The Kybalion: A Cornerstone Of Modern Day Hermeticism

Occasionally I get asked, “What do you believe?”  It’s a natural question seeing as how the majority of people are not familiar with Hermeticism or the Hermetic lore.

I sometimes answer very generally.  That we believe in the innate goodness of humanity, the practice of meditation, and the power of the individual.  But sometimes folks want to go deeper.  That is when I refer them to The Kybalion.

The Kybalion was written way back in 1908 presumably by William Walker Atkinson.  Mr Atkinson was a successful attorney in the late 1800’s who became seriously ill and then devoted himself to a study of mysticism and the esoteric.  Upon his recovery he is believed to have penned The Kybalion; a collection of the ancient wisdom he discovered during his time of study and convalescence.

The Kybalion is an interpretation and explanation of the Hermetic wisdom of centuries past.  It is written in a way that is easier to understand than The Corpus Hermeticum, having been composed in 20th century English rather than ancient Greek.  And, as much as I love The Corpus Hermeticum, I generally consider The Kybalion a much easier introduction to Hermeticism for the neophyte seeker.  Plus, The Kybalion is so densely packed with wisdom, I consider it my primary text for study.

If you would like to listen to a reading of The Kybalion, click on the video above.  It may be a little dry, but once this book is properly understood, “the doors of the Temple open wide.”  Let not the flame die out!

Why I Don’t Believe In Death

For many death means the end of a relationship.  For those on a Hermetic Path, it means the beginning of a new one.

I get some strange looks when I tell people I do not believe in death.  But, in all honesty I do not.  True, the physical body dies.  But, from my past experiences with friends and family members who have passed, the consciousness that makes up the person lives on.  You just have to be open to experiencing it.

My Story.

My attitudes concerning death and the afterlife were solidified pretty strongly when I was called back in 2001 to be the senior pastor at a small country church where the average age was 75.  Previous to that calling I had had some experiences with loved ones coming back to communicate with me in dreams.  But I thought to myself that those were only dreams and probably nothing more.  Then one day a lady who considered me her spiritual son (she had no children of her own) died unexpectedly of a heart attack.  Before I heard the news of her death I had a vivid dream in which she appeared to me and told me to be sure to go to church that Sunday.  She knew I had been missing church and told me to be sure to start attending on a regular basis; that something big was about to unfold in my life.  I awoke thinking I had better go to church and track this lady down, not knowing she had already passed the day before.  Two days later I arrived at church early and asked about my friend.  When I learned she had died the day before I had the dream, I knew something was indeed up.

When I was later called to become pastor of that same church, even stranger things began to occur.  With the average age of church members being 75, I found I was going to be called on for funeral services once or twice a month on average.  I would become all too familiar with death.  And, I would later discover, that some of the dead we buried simply refused to act the part.

One striking occurrence happened after we buried a lady who had grown particularly close to my wife.  She was a large lady who loved food and adored her coffee.  A few days after we buried her I was serving morning coffee to my wife.  She was busy elsewhere in the house, so I set her full cup of coffee on the dining room table.  A few minutes later my wife picked up her coffee (which had suddenly turned abnormally cold) and asked me why I had only given her just half a cup.  I told her it was full and hot when I set it down just a few minutes ago.  My wife (who is a gifted empath)  came to the conclusion that we were being visited by her deceased friend.  That was over ten years ago.  The visitations and coffee swiping have continued periodically ever since.

The Stories Of Others.

I share these few experiences not to brag, but to awaken people to the reality of life after death.  In my own investigations in this matter I have found that several people have had similar experiences with loved ones returning from beyond the grave for a variety of reasons.  One story a church lady shared with me really tugged at my heart.

