by the Editor
A New Map
The Ardue Library
When I started this compilation sometime in the late eighties, I had no idea where it would lead me. Now that I have reached a place at which I feel I should dwell for a time in order to enjoy the view, I think it will help the reader if I attempt to summarise where I find myself and draw attention to the salient points on the route by which I have travelled.
The Hermetic holistic hypothesis is that all space is filled with a living, vibrant, mental energy called "spirit" from which we get the adjective "spiritual".
This hypothesis and its implications are concisely explained in The Kybalion. The student is earnestly advised to read this book slowly and thoughtfully because the ideas contained therein may at first sight be difficult to reconcile with those which prevail in the mechanical materialistic culture in which the majority of readers of this Web site have most probably been reared.
For example, our news media frequently speculate on the possibility of there being some form of "alien" life on Mars or on one of the moons of Jupiter, and much treasure has been spent on sending "probes" to neighbouring planets in search of the water which is assumed to be necessary to support "life as we know it". The Hermetic "truth" is that spirit itself is alive and, therefore, that no place in the Universe can be devoid of Life. In other words, there are no "aliens" anywhere.
Perhaps the most significant thing we can say about Life is that its actions in any individual case are not mechanically predictable, even if in aggregate they may statistically reveal what Thomas Troward calls "laws of tendency".
In the second chapter of The Kybalion we are introduced to Seven Hermetic Principles, the first of which is that we live in a Mental Universe.
Chapters three through seven expound the philosophy of mentalism and the books by Thomas Troward in the The Ardue Library help us to grasp some of the far-reaching implications of this cardinal Principle. See, e.g., The Universal Spirit and, in particular, chapter 2, The Science of Spirit.
The Philosophy of Mentalism and the Science of Spirit together give rise to six further Principles.
The Hermetic Principle of Correspondence implies that everything we experience, including ourselves, is filled with living Spirit and that everything, including ourselves, accordingly participates in the operation of one and the same universal mental system. Thus by getting to know and understand ourselves, and particularly by "looking within" and observing how our own minds and natures work, we get to understand significant aspects of the nature of the Universe.
The mode of operation of this great principle is amplified in The Planes of Correspondence which explain the hierarchical manner in which the fundamental "components" of the Universe are "complexified" stage by stage in accordance with a definite intelligent, and therefore intelligible, scheme which may be traced from the "bottom up" although we may never come within reach of the Absolute "top".
This theme is reflected in the "lectures" of The Ardue University and in most of the books in The Ardue Library.
Instructions for the practical application of this Principle are given in The Master Key.
The Hermetic Principle of Vibration helps our imagination and intuition to bridge the discontinuities which at first sight appear to exist between Mind and matter and between Life and mechanism. This topic is also discussed in Vibrations The Rationale of Mysticism and in Music as Meaningful Vibrations.
The Hermetic Principle of Polarity explains that apparent opposites are merely differences of degree, as in "hot" and "cold". If we suppose that all qualities are ultimately vibrations in distinctive ranges of frequency, we may interpret all qualitative differences as arising from differences in rates of vibration.
Then, if we can learn to "compose" our mental vibrations and rhythms at will, we may be able to practise mental "alchemy" and produce congenial conditions in our environments.
The Hermetic Principle of Rhythm underlies all naturally recurring changes such as the Seasons of the year. Changes repeatedly manifesting certain distinguishing features enable us to discern patterns in our experience of Nature.
It is for consideration that the atoms and molecules of material substances as well as their constituent "parts", all of which we commonly think of as discrete "particles", are "really" nothing more or less than our symbolic mental interpretations of particular rhythmic patterns of vibration.
The Hermetic Principle of Causation implies that nothing happens by chance but rather in accordance with orderly procedures which may or may not be apparent to our limited faculties.
The lesson to be learned from this is that great effects are brought about not by exercise of raw physical power but rather by the application of "higher" laws to overcome "lower" ones.
Once we overcome our fascination with sex, we begin to recognise that the Hermetic Principle of Gender underlies all phenomena of creation and generation by mutual attraction on all levels.
In music, we find certain combinations of notes harmonious or "attractive" and others discordant or "repellent". We may generalise this experience to explain phenomena of repulsion and attraction in nature and particularly in physics once we can think of "particles" as complexes of vibration.
I have found the chapter on Mental Gender most illuminating. I can observe in myself an active "willing" mind which initiates a train of thought and a responsive, receptive, acquisitive mind which gathers the "raw materials" for its thinking and holds the "thoughts" or "ideas" which constitute the "products" of its thinking which it brings to the attention of my objective consciousness, usually in symbolic forms analogous to my senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell, and inward "feeling".
When I endeavour to communicate my thoughts to other individuals, I have to "re-create" them and then translate them into a language based on these same sense experiences. Recipients of my communications are faced with the task of translating my necessarily imperfect attempts to "make sense" into symbolic structures based on their own sense experience, which may not necessarily be the same as mine. Thus misunderstandings arise and are perpetuated.
Troward explains this very well in Consciousness of Spirit.
The house in which I live has quite a large garden and people sometimes ask me what I grow in it. I usually respond: "I grow vegetables and my wife grows flowers". I utter this falsehood because it is the sort of reply I know my interlocutor expects. The truth, however, is that my wife and I don't grow anything. The flowers and vegetables grow by themselves. All we do is get them started by placing seeds or seedlings in appropriate conditions and ensuring that the soil contains sufficient moisture and nutrients. The plants themselves attract from soil and atmosphere the moisture, carbon dioxide, light, and nutrients which they "desire" for their growth and development.
