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Hermetic Principles: 7 Keys to Self-Mastery

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Hermetic principles image

The universe runs on natural laws. The hermetic principles refer to knowledge of these laws as passed down by the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus. When you can understand hermetic principles you can learn from them and use them to experience more happiness, meaning, and control over your life.

Consider this article as a brief introduction to hermetic philosophy and the 7 hermetic principles. I hope it will raise more interest in you to study the hermetic tradition and hermetic principles deeper.

The Doctrine Of The Universal Laws

Hermetic philosophy as the doctrine of the higher universal laws came to the occult traditions of various peoples from Ancient Egypt, in particular in Chaldean astronomy, ancient Greek philosophy, Persian magic, and alchemy.

The founder of this doctrine is considered one of the great mystics of Egypt, the Master of Masters, the father of Occult wisdom, the founder of Astrology, Alchemy and the Tarot system, revered as the God of wisdom Thoth, – Hermes Trismegistus. There is also a belief that he was one of the Atlanteans.

Hermes Trismegistus is credited with 42 treatises containing all the wisdom of the Universe. However, almost all of them were burned in the library of Alexandria, except for two: “Asclepius” and “The Emerald Tablet“.

Hermetic Texts

The Corpus Hermeticum Image

The entire hermetic philosophy is covered in three main hermetic texts:

  1. The Corpus Hermeticum is the most widely known Hermetic text. It contains dialogues between Hermes Trismegistus and a series of other men. The first chapter contains a dialogue between Poimandres (who is identified as God) and Hermes. In this Hermetic text, Poimandres tells Hermes the secrets of the universe.
  2. The Emerald Tablet refers to the three parts of the wisdom of the whole universe. It was found by Alexander the Great at Hebron, supposedly in the tomb of Hermes.
  3. The Perfect Sermon was written in the 2nd or 3rd century AD and is a Hermetic work similar in content to The Corpus Hermeticum.

Other important Hermetic texts include:

  • the Discourses of Isis to Horus;
  • the Definitions of Hermes to Asclepius;
  • the Kybalion: Hermetic Philosophy (the book that describes essential Hermetic principles);
  • a Suggestive Inquiry into Hermetic Philosophy and Alchemy.

Hermeticism

Hermetism Image

The hermetic tradition represents a non-Christian lineage of Gnosticism, which is the name for a variety of ancient religious ideas and systems dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D.

Hermeticism is a school of systems and ideas that focuses on the pursuit of Gnosis – the pursuit of empirical knowledge pertaining to spiritual mysteries.

Hermeticism is based on the belief in a Single transcendent Mind. Everything that exists in the Universe is a part of that Transcendent mind.

According to hermetic teaching, everything acts according to the law of analogy, because everything is one Higher Consciousness. But any movement of life is an interaction of dualities. Two dualities, which are two sides of the One, create an infinite number of proportions and probabilities in the creative process. And this makes a choice possible. Making a choice, the soul weaves its fate, chooses its path. Everyone’s path is unique. But all paths lead to a single divine source, which is the beginning of creation.

After centuries of neglect, Hermeticism was revived in the West in 1460, when a monk named Leonardo, who was one of the many agents sent by Cosimo de ‘ Medici to search for ancient manuscripts lost in European monasteries, brought to Pistoia copies of hermetic treatises in Greek, taken from Constantinople. Subsequently, these treatises, translated into Latin in 1461 by Marsilio Ficino, contributed to the outbreak of interest in Hermeticism in the Renaissance and formed The Corpus Hermeticum.

In 1614, the Swiss philologist Isaac de Casaubon, after analyzing the hermetic texts in terms of content, textual connection with other texts, and language, came to the conclusion that the hermetic works attributed to Hermes Trismegistus were not the works of an ancient Egyptian priest, but were actually written already during the Christian era.

In 1945, hermetic writings written in Coptic were found near Nag Hammadi. They were arranged in the form of a talk between Hermes and Asclepius from the Corpus Hermeticum and a text describing the mystical school of Hermeticism.

Not all Hermetists were concerned with religion; some of them considered only the philosophical system of Hermeticism.

In hermetic religion, the Supreme deity or Principle is called God, the One, or the All. Many Hermeticists also ranked their faith and the mystical ideas of other religions, such as Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and the mainline of paganism, because they held the view that all great religions have a common heart, are similar in their mystical truths, and contain a share of understanding of the seven hermetic principles.

The 7 Hermetic principles are:

  1. The Principle Of Mentalism
  2. The Principle Of Correspondence
  3. The Principle Of Vibration
  4. The Principle Of Polarity
  5. The Principle Of Rhythm
  6. The principle of Cause and Effect
  7. The Principle Of Gender

Who is Hermes Trismegistus?

Hermes Trismegistus Image

“Master of all arts and sciences, perfect in all crafts, Ruler of the Three Worlds, Scribe of the Gods, and Keeper of the Books of Life, Thoth Hermes Trismegistus — the Three Times Greatest, the “First Intelligencer” — was regarded by the ancient Egyptians as the embodiment of the Universal Mind. While in all probability there actually existed a great sage and educator by the name of Hermes, it is impossible to extricate the historical man from the mass of legendary accounts which attempt to identify him with the Cosmic Principle of Thought.”

