What is The Kybalion


— Mar 27, 2018

This blog is part of a 3-part series about The Kybalion, and covers the book’s history and impact. You can read more about The Kybalion’s laws, principles, and meaning here. Part 3 will focus on the practical applications of The Kybalion’s laws.  Or visit here to read about what is the Kybalion.

The Kybalion is a compilation of Hermetic teachings. These same doctrines are based on principles originally explained by Hermes Trismegistus. The Kybalion provides a Master-Key for students to unlock the fundamental and basic teachings of esoteric philosophy. There are seven Hermetic principles that the entire philosophy is based on. Together, these seven principles constitute an explanation of the basic laws that apply to all of creation.

The work is attributed to the Three Initiates. Dig deeper and you’ll discover the Hermetic content was most likely passed from the late Yogi Ramacharaka to his pupil Baba Bharata to William Walker Atkinson, a prolific New Thought writer.


Who was Hermes Trismegistus?

The ancient sage Hermes Trismegistus is the source of the tenants in The Kybalion. Jewish tradition claims that Trismegistus was also a contemporary of the patriarch Abraham. As a result, his teachings on hermeticism and hermetic laws date to over 5,000 years ago. Even while he was alive, his wisdom reached across continents. The earliest Egyptians named him the scribe of the gods. He was deified by Greeks as the god of Wisdom. The ancient Romans named him Mercury. Hermes discovered alchemy, which developed into chemistry. He created the concept of astrology, which became astronomy. For his wisdom, he is known as the “Master of Masters”.
Trismegistus was the original font of knowledge from which the Hermetic tradition flowed.


History of The Kybalion

The Kybalion was published in 1908 by the Yogi Publication Society, and has served as the modern foundation of the Hermetic doctrine. It is a critical tool for integrating our understanding of the spiritual planes and the physical plane.

Although the principles described in this book are found in all lands, among all religions, they have never been identified with any specific religious sect. Instead, the lessons contained in the book have always been maintained with strict secrecy. Even today the word hermetic refers to sealed, or protected. This concealment has been intentional. Hermes and his followers worried that if they made their teachings open, then their followers would be persecuted. History shows that this fear was well-grounded. Throughout history, religious groups have suffered persecution, from ostracism to burning at the stake. The Huguenots in France were tormented. Many non-Christians or fringe Christian sects faced torture and death at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition.

The principles of Hermetic philosophy have always been “occult”, but the word doesn’t have anything to do with black magic or religion. Instead, in this sense “occult” simply means “kept secret.”


The Three Initiates

The Kybalion was written by the Three Initiates. As their name suggests, the authors were three initiates of Hermetic philosophy. Historically Hermetic teachings were passed down orally, but the Three Initiates decided to write down core principles of the philosophy in order to help it reach a wider audience. The Three Initiates are never named, although many suspect that New Thought pioneer William Walker Anderson was one of the authors.


Warned by Ancient Teachers

One reason the principles in this book were never crystalized into a formal religious creed is because Hermes and his followers feared that doing so would dilute their teachings. History shows the wisdom of this choice. Religions have always evolved. The Gnostics of early Christianity would scarcely recognize Christianity today. Occult religions in India and Persia degenerated over time, as did early mystic teachings in Greece and Rome.


The Kybalion’s Teachings: Passed From Lip to Ear For Centuries

The exact meaning and the significance of the term “The Kybalion” vanished centuries ago. The word itself is not understood. However, the teachings have been passed down from mouth to ear for millennia. As a result, there have always been a few faithful students who have mastered the principles and passed them on to others.


Impact of The Kybalion

Hermetic Teachings have had a profound impact across the globe. In addition, students of comparative religion see the doctrines of Hermetic Philosophy in every major faith, regardless of that faith’s origin. The Kybalion has thus had an immense impact even among people who don’t realize they can trace their philosophy back to Hermes.


Should I Read The Kybalion?

The philosophy laid out in this book constitutes the basic principles of the Hermetic art of mental alchemy. These basic doctrines deal with the mastery of mental forces. When you learn to apply universal laws, you will possess the key to performing mental transmutation. This empowers the individual practitioner to adjust vibrational states from one to another. Essentially, by studying the laws in The Kybalion, you can learn how to change your reality by changing your mind.

One of the tenants in The Kybalion is that we live in a mental universe. All is mind. Therefore, knowing how to come into vibrational synchronicity with this vast universal, Infinite Intelligence is paramount. This is the key to taking control of your life and living the life that you truly desire.

Or to put it another way: when you can rise to a higher plane, the tools of mental creation and manifestation will allow you to live a life greater than you can imagine.


Hermetic axioms

The following are the core laws laid out in The Kybalion.

  • The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of understanding.
  • Where fall the footsteps of the Master, the ears of those ready for his Teachings open wide.
  • When the ears of the student are ready to hear, them cometh the lips to fill them with Wisdom.
  • The Principles of Truth are Seven; he who knows these, understandingly, possesses the Magic Key before whose touch all the Doors of the Temple fly open.


Hermetic Principles

Below are the 7 foundational principles of The Kybalion.
• The Principle of Mentalism (all is mental)
• The Principle of Correspondence (your thoughts mirror your reality)
• The Principle of Vibration (when we resonate an emotion, we attract people who will bring more of it)
• The Principle of Polarity (what seem like opposites are actually just varying degrees)
• The Principle of Rhythm (the pendulum of life always swings)
• The Principle of Cause & Effect (there are no accidents)
• The Principle of Gender (everything has both masculine and feminine energy)
You can read more about all 7 in our blog on the principles of The Kybalion.


Creative Thought

The greatest benefit of studying this work is that it enables you to fully understand creative thought. It enables those who master and apply it to be, do, and have whatever they desire. The Kybalion is one of three wealth creation books we study in the Wealth Creation Mastermind, along with The Science of Getting Rich and Think and Grow Rich. To order The Kybalion from Amazon, click this affiliate link.

At the Wealth Creation Mastermind, we study Hermetic philosophy deeply so that we can bring into being wealth and success. If you want to study The Kybalion’s laws and ideas with a group of like-minded entrepreneurs, then we invite you to fill out the below form to join the Wealth Creation Mastermind.