Book Review: The Kybalion

Guest post by Kat Tepelyan

The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of Understanding.
So starts the first chapter of The Kybalion.

I discovered this little giant book, first printed in 1908, when I read The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life, its author mentioning The Kybalion several times. Written by the mysterious “THREE INITIATES” I got very curious…

The 7 Principles of Hermetic Philosophy


The KybalionThe entirety of this book revolves around “The 7 Hermetic Principles”, ideas simple yet penetrating.

I will outline them here, noting the parts that had profound impacts on me, yet I urge you to pick up a copy – the one pictured here is the Definitive version and includes a great Introduction – for it’s wonderful not only in the simplicity and resonance of the content within it but also for the clarity with which these concepts are presented.



1. The Principle of Mentalism

“The ALL is MIND; The Universe is Mental.” 

Quantum physics has been bending our concepts of reality for some time; we are not new to this type of thinking, but what does it mean that everything is mental and composed of mind?

The principle states that “THE ALL”, as the book refers to source energy, or God if you prefer to call it that, is eternal and unchangeable. It composes everything and is everywhere. It is in everything, and everything is made of it. It can not cease to be, and it cannot expand, for it is all.

So if that were true, how, then, is creation of all that we see possible?

By creating with mind, says The Kybalion.

If THE ALL is unchangeable and consists of everything, the only way to create would be with mind – making a projection. This implies a few interesting things about where we live and what we are:

1. Everything is energetic and therefore the ENTIRETY of what we see and beyond is mental, or malleable…

2. The principle goes on to state that we are created in the likeness of THE ALL, which must mean that we are imbued with a similar creative power as THE ALL.

3. Putting those together: we are powerful and live in a universe of mind, where “mind over matter” is a fact in all situations, and “miracles” are the norm.

I reread the chapters covering this concept several times until I walked around a bit giddy, because no matter how many times I’ve read similar arguments before, the way this book communicated these ideas made a terrific impact on how I saw myself and the world I was in instantly.


2. The Principle of Correspondence

“As above, so below; as below, so above.”

Our scientific discoveries show universes within universes and worlds within the tiniest cells, and this principle of correspondence applies across the rest of reality as well.

Reality, the authors explain, being a fluid set of frequencies upon which life forms in its myriads of ways simply appears to be different at these different points, yet they all follow the same principles and laws.

In other words, things may appear different but are in essence of the same nature, an idea expanded upon in the next principle.


3. The Principle of Vibration

Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.”

This concept is not new to us either. We know that every atom is in a constant state of motion; every tiny particle is never at rest.

But the terrific distinction made in this chapter is the decision to look at the type of vibration any given wave is in.

It is explained well with sound:

Beginning to play the lowest note registered by the human ear, we inch along the musical scale, note by note, playing each one, reaching an increasingly higher pitch until the tone shrills and disappears into the imperceivable range once again.

Yet even as we may not hear it, it is there.

What’s happened to the note? Has it become something else? Or is it simply in a faster vibratory range? We know that it’s the latter.

The same is true with mental states and emotions. 

Every thought and emotion – being the source of our creative power – also vibrates at a specific frequency, leading into the next idea.


4. The Principle of Polarity

“Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled”

As in the above argument, if the frequency of heat were increased, it would eventually appear cold. This has happened to me on numerous occasions. The tap water is scolding hot, and after 1 second of sticking my hands in it, I begin to experience it as extreme cold.

Since the same is true of emotions, (Love / Hate being a scale, Fear / Courage, and so on) and since thoughts and feelings exist on their own respective scales, we can move from the feeling of hate to love or from fear to courage by increasing the vibration of the emotion or thought.

Seems easier said than done at first, yes, but knowing this to be a possibility should propel you into a state of joy!

All of our negative thoughts and emotions can literally be transmuted into their higher-vibratory pairs. 

This, in a sense, is the secret to “it all.”


5. The Principle of Rhythm

“Everything flows out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum-swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right, is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.”

So given we have opposite poles, and since everything is in a constant state of vibration, we can readily see that this principle is deduced as the next logical step.