Manly P. Hall — The Secret Teachings of All Ages

Hermes Trismegistus is the name of a syncretic deity that combines the features of the ancient Egyptian God of wisdom and writing, Thoth, and the ancient Greek God Hermes, who were both gods of writing and magic in their respective cultures. He is the purported author of the Emerald Tablet and the Corpus Hermeticum.

Hermes was credited with tens of thousands of highly esteemed writings, from both Egypt and Greece. While the Italian Renaissance believed Hermes to be an Egyptian Priest, it is possible the Corpus Hermetica was actually written collectively by unknown authors who were Platonistic and Stoic Greeks.

Thus it’s still a mystery if Hermes actually existed and if there was a link between the Greek God Hermes and the Egyptian God Thoth and the connection between Greek and Egyptian culture. However, what we can be certain of, is that the Hermetic principles held immense value for these ancient cultures, whoever their author (or authors) may be. 

The Kybalion

Kybalion Image

As I mentioned above, the Kybalion is a collection of the main hermetic principles which are transmitted from the Teacher to his student.

The “Three Initiates” who wrote the Kybalion wished to remain anonymous, which led to much speculation about the authorship of this work.

It is generally assumed that the author of the Kybalion is William Walker Atkinson, who wrote this text independently without assistance. Atkinson was known for using numerous pseudonyms for his published works. He was also the owner of the publishing house “Yogi Publication Society”, which published Kybalion.

According to one theory, Atkinson co-wrote with Paul Foster Case and Michael Whitty.

Other possible co-authors of the Kybalion include Harriet Case (the wife of Paul Foster Case), Ann Davies, Mabel Collins (theosophist writer), and Claude Bragdon (architect, theosophist). However, given how prolific Atkinson was as a writer, it is doubtful that he needed any co-authorship.

Mental Transmutation

The Kybalion describes mental transmutation, which is also known as spiritual alchemy, the art of spiritual chemistry, and the art of polarization.

Hermetic Alchemy is the mutual conversion of spiritual vibrations of one type into others — the transmutation of the spirit. This process affects absolutely all objects in the Universe and follows seven hermetic principles. So now let’s take a closer look at these seven hermetic principles!

Hermetic Principles

Principle #1: The Principle of Mentalism

“The Universe is Mental – held in the Mind of THE ALL.”

The Kybalion
hermetic principles mentalism image

This principle states that everything is mental in nature.

Everything that exists is intelligent, even that which we cannot understand. But it is not rational in itself but is a part and product of the vital activity of the One Mind, some eternal and unchanging entity, the Absolute, or simply the spirit. The universe is just a mental image of this Absolute, it is present in every part of the Universe. However, the Absolute doesn’t identify itself with the Universe. This is a manifestation of the immanence of the spirit.

Similarly, a person creating a mental image creates his own Universe, filling it completely with his presence, but not identifying himself with it. Man is both a Creator and the one who lives directly in his thoughts, just like the Absolute. This seems a paradox, but only to the limited human mind.

And just as we can suddenly stop thinking about something, so for the absolute, the creation and destruction of any Universe is a matter of a moment.

In other words, everything in the universe is created by thought or mind. There is nothing that exists in the material world where this is not the case.

The essence of anything that is physically created is mental because the essence of everything is mind. Our actions arise from our thoughts even if some of them are on a subconscious level.

Edgar Cayce says “thoughts are things.” When we have the right thoughts, the right actions will follow.

“He who grasps the truth of the Mental Nature of the Universe is well advanced on The Path to Mastery.”

– The Kybalion

If all that exists is thought, then it is possible and more productive to interact with this “all” with thought. Which, if you think about it, opens up endless possibilities.

The entire universe was created by the thought of God. And the same is true for us, we create our reality both metaphysically and physically by the power of our own thoughts. Yes, it is our thoughts that create our reality!

Principle #2: The Principle of Correspondence

“As above, so below; as below, so above.”

The Kybalion
Hermetic Principles Correspondence Image

This principle is a universal law used in Hermeticism to understand all the unknown and inaccessible, to know the hidden laws of the Universe.

According to this principle, the macrocosm is a reflection of the microcosm and vice versa. 

To solve complex paradoxes, we look at what is above us (a macro level) and below us (a micro-level). What works for the planets also works for the atoms. And what works for the solar system and atomic system also works for the human system.

According to the Hermetic Philosophy, the Universe is divided into the Three Great Planes:

  1. The Great Physical Plane;
  2. The Great Mental Plane;
  3. The Great Spiritual Plane.

The classification of the planes of the Universe is conditional and based on the different frequency of its vibrations. It is also important to understand that all planes mutually penetrate each other and do not have absolute isolation. All these planes work in correspondence with one another.

Grasping this principle is what allows us to deduce the hidden solutions to problems by looking at what exists a layer above, and below the problem, to infer the pattern and shadow nature of what is in-between.

By observing the Principle of Correspondence, we can come to know the whole of the Universe by exploring the higher and lower nature of things. And likewise, discover more of ourselves, by experiencing and studying the world we are integrally a part of.

Principle #3: The Principle of Vibration

“Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.”

