hermetic Axioms, (such as "That which is above, is like that which is below."). Hermes Trimegistus may actually be a composite character, synthesized from the personalities of several magicians. It may represent a lineage, rather than a single individual.
Hermetic Philosophy is dualistic, devaluing the world and the body. Its chief aim is for man to "become god" through the aid of divine knowledge. The aspirant detaches himself from the world and is regenerated in an immortal body. The theology underlying this view is Gnostic in character, but it is not equivalent in all respects with Gnosticism.
The gnostic worldview is characteristic of the historical period, during which Hermetic Philosophy flourished. The "saving value" of Hermetic science through the development of an immortal body is similar to Asian and Persian traditions, and later developments in Christiantiy.
Hermetic initiatory practice was not hierarchical in nature. There is only one degree of intitiation: either you heard the Word, or not. Its major injunction was the rule of silence, keeping the revelations secret from outsiders. It also incorporated certain ecstasy-inducing practices.
However, the main basis of the initiation was the revelation of the Gnosis through a certain number of revealed texts. If you read, understood, assimilated, and applied this esoteric knowledge, you were "initiated." Initiation did not specifically require lineage, or the tutelage of a master in the art.
Consider a modern example in the sciences. Say for some reason, all houses of higher learning suddenly vanished, and the compiled wisdom of science was lost to the world, temporarily. An intelligent person finding a compendium of information on a given science might become proficient in its application, even without a Professor to show the way.
This autotelechy or self-teaching is part of the Hermetic path. In this sense, the writings of Hermeticism and alchemy are similar. If it is rediscovered by a competant aspirant, the directions may be applied in a contemporary manner, so its message is highly relevant. Hermes is the embodiment of universal wisdom and intelligence. He is the epitome of analytical thought and reasoning logic. His cult-forms survive in the Masonic and Rosicrucian traditions.
Hermetic arts include astrology, alchemy, writing, mathematics, architecture, invocations, and other priestly arts. The "Way" to salvation through Hermetic Arts is synthesized in the pictorial Book of Thoth. It is the revelation of the archetypal symbolism contained in our modern Tarot cards. The origins of these cards is lost in antiquity. But one thing is certain, in symbolizing the Path of Return, they embody a series of transitions which is defintely Hermetic in quality and character. Hermes, himself is depicted in the Trump entitled The Magus.
The Inner Companion or Soul-Guide
Both Hermetic Philosophy and alchemy sought the inner experience of the daimon or "companion" who shows the way. This inner figure was held in religious esteem comparable to that of the inner guru or higher Self. Hermes, as soul-guide imparts his secret wisdom in a state of ecstasy. He lifts one into the special world of the spirit where one is bathed in Nous and becomes divine. Hermes in this sense is both a cosmic and personal guardian spirit. He embodies a paradox which means he is a symbol of the Self.
The equivalent soul-guide for a woman frequently appears as the earth-mother goddess, or mother-virgin paradox. This mystery of the goddess of Nature is associated with Hermes. Like Hermes the all-mother possesses dark characteristics including cleverness, cunning, cruelty and unfathomable passion.
As the aspirant contemplates Hermes as soul guide, he is transformed into the inner teacher, who embodies the whole cosmos. This is a process of progressive internalization of those qualities. The personality is confronted with the necessity for transformation. There is a deep and far-reaching change in the conscious attitude. This is a long and painful process for the ego, but ultimately produces detachment from the world's illusions.
Hermes functioned in Hermetic Philosophy much as the modern yogi. He was a way shower who pointed out that the world consists of our projections, and is only one reality among many. Hermes is not only a magician, but corresponds with the archetypal Trickster figure who spins illusions.
Hod represents the mental body, seat of the self-conscious objective mind. In moderns terms, it is Left Hemisphere functioning--logical, analytical and above all interpretive. The object of mental practice here is to exercise healthy scepticism.
Here you examine to confirm or verify knowledge gained by direct experience. We learn to perceive unity through diversity. For example, the synergetic meaning of seemingly unrelated symbols begins to become ingrained in us at the visceral level. When we perceive the essential nature of anything, we also perceive how it fits into the Whole.
