As Above, So Below
As Within, So Without
~ The Emerald Tablets
As I considered the idea of ‘looking within,’
what came to mind was the first lines of the Emerald Tablets, which date back three thousand years.
They provide basic principles that inform not only one of the oldest and most enduring traditions of, so-called, ‘magick’ but were the inspirations for the inquiries of early scientists like Newton.
The idea expressed is that
if you understand one level of reality. you understand the others since they reflect the same underlying principles and cause. A more contemporary version of ‘As Above So Below’ would be the biblical ‘On Earth as it is In Heaven.’
That’s a whole fascinating metaphysical conversation, but the idea of looking within is expressed by the second line, ‘As Within, So Without.’
While, granted, this is a variation of the first principle, there is a really important difference. What is the meaning of within and without?
In our personal experience,
especially in this modern time that focuses on the physical / empirical expression of the world as being ‘real,’ this supposedly ‘outer’ reality seems to occur on it’s own.
Somehow, many forces and influences, most of which we don’t understand, and certainly can’t control, ‘make’ things happen ‘to’ us. So we argue about politics and economics as if they were actual third parties in some agreement that we live within.
For most people it never occurs to them that they, themselves… their thoughts, beliefs and emotions… are creating the experiences they have in the supposedly physical world.
I say supposedly, because physicists still have not quite figured out why particles (physical stuff) are, or at least appear to be, solid.
They agree with the thousands of years of mystical traditions all over the world that everything is energy. But, how the illusion of physicality is created is still confounding. (String Theory? M-Theory? Holographic Universe? Multiverse?) As Einstein put it, ‘Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.’
And, since space, time and gravity are, somehow, aspects of mass / physicality, there are still some big questions to answer.
So, let’s set that aside and just accept
that it seems to us that we have an internal experience and there is a physical experience that is outside of us… where things happen. The core understanding of metaphysics is that the inner world causes the outer world.
What? You say… I’m causing my own experience?
But, there is all this stuff and people and organizations and events that were here already and that I, obviously, did not create.
That belief, that we have no or at least little control over events, is very strongly held. And it just, somehow, does not seem right to say you can intentionally make things happen. What if we disagree about what should happen? Wouldn’t that be chaos?
Well, yes. And I could rest my case there.
The knowledge that we can and do, whether we realize it or not,
create the events in our lives… somehow in concert with everyone else… has been a closely held secret.
In fact the idea has been so frightening for the powers that be (or were) that they made it bad, wrong, scary and worthy of punishment. And, at various times, have sought out and killed those that practiced traditional ways that use this idea. Heresy, disagreeing with those in control, is dangerous
So, for most people, this idea is not just impossible, it’s also profoundly frightening because people who believe it are bad and get punished… now or after death.
There is a whole interesting conversation about all those traditions, how this stuff works, and the scriptures pro and con around the world. But… let’s keep this simple.
If this principle of ‘As Within, So Without’ is true.
If indeed we are creating our external reality from within ourselves. Perhaps one way of looking inside is to look outside?
Since most of our memories, thoughts, beliefs and, for lack of a better word, programming, is below the level of conscious thought… in the realm called the sub-conscious or the un-conscious… how can you figure out what’s really going on within you?
You can look at what is playing on the movie screen of your life. You are the hero / heroine of your life story. Most people play out variations of similar episodes in the continuing soap opera of daily events. So… what’s the story that is playing?
You will get hints of what you need to heal within yourself by looking at what is most aggravating, discouraging and intractable story lines in your life.
• Always in conflict?
• Everything is scary?
• Feel abandoned or being repeatedly abandoned?
• Don’t have enough or feeling like you are not enough?
• Always find the ‘wrong’ people who keep treating you badly?
• You believe people who then turn out to be liars and cheats?
• Are you a slave to addictions? (And these can include things and activities)
The list is endless and as varied as humanity, but the themes are the same.
So… yes, look within using all the tools, techniques and methods or expanding your awareness and insight. You will learn and heal a lot. And you will learn to be more consciously aware of what you are creating and how.
And… look without for the hints about what to look for within.
When you can’t ‘find’ what you are looking for, use methods that let you release what is unconscious without knowing what it is. You ask for whatever is causing the problem to be released and healed.
Again, the methods are as many as they are varied. All, psychic-spiritual-shamanic healing works on that level. As do the many ‘releasing’ techniques including Ho’oponopono, The Sedona Method, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and it’s variations, Tapis Acupressure Technique, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) which is used for PTSD and so many others.
With apologies to the X-Files… the Truth is In There. And when you release what is being held in that quiet darkness, unseen and unforgiven, your outer world will transform.
It is a worthy journey.
As a matter of fact, it is the only journey and what we are here for. That’s why it’s called being ‘on
the path’ or ‘walk about.’