The Kybalion
hermetic principle of vibration image

This hermetic principle embodies the truth that Motion is manifest in everything in the Universe – that nothing is at rest – that everything moves, vibrates, and circles. All of life is vibrations at different frequencies.

Some vibrate slower and others vibrate at a high frequency. Higher frequency vibrations are in the realm of the unseen while lower frequency vibrations reside in the physical world where our sights can translate the “visible light.”

We either vibrate at a state of harmony or a state of chaos. But the good news is this is within our control!

Our thoughts have their own rate of vibration and we can control them like tuning an instrument. As our understanding of vibration, frequency, harmony, and resonance increase, so too shall our power over ourselves and our reality!

Every atom is a micro-universe within every molecule of our physical bodies. Our thoughts manifest our feelings, beliefs, attitudes, emotions, health, energy, and ultimately what we attract in our lives. Energy follows thought!

Therefore our ultimate goal should be a creation of such a vibration that is determined by our Higher Selves, rather than by manipulations of our egos. 

Principle #4: The Principle Of Polarity

“Everything is dual; Everything has poles; Everything has its pair of opposites; Like and unlike are the same; Opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; Extremes meet; All truths, are but half-truths; All paradoxes may be reconciled.”

The Kybalion
Principle Of Polarity Image

Everything that exists has two opposite aspects, and what seems to be the exact opposite is actually the extremes of the same thing — the line of polarity. For example, heat-cold, light-dark, heavy-light, gift-curse, love-hate, good-evil, laughter-tears, etc. Between these poles, there is a great variety of gradations of the same nature, which explains the incomprehensible diversity of all states of existence.

For Hermeticists, the norm is free movement along any line of polarity, that is, the transition from one qualitative state to another which is considered mental transmutation.

One state of mind can be turned into another (as metals and elements can be turned into each other); one degree of mind can be turned into another; one condition of its manifestation can be turned into another; one pole can be turned into another; one mental vibration can be turned into another.

This principle is very important because it suggests we can change the polarity of a degree of emotion, by recognizing it and choosing the degree which best suits our needs.

Usually, these transitions from positive to negative emotions, happen unconsciously in an ordinary person’s mind. However, by applying the principle of polarity, we can consciously choose to experience these transitions by using our willpower for the betterment of our own lives and the lives of others.

For doing this, we have to realize that the difference is not a hurdle to be surmounted, but two expressions of the same thing, differing only in degree, that can be consciously chosen. This practice is the essence of the art of Mental Alchemy.

The alchemists of the middle ages were preoccupied with transforming base metals into gold. However, the real meaning of this seems to come from the knowledge of changing base thoughts and emotions into “spiritual gold” or higher energies. We just need to polarize our consciousness and life vibration differently since they are all varying degrees of the same thing.

For a deeper understanding of this principle, read our article “SOLANCHA: The Law of Harmony and BaLANce“.

Principle #5: The Principle of Rhythm

“Everything flows, out and in; Everything has its tides; All things rise and fall; The pendulum swing manifests in everything; The measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; Rhythm compensates.”

The Kybalion
Hermetic Principle of Rhythm Image

What flows in must flow out. What swings forward will swing back again. And what goes up must come down.

Science expresses this principle by the formula F = – F.

There are many examples of the principle of rhythm: the change of seasons, day and night, moods, life and death, incarnations, epochs, the rise and fall of civilizations, etc. In addition, Karma itself follows this hermetic principle.

Hermeticism believes that you can not escape from the action of the Pendulum or interrupt its movement, but its impact can be compensated. The person concentrates himself at a certain desirable resting point and then compensates for the movement of the Pendulum in both directions.

Some people do this unconsciously when, for example, they are trying to overcome stress or change their mood. But the possession of this principle consciously allows you to balance yourself and others, as well as various events in your own and other people’s lives. It is believed that it is even possible to balance the whole nation on a global scale.

The balance is the key! You see if you enjoy the fruits of the highest highs, you won’t be able to avoid the destruction of the lowest lows. You can try to neutralize it to a degree. And that degree depends on your understanding and application of the Hermetic Principles. Then you will be able to enjoy “the rise” and neutralize “the falling”.

“Nothing stands still – everything is being born, growing, dying – the very instant a thing reaches its height, it begins to decline – the law of rhythm is in constant operations.”

The Kybalion

The hermeticists apply the law of neutralization to their consciousness. They learn how to use this principle instead of being used by it. They do this by the use of will and detachment to create a state of consciousness that is not swung forward or backward like a pendulum. 

Most people live on a mental and emotional roller coaster. This creates disbalance which makes the Pendulum swing. As a result, people see life as an alternation of good and bad events.

The hermeticist’s goal is to attain a state of consciousness of inner peace, divine indifference, even-mindedness, and bliss.

The idea is to stay even-minded, whether you experience joy or sorrow, whether you receive compliments or criticism, whether you feel pleasure or pain, whether you are sick or healthy, whether you win or lose, etc.

Divine detachment is a point of neutrality that is not caught up in the pendulum swing between the polarities. Instead of seeing a situation as good or bad allow your conscious to have a detached and higher view from a consciousness perspective. This is how duality becomes transcended.

All the suffering that humanity experiences come from their attachments or misplaced points of view.