Science has shown that the essence of the universe is the One Force, Light. It has shown that all natural forms reveal orderly, harmonious, geometrically indentifiable construction patterns. Certain simple forms are perceptible throughout all the kingdoms of nature.
We learn to recognize patterns that occur and recur and correlate these patterns with the universal principles of which they are representations. This ability to recognize basic patterns, symbols in images and life is the key to real discrimination, the ability to separate the subtle from the gross.
To become identified with the Light of the Self, we must learn to focus the attention of our conscious mind. Imagery is the virtual matrix of form. This imagery must be controlled and directed to be valuable in our work. We can use our self-conscious ability to focus attention to intiate imagery which will link to with the higher self and build an identification without inflation, because the personality learns the differences between itself and That.
Practicing identification and disidentification with the Self is a potent transformational exercise. It is a process morph that is part of pathworking which will allow moving from the Astral to Causal once the body of light is congealed.
First become aware of this superpersonal level by recognizing it. Don't just mentally affirm that it is there--practice it. Mentally reach upward toward it. Visualize the light and concentrate to make it even brighter...limitless. Make yourself constantly aware of it in every detail of your personal life, leading the way, functioning much like an inner guide or guru.
It is an influx of tremendous power when you focus on it. This subtle awareness doesn't come all at once. So the exercise must be repeated until it is habit to recall your True Self. Remind yourself that you every mental state, act, thought, emotion is a transformation of superpersonal, superconscious energy. We learn to begin identifying with the Self, rather than the limited personality. Personality becomes the instrument for the Higher Self. It isn't perfect, but is becoming.
Hermetic philosophy was concerned with in-depth questions about the nature of life and the universe, an intimate personal relationship with God, and revival of the ancient wisdom of Egypt and Mesopotamia. Most of the texts are in the form of dialogues allegedly with such figures as Hermes Trismegistus, Asclepius, Isis and Horus. The dialogue format is easily accounted for since the core of these teachings come from Greek philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle. The main texts include the Corpus Hermeticum, Poimandres, and the Asclepius.
The teachings are definitly mystical, in that man is said to combine a mortal and godlike nature. The Hermetic creation myth begins with Darkness and Light, which produce moisture and the other elements. Light is a Spirit (Nous or Mind) and gives birth to reason (Logos). The original spirit creates a demiurge, creator of the worlds of heaven and earth.
The Hermetics practiced a vegetarian lifestyle, as did the Orphics. They believed that at death (and in meditation) the soul abandons the body and senses and ascends to the spheres of the seven planets. Finally one enters the eighth sphere and comes before the Father and enters God, where all is one and the hierarchy is transcended. "Whoever co-operates with God merits release from his mission in the world and a return to the godlike life of the pure spirit. Those who fail to do this are reborn after death in other forms." This echoes notions of redemption and transmigration. These mystics sought to become God by aspiring with will and skill to the stage of absorption:
"For the Hermetists...it is through mystical experience that main attains liberation. In that experience, at its greatest intensity, the soul is wholly absorbed in the vision of God...He forgets all bodily sensations and all bodily movements, and is still. But the beauty of the Good bathes his mind in light, and takes all his soul up to itself, and draws it forth from the body, and transforms it wholly into the essence of God. In the ecstatic vision of the divine, man's being is deified; he passes into the divine Light...it is possible to rise to the knowledge of God, which implies identification with Him, by the application of the principle that 'like is apprehended by like'...Such equalization to God can be attained by the illimitable extension of our being...By such an expansion of the range of his consciousness man may rise into oneness with God, who is Himself the Whole." (Sidney Spencer, Mysticism in World Religion).
Hod also represents the concept that basic geometries underlie the proportions and relationships of physical manifestation. One changeless law of scale and proportion pervades the universe. In Hod we learn to recognize them even through complexities of outward form.
Because we can observe, analyze, order, arrange, and visualize, we can extend the possibilities and potentials inherent in nature, much the way a gardener creates hybrids. The elaboration of mineral forms through metallurgy and chemistry were part of the foundation of civilization and alchemy.
