Written by Mark Pattini
Today we will look at the Hermetic Principle of Vibration. As we will see by the end of this blog, this principle’s details have many uncanny parallels to modern physics. For the interested reader, these can be explored in more detail in the fifth chapter of The Quantum Hermetica on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BF2PNSM
Before we begin, I want you to keep a particular date in mind, 1908, the year The Kybalion was released. This is important because all of the parallels with the physics were discovered quite some time after 1908. How an occult text could possibly have direct parallels with physics discovered only after the fact is a mystery with disturbing implications, but it is what is clearly the case as will now be shown.
To begin with, let’s look at the simple statement of the Principle of Vibration1:
“Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.”
This is a bit odd coming from what was essentially a 19th-century view of the world. Atomic theory was known at the time, and it was obvious that atoms would move due to heat. However, this was hardly a property that one would think as central to say the molecules in a solid object using Newton and Maxwell’s simple laws.
Still, it would be conceivable for them to have thought this due to the thermodynamics theory available at the time. However, this does not make sense to include in a text that involves principles that are thought to involve occult or spiritual power, much less be associated with miracles as The Kybalion states elsewhere. Instead, let me make a different suggestion and see what surprising patterns emerge when we explore it. The vibrations being talked about are the quantum mechanical vibrations of matter due to the Schrodinger Equation discovered in 1926.2,3
But wait!” you will say. That can’t be right. 1926 is 18 years after 1908. So obviously it can’t be referring to that. Can it? Well, that is what you might think, but wait and see, because things are about to get a whole lot more interesting.
A chart showing parallels between the details of the Hermetic Principle of Vibration and modern physics.
Next, we see the following passage4:
“Science does not dare to follow the illustration further, but the Hermetists teach that if the vibrations be continually increased the object would mount up the successive states of manifestation and would, in turn, manifest the various mental stages, and then on Spiritward, until it would finally re-enter THE ALL, which is Absolute Spirit.”
Here “The All,” of course, would describe everything that exists. So if re-entering The All is at the end of a spectrum of increased vibration, it would follow that these vibrations would be increasing the larger the object becomes. Only this is how it is in the Schrodinger Equation as well. The more mass or energy something has, the higher the vibration its wave-function or vibrating quantum probability wave will have.
Ok, interesting, you might say, but wouldn’t this be the case in general? Well, it might be with energy, but it is not something we should expect from lumps of mass just sitting there unless, of course, those lumps of mass are quantum lumps of mass.
The next two comparisons will really cement the parallels, though, especially the second one. First, there is this line5:
“The Hermetic Teachings are that not only is everything in constant movement and vibration but that the “differences” between the various manifestations of the universal power are due entirely to the varying rate and mode of vibrations.”
If these vibrations are equated with the vibrating quantum probability waves of the Schrodinger equation, the parallel is immediate and direct. The wavefunction that results from solving the Schrodinger equation encodes every physical property of a given object within it. The wavefunction, though is simply a collection of vibrating sine and cosine waves. Thus the difference between any one object and any other object, as described by the Schrodinger equation, is purely in its vibrations.
This parallel is intriguing enough, but the next parallel is the exclusive unmistakable property of quantum waves6:
“But the Hermetic Teachings go much further than do those of modern science. They teach that all manifestation of thought, emotion, reason, will or desire, or any mental state or condition, are accompanied by vibrations, a portion of which are thrown off and which tend to affect the minds of other persons by “induction.” This is the principle which produces the phenomena of “telepathy”; mental influence, and other forms of the action and power of mind over mind,”
For the moment, I want you to ignore telepathy being a psychic phenomenon. Even if one is still skeptical of such phenomena after the fourth blog in this series, one can still accept telepathy for the sake of argument, which is all that is needed here.
Instead, look at what this would entail if it is truly the case that these vibrations mediate telepathy. If these are classical vibrations that are being talked about, then this would truly be a terrible way to transmit thoughts. First, classical waves such as sound or radio waves dissipate very rapidly with the square of their distance. By the time one of these classical vibrations reached another brain it would be too dilute to possibly be picked up. To make matters worse, the classical waves brains produce are exceedingly weak and would not transmit much more than a few meters beyond the skull, assuming that other brains could even act as receivers that is.
However, telepathy is described as over miles and sometimes even over vast distances. So what could it be talking about? Quantum waves have a unique property, unlike no other waves. Namely, they are non-local and exhibit a spooky-action-at-a-distance property that transcends space and time called quantum entanglement. If two particles share a wave-function, or a “vibration” if you will, and one is affected, the other will be influenced instantaneously by this, even if it is on the opposite side of the universe! This fits the sort of influence these vibrations have to mediate telepathy at vast distances, as described by The Kybalion. Keep in mind that this was written in 1908, yet quantum entanglement was officially proposed in 19357 and finally proven in an experiment in 19818.
