The "Vision of Hermes", like nearly all of the Hermetic
writings, is an allegorical exposition of great philosophic and
mystic truths, and its hidden meaning may be comprehended only by
those who have been "raised" into the presence of the True Mind.
HERMES MERCURIUS TRISMEGISTUS.
From Historia Deorum Fatidicorum.
Poemander [The Second Book, of the Divine Pymander]
The Vision of Hermes
It chanced once on a time, while I was meditating on the things
that are, my thought was raised to a great height, yet my bodily
senses had been put under restraint as in sleep, though not such
sleep as that of men weighed down by fullness of food or bodily
weariness. Methought a Being more than vast, in size beyond all
bounds, called out my name and said:
"What would you hear and see, and what
have you in mind to learn and know?"
"Who are you?" said I.
"I am the Pymander, Divine Mind of the
Sovereignity, the Shepherd of Men. I know what you desire, and I am
with you everywhere."
"I long to learn the things that are, " I replied, "and
comprehend their nature, and know God. This is what I desire to
"Hold in your mind all you would know," the
Shepherd answered back to me, "and I will teach you."
The Above and the Below
Forthwith all things changed in aspect before me and were opened
out in an instant. And I beheld a boundless view: all was changed
into Light, a mild and joyous Light; and I marveled when I saw it.
And in a little while, there came to be in one part a
downward-tending darkness, terrible and grim, and methought it like
unto a snake. And thereafter I saw the darkness changing into a
Watery Substance, which was unspeakably tossed about. Coiling in
sinuous folds, it gave forth smoke as from fire; and I heard it
making an indescribable sound of lamentation, for there was sent
forth from it an inarticulate Cry. But from the Light there came
forth a holy Speech, which took its stand upon the Watery Substance,
and methought this Word was the voice of the Light. And the Divine
Mind spoke for me to hear:
"That Light is I, even the One Mind, the
first God, who was before the Watery Substance that appeared out of
Darkness, and the Word which came forth from the Light is son of
God. Learn my meaning by looking at what you yourself have in you,
for in you too, the Word is son, and Mind the father of the Word.
They are not separate one from the other, for Life is the union of
Word and Mind. Now fix your thought upon the Light and learn to know
I saw in my mind that the Light consisted of innumerable Powers
and had come to be an ordered world, but a world without the bounds
of material existence. This I perceived in thought, seeing it by
reason of the words that the Divine Mind had spoken to me. And when
I was amazed, he spoke again to me:
"You have seen in your mind the
archetypal form, which is prior to the beginning of things and is
The First Emanation: Descent of the Logos
"But tell me," I asked. "Whence did the elements of nature come
"They issued from Godís Purpose,"
came the answer, "which beheld that
beauteous world and copied it. The Watery Substance, the One Thing,
having received the Word, was fashioned into an ordered world, the
elements being separated out from it. And from the elements came
forth the brood of living creatures. And the One Mind, that Mind of
Life and Light, being male and female both, gave birth to another
Mind, which was a maker of things; and this made out of the elements
Seven Planetary Administrators who encompass with their orbits the
world perceived by sense; and their administration is called Fate."
The Second Emanation: Mind the Maker
"And forthwith, the Word of God leapt up
from the downward-tending elements of Nature to the pure body of the
highest Sphere that had already existed and united with Mind the
Maker, for the Word was of one substance with that mind too. And the
downward-tending elements of Nature were left devoid of reason, so
as to be mere matter.
"Then Mind the Maker united with Reason,
and He who surrounds the Spheres and spins them with His whirl, set
turning His formations, and let them turn from a beginning boundless
unto an endless end. For the circulation of these Spheres begins
where it does end in a circle, as Mind does will. And from the
downward-tending elements Nature brought forth lives without reason;
for He did not extend Reason (the Logos) to them. The Air brought
forth things winged; the Water things that swim, and in the Watery
Substance, Earth-and-Water one from another were separated, as Mind
the Maker willed. And from her bosom, Nature produced living things,
four-footed animals and reptiles, beasts wild and tame.