In general, Hermes relates to the development of skill, in science or mystic ascent. This is similar to the scientific method when working Qabala. First we carefully observe natural phenomena, then create a theory or principle based on observation. Now we are in the experimental stage that either proves the validity of the theory or shows that it needs to be modified or discarded. To be scientifically valid, an experiment must be repeatable or reproducable.
Experimental work always has the purpose of bringing something into form. It shares this telos with art. It may not be a physical form. It may be a state of consciousness or a conscious realization which represents the answer to an enigma. Or, the concrete grasp of something we wanted to understand more fully. This grounds abstract ideas in experience.
The choosing of a project--an act of will--sets processes in motion that lead toward the concretion or completion in the phenomenal world. Therefore, we intitate the practice of reaching for guidance from the higher self for the purpose of making guidance more definitive in our lives.
Another practice, that of formulating specific geometrical shapes in the mind's eye, is for the purpose of gaining skill in control of mind wandering. We can learn to manipulate subtle formative substances and recognize proportions, measurements and relationships that are basic in all form building.
Discrimination is the keyword for the Astral, which (as Hod) has the sword for its symbol. By use of the sword of discrimination, acquired through receptivity to the planes above, errors and distortions are dissolved; relationships, forces and energies are rearranged. What is irrelevant, useless or harmful must be discarded as an obstruction. This stabilizes one ideal quality after another into our personal sphere. This is another step in the process of integration and unification.
Magic as a Hermetic Art
Hermes is a curious admixture of pre-scientific magic, and the technical humanistic willed approach of science. Magic has existed as a sacred psychology among all peoples since ancient times. Whether it was practical or "impractical" magic matters little. Magic and religion can be viewed as two different languages which interpret the perennial theme of our conscious evolution. Magic concerns developing power through will, while religion develops us through denial of egoistic willfulness. According to Needleman:
The religious path says to man: "surrender your trifling sense of ability which you magnify into something fantastic and grotesque, and allow the power of God to operate through you." The path of magic says: "Create in yourself a will and an individuality that is an instrument of higher cosmic energies." Both magic and the path of religion in their authenticity, and as properly understood, deal with the transformation of maninto a being who can consciously manifest fudamental power (or the "Will of God").
Magical power is related to the ability to create illusions or trance states in others. People are susceptible to deception because of suggestibility, an intense desire to please others, and passive or uncultivated attention. No amount of intellectual brilliance can compensate for passivity of attention. It controls perceptual focus and conceptual processes. It lets us deceive ourselves and is the source of denial. Visual and mental misdirection, coupled with emotional misdirection can lead to the feeling and perception of another world or reality.
Perceptions, thoughts, and emotions can conspire to construct illusory objects and events. In the everday trance of consensus awareness our attention is almost always passive, and we are susceptible to a variety of suggestions. We can train the faculty by sustained attention directed toward self-observation of our own processes (thoughts, sensations, emotions) as they occur in ordinary experience. This is called mindfulness in Buddhism.
Indian philosophy suggests cultivating attention to all aspects of our being:
"sensations (pleasant sensations, unpleasant sensations, indifferent sensations, interested and pleasant sensations, disinterested and pleasant sensations, etc.); emotion (a passionate mind, a mind free from passion, a mind full of hatred, a mind free from hatred, an infatuated mind, a mind free from infatuation, an intent mind, a wandering mind, an exalted mind, an inferior mind, a concentrated mind, an unconcentrated mind, an emancipated mind, an unemancipated mind, etc.); dispositions, thoughts, perceptions, reactions, sounds, tastes, colors, odors--in short everything that could possibly be seen as the contents of the mind." (Needleman, 1975).
Living in the world of real causes begins with cultivating attention. Without active attention it is not possible to glimpse the inner aspects of reality. Passive attention beguiles with appearances, both in regard to the universe and ourselves. It is because of failure of attention that desire shapes our thoughts and understanding, and actions. This leaves us without real mpower, acting in a false world, a construct of the ordinary passive mind.
