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the Emerald Tablet of Thoth (Original Version)

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Author Topic: the Emerald Tablet of Thoth (Original Version)  (Read 12757 times)
HereForNow
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HUH?


« on: April 15, 2008, 06:18:43 pm »

The Emerald Tablet is one of the most revered documents in the Western World, and its Egyptian author, Hermes Trismegistus, has become synonymous with ancient wisdom. His tablet contains an extremely succinct summary of what Aldous Huxley dubbed the "Perennial Philosophy," a timeless science of soul that keeps popping up despite centuries of effort to suppress it. The basic idea is that there exists a divine or archetypal level of mind that determines physical reality, and individuals can access that realm through direct knowledge of God.

The teachings of Hermes -- the Hermetic tradition -- is one of the oldest spiritual traditions in the world, and while no direct evidence links the Emerald Tablet to Eastern religions, it shares uncanny similarities in concepts and terminology with Taoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. In the West, the tablet found a home not only in the pagan tradition but also in all three of the orthodox Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), and many of the most heretical beliefs of the Gnostics are also openly expressed in it. Like the authors of the tablet, the Gnostics believed that direct knowledge of reality could be attained through psychological discipline and meditative exercises. They also shared a common view of the universe in which "All Is One," a pattern of creation and decay symbolized by the Ouroboros (the snake eating its own tail).

Without doubt, the Emerald Tablet was the inspiration behind many other esoteric traditions, including over 1,700 years of alchemy. Most medieval alchemists hung a copy of the tablet on their laboratory wall and constantly referred to the "secret formula" it contained. In fact, during the sixteenth century, Hermes Trismegistus was such a revered figure that there was a movement to have his teachings replace those of Aristotle in European schools.

Five hundred years later, the tablet's words are still held in the highest regard. "The Emerald Tablet is the cryptic epitome of the alchemical opus," noted Jungian analyst Dr. Edward Edinger, "a recipe for the second creation of the world." Ethnobotanist and consciousness guru Terence McKenna agrees, calling the tablet "a formula for a holographic matrix" that is mirrored in the human mind and offers mankind its only hope for future survival. "Whatever one chooses to believe about it," sums up John Matthews in The Western Way (Penguin 1997), "there is no getting away from the fact that the Emerald Tablet is one of the most profound and important documents to have come down to us. It has been said more than once that it contains the sum of all knowledge -- for those able to understand it."

However, there is one nagging problem with the Emerald Tablet: Nobody seems to know for sure where it came from, or who really wrote it.

Timeless Myths and Church Politics

Part of the problem trying to figure out the origins of the Emerald Tablet comes from the many legends that cloud its history. In one of the earliest of these fabled scenarios, Hermes was a son of Adam and wrote the tablet to show mankind how to redeem itself from his father's sins in the Garden of Eden. Jewish mystics identify the tablet's author with Seth, who was the second son of Adam. They credit him with writing the Emerald Tablet, which was taken aboard the ark by Noah. After the Flood, Noah supposedly hid the tablet in a cave near Hebron, where it was later discovered by Sarah, wife of Abraham. Another version describes Hermes giving the tablet to Miriam, daughter of Moses, for safekeeping. She allegedly put it in the Ark of the Covenant, where it remains to this day. Occult historians generally agree that the tablet was found in a secret chamber under the pyramid of Cheops around 1350 BC. Another interesting legend describes Hermes as a philosopher traveling in Ceylon in the fifth century BC. He found the Emerald Tablet hidden in a cave, and after studying it, learned how to "travel in both heaven and earth." This Hermes spent the rest of his life wandering throughout Asia and the Middle East teaching and healing. Oddly, the Hindu sacred book Mahanirvanatantra states that Hermes was the same person as Buddha, and each is referred to as the "Son of the Moon" in other Hindu religious texts.

Probably the only constant in all these legends is what the Emerald Tablet looked like. It is always described as a rectangular green plaque with bas-relief lettering in a strange alphabet similar to ancient Phoenician. It is made of emerald or green crystal, and the workmanship is exquisite. Caves, corpses, ancient Egypt, and secret wisdom are common themes in many of the stories.

The history of the tablet was further complicated when its alleged author became associated with the Corpus Hermeticum in the Middle Ages. The seventeen treatises of the Corpus expand on the principles of the Emerald Tablet and appear to be records of intimate conversations between Hermes and his disciples. For over three centuries, they were thought by the Catholic Church to be very ancient and held in the highest esteem. The church fathers believed the Corpus Hermeticum lent support to Christian doctrines, and the documents were required reading for European scholars. Images of Hermes adorned cathedrals all over Europe, and to this day, a giant fresco dominates the Borgia Apartments of the Vatican that shows Hermes, adorned with Hermetic symbols, walking in the company of Moses.

http://www.alchemylab.com/hyper_history.htm

A link that was at the time posted by Dawn.
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