Quantum vibrations linking particles in quantum entanglement are the only possible candidate for the mental-action-at-a-distance said to be mediated by vibration described in The Kybalion.
The astute physics reader who may not have seen the fourth blog might argue that this seems to violate relativity. That classical information gets destroyed when one measures entangled particles rather than being transmitted. Both of these are valid concerns, but both are also avoided when one looks closely at what is happening here. First, the state in the quantum wave is outside of space and time. Thus, the constraints of relativity on things happening in spacetime are not broken but rather simply no longer apply.
Secondly, if no classical information is transmitted, but the mind’s thinking occurs entirely within the quantum wave or “vibration.” There is no problem with the classical information being destroyed upon external measurement. The “transmission” and “reception” of the telepathic thought never leave the quantum state, to begin with, and thus there is no problem.
Of course, a skeptic may protest and say that there is no evidence telepathy even exists. This is actually not true when one looks into studies conducted by various parapsychological institutions such as the PEAR Lab, IONS, or the Rhine Institute9. However, this sort of evidence was discussed in the fourth blog, which you can look at here if you are interested: https://www.spiritsciencecentral.com/blog/the-quantum-hermetica-part-4-the-science-of-psi.
Regardless, for now, we are only looking at the non-local behavior attributed to telepathy and pointing out the parallels in its explanation in The Kybalion with the quantum waves of quantum mechanics. If telepathy is, or if one is a skeptic were real, then it could only be accounted for by such exclusively non-local phenomena.
If this is the case, though, then we should expect to see some science corroborating the notion that consciousness occurs in quantum superposition within a quantum wave, and indeed we do. The entire field of quantum cognition is founded on the realization that the behavior of fuzzy logic and indecision in humans behaves as though it were happening in quantum superposition. As was noted in the first two blogs, this similarity is so precise that it turns out that the Schrodinger equation can be used to model the behavior of the mind accurately.
If this is so, and if our theory that the “vibrations” of Hermeticism are, in fact, the quantum waves of quantum mechanics is correct, then we should see some evidence of this in The Kybalion as well. Once again, we indeed do10:
“Every thought, emotion, or mental state has its corresponding rate and mode of vibration.”
Well, what do you know about that? Oddly, quantum cognition is a very recent discovery, being recognized only in the last decade over a century after 1908. The Quantum Hermetica lists 2015 as the date of its discovery11. If you find all of this surprising, just wait. There are more parallels yet to come, and they all match modern physics as well. In some cases, this is physics discovered well past the publication date of 1908.
Are the entangled quantum waves spacetime is built up out of the same vibrations The Kybalion ascribes to “the ether?”
The next parallel we will explore concerns the nature of space-time itself and its relation to matter in the advancing field of quantum gravity. From The Kybalion12:
“The Universal Ether, which is postulated by science without its nature being understood clearly, is held by the Hermetists to be but a higher manifestation of that which is erroneously called matter–that is to say, Matter at a higher degree of vibration–and is called by them “The Ethereal Substance.”
Of course, the ether is a 19th-century concept, but the concept of spacetime was not well-known yet. Thus it is reasonable to consider this to be referring to what we now know of as space-time. If we equate spacetime with a 21st century “ether” though, then parallels with direct cutting-edge quantum gravity research arise. From The Quantum Hermetica Chapter 5 Part B pps 54-5513:
“In 2004, Xiao-Gang Wen and Michael Levin discovered that space-time behaves as a vast network of entanglements, described collectively as a string-net liquid. (3) Thus space-time itself would have an associated quantum vibration. This neatly matches the research discussed earlier, which has space-time emerging from quantum states also. (4) In 2015, Hirosi Ooguri of the University of Tokyo followed this research and successfully described space-time as being built up from quantum entanglement. (5) Quantum gravity tells us that the fabric of space-time itself has a vibration! Details of Wen and Levin’s discovery (6) shed light on another interesting part of the statement from the Kybalion. The substance of the “ether,” which in modern terminology we know to refer to as space-time, is actually the same thing as matter at a different vibration state.
“Matter at a higher degree of vibration–and is called by them “The Ethereal Substance.”
The New Scientist article on their discovery states that: (7)
“They also found that string-net theory naturally gave rise to other elementary particles, such as quarks, which make up protons and neutrons, and the particles responsible for some of the fundamental forces, such as gluons and the W and Z bosons.”
