Hermeticism has always been a syncretistic and eclectic system of ideas that draws to itself anything and everything that is useful for the creation of greater awareness and power. Ancient Hermeticism was perhaps at its height ¡11 the days of Alexandria when trading and imperialism drew together many vastly different cultures that shared their secrets and tools for magick and mysticism in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the ancient city. It was here that Hermeticism drew to itself the most interesting and powerful magical formulas and philosophies. T he New Hermetics has inherited this synthesizing nature, and anything and everything that we think might be useful has been drawn into the system to create a complete and comprehensive scientific system for wisdom and power.
There are many elements that make up the models and tools of the New Hermetics. This is only the barest sketch of the contributing models and tools. In the next few chapters, 1 will attempt to more fully elucidate their contributions to the New Hermetics.
The key source for the New Hermetics is, of course, the ancient Hermetics. From it we draw many of the fundamental models that the system relics on. Most important, the ancient Hermetics provides us with the idea of the universe as an intelligence that is related intimately with our own intelligence. The idea that the universe is a great mind is the entire platform upon which the New Hermetics is built. Also, we draw from Hermeticism the ideas of the four ancient elements with their unique psychology and powers, as well as the sacred use of numbers and geometry. From the ancient Hermetics also come the principles of alchemy, the planetary influences, and astrology, which play subtle but important roles in the New Hermetics.
Of almost equal importance to the New Hermetics are the QabaJa and its pictorial key, the tarot. The Qabala is an ancient Hebrew mystical system that played a huge part in medieval magick and metaphysics. It is from the Qabala that the New I lermctics system of levels derives. The
Rosicrucian grade system is based directly on the ten sephiroth of the Qabalistic Tree of Life, and the levels of New Hermerics training depend wholly on this system. The whole sephirothic system is really the backbone of the New Hermctics, and every one of the tools can be more clearly understood by placing it within the context of the Tree of Life. For instance, the five mystical states described above correspond to the lower five sephiroth on the Tree. What's more, every symbol, archetype, and New Hermctics exercise has a specific place on the "Free of Life. The whole system begins to coalesce as you begin to understand the figure of the Tree. This will all be explained more clearly in an upcoming chapter.
The main mystical tools of the New Hermctics derive from Scientific Illuminism, which was an attempt on the part of Aleister Crowley and several other adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn to create a pure system of mysticism and magick, without the dogma and ceremonial clap-trap of earlier occult groups. Flic New Hcrmetics has further reduced these practices to their pure essences and turned the tools of Scientific Illuminism into a simple series of practical methods for attainment.
This distillation has only been possible through the use of modeling techniques from the cutting edge technology of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). NLP is the study of subjective consciousness and contains a large body of tools for learning about and changing consciousness. From NLP, we borrowed several tools for changing states, beliefs, and meta-programs, as well as NLP ideas about representational systems, refraining, and anchors.
Several modern psychologists have also informed the New Hermctics. From the work of C. G. Jung, we have obtained a clear view of the "collective unconscious of humanity and this has made it possible for us to begin the process of really understanding the components of the path of initiation from the inside. From Wilhelm Reich, we have drawn several important understandings about the "life energy" (orgone) that gets trapped and poisoned in our "body armor," preventing us from really getting the most out of life. From the truly avant-garde psychologist Timothy Leary, we have borrowed the "eight-circuit model of consciousness," which we have found to provide truly profound insights into human nature, Qabala, and the driving structure of the human animal.
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We have also borrowed a few elements from the spiritual teachings of the East—a few breathing exercises, mental concentration practices, and the ideas about energy centers or cbakms. As you can see, a huge amount of information from many different sources has been gathered together succinctly in these pages to create a complete schema for the illumination ol the soul into enlightenment and power over all areas of life.
As you study this book, you will discover many parallels between these various ideas and between symbols from among the various models and tools. We call these correspondences, and there is something very important that must be understood immediately about these correspondences. A correspondence means that there is a meaningful relationship between two ideas. It does not mean that they are identical. If I tell you that there is a correspondence between the element earth, the scphirah Malkuth, the alchemical principle of salt, the kinesthetic sense, and Timothy Learys first bio-circuit, this means that I believe that all of these concepts share relationships. They are not all the same thing. Likewise, we can say that the goddesses Astarte and Isis share many correspondences, but it would be a terrible error to assume that they are the same goddess. Also, the Sun and gold are said to correspond to each other, but to say that the Sun is gold or gold is the Sun is very silly. If you keep this in mind, you will find your life much easier. Now, lets discuss some of these models of the New Hermetics in a little more detail.
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