Maimonides spoke of the mystical application of attention and evocation of conscious energy:
"When we have acquired a true knowledge of God, and rejoice in that knowledge in such a manner, that whilst speaking to others, or attending to our bodily wants, our mind is all that time with God; when we are with our heart constantly near God, even whilst our body is in the society of men; when we are in that state...then we have attained not...this degree of pefection...Their mind was so identified with the knowledge of God, that he made a lasting covenant with each of them."
"Those who are perfect in their perception of God, whose mind is never separated from Him, enjoy always the inflience of Providence. But those who, perfet in their knowledge of God, turn their mind sometimes away from God, enjoy the presence of Divine Providence only when they meditate on God; when their thoughts are engaged in other matter, Divine Providence departs from them. ...This person is then like a trained scribe when he is not writing. Those who have no knowledge of God are like those who are in constant darkness and have never seen the light."
Hermeticism is a philosophy for people who think for themselves, as it challenges all metatheories. It is fundamentally deconstructionist. Humanism is focused on human means for comprehending reality, without access to transcendent knowledge. It is a philosophy of reason and science. Though rejecting arbitrary faith, authority, revelation and altered states of consciousness, it is a philosophy of imagination.
Issaac Newton's translation of THE EMERALD TABLET
- 1. Tis true without lying, certain & most true.
- 2. That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below to do the miracles of one only thing.
- 3. And as all things have been & arose from one by the meditation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
- 4. The Sun is its father, the moon its mother,
- 5. The wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth its nurse.
- 6. The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
- 7. Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.
- 7a. Separate thou the earth from the fire, the subtle from the gross sweetly with great industry.
- 8. It ascends from the earth to the heaven & again it desends to the earth and receives the force of things superior & inferior.
- 9. By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world & thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
- 10. Its force is above all force, for it vanquishes every subtle thing & penetrates every solid thing.
- 11a. So was the world created.
- 12. From this are & do come admirable adaptations where of the means (or process) is here in this.
- 13. Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world.
- 14. That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished & ended.
THE SECRET OF HERMES
Hence we conclude that Mercury alone is the true Key of our Art; for it is in truth the dry water described by the Sages, which, though liquid, does not wet the hands, nor anything else that does not belong to the unity of its substance. Mercury is our doorkeeper, our balm, our honey, oil, urine, may-dew, mother, egg, secret furnace, oven, true fire, venomous Dragon, Theriac, ardent wine, Green Lion, Bird of Hermes, Goose of Hermogenes, two-edged sword in the hand of the (Cherub that guards the Tree of Life, &c., &c.; it is our true, secret vessel, and the Garden of the Sages, in which our Sun rises and sets. It is our Royal Mineral, our triumphant vegetable Saturnia, and the magic rod of Hermes, by means of which he assumes any shape he likes. It is of this water that the Sage uses the words: "Let Alchemists boast as much as they like, but without this water the transmutation of metals is impossible. In Nature it is not such as we use it in our Art; it is a most common thing, and yet the most precious treasure of all the world. ~Philalethes, Transmutation of Metals
IT IS THE POWER OF THOTH THAT BINDS AND LOOSENS. HE HOLDS THE KEYS OF HEAVEN AND HELL, LIFE AND DEATH. ~GRS Meade, Thrice-Great Hermes, Vol. I pg 61. Thoth is a symbol of the higher mind, the bridge of gate between heaven and hell, higher and lower nature.
THE KEY TO ST. GERMAIN IS THE EMERALD TABLET OF HERMES TRISMEGISTUS, which proclaims that LIGHT IS THE KEY. It is the Key to Wisdom, to the Mysteries, to Magic, to Freedom of Space, to Time, to Above & Below, to Prophecy, to Life & Death, and the Secret of Secrets...
Excerpts from The Emerald Tablet:
I, Death, come, and yet I remain not, for life eternal exists in the All; only an obstacle, I in the pathway, quick to be conquered by the infinite light. Awaken, O flame that burns ever inward, flame forth and conquer the veil of the night.”