The parallel is direct and exact. Spacetime and matter are the same thing at different states of vibration, just as The Kybalion describes14,15. Note here that these discoveries were in 2004 and 2015, respectively. In the latter case, this is well over a century after The Kybalion was written and concerns our most advanced discovery in quantum gravity to date, that spacetime emerges from entanglement16,17.
This is not all, though; the parallels continue even beyond that! When we look at the “vibration of The All” aka the Universal Wave-function, we find another parallel that only emerged two-thirds of the way through the 20th century18:
“Not only this, but that even THE ALL, in itself, manifests a constant vibration of such an infinite degree of intensity and rapid motion that it may be practically considered as at rest.”
According to seminal work done in quantum gravity by John Archibald Wheeler and Bryce DeWitt in 1967, the “vibration of The All” is indeed “at rest19.” Their Wheeler-DeWitt equation is a specialized Schrodinger Equation for the entire universe and captures this exact feature.
What they found in deriving it is that the time variable literally drops out. Though as a wave equation, it mathematically speaking describes its “rate of vibration,” its rate of vibration is indeed not only at rest but frozen in this state for all eternity. Why? It is literally outside of time altogether! But The Kybalion knew that fifty-nine years before it was discovered!
These numerous anachronisms are curious. Somehow The Kybalion stated things in 1908 that were learned of by science in 1926, 1935, 1967, 2004, and in at least two cases discoveries made in 2015. How this happened is a mystery that we will return to at a later point. Next up, though, we will be looking into The Kybalion’s claim that the Principle of Vibration can be used to produce miracles. Stay tuned.
Written by Mark Pattini
1. Three Initiates, The Kybalion: A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece, The Yogi Publication Society, Masonic Lodge, Chicago ILL, Chapter IX, p.36 (1908)
2. What is the Schrodinger equation, and how is it used? http://www.physlink.com/education/askexperts/ae329.cfm
3. Free particle approach to the Schrodinger equation, http://hyperphysics.phyastr.gsu.edu/hbase/quantum/Schr2.html
4. Three Initiates, The Kybalion: A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece, The Yogi Publication Society, Masonic Lodge, Chicago ILL, Chapter IX, p.37 (1908)
5. Three Initiates, The Kybalion: A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece, The Yogi Publication Society, Masonic Lodge, Chicago ILL, Chapter IX, p.36 (1908)
6. Three Initiates, The Kybalion: A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece, The Yogi Publication Society, Masonic Lodge, Chicago ILL, Chapter IX, p.38 (1908)
7. Einstein, A; B Podolsky; N. Rosen "Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality be Considered Complete?" (PDF). Physical Review. 47 (10): 777–780. (May 15, 1935)
8. Alain Aspect, Philippe Grangier, and Gérard Roger, Experimental Tests of Realistic Local Theories via Bell's Theorem Phys. Rev. Lett. 47, 460 (August 17, 1981)
9. J.B. Rhine and J. G. Pratt, A review of the Pearce-Pratt distance series of ESP tests Journal of Parapsychology, 18, 165—77. (1954)
10. Three Initiates, The Kybalion: A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece, The Yogi Publication Society, Masonic Lodge, Chicago ILL, Chapter IX, p.38 (1908)
11. Peter D. Bruza, Zheng Wang, & Jerome R. Busemeyer, Quantum cognition: a new theoretical approach to psychology, Trends in Cognitive Science, Volume 19, Issue 7, p. 383–393, (July 2015)
12. Three Initiates, The Kybalion: A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece, The Yogi Publication Society, Masonic Lodge, Chicago ILL, Chapter IX, p.37 (1908)
13. Palmer & Palmer, The Quantum Hermetica, Ch. V, Part B p.55 (April 4, 2018)
14. Michael A. Levin & Xiao-Gang Wen, String-net condensation: A physical mechanism for topological phases, (April 26, 2004)
15. Zeeya Merali, The universe is a string-net liquid, New Scientist, (March 15, 2007)
16. Clara Moskowitz, Tangled Up in Space-time, Scientific American (October 26, 2016)
17. How space-time is built by quantum entanglement, Phys.org, (May 27, 2015)
18. Three Initiates, The Kybalion: A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece, The Yogi Publication Society, Masonic Lodge, Chicago ILL, Chapter IX, p.36 (1908)
19. DeWitt, B. S., "Quantum Theory of Gravity. I. The Canonical Theory". Phys. Rev. 160 (5): 1113–1148. (1967)
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