She shared with me that a few years earlier her young daughter had died of cancer.  The lady was a regular church goer before her daughters death, but afterwards was so bereaved and angry at God that she refused to go back to church for a year.  Then, on the one year anniversary of her daughter’s death, she went to visit the grave.  Once there, she let her sadness and anger out and screamed at God for taking away her precious daughter.  Afterwards she fell to her knees sobbing.  When she looked up again preparing to leave, she saw her daughter standing with her at the graveside.  The daughter communicated to her not to grieve any longer.  She told her mother she was fine and happy in the next world, but it saddened her to see her mother in such pain.  She told her mother how much she loved her and assured her she was now safe and truly was in a better place.  After this encounter, the mother found peace and became a changed woman.  She kept the story to herself for several years for fear of ridicule, opening up only after a church Bible Study we did concerning questions of the afterlife.

Other Worldly Contacts: The Exception Or The Rule?

As a pastor, I encountered many other people who shared similar stories.  And I found that many tended to remain quiet about these experiences for years, opening up only after they found someone they could trust and confide in.  I now believe that these life after death experiences are far more common than most people realize and are probably more the rule rather than the exception.  In a world in which many church goers and senior pastors alike tend to live like functional atheists, these experiences tend to be written off as wild dreams, stress induced hallucinations, or the products of over active imaginations.  But, as one who has experienced these things first hand, I know they are real.

My Views On Death.

Which brings me back to my original point.  I can now openly say I do not believe in death, and I am reluctant to even go to funerals anymore.  I find that what we call death is not the utter destruction many people perceive it to be.  Rather, it is simply the changing of clothes.  When the time comes where the physical body is no longer fit for the soul to use, the soul leaves the body behind trading it for a spiritual body which is imperishable.  And, while the discarded body decays and rots, the soul and personality of the individual lives on in a new and transformed way.  For those who lack spiritual sight, it is as if the loved one is gone.  But, for those with sight and understanding, we find our relationships can continue in a new and vibrant way.  It is all simply a matter of openness and perspective.

How You Can Make Contact.

If one is open to the idea of life after death, there are some basic things you can do to keep the lines of communication open between yourself and the other side.  First, stop thinking in terms of death and destruction.  I find the dead do not consider themselves dead.  On the contrary, they consider themselves to be “super alive.”  From their perspective they can see and hear with amazing clarity and travel at the speed of thought.  To them, we are “the dead.”  So try thinking of your deceased loved ones in terms of being departed but not stone cold dead.  Think of them as being hidden temporarily from our view behind a veil.  Then accept that, at the right time, this veil can be lifted.

Secondly, pay attention to your dreams.  Perhaps one of the most common ways the deceased speak to loved ones is in the dream state.  The dreams may at first seem to be the product of too much food or drink before bedtime, but consider carefully the information conveyed.  Once carefully pondered, you will begin to see the deeper meaning of these dream encounters, and you will be able to feel the presence of your loved ones during both the dream state and throughout the next day during normal waking hours.

And finally, accept that contact with the other side is possible, but do not expect your home to become grand central station for ghosts.  Those who have passed can and do make contact with us from time to time.  But, it will probably not become a daily occurrence.   When they have something important to convey, they will drop by.  Accept these occasional visitations, but resist the urge to cling to them.  When it is time for the deceased to move on to other realms, they must go and move on with their lives just as we must.  In my own experience, I allow the spirits of loved ones to remain as long as they like (unless they start intruding too much into our lives) and when it is time for them to move on, we graciously let them go.  If I have something to say to them, I speak my heart as I would to any other living being.  But, I do not expect them to be there at my every beck and call.  We have our lives, and they have theirs.  Both need to be respected.


As I see it, the main things to be considered in these life after death encounters are our own attitudes and world views.  If you are open to the possibility of life after death, you greatly enhance the possibility of experiencing it, in this life, first hand.  But, if you are dead set against it, even if an experience should happen to you, you would most likely explain it away and write it off using the first “rational” explanation that came to mind.  It matters not your religion or lack there of.  What matters is your heart and your own level of spirituality.  If you are open to the possibility of contact, then, when the time is right, they will come.  Accept them with an open heart and enjoy the experience.

“Love never perishes.”