Thy bodies are nothing but planets revolving around their central suns. When ye have gained the light of all wisdom, free shall ye be to shine in the ether -- one of the Suns that light outer darkness -- one of the space-born grown into Light. Just as the stars in time lose their brilliance, light passing from them in to the great source, so, O man, the soul passes onward, leaving behind the darkness of night. Formed forth ye, from the primal ether, filled with the brilliance that flows from the source, bound by the ether coalesced around, yet ever it flames until at last it is free.
Lift up your flame from out of the darkness, fly from the night and ye shall be free. Traveled I through the space-time, knowing my soul at last was set free, knowing that now might I pursue wisdom.
Sun of the Great Sun, when ye gain wisdom, truly aware of your kinship with Light. Now, to ye, I give knowledge, freedom to walk in the path I have trod, showing ye truly how by my striving, I trod the path that leads to the stars. Hark ye, O man, and know of thy bondage, know how to free thyself from the toils. Out of the darkness shall ye rise upward, one with the Light and one with the stars. Follow ye ever the path of wisdom. Only by this can ye rise from below. Ever man's destiny leads him onward into the Curves of Infinity's ALL. Know ye, O man, that all space is ordered. Only by Order are ye One with the ALL. Order and balance are the Law of the Cosmos. Follow and ye shall be One with the ALL. He who would follow the pathway of wisdom, open must be to the flower of life, extending his consciousness out of the darkness, flowing through time and space in the ALL.
Take thou, O THOTH, all of your wisdom. Take all your records, Take all your magic. Go thou forth as a teacher of men. Go thou forth reserving the records until in time LIGHT grows among men. LIGHT shalt thou be all through the ages, hidden yet found by enlightened men. Over all Earth, give WE ye power, free thou to give or take it away. Gather thou now the sons of Atlantis. Take them and flee to the people of the rock caves. Fly to the land of the Children of KHEM.
Formless am I to the Light-Soul,
formless yet shining with light.
Know I the bonds of the darkness
must shatter and fall before light.
Now give I this wisdom.
Free may ye be, O man,
living in light and in brightness.
Turn not they face from the Light.
Thy soul dwells in realms of brightness.
Ye are a child of the Light.
Turn thy thoughts inward not outward.
Find thou the Light-Soul within.
Know that thou art the MASTER.
All else is brought from within.
Grow thou to realms of brightness.
Hold thou thy thought on the Light.
Know thou art one with the Cosmos,
a flame and a Child of the Light.
Look to the LIGHT! O my brother.
Open and ye shall receive.
Press on through the valley of darkness.
Overcome the dweller of night.
Keep ever thine eyes of the LIGHT-PLANE,
and thou shalt be One with the LIGHT.
Man is in process of changing
to forms that are not of this world.
Grows he is time to the formless,
a plane on the cycle above.
Know ye, ye must become formless
before ye are with the LIGHT,
Seek ye, O man, to find the great pathway
that leads to eternal LIFE as a SUN.
Draw ye away from the veil of the darkness.
Seek to become a Light in the world.
Make of thyself a vessel for Light,
a focus for the Sun of this space.
Lift thou thine eyes to the Cosmos.
Lift thou thine eyes to the Light.
Speak in the words of the Dweller,
the chant that calls down the Light.
Sing thou the song of freedom.
Sing thou the song of the Soul.
Create the high vibration
that will make thee One with the Whole.
Blend all thyself with the Cosmos.
Grow into ONE with the Light.
Be thou a channel of order,
a pathway of LAW to the world.
Thy LIGHT, O man, is the great LIGHT,
shining through the shadow of flesh.
Free must thou rise from the darkness
before thou art One with the LIGHT.
Put forth thy effort in gaining LIGHT
on the pathway of Life.
Seek to be One with the SUN/state.
Seek to be solely the LIGHT.
Hold thou thy thought on the Oneness
of Light with the body of man.
Know that all is Order from Chaos
born into light.
Light is life, for without the great Light
nothing can ever exist.
Know ye, that in all formed matter,
the heart of Light always exists.
