The Essential Wisdom is closely connected to the hermetic cosmology. In ancient Greece Hermes was said to be a god. (In Rome he was called Mercury). It was said Hermes came down to earth in the form of a man in order to help mankind.
According to the hermetic cosmology the world is created through a spiritual substance best referred to as Being-Unity-Goodness. So is Hermes; so is everyone. His name when on earth was Hermes ‘Telat Mechasot’ (‘one-in-essence, three-in-aspect’).
Hermes is composed of Being, Unity and Goodness. Like Being, Unity is a way the substrate expresses itself. Truth is real being. It is also Unity. When something is true all the parts fit together, at which point the essence shines through. In order to find the truth about creation one way is to study a broad (eclectic) range of subjects and boil the amalgam down to the underlying essence, eliminating any dross (untruths) along the way. Although the world is composed of many different things (including many ways to examine its nature such as astrology, philosophy, mathematics, comparative religions, and so forth) it is possible to know the truth through the Unity present in these ‘parts’ of knowledge.
In order to accomplish an eclectic amalgamation the substance needed to put the ideas together is Mercury. Mercury is a metal utilized to this day to distill gold from base metals just as it was in ancient alchemy. Because of this alchemy has been linked to the hermetic cosmology. The simple clues this ‘mythical’ man called Hermes/Mercury left behind have the capacity to help people find the truth. The Essential Wisdom is in that sense alchemy in process. It is a search for the essence of the essential wisdom. [The color gold is a symbol for spirit. People are composed of a spiritual substance, and the goal of the hermetic journey is to eliminate, not just the dross from modern-day philosophy, science and religion, but also from people so their gold under-base can shine through.]
SYNOPSIS OF THE ESSENTIAL WISDOM
(If the reader is pressed for time they can skip to the page in this web site entitled Absolute Proofs for a short version of this synopsis.)
Introduction (Chapters 1 through 5)
Chapter 1: The Essential Wisdom and the Hermetic Cosmology.
This chapter explains the relationship between this book and a cosmology which was given to the world by a man called Hermes thousands of years ago. Hermes was said to be a god in olden days but also a person. Hermes taught that the world was created in layers. He explained creation via twelve short aphorisms with the most famous being “That which is below is as that which is above and that which is above is as that which is below.” Two of the highest systems above Hermes include the solar system he resides within and the world as a whole. In the aphorisms Hermes says he is a solar system and a world. (Hermes Three-in-One is Being-Unity-Goodness and he is a person, a world, and a solar system.) It is an understanding of his nature as a world which makes it possible to show via philosophy and science that worlds are embodied by beings and, even more importantly, that these worlds are created from the substance of spirit. Hermes is an infinite and everlasting, divine being—as is every person. It is Hermes’ nature as a solar system which helps explain that he is not only created from a spiritual substance, but is in addition a creator producing energy from his own personal spirit. So is every person. This makes them truly an immortal, a divine being with the capacity to create—a god just like Hermes.
Chapter 2: The Hermetic Journey.
The hermetic cosmology is based on two sets of twelve—twelve aphorisms and twelve archetypes. The twelve aphorisms are the words of wisdom given to mankind by Hermes. The twelve archetypes are the basic laws and principles underlying atomic-level physics, biophysics, astrophysics, and the various levels of life studied by physicists. (The archetypes were also spoken of in the old religions as the minister gods who helped the world god create. They are present in astrology as the twelve signs of the zodiac.)
This chapter gives the goal of the Essential Wisdom, which is not just to advocate for a particular cosmology, but in the process help people find their way home. ‘Home’ is a state wherein people embody the truth. They express Being-Unity-Goodness in everything they say, think, feel and do. Home is a state of health and of wholeness.
In addition to the goal, this chapter also outlines the method utilized and uses baseball as a visual metaphor. In searching for the truth, first base is philosophy, in particular its two branches referred to as metaphysics and epistemology. The first base coaches are the mathematicians of the world. They say when it is logically safe to advance to second base. Second base is science. There are proofs that the hermetic cosmology is true. Third base is religion. This too is helpful. Home plate is the true self. Because worlds are embodied by systems, to discover the truth about the world is to find the true self.
Chapter 3: Obstacles Along the Hermetic Pathway.
This chapter looks into the characteristics of the ‘opposing team’ at each base. These are the same three human institutions which can help provide proofs for The Essential Wisdom—philosophy, science and religion. Chapter 3 explains why and in what way these disciplines have traditionally opposed the hermetic cosmology.
Chapter 4: Esoteric Paths.
Although The Essential Wisdom utilizes three open and traditional ways to find the way home—philosophy, science and religion—due to the obstacles it encountered the hermetic cosmology became an esoteric doctrine. The esoteric branches can be broadly classified into (a) the way of the mystery societies, such as the Gnostics and the Freemasons, (b) the way of individual mysticism, such as yoga and kabbalah, and (c) the way of service (e.g., compassion and goodness). It is time to bring these overt and covert means to development back together again. Groups like the Freemasons and practices like kabbalah can provide information which was lost when the hermetic cosmology went underground. Each of these three esoteric routes is discussed in their relationship to this cosmology and its theme—the divine nature of people.