Principle #6: The Principle of Cause and Effect (Causation)

“Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its cause; Everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the law.”

The Kybalion
The Principle of Cause and Effect Image

Simply put, nothing happens for no reason, and that there is no such thing as ‘chance.’ Nothing happens without explanation.

All known science, in particular almost all classical physics, is built and developed on the laws of cause and effect. This regularity has also been widely studied in philosophy, which completely excludes any probability of chance.

However, the Hermetists believe that it is possible to master this principle if you learn to control the causes, and therefore their effects. This becomes possible if you subordinate the causality of higher planes in order to influence the effects on your own plane.

If you want to experience the empowering impact of this principle, try to make the conscious choice to rise above the plane of thought you currently occupy to become your own Cause, and not just an Effect of others and the situations you find yourself in. In other words, instead of reacting to circumstances, make a conscious choice of what thoughts you fill your mind in. Rise to a higher plane of consciousness and take your rightful place as a master instead of a victim, and focus on causes instead of effects.

It seems like this might be an essential step for everyone who wants to be happy – to become a master and drop a victim mask. The difference between a master and a victim is that a master takes responsibility for all good and bad events in his life whereas a victim denies it.

The average person in this world is an effect, not a cause. They are victims of their own thoughts, emotions, feelings, moods, opinions, biorhythms, other people, past lives, subconscious programming, the weather, illusion, astrological influences, disincarnate spirits, fantasies, the environment, etc. In fact, the average person can always find something or someone to blame for. This victim mentality leads to constant suffering and the lifestyle of a prisoner of destiny, fate, circumstances, etc.

On the contrary, the Master rises above all the “circumstances” and has a great deal of mastery over these things.

The basic cause of our life is the thoughts and images we hold in our conscious and subconscious mind. By learning to be utterly watchful and only allowing the thoughts that serve us, we are able to create the desired reality (both inwardly and outwardly).

Yes, in fact, our thoughts cause our reality. Our thinking must be submissive to our spirit, instead of our ego.

If you are not a master, you are a victim. This is the law of polarity.

We need to learn how to gain mastery over our mind, which will lead to mastery over our emotions and desires.

Principle #7: The Principle of Gender

“Gender is in everything; Everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes.”

The Kybalion
hermetic principle of gender image

This hermetic principle embodies the fact that both the masculine (active) and feminine (passive) exist in all things. Not just in sex, but in the creative nature of all things, on all planes. The masculine and feminine exist not only in the physical plane but also in the mental and the spiritual. 

The masculine is the penetrative, progressive, assertive, and explorative energy that drives progress. The feminine is the receptive, treasured, sacred, protective energy, that maintains tradition and nourishing that which is most essential to life.

The types of correspondence between the two beginnings traditionally include man and woman, logic and intuition, Sun and Moon, microcosm and macrocosm.

Too much masculine energy brings imbalance and leads to a growth of power to the extreme of reckless abandon. As a result, we lose perspective of what is most important and disconnect with our intuitive side. 

Too much feminine energy also creates disharmony and leads to a life deeply grounded in the present. As a result, our lives are missing the perspective and become determined by the cycles and external circumstances out of our favor.

On the physical plane, each of us has a male or female physical body. However psychologically each of us is androgynous with male and female qualities. Each of us has a left brain and right brain.

In science, this principle has been confirmed in the electronic theory of matter – just remember the structure of the atom of matter. In fact, the same applies to all planes.

This hermetic principle is aimed not only at structuring everything that exists, but also at the process of creativity and recreation. For example, regarding the structure of human consciousness, this principle is manifested in the duality of levels of mind – consciousness (active) and subconsciousness (passive).

The path of balancing the masculine and feminine aspects within self and also balancing the heavenly and earthly aspects within the self is the path that Buddha called “the Middle way”. True progress is possible through the balancing of the two energies of Gender in oneself, relationships, life events, and the environment.

To choose the “Middle way” between the present-oriented feminine and future-driven masculine and seek balance in all things, is the key to using all the 7 hermetic principles to full effect. This is how lasting self-mastery is achieved.

The Bottom Line

7 Hermetic Principles Image

Hermeticism is a synthesis of religion, philosophy, and science. Perhaps one day it will serve as a base for a new, even more grandiose synthesis – harmonious and integral teaching, built on the entire set of experimental data obtained by mankind. This reconciliation of faith with knowledge, religion with philosophy and science, an ancient humanistic worldview with Christian mysticism, or, symbolically speaking, the cross with the Rose, was the original dream of the Rosicrucian Order that emerged in the middle ages, being the spiritual heir of ancient hermetic and Eastern wisdom, on the one hand, and Gnostic Christianity of the first centuries, on the other.

No matter what your religious or spiritual view is, these 7 hermetic principles suit any spiritual path and help to expand consciousness to see a greater Universal truth that is a basis of many spiritual teaching and religions. Study them, meditate on them, and apply them to your life. Very soon you will start seeing the world you live in from another angle and discover the creative divine potential within yourself!

