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The Kybalion: A Study of The Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece
The Kybalion: A Study of The Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece
The Kybalion: A Study of The Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece
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The Kybalion: A Study of The Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece

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About this ebook

This is an illustrated edition of an occult classic, with an intriguing and thought-provoking foreword by Summum. Since 1908, The Kybalion has served as a study of basic Hermetic teachings that outline an ageless wisdom and touch upon the inner workings of nature. In ancient times and even today, these teachings were not understood by t

Release dateJun 1, 2021
The Kybalion: A Study of The Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece

Three Initiates

The Three Initiates who authored The Kybalion chose to remain anonymous. As a result, a great deal of speculation has been made about who actually wrote the book. The most common proposal is that The Kybalion was authored by William Walker Atkinson, either alone or with others, such as Paul Foster Case and Elias Gewurz. Atkinson was known to use many pseudonyms, and to self-publish his works. Also suggestive is that among his earliest published pseudonymous and anonymous works may have been a series entitled The Arcane Teachings, which bears many superficial similarities to The Kybalion. While the latter explores seven "Hermetic Principles", The Arcane Teachings examines seven "Arcane Laws"; The Kybalion claims to be an elucidation of an ancient, unpublished Hermetic text of the same name, and The Arcane Teachings claims to reveal the wisdom of an ancient, unpublished scroll of occult aphorisms. Both books describe three "Great Planes" of reality which are further subdivided into seven lesser planes. Both also describe three of the lesser planes as "astral black keys" analogous to the black keys on a piano, and inhabited by elemental spirits. And both books describe the process of "Mental Alchemy" in great detail, and in near-complete agreement with each other. There are other similarities, and some argue that The Arcane Teachings might have been Atkinson's "first draft" of material which later became The Kybalion. Atkinson also attempted to describe the workings of the universe in terms of a set of laws in his last manuscript The Seven Cosmic Laws, written in 1931 and published posthumously in 2011.

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Interesting dissection of the teachings and wisdom of Hermes. Everything is laid out in a very accessible way, even though these topics touch on topics as complex and particle physics and as esoteric as existence as nothing but a dream in the mind of God. I will definitely need to revisit this work at some point, to find deeper understanding of the concepts of hermetic wisdom.

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Really high-level intro to the Seven Hermetic Principles. I'll definitely need to spend some more time with this. It was interesting noting the direct tie-in to coaching; you get what you look for. Or more correctly, you create by using mental energy.

    1 person found this helpful

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    I find the basic principles valid. The philosophy and detailed ideas are 100 years old and subject to the principle of rhythm. I wonder what our wise writings will sound like in 100 years.

    1 person found this helpful

Book preview

The Kybalion - Three Initiates

Hermes TrismegistusThe Kybalion

A Study of

The Hermetic Philosophy of

Ancient Egypt and Greece


Three Initiates

~ Illustrated ~

"The lips of wisdom are closed,

except to the ears of Understanding"

Foreword to the second edition

Copyright © 2021 The Kybalion Resource Page

All rights reserved.

First illustrated edition published March 2020

Second edition, June 2021

Refer to the end of the book for image credits and copyrights.

ISBN: 978-0-943217-20-8 (hardback)

ISBN: 978-0-943217-21-5 (paperback)

ISBN: 978-0-943217-22-2 (epub)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2021909786

The Kybalion Resource Page


Salt Lake City, Utah

The Kybalion was originally published by:

The Yogi Publication Society

Masonic Temple

Chicago, Ill.


1908 (1912)

Yogi Publication Society

Copyright, 1936 (1940)



Known by the Ancient Egyptians as




This little volume of Hermetic Teachings is reverently dedicated


· Frontispiece · Title Page · Copyright · Dedication ·

Inner Sanctum

· Foreword ·

In a world full of mystery, the single most compelling riddle that puzzles us is the creation of our universe. Its beginnings have been pondered by humankind for millennia, and it continues to beckon and call for it is woven into the very fabric of our being. Among those believed to have gained an intimate understanding of our cosmos are the inhabitants of a time referred to as the last Atlantean era. But all we have about this epoch are myths and legends — tales and fables of the lost continent of Atlantis.

The story of Atlantis can be traced back to the famous Greek philosopher Plato who, in his Timaeus and Critias dialogues, expounds upon the formation and nature of the universe. While historians regard Atlantis as an invention of Plato's mind, Plato himself suggests Atlantis was real. He says its story came to light when Solon, a Greek statesman, traveled to Egypt, seeking to learn more about the antiquity of Greek civilization. It was at an Egyptian temple that Solon met with learned priests, experts in history who recounted the tale of Atlantis.

Ancient Egypt, considered by some to be a legacy of the Atlantean era, marked the end of a cycle of human development; a cycle dominated with such a keen awareness of life that archaeologists and historians classified it as one of history's most developed and outstanding civilizations. Its sophistication was profound and undeniable, and would influence cultures for centuries to come. With the deterioration of Egyptian society went their secrets. Insight into their techniques of craftsmanship, science, and methods of awareness became obscured by a wave of ignorance that would ultimately plunge the Earth into the abyss of the dark ages, a pit from which humankind has since been emerging, for such is the swing of the pendulum.

