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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trimegistus [Thrice Great]
    #4265588 - 06/06/05 11:04 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

The Emerald Tablet

Related Resources
? The Hermetic Tradition
? The Corpus Hermeticum -Hermetic source texts

? Hermes Trismegistus Image Gallery
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An introduction to Hermetic Philosophy
The text of the Emerald tablet is brief- only thirteen lines- but it is the cornerstone of the Hermetic movement. The origin of this mysterious text is shrouded in antiquity, and even its name is a mystery, yet is has been an inspiration for alchemists and magicians for hundreds of years. The well known Hermetic axiom, ?As above, so below? is derived directly from the Emerald Tablet. It may be the oldest Hermetic text known, predating both the Corpus Hermeticum and the Christian religion.

The Tablet languished in relative obscurity until the middle ages, when it began to circulate throughout the alchemical community through contact with Muslim mystics. Scholars believe the original was written in Greek, but the oldest surviving copies are Arabic translations. Despite its mysterious origin, many have imputed great significance to the text- its famous translators include Roger Bacon, Isaac Newton, and even HP Blavatsky.

The philosophical ideas contained within are profound- influencing medieval alchemists, Jewish kabbalists, Masons, and ritual magicians alike.

Without lie, certain and most true:
What is below is is like what is above, and what is above is like what is below, to accomplish the miracle of the One thing.
The introductory stanza introduces the now well known concept of the macrocosm, or world of divinity, and its relationship to the microcosm, the world of matter and of man, and the union between them, as described by mystics throughout history.

In truth, and without Lie, And just as all things have been from the one, so also they are born from this one thing by adaptation.
This line describes a very kabbalistic world view: that of emanation. In Kabbalistic cosmology, all of creation emanates in ever expanding layers of complexity, yet all are at the same time part of an unknowable, limitless power. The nature of God is considered impenatrable, for every attempt to describe or name something imposes limits upon it, and seperates that thing further from divinty. There is also an eerie parallel to the current scientific cosmological model- beyond the veils of exitence and before the first emanation is the no-thing- the limitless light, or ain sof, which contracted into an infinite point to effect the creation of the universe.

Its father is the sun, its mother the moon. The wind has borne it, its nurse is the earth. This one thing is the father of all things in the universe.

This reflects another kabbalistic formula. ?It? in this case refers to the perfected or reborn psyche. The Mother moon is Yesod, the ego, the sphere of reflection and illusion. The Sun is tiphareth, the 'Higher self,' which can be likened to the ?first face? in Buddhism. It is the immortal spirit. The wind is the divine breath, the spiritual life force. The earth that nurses it is the material body, the id, our animal nature.

Its power is perfect, after it has been united with the earth.
This refers to the experience of Divine Union spoken of in mystic tractates the world over. This union is achieved by uniting the divine essence with the physical body. It is the aim of Yoga, the goal of Ritual magick, and the essence of Satori.

Separate earth from fire, the subtle from the dense, with gentle heat and much devotion.
One must learn to diferentiate between the things of matter and things of the spirit, between the yearnings of the soul and the desires of the ego- the gross appetites and vanities must be sifted out to reveal the true self beneath.

In great measure, it ascends from earth to heaven, descends again toward earth, and recieves the force of the things above and below.
Thus you will possess the glory of the world, all obscurity shall flee away from thee.

The physical body is now integrated with the immortal soul, and the aspirant is awakened to the purpose of his existence.

This is the force of all force, it will overcome everything subtle, and penetrate everything solid.
In this manner, the world was created, but the map of this road is hidden.

This describes the personal nature of spiritual knowledge, which can only be gained through personal experience- it cannot be described accurately to one who has not yet exerienced it. Each aspirant must find the path on their own.

For this reason I am called "Hiram Telat Machasot"- one in essence, but three in aspect. In this trinity is the wisdom of the whole world.
This curious phrase is Chaldean in origin, and has been suspected as the true identity of the Hiram Abiff of Masonic legend. Chiram means ?universal,? and contains the root letter of the elements of air, water, and fire, a play on words that echoes the Hebrew tetragrammaton, the four letter name of God which also incorporates the element,s and forms the basis for all kabbalistic doctrine.

The tablet closes:

And so I have been called: Hermes Thrice Greatest, having the three parts of the philosophy of the world.

The "three parts" refer to the mystery traditions of the three cultures represented by the Roman Mercury, the Greek Hermes, and the Egyptian Thoth, the composite deity Hermes Trismegistus (Thrice Great) to whom the authorship of many texts is attributed, hence "Hermetic" writings.


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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Invisibleflowstone
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Re: The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trimegistus [Thrice Great] [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #4265670 - 06/06/05 11:25 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Separate earth from fire, the subtle from the dense, with gentle heat and much devotion.
One must learn to differentiate between the things of matter and things of the spirit, between the yearnings of the soul and the desires of the ego- the gross appetites and vanities must be sifted out to reveal the true self beneath.





Quote:

Separate the Earth from the Fire, the Subtle from the Gross, gently and with great ingenuity. It rises from Earth to heaven and descends again to Earth, thereby combining within itself the powers of both the Above and the Below




This speaks strongly to me. Thanks for posting it. I love how the guy who wrote the article put his own spin on the scroll. Pure wisdom.


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"War Doesn't Decide Who's Right... It Only Decides Who's Left."


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trimegistus [Thrice Great] [Re: flowstone]
    #4266135 - 06/07/05 01:23 AM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Thanks, yes, I looked at a few sites before I posted this article (seems he reflected some of my own interest in the Kabbalah  :thumbup:), but also it was reader-friendly (and I wanted the genuine piece out there in juxtaposition to the other posts).


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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