Updated: Jul 5
The phrase "As above, so below. As within, so without" is a common saying in the spiritual community. But where exactly does it come from and why do we say it? This article will give you some background information and context about the saying to better be able to answer both of these questions.
Continue reading to find out more.
"Ἥν τὰ ἄνω καὶ τὰ κάτω συνέντευξις εἰς τὸ ἕν, καὶ τὸ ἕν εἰς τὸ ἕν καὶ τὰ ἄνω καὶ τὰ κάτω" (Greek text)
"That which is above is like that which is below, and that which is below is like that which is above, to accomplish the miracles of the one thing. (English translation)
This phrase comes from ancient Hermetic texts known as the Emerald Tablet or Tabula Smaragdina.
These texts are believed to have been written by Hermes Trismegistus, a legendary figure associated with ancient Egyptian and later Greek wisdom traditions. (note: the origins and authorship of these text are subject to debate and interpretation)
This passage highlights the concept of correspondence and the connection between different levels of reality. It tells us that the larger universe and every individual form of matter on Earth are reflections of each other. Which means that understanding one, will lead to knowing the other.
The Emerald Tablet is considered a foundational text in alchemy, spiritual and mystical traditions around the world. The principle expressed in the text, including the idea of "as within, so without, has been widely explored by groups of people throughout history.
"As above, so below. As within, so without", is the basis for many different terms in various spiritual and philosophical traditions. All of which relate to the concept of the larger (Macro) and smaller (Micro) being a mirror in a way to the other.
Here are some alternative terms, concepts, and sources that express similar ideas.
1. Law of Attraction:
"The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham" by Esther Hicks and Jerry Hicks.
"The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne.
"Manifest Your Destiny: The Nine Spiritual Principles for Getting Everything You Want" by Wayne Dyer.
"The Bhagavad Gita" (an ancient Hindu scripture) discusses the concept of karma and its role in shaping one's destiny.
"The Tibetan Book of the Dead" (also known as "Bardo Thodol") explains the workings of karma and its influence on the afterlife in Tibetan Buddhism.
"Karma and Reincarnation: Unlocking Your 800 Lives to Enlightenment" by Elizabeth Clare Prophet.
3. Reflective Reality
"The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment" by Eckhart Tolle.
"The Mirror Theory: The Way of Self-Reflection" by Mark Helprin.
"Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts" by Stanislas Dehaene.
"Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants" by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
"The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer, and Visionary" by Angeles Arrien.
"The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature" by David Suzuki.
1. Divine Mirror (Mirror Effect)
"Awakening to the Sacred: Creating a Spiritual Life from Scratch" by Lama Surya Das.
"The Mirror of the Mind: Zen Teachings on the Nature of Mind and Human Actions" by Sokei-an Sasaki.
"The Divine Mirror: Reflections on God's Love as the Answer to Life's Questions" by Marianne Williamson.