Katya Ki is the Founder of SOLANCHA Magazine, a Metaphysical Expert, a Reiki Master, and Human Rights Attorney. She has been studying Eastern metaphysics, cosmology, and esotericism for almost 20 years now. And she's still discovering new knowledge, which is hidden in ancient teachings. During her pilgrimage to the monastery of Saint Catherine in Egypt, she discovered the SOLANCHA System. This is how the SOLANCHA journey started!

Spirituality

Ishvara Pranidhana: The Art Of Living For a Higher Purpose

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Spiritual Bypassing Image

Are you one of those who sincerely turn to the path of knowledge of spiritual truths, the search for the meaning of life, the comprehension of the essence of being? Do you seek to understand the nature of your Soul and your true purpose? Then you are one of those spiritual wonderers who is able to see the world beyond the material limitations of the physical world and strive to live your life for a higher purpose. In this article, I want to introduce you to Ishvara Pranidhana which means attunement to the supreme consciousness. The practice of this Divine principle will help you to plant in your heart the highest degree of piety through which the mind comes to Samadhi.

Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are a collection of 196 Sanskrit sutras on the theory and practice of yoga. It describes the goals of yoga and the principles of techniques needed to achieve them.

The two first stages that the Sutras describe are the principles of Yama and Niyama.

Yama is a set of ethical norms that teach us to communicate with others in the right way.

There are five Yamas:

  1. Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा): Nonviolence, non-harming other living beings.
  2. Satya (सत्य): truthfulness, non-falsehood.
  3. Asteya (अस्तेय): non-stealing.
  4. Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य): chastity, marital fidelity, or sexual restraint.
  5. Aparigraha (अपरिग्रहः): non-avarice, non-possessiveness.

Niyama is the step of forming self-discipline and uplifting spirituality.

Five Niyamas are:

  1. Saucha (शौच): purity, clearness of mind, speech, and body.
  2. Santosha (सन्तोष): contentment, acceptance of others, and of one’s circumstances as they are, optimism for self.
  3. Tapas (तपस): austerity, self-discipline, persistent meditation, perseverance.
  4. Svadhyaya (स्वाध्याय): the study of self, self-reflection, introspection of self’s thoughts, speeches, and actions.
  5. Ishvara Pranidhana (ईश्वरप्रणिधान): contemplation of the Ishvara (God/Supreme Being, Brahman, True Self, Unchanging Reality), attunement to the supreme consciousness.

All these principles are interdependent. If you break one of the Yamas or Niyamas, you are bound to break the others. And if you improve in the practice of one principle, then the practice of other yamas and niyamas will also be improved.

For example, if you violate Satya by allowing yourself to lie, you will not be able to practice Ahimsa. Or, if you do not observe the principle of Saucha and pollute your body and mind, it will be difficult for you to practice Brahmacharya.

What Is Ishvara Pranidhana?

What Is Ishvara Pranidhana Image

Ishvara Pranidhana is the fifth niyama described Patanjali which means the contemplation of the Ishvara (God/Supreme Being, Brahman, True Self, Unchanging Reality), or attunement to the supreme consciousness.

Ishvara is a Sanskrit word that can be translated as “supreme, God, the Absolute Brahman, True Self, or Unchanging Reality”. Pranidhana means “dedication, devotion, or surrender”.

In the Upanishads, the word Isvara means “a state of collective consciousness”. In this sense, there isn’t a Godlike figure we are supposed to worship or devote our actions to, rather ‘God’ represents a state of collective consciousness, and therefore represents all of us too.

Thus, the fifth niyama teaches us to surrender to God or Higher self, meaning, cultivating a deep and trusting relationship with the universe and making each action an offering to something bigger than us.

A person who practices Ishvara Pranidhana, dedicates the merits of his actions to the Supreme, and coordinates every step he takes (all actions, thoughts, words) with the expediency for the benefit of spiritual development. He is not looking for personal gain, his actions are pure and sincere.

Thus, when we are talking about the practice of Ishvara Pranidhana, we mean our complete surrender to God (our own higher self). If we can dedicate our lives to serving the God that dwells within everything and everyone, we will move beyond all feelings of separateness and free ourselves from the dualistic mindset. If we can say without reservation, “I give You myself: my body, my mind, and my heart, to serve the Highest Good of all,” then we will be freed from the stress, anxiety, self-doubt, as well as from negative karma.

The Idea Of Surrendering

Dopamine happiness hormone image

In our modern society, the feelings of separateness and disconnection prevail. Ego and pride are people’s main motivators, and being strong and domineering over others are the main qualities of successful people. Most of us silently accepted that this is how life goes and there is nothing we can do about it. Our egos made us believe that we, human beings, are somehow in control of the universe. Therefore, the very idea of surrendering seems like something negative, as it implies a sort of weakness or defeat.

Our minds were programmed since ancient times that surrender means losing. This belief comes from military terminology where surrender means the opposition to the victory. And it makes sense since the very nature of any war or competition is built on duality. For us, human beings, it’s normal to see surrender as something bad because our minds are stuck in the duality and it’s hard to see something beyond these limited paradigms.

In spirituality, however, we don’t limit our beliefs with “right or wrong” labels. Instead, we are learning to see the hidden meanings of everything by overcoming the dualistic mindset. Thus, victory is attained as we willingly surrender our limited idea of who we are (i.e. our name, our jobs, our problems, etc.) and create the space needed to feel our true Self, our Divine Spark which is limitless.

