Hermeticism: Between Science & Spirit

Hermeticism in Western alchemy combines Greek, Egyptian, Islamic, and Jewish traditions and is a department of Airtight philosophy based on the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus, which interprets as “Thrice-Nice” Hermes.

It’s unclear why Hermes Trismegistus was given the title “Thrice-Nice,” however it’s thought that it’s as a result of he’s educated about three features of the universe’s knowledge:

  • Alchemy (the motion of the Solar)
  • Astrology (the operation of the celebs)
  • Theurgy (the operation of the gods)

Zoroaster, the founding father of the Zoroastrian faith and a Center-Jap thinker who lived someday within the second a part of the second millennium BC, was attributed with the invention of astrology by Hermes.

Hermes Trismegistus is credited with establishing science, faith, arithmetic, geometry, alchemy, philosophy, medication, and magic. He’s a hybrid of the Egyptian God Thoth, who’s related to knowledge, studying, and communication, and the Greek God Hermes, who’s related to messengers of the gods.

Hermes Trismegistus:

Hermes Trismegistus is commonly thought to be the creator of the Hermetica and the fabled founding father of Western alchemy. Maier (1617) defines formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formally.

Thoth is continuously depicted as having the pinnacle of an ibis and holding a pen and a pill, or a pen and a palm department. N372.2A, Brooklyn Museum, Thoth Deux fois Grand, le Second Hermés. : Writer: Champollion, Jean-François, 1790-1832.

He’s additionally credited for writing something from 20,000 (Seleucus) to 36,525 (Manetho) works, 42 of which had been stored within the well-known Library of Alexandria, which was destroyed many occasions.

Sadly, regardless of all probabilities, only a few of Hermes’ texts survive at this time, most of which have been gathered into the Corpus Hermeticum.

Hermes Trismegistus is claimed to have obtained heavenly knowledge in contemplative trances. He spoke on medication, chemistry, legislation, artwork, music, magic, philosophy, geography, arithmetic, and anatomy, amongst different issues. His knowledge was so intensive and all-encompassing that the traditional Egyptians referred to him because the gods’ messenger or communicator.

Marsilio Ficino’s Corpus Hermeticum, late fifteenth century

What was Hermes Trismegistus all about?

Hermes Trismegistus might have been a real-life ruler, thinker, priest, sage, scientist, and sorcerer. He was identified by quite a few names and was regarded as a mash-up of a number of individuals and legendary entities from historic historical past. Hermes’ a number of “incarnations” basic goal is to transcribe God’s phrase, and his principal symbol is the caduceus or serpent employees.

Hermes Trismegistus is related to the next historic and mythological figures:

  • Thoth (Egyptian Paganism): Egyptian God of studying, knowledge, and communication. He’s the gods’ scribe and is credited with inventing language, the alphabet, and writing (i.e., hieroglyphs). He’s credited because the writer of all works of science, philosophy, faith, knowledge, and magic by the Egyptians. Thoth is assumed to have been an Egyptian priest-king and thinker who lived someplace between 2000 and 1200 BC.
  • Hermes (Greek Paganism): The Greeks related Thoth with Hermes, Zeus’ son and the God of science, commerce, language, and writing, in addition to the gods’ messenger and the primary alchemy. Hermes was additionally credited with inventing astronomy, astrology, arithmetic, geometry, medication, botany, theology, and all different areas of data.
  • Mercury (Roman Paganism): The Roman equal of Hermes is the God Mercury, who’s the patron of enterprise.
  • Enoch/Metatron (Biblical character in Judaism and Christianity): Enoch, Noah’s nice grandfather, ascends to heaven and turns into the archangel Metatron, celestial scribe.
  • Idris (Islamic Prophet): Synonymous with Enoch.
  • Moses (Judaism, Islam, and Christianity): Moses was an Egyptian ruler of Hebrew ancestry who lived in Egypt between 2000 and 1200 BC. In pagan Egypt, he developed a monotheistic faith however was exiled. He’s credited with penning the Torah and the Ten Commandments, which had been delivered to Moses by God.
  • Akhenaten (Egyptian Pharaoh; dominated 1353–1336 BC): He strove to unite pagan Egypt beneath a single solar god. Tuy, his mom, was most definitely of Hebrew heritage, and he, like Moses, was pushed out of Egypt. Hermopolis, dedicated to Hermes Trismegistus Nabu (Babylonian): God of writing and knowledge, scribe of Marduk, and guardian of the Tablets of Future has essentially the most Akhenaten Statues.

