The Hidden Meaning of “As Above, So Below” in Spirituality

The cryptic phrase “As above, so below” has long captivated spiritual seekers. But what does it really mean? This mystical maxim holds profound secrets about the nature of our existence. By unpacking its esoteric significance, we can begin to grasp the hidden wisdom within.

At its core, “As above, so below” points to the interconnectedness between the macrocosm and the microcosm. This dynamic interplay echoes throughout cosmos, self, and soul. To understand its full meaning is to unveil the very fabric of creation.

The Origins of “As Above, So Below” in Ancient Teachings

“As above, so below” traces back to the writings of Hermes Trismegistus, the legendary author of ancient esoteric texts. The most famous reference appears in the mystical Emerald Tablet:

“That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing.”

This passage describes the unity between the spiritual realms and the physical world. It conveys a sacred interconnection – heaven and earth mirror one another to form a cohesive whole.

For Hermeticists, the phrase affirmed Oneness underlying all of creation. God was not separate from our dimensional existence; the Divine infused everything. “As above, so below” became a concise representation of this cosmic unity.

Roots in Alchemy

Alchemy adopted the maxim “As above, so below” which reflected core Hermetic principles. In alchemical traditions, the microcosm symbolized by chemicals and flasks mirrored the macrocosm of the universe and the Divine.

By understanding transformations on a material level, alchemists believed they could effect spiritual and mystical changes in higher realms. This exemplified the interplay between inner and outer worlds.

Echoes In Freemasonry

“As above, so below” migrated into esoteric circles like Freemasonry. Masonic rituals and symbols incorporated the concept of one sacred connection uniting humanity, nature, and the Divine.

The Masonic motto “Ordo ab Chao” or “Order out of Chaos” further exemplified this; earthly chaos reflects Divine Order and vice versa. The microcosm expresses the macrocosm according to Hermetic laws.

The Principle of Correspondence

Hermetic wisdom gave rise to the principle of correspondence: “As above, so below; as below, so above.” This maxim signifies the direct relationship between macrocosm and microcosm.

According to this philosophy, an intricate web of harmony and symmetry binds together all planes of existence. The patterns we perceive in the heavens reflect those on earth, and vice versa. Understanding these connections unlocks the secrets of the universe.

In astrology, for instance, celestial movements correspond to events on earth. The microcosm of the human body mirrors the macrocosm of the solar system. As above, so below.

Oneness Underlying Duality

Central to the principle of correspondence is the notion of two apparently separate realms mirroring each other in truth. This implies an underlying Oneness connecting dualities.

The Great Chain of Being illustrates this concept. Each level of the chain, from lowest mineral forms up to the Divine, links together. A continuous order flows through realms.

While opposites exist, they are actually part of a greater whole reflecting, intersecting, and complementing each other in sacred union.

The Fractal Nature of the Universe

Fractals provide another way to understand correspondences. These repeating geometric patterns appear at every level of scale throughout nature and across dimensions.

Fractals demonstrate the holographic principle – each part contains the whole. Every cell reflects the totality of the organism; earth echoes cosmic processes.

Like a fractal, the maxim “As above, so below” describes the universe in a self-similar, nested, scale-invariant way. No part disconnected from the whole.

Symbolic and Metaphysical Meanings

Certainly, “as above, so below” lends itself to more symbolic interpretations. On a metaphysical level, it can represent:

  • The interconnectedness of human, earthly, and cosmic realms
  • Heaven reflected on earth, and vice versa
  • The holographic principle – the whole contained within each part

Some also interpret the maxim more literally. For example, arrangements of temples or sacred sites mirroring celestial patterns.

Ultimately, context shapes the phrase’s precise meaning. But in general, it gestures toward the unity of seemingly disparate parts into a greater metaphysical whole.

Macrocosm and Microcosm

“As above, so below” can specifically denote macrocosm and microcosm. The Divine realm – Gods, heavens – mirrors our existence on earth.

This perspective appears in many mystical traditions: Above are the archetypal celestial realms; below are their manifested reflections.

By studying sacred geometry and cosmos, microcosmic humans gain insight into Divine workings. Inner awakening aligns us with these higher forces.

Hermetic Teachings on Polarity

For Hermeticists, the phrase described the polarity between realms. Just as day flows into night, all opposites contain kernels of each other.

Up and down, spirit and matter – these apparent opposites actually rely upon each other. By embrace polarity, we transcend conflict. Harmony is restored.

Duality and Nonduality

“As above, so below” contains the seed of nonduality within a dualistic phrase. It directly connects two dimensions, inferring a bridge between opposites.

Some say this paradox itself hints at transcendence of ordinary dualistic thinking. Because in the end, there are no opposites – all is One.

When we experience nondual awareness, we move beyond superficial dichotomies into direct realization of divine unity underpinning existence. The illusion of separation dissolves.

The Divine Reflected in Matter

Esoteric nondual traditions see One Divine Reality reflected in all matter and spirit. Separation between sacred and mundane is an illusion.

By unveiling matter’s divine essence, we see beyond opposites of sacred/profane, pure/impure. All earthly existence becomes realizations of the Divine.

Transcending Ego

Attachment to a separate self is perhaps the most pervasive human dichotomy. Identifying solely with the ego breeds isolation.

By relinquishing dualistic outlooks, we reconnect with higher aspects of ourselves and all of life. Past and future dissolve into a timeless present.

Applying “As Above, So Below” To Your Spiritual Path

We can actively engage the principle of correspondence in our own spiritual development. Some examples:

  • Use astrology or divination to align with cosmic energies and patterns
  • Notice inner states mirrored externally and vice versa
  • Integrate and harmonize higher and lower aspects within oneself

Ultimately, observing the interplay between dimensions unveils deeper mystical truths. Contemplating this correspondence opens new levels of understanding.

By unveiling the hidden meaning within this cryptic maxim, we edge closer to profound realization of divine oneness at the heart of existence. We are the microcosm, reflecting the macrocosm of the gods. As above, so below.

Reflecting On Internal and External

Turn awareness inward to unveil parallels between inner landscape and outer environment. How do your emotional states manifest physically, socially, spiritually?

Also reflect on how outer conditions impact your inner world. What changes when you alter home space, relationships, job?

Integrating Higher and Lower Self

Explore ways to align your ordinary conscious self with higher aspects of identity. Spend time in nature, meditation, ritual. Journal to integrate subconscious realms.

Examine and transform thoughts, behaviors that disconnect you from sacredness within. Live from your highest self, reflected in the world.

Delve into metaphysics, mysticism, and esoteric arts like alchemy, astrology, and Tarot. Study crossover between scientific fields like quantum physics, biology, and spirituality.

Seeking knowledge unveils the hidden unity of all life. Observe heavenly patterns mirrors on earth. As above, so below.