Those ancient Egyptians and Greeks, who sought to understand the esoteric, realized that all outward manifestations of the universe were under the influence of an ultimate guiding reality from which elemental forces follow. The moment our universe was born, fundamental laws of nature began guiding and shaping the cosmos, manifesting untold forms and appearances. Established at the beginning of time, these natural laws constantly make their presence known as the universe dances through gyrations of progression and evolution. Whether the universe exists as a point of singularity or an infinite expanse, whether it be a homogeneous soup of subatomic particles or separated into countless developed individualized entities, the universe rests upon the framework of these universal principles.

Although these principles are in constant operation, the masses are unable to recognize or realize their significance and the depth at which they operate. Most are oblivious to the principles, and for those who do manage to notice them, the principles are simply taken for granted and valued lightly if at all. It is a paradox, for the treasure of these principles is hidden in plain sight. Whether or not one perceives them and appreciates their importance is dependent on the condition of the mind. The beliefs, opinions, and biases that one typically holds create a veil that obscures the principles and prevents a clear point of observation.


Recognizing the principles requires one to be open and capable of consideration, to drop judgements, at least temporarily, so that one may reach beyond the limiting construct that all too often envelops and imprisons the human mind. But a truly genuine path of honest, open-mindedness can be disturbing, abrupt, and downright offensive, and this invariably leads to a road less traveled. Regardless, there will always be a few who attempt to walk the path and broaden their perspective — and it is for this reason that adepts and masters have appeared throughout history to take on the role of teacher and guide, assisting those who have started to turn their attention inward towards the mysteries of creation.

Behind this universe and all its appearances, behind infinite universes in all their forms, are the principles. And even further back, behind all of the principles, is the Word, the Logos, the Supreme Vibration. It is what The Kybalion describes as THE ALL from which all emanates. As THE ALL brings forth humankind, members of the race are part of a constant cycle of evolution. Entities evolve in from lower levels, ascend, and evolve out into higher levels. And in every cycle emerge rare individuals who give themselves to the cause of THE ALL and become a portal for THE ALL, shining bright with the light of wisdom. Like a lighthouse in the fog, they illuminate a path so that others can gain the bearings needed to turn inward and move forward in spiritual progression.

These awakened masters impregnate the mental womb of the students and neophytes who will listen, planting a seed of wisdom. But the impregnation does not come from words alone. It comes from their living example of understanding. It comes from the master undressing the disciple’s mental clothes, taking all thought away, and quieting the disciple’s mind. It comes from the feelings that arise from listening to the master. And of great significance, it comes from instilling a vibration within the disciple, a bonding link to THE ALL that is brought to the forefront of the disciple's consciousness. It is an initiation of the highest order. The seed is sown, and whether it grows depends upon the disciple cultivating a milieu that encourages its development and dropping arguments that commonly plague the human condition.

For millennia, masters have come and gone, appearing in the East, appearing in the West. The Kybalion is dedicated to one such being, Hermes Trismegistus, who dwelt long ago in the land of Egypt. Since then, others have appeared. THE ALL provides for this continuance in every age, with masters appearing even in our modern times. And along with the masters appear the disciples who are on a search and whose ears and minds are open. Then comes a point when at last, they are ready, and through initiation, the master bonds the disciple with the Word. Out of that insemination is set the stage for an awakening that unfolds over time, leading to greater and greater depths. But it is not without surrender, for there is mental and physical work involved, and the disciple must embrace the willingness to make the effort and engage in meditative discipline. It is through this work that the disciple falls into harmony with the principles of nature, and gradually, the work no longer remains simply work, for the disciple has transmuted the work into play.

Read The Kybalion, study it, and explore its depths. But don't let your inquiry stop with this book. The story it tells has been passed along for centuries, and the story continues to be passed on, evolving in different ways, all in accordance with the principles. As decades, centuries, and millennia go by, the story will flower in varied forms, cultivated by those who chose to keep the flame alive. Stay alert, be aware, and let consideration be your guide. Avoid the trap of a closed mind, and let yourself become like a child who explores the world with wonder and awe.

The Force of Creation has arrived and is establishedMaster-Key


We take great pleasure in presenting to the attention of students and investigators of the Secret Doctrines this little work based upon the world-old Hermetic Teachings. There has been so little written upon this subject, notwithstanding the countless references to the Teachings in the many works upon occultism, that the many earnest searchers after the Arcane Truths will doubtless welcome the appearance of the present volume.

The purpose of this work is not the enunciation of any special philosophy or doctrine, but rather is to give to the students a statement of the Truth that will serve to reconcile the many bits of occult knowledge that they may have acquired, but which are apparently opposed to each other and which often serve to discourage and disgust the beginner in the study. Our intent is not to erect a new Temple of Knowledge, but rather to place in the hands of the student a Master-Key with which he may open the many inner doors in the Temple of Mystery through the main portals he has already entered.

There is no portion of the occult teachings possessed by the world which have been so closely guarded as the fragments of the Hermetic Teachings which have come down to us over the tens of centuries which have elapsed since the lifetime of its great founder, Hermes Trismegistus, the scribe of the gods, who dwelt in old Egypt in the days when the present race of men was in its infancy. Contemporary with Abraham, and, if the legends be true, an instructor of that venerable sage, Hermes was, and is, the Great Central Sun of Occultism, whose rays have served to illumine the countless teachings which have been promulgated since his time. All the fundamental and basic teachings embedded in the esoteric teachings of every race may be traced back to Hermes. Even the most ancient teachings of India undoubtedly have their roots in the original Hermetic Teachings.

From the land of the Ganges many advanced occultists wandered to the land of Egypt, and sat at the feet of the Master. From him they obtained the Master-Key

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