When modern science extended the reach of its observation to the galaxies above and the microbes below, it made a surprising discovery: an atom proved strikingly similar to a solar system. Both were comprised of particles kept in orbit by the gravity of an energetic core. Modern technology had reiterated the wisdom of the ancients, who coined the very same discovery in the adage: as above so below.
Knowledge is universal. What one learns benefits all. Universal knowledge is also timeless, and what is learned in one age benefits any other. This site compiles the various expressions of Hermeticism by eminent authors of all times. The variety of our compilation proves the universality of man’s quest for wisdom and shows that no age was necessarily closer to it or farther from it than any other.
Despite the technological headway characteristic to our times, our age stands in the same relation to this challenge. Modern man’s understanding of his place in the world and his relation to it are equal or inferior to those of previous ages. We here draw from the ancient wisdom of our ancestors primarily for the benefit our age. If you’d like to delve deeper into man’s quest for meaning and his struggle to better understand his place in the universe, subscribe to the newsletter of Ancient Wisdom through the sidebar on the right. We will send you email updates on a contemporary attempt at building a metaphysical Ark that would preserve and transport the whisper of ancient wisdom to our age.
Or simply read on to learn more about the universal principle of as above so below…
Origins of As Above so Below
The adage is traditionally attributed to the Emerald Tablets of Hermes Trismegistus. Nevertheless, all subsequent teachings that strove to explain man and his role in the universe acknowledged this truth. God creating man in his own image is a Biblical expression; self-government mirroring the government of a state is a Confucian one. This site hosts a compilation of some of the more profound expressions of as above so below.
As Above so Below As Within so Without
As above so below is often expressed alongside its synonym, as within so without. Teachings that expressed these instructions claimed it was impossible to study the universe without studying man, and vice versa, that it was impossible to study man without studying the universe. They stressed that, to study either man or the universe, one had to study both. This is one reason why ancient texts almost always dwell on both man and the universe alike. They rarely exclude the one or the other.
Man himself is obviously the nearest object to himself, far more observable than a microscopic atom or a telescopic galaxy. And yet, his inherent blindness to himself prevents him from seeing the obvious. Thus, to gain self-knowledge, man must often look outside of himself to another cosmos, and apply what he learns from the external to himself. Indeed, as above so below goes hand in hand with another ancient adage, Know Thyself.
As Above so Below Meaning
Teachings that instruct man to look without in order to see within point out another fact: man is an incomplete being, an unfinished world that only partially mirrors its neighboring cosmoses. Hence, as above so below and as within so without outlines the direction of man’s evolution, the way to fulfill his potential and become a complete man—a complete cosmos. It is with this encouragement in mind that we have compiled this collection of sayings. We hope you enjoy our compilation, bookmark our site, and return for more.