Aye, even though bound in the darkness,
inherent Light always exists.
List ye, O man, to the words of my wisdom,
list to the voice of Thoth, the Atlantean.
Conquered have I the Law of time-space.
Knowledge have I gained of the future of time.
Know I that man in his movement through s
pace-time shall ever be One with the All
Know ye, O man,
that all of the future is an open book
to him who can read.
All effect shall bring forth its causes
as all effects grew from the first cause.
Know ye the future is not fixed or
stable but varies as cause brings forth an effect.
Look in the cause thou shalt bring into being,
and surely thou shalt see that all is effect.
Great is the secret yet easy to master,
giving to thee the mastery of time.
When upon thee death fast approaches,
fear not but know ye are master of Death.
Relax thy body, resist not with tension.
Place in thy heart the flame of thy Soul.
Swiftly then sweep it to the seat of the triangle.
Hold for a moment, then move to the goal.
This, thy goal, is the place between thine eyebrows,
the place where the memory of life must hold sway.
Hold thou thy flame here in thy brain-seat
until the fingers of Death grasp thy Soul.
Then as thou pass through the state of transition,
surely the memories of life shall pass, too.
Then shalt the past be as one with the present.
Then shall the memory of all be retained.
Free shalt thou be from all retrogression.
The things of the past shall live in today.
Now ye assemble, my children,
waiting to hear the Secret of Secrets
which shall give ye power to unfold the God-man,
give ye the way to Eternal life.
Plainly shall I speak of the Unveiled Mysteries.
No dark sayings shall I give unto thee.
Open thine ears now, my children.
Hear and obey the words that I give.
~Emerald TabletEmerald Tablet 3: The Key of Wisdom
I, Thoth, the Atlantean, give of my wisdom, give of my knowledge, give of my power. Freely I give to the children of men. Give that they, too, might have wisdom to shine through the world from the veil of the night. Wisdom is power and power is wisdom, one with each other, perfecting the whole. Be thou not proud, O man, in thy wisdom. Discourse with the ignorant as well as the wise. If one comes to thee full of knowledge, listen and heed, for wisdom is all. Keep thou not silent when evil is spoken for Truth like the sunlight shines above all. He who over-steppeth the Law shall be punished, for only through Law comes the freedom of men. Cause thou not fear for fear is a bondage, a fetter that binds the darkness to men.
Follow thine heart during thy lifetime. Do thou more than is commanded of thee. When thou hast gained riches, follow thou thine heart, for all these are of no avail if thine heart be weary. Diminish thou not the time of following thine heart. It is abhorred of the soul. They that are guided go not astray, but they that are lost cannot find a straight path. If thou go among men, make for thyself, Love, the beginning and end of the heart. If one cometh unto thee for council, let him speak freely, that the thing for which he hath come to thee may be done. If he hesitates to open his heart to thee, it is because thou, the judge, doeth the wrong. Repeat thou not extravagant speech, neither listen thou to it, for it is the utterance of one not in equilibrium. Speak thou not of it, so that he before thee may know wisdom. Silence is of great profit. An abundance of speech profiteth nothing. Exalt not thine heart above the children of men, lest it be brought lower than the dust. If thou be great among men, be honored for knowledge and gentleness. If thou seeketh to know the nature of a friend, ask not his companion, but pass a time alone with him. Debate with him, testing his heart by his words and his bearing. That which goeth into the store-house must come forth, and the things that are thine must be shared with a friend.
Knowledge is regarded by the fool as ignorance, and the things that are profitable are to him hurtful. He liveth in death. It is therefore his food. The wise man lets his heart overflow but keeps silent his mouth. O man, list to the voice of wisdom; list to the voice of light. Mysteries there are in the Cosmos that unveiled fill the world with their light. Let he who would be free from the bonds of darkness first divine the material from the immaterial, the fire from the earth; for know ye that as earth descends to earth, so also fire ascends unto fire and becomes one with fire. He who knows the fire that is within himself shall ascend unto the eternal fire and dwell in it eternally. Fire, the inner fire, is the most potent of all force, for it overcometh all things and penetrates to all things of the Earth. Man supports himself only on that which resists. So Earth must resist man else he existeth not. All eyes do not see with the same vision, for to one an object appears of one form and color and to a different eye of another. So also the infinite fire, changing from color to color, is never the same from day to day.
