“As above, so below; as below, so above.”–The Kybalion.
The law of correspondence is the second Hermetic principle. It is one of those maxims that almost everyone has heard. It expresses the idea that there is always harmony and correspondence between the several planes of existence.
The Hermetists, for convenience, divided the universe into three planes of existence
- The Physical Plane
- The Mental Plane
- The Spiritual Plane
“Planes” may be considered as different degrees of vibration. A higher degree of rate of vibration corresponds to a higher plane and a higher manifestation of life.
The slowest and densest plane is the physical, the world of matter, while the fastest, with the highest vibration, is the spiritual.
Each plane has within many subplanes, all vibrating at different degrees of vibration. There is no clear separation between these planes. They are artificial and arbitrary divisions, in order to help our thinking to, somehow, understand and deal with the various degrees of life.
In fact, there is no separation. The universe and everything contained in it emanates from the same source and are governed by the same laws and principles.
According to the law of correspondence, all three planes vibrate in harmony and agreement. They are not divisions but ascending degrees of the scale of life.
Hermetists consider this law as one of the most important mental instruments. Using this principle we are able to understand things that would otherwise be unknown to us.
We can think of it as a man who understands the principles of geometry. He is able to calculate the dimensions and the movements of the planets while he is in his observatory. In the same way, understanding this principle can help us shed light on the unknown from what we know.
Studying the monad, we understand the universe. Studying the microcosm, we understand the macrocosm.
Solar systems, societies, our bodies, our thoughts and all life on Earth operate by the same laws.
Related reading: The Seven Hermetic Principles – Opens in new tab
A few lines about The principle of correspondence in history.
The law of correspondence has had a major influence on occult, philosophical, scientific, and religious views for nearly 2,000 years.
It is often referred to as microcosm and macrocosm theory. The idea is that through the understanding of the microcosm (oneself) we can understand the macrocosm (the universe). “As above, so below”
Pythagoras saw the body and the universe as a harmonious unity. About a century later Plato was the first philosopher who spoke of the micro-macro cosmic theory.
The principle of “as above, so below” reappeared during the renaissance, with the introduction of many intellectual works. One of these works belongs to Leonardo da Vinci who found common features between the natural world and the human body.
This principle has influenced modern science more than we can imagine. The discovery of atoms made it clear that the human body and celestial bodies have the same fundamental structure. Everything in the universe is subjected to the same laws.
Boyle used many aspects of this principle through his studies in alchemy to improve chemistry.
In modern times, sociology uses the concept of microcosm and macrocosm to describe the correlation between a small group of people and a larger social body and vice versa.
In physics, mathematics, and statistics, scale invariance describes the same function.
In recent years an immunological publication entitled “As above, so below- examining the interplay between emotion and the immune system” by Brod S, Rattazzi L, Piras G, and D’Acquisto F, describes the connection between our emotional and immune states.
“Tis true without lying, certain, and most true. That which is below is like that which is above & that which is above is like that which is below.”
The outer world is a reflection of the inner world
Now let’s take Kybalion‘s principle of correspondence even further. There is no separation between us and the universe. The same forces that keep the planets in motion, also keep the atoms in our body and in our environment, in constant motion. “As above so below”. (Listen to the Kybalion audiobook for free)
The Law of Correspondence helps us to understand that our outer world is but a reflection of our inner world.
Our outer world is merely the expression of our beliefs, thoughts, and feelings. A mirror of our most dominant thoughts.
So, if you enjoy your life and everything is perfect, this is a reflection of what is inside you, in your mental world. But what happens if you live an unfulfilled life full of misery and struggle? Similarly, this is the direct result of what is happening inside you.
What we experience in our outer reality emanates from the thoughts and images we hold in our inner world.
The trap here is that the worse the outer experience becomes, the worse we feel, which continues to affect our reality. It is a situation that perpetuates itself, and we must stop it immediately.