The Third Emanation: The Descent of Man
"But the One Mind, being both Life and
Light, next brought forth Man, a Being like to Himself, with whom He
fell in love, as being His own child; for it was beautiful beyond
compare, the Image of its Sire. In very truth, God fell in love with
His own Form; and on it did bestow all of His own creations. And
when Man gazed upon what Mind the Maker had created in the region of
Fire, he too wished to create and so assent was given him by the
Father. Changing his state to the formative Sphere, where he was to
have his whole authority, Man had in himself all the workings of the
archetypal Administrators. Likewise, they fell in love with him, and
each gave him a share of their own ordering. And after that, Man had
well learned their essence and had become a sharer in their nature.
Man then had a mind to break right through the boundary of their
Spheres, and to subdue the might of that which pressed upon the
"So he who had the whole authority,
having learned the being of the Administrators, willed to break
through the Spheres and showed to downward-tending Nature God's fair
Form. And when Nature saw that Form of beauty that can never
satiate, and Man who now possessed within himself each single energy
of all Seven Administrators as well as God's own Form, she smiled
with love; for it was as though she had seen the image of God's
fairest form upon her Water, His shadow on her Earth.
"He in His turn beholding the Form like
to Himself, existing in her, in her Water, loved it and willed to
live in it; and with the will came actuality, and so Man vivified
the Form devoid of reason. And Nature took the object of her love
and wound herself completely round him, and they were intermingled,
for they were lovers. And this is why beyond all creatures on the
earth, Man is twofold: mortal because of body, but because of his
essential Eternal Substance, immortal. Though deathless and
possessed of sway over all, yet does Man suffer as a mortal does,
subject to Fate. Thus, though his true nature is above the Spheres,
within the Spheres he has become a slave. Though male-female, he is
from a male-female Mind; and though he is sleepless from a sleepless
Sire, yet is he overcome by sleep.
The First Men
Thereon I say: "Teach on, Oh Divine Mind of me, for I myself as
well am amorous of the Word."
And the Shepherd said: "This is the
mystery kept hid until this day: Nature embraced by Man brought
forth a wonder, oh so wonderful. For as he had the nature of the
Concord of the Seven, who, as I said to you, were made of Fire and
Spirit. Nature did not delay but immediately brought forth seven
men, in correspondence with the natures of the Seven Administrators,
male-female were they and moving in the air."
"0h Shepherd, " I said, "for now I'm filled with great desire and
long to hear; do not run off!"
"Keep silence," said the
Shepherd, "for not as you have I unrolled
for you the first discourse."
"Lo! I am still," said I.
To Increase and Multiply
"In such wise then," the
Shepherd continued, "the generation of
these Seven came to pass. Earth was as woman, her Water filled with
longing; ripeness she took from Fire, spirit from Ether. Nature thus
brought forth frames to suit the Form of Man. And Man from Life and
Light changed into soul and mind -- from Life to soul, from Light to
mind. And thus continued all the sense-world pairings until the
period of their end and a new beginning arrived.
Now listen to the rest of the discourse that you long to hear: The
period being ended, the bond that bound them all was loosened by
God's Will. For all the animals being male-female, at the same time
with Man were loosed apart; some became male, some in like fashion
female. And straightaway, God spoke by His Holy Word (the Logos):
'Increase you in increasing, and multiply in multitude, you
creatures and creations all; and Man that had Mind in him, let him
learn to know that he himself is deathless and the cause of death is
love, though Love is All.' When He said this, His forethought did by
means of Fate and the Spheres effect their couplings and their
generations founded. And so all things were multiplied according to
their kind. And he who thus had learned to know himself, had reached
that Good that does transcend abundance; but he who through worldly
love that same end leads astray, he expends his love upon his body
-- he stays in Darkness -- and suffering through his senses the
things of Death."
The Way of Deathlessness
"What is the fault so great the ignorant commit," I asked, "that
they should be deprived of deathlessness?"
"You seem," the Shepherd
cautioned, "not to have given heed to what
you have heard. Did not I bid you think?"
"Yes, do I think, and I remember," I said, "and therefore give
"If you did truly think thereon,"
said the Shepherd, "tell me: Why do
they merit death who are in ignorance?"
"It is because the gloomy Darkness is the root and base of the
material frame; from it came the Watery Substance from which the
body in the sense-world is composed; and from this body of Death and
Darkness does the Water drain."
"Right is your thought," He
said. "But how does 'he who knows himself,
go unto Him,' as God's Word had declared?"
And I reply: "The Father of the universals consists of Light and
Life, and from Him, Man was born."