The brass serpent (Nehushtan) was constructed by Moses and set on a pole in order that “if a serpent had bitten any man, he lived when he noticed the serpent of brass” (Numbers 21:9). William Blake created this portray. the 18th or nineteenth century.

In present parlance, the time period “hermetically sealed” refers to being hermetic and impenetrable to gases. Right this moment, the time period “Airtight” normally refers to one thing hidden or sealed. Hermeticism was largely shrouded in secrecy, and solely the genuinely ready might obtain the Airtight teachings. Hermes can also be claimed to have magical talents, reminiscent of the flexibility to seal a field or chest in such a means that it might by no means be opened.

The caduceus, Hermes’ signal, can also be a contemporary image of commerce and medication.

The caduceus of Hermes: a contemporary image of commerce and medication

Philosophy Hermétique

Hermetic philosophy, also referred to as Hermeticism, is likely one of the earliest spiritual and mental traditions, a synthesis of faith and philosophy that thrived in Ptolemaic Egypt. Hermeticism was not included in a single spiritual group however quite as a philosophical philosophy on the coronary heart of a number of lineages, a few of that are nonetheless in existence at this time!

Hermeticism combines features of Greek Paganism, Alexandrian Judaism, historic Sumerian faith and Chaldaean astrology/astronomy, and Zoroastrianism with historic Egyptian faith, philosophy, science, and magic. It’s associated to Platonism, Neo-Platonism, Stoicism, and Pythagoreanism.

Hermeticism is believed to consider in “Prisca theologia,” a philosophy that asserts an actual theology on the root of all religions that was given to man in antiquity. Hermeticists consider in a single transcendent God and “All is One” on the planet, however in addition they consider in different beings like eons, angels, and elementals. Hermeticism impressed Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, notably the early Christian heretics generally known as Gnostics.

The annihilation of Airtight knowledge

A lot of the Airtight and alchemical literature was destroyed, and the remaining was transferred to the Islamic world between 400 and 600 AD, later rising in medieval Europe in the course of the Renaissance. From 312 AD till properly into the sixth century, Christians destroyed virtually each hint of Hermeticism, starting with Emperor Constantine and his successors executing 1000’s of pagans, a lot of whom had been Airtight, and destroying temples and sacred books.

The Burning of the Library of Alexandria in 391 AD, from ‘Hutchinson’s Historical past of the Nations,’ circa 1910.

Due to the Church’s opposition, the Airtight legacy was pressured underground and now pervades Western esoteric traditions. This contains secret societies just like the

Airtight philosophy can also be influenced by the Theosophical Society, which is the philosophy underpinning the Waldorf/Rudolf Steiner faculties.

The influence of Hermeticism on the Scientific Revolution

Pythagoras (570 – 495 BC), a Greek thinker, mathematician, and astronomer, was speculated to be an provoke of the Airtight arts, which he studied in Egypt. Plato (424/423 – 348/347 BC) was profoundly affected by Pythagoras and impressed by Airtight teachings; some recommend he additionally studied with Egyptian lecturers. Pythagoras and Plato each had an influence on early fashionable students of the Scientific Revolution.

From 328 to 347 BC, the Greek thinker and scientist Aristotle attended Plato’s Academy in Athens. Starting in 343 BC, he educated Alexander the Nice, who invaded Egypt in 331 BC and created Alexandria, a middle for alchemy and Hermeticism.