Therefore, it is vital to learn how to handle this situation and change our inner world. That would dramatically change our external reality.
How to use the Law of Correspondence to change your outer reality.
Nothing in our outer life can change without first making changes internally.
It is futile to try to change our external world because we have little or no control over it. Instead, we can have complete control over our inner world and especially our thinking.
So, if we want to change something from our reality, we must first change our thoughts and beliefs. We need to eliminate all our thoughts about what we don’t want and focus our attention on what we truly desire until it becomes our dominant thought.
It’s not easy, but it’s the only way we can control our external reality. This is because our reality will continue to reflect our inner world.
“… everything without is within, everything above is below. Between all things … reigns “correspondence” (correspondentia)…”Jung (1929)
Follow these three Steps.
We can describe this process in three steps.
First. Take an objective look at yourself – in your current reality. Take it seriously. Check the areas of your life such as your health, your relationships, your financial situation and everything else. When you find an area that is not where you want it to be, examine it meticulously. How are your thoughts and attitudes about this situation? What is the cause of these thoughts and where they come from? Are they even yours?
Take your time to understand any negative emotion you may have to this particular situation. Did you have a negative experience?
If you take time to dig deep and identify these negative thoughts and beliefs, you will be able to clear them and replace them with ideas that will help you to achieve your goals.
Second. Acknowledge that you are responsible for what is happening in your life. It is easy to take responsibility for all the good things in your life. But it is difficult to take responsibility for bad things and very few people do. This does not justify anyone who has treated you badly. But it gives you authority over your life and puts you in the driver’s seat. This is powerful.
Now, using the principle of correspondence, you can determine which areas of your inner world require some adjustment to change the corresponding situation in your outer world.
Trying to change the outside world may give you temporary results. But permanent results only come with changing your inner mental world.
Third. Focus on what you really desire. Once you’ve discovered the area that you want to change, remove all thoughts of what you don’t want and replace them with detailed thoughts on what you desire. Visualization and affirmations can help you with this task.
Actually this not a function of the law of correspondence. All universal laws are interconnected and work simultaneously.
Therefore, we use the law of correspondence to determine the area we want to change, as a screening device. After that, we use the law of polarity in order to apply the opposite energy and begin to transform the particular situation from undesirable to desirable.
This means that we need to increase our rate of vibration, as defined by the law of vibration, in order to resonate with the frequency of what we desire.
By doing this we become the cause of the result we want to take place in our lives. Always in accordance with the principles of the law of Cause and Effect.
The desirable outcome will be manifested through the law of gender, like everything else in the universe.
So, it is imperative to study all the universal laws. You can’t change your life by just reading one of them. You have to study, understand and master all of them. I encourage you to follow the links above to continue your study.
The depiction of the law of correspondence in occultism
The hermetic principle of correspondence, “As above, so below”, appears in many occult symbols. Below are some of them.
In the tarot card “The Magician” and in Levi’s famous image of “Baphomet” we see that their hands are pointing up and down. A perfect reminder of the hermetic principle, “as above, so below”.
Macrocosm and Microcosm from Tobias Schutz ‘Harmonia macrocosmi cum microcosmi’ (1654) (photo)
Man, as the microcosm, contains a miniature pattern of all parts of the universe. The head is related to the Empyreal. The chest is related to the Ethereal heaven. The belly is related to the elementary substance.
Hexagrams formed from two opposing triangles. One triangle with direction from above (bringing the spirit to matter), while the other emerges from below (matter elevating into the spiritual world). It is a common symbol of unity.
Understanding the law of correspondence will help you take control of your life. Now you know that your inner world is the cause and your outer world is the effect.
This is a wonderful thing because it allows us to stop looking for causes in places we have no control over. On the contrary, we know that the real causes are inside and we can control them.
If you want a positive change in your lives, you must first check your inner world. From this point, you can change the quality of your thoughts and consequently change the quality of your lives.
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