"You are right! Light and Life is the
Divine Mind, and from it Man was born. If then you know that you are
yourself of Life and Light, and that you are made of them, you shall
return to Life and Light." Thus did the Shepherd speak.
"But tell me further, Mind of me," I cried out, "How shall I come
to Life again, for God does say 'the man who had Mind in him, let
him learn to know that he himself is deathless.' Have not all men
"Again you speak well! I, Divine Mind,
myself am present with holy men and good, the pure and merciful men
who live piously. To such my presence becomes an aid, and
straightway they gain Gnosis of all things, and win their Father's
love by their pure lives, and give Him thanks, invoking on Him
blessings and entering his Kingdom, intent on Him with ardent love.
And before they give the body up unto its proper death, they turn
from their bodies with disgust from its sensations, from knowledge
of what things they operate. Nay, it is I, the Divine Mind, that
will not let the operations that befall the body work to their
natural end. For being the gatekeeper, I close up all the entrances,
and bar the entrance of the base and evil workings of the senses,
cutting off all thoughts of them. But to the Mindless ones, the
wicked and depraved, the envious and covetous, and murderous and
impious, I keep far aloof, yielding my place to the Avenging Daimon,
who sharpening the fire, torments them and adds fire to fire upon
them, and rushes on them through their senses, thus rendering them
the readier for their transgressions of the law, so that they meet
with greater torment. Nor do they ever cease to have desire for
their appetites inordinate, insatiably striving in the Darkness."
The Ascent of the Soul to the Eighth Sphere
"Full well have you taught me all, as I desired, 0h Divine Mind.
" I beseeched Him, "pray tell me further of the nature of the way to
the Life Above."
To this, the Shepherd replied: "When
your material body is to be dissolved, first you surrender the body
by itself unto the work of Transformation, and thus the form you had
vanishes, and you surrender your way of life, void of its energy,
back to its own nature. The body's senses next pass back into their
sources, becoming separate, and resurrect as new energies; and
passion and desire too withdraw unto that nature that is void of
reason. And thus it is that man does speed his way thereafter
upwards through the Spheres."
He continued: "To the first zone he
gives the energy of growth and waning; unto the second zone, the
devices of evil now de-energized; unto the third, the guile of the
desires de-energized; unto the fourth, his domineering arrogance,
also de-energized; unto the fifth, unholy daring and the rashness of
audacity, de-energized; unto the sixth, striving for wealth by evil
means, deprived of its aggrandizement; and to the seventh zone,
ensnaring falsehood, de-energized. And then, with all the
energizings of the Spheres stripped from him, clothed in his proper
Power, he comes to that nature that belongs unto the Eighth, and
there with Those-That-Are is the One Mind. They who are there
welcome his coming with joy; and he, made like to them that sojourn
there, does further hear the Powers who are above the substance of
the Eighth Sphere, singing their praise to God in a language of
their own. And then they, in a band, go to the Father's home; of
their own selves they make surrender of themselves to the Powers,
and thus becoming Powers themselves they are in God. This the good
end for those who have gained Gnosis -- to be made one with God."
"Why should you then delay?"
the Shepherd asked me. "Must it not be,
since you have received all, that you should point the way to the
world, that through you the race of mankind may by your God be
And after he said this, the Shepherd of Men mingled again
with the Powers.
But I, with thanks and blessings unto the Father of the universal
Powers, was now freed, full of the power the Shepherd had poured
into me, and full of what he had taught me about the nature of All
and of the loftiest Vision. And I inscribed in my memory the
benefaction of the Divine Mind, and I was exceedingly glad, for I
was full with that for which I craved. My bodily sleep had come to
be my soul's wakefulness; and the closing of my eyes, true vision;
and my silence, pregnant with good; and my barrenness of speech, a
brood of holy thoughts. Becoming God-inspired, I attained the abode
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Hermes Trismegistus. The divine Pymander.
In XVII. Books.
Translated formerly out of the Arabick into Greek, and thence
into Latine, and Dutch, and now out of the Original into English;
By that Learned Divine Doctor Everard.