Surrender requires self-discipline, trust, and faith. Ultimately it will take far more effort to cling to the smallness of the ego than it will surrender the Higher self.

Applying the Practice of Isvara Pranidhana to Life

#1: Examine your path

Isvara Pranidhana Definition Image

Start with introspection. Ask yourself what you are guided by in your life when you choose the path that you follow throughout your earthly incarnation. After all, intentions are the main criterion that reflects the sincerity of your actions, words, and thoughts.

Examine your path, the purpose you live for. Are your intentions dictated by ego, prestige, greed, or pride?

Think about your strongest motivation in life. Are you motivated by selfish motives? Or, is every action you do aim at improving this world, creating good, bringing light and love, joy and warmth to this world? Answer these questions honestly. What do you live for? A sincere answer to this question will clarify for you the meaning of your existence and direct you to the true path of life.

#2: Practice letting go and non-attachment

Letting go of the fruits of our actions and non-attachment are a focal point of the Bhagavad Gita

If we’ve put a lot of effort into something, we often get attached to a result of our actions. Questions like: “Will they like me?”, “What if I’m not good enough?”, “Will my project be successful?” are perfect examples of attachments to a result. All this worrying about things we have no control over is the main cause of our suffering.

Instead of worrying and focusing on the result, concentrate on the process and the idea of service – meaning, dedication of the process of doing to God. In this case, you’ll be fully engaged in the action without thinking about what might or might not happen.

The practice of surrendering requires us to acknowledge that we can do our very best in each situation, but we can’t really do any more than that. Realizing this simple truth essentially allows us to fully engage and be present in what we’re doing, bringing all our energy to the present moment and experiencing it fully just for what it is.

Such attitude to the process helps us to develop trust and faith that are essential for our spiritual development.

You can do the same action with or without God. However, when you’re doing it without God (guided by ego) you’re facing all kinds of challenges, obstacles, worries, and suffering. But when you’re acting with God (focusing on offering your action to the Divine), you know that any outcome is beneficial because this is what God wants. This approach gives you satisfaction with any result – because you have your trust and faith that whatever happens as a result of your actions is for the highest good for all.

#3: Stay open

Awakening during Brahma Muhurta hour image

In our daily life, Isvara Pranishana can be also seen as an opening up to what isThat is, instead of fighting against life’s twists and turns, you are remaining open to experiencing life as it unfolds.  

When we are remaining fixed and rigid in our conditioned patterns, habits, and limitations, we are doomed to a limited life. Whereas surrendering has an expansive nature that boosts your development. Surrendering is hugely challenging because it means transcending the ego, and the ego will do everything it can to stay in control over your mind.

Worries, conditioning, judgments, and perceptions are the “hooks” that the ego pulls us by. Without those “hooks” the ego would not exist. Therefore, it tries desperately to cling on when we work on quietening it.

Surrendering requires trust in the Universe and the courage to express ourselves for who we are, as we are. Each time we choose to surrender, we move closer to freedom. 

Conclusion

When we see ourselves as a part of one whole, we are no longer in the illusion of separation (duality). This leads to the emergence of healthy altruism towards all living beings and a sincere desire to share the divine light of our hearts, which becomes possible due to the disclosure of this light in our souls. When we observe the principle of Ishvara Pranidhana we become free from egoistic motivations in our behavior and in our activities.

  

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Spirituality

Divine Union: Achieving the Ultimate Freedom From Enmeshed Reality

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If I had to choose one neurosis that we all hold as a collective, it would be the understanding of ourselves as separate from source. Throughout history and until the current moment humanity is known for enduring strife and challenges that have led to profound cognitive distortions. The idea that we are separate from the ever-unfolding creative energy that exists in all the universe has become an embodied reality.

How Did This Neurosis Unfold?

Whether it is due to an orchestrated amnesia or the seeds of ignorance, we have all been vulnerable to a false power that is the influence of the mind; the very thing that breeds separation, illusion, and fear.

Throughout history – religious, scientific, industrial, and social movements have all moved beyond the natural and organic. This has been coined as evolution, however, without the heart leading the way it has undoubtedly altered our ability to perceive ourselves as part of the whole.

What we understand instead is a system that keeps our minds in shackles and tension under the illusion of security and control. The neurosis that something is unquestionably wrong with us, society, our world as we know it plagues us in a way that we seldom recognize. The need to fix, improve, calculate, and just push towards a better something has kept us in perpetual unease. Our need to avoid discomfort and suffering has irrevocably separated us from the grace of divine order.

“The fear of experiencing that which we judge wrong keeps us from experiencing the love that truly does protect us from all things.”

We do not feel safe, held, or supported, and as the Samsara wheel churns, many fall further and further away from the tree of life. Instead of experiencing the self as part of a vast and organic whole, the tendency is to reside in a deep unconscious state where the appeal for a false sense of control has become prominent. The fear of experiencing that which we judge wrong keeps us from experiencing the love that truly does protect us from all things.

There is fixed enmeshment with this man-made reality that profoundly disconnects all from the truth and from the vibration that is unconditional love, which indeed emanates from in every sparkle of an eye, every speck of sand, every Tsunami and every other materialized construct within the infinite universes that exist.

