The principle of mentalism
Hermetic principles and geometry 2/8
« The Whole is Spirit ; the Universe is Mental. » 
The principle of mentalism was the first of the seven principles stated by Hermes Trismegistus. It is the Kybalion, presented in the introductory article of this series, which divulges its teaching and wisdom. Or at least that touches the bark, because it must be recognized that this book remains above all in the image of the Hermetists : mysterious !
Is it even possible to unravel this mystery ? I do not know. In any case, it seems to me that it is possible to illuminate it with other teachings. Thus, creating bridges between the hermetic principles and the theory of the connected universe of Nassim Haramein brings an additional key to understanding, in this case through geometry.
Let’s not get carried away, however, because even from this point of view, the principle of mentalism is far from obvious ! Its geometrical representation manifests itself in the simplest, most peculiar and most enigmatic form : the point. Paradoxically, this is what makes mentalism a principle that cannot be ignored. It is the foundation of our universe, and the existence of the other six principles is based on it. So much so that the one cannot be studied and interpreted without the other. Throughout this series of articles, one principle may be found to resonate with another.
But for now, let’s discover the principle of mentalism and its teaching : « The Whole is Spirit ; the Universe is Mental ».
Understand the basics of the principle of mentalism
The Whole is the fundamental truth. Now « that which is the fundamental truth, the substantial reality, needs no special name, but enlightened men call it The Whole. And « in its essence, the Whole is unknowable ».
Is trying to understand the Whole would be a senseless challenge ? There are chances, because an intellectual approach would pass by the mental, but the Whole is not Mental, it is Spirit.
So, if we cannot define the Whole, perhaps can we define Spirit ? For Hermetists, Spirit is the living power, the animated force, or the essence of life. If we cannot apprehend it directly, we can use the principle of correspondence  to see its manifestation on a human scale. Perhaps the best comparison is the forces that animate a woman when she gives birth. Even if the origin of these forces probably remains an absolute mystery for her… And for good reason, it is the Whole ! What might confuse you more, however, is that the cause of the mystery itself has no cause…
« The Whole is above all Cause and Effect, except when it Wants to become a Cause. It is then that the Principle manifests itself. »
Finally, The Whole is its own reason, its own law and its own actions. From the Whole, which is « One » with its reason, its law and its actions, derive all other laws. Notably the laws of our universe. But how did the Whole create them ?
The principle of correspondence, once again, allows us to think that the Whole creates  the universe mentally by a process identical to the one that allows man to create mental images. The Whole cannot create otherwise than mentally.
The Universe is Mental
« The Universe is Mental ; it is contained in the soul of the Whole. »
If the universe created by the Whole is mental, its ultimate reality is Spirit. Hermeticists argue that the universe is and is not at the same time. This is the divine paradox brought to light by the principle of polarity, which we will explore later. Let us simply say here that the universe, and a fortiori our world, have a reality from our point of view, and more particularly from the point of view of our senses. At the same time, the universe is only a mental creation of the Whole, and in this sense, it is an illusion.
The principle of mentalism also teaches us that the universe is both visible and invisible. Better still, the visible exists first in the invisible because the mind is first, the manifestation second.
That is the theory.
Practice, in this case human experience, can blur the lines somewhat… Having spoken about the mind on several occasions on this blog , I know something about it ! In various ways, my articles have tried to show how and to what extent we can lose ourselves in the mind, with a more or less pronounced awareness of this phenomenon . Too often, the mind is our privileged tool of understanding, proceeding by default to the analysis of our inner life and of our environment, even to the analysis of itself.
The principle of mentalism brings a different perspective. It teaches us that the primary function of the mind is to create. This is its spiritual dimension, so to speak. Not recognizing it implies a use of the mind limited to its analytical and intellectual aspects. However, since we have to implement its reality anyway, this also implies an unconscious use of its real creative potentialn .
The principle of mentalism or creative thinking
The principle of mentalism embodies the understanding that everything in the universe — and thus in our own experience — is created by thought. There is nothing in the material universe that is created by any other process. « Thoughts are things » said Albert Einstein .
What we think becomes a material reality… and we think a lot ! We send and receive thoughts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In this process, our own thoughts are involved, but also those of others, because we often unconsciously accept them as our own. The Hermetists say that « only spirits are active and penetrating » while « bodies have no action on bodies ».
Divine attention is at the center of the mental dynamics of creation. Although it is supported by the energy of the Whole, it has developed its own energy, which is mental, in order to exist and manifest. We live and interact within this mental energy . We are constantly evolving, just like the creation of the Spirit of the Whole, which is itself in constant evolution.
This dynamic finds a remarkable echo in the theory of Nassim Haramein, who also describes a learning process continuously at work in the universe. The principle of correspondence allows me to suggest that you read the article How do we learn ? which explains this process from the human scale to the scale of the universe.
The notion of creative thought also translates in the Hermeticists’ view into our ability — as human beings — to transmute our own mental states in order to improve them. This is perhaps the most important teaching of the Kybalion. It is up to us to become aware of our mental capacities in order to better master the 7 principles rather than being subjected to them.
