Written by three initiates whose identities are unknown to this day and published in 1912, The Kybalion is an extraordinary hermetic text that summarizes the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus, the mysterious author of the Hermetic Corpus.
This short book provides a superb, dense summary of hermetic thought. The meaning of the word Kybalion in the title is not known, but in the book it is used for referring to a body of texts passed on from generation to generation, from teacher to student in oral form. The texts were in fact a set of axioms and maxims that were comprehendible only to the few initiates and this book claims to be the first to record this ancient hermetic knowledge in writing. Given the cryptic nature of the texts, the book provides explanations and illustrations by means of examples so that the message can be comprehended by neophytes as well.
The Kybalion comprises 15 chapters and proposes to provide a summary of Hermetic principles. The very first chapter is entitled Hermetic Philosophy and it provides a general outline of what is going to be explained in more detail in the following chapters. The titles given to the chapters include Seven Hermetic Principles, The All, Vibration, Polarity, Hermetic Axioms, to mention just a few, each of the parts elaborating an important concept in western esoteric philosophy.
The Kybalion has been often compared in terms of significance to the Tao The Ching, but it has been frequently criticized as well for lacking authenticity. What the book really is, however, is a very dense spiritual text about how our Universe works, about the forces that govern it, about one of the many possible ways to make sense of our world and of ourselves, so it is definitely a book that is worth your time.
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