Chapter 5: The Hermetic Aphorisms.
Since these are the touchstone upon which the hermetic cosmology is based, the twelve aphorisms are given in Chapter 5. In them Hermes states that he is, not just a human being, but a solar system and a world as well.
First and Second Base
Chapters 6 through 11 in this section are dedicated to providing first and second base support for the hermetic cosmology. The method used is to begin each chapter with a thesis based upon a major premise in the aphorisms. The idea is to see if there is philosophical and scientific support which can attest to the truth of the thesis.
According to the old religions the world was a world-sun god. According to the hermetic aphorisms a person is a world-sun god.
Chapter 6: A Person as a World—and a God.
The thesis is that a person is a world, that they are composed of a spiritual substance, and that these two states of affairs are integrally related. This chapter leans heavily on philosophy and the first base coaches. Through looking at the four substances underlying creation and giving them each a mathematical symbol Chapter 6 lays the foundation for how a world is created, why it is a ‘system’ and why a true system is spiritual in nature. The four substances are the substrate (∞), the personal spirit (0), the soul, and the body, with the latter two conjoined as an ongoing process of ‘soul-work’ the outcome of which is a living system. The body of a living system is a basic material ‘unit,’ i.e., ‘1’ (a singularity). It is intended to be ‘whole’ (as also symbolized by ‘1’ the first whole number). Chapter 6 begins by exploring information about a well-known equation which can provide a proof that the body is composed of a spiritual substance: 0 x ∞ = 1. The chapter then turns to geometry so as to actually visualize how it is that the material body (1) is created by means of the personal spirit (∙) relating to the substrate (∞). [In geometry the personal spirit is symbolized by a point (∙). The ‘dot’ philosophy is a simple way to visualize creation in terms of geometrical points, even and especially in terms of levels (cf. p. 111).]
Although the emphasis in this chapter is on mathematics and philosophy, science is utilized as well. Among other things Chapter 6 discusses Einstein’s general theory of relativity which provides a proof that the world is both finite and infinite.
Chapter 7: The Purpose of Life.
The thesis in this chapter is that the purpose of life is to create systems and for those systems to be creators. Since everything is said to arise from a spiritual source, the chapter begins with several major philosophical arguments for the existence of the substance at base of life—pure Spirit. One of these is the ‘first cause’ argument. Another is what philosophers call the ‘cosmological’ argument.
After illustrating through philosophy (and in Chapter 6 through mathematics) that spirit is real, the next question which then arises is this: How does the substrate, which is spiritual and hence metaphysical, connect to matter? Chapter 7 goes on to show that the personal spirit in each and every system is the point of connection between that which is physical and that which is metaphysical. The role of this tiny dot in creation is inestimable. As a true first cause it, not only begins creation, it manages to be just what is meant by creation—that which is called matter. And it does not stop after initiating creation. It also leads every system ever onward in a never-ending process of growth, evolution, and exploration.
Chapter 8: A Person as a Photon.
Before going on to A Person as a Solar System, it helps to go downward instead of upward. Everything is composed of light, hence light is even more basic than a world or a solar system. If the precept ‘as above, so below’ is true, then it may be that all systems are not only worlds and solar systems, but also photons. If so, then it is important to see if a photon possesses anything spiritual in its makeup. (The nature of a ‘personal spirit’ and of ‘soul’ have been explored in previous chapters.) The emphasis in Chapter 8 is on science, and the primary proof utilized is the famous ‘double-slit’ experiment. This experiment demonstrates that even a photon has a personal spirit. The personal spirit gives ‘awareness.’ The double-slit experiment shows that a photon manifests a primitive type of awareness.
As for its possession of a soul, it is as a particle that a photon has a soul. Soul gives ‘wholeness’ to systems and is something more than the sum of the parts. The double-slit experiment shows that light is both a particle and a wave depending upon the level it is experienced from. These two levels are ‘soul’ and ‘body’ (variously ‘wholeness’ and ‘partness’); and which is manifesting depends upon the level under consideration. [This is true of atoms and molecules as well. Their wholeness is experienced by a person as matter (as partness).]
In its role as a photon—a distinct particle or whole—light is the tiniest ‘world’ in the universe. But it is not just a world; it is also a solar system.
Chapter 9: A Person as a Solar System.
As a material unit a person is a world. In addition to being a world, according to the aphorisms a person is also a solar system—a world-sun god. As above, so below. Both a world and a solar system are photons. Conversely, even photons are worlds and solar systems.
