History of The Law Of Attraction 1 – The Kybalion

Not many people really understand the Law of Attraction or how it relates to the concept of manifestation.

So why don’t we take just a brief look at the history of manifestation so we can see how it’s been around for millennia. This can help us believe in the reality of manifestation and understand the Law of Attraction better.

Attractng What You Want

The essence of what we’re talking about here is the  human power of creating reality with your mind, or more exactly, creating reality with your intention.

In other words, it’s a variation on the Bible’s familiar phrase: “Ask and you shall receive.”

However this phrase from the Bible has been misunderstood. You see, although it’s a natural human ability to manifest the reality in the world around us, this will only work if you “ask” in a particular way. We’ll look at this in detail later.

Many human myths and mythologies speak of the power of the mind to create reality in the world around us. These mythologies go back long before Western civilisation developed. Indeed, one of the first recorded examples of text written about manifestation law of attraction was the Kybalion.

The origins of this text are in dispute, but it purports to be a transcription of the wisdom of an Egyptian Sage or wise man called Hermes. That’s how these things came to be known as Hermetic Teachings.

There’s some suggestion that the Kybalion was adapted and updated in 1912 by an American who fancied himself as a student of the arcane, William Atkinson. But I’m not really interested in debates and disputes about the origins of this material – I’m much more interested in what the Kybalion can tell us about the history of manifestation, and in particular the human race’s interaction with the Law of Attraction.

The Kybalion

What the Kybalion tells us is that there are seven sacred principles which lie behind our ability to change the world around us with the power of our minds. 

Sidebar: many of the books written about  manifestation before 1980 are written in an old fashioned way, so I’m going to give you my interpretation of each of the seven sacred or secret hermetic principles.

Principle Number One

We are all part of the divine. 

I guess if you’re reading this you’re probably familiar with concepts such as The Universal Intelligence, the Great Mystery, the Cosmic Consciousness, the Oneness, and God.

For generation upon generation, the human race has tried to find ways of connecting with a greater power outside of, or beyond, humanity. This power has always been seen as the ruling principle of the universe.

Over time, those names I mentioned above have been given to this force by different people who believed they (and they alone) had the secret to connecting with the energy of the universe.

But how much simpler it is just to assume that we are all just a physical manifestation of the universal energy, and we all have that ability to connect.

A Modern View

There’s a lot of evidence from quantum physics that energy and matter are either interchangeable or very closely related.

And if that’s true, there’s no reason to assume that we, at an energetic level of both mind and body, are anything other than a small part of a greater whole.

What we see around us is simply a physical manifestation of energy, just as we are a physical manifestation of energy.

And so that leads us to the conclusion that we are probably more connected than we are separate, and we are probably more similar than we are different.

Hermes, whoever he might have been, said “The fundamental truth, the substantial reality, is beyond naming, but wise men call it the All. The All is unknowable, but has always existed, for nothing else could create it, and nothing can exist outside of it. The All must be infinite in time and space.”

If you think about it, that corresponds very nicely to the idea that the universe is simply one particular a manifestation of energy, and we are all a part of that.

One of the characteristics of human beings in our physical form on this planet is that we want to understand everything around us – which gives us the drive to try and explain God, The Universal Energy, the Cosmic Consciousness, the Great Mystery… or whatever words you choose to use for the divine spirit or eternal force of energy which lies at the basis of universal creation.

But how much simpler it would be for all of us if we gave up our attempts to understand and simply accepted that there are some things which we can’t, and never will, understand.

Note well, however, that “not understanding” is not the same as “not being able to connect with“.

For it is in our connection with the divine, and our ability to communicate with it, that our capacity to manifest reality in a particular form is based.

Sidebar: the Law of Attraction is simply the universal law (or if you prefer, the universal set of principles) which allow us to communicate the divine and send our wishes and desires into the universe in the hope that they will manifest in our lives.

For example, the Law of Attraction defines the state of mind you need to be in when you try to manifest, what you need to do to manifest reality, the philosophy behind what you’re doing, and other such aspects of the process of manifestation. If you like, the Law Of Attraction (or Laws of Attraction) constitute the framework within which manifestation happens.

My takeaway point from the first sacred principle supposedly set out by Hermes is this: Our minds can influence the energy of the universe in such a way that the appearance of the world around us be changed by our intention and will.