Thus, speak I, THOTH, of my wisdom, for a man is a fire burning bright through the night; never is quenched in the veil of the darkness, never is quenched by the veil of the night. Into men's hearts, I looked by my wisdom, found them not free from the bondage of strife. Free from the toils, thy fire, O my brother, lest it be buried in the shadow of night! Hark ye, O man, and list to this wisdom: where do name and form cease? Only in consciousness, invisible, an infinite force of radiance bright. The forms that ye create by brightening they vision are truly effects that follow thy cause. Man is a star bound to a body, until in the end, he is freed through his strife. Only by struggle and toiling thy utmost shall the star within thee bloom out in new life. He who knows the commencement of all things, free is his star from the realm of night. Remember, O man, that all which exists is only another form of that which exists not. Everything that has being is passing into yet other being and thou thyself are not an exception. Consider the Law, for all is Law. Seek not that which is not of the Law, for such exists only in the illusions of the senses. Wisdom cometh to all her children even as they cometh unto wisdom. All through the ages, the light has been hidden. Awake, O man, and be wise. Deep in the mysteries of life have I traveled, seeking and searching for that which is hidden. List ye, O man, and be wise.
Far 'neath the earth crust, in the Halls of Amenti, mysteries I saw that are hidden from men. Oft have I journeyed the deep hidden passage, looked on the Light that is Life among men. There 'neath the flowers of Life ever living, searched I the hearts and the secrets of men. Found I that man is but living in darkness, light of the great fire is hidden within. Before the Lords of hidden Amenti learned I the wisdom I give unto men. Masters are they of the great Secret Wisdom, brought from the future of infinity's end. Seven are they, the Lords of Amenti, overlords they of the Children of Morning, Suns of the cycles, Masters of Wisdom. Formed are not they as the children of men? THREE, FOUR, FIVE AND SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE are the titles of the Masters of men. Far from the future, formless yet forming, came they as teachers for the children of men. Live they forever, yet not of the living, bound not to life and yet free from death. Rule they forever with infinite wisdom, bound yet not bound to the dark Halls of Death. Life they have in them, yet life that is not life, free from all are the Lords of the ALL. Forth from them came forth the Logos, instruments they of the power o'er all. Vast is their countenance, yet hidden in smallness, formed by a forming, known yet unknown. THREE holds the key of all hidden magic, creator he of the halls of the Dead; sending forth power, shrouding with darkness, binding the souls of the children of men; sending the darkness, binding the soul force; director of negative to the children of men. FOUR is he who looses the power. Lord, he, of Life to the children of men. Light is his body, flame is his countenance; freer of souls to the children of men. FIVE is the master, the Lord of all magic - Key to The Word that resounds among men. SIX is the Lord of Light, the hidden pathway, path of the souls of the children of men. SEVEN is he who is Lord of the vastness, master of Space and the key of the Times. EIGHT is he who orders the progress; weighs and balances the journey of men. NINE is the father, vast he of countenance, forming and changing from out of the formless. Meditate on the symbols I give thee. Keys are they, though hidden from men.
Reach ever upward, O Soul of the morning. Turn thy thoughts upward to Light and to Life. Find in the keys of the numbers I bring thee, light on the pathway from life unto life. Seek ye with wisdom. Turn thy thoughts inward. Close not thy mind to the flower of Light. Place in thy body a thought-formed picture. Think of the numbers that lead thee to Life. Clear is the pathway to he who has wisdom. Open the door to the Kingdom of Light. Pour forth thy flame as a Sun of the morning. Shut out the darkness and live in the day. Take thee, O man! As part of thy being, the Seven who are but are not as they seem. Opened, O man! Have I my wisdom. Follow the path in the way I have led. Masters of Wisdom, SUN of the MORNING LIGHT and LIFE to the children of men.