A photon, as a microscopic world, is a particle of light. As a microscopic solar system it also emits light. This chapter focuses in on the work of two physicists who have devoted their lives to showing that photons, atoms, people, solar systems, and on up the ladder of systems to the universe as a whole, all apparently have what are called ‘black-white holes’ at the center of their bodies. A ‘black’ hole is a central point which takes in light, centralizing and unifying the parts of the body which surrounds it. As a ‘white’ hole this center concurrently emits light, creating the system being centralized. From the standpoint of the esoteric doctrine this is the personal spirit doing what Hermes called ‘soul-work’ and which has also been dubbed solar work. People are not just a unit of light in the form of a photon; they are producing light. That light is one level lower and manifests in wave-form. It comes out from their personal spirit in the form of ordinary white light and diverges into the colors of the rainbow. The light from that center produces their parts. The light from the solar system above produces the ‘parts’ of the collective people share with other living systems. It creates an external world. These two levels of light resonate with one another.
(This chapter sets the stage for Chapter 11, Astrology, including data on how it works, but first it is important to look at reincarnation.)
Chapter 10: Reincarnation and Karma.
The body of a person is composed of light (energy). Each person is naturally whole (1). Because of mistakes in their creative endeavors people have shadows in them where there should be only light. (People see light only at certain levels of being. Darkness has been explained in previous chapters as lack of light at the correct level of being—a potential for creation which went awry.) Because of the problems the world currently manifests people get sick or hurt in various ways, and even when ‘normal’ still age. One way or another the shadows increase to the extent that people die. Despite this every individual is essentially immortal. They survive death and eventually reincarnate back into this world so they can work to overcome their problems. The goal of Chapter 10 is to provide the latest empirical (scientific) evidence that people are immortals and that reincarnation is real. The data on ‘karma’ in this chapter sets the stage for the next chapter, which explains why it is that where and when a person is born (a birth chart in astrology) reflects what they have become to date. [The twelve basic phases and frequencies in light are qualitative as well as spatial in nature. They constitute a natural language. Via these phases and frequencies light is able to express the nature of things created from light. Systems retain that ‘information’ in their soul which is why they are able to be their self even after death and eventually reincarnate.)]
Chapter 11: Astrology.
Astrology is a science, and is in fact the science of sciences. The archetypes upon which it is based are the laws of nature which physics studies. Astrology is truly a second base discipline, and can be used as a means to scientifically affirm the truth of the hermetic cosmology. If it is to be used as such it must first be shown itself to be true. The purpose of Chapter 11 is to explain how astrology works, and to do so via all the data discussed previously, including all the new information in regards to light which is now available in physics, be it astrophysics, biophysics or atomic-level physics.
(The twelve archetypes in astrology rule over the same areas of life as the great minister gods in the religions of old. This final chapter in section two sets the stage for Third Base—the role of religion. All the religions of the world—both the old nature astral religions and the current transcendent monotheism—were originally founded upon precepts integral to the hermetic view of creation. Despite the way in which people have corrupted that data, these religions still have important information to convey in regards to the hermetic cosmology.)
The previous chapters have been an attempt to, not just say that the hermetic cosmology appears to be true, but to present evidence to that effect via the human institutions of philosophy, mathematics and science. Chapters 12 through 15 are dedicated to another human institution which can also further knowledge in regards to the hermetic cosmology—religion.
Chapter 12: The Old Religions and the Archetypes.
This chapter show how well the old pantheistic, nature-astral religions explained the nature of the twelve archetypes.
Chapter 13: The Current Religions.
Religions like Judaism, Islam and Christianity are and are not new religions. This chapter shows how the patriarchs and archangels are the same as the twelve minister gods who in the old religions helped the world-sun god create the world.
Chapter 14: Innovations in Religion.
This chapter looks closely at two of the most recent new religions, Buddhism and Christianity. These two present as true innovations in the movement towards a hermetic world view.
Chapter 15: Truth vs. Religion.
Religion is in a state of evolution and even revelation can only go as far as the state of the evolution of mankind. Just as with philosophy and science, religion has its problems. Chapter 15 looks at the history of some of those problems, in particular as they relate to the persecution of those who have tried to advocate for the hermetic cosmology.
Despite the problems, religion is a major base on the way home. As a way to gain knowledge religion has been looked down upon by some moderns. This is a mistake which science has fostered—and philosophy too whenever either of these two institutions have turned their back on metaphysics. Through studying the religions of the world it is possible to better understand details about the hermetic cosmology.
Chapter 16: The Way Home.
This is the final chapter in The Essential Wisdom. ‘Home plate’ is discovering the truth about the nature of reality. It is finding the true self.
According to many of the esoteric organizations this journey will take several Ages. The good news is that the time can be speeded up. In the meantime home plate can be a point which leads to a higher level of understanding.
Hopefully the primary truth which has been illuminated along the Way is that each person is a unique ‘expression’ of the unexpressed substrate—a logos. When free of shadows people are the truth. They embody the truth about life. They are the Way, the Truth and the Life.