Mental transmutation is also called « mental alchemy ». As I mentioned in the previous article, behind the philosopher’s stone sought by the alchemists would hide nothing more or less than a mental process. Nothing surprising since the universe is mental you say ? Of course it is. I just want to emphasize the fundamental difference between the inner action that mental transmutation represents and the « gold rush » induced by the quest for the philosopher’s stone in the physical universe.
For Hermetists, mental transmutation is the « art of polarization ». The latter is manifested by the existence or appearance of antagonistic poles during a phenomenon. The principle of polarity teaches us that these poles, apparently opposed, are in reality of the same nature. They are vibratory, and only a difference of degrees separates them. Mental transmutation then consists of changing one’s level of vibration to pass from one degree to another . This is why the Hermetists give us the following advice :
« To destroy a bad period of vibration, put into activity the principle of polarity and concentrate your thought on the opposite pole of the one you want to annihilate. Kill the undesirable by changing its polarity. »
Hermetic teaching considers vibration - not time — as the fourth dimension of our universe, as I mentioned in the previous article. We can see a direct application here, which would be, when we go through a bad period of vibration, to find a way to feel better right away. The idea is not to enter the temporal dimension. This is one of the keys to a correct application of the law of attraction.
The law of attraction
This law is not strictly speaking part of the Hermetic teaching. Although the authors of the Kybalion speak sibylline about the energy of attraction, they only mention the law of attraction as an aspect of the principle of cause and effect. However, the law of attraction can be seen in the background of each of the seven principles, starting with the principle of mentalism.
In popular thought, it is based on the fact that the mind is creative : we attract what we think. It is up to us to think positively in order to attract favourable people and events. Because the opposite will also happen and will lead us into a negative spiral.
Mental transmutation invites us not to put a time limit on what we want. Thus, it is preferable to think of our desires in terms of vibratory change rather than in terms of a temporal dimension. We can measure the consequences of a vibratory change in time, but the best way to induce this change is to act as if it were already there.
The law of attraction teaches that what we experience in our physical world originates in the invisible world, in our mind. However, what we think about without giving it much importance, positively or negatively, will have very little chance of manifesting. In order to materialize a thought, it is necessary to think about it long enough and with enough intensity. Moreover, the mental being composed of thoughts AND emotions, we must also feel good about the thoughts we emit if we want them to materialize. Otherwise, our efforts will be counterproductive.
Beyond mental transmutation and the law of attraction, the principle of mentalism explains the true nature of energy. This is what I propose to explore now.
Principle of mentalism and physical phenomena
The Spirit precedes the energy
To begin with, and in order to better understand the nature of the Whole and of the universe, a little vocabulary clarification is needed. Until the writing of this article, I have not used the term « Spirit » on this blog, but I have often spoken of « consciousness ». The term « awareness » allows us to bridge these two terms. This is what I explained, without knowing it at the time, in the article on conscious experience :
« Pure awareness is stillness, presence. It is not of the order of experience. However, as presence, awareness supports the experience of the universe. In other words, it sustains the movement present everywhere. This is created by a differential of consciousness, a polarization from the conscious to the unconscious. And this polarization, as well as the resulting movement, represent the preconditions for the manifestation of consciousness. » 
Thus, the Whole, which is spirit or awareness, is already conscious of itself. The same is not true of the universe, which is a mental creation of the Whole. The universe is in the process of becoming, it becomes aware of itself little by little.
The Whole is the substantial reality behind physical phenomena. The Whole is therefore not the mechanical energy devoid of Intelligence and Life that scientists describe. On the contrary, it is the infinite living intelligence that the Hermetists call Spirit. It always precedes energy and matter.
This is how it explains the true nature of energy and matter and the way in which we can act on them, particularly through mental transmutation.
Energy is the basis of matter
The authors of the Kybalion mention that by the time the book was published — in 1908 — science had already discovered that matter is energy. Precisely, matter is energy with a very low degree of vibration. At the fundamental level, everything is vibration, nothing is solid :
« Atoms are composed of corpuscles (…) in a state of accelerated motion, revolving around each other, and manifesting an exceedingly rapid state and mode of vibration. »
According to Nassim Haramein, 99.99999% of the material world is composed of vacuum energy. There is permanent feedback between vacuum and matter, which allows matter to constantly inform itself in order to continue evolving. This does not contradict the fact that Hermetists consider matter to be « energy or interrupted force ». They are simply two aspects of the same dynamic : matter constantly alternates between interruption and evolution.
The physicist was particularly interested in certain particles present in the nucleus of atoms : protons. Why ? Because protons are the most stable particles. We know that a proton has been spinning at the speed of light at least since the beginning of the universe… 13.7 billion years !
The singularity : a physical and philosophical reality
Nassim Haramein also demonstrates that the proton is a black hole, i.e. an object — and more precisely a geometric structure — with a singularity at its center. This singularity is like an « infinite point », from which matter manifests and returns to the unmanifested, according to the dynamics previously described. As the physicist reminds us, the point is ultimately the only thing that exists :