That raises the very interesting possibility that YOU have created the world around you, and this is indeed your world because you are not only at the center of it, but everybody in your world is a player on your stage. What a fascinating thought! Imagine how much power you must have to create the world around you in the form that it now takes.

(We’ll come back to that amazing idea later on, when we discuss the work of Robert Scheinfeld.)

One final point: Hermetic believers (i.e. those who follow the supposed teachings of the maybe mythical Egyptian Sage Hermes) speak of the need for meditation and divine attention to communicate with the energy of the universe.

We still use the word meditation, but there are other words that are relevant to manifesting your desires: visualization, belief, expectancy. We’ll examine all these and more as we go on.

Principle Number Two

As Above, So Below.

Yeah, yeah. We’ve all heard it, but what does it actually mean?

Well, the essence of this is similar to Principle Number One: the spiritual, the physical, and the mental realms are actually just different aspects of the same reality.

Our desire as human beings to identify and classify things causes us to separate them quite artificially on the basis of what our senses tell us. Yet in reality, they are all manifestations of the same energy of the universe.

It’s wrong, therefore, to think of spiritual realms as having higher levels of energy or vibration (or whatever term you choose to use) than, say, the physical. It’s also wrong to assume, for example,  that some people are more spiritually evolved than others.

Perhaps the difference between us lies only in our ability to connect with the energy of the universe, The Cosmic Consciousness, the Great Mystery, the Oneness. Some people can connect with this energy more easily (for some reason) and therefore appear to us to be more “spiritual”.

But the reality is that we can all connect with the oneness, if we use certain techniques.

Attracting Reality

The basis of all manifestation principles and every way in which the Law of Attraction has been represented by every human being who has ever studied the subject is simply this: by using certain techniques in a certain way you have the ability to connect your mind to the Cosmic Consciousness.

We all know about prayer – it’s certainly one of the very first ways in which humans attempted to connect with the Cosmic Consciousness.

You might argue, and I think you’d be right to do so, that sitting round a fire at night looking up at the stars is a form of spiritual connection with the universe, but I doubt that our neolithic ancestors were able to manifest their desires.

Or, maybe they were. Who knows? Perhaps when food was short, they could manifest an animal to hunt?

Perhaps the reality is that our connection to these things is now and has always been more subtle and spiritual than we can even begin to guess, distracted as we are by technology, and kept remote from the forces of the universe by the comfortable environment which many of us in the West have created for ourselves.

You only have to look at how many people pray but get nothing,  to clearly understand how far we have come from our connection with the divine.

The essence of this website, as you guessed already, I’m sure, is to have enable people to reconnect with the Divine and to manifest what they desire.

Principle Number Three

Although Hermes didn’t know about atoms, in his third sacred principle he was trying to set out  his belief that everything in the universe is composed of the same fundamental substance.

And of course it is – it’s composed of subatomic particles, which are just one manifestation of energy.

When you stop to think about this, it’s truly remarkable.

Every single thing in the universe is composed of the same subatomic particles, but the array of things you can witness around you with your senses is so vast and so diverse it’s actually almost infinite.

Surely behind this there has to be some kind of organizing principle, some kind of underlying energy field, perhaps, which causes objects to manifest in a particular form?

Which leads me to say, since our minds are also energetic in nature, then surely when we set our intention to connect with the energy of the universe, we can do so?

But more than this, if energy can flow through the universe, then perhaps the principle that we so often name as “like attracts like” might actually be one aspect of the Laws of Attraction?

It’s often said, and I’m sure you’ve experienced it yourself, that if you think negatively, you’ll attract negative energy to you in some form or another. Similarly, if you’re in the presence of a positive person, you can feel much more positive without quite knowing why.

This is because of the energy flowing from one place to another.

Energy naturally flows in a certain way through the universe. That’s why energizing the process of manifestation with emotional energy aids the flow of thought energy out into the universe where it can affect the Universal Intelligence or the Cosmic Consciousness.

The simplest way of putting this is, “like attracts like”; in other words, the energy you send out with your thoughts determines the energy you’re going to get back from the universe. Which is why, as the saying has it, “nothing succeeds like success”.

We’ll stop there for a moment and have a look at the next four principles of the hermetic teachings on another page of the site.