London, Thomas Brewster and Gregory Moule 1650
Read the entire "Divine Pymander" online
The Life and Teachings of Thoth Hermes Trismegistus
THUNDER rolled, lightning flashed, the veil of the Temple was
rent from top to bottom. The venerable initiator, in his robes of
blue and gold, slowly raised his jeweled wand and pointed with it
into the darkness revealed by the tearing of the silken curtain:
"Behold the Light of Egypt! "
A GREEK FORM OF HERMES.
From Bryant's Mythology.
The candidate, in his plain white robe, gazed into the utter
blackness framed by the two great Lotus-headed columns between which
the veil had hung. As he watched, a luminous haze distributed itself
throughout the atmosphere until the air was a mass of shining
particles. The face of the neophyte was illumined by the soft glow
as he scanned the shimmering cloud for some tangible object. The
initiator spoke again: "This Light which ye behold is the secret
luminance of the Mysteries. Whence it comes none knoweth, save the
'Master of the Light.' Behold Him!" Suddenly, through the gleaming
mist a figure appeared, surrounded by a flickering greenish sheen.
The initiator lowered his wand and, bowing his head, placed one hand
edgewise against his breast in humble salutation. The neophyte
stepped back in awe, partly blinded by the glory of the revealed
figure. Gaining courage, the youth gazed again at the Divine One.
The Form before him was considerably larger than that of a mortal
man. The body seemed partly transparent so that the heart and brain
could be seen pulsating and radiant. As the candidate watched, the
heart changed into an ibis, and the brain into a flashing emerald.
In Its hand this mysterious Being bore a winged rod, entwined with
serpents. The aged initiator, raising his wand, cried out in a loud
voice: "All hail Thee, Thoth Hermes, Thrice Greatest; all hail Thee,
Prince of Men; all hail Thee who standeth upon the head of Typhon!"
At the same instant a lurid writhing dragon appeared--a hideous
monster, part serpent, part crocodile, and part hog. From its mouth
and nostrils poured sheets of flame and horrible sounds echoed
through the vaulted chambers. Suddenly Hermes struck the advancing
reptile with the serpent-wound staff and with snarling cry the
dragon fell over upon its side, while the flames about it slowly
died away. Hermes placed His foot upon the skull of the vanquished
Typhon. The next instant, with a blaze of unbearable glory that sent
the neophyte staggering backward against a pillar, the immortal
Hermes, followed by streamers of greenish mist, passed through the
chamber and faded into nothingness.
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The Divine Pymander of Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus
(Secret Doctrine Reference Series)
For all those who want to study the the sublime
Occult Mysteries this book is one of the very few that reveals
the TRUE LIGHT. This is not a book for those seeking "glamour",
"thrills", "mystery" or "instant enlightenment". Within the
golden pages of the "Divine Pymander" the genuine, sincere
seeker after Truth will find the answers to the great questions
of life clearly and beautifully set forth. Here are true
elucidations of the secrets of the Soul, Mind and body, of the
beginning of Life, of the universe, and the ultimate purpose of
Man and his true constitition and destiny. One could read a
thousand books and not find the great truths revealed in this
little volume. No sincere seeker after Truth and spititual
enlightenment will be disappointed with this book.
[Review by a Reader].
by Three Initiates
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by Three Initiates
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A number of other books has been
written about these seven principles, using somewhat more modern
language, but this book is the classic. This is not just a
theory or a philosophy - the principles, being universal, are
down-to-earth practical. If you apply them consciously in your
life, your life will change.
While in times long gone by, these may have seemed to be only
arbitrary spiritual principles, they are in accord with the view
of quantum physics. Kybalion states that universe is mind-like
in nature; quantum physics states that the universe is composed
out of intelligent energy. The rest of the book describes how to
manifest anything with one's thoughts - the process of
manifestation, and it reminds me of the book "Dimensional
Structure of Consciousness" by Samuel Avery.
The most important part of this book - other than pointing out
these principles is that they are UNIVERSAL - they always work,
they express throughout nature and if you use them and apply the
consciously, you can create whatever you can possibly desire in
your life. You will know then that there is a law and that it
works with mathematical precision, and that you can ALWAYS count
The moment you grasp this truth, you will never ever again wish
or hope for something to happen, you will know that you have the
power to create it and you will be certain of it. And when you
use this principles consciously and experience the truth of them
- no one in the entire world will ever be able to talk you out
of fulfilling your heart's desires. Even if the entire world
doubts and laughs at you, you will not care because you'll KNOW
that you CAN. You will have the "key".