Objects, feelings, thoughts, events, etc., naturally move along the poles, from one edge to the next. Like tides come in and out, the pendulum of eternal rhythm swings.

However, this does not mean that one who understands this vibratory nature of phenomena cannot choose to polarize themselves with one or another frequency and remain there despite the external happenings.


It’s simply the idea of presence again. 

If we are present, no matter how seemingly crazy a situation we find ourselves in may be, we always have the option of getting very still, of getting present, of not allowing the pendulum swing to be detrimental. We remain unaffected when we disallow fears/emotions/stress effect us negatively.

We can simply tune into love rather hate, courage rather than fear, and with practice, attain a peace of mind in even the most chaotic of times.


6. The Principle of Cause and Effect

“Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.”

This, for all intents and purposes, is karma. You do something, you set a chain of events in motion that will be the effect of your cause. Clear.

The book goes on to make distinctions between “the masses” and “the masters”, which, seeming condemning at first, is actually true. “The masses” are those who can not escape the effects of their heredity, influence of others, fears, etc., and “the masters” are those who can rise above the common frequency patterns of habitual (often negative) thought and behavior to literally become cause-makers on a different level altogether.

This is what “rising your vibration” really means.

Aligning with a higher frequency band by being present and aligned, we become catalysts of positivity in the world.


7. The Principle of Gender

“Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes.”

This one was incredible for me. Yes, those who have studied various philosophic and spiritual traditions have come across this idea as well, but it was the way this information was presented that had it really click for me in an experiential way.

The male principle goes out and gives in the process. It is the arrow shot out into the universe. 

This is a necessary principle if we want to achieve anything. But the process is not complete without the feminine, or the receptive side, which must “ground” the masculine by receiving and thus completing the process of creation and bringing the system back into possibility (stasis is never actually static).

A simple example: If someone offers you a genuine complement, and you can’t receive it, you leave the complimenter feeling weird, and you yourself receive none of the benefit of the love being shared in that moment.

Same goes for the masculine principle. If you receive easily but cannot give, there is a misbalance as well.

Now we are all both male and female in our nature, as the principle states and as I’m sure you’ve experienced in your own life, so understanding and working with this principle, observing when we are being too much of one or the other can help us pin point where we are in our journey, as the goal is true inner balance of both.

Simply Profound

This little book shifted my mind a great deal, and I have offered here a mere glimpse into the vastness of its gifts.

I can say honestly that I have had many breakthroughs as a result of reading it, so get yourself a copy and see how it makes you feel and how it changes your state of mind…

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  1. Eva

    Kat, very inspiring post, thank you. Did you know that Doreen Virtue of The LightWorker’s Way wrote a book called Divine Magic which is a combination of the Kybalion and then her words describing the Kybalion passages. Great little book. Also your review of the Flower of Life prompted me to finally read the 2 books, have been hovering around them for years. All I can say is absolutely mind-blowing material!!!

    • Kat Tepelyan


      Yes, I have read Divine Magic as well. I loved the audio CD that came with it and her take on the material. I wanted to review the root text here, since I had reviewed her Lightworker’s Way a few months back.

      But I’m so glad someone besides Belinda and I are aware of Doreen’s book! And I’m very happy these reviews are helpful. We try and find books that were truly monumental to us…

      Thank you Eva and much love.

  2. Louise A

    Wonderful review! I also have read Doreen’s version ‘Divine Magic’. I’m so happy to see The Kybalion being presented here to people who might not have heard of it yet. It’s completely changed my perspective on so many things.

  3. Leah

    Great post Kat!

    The principles sound so familiar yet being in that state of higher frequency is so hard. Maybe I should just keep working on it.



    • Kat Tepelyan

      Keep at it! The payoff is amazing. One day at a time. One emotion and thought at a time. It works especially well when you use the chakra practice and white light Belinda offers here.

      Spoken from experience…
      Much love,

  4. Virginia

    Trying to tiptoe into the Wisdom of The Kybalion, without being overwhelmed. Thank you for your article, I know I’ll be returning to it again and again for inspiration and balance.

    Thank you and blessings,



  1. […] Read the rest of the post on Belinda Davidson’s School of the Modern Mystic. […]

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