We deduce that seeds (even some which may have lain "dormant" for a long time) contain the vibrant living mental energy of spirit which responds appropriately to local conditions.
We may further deduce that the chemical elements and compounds which constitute "plant food" also have a "life" of their own, i.e., that Life exhibits a hierarchy of "liveliness" correlated with structural (and therefore vibrational) complexification.
In Towards a Unified Cosmology, Professor Reginald O Kapp presents what I consider to be an intuitionally and intellectually satisfying alternative to the "Big Bang" theory that currently holds sway in Cosmology.
Starting from what he calls The Principle of Minimum Assumption (otherwise known as Occam's Razor), Kapp hypothesises that spirit spontaneously and continuously generates, and subsequently extinguishes, the elementary "particles" which coalesce in accordance with what we call "the laws of physics" to form what we know as matter. As further hypothesised in the same book, the generation of a "particle" simultaneously generates a local expansion of space and the extinction of a "particle" causes a local contraction of space.
As explained in Towards A New Theory of Gravitation, these hypotheses provide a logical explanation both for the expansion of intergalactic space and for the phenomenon of gravitation associated with dense concentrations of matter. It also makes me question whether there really is such a thing as a "black Hole".
Professor Kapp's seminal work deserves to be read in its entirety. It not only puts forward a well-argued case for his theory but also poses many questions and makes several suggestions which should stimulate further research. For example, I intuitively feel that continuous spontaneous generation of matter by spirit offers a satisfying explanation for "dark" matter and "dark" energy. It also offers a more congenial (at least for me!) alternative explanation for cosmic background radiation than what has been put forward as an "echo" from a bang that is supposed to have occurred 14 billion years ago.
In my attempts to keep reasonably up-to-date with authoritative scientific publications, I have not so far encountered anything which seems to be inconsistent with the Hermetic idea of spirit, but much which seems to reinforce it. I shall content myself by offering two quotations which I hope the sincere student will ponder upon, seeking clarification of such technical expressions as may at first glance be obscure.
[From The Lightness of Being, pp. 104-5. "Grid" seems to be Wilczec's word for "spirit".]
"Mass traditionally has been regarded as the defining property of matter, the unique feature that gives substance its substance. So the recent astronomical discovery that the Grid weighs that the entity we perceive as empty space has a universal non-zero density crowns the case for its physical reality. Although it's somewhat peripheral to the main thrust of this book, I'll take a few pages to discuss the nature of that discovery and its cosmological implications, because it's both fundamentally important and extremely interesting."
[From Appendix A to Zero to Infinity, p. 629.]
"The structure which apparently provides the foundation for both mathematics and physics appears to represent a universal rewrite system, which is Nature's own most efficient way of information processing. It seems probable that the same kind of information processing structure, based on nilpotency and the algebraic and geometrical patterns needed to establish it, will also operate at higher scales of natural organization, in particular in the creation and reproduction of biological systems. It is remarkable that the genetic code follows precisely the same logical structure as nilpotent quantum mechanics, the culmination at the [maximal] icosahedral symmetry occurring at exactly the same point in the rewrite system as nilpotency emerges in quantum mechanics. Both systems operate from the rewrite structure's process of 'doubling the dimensionalities', using a virtual, as well as 'real', world, to create the logical space for change.
"An investigation of both 'Nature's code' and 'Nature's rules', as they are applied in biology, cosmology, or even human perception appears to justify the application of a processing system with a fractal structure, or one that shows the same form at all levels [My emphasis. Ed.]. The system which we have described as 'Nature's process' looks like quantum mechanics not only because the physical world is quantum mechanical but also because quantum mechanics has its own origin in the fundamental hierarchy. However, the quantum mechanics needed here is a fermionic one with an infinite semantic logic (based on zero and infinity), not finite syntactic logic (based on 0 and 1), which is central to bosonic states, and we predict that realization of this fact will lead to a new area opening up in AI studies. Ultimately, this is because nilpotency requires a holistic view of Nature, including human perception, in which we can comprehend the part only by instantly connecting to the whole. [My emphasis. Ed.]"
The Holy Spirit is not confined to churches, mosques, or temples. It is always and everywhere. As Its name indicates, It is what unifies the Universe.
The Holy Spirit is always in motion, i.e., It is always vibrating. It is pure energy. Its range of possible frequencies is infinite. All the effects discernible by our senses, including Life, are manifestations of Spirit in characteristic bands, combinations, "rays", or "packets" of vibrational frequency.
We have no means of knowing whence Spirit arises. We must simply accept it as a perpetual omnipresent omniscient fact. We may, if we feel so inclined, think of It as God
If the above statements are true, then we must abandon certain assumptions which currently prevail in Western educational circles:
a. There is no reason to suppose that the Universe had a beginning. We can discern only changes and, whether we categorise them as mere accidents or as chains of cause and effect, we have no means of objectively tracing a complete history of the Universe. The 'Big Bang' is mere conjecture.
b. Our greatest mental difficulty may be in dissociating our sensations of "force", "hardness", and "mass" (or "weight" or "inertia") from our experience of apparently particulate matter. Yet I am convinced that if we can learn to think of material constituents of all shapes, sizes, "spins", "colours", and "flavours" as symbols for particular combinations or "packets" of vibrations sensed or interpreted by us as discrete particles, the marvels of the Universe will become more "alive" for us and our mathematical physics will make more "sense".