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The 2nd Hermetic Principle - Correspondence
What is above is like what is below...
3 minutes of reading
The principle of Correspondence is one of the Seven Hermetic Laws of the Universe. Derived from the writings of Hermes Trismegistus, the seven principles help us understand the universal essence present in all beliefs.
For an optimal understanding of the principles, we recommend that you read each of the topics in the order of the laws. In this article, we are going to address the second law - the principle of Correspondence - therefore, we recommend that you read the article on the Principle of Mentalism first.
"As above, so below. As within, so without."
The principle of Correspondence concerns the patterns - hidden or not - present in all planes through which we walk. According to this law, the study of the microcosm can help us understand the macrocosm, as there will always be a correspondence between one and the other.
By saying that "as above so as below", this hermetic principle speaks about the existing correspondence on higher and lower planes. In the case of heaven and Earth, for example, we find correspondences between these two levels - whether we consider the scientific physical plane or the spiritual one.
The principle of Mentalism helps us to understand the last sentence of this principle: "what is inside is like what is outside". Here, the idea is that our inner universe, commanded by the mind, has its counterpart in the universe around us.
If our thinking is obsessive, for example, so will our behavior; likewise, someone's internal emotional disorganization may be reflected in a mess in the environment in which they live.
The Principle of Correspondence and its possible relations...
The Correspondence principle has always been used as a methodological resource in various fields of Science. The very understanding of space could only be possible from the concept of scales in geometry - our visible universe is nothing more than a small representation of something bigger.
The discovery of the very nature of the atom was based on this correlation: based on an analogy with the solar system, the physicist Ernest Rutherford discovered that the atom is largely composed of empty spaces, with negatively charged electrons (so like planets) revolving around a positively charged nucleus (like the Sun).
In biology, the course of rivers and currents serve as an analogy for the bloodstream; in Sociology, Émile Durkheim says that society is structured as a social "organism". There are countless examples of using the Correspondence principle to achieve greater understanding, whether in scientific or everyday matters.
We see the principle of Correspondence being applied in all religions, through the metaphors and analogies present in the most diverse sacred texts. The Bible says that God created man in his image and likeness: here we find the first great correspondence. Like God, man also creates his own universe, which is mental; however, the human mind is imperfect, so is what we create.
Spiritism is one of the doctrines that focus most on the principle of Correspondence. The very concept of Karma tells us about something that corresponds to past lives; what we find in the celestial planes corresponds to what we lived and did in the terrestrial plane.
Definition of Correspondence in The Kybalion
"This Principle contains the truth that there is a correspondence between the laws and phenomena of the different planes of Existence and Life. The old Hermetic axiom says these words: below is like that which is above.'
Understanding this Principle gives man the means of explaining many obscure paradoxes and secrets of Nature. There are planes beyond our knowledge, but when we apply the Principle of Correspondence to them we come to understand much that would otherwise be impossible for us to understand. This Principle is of universal application and manifestation in the different planes of the material, mental and spiritual universe: it is a Universal Law. The ancient Hermetists considered this Principle to be one of the most important mental instruments, by means of which man can see beyond the obstacles that hide the Unknown from view.
Its constant use gradually tore the veil of Isis and a glimpse of the goddess's face could be perceived. Just as a knowledge of the Principles of Geometry enables a man, while in his observatory, to measure distant suns, so a knowledge of the Principle of Correspondence enables a Man to reason intelligently from the Known to the Unknown. Studying the monad, he comes to understand the archangel."