A Master Key
Preservation, not Proselytising
Return to:Cover of Book 8
Ardue Site Plan
The purpose of this work is not the enunciation of any special philosophy or doctrine, but rather to give to the students a statement of the Truth that will serve to reconcile many bits of occult knowledge that they may have acquired, but which are apparently opposed to each other and which often serve to discourage and disgust the beginner in the study. Our intent is not to erect a new Temple of Knowledge, but rather to place in the hands of the student a Master-Key with which he may open the many inner doors in the Temple of Mystery through the main portals he has already entered.
From the land of the Ganges many advanced occultists wandered to the land of Egypt and sat at the feet of the Master. From him they obtained the Master-Key which explained and reconciled their divergent views, and thus the Secret Doctrine was firmly established. From other lands also came the learned ones, all of whom regarded Hermes as the Master of Masters, and his influence was so great that in spite of the many wanderings from the path on the part of centuries of teachers in these different lands, there may still be found a certain basic resemblance and correspondence which underlies the many, and often quite divergent, theories entertained and taught by occultists of these different lands today. The student of Comparative Religion will be able to perceive the influence of the Hermetic Teachings in every religion worthy of the name now known to man, whether it be a dead religion or one in full vigour in our own times. There is always a certain correspondence in spite of the contradictory features, and the Hermetic Teachings act as the Great Reconciler.
"O, let not the flame die out! Cherished age after age in its dark cavern — in its holy temples cherished. Fed by pure ministers of love — let not the flame die out!"
These men have never sought popular approval nor numbers of followers. They are indifferent to these things, for they know how few there are in each generation who are ready for the truth, or who would recognise it if it were presented to them. They reserve the "strong meat for men" while others furnish the "milk for babes". They reserve their pearls of wisdom for the few elect who recognise their value and who wear them in their crowns instead of casting them before the materialistic vulgar swine who would trample them in the mud and mix them with their disgusting mental food. But still these men have never forgotten or overlooked the original teachings of Hermes regarding the passing on of the words of truth to those ready to receive them, which teaching is stated in The Kybalion as follows: "Where fall the footsteps of the Master, the ears of those ready for his Teaching open wide". And again: "When the ears of the student are ready to hear, then cometh the lips to fill them with wisdom". But their customary attitude has always been strictly in accordance with the other Hermetic aphorism, also in The Kybalion: "The lips of Wisdom are closed, except to the ears of understanding"..
And the spirit of persecution has not as yet died out in the land. There are certain Hermetic Teachings which, if publicly promulgated, would bring down upon the teachers a great cry of scorn and revilement from the multitude, who would again raise the cry of "Crucify! Crucify!".
In this little work we have endeavoured to give you an idea of the fundamental teachings of The Kybalion, striving to give you the working Principles, leaving you to apply them yourselves rather than attempting to work out the teaching in detail. If you are a true student, you will be able to work out and apply these Principles - if not, then you must develop yourself into one, for otherwise the Hermetic Teachings will be as "words, words, words" to you.
THE THREE INITIATES.