Opposite to frequent assumptions, Hermeticism, Neoplatonic mysticism, and pure magic considerably impacted the Renaissance-era Scientific Revolution. All through the Scientific Revolution, empiricism, motive, and free inquiry had been valued greater than religion, mysticism, or dogma. Surprisingly, the Renaissance noticed a revival of Airtight concepts and legendary, allegorical, and magical modes of thought.

Certainly, most of the forefathers of up to date science and the scientific methodology had been passionately spiritual, and plenty of had been alchemists and esotericists, each of which had been steeped in Hermeticism.

Airtight ideas will be discovered within the writings of luminaries like Nicolaus Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, and medieval philosophers reminiscent of Roger Bacon and Islamic philosophers as Al-Kindi and Avicenna.

The title web page of Robert Boyle’s The Sceptical Chymist, a founding textual content of chemistry revealed in 1661.

Copernicus, the primary to present a predictive mathematical mannequin for a heliocentric system, depicts the Solar as follows:

“Within the midst of all of it, the Solar sits enthroned. Might we put this luminary in a greater place on this most lovely temple, from which he can illuminate your entire construction directly? He’s appropriately generally known as the Lamp, the Thoughts, and the Ruler of the Universe; Hermes Trismegistus refers to him because the Seen God, and Sophocles’ Electra refers to him because the All-seeing. Because of this, the Solar sits atop a royal throne, governing over his kids, the planets that orbit him.”

The inventor of recent physics, Isaac Newton, spent most of his time rediscovering the ancients’ arcane knowledge, notably the Corpus Hermeticum and the Emerald Pill. He was a fervent research and practitioner of alchemy, which considerably impressed his scientific work, together with the legal guidelines of movement, the speculation of gravity, his work on optics, and the invention of calculus.

The Worldwide Alchemy Guild’s reconstruction of what the Emerald Pill would have appeared like.

Though Hermeticism has a relationship between the celestial and terrestrial realms (“As above, so under”), the core theme is the expansion of data and the development of studying. Nature is studied within the Airtight custom by means of statement, experimentation, and illumination. The objective is to establish and detect the invisible and uncover hidden connections between issues. Hermeticism’s magical heritage seeks to seek out the influence of 1 factor over one other, comprehend occurrences and learn to manipulate them.

Toxicology was based by Paracelsus, a Renaissance doctor, surgeon, botanist, astrologer, and alchemist. He coined the time period “the dose makes the poison.” Airtight, Neo-Platonic, and Pythagorean philosophy had been all favorites of Paracelsus. He argued that have needs to be the final arbitrator of a idea and that humility and exhausting work are required.

“he will be astonished by an anomaly—like a white raven—that confounds all of the texts, and all his expertise, all he has gained on the sickbed, is abruptly gone.”

So, with no break, research every single day, discover and watch totally; despise nothing, and don’t put an excessive amount of reliance on your self. Don’t be immodest.” — Parmenides

The schism between spirit and science

Whereas Hermeticism was influential within the rise of up to date experimental science, different features of the Airtight custom needed to be rejected for science to come up. This entails separating science from faith and the religious realm and eliminating illumination as a way of buying data.

Pure philosophy, up till the mid-Seventeenth century, usually described nature as an natural, dynamic, dwelling, interconnected creature. There was no apparent line between astronomy and astrology, alchemy and chemistry, science and magic.

The Scientific Revolution divided these fields and launched a mechanistic understanding of nature, a focus on rational and logical thought, and a separation of faith and spirituality from the pursuit of data.

In science, a factor witnessed is divorced from the observer’s spirit and inside worth system. When science observes a factor, it presumes that it’s of that nature; the perceptual is precise. Nonetheless, within the present domains of relativistic and quantum physics, statement has an impact on the method being considered, leading to a distinct end result than if the method had not been watched.

In Hermeticism, the item of research is a mirrored image of the observer, and the 2 are inextricably intertwined. As evidenced within the well-known expression “As above, so under,” that is key to Airtight philosophy: the universe is a symbolic illustration of what’s going on inside us. The pursuit for information evolves right into a religious journey to re-establish humankind’s oneness with the divine, dubbed the “Nice Work.”

All is one. As above, so under.

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