What Happened to Faith?

born healer image

Faith is a word that has lost its true context – it is now loosely understood as believing in or trusting that an outside force may or may not meet one’s intended desire. This notion of faith is a diluted interpretation of the vitality in which the word truly resides.

Faith, as it has revealed itself to me, is the actual embodiment of union and it is not limited to the concepts of the mind nor is it something to be manipulated by demand. Faith speaks of an enlightened expression of the union with the source of all that is.

“There is truly an emancipation held for all by the mathematical perfection that are the universes. Suffering breeds from not feeling worthy of this and being attached to that which we believe is our identity and yet is not our true nature.”

The term, enlightenment in this prose refers to a conscious awareness of the small self as well as the Self that is attuned to the love that is the whole. The paradox itself is hard to grasp- it defies all things defined in the polarity in which we believe ourselves to exist, and it challenges the fixed status quo. However, this conundrum is the very place where we can find peace from the endless chatter that speaks of unrest in the mind, in the body, and most importantly in the self.

There is truly an emancipation held for all by the mathematical perfection that are the universes. Suffering breeds from not feeling worthy of this and being attached to that which we believe is our identity and yet is not our true nature. We were born beyond the endless constraints of logic and calculated manipulation and still we walk in those very shackles forgetting ourselves as boundless and infinite creative expression- this of course superseding even death.

We stopped trusting our intuitive nature and instead allowed our minds to become masters. Still, the field beyond right and wrong as our beloved lover and poet, Rumi would say; truly does exist.

Divine Union Is Not In the External

Divine Union Experience Image

Divine union is not a choice but an absolute truth that can only be experienced through the liberation of the small self. It is not about attracting the ideal quantum partner nor is it in the glory of a manifested desire. It means transcending the alleged separation and surrendering to the simplicity of being.

Freedom comes from allowing ourselves to embody our union with the divine as paint on a canvas would trust the strokes of its artist. There is a masterpiece that we are all part of and yet because of universal free will, we continue to lose sight of it.

Divine union is within every breath we take, we need only provide the space for it to bloom the way a flower unfolds in the Spring; petal by petal, not worried about the contours of its shape. She simply becomes its full radiance with focused intention allotted to her by her very existence, and the most subtle of expressions that derive from her simply being. Its vibrancy trusts; it does not fear decay, nor does it try to manipulate the direction or the speed at which it will flourish. Without knowing she embraces the pure fluid state that by default is all of existence; mankind included.

“Freedom comes from allowing ourselves to embody our union with the divine as paint on a canvas would trust the strokes of its artist.”

Re-union Is Definite

gates of heaven image

The labyrinth that our egos journey through paves the way for remembrance. All paths lead home as the slogan goes. There is no bypassing the organic process from our forgetting to the collective unraveling of our true essence. The enigma brings forth a rise in consciousness where we can feel into that which lies beyond the veils of our manifested reality. With the shift of the ages, we now have additional support through the more expansive access to higher dimensional frequencies that supersede the matrix consciousness.

There is a light pouring in from the cosmos that is summoning us from our sleep state. It is bringing great awareness to the depths of the collective complex of perceived abandonment. The gates of heaven are now truly accessible to all – the journey there is within. In the stillness of the mind and emptiness of the small self, the subtle whispers of conscious awareness ripple through and beloved to ourselves we become.

“The gates of heaven are now truly accessible to all – the journey there is within.”

The Bottom Line

I like to remind my clients of how fortunate they are to have incarnated at this time. Although they may perceive me with questioning eyes at such a statement while they are still deeply enmeshed with their severance; there is something that stirs in them. It is then that the invitation to remembrance becomes alive.

If they choose to answer they are ignited to explore the alchemy that is life from a higher perspective; one that doesn’t undermine the organic process that is life but instead highlights the beauty in the complexity of its nature and the absolute safety of its colorful landscape.

The heart is the gateway – we need only seek in that direction and recall that it is not a pragmatic excursion. Remembrance transcends the confines of the logical mind and calls forth the frequency that has and will always permeate above all – love.

About Ishtar

Ishtar is a psychotherapist (LCSW) who earned her masters’ degree from New York University in 2006. She is also a KRI certified Kundalini Yoga instructor; licensed in 2013 at Goldenbridge, New York City. Prior to this training, in 2008 she experienced what she coins as divine remembrance and has spent the last 13 years in service to others as a wayshower in the ascension process. As a Christed pillar of light embodying the solar crystalline frequencies; she carries the codes of gnosis and sacred transformation. Ishtar is a Rose priestess of cosmic lineage and holds a multidimensional awareness that guides clients from all walks of life into divine union. Currently, she resides with her daughter Ixchel Inanna in the city New York and remains committed to activating divine remembrance through a myriad of sacred tools.  ​

About Luminous Magik

Luminous Magik practice focuses on traditional integrative psychotherapy infused with an array of healing modalities intuitively tailored to your specific needs. The sessions can include Kundalini yoga and Meditation, Energetic Alignments, Light Language, Shadow Work, Ancestral Clearing, Womb Activations & Cosmic Coding. For more information, visit Ishtar’s website luminousmagik.com.

