Hermetics

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1. WHAT IS HERMETICS?

Hermetics, also called Hermeticism or Hermetism, is a religious, philosophical, and esoteric tradition based primarily upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus (“thrice-greatest Hermes”).

These writings of Hermes Trismegistus have greatly influenced the Western esoteric tradition and were considered to be of great importance during both the Renaissance and the Reformation. The tradition traces its origin to a prisca theologia, a doctrine that affirms the existence of a single, true theology that is present in all religions and that was given by God to man in antiquity.

In order to demonstrate the truth of the prisca theologia doctrine, Christians appropriated the Hermetic teachings for their own purposes. By this account, Hermes Trismegistus was (according to the fathers of the Christian church) either a contemporary of Moses or the third in a line of men named Hermes—Enoch, Noah, and the Egyptian priest-king who is known to us as Hermes Trismegistus.

Hermetic philosophy teaches that there is a transcendent God, or Absolute, in which we and the entire universe participate. It also subscribes to the idea that other beings, such as aeons, angels and elementals, exist within the universe.

In Hermeticism, the ultimate reality is referred to variously as God, the All, or the One. God in the Hermetica is unitary and transcendent: he is one and exists apart from the material cosmos. Hermetism is therefore profoundly monotheistic although in a deistic and Unitarian understanding of the term. “For it is a ridiculous thing to confess the World to be one, one Sun, one Moon, one Divinity, and yet to have, I know not how many gods.”

Much of the importance of Hermeticism arises from its connection with the development of science during the time from 1300 to 1600 AD. The prominence that it gave to the idea of influencing or controlling nature led many scientists to look to magic and its allied arts (e.g., alchemy, astrology) which, it was thought, could put nature to the test by means of experiments. Consequently, it was the practical aspects of Hermetic writings that attracted the attention of scientists. Isaac Newton placed great faith in the concept of an unadulterated, pure, ancient doctrine, which he studied vigorously to aid his understanding of the physical world.

Hermes Trimegistus supposedly invented the process of making a glass tube airtight (a process in alchemy) using a secret seal. Hence, the term “completely sealed” is implied in “hermetically sealed” and the term “hermetic” is also equivalent to “occult” or hidden.

According to Geza Vermes, Hermeticism was a Hellenistic mysticism contemporaneous with the Fourth Gospel, and Hermes Tresmegistus was “the Hellenized reincarnation of the Egyptian deity Thoth, the source of wisdom, who was believed to deify man through knowledge (gnosis).”

The actual text of that the Hermetic concept of “as above, so below” as translated by Dennis W. Hauck from The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, is: “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing.” Thus, whatever happens on any level of reality (physical, emotional, or mental) also happens on every other level.

The principle of As Above, So Below, is most often used in the sense of the microcosm and the macrocosm. The microcosm is oneself, and the macrocosm is the universe. The macrocosm is as the microcosm and vice versa; within each lies the other, and through understanding one (usually the microcosm) a person may understand the other.

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2. WHAT IS THE ESSENTIAL DIALECTIC OF HERMETICS?

The Essential Dialectic of Hermetics is:

{Thoth ⇆ Hermes ⇅ Hermes-Trismegistus} ↻ Hermes-Quadmegistus

The Essential Dialectic of Hermetics is the Thoth, Hermes, Hermes-Trismegistus, Hermes-Quadmegistus Dialectic because …

3. WHAT IS THE INTERMEDIARY DIALECTIC OF HERMETIC PHILOSOPHY?

The Intermediary Dialectic of Hermetic Philosophy is:

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4. WHAT IS THE COMPLETE DIALECTIC OF HERMETIC PHILOSOPHY?

The Complete Dialectic of Hermetic Philosophy is:

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