“Along with the Tao Teh Ching, this little book first published by the Yogi Publication Society in 1912, is one of the most complete and concise spiritual texts ever written. Many critics have criticized the Kybalion’s lack of “authenticity.” The teachings are allegedly taken from an ancient Egpytian teacher or demi-god named Hermes Trismegistus. Scholars, on the other hand, mainly believe that the Hermetic movement was really born in the Greek era. None of this in any way detracts from the value of this work. The true Hermes has always been a trickster god who blurs the distinction between history and mythology, so if you want real knowledge it’s far preferable to leave the dry scholarship to the scholars and focus on the principles.
Another criticism posed by those who don’t understand such matters is that the material contained in the Kybalion is really from other traditions, such as Far Eastern. The true understanding of Hermetic philosophy is that truth is truth and it all comes from the same basic source. It follows from this that beliefs from one part of the world will be duplicated elsewhere. Debates concerning origins are very important in the fields of history, anthropology and archeology. To those on a quest for spiritual knowledge they are meaningless. I won’t go through the list of seven principles contained in the Kybalion, but the primary ideas are quite simple, yet at the same time paradoxical. The universe is ultimately One, but that oneness manifests itself in duality. This is identical in essence to the Chinese idea that the Tao expresses itself through Yin and Yang. This duality creates a world where things are always moving from one extreme to the other, or Polarity as the Kybalion describes it. Perhaps the most important principle to keep in mind is that all opposites are really one. Apply this rather abstract notion to worldly matters such as politics and war and you will see the wisdom of it. This is a book worth reading many times.”