What is the Principle of Correspondence?
I often think of the principle of correspondence at length when thinking of our place in the universe. This principle states, “As above, so below; as below, so above.”
A simmilar phrase can be found in a most excellent Tool song called Parabola. In this song the principle was used in the phrase, “as below so above and beyond I imagine, drawn beyond the lines of reason.” This ancient saying has universal implications when one considers it in all of its fullness.
What can one learn from this?
The law seems to be alluding to the fractal-like nature of the mental/physical universe. If the universe has the qualities of a fractal, then there are repeated structures on all scales ad infinitum. This brings about the question, “If the very structure of the Universe is a fractal, what does this tell us about ourselves?”
This principle of correspondence tells us that the mere observation of our own consciousness can give us insight into other forms of consciousness; having the simmilarity that each element of a fractal has, our consciousness is similar to all of the others.
If you move away from the image of a fractal, one finds that the elements, when observed on the small scale, appear large and seemingly separate, when observed on the larger scale, however, they are merely pieces of the larger scale elements and are, indeed, inseperable from one another.
What about the daily life of a man relates to the divine?
The use of agriculture to grow and nurture new plant life and to enrich the soil for future lives can be referred to as that which is below; that which we can understand in our level of existence. Agriculture, properly done, enriches the whole biosphere and brings forth a nutritious bounty to be enjoyed by Man and all other forms of animal. This is the fundamental sustainer of our life and is the most important life-sustaining activity. It is almost as if, through the consumption of vegetables, the spirit and vitality of plant and man become one.
If the principle is correct in stating that what is below gives us insight into what is above, then we can step out of our level of existence and see that our mind/body/spirit complexes may be somewhat like plants to higher forms of being; entities which exist on a level barely describable in our three-dimensional, linear conception of reality.
These advanced entities, like ourselves in relation to the plants, receive nourishment from our very presence; they carefully watch over us and our planet in order to assure that we eventually reach maturity and are able to, by our own free will, become one with them. Is this really any different from a plant, who, without animals to eat it and spread its seed will not flourish as a species?
The Seven Great Egyptian Hermetic Principles
- The Principle of Mentalism – “The all is mind: the universe is mental.”
- The Principle of Correspondence – “As above, so below; as below, so above.”
- The Principle of Vibration – “Nothing rests: everything moves: everything vibrates.”
- 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 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 Principle of Cause and Effect – “Every cause has its effect; every effect has its cause; everything happens according to the law; chance is but a name for law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the law.”
- The Principle of Gender – “Gender is in everything; everything has its masculine and feminine principles; gender manifests on all planes.