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Spirituality

Dark Night of the Soul: The Signs and Counter Measures

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Picture this: You have the dream job that you always wanted. Your mortgage payments on your dream home are up to date. And, you just proposed to the partner of your dreams. It is such a time that you should feel content, if not excited for your accomplishments, right? But, why are you losing interest in pursuing more goals? Why the unexplained sadness, confusion, or a sudden loss of focus? Chances are you going through the Dark Night of the Soul.

What Is It?

The Dark Night of the Soul refers to a transitional stage when we undergo a ‘spiritual depression’ before getting an intense perception of life. It involves letting go of our past perceptions of our careers, relationships, and belief systems and replacing them with a life appreciation that leads to spiritual growth. This letting-go process can be painful, therefore, triggering sadness or feelings of getting lost. Hence, despite doing well in your career or social circles, a state of despair or suffering in humanity can leave you feeling sad when you should be happy.

The Origin

The term “Dark Night of the Soul” was first used in the poem of St. John of the Cross, depicting trials or purgation that the Roman Catholic followers go through before attaining a Divine union or illumination. In this poem, only one light lights the soul as it goes through the night. This light is what leads the soul towards Divine union.

The Symptoms of the Dark Night of the Soul

Symptoms of the Dark Night of the Soul Image

Everyone on a spiritual journey undergoes the Dark Night of the Soul before achieving spiritual enlightenment. However, we all experience it differently. And, unless you know what is happening, this transitional period can be confusing and scary. Here are 5 key signs that you could be going through the Dark Night of the Soul:

#1: Bouts of Sadness

The Dark Night of the Soul is a crisis in faith that can trigger a spiritual depression characterized by sadness. Think of persons with immense Christian faith like Elijah, Jeremiah, and David. History documents show how these spiritual leaders struggled with anxiety, depression, and failure (Psalm 51, 1 Kings 19, Jeremiah 20). Likewise, Mother Teresa is said to have dark night experiences that lasted for close to 50 years. 

#2: Feeling Powerless or Hopeless About Your Current Situation

Anyone undergoing the dark night experiences becomes overly aware of their incompleteness and imperfection to God.  You feel an overwhelming confusion. It is a discomfort that comes with a lot of hopelessness.

For example, the death of a loved one may remind you of how fragile life is, triggering a sense of powerlessness and sadness. Yet, unlike depression that brings about suicidal thoughts, or resentment towards God, the pain in dark night experiences is for a purpose. Hence, the loss of pleasure towards things of God is only temporary.

#3: You Desire to Connect with People

Are you active on social media, or lead a public life where you enjoy impressing the masses? A dark night experience may evoke a desire to connect with your followers or audience. For, this spiritual transformation process causes you to question everything that you once thought was true. Hence, your mind tries to derive meaning in all your interactions with others, letting go of interest that is no longer serving your audience.

#4: Lack of Interest in Your Passion

Often, a spiritual crisis leaves us listless and with no motivation to do the things we once enjoyed. In turn, we isolate ourselves with our friends and loved ones, sinking deeper into depression.

#5: Longing for “Home”

If you feel frustrated and conflict to the extent of getting homesickness for an imaginary place you want to call home, it is a clear sign of a dark night experience. See, the spiritual trials make us long for normalcy that we associate with our loved ones of the home environment. It is a natural response to any life transition that comes with a feeling of loss and a need to adjust to the new norm.

Overcoming the Dark Night of the Soul

Overcoming Spiritual Depression Image

If you are going through spiritual depression, here are some tips to make this experience bearable: –

  • Maintain a journal of your dark night experiences.  This approach helps you see what triggers the sadness, emptiness, and anxiety. More so, it will give you the insight necessary to assist another person going through a similar experience.
  • Understand how your subconscious mind works. Knowing your thought process helps you anticipate and avoid an emotional breakdown. Plus, it will give you a chance to identify any areas in your life that bring about cognitive dissonance.
  • Let go of your fears, feelings, and old beliefs. Instead, be open to the present moment.
  • Embrace the dark night experiences with a positive attitude. The experience is only temporary, and the result is a profound perception of self.
  • Enrich your soul. Here, taking part in yoga sessions, forest baths, reading motivational books, or listening to sleep meditation provides an outlet for the anguish you feel inside.
  • Practice living in the present. Remember, sadness, hopelessness, or anxiety comes about when we have regrets or conflicts about our past thoughts.
  • Stay active. A regular brisk walk can help wade off thoughts of depression and loss of interest in our passion. Likewise, if you know you enjoy camping or traveling, start by making a campfire in your backyard.
  • Find support. Spending time with friends and family can uplift your mood.

Conclusion

Meister Eckhart the great philosopher, once said, “We rarely find people who achieve great things without first going astray.” Indeed, this is the essence of the Dark Night of the Soul. It is a spiritual disconnection that leads us to a deeper understanding of our soul and who we are. Only, these dark night experiences may trigger an overwhelming sadness, insatiable cravings, or lack of interest in what you once enjoyed. Learn to identify the symptoms of dark night experiences to embrace them positively. More so, differentiate them from symptoms of clinical depression or chemical imbalances so that you may seek appropriate help.

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